Small is the new big.
Since starting Ron Michaels Weddings back in the early ’90s, I’ve noticed huge changes in all aspects of weddings, DJing, and music technology. The past 20 years have revolutionized the mobile DJ industry in many good ways and some not so good.
On the downside is the fact digital technology has given some brides and grooms the idea that they can DJ their reception themselves by setting up an iPod loaded with their favorite tunes to save a little bit of money. It’s usually not until wedding day that they realize that an iPod can not “read” the crowd like a full-time wedding DJ can, nor can it inform, guide, and direct guests through all stages of a wedding reception like that same Master Of Ceremonies is able to. Most post-reception reviews I’ve heard from guests that have attended “iPod weddings” have been less than favorable. Fortunately, the iPod wedding trend is now on the decline as most couples are realizing the value of quality DJ entertainment.
Technology over the last decade has also made it much easier for anyone to become a DJ. Anyone can go down to their local Guitar Center, buy a bunch of gear, illegally download a friend’s mp3 library in a couple of hours, and be “DJ-ready” in no time. Back in the day, some DJs spent years acquiring a huge CD library like the one pictured at left. Fortunately in 2014, we don’t need to have hundreds of CDs unsightly strewn across a banquet table like back in ’90s. The miniaturization of the DJ industry has made it possible to have all this music on a hard drive the size of a pack of cigarettes. No other wedding related sector has changed as much as ours over the last two decades.
Last year I invested in the Bose speaker system. It’s a miniaturized version of the typical DJ system. Large bass bins and speaker stands are replaced by smaller components designed for aesthetics as well as clearer sound quality. These smaller components not only look better, but because of their smaller size, allow for a larger dance floor area. I especially love my new mini cocktail hour speaker system (pictured at left at a recent wedding at the Tapestry House). It’s virtually invisible – you have to look closely – and has an incredibly small footprint.
Another interesting byproduct of technology’s miniaturization is the fact that my vehicles have gotten smaller over the years. Back in the ’90s, I drove a Toyota minivan to haul my all my gear. After switching to an all-wedding format a decade ago, I sold my karaoke system and almost all of my lighting gear, and bought a smaller SUV. Now with my smaller Bose system, my new even-smaller Subaru Crosstrek can fit everything with room to spare. At this rate, I’ll be driving a SmartCar in a few years.