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Turntablists (Mix DJs) Versus Emcees

There is a lot of debate these days whether or not you need a Mix DJ or just someone to make announcements. Maybe you need both. It really depends on what is most important to you and creating the event that you need.

There is a lot of talk about “cheese” these days. Here is what I think happened. The “Mobile DJ” hit the scene in 70s, 80s, and 90s. The DJs that could mix stayed in the clubs while the mobiles hammed it up at weddings. Since guests hired a DJ instead of a band, they needed someone who did more than just play music. We call that being “interactive”. Engaging the guests on the microphone, interactive games, trivia, interactive line dances, were all things you could expect at a wedding or corporate event. Did you throw up in your mouth a little just then? Me too. These days DJs can land the big event by marketing “Less Chit Chat, More DJ”. But do they really do that? Does their inability to mix music on the decks, cause them to have to talk more? Don’t get me wrong you need an emcee to make announcements, keep people in the loop, create a flow and mode for the night. But, guests, especially in my market here in Atlanta, don’t want the cheesy line dances. At least, that is what I have noticed here in the Atlanta market. There is always balance.

However, some of the DJs in the clubs were highly sought to DJ a wedding or big corporate event. A Turntablist or Club Style DJ may be the way to go. A DJ that can creatively mix music, in my opinion, is more valuable in this scenario, versus someone who just makes announcements. The reason is that, the last 2 hours of wedding reception is all about the music. There should never be dead air at that time. The music should flow, and a talented DJ can spin the perfect blend for you and your guests.

When is a super interactive Emcee really needed? Can I have both? Certainly!

I believe that Teen events such as Birthday Parties, Sweet 16s, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, and many Corporate Events really need someone to do more than just mix music. Proms may need this, but the production value may be a little more important (giant screens, music videos, current hits, etc.) I just attended the College Football Hall of Fame’s (here in Atlanta!) Grand Opening. It is the perfect environment for a Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah or a really fun corporate event. In fact, I am working on proposals for these events. Every entertainment service should custom create events to fit their clients’ needs. And in this case a DJ + Emcee combo is really important to the success of these events. The College Football Hall of Fame has a huge inside turf field that had my mind blowing up with with ideas about some fun interactive games for kids and adults! A talented emceee is for sure needed for those types of events. For college football lovers, no one will leave an interactive event like that, thinking that it was cheesy.

Amp’d Atlanta DJs will now be offering a DJ + Emcee Combo for events such as these. A great mixer to keep the music flowing, and a talented emcee to interact with guests. For Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs, we encourage adding some interactive break dancers, which we can provide.

We also suggest our new photo booth with social media integration…including the “selfie” feature which I will cover in the next blog. Stay tuned!

In summary, it really depends on the event you are trying to create. Whether you a corporate event planner or getting married, your DJ and Emcee should take a great deal of consideration. You may need someone more on the “emcee” end of the spectrum if you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town and they need more than the music to be engaged. Be careful, try a find an emcee that is interactive but doesn’t steal the focus. You may need someone who can do both. Any DJ worth their salt, should be a great mixer, possess great music knowledge, and also be a polished emcee that can engage your audience. I personally believe “music” is always key. I mean, I’m a DJ. It really just depends on the event that you are putting together and there is never a “one size fits all”.

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-Mike Walsh
Director of Events
Amp’d Atlanta
-Mike Walsh is the Owner/DJ of Amp’d Atlanta and has been mixing in clubs and putting on parties and events since 2004. Mike Walsh has been said to be a pioneer in the wedding industry, rebelling against the standard of what a “wedding dj” should be. Mike’s concept of Remixed Weddings is sweeping the Southeast! Live mash ups and creative mixes are what you can expect at every event! Hire us with comfort of knowing you are not bringing a “tradional wedding DJ” to your event! *Featured in “Ask the Experts” in the Knot Magazine as well as provide expert advice in the Atlantan Bride Magazine.