4 min read

zooming DJs

"The best time to be is now, and all’s we can say is...Let’s rock!"
zooming DJs

"The best time to be is now, and all’s we can say is...Let’s rock!"

The origins of Dueling DJs are here in Sacha's post.

The idea for Zooming DJs, is a COVID/#stayhome reboot, with a focus on just having some fun while connecting with friends and whānau. The aim is to all win by having a bit of a smile and laugh. It's a bonus if you learn about some new tunes.

The spirit of the game is to enjoy some banter and have a laugh over tunes. The beauty of the game is that it's really easy to play, and lets the power of music compel you. Feel free to adjust for platforms and or other tools you have available.


Zoom for hosting the session.
You'll probably need a paid account to allow for going longer than 40 minutes. I'm going with Zoom here, because it's what I've got access to, and as you'll see below I know how the chat tools help the game to be played. Webex and Skype or your choice of video conferencing app might also be able to make this flow work.

Serato Pyro and Spotify Premium
Combine these two tools to mixing between the challenge tracks. You may be able to just use Spotify and select tracks, or have another audio app that does similar to Pyro.

There is a list of categories in Sacha's post above, but feel free to use the Powerpoint and Google slidedecks that are in the linked folder. The slides have a video insert with a timer on them. I've also put a 16 and 32 player bracket template if you're playing the Gin Whigmore version. If you create your own slide decks and categories, please feel free share in that folder.

A device for playback + speaker for playback
The host will be playing the challenge tracks over the Zoom call - so mess around with how this might work in your setup. I'm using Pyro, which is iOS only, but depending on what you're using, use the appropriate hardware. In our case it's an iPad and a UE Wonderboom.

These Zoom settings for live music might come in handy.

Road Crew:
One MC - working the duelling djs categories slide deck, and monitoring the chat channel for the answers.

One DJ - iPad with pyro account, reading the submissions from players in the chat, and mixing using Pyro, with the speaker broadcasting to the players.

In our case, the DJ and MC were sitting next to each other - playing the audio over the host call. You might be able to figure out a way of doing the DJ remotely from the MC.

Players: Whoever has accepted your Zoom invite.

Game format

Original Rules (from Sacha's post)

"Duelling DJs is a living room game we've usually played with AirPlay and an Apple TV.  We decided to see if it would scale to a 32-player bracket. Turns out it did!

The two contestants have sixty seconds to choose a song (available on Spotify) that best represents the category that's been announced, and tell the DJ what it is.  If the second player chooses the same song as the first, the second player gets another minute to come up with a different song. The DJ loads both songs in Serato Pyro, plays a bit of each, and the crowd votes on the winner, who advances to the next round. Players can use their phones to look things up, except in the final. If you want to try this yourself, we just had the categories on slides in a Keynote presentation with a countdown timer on each slide."

Here are the two Zooming DJ variations.

Wigmore Throwdown aka the head to head challenge

Zoom meeting started - allow time for participants to arrive.
Players signed up to bracket - allow for suitably naff DJ monikers.
MC calls first two players to attention, and shares screen with categories.
All other participants mute for best effect.

Players use their one minute to find and then send their song option to the MC via direct chat. MC confirms song choice or notifies if they need to choose again.

DJ is watching chat channel and cues up tracks on Pyro.
After minute - MC closes round - and songs are played to all players.

MC then asks "Player A or Player B?" - people vote with a handraise in Zoom or via mad laughter and cheering.

MC announces name of winning player - applause, banter and/or sledging as appropriate.

Winning player advances to the next round and then work through the quarter finals, semis and finals

Efron - Hudgens Challenge aka 'We're all in this together' challenge

This variation is based on playing the game with everyone competing, and then just general banter and chaos as the songs are played out via the MC/DJ hosts.

Same set of categories, and the same time to select (this would depend on players - you might want to extend the time), but everyone plays, and submits their answers to the MC via chat channel.

DJ then plays all the songs - and with general agreement/claps/thumbs up from the players, the MC announces the track - and the name of the player who chose it. Along with groans and laughter from all.

In the time of COVID, the weekend starts pretty much anywhere, so please let me know via twitter how it goes, of any variations, or just take these ideas and make them your own.

Creative Commons Licence
Continue by Tim Kong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.