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The dance floor is heating up. Guests are sweaty. Drinks and foam glow wands are raised up in the air as the snare roll kicks in and the anticipation builds. 4 bars. Faster. 2 bars. Faster. 1 bar.

BOOM! The Bass drops and everyone jumps but something hits them that they weren’t expecting. An icy cold blast of euphoria in the form of a thin cloud that instantly disappears and leaves them looking at each other with jaws open in giant smiles that want more of what just hit them.

cryo guns
Pic by Sam Gmuer

The guests at the wedding were just hit with a cryo gun. If they’re hard partiers they may have felt it at a club in Vegas or Ibiza, but they probably weren’t expecting it at a wedding tonight, and now they can’t stop talking about it and all of their friends need it at their weddings too.

With a relatively small investment, a few safety precautions, and proper use, any mobile DJ can now integrate the CO2-based special effect into their events to take the party to the next level. Wanna get started? Here’s what you need to know:


How it Works:

Cryo guns are pretty simple mechanical devices that are essentially a regulator that controls the release of CO2 from a tank. Compressed CO2 is very cold, so when it releases, moisture in the air condenses around it resulting in the cloud that it creates. It then immediately dissipates. This is why you get the best clouds in warm, humid environments, like hot sweaty, packed dance floors.

cryo guns
photo by Taylor Salerno

Get The Gear:

You’ll need a few things to get started. Having used a few different models, I would recommend the Club Cannon Handheld CO2 Gun (MKII). The complete kit will include all of the components below minus the CO2 tanks themselves:

  • The Gun- There are quite a few models available on the market. This is the regulator that you will actually hold and fire with.
  • The Hose & Washer- connects the CO2 tank to the Gun
  • Wrench for tightening the tank connection
  • CO2 Tanks (20 lb tanks recommended)- These can be rented and returned, or purchased, exchanged, and refilled. After renting tanks for years, I finally purchased my own and get much lower prices on tank exchanges. Siphon or non-siphon tanks can be used, but it’s important to know that non-siphon tanks will need to be flipped upside down for use.
cryo gun
Pic by Alex Moore

Safety First
Tanks must be secured when transporting them, and preferably isolated from the driver’s cabin. A box truck, trailer, or cargo van with a partition is preferred. I once had a scary incident where a tank knob was bumped and started discharging in my SUV while driving. I got very dizzy very quickly and had to pull off the road to recover. Never again!

Be sure that the hose is attached securely to the tank (with a wrench) before opening the flow from the tank.

Be sure that the tank is secure before you fire.

Be sure that the gas is turned off COMPLETELY before disconnecting the hose to swap tanks. If not, the tank may become a dangerous weapon and move uncontrollably throughout the room.

Don’t fire directly into anyone’s face at close range. Small ice particles may form and nobody wants that in their eye!

When & How To Use It:

Just like those hard hitting bangers that you love to play at 128 bpm, you probably don’t want to bring out the cryo gun right away. Playing a country wedding with lots of two-stepping? You’re gonna scare the heck out of people and get weird looks.

The cryo gun is best used when your party has already turned up to an 8, and you’re ready to take it to a 10. Tempos need to be up. The dance floor needs to be packed, and the party needs to be poppin’.

The cryo gun is best used when your party has already turned up to an 8, and you’re ready to take it to a 10.

Once you do fire it, I highly recommend timing it with a big drop and blasting it for no more than 8 beats (4 seconds) or so. Give the crowd a little taste of it and see how they react. Did they scream euphorically? Go wild! Did they turn away from it and give you a stare? You should probably put it away for a while. They aren’t ready.

Cryo guns are very loud, so your music needs to be there too.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the best parts of the cryo gun experience is feeling the icy cold blast that gives guests that extra energy. I see so many photos of DJs and guests shooting it up in the air or over the crowd, missing a huge part of the experience.

Let your VIPs have a shot. Brides, grooms, and other VIPs will love shooting their guests with the cryo gun. It will also make for amazing photos that really show how fun your events can be.

Facing Venue Objections:

While cryo guns have been around for years and years in the clubs, the concept is still just catching on at weddings and private events. Some venues may refer to your “fog machine” or “smoke machine” and say that it isn’t allowed. It’s important to know that the Cryo Gun is simply compressed air and will not set off any alarms unless blasted directly on the alarm sensor.

Have a BLAST at your events, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

The owner of DQB Entertainment in Dallas, Dan Quinn once pranked the kids in his DJ School by informing them that Marshmello and Imagine Dragons had been removed from the library.

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2020 by DJ Publishing, Inc. www.djtimes.com

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