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Discover our Virtual DJ Service

We are asked all the time “what actually IS a virtual DJ service?”. We understand. It’s a new term and one you only hear in relation to live bands.

A virtual DJ service is a great thing. It has many benefits, adds value and saves you money. All good things, right? But what actually is it?

In this article we’ll do our best to explain exactly what a virtual DJ service is and how it can benefit you.

What is a virtual DJ service?

Our virtual DJ service is when we provide recorded music during the times that we are not performing. In more common terms, it’s a disco. Like the ones you will already be familiar with. The main difference is that we are DJ’ing for you as part of our service and you are not having to book an extra DJ.

It looks, sounds and feels like a normal DJ or disco and operates in exactly the same way. Music plays from our digital music library of thousands of tracks via the band’s PA system.

!daft! provide a DJ service alongside our live performance so that you have a busy dance floor all night long.

 

Virtual DJ Service guests

Our virtual DJ service is perfect for weddings, parties and corporate functions.

Benefits of our Virtual DJ service

There are many benefits to using our virtual DJ service, here are few to note:

It Keeps Things Simple and Easier to Manage

A major benefit is that it reduces the number of people you have to deal with and when you’re planning an event. This can help make it easier for you to keep track or your suppliers, plans and logistics during your planning stages.

It Looks and Sounds Great

Our band PA system is superior to that of the typical mobile DJ’s. This is a big advantage when you want music to sound rich and clear. Additionally, it all works alongside our impressive stage lighting which looks fantastic.

It’s so much more affordable

One of the key advantages to our virtual DJ service is that it is cheaper than a mobile DJ option. Our virtual DJ service can save you hundreds of pounds in comparison to a traditional mobile DJ.

A nice lady dancing at disco

A disco service that appeals to all.

Virtual DJ Service FAQ’s

Here are some of the questions asked most about our virtual DJ service.

Yes! ! It is as good, if not better. Our virtual DJ service is a perfect, low-cost modern day alternative to a separate mobile DJ. We are your DJ and live band in one neat service. You will get a fantastic party DJ experience like you had booked a more traditional mobile DJ.

It does, if not better. Our virtual DJ service music plays via the band’s PA system, the sound quality is incredible. The band’s PA is equipped with dual 18 inch subs as well as full range, band-ready top speakers. Overall, our set up is much more “heavyweight” than a small DJ rig offering brighter, richer sounds. And it all works in harmony with our lighting, which again, is usually superior to that of a typical mobile DJ.

Like any other professional DJ we will play music that is appropriate for your event. You can also provide feedback on what music you would like during the planning process.

Yes, of course. Like any good DJ we want you to have the music you want to hear at your event. We can include a small number of tracks you would like to hear at no extra cost, however there may be a charge incurred to provide fully bespoke or customised playlists.

Yes. Like any other professional DJ we will have a very large music library with us at your event. Guests can make requests, and we will do everything we can to accommodate them. If we don’t have it immediately available we can download it (subject to having a wifi or data signal). You can also make requests in advance of your event.

Yes. We use industry DJ software to play the tracks and this allows us to mix the tracks for seamless playback.

Yes. There are no curious versions or copies. We use the authentic, original tracks and can play your chosen mix or version if you wish.

Yes. The great thing about our virtual DJ service is that it can continue as long as you want it to. It is very cost effective as well to extend to the virtual DJ service once the band has completed its live sets.

 

We hope you have found this info helpful and that has given you an insight into our virtual DJ service. One last thing to note is that this is how WE do it, it might not be the same for other bands. They may not take requests or customise playlists like we do. If you are talking to bands then this might be something you want to check.

You are also very welcome to contact us to discuss this, or any other, of our live entertainment services. Call us on 0333 456 4556.

Sound Limiters: What You Need to Know

Sound limiters are electrical devices that measure the amount of volume, or noise, in a room. If that volume reaches a certain level the sound limiter is designed to cut the electric supply to the stage.

Ultimate sound limiter guide for live bands at weddings, corporate functions and parties. A guide to sound limiters.

The visual indicator on the limiter works most commonly on a “traffic light” system, green = no problem, amber = sound levels approaching the threshold, red= threshold breached. If the light stays red for more than a few seconds, the limiter will then cut the power to the stage. This will leave you with no lights, action or music.

BEFORE YOU BOOK A VENUE WE RECOMMEND:

THAT YOU ASK YOUR VENUE WHETHER THEY USE SOUND LIMITERS

To safeguard both of us we will contact your venue as soon as you book us to enquire to whether one is in use.

THAT YOU VISIT THE VENUE

Whilst there take a look in the corner of the function room. If you see a small box or unit with obvious red/amber/green lights on the front, the chances are it’s a sound limiter.

THAT YOU REQUEST TO TURN OFF THE SOUND LIMITER FOR YOUR EVENT.

If you have exclusive use of the venue this is usually more than acceptable. Once granted please get this confirmation in writing. We wouldn’t want to end up in a discussion on the night with someone who denies all knowledge of the agreement.

WHY DO VENUES HAVE SOUND LIMITERS?

ENVIRONMENTAL

Where venues are near residential properties they have a duty to keep any noise to a reasonable level. In rare cases your venue may also have been instructed by the local authority to have one installed.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

There isn’t yet any legal requirement to protect customers or party guests, who are there voluntarily, from loud noises. But there is a requirement for employers to protect employees and contractors.

OTHER REASONS

The venue may want to keep noise down for other resident guests or simply just have greater control over the band’s volume.

WHAT LEVEL SOUND LIMITERS USUALLY SET TO?

You will find in most cases that sound limiters are set to between 80-90 decibels (db). This is an average based purely on our experience and you may find yours is set to a different level. Most live amplified rock & pop gigs register at between 100 and 115db. Acoustic drums kits alone can easily register 105 – 110db.

80-90db might not sound like much less than 100dB, but in fact the decibel scale isn’t a straight line. For example 110db actually sounds almost twice as loud as 100db, NOT a “tenth” louder.

HOW LOUD IS 80-90DB?

It’s really not very loud at all. In our opinion this is too quiet an environment to host a live rock band.

DECIBEL INFOGRAPHIC

Check out the detailed infographic showing you what kind of decibel levels are produced in everyday, typical situations.

OUR OWN TEST

We held a professional sound measurement device next to a tap of running water. The tap was fully open and was falling into a stainless steel sink. We held the measurement device around 6 inches from the sink and it registered at around 76db.

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH SOUND LIMITERS AND LIVE BANDS?

Unfortunately there are a few issues that sound limiters can cause, here is a summary:

THEY ARE SET TOO LOW

Sound limiters are frequently set lower than what is reasonable for a live band to work with. The reality is anything below 95db is too low for any party band to perform properly.

SYSTEM INSTALLATION 

There is never a guarantee that the limiter at your venue has been correctly installed, or that it is being operated by someone qualified in sound engineering. The system must be correctly installed, calibrated, maintained and operated for anyone to have total confidence that everything is being measured accurately.

INCONVENIENCE

Not only are sound limiters inconveniencing but you also have to wait for them to be reset by a venue representative. If said person is not in the immediate vicinity then this can mean the power is off for an indeterminate amount of time. If the limiter keeps tripping then you can see how this can begin to turn into quite a ridiculous exercise.

THEY THINK IT’S US!

The audience will always assume the band have messed up! To go from a live band playing a party track to total silence in a fraction of a second often in results in 150 confused faces staring at us in the assumption that our equipment has failed or we’ve done something wrong.

MOOD AND ATMOSPHERE

In our opinion sound limiters tend to adversely affect the mood that you and we will be trying to create at your wedding by essentially “dulling” the atmosphere.

DAMAGE TO BAND EQUIPMENT

Sound limiters can, and do, damage the band’s equipment. PA’s, amplifiers and mixing desks require an uninterrupted supply of power and to be switched on and off in the correct manner. The fuses and valves in our equipment can be damaged when suddenly powered off and on again, speakers can pop and blow too as a result of signal spikes when the limiter kicks in.

“WE HAVE BANDS HERE ALL THE TIME AND THERE’S NEVER A PROBLEM”

This is something we hear venues say all the time but we urge you to take this statement with a pinch of salt.

We would not suggest for one second that venues would state a deliberate untruth. But you have to bear in mind that no venue is going to want to willingly deter you from booking their building and services by revealing that their noise policy doesn’t allow anything louder than a dishwasher at your wedding party.

No sound limiter sits there doing nothing and if there is never a problem, then why have one?

They have to, at some point, come into effect during live performances. Saying “there’s never a problem” isn’t enough, in our view, to confirm that we won’t have a problem.

IT CAN AFFECT THE BAND’S PERFORMANCE

We certainly find it very difficult performing the same volume as let’s say, a hair dryer (80db).

We are a rock & pop party band and you may well have booked us because you saw us performing in a way that you wanted to have at your wedding. You don’t want the band to be watching the traffic lights and trying to stop the red light coming on. Instead they should be focusing on giving their performance and keeping your dance floor full.

THEY CAN AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO ENJOY YOUR OWN WEDDING PARTY, AND WE’RE NOT COOL WITH THAT!

We have heard many horror stories of sound limiters affecting the band’s ability to perform resulting in the constant stop-starting of music, circuit resets, audience confusion etc.

We know of one wedding where the band tripped the system during the bride and groom’s first dance just 25 seconds into the performance. The first dance track was the beautiful Chasing Cars which as you may know is hardly a loud or powerful song, certainly in the first few minutes. This, for us, is just crazy.

We are not divas and we do not care to be selfish or play at ridiculous volumes, but we do expect to be able to deliver what you have paid for and asked us to do. Sound limiters can, in some cases, make this virtually impossible.

HOW WE CAN HELP IF YOUR VENUE HAS A SOUND LIMITER?

NEGOTIATE ITS USE

Prior to booking we are happy to talk to your venue about their sound limitation policies. We’ll seek to ensure our mutual compatibility and we have done so many times before. We have also been successful in finding a compromise where required.

For example at some weddings it may be the case that the wedding party have booked out the vast majority (if not all) of the venue’s accommodation. This means that there are no other non-wedding guests to disturb. Therefore a sound limiter would seem unnecessary.

DAMPEN THE BAND DOWN

We will also employ various tactics to minimise our peak volume impact where limiters are in operation. We have many ways of reducing sound impact without having to drastically affect the overall quality of sound.

USE OUR EXPERIENCE AND COMMON SENSE!

!daft!, and practically every other band out there, do not have any desire to play at uncomfortably high volumes. We want our clients and audiences to enjoy every aspect of our performance. Therefore it is in our interest to play at an acceptable volume level for the room and the event overall.

You will find us to be experienced performers with the ability to set acceptable sound levels. This will create the right atmosphere without shattering the ears of others.

In our experience, band members can dictate sensible sound levels simply by using their common sense, an ability which does not, unfortunately, always apply to sound limiters.

If you have any questions about sound limiters, or if we can help in any other way, please feel free to contact us.