This is a question we have been seeing asked online, as well as, being asked in person. The difference is that in person we can give a far more detailed explanation than in an open forum. It’s not always clear to brides why this would matter and certainly in some cases, it would not. If you have a smaller wedding reception and smaller space, then a professional quality sound system consisting of at least two 12 inch or 15 inch speakers is going to do the job well. The reality is different situations are better suited for different tools; specifically sound coverage. Speakers are designed for certain uses, however, there can be a variety of factors that affect sound. The size of the room and amount of people are two important considerations. For optimum sound at your wedding reception, you should understand some basic principles of sound:
Sound waves travel out in many directions
Bodies will absorb some of the sound waves
Some surfaces will reflect sound waves
Bass frequencies require more power; therefore larger speakers and/or subwoofers will help.
The size of a room and why it’s important to know. Firstly, the size of the room and the height of the ceiling will impact what you hear. Speakers running at or near peak ratings will typically sound distorted or begin clipping (cutting in and out). Trying to utilize a speaker for a situation it’s not capable of is not only a poor choice but it’s also not very professional. Standard speakers can be enhanced through the introduction of a subwoofer to handle the low (bass), sounds which allows the speakers to handle middle and high frequencies. This will greatly improve the overall clarity, but you could still require extra speakers for coverage. The sound from any speaker will still only cover a designated area. However, if the room exceeds this, adding additional speakers will be the solution. Otherwise, you could be extremely loud in one area of the room, while others will think the music or speeches are too quiet in other parts of the room.
A good indication of how many guests are coming is the size of the hall. Try to keep in mind that with your DJ’s sound system, things can easily be turned down, providing they’re familiar with all the equipment. The opposing side of this would be that the volume cannot exceed what the system was designed to support. Having a proper design or layout that addresses both the size of the venue and number of people eliminates some people from getting blasted by sound. Controlling the volume of each speaker will prevent this from happening and create a clear enjoyable environment for guests. A wedding reception should be something that is not only elegant in appearance, but also in sound. To accomplish this, a professional should want to understand and gain knowledge of all of the details, since it is not a ‘one-size-fits all’ situation.
We have often been hired for weddings in the Kitchener-Waterloo area; simply due to the fact that the DJ hired that had been hired for the Stag N Does, blasted people with their sound, without regard. A Stratford, Ontario couple that had hired us for their wedding reception last year, commented on the differences in sound and experience, between dealing with their previous DJ and our team. We take pride in not only knowing the particular types of music a bride and groom might prefer, but also the delivery of the sound. If we’ve never played a venue or it is new, we will go and visit the location for a tour. This attention to detail is where you can begin to see the differences between DJ services. One of the best complements that we have received came from a sound engineer working at a famous festival theatre. He commented that our sound was far superior than any DJ they have had at that venue in his 5 years of working there.
If a DJ throws out pricing for your wedding reception without knowing the details, you may prefer to get another opinion. The venue and crowd are major factors to consider if you care about the sound. The details of what and why something is needed to deliver the best possible sound is something your DJ should explain. Having better professional grade speakers and equipment matters, as does knowing how to utilize them efficiently. Every DJ service should have some level of expertise and experience in the area of sound. It is encouraged to ask them questions about their set up. Taking time to understand your situation and provide accurate and honest information about sound, is strong indicator of professionalism and what level of service you might receive. Quality and presentation, including sound, are very important to us as DJs; furthermore, they are paramount if we want to create an environment that is conducive for dancing. Brides and planners often focus on making the reception beautiful with décor, but we want it to sound good too. Eliminating surprises often means taking more time covering details during the initial quote with a bride. Hopefully, your DJ will spend extra time to truly provide you with the best sound options for your special day, rather than delivering a generic quote.