The 8 Most Important Questions to Ask
Before Booking a DJ for your party

1. Is the DJ’s professionalism evident in the first phone call? Your DJ should want to do your event – and do it your way. He / She should be prompt, positive, and enthusiastic, with excellent communication skills. A willingness to tailor announcing, formalities and music is a must, as is an info packet or website containing references and a description of what the DJ has to offer in the way of planning, music and equipment.

2. Will the DJ play the music I want? It’s your party. Your DJ should be willing to make sure the evening’s play list will suit your taste and that of your guests. Your DJ will only be able to play about 45 songs in 3 hours of dancing. Having the right 45 songs is a lot more important than having thousands of songs your guests don’t want to hear.

3. Is the DJ’s music in the highest quality digital file format available? Some digital files sound better than others. Wave (.wav) audio files are the highest quality (CD quality) digital music files available. They’re about 5-times the size of Mp3 files but they provide a complete, full-size, accurate representation of the music. Mp3 files were developed in the mid-1990's for fast file transfer over dial-up internet, not for high sound quality. Mp3 files are created by further “compressing” full size audio files, thus removing up to 80% of the information from the original recording. Mp3 files sound adequate on small speakers and headphones but their lack of depth, bass and clarity is very noticeable when played through a powerful, high quality DJ system. We’ve all witnessed amateur DJs, usually with the ubiquitous laptop (or mobile device) full of Mp3 files and a cheap set of speakers. The distortion and resulting ear fatigue is rivaled only by their lack of beat-mixing and crowd-oriented programming skills. Convenience should not supersede quality. Make sure your DJ sources and stores his / her music in the highest quality digital format possible. The payback will be the lack of ringing in your ears at the end of the night.

4. Do they have professional grade equipment that will provide a quality performance? Pro-grade gear is made to be dropped during load-in, vibrated for hours by a bouncing dance-floor, sustain the occasional spilled drink, etc. …and still perform at full capacity. Consumer-grade DJ items (laptops, low-quality speakers, etc.) lack the necessary controls to properly beat-mix music and are not built to deliver clean, rich sound to large crowds and withstand the rigors of road use. Your DJ should use pro-grade media controllers, mixers, amps and speakers, all transported in professional road cases, for optimum sound quality, control and reliability. Ask each DJ what brands they use then hit the web to research the names. Rane DJ mixers start around $1600.00. Mixers by Gemini, Numark and Behringer are under $100. Which would you trust with your event? Some professional-grade brands are: Crown, Peavey, QSC, Rane, Mackie, Denon, Electro-Voice, JBL, Shure, Audio-Technica, Bag End.

5. Do they always bring complete backup equipment? Even the best equipment can fail. If it fails during your event and the DJ has no backups, the party is over. Insist on a backup for the Mic, player / controller, mixer, amp, speakers and headphones as part of the contract.

6. What happens if they can't do the event and have to cancel? Many DJs do not have a backup DJ if, for some reason, they cannot do the show themselves. Some will also book an event at a very low price then cancel when a more profitable event comes along for the same date. Peak Entertainment will not quote an event unless we know we can do it for that price. We do over 300 events per year and have never cancelled on anyone.

7. Does the company run a well-organized operation? Organization and planning are the most important aspects of a DJ's job. The DJ’s ability to prepare a clear and detailed plan for his / her timeline, the order of formalities, preparation of any announcements, and programming of the music is essential. A poorly organized DJ will figure out, by the end of an event, how it should have gone. A well organized DJ will have tools and methods in place to determine, far in advance, exactly what is expected on the day of the event.

8. Is a low price really a good price? DJs tend to charge what they are worth. Good DJs cost more because their superior skills and reputation are in high demand. If a DJ costs significantly less than others in the same market, there is usually a reason why. Your DJ can make or break your event, so invest in a good one.

All of us at Peak Entertainment love doing corporate and private parties and we want yours to be the best it can be! Ask these questions as you shop for DJs. We're confident that we'll hear from you again.