Wedding DJs Performance Style – Mixing vs Straight Playlists

by The Wedding Music Planner

As music technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, the mobile DJ industry continues to adapt by changing the way music is played at events. When the mobile DJ was originally introduced, vinyl dominated the music market. Vinyl made it easy, and often appealing, for DJs to mix tracks together. Although it was still acceptable, and common, for DJs to play each track independently, the DJ wasn’t working with a large variety of music and it was ultimately easier for him to mix if he chose to do so.

After vinyl became obsolete in the consumer world, mixing became a reserved entity of the clubbing industry and mobile DJs began serving as human playlists, transitioning music with simple fades. In the early 2000s, mixing was reintroduced to the mobile DJ market as computer software made it easier for mixing to take place between songs.  The software was able to analyse the beat of each song and categorise the music by different properties that allowed the DJ to not only find music more easily, but mix the tracks together almost automatically with the touch of a button. Mixing was still uncommon in regards to standard radio mixes of pop songs and certain oldies, but as parties demanded a more upbeat variety, remixes from the club began entering the playlists of mobile DJs. Today, a great deal of mobile DJs mix dance tracks together to create a club atmosphere at their parties.

There are many advantages to mixing tracks. For one, mixing tracks eliminates a pause in energy and allows the crowd to continue dancing between songs. It creates a constant energy that keeps individuals on the dance floor longer because sudden inertia that usually results from a fade between songs is eliminated. In addition, the mixing of songs is much cleaner and keeps the attention of the guests directed on the music and the vibe of the dance floor rather than the awkward pause that occurs when guests begin questioning what the next song is.

Mixing also has its disadvantages. For one, although technology has made it easier to mix, not all DJs are talented enough to mix. Mixing is a very risky enterprise because it requires the disc jockey to remain attentive at all times during the event and to prepare for the next song in the playlist. Choosing a song that does not match the energy of its predecessor can prove deadly to the dance floor. Killing the energy on the dance floor is one of the most despairing moments of any party and is a reality that many DJs try to avoid, though it does happen on many occasions. By using a straight playlist model, you avoid the risk of a deadly mix. It is still very important that the DJ creates a playlist that allows for a functional wave of energy distribution, but by eliminating the need to match beats between songs, the DJ can focus his attention on formulating a playlist that curves to the energy of the event rather than worrying about matching the beat between two consecutive songs.

Consult with your wedding DJ and inquire about the types of service he can provide. If the DJ claims that he is able to mix, kindly request a sample of his work, including a video of an event he performed. If he is unable to provide you with this material, it may be a better decision to stick with a straight playlist. It isn’t worth taking the risk if the DJ is not guaranteed to be a qualified mixer.

For more information on Disc Jockey services available for your wedding reception or private function please contact us.

Subscribe to our free monthly eNewsletter featuring articles on organising wedding music, entertainment and other preparation advice.

Previous post:

Next post: