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Mic Tips N Tricks


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#1 DJMickeyk

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:21 PM

Just wondering what you guys say when your on the mic between songs, I'm a self taught DJ, and rarely get to see other DJ's in action to pick up tips etc. Just wondering what works for you, I have seen some DJ's who won't open their mouth, and others who won't shut up, I'm somewhere in between. However I do struggle at times to think of things to say, if I have requests, or if its somebodys birthday etc then obviously thats the problem solved. But on a slow night what would you say when you are mixing between songs, I hate the "that was Britney Spears with XXX, now heres Amy Winehouse with her latest tune XXX" type intro's, it's just tacky and sounds ridiculous IMO. I don't do any daft party games or anything like that, I'm not cut out for that type of thing and I think thats a skill that you shouldn't force as it wouldn't seem natural. What I'm looking for is just basic one-liners you would use at various stages. Mic work is a massive problem with alot of DJ's I have seen over the years, with some all you can hear is an inaudible grumbling coming from the speakers, and it's clearly an area that many DJ's neglect which is a pity. I think it's mic work that really sets a DJ apart from the pack, anybody can buy a cheap maplins kit and an i-pod and hey presto, they are a DJ. But the good ones are entertainers as well as that. Its an area that I'm reasonably good on, but not great admittedly, and would love to improve. Sorry if this thread has been done before.
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#2 MintyDave

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:14 PM

A hard one as some clints dont mind pleanty of banter etc from a dj whereas ive heard of clients asking dj's to say nothing at all and just play music.

Other than the afore mentioned announcements i only talk if im doing a massive change in genres or dropping a strange obsuce but heavily requested track and feel i need to let people know.

The only other time i will talk is if i know the atmospere is right and a few cheap gags will work usually directed at a very warm crowd. Not something i do on a regular basis and only if i sort of know the punters or they are as i said a very friendly.

some dj's choose to talk a lot and if they can and do then thats up to them, nothing worse than trying to talk and stuttering/mumbling a lot.

my advice is go with the flow and use that 6th sense that we have to be able to read the minds of a room full of strangers. biggrin.gif

Edited by MintyDave, 09 June 2010 - 09:16 PM.

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#3 Robster

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:25 PM

As a karaoke host i use the mic a lot .
calling singers up , so i have to be audible . One thing i have noticed is a lot of DJ's don't turn down the music enough when they talk so they are competing with the music..they talk too fast and in a radio DJ voice that all adds up to people going ..what did he say?

I try to read the crowd and i have a good instinct who i can have a laugh with and who i can't.

residencies lend themselves to you knowing a few people or getting to know them so that gives you material to work with but at functions i tend to do in depth consultations with the host and that involves who is coming who is a character etc this can be a goldmine of information and can be turned into what to say over the mic


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#4 vokf

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:39 PM

I saw a bunch of people reading this, but looks like they didn't post..!

My take;
No point in saying something for the sake of it. Putting music on is easy - you've got it in one... Entertaining is the hard bit.
A few DJ's can't shut up, but luckily, most try to keep a good balance.

If its a wedding, try to find out what the brides maids danced to on the hen night, annoucing a genre change is acceptable, with a humble apology if it crashes!

We normally provide request sheets (client permitting) and these normally help - some guests put their names down and list a bunch of stuff, so easy pickings to invite them up...


It is a skill that is acquired over time. Being more approachable is also important for some gigs, and also look like you're enjoying yourself. think.. "if I wasn't working, I'd love to join you lot"

I'm not sure how you start the night out. For birthdays, I normally use wireless mic, walk into the dancefloor and introduce myself (and Carmen), explain the (obvious) reason for the party, and invite requests, and hope they enjoy the party! quick nod to Carmen who kicks off the first song as I walk back.

If Carmen is taking photos for the client, I request the guests provide their best cheesy grins, and that the photos will be present to x&y in a few days.


I think if you have something to say (ie introduce the 1st dance), its easy. Trying to waffle is difficult for most of us, and also isn't really required.

So for us - normally a small bit of chat at the start, and if there are speeches/cake cutting etc I will kick that off and take back over, and finally announce the last few tracks - and then say my goodnights.

I think introducing yourself, and the bare essentials are fine for many crowds. Some do need a bit more encouragement, and here is where its hard to impose yourself.

For a kids party - its easy... a dance-off... girls vs boys ("don't let me down guys?!" etc) for adults... can be tricky..


I'd like to hear what the other more experienced guys think and do, but really mic work is really your own personality, and trying to copy lines from anyone here will be false.

I've been doing this for a couple of years now, and I would guest that those that do pub gigs (or more relaxed parties) should be more at ease with this. I do my local pub a few times/year. "Milwall Mick" loves The Clash, Madness, Bad Manners - so its easy to give (and take) a bit of banter with him.
You get to know the regulars, and so know "Del" always plays mad air guitar to Rock. Easy pickings - but not what I'd do on a private gig - however, it does give you more confidence.

So, no real answer - but you're not alone, and I'd prefer good music to a chatty DJ.

#5 D.X

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE(DJMickeyk @ Jun 9 2010, 08:21 PM) View Post

However I do struggle at times to think of things to say


Then don't say anything thumbsup.gif

#6 Dukesy

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:55 AM

QUOTE(Robster @ Jun 9 2010, 10:25 PM) View Post

As a karaoke host i use the mic a lot .
calling singers up , so i have to be audible . One thing i have noticed is a lot of DJ's don't turn down the music enough when they talk so they are competing with the music..they talk too fast and in a radio DJ voice that all adds up to people going ..what did he say?

I try to read the crowd and i have a good instinct who i can have a laugh with and who i can't.

residencies lend themselves to you knowing a few people or getting to know them so that gives you material to work with but at functions i tend to do in depth consultations with the host and that involves who is coming who is a character etc this can be a goldmine of information and can be turned into what to say over the mic


Ditto thumbsup.gif

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#7 DJMickeyk

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:59 AM

Thanks, i have been doing this quite a while and i'm pretty good at the basics like announcements and things like that, genre changes etc and requests, no problem I'm fairly good on the mic and know people can hear me clearly. I've also started hosting Karaoke lately which involves alot of time on the mic as Rob said, and have taken to this no problem. I suppose I'm looking for ideas more than anything else. The reason I'm so conscious is that there is a DJ that works closeby who is an absolute legend locally, spends the whole night on the mic doing games and generally having a laugh with punters, his music selection is average but it really doesn't matter he is that entertaining on the mic. I know I will never be able to offer that but I would like to make the very most of my mic skills. Like I said, getting a lovely shiny kit and great tunes can be done by anybody with enough cash, its the mic and the crowd interaction that sets the really good apart from the average. I don't get out to see other DJ's much to see what they do so was hoping I'd pick up some ideas here, I think I'm already doing many of the things suggested, intoducing myself, looking for requests etc, but would like to be a little more adventurous on the mic from now on, will keep working on it.

EDIT: Further to Daves point I always as clients how much mic work etc do they want at the gig, very few say they want me on the mic all the time, most just say to do what I feel will work, and they definately nothing over the top.

Edited by DJMickeyk, 10 June 2010 - 03:01 AM.

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#8 Raymilkybarkid

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:47 AM

What a great topic
My spin now:

I recently was away in Newcastle and visited some fine Bars / Clubs with fantastic music and found that most of the DJs that were shouting down the Mic making what they were saying inaudible.
IMO you need to speak clearly and slowly with the music turned down a bit to enable your voice to be heard.

As some of you are aware I DJ every year at the London Marathon this requires a minimum of 6 hours banter on the mic and you need to be heard giving words of encouragement so a slow and clear approach is required. If some DJ's that I have come across shouting their heads off for a couple of hours would have no voice left.

I keep banter at weddings down to First Dance, Cake Cutting, Buffet and the Grand Send Off at the end of the evening, with the odd announcement / request as necessary.
I find that DJ's who just play music are a touch boring (IMO) the clients could have hired a jukebox.
Unless the clients want a DJ who mixes for for hours.
I like to see a DJ with a personality which can shine through by using the mic giving encouragement to help make the function a success.

Pubs and Clubs are different as the DJ may be required to push drinks promotions and forthcoming events etc.

As Dave said you need to use the sixth sense with regards to mic work but at the end of the day its up to you how you much or little you choose to use the mic.





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#9 Robster

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 12:58 PM

when with clients it depends how you promote mic work , i dont use the question how much do you want me to talk i ask "how interactive do you want your party?"

if you were at a restaurant and after the meal you said "would you like artery clogging high fat cream cakes now ?"

or "could i tempt you with our fine selection of desserts ?"

you will get different results from the customers

from my experience NO ONE wants over the top annoying chatty mic guy but if you ask the question incorrectly that's what creeps into there mind. so pitching how much clients want in terms of how interactive do they want you.

also no one wants a poor flat atmosphere and if you just play the requested playlist when some of the songs are not foot tappers or depressing at a party... So a balance is needed , mic work is just one of the performance tools at our disposal , focussing just on the mic and having a sulky face and sitting down for example can ruin how good you maybe on the mic.

I do residencies and when i see its going flat after i have exhausted my music dead certs and its still flat i have

done a music quiz (preprepared sheets)

asked the audience "i hate to admit it but i dont know how to do X party dance will some one show me? then start dancing with whoever offers its amazing how many just then join in

done a ball game i devised (trade secret)

now i would NEVER do these at a function but at a residency you can get away with stuff like that.

I would also re enforce the statement if you dont know what to say ..say nothing and try to create your own style and not to worry about the legend next door ..my experience is that for every one who loves the legend there is another that doesn't like that style and wants something different.




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#10 carl1974

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:40 PM

Interesting topic, having recently only just started out this is an area i need to improve on hence i keep it to the minimum. I have an 18th at the weekend and will do the welcome and buffet open kind of stuff as well as announcing a change in genres but i will keep it to that and to be honest think that's sufficient, otherwise they could book peter kay for an hr!

#11 Robster

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 04:47 PM

QUOTE(carl1974 @ Jun 10 2010, 03:40 PM) View Post

Interesting topic, having recently only just started out this is an area i need to improve on hence i keep it to the minimum. I have an 18th at the weekend and will do the welcome and buffet open kind of stuff as well as announcing a change in genres but i will keep it to that and to be honest think that's sufficient, otherwise they could book peter kay for an hr!



This is my point if i was doing a 18th i probably would do less talking than you have outlined above my experience has told me that i would do


a welcome
a buffet announcement
and a close
(speeches if required etc)

rarely would i announce a genre change at a 18th , i would say the name of the person of a request that i though might go down like a lead brick !

but apart from that I just look like i'm having fun , dance at my gear and read the crowd for music genres.

for me that is the normal level of interactivity that works for me at most not all 18th's ..if they requested more then that's what i would do but normally i keep it simple.

There is a happy medium also between what's above and thinking your Peter Kay (many dj's including myself would fail on my bottom if i attempted that level) ..it does seem many DJ's think its nothing or full blown chatty ..there are often happy mediums that will suit your own personal style. Publand helped me find my own style i am comfortable with but i am always ready to listen and learn and after a recent meet up i got a few ideas and tips that i will modify ,use or not use depending on the situation and gig.

i also have times when i am on form and every thing i do works , then others where it just doesn't work as well , its tough to be critical and objective but i did video record one of my shows and played it back and i cringed all the way through but i learned a lot from seeing myself from a audience members point of view.

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#12 D.X

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE(Raymilkybarkid @ Jun 10 2010, 08:47 AM) View Post

I find that DJ's who just play music are a touch boring (IMO) the clients could have hired a jukebox.


Maybe they should, just dragged this off another site wallbash.gif

Disco/DJ:

* Plays at set volume, often too loud for some guests
* Starts at fixed time and often ends at the very time when the party is at its peak
* Will not accept prior play-lists
* Will not have all requests
* Will often be a factor in older guests deciding to leave early

Juke Box:

* Plays at the volume you prefer and can be adjusted accordingly or even turned off
* Is available for up to twelve hours and only stops when you pull the plug out! No restriction on time
* Plays only those songs you and your guests have asked for in advance and in the order you want
* Your play-list will include songs requested by every age group therefore everyone will want to stay and listen to the music!
* Your Juke Box package can include the optional extras provided by a disco lighting, fog machine, bubble machine and microphone


#13 MintyDave

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 06:35 PM

How about posting some of your favourite one liners for those very friendly gigs

My Favourite - If the music is going off for an announcement and some poor soul (hopefully a bloke) is stood chatting to me as soon as the vol drops i clearly announce - Yes mate i'll play some kylie for you, i just need to make this announcement.

Old one but still gets a laugh - Ok folks lets sing happy birthday together on the count of four.....1....2...2....1....2....shrug shoulders and start singing.

If the music is too loud just let me know and i'll turn it down, if the lights are blinding you, let me know and i'll turn them a bit, if the music is awfull let me know and i'll play something else.......if all 3 apply let me know and i'll call you a taxi.



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#14 Robster

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:14 AM

I don't do pre rehearsed one liners i tend to make stuff up on the spot , you can only use one liners once at residencies in most cases

heres one

If you want to sing on karaoke come and see me, i have most things, although according to the text.. chlamydia is not one of them luckily. hiding.gif


for karaoke i give singers a nick name.... always a good positive one so shelly becomes "sensational shelly"

amy becomes " amazing amy" this boost there confidence it also helps me sort out who is who if we have 5 steves etc each one has a nick name .with groups of singers its a bit like quiz teams they think of fun names to call them selves i have had a group of girls ask[i] to be called the "fatband faturdays "for example.
My singers love the attention of it.

When its a big bloke singing with a group of mates who are sat down cheering him on that is bad at singing i do the request slip in each ear thing ..warning you have to be 1 brave 2 be able to handle difficult situations if it goes wrong .. i tend to pick on the biggest guy because often they have nothing to prove and laugh when they turn and see you but if you pick on the wrong sort they can kick off ..i personally have never had one kick off when i have done the paper in ears thing , but a friend host of mine has. buying them a pint saying only messing mate what you singing next normally gets them loving you. again i dont do this often its not something you can do at functions , publand is very different.






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#15 Draconic Pride

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:02 PM

As mentioned by others I tend to do more mic work at my residencies than at private functions.

I normally push any drinks offers and the bands gigging at the venue during the week and have a bit of banter with the regulars.

I have long hair and a beard... One of my favourite one-liners is "If you have any requests during the night just come over to the booth, and by the way, get a haircut and shave doesn't count!" It usually gets a laugh and lets people know that yea, I may look different, but hey, I'm not stupid. I know that I look different! It's the way I got my DJ name for my residency... I'm known as Ginger Jesus!





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