Several weeks ago I had a wedding in Syracuse. I had never been to the venue before, but the couple had drawn me a diagram. However, when I arrived things looked different then what I was expecting.
I was set up in a lobby, which was where the dancing would take place, but the head table was in an adjacent room. Though there was no door separating the two rooms, I did have a problem. The second room was the size of a gymnasium and had enough tables for about 120 people. Luckily I was able to place a speaker between the two rooms so it could be used for the dinner music, announcements, and dancing. Normally one speaker would not suffice for a room that large, yet the acoustics in the room where favorable and helped distribute the sound equally. I also cranked the volume on the speaker that was playing into the large room.
I did a sound check of both rooms and walked around with the wireless mic. Everything worked fine and I was not concerned. However, I was not mentally prepared for what would happen. When it came time for the toasts and grace, I shut off the wireless mic and walked past the speaker to the head table. I shut off the mic because I was afraid it would feedback as I past the speaker. feedback is a pet peeve of mine and I feel like it shows immaturity as a DJ. When I turned on the mic, I was not getting a signal, at that time I was behind the head table. (Which is completely out of sight of the wireless receiver).
I then spoke loudly and asked everyone to be seated (we had just announced in the bride and groom). I simply explained that there was some unforeseen technical difficulties and that I would try to remedy the situation quickly. I then invited the best man to begin his toast.(Because of the acoustics, the best man’s voice was able to carry through the room) I then when back to my booth and grabbed a 50′ XLR cable and mic. I was able to plug it in and get it to the best man just as he ended. The whole incident probably took three minutes but it felt a lot longer.
After dinner I went and apologized to the bride and groom and their parents. I told them that I did test the microphone before hand and explained a shortened theory of why it didn’t work. But here is what I believe happened.
1.) When I got to the venue, I never had the mic receiver re-scan for a open frequency. Though this was not a direct culprit, I still feel it could have had something to do with it.
2.) I shut off the mic. When I did this and walked out of sight of the receiver, it was unable to reconnect.
3.) When I did the test of the microphone I did not walk physically behind the head table.
From this situation I was able to learn a lot. Here are the highlights.
Situations like this make me love this job. Don’t get me wrong here. I hate it when something doesn’t go right at a event, especially for my clients sake. I always want to do my best for my clients, but this situation made me learn so much. I feel even more prepared for future events and can’t wait to gain more experience.