Salsa > What do you want from a Salsa DJ

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by matty, May 14, 2010.

  1. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I feel your pain LatinDaner006. Crack and LP on his head. :D
  2. urish

    urish New Member

    I used to play reggaeton in this kind of situations, but it drives some of the dancers crazy... Though I usually get away if I put something more "light" like "Lo que paso paso" from Daddy Yanki, or there's also some Salsaton from Celia and La India that works fine.

    If I put bachata or merengue I usually see women dancing with their women friends, which can also help if u have a majority of women.
  3. matty

    matty New Member

    hi again, well a month or two on and now im happy to say things seem to be picking up. i have been booked for a variety of parties. not just salsa socials but also,playing a latin mix in some bars and laden with the challenge of mixing in some house & regaeton music and stuff like that due to the mixed crowd that attends the events.

    another question has come to my mind now which is of some relevance here.

    disco lights!

    i would like to add some interesting lights to my set up to improve the party atmosphere and make my parties look that bit cooler.

    understandably the salsa dancers can have just as much fun without any fancy lighting, and at least from video footage i see on youtube, it seems that the lighting is far from extreme in the salsa socials around the world. but the use of disco lights will enable me to turn down the house lights that bit more and create a cosier atmosphere
    but i want to create an environment where those who do not know how to dance salsa can also feel comfortable to boogy on the dancefloor without feeling self conscious in front of the more experienced ones.

    obviously im not going down the route of strobe lights or lazers because its just a bit too ravey..
    but more thinking along the lines of the following youtube video entitled
    American DJ Mystic led (X2) & Revo 3 light show

    apologies, i am not a member long enough to post links

    so just before splashing out on a light or two, i just wanted to see if you have any feedback. anything that really annoys you? or anything interesting/unusual that works really well?

    your reponses on the music were an eye opener so if you have any thaughts on the subject feel free to add them.

    thanks :)
  4. CyberKnight

    CyberKnight New Member

    It would follow that the DJs are partially deaf based on the volume being 110 to 130db. And they hear it all the time at that level.
  5. matty

    matty New Member

    its true, in sound engineering college, we did a test of the hearing response of everyone in our class. starting at low frequencies and moving up. the first two people to admit they couldnt hear anything were me and another guy , both djs.

    we were deaf above 17KHz , where as most of the class could hear as far as 19Khz
    and one or two could hear up to 20khz

    thankfully most music doesnt do a whole lot up at those pitches.

    its the high frequencies that go first in your hearing.
    so i think its still possible to tell if music is too loud

    ..if everyone is having to put their mouth up to someones ear to communicate is a good sign!

    theoretically, if the sound system is set up right, they should be able to achieve a sound that everyone can hear, and hear eachother too! unfortunately , rather like electric guitarists, some djs behind the decks get the feeling that it can never be loud enough...
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    " LIGHTS"......except those that one can see by..
  7. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Numerous followers have complained to me about disco lights; normally, that it makes them dizzy when spinning. They've really never bothered me.

    There is this notorious salsa dj here in NY City who is apparently deaf. He's extremely self centered, so he refuses to listen to EACH & EVERY person who complains about the high volume. His normal answers have been "I've been dj-ing for 30 years, I know better than you". "I never FEEL the music in this place, so it's got to be louder", "Don't talk to me, I'm the professional". blah, blah, blah. If it was up to me, he'd never do another gig in NY City.

    The highs are so high that they no longer sound like musical notes, they are simply some type of high pitch sound piercing the ears. Couple with the acoustics of the venue, the sound is completely distorted. Descargas sound like pots and pans being tossed down a stair case, the bass seems to disappear and the trumpets, well, I'm surprised they haven't made holes through the walls. It's unfortunate because this person was actually very good at one point in time. Now, I need to get him and ear-piece.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    maybe hes playing for dogs :confused: ...

    ear piece.. hows about a padded room ?
  9. matty

    matty New Member


    it does sound like the problem with this DJ lies between the ears as well as in them. if someones telling you its too loud then ..yep this is a dead give away that it is too loud.

    i have found a light that i think (hope) should work nicely, if it is annoyance i will point it at the ceiling or a wall, hopefully it should send some nice colors around the room without being too disruptive.

    its called american dj H20 for anyone interested. it makes a water effect. i guess i will have to watch carefully for any dizzy looking people:|
  10. darkoff

    darkoff New Member

    As a DJ, you should adapt the music to the crowd's preferences. But my personal preferences are as follows:

    Almost all salsa, with just a few bachatas, merengues, and cha chas thrown in.

    A mix of tempos for the salsa songs -- some fast, some slower.

    I prefer the older classic salsa, but it is nice to hear some new salsa music IF it is GOOD. Don't play some crappy new salsa song just because it is new. I don't want to hear any reggaeton, either.

    I DEFINITELY want a short space between the songs! A lot of salsa songs sound alike, and if you run the songs together, it is sometimes hard to know when one song ended and another one began.

  11. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    being a salsa dancer in NY might get me kicked around a bit for saying this. I really like those. You should get some bubbles coming out too. hehehe
  12. matty

    matty New Member

    thats a good idea i will look into that :)
  13. matty

    matty New Member

    things are really looking up
    i may have a possible weekly residency now, i think i will have to invite all of you to one of my parties one of these days!! :D

    im now faced with another challenge..

    well since we have covered the topics of music selection and lights, im just wondering what other activities do your local salsa clubs & socials do on a nightly or weekly basis to vary things and to keep people interested.

    ideas such as, inviting guest dance instructors, djs , & musicians is the first thing that comes to mind.

    other options i have seen before are fancy dress and dress color code such as black & white night...

    some people even do raffles for free dance shoes..

    we showed a short local made salsa documentary before our last party and i also would like to do a video dj show using dvd video instead of cds...and we want to do a mojito promotion
    not sure what else to do though...

    any thaughts ?
    have you seen any other interesting ideas?
  14. matty

    matty New Member

    it just occurred to me that this may cause a slippy floor... do you think it would?
  15. urish

    urish New Member

    Well, bringing percussion instruments can be cool and add a lot to the atmosphere. Small percussion such as Claves or Maracas are not very expensive and don't require a lot of skill to play, but tend to disappear from time to time... People really love it when I bring them, it adds a lot to the atmosphere.

    Bigger percussion instruments can also have a nice contribution, if you have a talented player. In one of my friends' club there is a conga pair, when there are row dances I just carry one conga drum around and beat it with my free hand, it draws a lot of attention and smiles from the other dancers...
  16. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    It would. You might not want to add that. Depending on your audience, the fog coming out is an idea too.

    I know that hardcore dancers don't like all the extra activity. But I think all well done adds to the ambiance. :D

    Over here (NYC) they have performances, guest djs, shirt give aways, etc.
  17. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    If you are a dj be careful about the mixing. I know it is fun to do, but please take care not to destroy a song. I may pick a person to dance because I want to dance with her to that song and if you change it too much that defeats the purpose.

    Also please play complete songs. Abruptly cutting off the beginning or the end is not pleasant.
  18. urish

    urish New Member

    Nice giveaways can be small glowing/blinking led necklaces or bracelets and sticklight. These can really add to the atmoshpere, especially when combined with fog...

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