Wedding DJ FAQ

DJ Service Frequently Asked Questions

Year opened:  1985
# Events Completed:  5000+
# Staff:  16+
Music Library:  50,000+ songs
Insured:  Yes.
Licensed:  Yup.
Maximum Event Size:  20,000 guests
Events/year:  450


Yes! We ask couples to provide us their favorite song list and other special information the DJ will require. A DJ will play roughly 15 songs/hr, so your Top-25 songs plus the first 3 slow songs account for nearly half the evening and the other half we leave open to requests from the guests and brilliant inspirations from our professional, dedicated DJs!

You can let us know of any songs you would like us to avoid playing, such as the now infamous (and often dreaded) 'Bird Dance', 'Hokey Pokey' and 'Macarena' ... [Just to ease your mind, we avoid these types of songs unless you specifically ask to hear them...]

Our primary DJ qualifications:

  • Natural Dancefloor Packing ability
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Extensive Music Knowledge
  • Equipment Knowledge
  • Grace Under Pressure

The #1 ingredient of a great DJ is the natural ability to fill a dance floor. You can teach a painter brush strokes, color mixing, etc, but truely great artists are born not made. A true DJ is a dancefloor artist.

This is a common occurence with weddings and custom events. These things are what make events memorable (hopefully in a good way, lol). Our main library stocks music intended for the dance floor so there are lots of great tracks that might not make it on the list. We average 1 or 2 unique/rare songs per wedding. If the track is important to you, we may ask you to provide it if it's not commercially available. Sometimes it's a special version or a song that has meaning to you or your family. Perhaps it's the song that was playing in the bistro when your eyes met for the first time...

Just keep in mind the one month deadline. With enough notice, we can accommodate any request.

The first three songs are the most symbolic of your union. We ensure the first slow dances are absolutely perfect by editing and normalizing the volumes. It is impossible for a DJ to do this ultra-precise work live. If you were to have this done at an outside studio, the cost is typically $60-$75. This is included at no charge in every wedding package we do.

We are 110% real DJs. Laptops cannot guarantee you 99.9% uptime.

In our capacity as an A/V (audio/visual) provider, we have personally witnessed many laptop crashes during mision critical applications including business presentations and weddings. During one such wedding we were hired for sound and light as the couple had their own DJ. The DJ's MAC crashed and if we did not have our trusty CD player with us, there would have been no music for almost 15 minutes.

Can you imagin this happening during the middle of your first dance?

Our DJ Service prices vary by date, time, location and event specifics. We do have an Online Wedding DJ Quote system.

Your MC and guest speakers will need something to stand behind and hold cue cards while presenting. Some of your speakers may be quite nervous and a podium definitely helps out if you or your guest speakers are feeling a little overwhelmed.

Generally no, the audio quality does not meet our standards. We are strictly real CDs or .wav files. A laptop will not sound better than an original CD.

In the last few years, there has been a massive increase in the # of DJ Service web sites. Although they may look professional, these sites will generally not disclose their history, year opened, # of events performed, etc.

Here is a little trick to learn when a website domain name was originally registered and hence how long they have likely been in business. [Click here]. Just type in the domain name and the website registration information will display.

The short answer is no. Why?

  • It is often illegal. Artists need to be paid for their work, same as yourself.
  • The quality of these recordings is dubious to extremely poor.

When you 'compress' audio down to a smaller file, it is NOT a loss-less operation. Once audio has been compressed, it is impossible to bring it back to the exact same state it was in originally. Downloaded music quality may be acceptable on your pc/car/ipod, but it is simply not good enough for professional applications. When you put 1000 watts behind a song, you really begin to hear the problems with compressed audio. With today's technology, running compressed (mpg/mp3) audio is like going back to 8 track quality.

That said, we have downloaded a few commercially unreleased tracks unavailable through regular distribution, but these tracks are NOT songs you can purchase from your local music shop.

We feel quite strongly that DJ's making a living playing artist's music must set a strong example of where they source their music from.

Here is the real deal on licensing.

If you are duplicating normal copyrighted music, you need an A.V.L.A. License or Record Label Consent. If you are doing retail business in most Canadian cities, you need a business license. If you are doing over $30 000 / year in business you need a G.S.T.#, etc. Everyone wants their piece of the pie and ultimately it comes out of your pocket. We try to keep this 'pie sharing' down to a minimum wherever possible. We are fully licensed where required and insured for your protection on top.

Since 1994, every month, the major record labels in Canada have been providing us their newest music to play. Because we play to over 100 000 people a year, the major record labels recognize us as a useful promotion engine and encourage us to play new product whenever and wherever appropriate. Our agreement gives us 'restricted use' of this product. Essentially we are allowed to use this product in an effort to help promote it and we must stay within these guidelines. The bottom line is that it costs you just a little less, plus YOU get access to all the newest music. [edit: some of our media is now A.V.L.A. licensed due to digital distribution. ]

We have over 15 staff: full time, part time, contractors, roadies, technicians, DJs etc.

Yes. We've had pinspots for over 20 years. We have par 36 and par 64 ACL pin spots.

Yes. We have over 150 uplight fixtures available in LED Par, LED Bar, Par 36 and ETC Source Four Par. An Uplight is also known in the business as up sweep. Note that deep or dark colors will not show up as easily as lighter colors. You can try out the color beforehand as well. We have been doing uplight since 1995. We rent uplighting for many event types.

Yes. In metal or glass. These designs are custom and you need at least 1 month lead time to order. You require a special fixture (Leko) to project and focus gobos.

As soft or as loud as you require. You are in complete control of all aspects of the event, including the volume.

Yes providing you have met any A.V.L.A. copyright licensing requirements. If your music is from itunes or similar, the average bit rate is lower quality than we like to use. We may already have exactly what you want so please contact us.

We recommend that you forward your custom music 6 weeks in advance so we can reformat it for the perfect evening.

We can play anything you like. We prefer tasteful and classy. Think Sinatra, Bublé, Harry Connick Jr, etc.

Yes! We don't just have a manager on call, we have backup DJs & backup equipment. The show must go on. We have learned that strange stuff happens at the worst times. Even if your DJ is run over by a bus on route (OUCH!), you still get a DJ.

We believe the only way you can make an informed decision is to see one of our shows firsthand. So come on out and see us in action! Often, once dancing starts, the banquet room doors are propped open. You can very easily sneak a quick peek without crashing the party or intruding. It's an excellent way to see how the DJ interacts, hear the quality of sound, see the effects of the lighting, and view the complete DJ system set up.

Please keep in mind when you come out the hosts of the event have selected the music they would like to hear and the amount of interaction they would like to have. So if you hear the Bird Dance or Hokey Pokey, it isn't something we would normally play. Since we would never take time away from a current event to book a future event, please feel free to contact us the following business day with any questions. We always honor a customer's request to have their event remain private. If you can't make it out to a live event, we can set up a phone conference to discuss all the details.

Often at weddings, numerous people claim they are the 'boss' instructing the DJ what music to play, how loud to play it, etc.. There is only one boss at a wedding and that is the bride! Not the bride's sister, best friend, brother, uncle, whomever is paying for the DJ and so forth. The bride's instructions are the golden rule. Period!. The bride's instructions supersede all other requests. If the bride asks for a certain type of music not to be played and a guest demands we play it, we refuse the request. We often take some serious heat for it, but whose wedding is it? Although a rare occasion, the same can be said for the Groom if he is in charge.

Yes! After receiving your Top-25 Song list and Special Information sheet, we match up a suitable DJ based on your music selection. Once we confirm the DJ for your wedding, the DJ will contact you (should you require).

We are as interactive as you require. Some events want DJs with real personality, others just want great music (eg.: less talkin' and more rockin'). Regardless, we try to keep it very elegant and tasteful while focusing on great music. As long time professional DJs, we prefer less talking on the mic -- the music speaks for us. However some crowds are not 'big dancers' and need some encouragement to get up and 'boogie on down'.

Our DJs have over 10 times the experience of the average mobile DJ. The primary reason for this: our DJs require Dance Club experience. Dance Club DJs also put more people on the Dance Floor as their livelihood depends upon a full dance floor. Our DJs have worked practically every major night club in Calgary. Chances are you have already 'busted a move' to our DJs and never even knew it.

Very flexible, we stretch before every show. Hehehe! Just ask, we can be very accomodating.

From past experience, we do not recommend open mics at weddings. All speakers/presenters should be scheduled an alloted time. One such event had the bride's friend crying uncontrollably for 30 minutes while she tried to get through a two minute story. By the time all the other unscheduled speakers finished, the dance did not start until ~10:30pm.

Thankfully no. At one time we were, but our experience with one association taught us to be a bit more cynical!!

The original intent of the various DJ Associations in North America was to make their members look better to prospective clients, thereby instilling more confidence in the consumer. This is done through a vague list of requirements. There are no proficiency tests the DJs must pass nor are there any requirements in regards to the quality of music selection, sound, video or lighting. Essentially, anyone can join these groups as long as they keep their dues up. Granted, it was great fun meeting once a month, drinking beer and bragging about how much larger our systems were... Regrettably, Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) remains in full effect. Ultimately, you will have to rely on your keen sense of integrity and honesty.

Our thousands of satisfied clients, from weddings to gala events, annual corporate events, fashion shows and so on, attest to the fact that we are a 'quality first company' without need for membership in any clubs.

You are not required to tip our DJs. If you feel the DJ went the extra distance for you, you are welcome to tip. We prefer overtime vs. a tip.

Only if he looks kinda' skinny. Hehehe. You are not expected to feed the DJ unless he/she is there over the dinner hour. We suggest not including us on your plate count as the caterers always make a little extra and/or a guest or two can't make it.

We dress appropriately for the occasion. Dress shoes, pants, shirt and tie unless notified otherwise.

DJ Overtime is anytime past 1:00 AM or four hours of dancing, whichever comes first. We charge $40.00 per half hour. Most hotels shut down at 1:00 AM, so if you plan on going later, we suggest starting dancing earlier at 8:00 PM. Certain hotels shut down at 12:00 AM and do not bring attention to this fact until well after you have fallen in love with the venue! It's not much fun when everyone wants to party all night and suddenly the event ends when the fellow from the front desk turns on the lights ...

It's always a good idea to ask your venue before you book what their overtime policy is. Venues are a little more flexible when they are trying to 'woo' your business than at 1:00 AM when no one wants to leave the dance floor...

No. A DJ's music is non-stop! Bands require frequent and lengthy breaks but our DJs keep the music going until the venue kicks us out.

Absolutely not. Our staff are offered drinks all the time -- we need a clear head to deal with customers that are often inebriated themselves :) We have strict staff policies in regards to this sort of thing in order to ensure a high service level to your event.

We have a large array of lighting including theatrical, architectural, intelligent and DJ/Dance lighting. We are also a sound, light and video provider. The lighting we bring to a wedding is obviously not the same as we would bring to a school dance or a nightclub. We bring tasteful and effective lighting to enhance your dancing experience and identify the dance floor as the place to be. Please call if you are looking for precise lighting fixtures as we customize the light show for the venue.

Many DJ services tout their 'professional' equipment. We go one step further: we guarantee our sound to be more clear and to cost less than any other comparable DJ Service. When you find a lower price elsewhere, it's not because it is a higher quality system. It's your wedding, you deserve the best.

For larger events, we use the same equipment as many major recording acts such as Micheal Jackson and The Rolling Stones. Additionally we have supplied equipment to major acts such as Sir Tom Jones, Canadian Idol and Tommy Lee.

We also build and design our own sound systems; in fact, many well-known venues in Calgary use our custom speaker cabinets. Chances are you have already enjoyed our sound and lighting and never knew...

Absolutely not. We prefer a tasteful and elegant ambience. Some of our equipment is subtly branded, but you likely will not even notice.

We travel to the ends of the earth for our customers ... Seriously though, as long as you can afford it, we will travel anywhere you choose. Standard KMs are ~$0.65/km outside Calgary city limits.

We are insured for up to 5 million in liability. We also have business continuation insurance so in the event of our offices being flooded or gutted, you still get a DJ. You will find our insurance coverage is far beyond that of the average DJ service. This is because we:

  • Do more shows.
  • Have higher quality equipment.
  • Provide more comprehensive service.

Yes. Our packages include delivery, setup, play, strike down and pickup. We prefer to setup prior to any guest's arrival.

We have our own in house junior DJ training program. We look for young DJs that have what it takes (natural talent) to be serious professional DJs. They shadow senior DJs for up to several years helping with sound, lighting, video, requests, etc.

Unfortunately, DJ schools do not teach DJs how to pack dancefloors at weddings and adult events. DJs that sign up/pay for these 'courses' want to be superstar DJs like Tiesto/DeadMau5 or night club DJs and they generally only want to play 'their one type of EDM music'. DJ Schools teach things like techno/EDM & scratching that have little relevence to your bridesmaids, aunts, uncles, nieces and other guests.

Yes, but we do not recommend it. Couples are often overly anxious to 'get the party started' but that is our job! This tends to happen in the movies and it does not accurately represent real life. Let the DJ do his/her job. A fun tasteful wedding starts with the couple, then the bridal party and then everyone joins in. Then we kick it!

There are technical reasons as well. You don't swim immediately after a big meal and there are often senior guests that can't dance fast or are not familiar with modern music. One of the requirements for successful weddings is to ensure everyone feels included.

Yes, with enough time for them to clear.

The deposit amount is approximately 50%. The balance is due at least 10 business days prior to your event date via post dated cheque. We also accept Visa, MasterCard and AMEX.

If your DJ event ends before three PM, then you may be eligible for the afternoon rate. The afternoon rate is 20% off.

If we were aggressive salespeople, we might convince you to book right this minute or you won't get a DJ.

The best time to book your DJ is 6-12 months in advance. If you are booking your DJ less than 6 months in advance, delaying won't help you sleep any better. When you book with us, we send you a 5 (or so) page fax with all the details. It often takes a month or two before we get your special information faxed back to us. You have a lot of decisions to make and we know from experience they don't happen overnight.

In short, leaving your DJ till later is not recommended. Everyone will feel more relaxed and confident knowing things are well in hand.

So what are you waiting for?

G.S.T. is applicable. A Travel Allowance may also apply for out of town events. Please call for details.

We guarantee our rates to be the lowest you will pay for our level of service and quality of equipment. Please call for the details. You can find lower prices, but you won't get the same service level and equipment we provide. Rest assured, you are getting far more than what you are paying for. It's the only way to do business. In fact, we have never had a customer tell us they found the same package at a lower price. If you do, we will beat the price.

You require the following information to book:

  • Your full contact information, address, cell phone, e-mail, etc.
  • An email or FAX number to receive the contract and related information
  • The package you wish to book
  • Setup Times
  • Background Music Times
  • Dancing Music Times
  • Venue Information, venue contact/#, room name, etc.

Armed with this information, please Email or call our office Monday to Friday 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. 403.278.5638.

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