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

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  #1  
Old July 25th, 2006, 04:04 PM
planet_bill planet_bill is offline
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Getting Started

I'm surprised to find there is no section on 'Getting Started' or 'Equipment' either in the forums or on the support site. For us clueless Newbies this is a must. I'd like to recommend such a section be added. With that said...

I am starting out and considering buying Hoster as a newbie KJ. I am pc literate and build pc's occasionally. However regarding the way to hook up and use a software like Hoster with a computer and other audio equipment I'm not very knowledgeable at all. I'd really appreciate members' and admin opinions on the following things:

1) What required and recommended equipment is there in order to run a karaoke show using Hoster? (Please include wattage recommendations of speakers, amps, and mixers and possibly brands).

2) What connections are needed? (For instance what plugs into the computer? Do we just plug audio out using a single plug from the computer into an amplifier or mixer? Where do singer mics plug in? Do they connect to computer mic input or mixer input? Does basically everything plug into the mixer (i.e. computer, speakers, mics)?

3) Does Hoster have to be run from a notebook computer? If I built a small and compact, portable desktop type computer shouldn't that work just as well or better? These are sometimes created for portable lan party gaming. My thoughts here are that graphics and sound cards for desktops are much better and more robust than any notebook computers.

4) Is the type of soundcard going to make an enormous difference? (I assume it makes some difference, and there is a minimum type of soundcard to use).

5) Where do you recommend purchasing equipment, and about how much does it run?

This is about all I can think of off the top of my head. Thanks and I look forward to feedback.
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  #2  
Old July 25th, 2006, 10:21 PM
Ron Vermillion Ron Vermillion is offline
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I'm certainly not a KJ but I just bought Hoster and set it up on an existing HP Pavilion Laptop. It works fine. The drive in the laptop would import about 90% of the tracks off of a CD+G and mess up a couple. I had an extra external USB drive laying around and I hooked it up and it worked 100%.

I'm a guitar picker and am using Hoster to get ready to do one man performances. I have a Yamaha Stagepas 300 PA system which is designed to just be a small portable PA. I purchased a Xitel HiFi Link which plugs into the USB port on the laptop and terminates in two RCA jacks which go into a stereo channel on the PA.

http://www.xitel.com/product_hfl.htm

For a $49 attachment I think it sounds just fine. I'm a fair hand at the computer stuff too, and I think your idea about a small lan party gaming quality machine would be the killer deal. Most everyone uses a laptop because they aren't into the small lan party type desktops. I agree, and if I was buying a laptop specifically for Hoster I'd get the MTU ruggedized laptops. This forum is full of stories about drunks stumbling into the equipment and crowded rooms of people stepping on and falling over all sorts of stuff. Eventually the laptop is going to take a tumble. If that wasn't around I'd go for an alienware laptop to get the power and sound card.

I really like Hoster, and for what I'm doing it's like cheating.

If you are totally in the dark about a sound system, call the guys at www.sweetwater.com or go to your local professional music store and check out the sound systems there. You will need some idea what size of venue you will be performing in. www.carvin.com has a great little two box amp and extension speaker sound system too. The size of the room and crowd size you are planning on performing for will determine your needs for a sound system. The little rig I have would only be good for a small club or pub setting.

If you want to go small don't overlook a small keyboard amp which will have two or three channels and produce a wide range of sound, unlike a guitar amp which will project mostly mid-range and a bass amp that is full range but emphasizes bottom. Keyboard amps have to do it all. A couple of little Hartke keyboard amps hooked up together on stands would be hard to beat for a small sound system. But for professional use you would want to get a professional PA powered mixer.

Ron
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  #3  
Old July 26th, 2006, 12:34 AM
ddouglass ddouglass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_bill
I'm surprised to find there is no section on 'Getting Started' or 'Equipment' either in the forums or on the support site. For us clueless Newbies this is a must. I'd like to recommend such a section be added. With that said...

I am starting out and considering buying Hoster as a newbie KJ. I am pc literate and build pc's occasionally. However regarding the way to hook up and use a software like Hoster with a computer and other audio equipment I'm not very knowledgeable at all. I'd really appreciate members' and admin opinions on the following things:

1) What required and recommended equipment is there in order to run a karaoke show using Hoster? (Please include wattage recommendations of speakers, amps, and mixers and possibly brands).
As Ron said, the equipment you use depends on the size of the venue. The bigger the place the bigger the amplifier and speakers need to be. The best way to get an idea of what to use would be to visit some of your local karaoke shows and see what equipment they are using, listen to it and see if you think they have a good quality sound or not. The other thing you can do is surf the web for karaoke and check out the equipment they sell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_bill
2) What connections are needed? (For instance what plugs into the computer? Do we just plug audio out using a single plug from the computer into an amplifier or mixer? Where do singer mics plug in? Do they connect to computer mic input or mixer input? Does basically everything plug into the mixer (i.e. computer, speakers, mics)?
Essentially the computer takes the place of the cdg player. You will need speakers of course, an amplifier, a mixer, microphones and a tv/monitor. Many manufacturers make combination mixer-amplifier units or you can go with separate units.
The mixer is the central hub of the system tying the audio from the computer and the audio from the microphones together. Most can also handle multiple input devices. I personally still have one of my cdg players in my system to use for singer's personal disks, so I use 2 input devices. Karaoke mixers will also handle the pass-through of the video from those multiple input devices. The microphones plug into the mixer and the output (all audio mixed) goes to the amplifier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_bill
3) Does Hoster have to be run from a notebook computer? If I built a small and compact, portable desktop type computer shouldn't that work just as well or better? These are sometimes created for portable lan party gaming. My thoughts here are that graphics and sound cards for desktops are much better and more robust than any notebook computers.
Hoster can run from any computer that meets the minimum requirements as established in the FAQ pages about Hoster. Many use laptops for the portability. Personally I prefer a desktop for the flexability of being able to choose exactly what I want in it. One of my systems is a mini-tower that is a heavy-duty case with handles on top and the other is a small cube type case. The cube has video set up to be able to output to four screens and have something different on every screen, so yes it is very flexible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_bill
4) Is the type of soundcard going to make an enormous difference? (I assume it makes some difference, and there is a minimum type of soundcard to use).
Yes the type of soundcard can make a big difference. A ten dollar sound card will give you a ten dollar sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_bill
5) Where do you recommend purchasing equipment, and about how much does it run?
I would recommend shopping around. There are many online sales companies selling sound and karaoke equipment so surf! When you find the equipment in the online stores, go to the manufacturer's websites and checkout the equipment you are looking at. A good source is always EBay and other online auctions, but be cautious and check the sellers feedback to see if they have a good rating.

Good luck and Happy Karaoking!
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  #4  
Old July 26th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Ron Vermillion Ron Vermillion is offline
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Another Thought about PA Systems

I already noted that I'm using the little Yamaha Stagepas 300 PA system, but here is something that might be of interest. Particuarly if you arent into amplifiers & live audio and all that.

I wanted a very small portable PA but I didn't really want any of the ones I saw that pack up into a case. The speaker shapes look wierd to me and the mixer winds up looking like the back side of a plastic cooler or something so I chose the Stagepas. It just looks like a small PA and has an optional suitcase roller carrier.

It has a powered mixer with 4 mike and 2 stereo line imputs. More than I would ever need. Someone else mentioned amount of inputs so DO think about what all you are going to run into the mixer. For me this was OK. Now I have a 300 w (150 per side) powered mixer and two small speakers that all sound OK at acceptable sound levels and in venues where two speakers are good enough. Think medium sized restaurant or pub. This rig is not going to stall anyone's pacemaker or peel the chrome off of a pickup truck out in the parking lot, but it's OK for a solo guy that is probably not going to do any large buildings. It's semi-useless outdoors except that I have played one neighborhood block party outdoors with no complaints except that I thought it was underpowered.

OK - The neat thing about this little rig is that we now have access to powered speakers. Years ago the amp or powered mixer had to drive the speakers. Now you can get powered speakers that have their own amplifier in them and you just have to send them a signal. Pardon my low tech audio description, but the powered speakers work just like a guitar amp. Plug in a signal and turn them up. Some of them also have a EQ on board and most all of them will allow you to daisy chain them together and run cords from speaker to speaker.

My little powered mixer has not only outputs that are powered to drive the speakers, but it also has stereo line outs are designed to run to powered monitors or speakers.

With this little unit I can use my 150 w powered mixer and two small speakers and if Eric Clapton calls and wants me to provide the sound system for the football stadium I can send a signal to powered speakers (which I do not yet need or own) and could daisy chain dozens of powered speakers together OR run a signal into a larger PA house system from my little system. The line out makes it ultra expandable.

The only limit at that point is the number of imputs.

For not much more $ than the unit I have you can get a larger powered mixer and larger speakers. I just wanted the portablity of the smaller system. I can set it up in a floor space of 2ft x 2 ft. If I had to.

Just thought the powered speaker thing was worth mentioning.

Ron
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  #5  
Old July 26th, 2006, 12:46 PM
djmadmaxx djmadmaxx is offline
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Talking

Look at Carvins PM15a's fior powered speakers. They are awesome! www.carvin.com

350 watt bi-amped, time aligned 2-way 15" cabinets with 3 band eq (sweepable mids). around $350 each
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  #6  
Old August 6th, 2006, 07:21 PM
planet_bill planet_bill is offline
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Thanks guys I really appreciate it. This is enough to at least get me started and dispell the confusion.

Bill
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  #7  
Old August 6th, 2006, 09:33 PM
Ron Vermillion Ron Vermillion is offline
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You are more than welcome. I'd start by trying to decide what type and size venue you would be playing most of the time. Other than cost, you can also get into big systems that take a Mac Truck to move.

Ron
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