Last month a catering hall manager told me about a DJ who recently entertained a wedding with 2 small Bose speakers and an iPod. Although the idea of this was humorous and sparked a cynical conversation between me and the catering hall manager, it had encouraged me to do a little more thinking about the future of DJ’ing.
The person who DJ’ed that wedding was most likely an amateur (i.e. a friend or family member with some Bose home speakers and an mp3 player full of music). How would I know that? This particular hall in NJ is enormous and usually needs a couple of 12″-15″ speakers with subwoofers to get the right sound. 2 Bose speakers, although impressive in clarity and quality, would not do the job effectively. Unfortunately for this DJ, it was a losing battle from the start. However, the Bose system may have been sufficient in some other catering halls, which scares me out of my mind as a professional DJ.
Over the last few years, we have been losing business, mainly small parties, to people who think they can DJ with an iPod and a set of Bose speakers. While we still entertain hundreds of weddings a year, corporate events, Sweet 16’s, Bar-Bat Mitvahs, and other large events, technology is essentially slowly putting us out of business.
Since technology is becoming so accessible and simple to learn, people are asking their brothers, cousins, aunts, or mothers to play music for parties. While my rich uncle still hires DJ’s for his kid’s and grandkid’s birthday parties, most people are looking to save money and cut corners where they can. While a good DJ usually costs between 500 and 1000 dollars, people would rather hire cousin mark with his iPod and computer speakers and pay a fraction of the cost. However, you get what you pay for.
DJ’s are able to fill event halls with crisp sounds and heart pounding bass frequencies using their heavy 15″ speakers on poles and Sub woofers sitting on the floor. Setting up for an event can be tedious and backbreaking. Not only is the equipment expensive, but it is also hard to lug around and transport. This is why most people don’t even consider becoming DJ’s. However, technology is about to change that.
Bose has developed THIN tower speakers with incredible power and clarity. These speakers in addition to the Bose high powered sub woofer can provide high quality sound to almost any hall. I think big 15″ DJ speakers will be a thing of the past. I think large DJ systems are going to be replaced by small laptops and small speakers. Unfortunately, like the photography industry where with many people think they are professional photographers just because they have a 12 megapixel camera, many people will think they are pro DJ’s just because they own an iPod and a set of Bose speakers.
Luckily for us, we are artists and performers. Great Speakers and an iPod mean nothing if you are playing the Chicken Dance at Club event or the Hokey Pokey at a wedding, you get my point. I know that real DJ’s who are trained in programming great set -lists and MC’ing, will come through victoriously. Eventually, all the cousin Marks will fade into the background as serious DJ’s are seen for their true qualities. And while I continue to lug around my 100 pound system to each and every gig, I am anxiously awaiting the day when I get my new lightweight, easy to transport, easy to plug in, and play on my new Bose system.