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FAQ

All of your frequently asked questions are answered here

The most important feature you can receive from any wedding industry service is comfort. When you narrow down your choices between the services you need for your wedding day, the businesses and personalities that you felt most comfortable with would often suggest the best results for you and your family. The next important factor that influences wedding plans is availability. Before you toss out all your secondary choices, check the availability of your first!

All Future Sounds equipment is self-supported. We do not need a table nor do we need a chair. We prefer to be centered close to the dance floor, with the required amount of empty space and electricity. Some venues and coordinators separate the disc jockey from the dance floor as well as from the crowd. This separation makes our job more difficult. We are not there to be the center of attention, more importantly; we are there to facilitate reception events and the excitement for you and your guest. It is important for the entertainer or entertainment to have a connection with you and your guests. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions. A simple description of our service and equipment can be found on the Services Defined link above. Technical questions and the specific electrical requirements for each package can be viewed by clicking through the Specifications link above.

Insurance
Future Sounds does carry insurance for all events. We have a yearly policy through R.V. Nuccio & Associates, Inc. For more information about our policy, please feel free to call the office and ask for details.

Initial Contact & Date Reservation
You can contact the Future Sounds office a number of ways. You can do this through the availability and quote link at the top of the page or by clicking contact us link above. You may call the office between 9 AM and 5 PM CST for verbal inquires and immediate assistance regarding availability. Our office number is (210) 945-9601. We can connect for an audio or video conference on Skype or FaceTime if that is a preferred method to communicate.

1. Can we meet in person?
Yes. We are more than happy to meet and discuss your needs and our services with you in person.

2. Where and when can we schedule a meeting?
We can schedule a general meeting when a time is convenient for you during the week or on the weekend. Meetings that require the need to set up a contract or listen to music selections should occur at our home office. Meetings scheduled to talk about our service or format guide can be done just about anywhere. If we need to discuss information on the website, meeting at the home office is preferred or where WiFi is available.

3. Do you have a demo Tape?
No, but we offer samples of audio clips on our Disc Jockey page. We would also gladly offer to schedule a time that you could visit a reception and see one of us in action. It is important to remember that each reception atmosphere is different and music from event to event can differ greatly as well. The personality that you may see and the music that you may hear, may not necessary be the appropriate style for your reception. We customize each event with a reception format guide. More information on the format guide can be viewed on this website.

4. Do you take a break?
We do not take any breaks. We are at your reception to play music and make announcements throughout the scheduled time frame on the contract. Music is continuous from start to finish with the exception of momentary pauses due to award ceremonies and toast. On occasion, mariachis or other entertainers are scheduled during our contracted time. If needed, we can continue to make announcements in between the songs that the other entertainers are playing.

5. How many people come with you?
99% of the time it is just your entertainer listed on your contract. On occasion, we have a disc jockey in training who will assist the main entertainer. You will be aware of this if it will occur at your reception. Otherwise, only one disc jockey per reception.

 

Contracts and Booking for the Reception

 

1. Do you have a contract online?
No! General contracts are not available online. Each contract is written to fit your needs with specifics to (a) personal contact information, (b) event information like timeframe and selected entertainer, (c) venue information that includes room or layout specifics and (d) service information that includes a package description and listing of additional services and equipment. Although many aspects of our service can be conducted via the website, we feel some form of person to person contact is important for initiation and clarification in the first stage of the contract. Most communication is exchanged via phone, email, and audio/video conferences. We prefer the exchange of personal credit card information via phone.

2. When should we book?
It is difficult to know what day will be very popular in a given year. Check the availability of your reception date. Typically, the months of March through June are very popular for spring and early summer weddings. The months of October and November are popular for fall weddings. The months of April, May, June, September and October are also scheduled with various school events like homecomings, proms and gradation parties.

3. How long should we book?
Future Sounds has a 4 hour minimum. The average reception is generally 4 hours. We suggest booking for the minimum amount of time that both you and your guests will be in attendance and then extending the time if needed at the reception. We can play background, cocktail or dinner music. The timeframe negotiated on the contract specifies our start and end times for use of the equipment and personalities. The volume level is insignificant to the work we do with reference to background and dinner music. We are paid to play and mix music. The volume level can be adjusted to accommodate the desired atmosphere. The end time can be extended if desired by the person(s) listed on the contract.

4. What if we do not have a reception site?
As long as you plan to stay in the San Antonio City limits, regular package pricing will apply. As long as you have a date, site details can be incorporated into the contract down the line. Finding a personality that you are comfortable with is very important. Having that personality available for your reception date is just as important. Adjustments may need to be made to the contract if travel outside of Bexar County is accrued, if stairs are encounter, or additional accessories are needed such as lighting or additional speakers. The pricing for Future Sounds packages and accessories are listed on this website.

5. What if the reception is not in San Antonio.
Future Sounds travels throughout south and central Texas. We have traveled north to Fredericksburg, south to Brownsville, east to Austin, Houston, Nacogdoches, Galveston and west to Uvalde. We have a 30 mile radius around San Antonio where a travel charge is not incurred. The entertainment travel charge beyond the 30 mile radius is a dollar per mile-one way. Destination weddings are not out of the question. All our past weddings we have been within the great state of Texas. Wedding receptions outside the state would incur travel and overnight hotel expenses. Details about travel are viewable on the bottom of the packages page.

 

Music Request

 

 

1. What kind of music do you have?
Future Sounds offers a variety of music for your reception. The core music library can be viewed on this site by clicking here. Our master Future Sounds library contains over 80,000 titles. Many of these titles are not listed in the online database. Albums with less popular titles that are more specific to an era or genre of music were excluded from the online listing. View the music page on this site for a specific core listing. Additionally, we can access our music services for a last minute songs via iTunes or Rhapsody. We do prefer to plan for requests before your event vs after the fact.

2. Can we make request or a list?
Yes! You are more than welcome to make a list of songs you would like to hear during the reception. An average of 15 to 18 songs are played an hour. In a four hour period, 60 to 75 songs can be played depending on the type of music and other non-music events scheduled during the reception. It is best if you pick a few requests to give us a direction for the event and leave room for us to adjust the music style accordingly to you and your guest mood. The mood of your guest is difficult to forecast. Regardless, pick a few requests and plan ahead to modify your requests if necessary. View the music page for more suggestions for selecting and organizing your music request.

3. Can we bring our own music that you do not have?
We have an impressive collection, however, it is very difficult to know and have every available type of music in the world. If there is a particular type of music, artist, or song you like and you’re not sure if we offer it, please ask. Feel free to bring a copy of the particular request we do not have to your reception. This is how we expand our own musical knowledge. Music appreciation and education is an ongoing task in our business. To get a feel for our taste, view the eclectic online database. Within the music database, the top 25 songs requested for other receptions in the last twelve months is available to be viewed.

 

Equipment

 

 

1. What kind of equipment do you have?
The type of equipment we use is developed by the leaders in professional audio from around the world. Our equipment is geared for the road for use on the open concert stage or contain within a dance club. The speaker systems are made by JBL. The mixing devices are made by Rane. The software used is Virtual DJ with a Denon controller. More particular facts and specifications can be found on the Specifications page and the Services Defined page on this website.

2. Do you have backup equipment?
Yes, we have backup cables and equipment/systems in the instance a piece of equipment fails. Although we follow maintenance procedures, complete failure of a piece of equipment is not out of the question. On occasion, we have had a sudden short in a speaker/microphone cable or device connector. These pieces can be replaced within minutes. Each sound system carries a backup computer.

3. Are lights included?
The basic sound package does not include lights. We do offer packages with lighting. A choice can be made between high tech and low tech lighting or a combination of fixtures as well as up-lighting. More information about our available packages can be seen on the Packages page or a breakdown by definition of equipment and fixtures is found on the Services Defined page.

 

The Value of Entertainment …push, pull, press, pluck or pound… by Chris Koval

 

There is nothing better than an evening with great entertainment. It can be the spark that immortalizes an evening. Great entertainment can be a solo act or a group endeavor. The benefits of our efforts amuse and inspire your guests to take part in a celebration that revolves around you, family and friends. The outcome is an evening of excitement and lifetime of memories that are truly priceless. Below is a response to the questions, "What is the difference between you and a band?" and "What is the difference between you and my iPod?"

Stages of Excitement
There are many musical stages that you and your guest will encounter as you and they progress through your wedding day. From beginning to end, there is the ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing. Various types of musical entertainment can be hired for each of these stages or one type of entertainment can do it all. The different types include but are not limited to string trios or quartets, harpist, violist, guitarist, organist, pianist, singers, mariachis, bands and disc jockeys. When the ceremony and the reception are located at the same venue or same room, quite often you can have the musicians for the ceremony play the music during cocktails and sometimes throughout dinner. Future Sounds can offer a musical service from beginning to end in this situation.

Making Contact
You can find numerous listings for disc jockeys in the phone book. Bands or singing groups tend to have agents and those agencies may be listed in the phonebook. Quite often the “word of mouth” and referrals from other industry professionals increase name recognition with priceless promotion to their friends and clients. Those who are more focused on weddings tend to market themselves via wedding fairs and advertise in bridal magazines and website's. Entertainers who specifically work in the wedding industry realize the role they play is more than just playing music. We have become event coordinators.

Band Facts
In the old days event coordinators generally hired a band. Family, friends and music were simple aspects of life and a local experience when it came to the reception. Today those aspects are complex and diverse. Family, friends and music converge from a community that is regional, national and sometimes international. Most bands are hired for 4 hours and play a limited selection of cover music or originals. Some bands may play two extended sets of 1.5 hours. The average band plays 10 to 14 songs an hour and may take 2 or 3 fifteen to twenty minute breaks during the four hour period. That’s 30 to 40 songs in a 4 hour period. In reality, you are paying for 4 hours but only receive 3 hours or less of entertainment. There is nothing better than a live performance with great musicians or entertainers. But what if no one likes the music or the downtime kills the momentum? All traditional activities generally are organized around the 20 minute band breaks. You can’t change the style nor songs the band plays in the middle of the reception, however you can change the style and songs the DJ plays at any point during the reception.

Many years ago we worked with a large band that saturated a 20’ x 40’ stage. The sound technician was 15’ to 20’ in front of the stage monitoring the mix of each instruments volume plus he monitored the stage lighting. He additionally took up a 6’ x 8’ area. The sound system extended an additional 4’ off each side of the stage. We were just off stage using a 3’ x 5’ area. Three main differences we noticed between a band and a DJ are occupied space, available play list and the directed attention. During that event, they could choose to play from a list of over 60 songs. I, on the other hand, had over 30,000 songs. The directed attention of the guests was on the band and costuming while they played their sets. When I played between the band sets, the directed attention was on the dance floor and other events occurring in the room. Stage lighting for a band illuminates the stage. Stage lighting for a DJ illuminates the dance floor. It really is as simple as these three differences.

Master of Receptions
True entertainers have an ability to manipulate their musical and technical tools. All entertainers deliver a live performance. However, we each use different tools to achieve the task at hand. Some of us pluck strings, press keys or use vocal talents. It is the combination of talents that evoke a rhythm and encourage participation for those in attendance. Some guest may sing and dance, others may listen and watch. Ultimately, the way an event unfolds is unpredictable. In addition to playing music, top notch entertainers can coordinate and guide the bridal party, family and guest through traditional events. After the formalities or in conjunction with the formalities your host can direct and motivate those in attendance. This creates movement in a room and leads to interactivity around the room and on the dance floor. It is difficult to forecast the expected mood of your guests; however, great entertainers can adjust and accommodate to any level of unfolding excitement.

Disc Jockey Facts
Mobile disc jockeys can provide an evening of specific musical selections or a wide variety. Some may say we just push a few buttons. But it’s more than that. Depending on your musical preferences, our song sets are generally 3 to 5 songs. We follow a simple wave pattern that offers at least 1 slow song for every 5 songs. Generally this pattern works well for most crowds. It takes most men 1 song to get to the dance floor and dance with their significant other. So we play two slow songs in this situation. Again, adjustments are made accordingly to the pattern depending on your audience response. With avid dancers, sets are longer. With less active dancers, music sets are shorter. Unlike a band or musical group, the flow of the music is non-stop between songs and styles and flawless with respect to the original artist. Most disc jockeys carry hundreds of titles if not thousands. Depending on the musical category, the average DJ plays 17 to 20 songs an hour. That’s 70 to 80 songs in a 4 hour period. Musical entertainment is provided during the full contracted time period. Depending on the music, one major difference between a band and a DJ is 30 to 50 songs. That is a difference of hearing nearly two hours of music.

Software Media or iPod Music Players
Music Software Programs offered on the PC or Apple platform can offer a new dynamic for a proformance. Some media players can play hours of music in a jukebox fashion. Files or folders of music are played in a chosen or random order as programmed. Some new media players have a DJ or cross fade function that can mix or blend songs as they are played to offer a non-stop musical mixture. This feature is nice and works well in several applications. The downside to this method is less flexibility.

If you’re using this method for background sound and nothing more, it may work well and save money in the short term. If you must monitor the system for changes in music, volume and software or hardware issues, then this method may create havoc. What if the songs programmed to play during dinner end before dinner has ended or dinner has gone longer than expected? What if your hardware crashes as you are walking out to do your first dance? If these issues are of no concern then this may be a good method for a simple reception.

Otherwise, most of the wedding industry entertainers use professional equipment and programs. In addition to playing music, they monitor the hardware and software and the progression of music. The hardware is made to be used day in and day out for hours on end. Equipment rated for home use does not meet the standards for pro-audio. Additionally, as mentioned above the entertainment host will act as an event coordinator and guide you through the reception. Software programs do not automatically adjust and are not as receptive or reactive to unplanned events or adjustments. DJ’s have more flexibility adjusting as needed to a modified schedule.

Closing Time
There is nothing better than an evening with great entertainment. There are some similarities between bands, DJs and even an IPod…we each can play music. But there are many differences between us as mentioned above. I realized my role as an entertainer, coordinator and a communicator and also realize how important these roles are to the success of your reception. This is a core principle to Future Sounds and what separates us from many bands, fellow DJs and especially software programs. Unfortunately, in my half of the wedding industry the value of the entertainment dollar is quite often shortchanged. The entertainment is responsible for the largest percentage of the wedding reception, but budgeted and booked in the wedding plans often as an afterthought. Some are willing to pay 2500 to 5000 dollars for a band, but refuse to spend a comparable price for a professional wedding DJ. After the ceremony, cocktails and dinner, most reception guests stay for a dance. While planning the most important day of your life …the dress, ceremony, dinner and reception, how much time did you put into the musical entertainment? If hearing the proper music and announcements during the dinner and dance portion of your reception is important, why save these plans for last?

We are here to help. The best wedding venues, caterers, photographers and disc jockeys take bookings 12 to 18 months out. For many wedding professionals, availability is limited. If you feel that the music and atmosphere developed for you and your guest is not important, then we may not be the best choice for your reception. We are more than happy to suggest the services of others in our industry that just play music. If the music and announcements are important, check our available for your reception now and secure your date! There is no better time than now to reserve the entertainment for your wedding day! Let us fulfill the lifelong dream, share the excitement and create the everlasting memories!