My dance teachers run a monthly ball at the local village hall. But they’re away this month, so we’re running it ourselves. There are usually 60-80 people – it’s open to the general public – and I’m in charge of music. Terrified.
I collected the equipment and 175 cds on Thursday, and I’ve been playing working on it since. I was originally going to use the supplied 2-bay CD player to control the music, as it has some reasonable features. But I’d effectively be changing CDs 60 times, and there’s no way I wouldn’t mess that up at some point. So I’m using the laptop instead, and spent this afternoon importing all the relevant tracks. For all that iTunes annoys me sometimes, it did a stellar job in this regard. It’s very quick at grabbing cddb data, then I only needed to right-click ‘import’ on the appropriate song, and it copied/encoded it all in 10 seconds flat. I was worried this task would take forever, but it really wasn’t a problem.
I had a brief panic after I plugged the laptop into the speaker system and it buzzed like hell. Research indicated the laptop PSU was probably interfering – a common problem with laptops. I was all ready to go out and buy a USB sound card (if I could find one), but plugging the laptop into a separate socket from the amp/cd-player solved it. Phew.
I’ve been trying to put together a decent playlist. My teacher is occasionally accused of being a little old-fashioned in his music choices, but, having listened to many of the cds, I can see he’s filtering out a lot of awful pieces. Once you remove the pleasure-beach organ stuff (urgh) there’s only so much left (of the ballroom, anyway). There wasn’t really time to make informed choices, so I essentially grabbed random CDs and chose the tracks that appealed.
I’m trying to update it a little. I don’t want to alienate the regulars, so there are plenty of classic tunes in there, but I’ve interspersed some new stuff too. Most of the cha-cha songs are regular pop music, for example (Girls Aloud ftw). Hopefully this will go down ok. There’s also a waltz by Journey. Everyone likes Journey, right? Yeah.
Getting increasingly nervous. In an ideal world I’d hit Play, iTunes would run down its 3hr playlist, pleasingly crossfading all tracks, and everyone would be happy. Hmmmm. We’ll see 🙂