I agree. Spotify is amazing with music. It is also extremely convenient that you can browse through playlists filtered by artists, genres and even your mood. But do these points outweigh the good of having a DJ? Let’s explore.
Pick your mood, theme or favourite artists and search within Spotify – and that’s it. Hundreds of choices at your fingertips. This is big, as a lot of the time picking the music is half of the struggle. Bringing tech into the mix (pun intended) is a no-brainer here.
You know what else? It can also mix. This means that you can turn this function on and Spotify will blend the end of the song playing with the next track. There’s an option you can select to ensure there are also no gaps. With this, start the crossfade option from about 8 seconds.
Any less and you’re mixing the end of the outro or song (which is near the end of the song so tends to be quieter as the song fades out) with intros that may take a while to start (and so too are quiet). To avoid a quiet transition, the ideal point I think is about 8 seconds. If you’ve experienced anything different or have other suggestions, let me know on Facebook at @MarelMusic. For full details on how to set this up, check out https://support.spotify.com/us/using_spotify/features/crossfade-feature/
The next big point to add is music quality. As Spotify is a trusted platform, the music you’re streaming is as good as it gets. Let’s call it radio quality. This differs from the sound quality of other online platforms or DJs, where YouYube rips can be their best friend, but definitely not friends with your ears.
When playing ripped songs, you’ll get sub-320 kbps quality. This accounts for a quieter sound, muffled quality and sometimes the odd ad or random shout out.
A side note here: it gets especially awkward when the bride and groom have their first dance, only for the song to have random shout outs come out halfway through!
Spotify plays in chronological order of the playlist, or randomly if shuffle is selected. When you have a full dance floor heaving who are ready for the next song, this app can’t quite pick the song to keep this mood going and a slower song or one that doesn’t work with the vibe may kill the dance floor.
Think about that party you went to where you were singing along to a throwback song, and in anticipation of the next throwback was silence and a long pause. You wait a couple more seconds, and then finally the next track starts.
This is what may happen if the crossfade option is not selected in Spotify or if there is a long and quiet outro being mixed with a long and quiet intro. This can also risk downgrading the vibe.
Also, you’ll need to consider sound. If you have a large group of guests coming over, you’ll have to hire some speakers if you don’t have any readily available – remember to take this into the equation.
A DJ has access to any song in the world thanks to technology. A well-prepared and experienced DJ should have most songs available, but in the event they don’t, all it takes is to head online and download. Having experience is key here too as they’ll mix through songs based on your requirements and the mood you want to set and/or the current mood of the party.
A DJ can blend songs seamlessly. They’ll be able to make the transitions sound very natural and pleasing to the ear. Further to this, once everyone is up and doing their thing, the DJ should be able to guide the crowd and build hype or create short breaks with their mixing ability and song choice. This is one big advantage over Spotify.
Music quality shouldn’t be a problem if purchased and downloaded correctly. Asking your DJ where they source their music from is one way to clarify this if you decide on this route.
In contrast to the above points, we’ll start with music library. If the DJ hired doesn’t have much experience or hasn’t spent time organising their music, they may not have all songs readily available. Further to this, if the equipment they have isn’t set up to quickly download what they don’t have, you’ll be stuck playing songs from an AUX cord from YouTube – this is not a good look.
If the DJ doesn’t have some serious time behind the decks, mixing will be a problem. This is where you start really thinking about what the point of the DJ is, where Spotify can do the same, and sometimes better.
We see a lot of DJs rip music online and play this in live sets. Trust me – you can notice the difference in quality. Low-quality music will be a reflection of the party.
This comes down to what you want and I’ll be completely honest here. If you want some simple background music, Spotify works wonders. It has playlists available with music already sorted for your convenience. For a party, there’s the option to fade music cleanly which works a treat too. Be mindful though, you may need to hire speakers and lights, which can sometimes amount to the same cost as hiring a DJ.
While Spotify is also cost-effective, it definitely won’t come with the artificial intelligence for crowd reading (yet!). An experienced DJ can, and in doing so, really keep the hype and mood up, and make the difference. For milestone parties (Birthdays, Engagements, Weddings), a DJ not only plays to the mood and reads the crowd, but also takes the stress away from party entertainment.
Do your due diligence in researching about the DJ and/or company so you have a good understanding of what they do and what they’re about. If you make the right choice here, it’ll be far more advantageous than using Spotify.
The Star DJ Hire team has been hand-picked and includes the best DJs in Sydney when it comes to private events. A mix of club and function experience is the reason for ongoing success and regular 5-star feedback. Be sure to consider us if you decide on hiring a DJ in Sydney for your party!