DJs or Sound Designers: Which is More Useful to a Business?

Tailor Music

What do you do for work?

When a few years ago, I responded to this question with, “DJ,” I often heard back, “Yes, okay, but what’s your day job?” In the collective imagination it wasn’t seen as a profession. In the eyes of younger generations, “He played well,” he made a scene, he was cool; still, in the serious business world, saying those words invited prejudice and disadvantage.

A lot has changed in recent years

The fact that you can find a DJ at a happy hour, at an art show, at a wedding, or in a store window bridged this generational gap. On the other hand, it is also true that DJs have evolved. Many companies bring a DJ on staff. Unlike many musicians, masters of an instrument but statically tied to tradition and to the style of their instrument, a true DJ continually listens to both old and new songs. He is always open to contamination, to being exposed to new trends. Every day he learns new trends and seeks new sounds, rhythms, and styles.

When we actually refer to sound designers

If the profession of DJ has little by little earned respect in the working world, I realize that even today the term “sound designer” has an air of mystery. You can intuit their role, but you may not understand the specific characteristics. The role of the sound designer has expanded over the years, evolving, reaching beyond the limited sector of film sound effects and filling various roles. In the beginning, they principally dealt with “ad hoc” compositions and sound effects (cinematic and theatrical). Today, the sound designer unites an understanding of a vast musical repertoire with that of the flavor of emotional marketing. He is responsible for important tasks like research, selection and soundtrack-making for environments, the creation of musical columns, commercial jingles, and musical effects.

Who should we turn to when we’re on the brink of a consultation for professional use and understanding the music?

Who should we trust? Often, we find ourselves before conmen, braggarts who promise instant, impossible results, pushers of some magic formula to boost sales. First of all, it is important to know that the results we achieve with music and the advantages that they bring to the business are not easily quantifiable. The right music brings added value to a brand, a product, or a service; further, it improves guests’ stays and encourages them to return.

The professional figure you seek must have certain heterogeneous competencies, be up-to-date on the latest trends, be able to play with ambient sound, and construct a tailor-made audio outfit suitable to your brand. You cannot forget that sounds, in these cases, invest directly in emotional channels. We are talking about communication and emotional marketing.

Constructing a tailor-made mood is a task that requires, in addition to genius, mature understanding and experience.

What is the goal? To diffuse ambient music or to formulate your brand’s sound? Supposing that the former must always be a consequence of the latter, do we use ambient music concentrating on active or passive listening? (See the articles on the use of recognizable e unrecognizable music).

It is a task that articulates itself in various phases and constantly adapts, flexible to structural changes to the music and the referential target.

Some advice

By definition, advice must always validate the experience we have before us, always considering the necessary knowledge that will satisfy our business needs. Asking for a test or trial period proves that the service and its advantages are worth using.

Poor use of music may cause serious harm in the short and long term

As I wrote before, when we decide to use music, we cannot err. Music has direct, privileged access to our senses, to our emotions, to our memories.

Marco Solforetti

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