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Single Op. -vs.- Multi Op.

July 3, 2014

I know the first thing that came to mind when you read this headline, “What are you even talking about?”  Most people when shopping for a DJ service don’t even know to look into what this is when shopping for a DJ, they just hit up Google for “DJ in (insert your city here)”. 

Here’s the difference:
Multi Op. – This is a DJ service that has multiple performance systems and personnel. 
This is a company that handles multiple events on the same day.  Here’s the catch – often times these DJ services say that they are “full-time”, and they are partly telling the truth.  Typically only the owner, and maybe one other person, is full-time while the rest of the DJs are part-time.  Chances are the owner only does the highest paid jobs while their part-time people handle the smaller, or lower-paying jobs. 

Single Op. – This is a DJ service that has one operator and one setup.  The vast majority of DJ services are single operator where the service is independently owned and operated.  These DJ services may be part-time or full-time, but it’s easier to tell because if the owner has a 9-5 job they go to during the week then they are part-time when it comes to DJing. 


There’s more difference to each DJ service than just the name, and here is a very basic question you can ask when you are interviewing a DJ service for your special event:

“Will the DJ who is going to be performing at my event be the person I will primarily communicate with throughout the planning process?”

By asking this question you are asking if your experience will be as seamless as possible.  There is always the possibility for miscommunications to happen between human beings.  However, the more human beings you put in that chain the greater the chance for miscommunication to happen.


Here is where it is a good idea to check reviews about the DJ service you’re dealing with too.  Even under good reviews you may read something like this, “The (owner of multi op.) was great to talk to, and the DJ they sent to do our reception did well too.”  Ok, that’s all well & good.  However, keep looking through their reviews and a lot of times you will find examples where the second half of that review is not as complimentary. 

With Single Op. you get the planning and execution of your event handled by the same person.  


Let’s break this down into some simple Pros & Cons about both:

Multi Op. Pros:

  • Multiple units = more backup equipment & staff available in case of emergency and greater consistency with a substitute DJ.  These circumstances are extremely rare.
  • There will be a full-time person, usually the owner, available to talk to when calling.


Multi Op. Cons:

  • Most of the DJs are part-time. 
  • Often times you will meet your DJ(s) before your event, but they won’t primarily be handling your planning.


Single Op. Pros:

  • Owner operated – the owner always goes the extra mile because it’s their name on the door. 
  • Planning & execution handled by the same person – they know your event plan very well since they’re the one who has been with you through the planning process.


Single Op. Cons:

  • In case of an emergency they typically bring in another local company.  This is only listed as a con because of the fact that an outside company may vary in style more than who you hired originally.
  • Your DJ may be part-time, and if they have another job that can potentially conflict with your event; that has the potential to cause a problem.  However, this can easily be avoided by checking if your DJ is full-time or part-time.


So which one is the best?  Well, in a perfect world a multi op. that operates like a single op. would be the ideal.  However, this kind of business model is very rare, and I’ll choose not to bore you at this point as to why that is.  What is more common are single op. service providers who network with each other, and there may be some multi op. providers who participate as well in this network.  Some will say they are part of a national association that network DJs together such as ADJA or NAME.  However, it is not necessary for a DJ company to be a part of these associations to network with other local service providers, and DJs who pay for membership in these associations aren’t necessarily higher quality than DJs who don’t.  The best advice we can give is check reviews, and ask for referen

SoundFire DJ does network with other DJ service providers in the area, and we strive to deliver every single one of our customers an amazing experience.  You will get that personal level of service from start to finish with the same person helping you through the planning process and executing that plan on your special day.  Any last minute changes?  We’re flexible enough to work on-the-fly while sticking as close to your plan as possible.  After all that’s what you get when you hire an experienced & talented entertainment service like SoundFire DJ. 
Give us a call today, and experience the difference.

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