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Singers & Hosts Wisdom Post how to be a great karaoke singer or host.

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Old December 22nd, 2004, 03:52 PM
BigMike BigMike is offline
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Location: Central Oregon
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Re: The reality of Karaoke?

I come from both sides of this. I am mainly a singer but as much as I go out I have several DJs that have become friends of mine so if they are in a pinch they call me to KJ for them.

The bigest key for sounding good is to leave the area of your equipment and venture out through the audiance. Use this time to mingle with them, get to know how everyone is liking the show and listen to your sound. Nothing annoys me more then to go to the same place with the same equipment and KJ and have different sounds on the same song you sing.

One thing that was mentioned that caught my attention was the singer saying I can't hear myself. Where I go I have to tell the KJ I can't hear myself once in a while. it is the same system and setup but the settings change and he doesn't notice it. I hate having to say something because I know he takes it personally but lets face it if you can't hear yourself you can't always sound as good as you can.

On the same subject if you know the singer is drunk and roughty be at your system with your hand on the volume. Nothing is more irritating then a singer wooting and screaming into the Mic and the KJ no where near the system. nine times out of ten I can see who is going to be yelling and screaming into the Mic. I shouldn't have to swollow the Mic so I can hear myself but I also shouldn't have to plug my ears when someone screams in the Mic.

As for singing while you are the KJ I think the first singer should always be the KJ and it should mark the begining of the rotation. I try to be to a Karaoke show a half hour before it starts so I can be close to the first singer and I like to know I am 2 or three after the KJ.

Now I have a question about rotation. Nothing bothers me more then watching someone walk in at 11:45 and walk right up and sing. By that time I have been waiting to sing for two and a half hours and they walk right in and sing. The KJ writes down the singers name as they walk in and if we are near the end of the list and they walk in the sing right away. When I KJ I place new arivals in places where other singers have left or at the end of the list but then I am doing the same thing. I feel bad for the people who came in at 10:00 and waited an hour and 45 minutes only to have someone walk in the bar and sing 5 minutes later. I have no answer for this, any suggestions?

One more Idea I had and I need an opinion on. I believe the people there for the whole night should be treated a little more special then the in and out customers so I thought of a way to treat them better but have never tried it. Karaoke starts at 9:00 and runs until 2:00 on the weekend here. I wanted to reward the all nighters by letting the early comers sing one more song and here is how I wanted to do it. The list starts at 9:00 at 10:00 I draw a line under the last singer. When the rotation comes to that line I go back to the begining of the list and the rotation begins again. I would have this on a Flyer in several places that says we appreciate the people who are here all night for Karaoke and this is how it is done blah blah kind of thing. This way the people who are there from 9-10 get to sing one more song and the rotation will continue after that. As long as I stick to that rule I feel it is fair. What do you guys think
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 06:46 PM
DJYale DJYale is offline
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Re: The reality of Karaoke?

The subject of last minute singers is one that kind of has to be handled carefully for fairness.

Personal policy, new singers are no different than singers at the start of the night. When the night begins, people go in to the rotation in the order they come up. As the night progresses, new singers go at the end of the rotation. No exceptions.

If someone does the "Aw, c'mon, I just camer in to do a quick one then I'm outta here." Politely explain that it wouldn't be fair to the people who have been waiting a while to sing, but if he/she would like you can put them in the rotation at the appropriate spot. (Appropriate spot being a polite way of saying at the end of the line as has been hapening with new singers the whole night)
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 07:14 PM
GuyMonroe GuyMonroe is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
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Singers: To understand what a singer needs in a mix is simple. As a general rule, make sure your soloist has an advantage over the accompanyment. If the loudest level were let's say a 5, keep the music at a 4 and the vocalist at a 5, (unless you wish to bury an unattractive sound). The same mistake usually occurs with bands as well. The majority of sound people at the mixing board in my observation at best set the vocals at the same level as the instrumentation. (even when an amazing vocalist is present) at that point, attempting to hear the soloist, Its like watching a drowning man or woman fighting to keep his or her head above the water, doing battle with bass, drums, lead guitar, saxaphone, etc. Be kind. Please permit the soloist to shine by offer musical support at a lesser volume than they are presenting.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 07:36 PM
mlepine mlepine is offline
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You are soooo right! Why is the singer in front of the musicians on stage? It's like mixing two tracks, the vocal track should be at least 1db louder then the music! Good advice!
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:28 AM
Lauraine Graham- with the Lord Lauraine Graham- with the Lord is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: even nearer Littlehampton in West Sussex, England
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AT LAST!!! Someone with a bit of mixing savvy. Well done, Mr Monroe. As a singer, ex-pro and now karaoke, I have always battled with those in charge of the mixing. If you don't want to listen to me why invite me to perform?

very best wishes and good luck to you.
Lauraine graduated from her earthly life in July, 2010. We will all miss our "Damsel in Distress". She was an excellent Beta Tester, and a wonderful, dear friend across the pond.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 11:29 AM
webbsc webbsc is offline
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Location: Deer Creek, IL
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I agree, that for the most part, some KJ's out there do lack mixing savvy. As a KJ if you want great sound, aside from your mixer and speakers, you need a graphic equalizer dedicated to your Main (audience) mix, and also a graphic equalizer dedicated to your monitor (singer) mix. I also recommend investing in a compressor (you can get these from behringer for around $100 or less.) A compressor will save your speakers from the great "rockers" out there who think it's cool to scream and hoot and holler over the mic at the end of the night.

I am a professional musician and a music education major and have performed with almost every national country artist out there. I have been a KJ/DJ for about 6 years. I think that some people are really stuck on having to have the best "Primo" equipment when they go to sing Karaoke. Really, unless you are a huge audio professional, the technology has come so far in the last few years, that even the super low end microphones of today sound pretty good. As a KJ that has to announce things all night, like who the next singer is, drink specials, etc., it is imperative that I have a microphone that works well throught the entire night. In my set up, I have two wireless sm-58's for the singers, and I use a sennheiser wireless in the back of the room for myself. The Sennheiser sounds way better to me than the wireless 58's, but the main reason I use it when I sing, is that it is already mixed to my voice so I can sing my song quickly without having to mix and sing at the same time as much. There are some places that have their own equipment and I end up using the same mic as the singers, and this makes it more difficult, as the mic level is changing from every song.
That is why mixing the sound for karaoke is so challenging, not only is the gain and volume and EQ different for every song, but also, you are changing singers for the entire night. As a KJ, I work hard and pride myself on trying to have the best sound possible, and am always purchasing new equipment to help me in that regard. I know where Mike D is coming from when he says that the "serious singer" is a pain in the ass. Not that we don't want people who are great singers to come to our shows. I think the truly great singers are the one's who get up and sing their song and perform, if they miss a note, so be it. I get tired of the people who get up and say,"this is my first time singing this", and I really get peeved at the people who constantly try to tell me what to do with the mix. I have one guy who must have a lot of hearing loss as he comes in and while he is singing, he basically wants all the high sounds cranked and no bass and no mid range....and I am not sounds horrible....but if I don't do this he will ride me for the entire song. I think the main reason these "serious singers" ride the KJ about the mix or reverb is to try to cover for when they make a's not star search so if you hit a wrong note so be with it and don't blame the KJ.
Another thing that makes making a good mix really hard at Karaoke is when you get all these people coming to your DJ booth or wherever you are set up and they feel like they need to camp out there and tell you their life's story or complain about a bad singer, etc. Or they want to badger you about the rotation...or it's 15 minutes til closing time and they want to know why they can't get in the rotation that's been waiting all night and think that if they are a pain enough that you can get in "just one more song". the KJ.... instead of doing my job and mixing the music and the singer...I am attending to this person's need for attention, etc. Usually these people are the karaoke "stars" that have been travelling from bar to bar to sing and "tour" all night.

So my main thing about karaoke is if you are going to be a "KJ" get out and try to have the best sound that you can get. But, don't go out until you have all the necessary components in your system and a good knowledge of how it all works. Second, to all the singers out there, give the KJ a break on the mix and that, just try to go out and have fun...the KJ is definitely not going to their show to not sound good, but cut them a break as going out and blowing off some steam at a karaoke show is much cheaper than therapy.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 02:25 PM
gotrich gotrich is offline
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Location: Hebrom IN
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microphone first

I always take the first 30 seconds and mix the personas song on my mackie DFX 12. Best mixer I have had yet. I have tried many others and Mackie RULES. I use the 12 channel cause sometimes guys will bring a guitar or instrument like a harmonica and plug into a channel..its really AWESOME.

When a singer starts I tell the person sitting with me to wait a moment and i put my hand on the mixer I remove my hand when i think they are good. THen I talk to the person sitting there. I am still very approachable and people come up to me all the time becasue as we know they dont use slips anymore since hoster..LOL
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Old September 7th, 2006, 11:41 PM
Reda Lou Reda Lou is offline
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What sounds good to one person may not sound good to another! Just like taste in food. Trust your audience and singers along with your own instincts and don't let one person that hates the sound make you feel bad because there may be 50 others that love it. Even KJ's taste in sound varies.... I had a band sound man help me. At some time in your career theres bound to be one come to your show. Good Luck with your dilema.
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