Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Music - Creating the party atmosphere

I was at a BBQ yesterday with friends.  I always enjoy being at these peoples house.  There's always a good vibe.  I was thinking about it afterwards and realised there's always music.  When I'm coming down the stairs to the party it feels like entering a party.  I noticed that during the BBQ the music kept tempo with the mood of the party...or was it the other way around?

I think well chosen music goes a long way to set the right atmosphere for any event. When I was studying video editing we used to grab 'atmos' to fill in background noise.  'Atmos' was the seemingly dead, soundless gaps between spoken sections of video.  You would drop these little sound bites into the background of something recorded in a studio and it suddenly came to life.  No longer was the studio voice that dull, stale voice that sounds fake and staged.  Instead dropping this little bit of 'atmos' in gave it depth, a sort of invisible richness.  It's the same with music at events and due thought should go into what is played and how loud.  Sometimes the best music is just a quiet suggestion in the background, other times you need boost up the volume and 'get the party going'.

Here are a few tips to help you plan your music:

Chosing the music:
  • Is there a theme to your event that you should match the music to
  • What is the age of the people attending event the party -  what music tastes do they have
  • Do people need to talk at different times during the event where the music needs to be quieter
  • Will people be dancing - if so, do you want fast, active music or slow dancing music
  • Consider the appropriateness of the words in songs.  I was shocked listening to a bunch of young kids singing the most inappropriate words only to realise these were songs we played all the time.  It was only when they sang the words that I actually realised what I was playing! Ooops!
  • Ensure you have enough music and some back up so you don't end up playing repeats
Once you've chosen your music, you need to prepare your playlists:

  • However you are taking your music to your event, ensure you have the right equipment at the venue to play it and that you know how to use it.
  • Creating several play lists for the different 'vides' of your event saves you having to put someone on DJ duty as there is less switching around.
  • If you are burning your music to a CD you may want to burn different playlists to different CD's so you can switch easily.  The sames goes for loading music to USB sticks, you may want different styles of music on different USB sticks
  • iPods, iPads and smart phones are all really handy these days to transport music on
  • iTunes allow you to create playlists and organise your songs really easily.  If you don't know how to do this, check out the tutorial on the apple website.  There are also lots of video tutorials on YouTube if you prefer

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