How to set-up & DJ your own Silent Disco

It’s so easy, my dog could do it! (Well, actually, it does require opposable thumbs.)

Below is a visual guide starring my dog, “Pascal,” to show you how!

(It is in the “story” style, so you click on the image to get it to advance or click on the left of the image to get it to play the previous slide(s). )

Steps to set-up, plug-in and DJ your own Silent Disco Dance Party.

Read on to learn how to plug in your phone, tablet, or laptop into the transmitters that we include when your rent our headphones. Doing so allows you to DJ your own silent disco dance party with your own playlists.

#1) When your rentals arrive, do a sound check first thing.

Your rentals will arrive two days before your party, open the box(s) and locate the transmitter cases so you can do a sound check long before your event.

#2) Open up the transmitter cases and plug them into an electrical outlet.

They will turn on and already be on the correct channel. No need to adjust anything.

#3) Next, plug the supplied aux cord into the “Audio in” jack on the transmitter and the other end into the “Headphone” jack on your device.

#4) Or, use Bluetooth to connect/pair the transmitter with your device.

Use the Bluetooth if you don’t have a “headphone” jack on your device or if you need to have a wireless connection between the transmitter and your device -especially helpful if it is your cell phone.

#5) Repeat this with each of the three transmitters we supply. You will need any combination of three devices; one for each transmitter.

#6) Queue up your favorite playlist, grab a pair of headphones, turn them on and start your dance party!

If you are using a streaming account, remember that you will need three different accounts unless you have the family plan. You will use one account for each device.

If you do have the family plan, it allows you to use multiple devices on the same account simultaneously.

We like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music and Pandora best.

Are you ready to rent headphones for your party?

Can we use our own DJ for our Silent Disco Dance Party?

Can we use our own DJ?

You can absolutely use your own DJ. Most of my clients do. The transmitters are built into a briefcase so that all you have to do is plug in the electric. No wiring or changing settings is required. You plug your audio playing device(s) into the cord(s) coming out of the transmitter(s) and you are ready to party.

Set-up of my equipment is literally the time it takes to open the briefcase and plug in the power cord. “Done.”

From there, you plug into the provided aux cord and set the volume in your audio device. (It is set up to accommodate phones, computers, tablets, iPods and mp3 players of all types. I provide two other types of adapters to accommodate most professional DJ equipment.

Note that I make sure you get the equipment at least two days in advance so that you have time to do a sound check and call me with any questions.

How long does shipping take?

Shipping is anywhere within the USA within five business days. I am in New York State, so, if you live close by, it takes less time. *Of course I have to receive payment far enough ahead for it to clear before I ship. **As noted in my website, shipping is free. And that is both ways.

How it works:

Payment – I need to receive the rental fee and security deposit before I ship your equipment. Once I receive the equipment back without loss, you get the security deposit back. We would also sign a contract that says how much each lost or damaged item costs in case of loss.

The equipment – you get three transmitters so that headphone wearers can choose between three channels of different music. They can switch anytime during the party and they have their own volume control too.

The music – I have put on these parties using 3 DJ’s (one broadcasting on each channel), 1 DJ (That 1 DJ broadcasting 3 different songs on the 3 different channels), and also with no DJ at all (just the devices playing 3 different playlists automatically, 1 to each channel, the playlists were set up ahead of time)

Silent Disco Headphones as the ultimate solution for Bar/Bat Mitzvah entertainment

Providing entertainment for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party is a huge challenge for a DJ with a traditional loudspeaker powered sound system.

Every time I am the DJ for Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties, I am struck by the difficulty of pleasing the 13 year old guests at the same time as pleasing their parents and grandparents. With a traditional sound system, they all have to hear the same thing. The problem is that they don’t want to hear the same thing.

If you haven’t been to one of these parties, let me describe the challenge.

(It is important to note that I am not talking about the ceremony or Jewish laws and traditions. I am simply talking about the dynamics at the dance party if they choose to have one.)

The Bar or Bat Mitzvah party usually happens near the child’s 13th birthday and they invite their friends from school. So you get anywhere from a dozen to three or four dozen kids close to that age wanting to hear their music.

Of course this is a family event, so the parents invite their friends and extended family which includes the grandparents and the grandparent’s friends who want to talk and dance too.

The DJ is trying to please three generations simultaneously.

When was the last time you heard grandparents getting excited over the music choices of their grandkids? And when was the last time you heard them agree on how loud the music should be?

It starts with only teens on the floor. Then the grown-ups demand a few songs. The teens complain and clear off the floor while the DJ works to get the grown-ups dancing. When the adults are finally filling the dance floor, the teens are demanding a few songs. Then the grown-ups complain and clear off the floor and the cycle starts all over again.

The cycle continues throughout the night with the end result that none of the generations are really being satisfied.

Think of the poor parents that are paying for it all! They are stuck between the teenagers and the senior citizens. One side is begging for the music to be turned down and the other side is begging for it to be turned up. Both sides are begging for the DJ to play something they like.

Usually the parent’s generation is pretty tolerant, but the teenagers and the senior citizens are threatening a mutiny!

Grandparents and teenagers are the age groups that have the strongest preferences for their own music and how loud it should be played. They are also the two most vocal age groups when they feel their preferences are being ignored.

It is as if in a dream. Each generation is shouting at the DJ, waving their fists and threatening violent retaliation. Suddenly the lights flicker and go out with a flash of sparks. Everyone is frozen in shock!

There is a crash of thunder a blinding light appears above the combatants heads! Is it the miracle we’ve been praying for? Yes, It is!

A host of heavenly angels begin singing as a diamond studded pair of headphones slowly descend from the heavens. Then there is another, and another, and then the air is full of headphones! Sparkling beams of light splashing everywhere as they slowly settle down over the ears of every guest!

The lights come back on and everyone is wearing Silent Disco headphones. Everyone is smiling and everyone is happy once again!

The solution is sooo simple!

#1) What do the grandparents want? They want the music to be soft enough that they can talk and they’d prefer oldies tracks!

#2) What do the parents want? They want the volume to be such that they can either dance or talk and they want to hear music titles that they recognize.

#3) What do the kids want? They want the music nice and loud and they want to hear their brand new tracks from their teens-only sources!

This is how the Silent Disco equipment solves the problem:

#1) Multiple music choices:
Our headphones allow the user to choose between three channels. So, have your DJ broadcast three different genres of music; one to each channel.

You’ll need an oldies playlist for the grandparents’ generation, a top 40 (both new and old) playlist for the parents’ generation, and of course a teens’ playlist for the kids.

#2) User adjustable volume knobs:
Each set of headphones has their own volume control, so everybody is happy with the volume.

#3) Silent Disco makes it easier to have conversations:
Long conversations at this type of event work best with some background music always playing on a traditional sound system.

I recommend using the traditional sound system for the announcements, the hora (chair-lifting) and spotlight dances using the regular sound system.

Once those are done, keep the dinner music playing quietly for the rest of the party. This gives a nice backdrop to conversations that non-dancers will want to have. They won’t need to ever put on the headphones.

But for the people that might want to dance, but also want to talk, we recommend that they wear the headphones for dancing, and set them down on their neck with the volume still up for conversations.

With the headphones on their shoulders, they will hear the songs they might want to dance to at a low volume. This doesn’t interrupt the conversation. Then they can put on the headphones and take to the dance floor at a moment’s notice. Quick exchanges while dancing can be accomplished by just lifting one earpiece without losing a beat.

Without Silent Disco, the older generation would flee from the loud-unfamiliar music half-way through the event, now they stay and enjoy themselves so much more!

The parents now have the option of dancing or talking and the music that is playing is stuff that they know and like! See my blog post about communication with headphones on for more insights.

The kids are having the time of their life listening to their own music at their own volume and never getting kicked off the dance floor by song requests from their elders.

Rent your headphones from us here at www.silent-disco-rental.com and we’ll help you have the Mitvah party of a lifetime where there is music for every generation, all at the perfect volume!

What is a good music playlist for silent disco?

You rented our disinfected headphones and now you are wondering, what music to play at your silent disco party?

If you, like most people who rent our headphones, are using phones or tablets with playlists from Spotify, Apple Music or similar services, this article will help you to choose which songs to put on your playlists.

If you are a live DJ or manipulating your playlist during the party, these same principles apply.

What is the single most important thing to consider when choosing awesome music for your party playlist?

Below is a curated playlist from Spotify that works every time!

Notice how familiar the songs look? That means your guests will know them and be able to sing along.

In Silent Disco, your guests want to sing along. Always. That is the single most important metric for silent disco song selection.

The above Spotify playlist is long enough to use on all three channels. Start at the beginning on one device. Start a third of the way through on a second device. Start it two-thirds of the way through on your third device.

Remember that you need to have three different streaming accounts or a family account.

Most streaming platforms only allow one simultaneous stream per device.

Should you have assigned genres to each channel?

We think it is more fun to mix it up and just play anything that is uber popular on any channel.

So, play the most popular songs on all of the channels without regard for genre.

It is a popular playlist strategy to assign each channel a general genre as a guideline. It is believed that this makes it easier for the guests to stay in the mood.

People say that it helps them to keep the channels straight in their heads and it helps the playlist creator/DJ’s to keep from repeating songs from channel to channel.

They may choose top 40 for one of the channels, retro for another and dance-able rock music for the third. (This is just an example. In a more urban setting, you might need old school rap, R&B or a Latin channel.)

We think it is more fun for your guests when you mix it up on each channel. It encourages more togetherness by preventing people from splitting up according to genre.

Let me give some perspective from a traditional DJ dominating the room with loud speakers turned up to eleven.

When a DJ is using a traditional sound system, they have the benefit of being the only music in the room. The listeners don’t have the option of switching to a different channel. This gives the DJ more leeway in song selection.

If listeners don’t care for the song, they may leave the dance floor, but they are not going to turn it off by switching the channel on their headphones.

This is THE game changer that is driving the rapid rise of Silent Disco as a party medium. Suddenly it is up to the listener instead of the DJ to decide what song they are going to listen to. When you look at it that way, it is no surprise that Silent Disco is so popular!

It is the same model we’ve seen on TV and radio. Thanks to the Internet and streaming services we all expect to be able to choose our own media. Why should it be different at a party?

But even a DJ with a traditional sound system needs to play something the crowd knows if she wants to be asked back again. It is a rare club where the DJ can get away with playing unknown music and be able to keep people on the dance floor while doing it.

But with three channel Silent Disco parties, it is important time three to play something the crowd knows, because anything else is simply ignored by judicious use of the channel sector switch.

You’ve got to understand that the mind of the partying listener is always wondering what is on the other channels. They are always worried that they might be missing an awesome song that is playing right now!

So they switch channels every 30 seconds. And when they do, you have only moments to capture them. If they land on your channel during that boring instrumental part, they are gone to the next channel. Hint: If you are DJ’ing live for Silent Disco, queue up past the boring instrumental part!

If they land on your channel while it is playing a song that they don’t know, they are switching channels. You’ve lost them to your channel (for at least thirty seconds).

Play something they know!

There are several ways to “Know” a song. You could know the melody and the beat. It is even better to know the words to a song. The ultimate best way to know a song is to know the moves too!

A perfect example of a song with awesome moves that everybody knows, is the song, “Shout.” Yes, it has fantastic opportunities to sing the words back to the performer (or DJ), but it is those classic dance moves drive that song over the top!

Anyone who sees those dance moves, even if their headphones are set to a different song, knows what song those people are dancing to.

If that song is not on your list – you are missing a huge opportunity.

Now “Shout” is a superstar on the list, but there are a gazillion others that are far more subtle. Examples are any songs that ask you to do anything with various body parts. If it is not in the lyrics, it might be from a music video or movie soundtrack.

Gangnam Style is an example of how a music video can create moves for a song. We don’t even know what many of the words are, but it was the moves in the music video that made the song memorable. It was those same moves imitated by dancers that made the song so much fun on a dance floor.

Everybody knows how much fun it is to sing along to a pumpin’ song and it is even more fun to be singing and doing the moves in perfect time with your friends. Nothing could be better!

So choose songs that have memorable lyrics and moves.

Play songs that they ALL know!

The bests songs are songs that everybody at the party knows. If you play a song that only half of your guests know, and follow it with a song that all of your guests know. The latter will be more fun even if it is not near as good of a song.

Let me say that another way. The quality of the song matters less than the number of people who know it.

Play the best song ever written -but known by few, and your dance floor will be empty. Play a sub-par song – but one that everybody knows, and your dance floor will be packed!

One last word: It is tempting to allow a friend with a phone to run their playlist for awhile. We caution you to first take a look at what they are about to play. If she has a list of songs that your guests don’t know, don’t let her play them.

Your party is NOT the place to promote obscure music or to enlighten your friends about the newest songs. Your party is for having fun. Your party is for bringing people together in a celebration of life.

There is only one way to do that.

Play something they know.