Haze vs. Fog Machine
If you are DJing professionally, then you know how important your control over the room can be. Without the right combination of lights, sounds, and other presentation features, it gets to be a lot harder to bring the crowd into the experience, and that can really affect the overall quality of your performance, because cing is an art form that depends on and feeds off the energy the crowd produces. To harness it for the best possible set, you need to know how to control everything from the mix to the light cues and the smoke and fog machines.
Similar but Vastly Different
One of the mistakes many newer DJs make when they are approaching the booth is confusing smoke and fog machines, which leads to the use of one when the other is more appropriate to the situation. Since these environmental effects greatly affect the audience’s experience of the music by altering the entire mood of the space, getting them confused can be disastrous for the energy in a set. Here is how you can tell when you need to use smoke vs. when you want the hazy, dreamy qualities you get out of a good fog machine.
The reason they are so easy to mistake for one another is because they both do roughly the same thing—they catch the light, enhancing its effects and producing a new visual effect to match changes in the music.
Smoke tends to move quickly, disperse quickly, and refract light sharply when it is in a tight cloud while diffusing it and creating a haze as it spreads. The fact that it moves so fast makes it a great way to surprise a crowd with an effect, and using a relatively controlled release can allow you to put a few accent points into your set, delivering a different kind of transition when you need one.
Using fog produces a hazy effect, and it is more likely to hang around the room for a while. Fog tends to stay close to the ground, which makes it easier to create effects that stay low, without blocking visibility on the dance floor. Fog also tends to move a little more slowly than smoke, so it clings for longer, giving you a more drawn-out environmental change that you can use to signal a new mood that will stay with the crowd for a while.
It’s worth noting that while these descriptions are accurate comparisons and contrasting points on the behavior of these machines, both fog and smoke machines are manufactured with a variety of different features and power levels. That means that you might find some fog machines that do work faster than weaker smoke machines, further adding to the confusion. If you are unsure which way to go for your set, try both out on a rehearsal audience, and see how they affect the energy of your performance. That way, you will have a better idea how to use them when you get out in front of a crowd.