Schools Training

How To Read A Crowd To Pick The Right Music

18 SEP 2013
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment

Remember that an audio engineer is an entertainer. There is a mutual agreement that is made at the club between guests that hand over their money to be there and the headlining DJ. A good DJ has a firm understanding of where he is playing, the aesthetic of the venue, and the type of crowd that gathers there.

Maintaining the mood at the club is all about balance. Wherever your guests are coming from, the collective crowd shares a common vibe on the dance floor that can change from night to night, even at the same venue. After audio school, a trained digital DJ has the luxury of being able to create a playlist ahead of time at home and yet also being able to easily change the game plan on the spot if necessary. One useful tip is to not leap on every song request. If one guest requests a song by Cindy Lauper, you don’t automatically have to jump into an epic throwback saga. However, if many people are requesting throwback, you might want to switch up your set to please your audience.

Be aware of timing. If you’re DJing an earlier set, guests probably won’t be dancing when you start. You can take advantage of this time by switching up the style and tempo of the music to gauge what works. Take note of specific details that indicate you’re doing well, such as people tapping their feet, nodding their heads, and showing relaxed smiles. Women coming out to dance is often a good sign as well that the men are warming up to join soon. Don’t sweat it if people aren’t dancing yet; any movement toward the dance floor indicates that guests are feeling your music.

Stay thirsty for knowledge beyond DJ school. When you’ve got a gig booked, educate yourself about the space ahead of time. Spend time at the club beforehand to experience it from the guests’ point of view. If you’re DJing on a Thursday, don’t go visit on a Saturday. Try to show up on a day of the week or weekend that draws the same numbers of people as the night you’ll be playing. You might even consider speaking to other DJs and promoters that have worked at the venue so you can get an idea of what a successful night looks like and what common mistakes you should avoid making.

Great audio courses teach each DJ to understand that he is often a guide that leads the crowd toward what they want before they even realize they want it. Learning your audience is a skill that you should exercise from the moment you walk in the door to last call of the night. The more connected you are with your crowd, the more successful you’ll be as an audio engineer.

Visit Trebas Insitute for more places to use those skills, such as film schools in Canada.