I just had to jump in on this one.
Regarding using computer software. As a relative new DJ, I need all of the tools I can find to be the Mobile Entertainer I know I can be. Professional DJ software (VDJ Pro for me) has been a godsend. I've been in the public speaking, training, and entertainment industry for the last 25+ years and have only recently added the DJ division to my business. So yes, I freely admit that during cocktail hour and dinner, I may allow the computer to "Cue" my playlist as in, I don't have to sit and push buttons, switch CD, etc, when the technology will do it for me. Again, I say "Cue" my playlist because, as the DJ, I've already done all of the program work as far as song selection, the order, tempo and genre of the mix. I control what and when music is played. I never let the computer randomly mix/beatmatch my music, ever. The software simply cues the music, no beat matching or scratching required. Once the party starts then Automix is only on if I need to step away from the DJ booth.
The reason this flexibilty is important to me is because my client often request that I interaction with their guests, VDJ allows me to mingle with the guests in a natural social manner before the actual party starts and really enhances the guests enjoyment of everything else I do for the rest of the evening. Why, because they feel as if they "Know" the DJ. Whether you realize it or not, many people are intimidated/awed by the DJ or for that matter any professional entertainment personality. When said personality actually walks over to their table and has a brief conversation with them, it's a pleasant change and surprise from the frequent behind the table/facade method of DJing most people are used to. Think back to when you had opportunity to meet a famous or important person, it's something you are likely talk about well after the party is over. Many of us don't consider ourselves famous but we are definitely important (To the client that is). The fact that the music never stops while I'm doing this is a wonderment to the guests because I make it seem effortless. If they only knew how much effort goes into getting to that point.
As for mixers - I do own a T1 mixer and a Numark IDJ3 mixer. I also own both the Numark Mixdeck and Mixtrack DJ mixers. I use an external Numark IODJ sound card when not using the Mixtrack or T1. This little device is absolutely amazing. By the way, for the time being, by choice, my DJ business is limited to small events so I only use Bose Compacts with Energy Systems Subs right now but will eventually move to an L1 Mod 1 or 2 DBl Base at some point. But for now, not needed.
My mode of dress, as do many of you, I discuss this issue with my clients before the event. If they have no problem with what I prefer to wear, then that's all that really matters. If they say no hats, then no hats. Personally, in real life, I always wear a hat (Samuel L. Jackson style). However, at weddings and Mitzvahs, I never wear a hat. It's just a personal thing. On the other hand, birthday parties, picnics, retirement parties, school dances, I just might wear a hat at some point in the night because it is part of the personally that I am selling.
Remember, often times, the client knows exactly how you present as a performer from previous shows or referrals (Hat, tux, whatever)and the personality you projected is what they are hiring as much as is the professionalism you bring to their event. If they hire you and your particular style is more of a laid back style then guess what...they wanted a laid back DJ. If they hire you because you wear a Tux, a hat, a watch, a blanket, a smile then guess what....okay, you get the point.
By the way JD, regarding seeing you without the hat, I vote for "Keep em guessing." LOL
Musicdan - Thanks for starting this Post I think I understood your original comment.
Sorry for the long post. It will definitely happen again. :-)