the very best of old and new:
If we have been scheduled to provide karaoke at your venue using your house PA system (instead of bringing our own), whether by yourself or by a client of yours to whom you've offered use of your house PA as a term of the booking, or if you have offered use of your stage to your client's guests as a term of the booking, then PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:
If you or your staff are unfamiliar with karaoke, you should be aware of what it means. Karaoke IS the guests performing. The guests will be the people doing the singing, from your stage or the staging area you've set aside for them. So if you've rented your space to a party and told them they can use your stage for karaoke, please take more than the usual safety precautions you normally would when hosting stage performances.
Professional singers and musicians may be used to working with cords underfoot and lots of equipment crowding them to the edge of the stage -- but your guests are not. None of us want to see anyone tripping and falling off stage!
So please CLEAR the stage before the event. If there was a performer, band, or DJ the night before, please remind them to follow standard business practice and REMOVE their gear and leave the stage clear for the next performer. They won't want the guests fiddling with their stuff anyway. We at Sonic Lizard WILL NOT TOUCH OR MOVE THEIR EQUIPMENT.
If stairs are not built into your stage, please provide safe and adequate riser steps for your guests. Guests come in all sizes, and a wide variety of ages. Some of them wear high heels. Some of them will be drinking alcohol. Rickety, wobbly, narrow steps are okay for us sound techs, we're expendable, but don't expect your varied guests to be safe (or comfortable) using them!!!
- Please TELL YOUR STAFF karaoke is coming. Someone must be on hand to not only let us in, but they must also be a knowledgeable individual familiar enough with your PA to know where the amp and/or mixer are located, and give us access to them as needed. We normally arrive at least ONE HOUR BEFORE the event start time -- please tell your staff to expect us.
- You don't really have a PA system if you don't have a MIXER -- but fear not, we bring and use our own pro mixer, so just a partial PA system consisting of a power amp and main speakers will do fine. If you have a mixer, we will patch through it (only one free pair of stereo inputs required) otherwise we will have to plug our mixer directly into your amp. Combination mixer/amps are quite popular these days, and normally have more than the single pair of stereo inputs we'd need.
- Either way, your component that our mixer plugs into MUST be within about 6 feet of where we will be sitting to run the show, so it cannot be located behind the bar or in the manager's office or any great distance away. Near one end of the stage is ideal. We will also be setting up our two laptop computers right next to our mixer, and running the show from that spot. There has to be surface space to set up both our mixer and the computers next to it, or room for us to set up a 2x6 foot utility table for that purpose.
- Our mic cables will run from our mixer to our microphones, and a TV cable will run from our computer to a TV we set up directly in front of the singers' mics. Picture the mic cables, video cable, and TV extension cord running from where you have us set up to where the mic stands will be (see diagram at bottom of page). If that crosses the dance floor, a service aisle, or a busy foot traffic area, then the component of your system that we're patching into is in the wrong place and will have to be moved to a workable location before we arrive!
- Again, your mixer must have at least one free pair of 1/4" stereo inputs (or 2 free mono inputs) that take standard 1/4" mono (TS) sound cables. (In a pinch, we can also use stereo RCA inputs.) We only use your mixer to patch through to your amp, doing the actual sound mixing on our own console (which features compressors on each mic channel as well as mid-range sweeps and all the inputs and outputs we may need.)
- We also use our own mics, mic stands and mic cables, so yours needn't be out or onstage.
- If your guests will be singing from your stage, PLEASE HAVE IT CLEARED before we arrive, both for the safety reasons given above, and because WE will need room to setup the mic stands and the TV on stage, as well as a floor monitor and some lighting.
- When you are providing the PA (that is, the power amp, main speakers, and speaker cables), we are bringing everything else needed for karaoke. That includes mics and mic cables, mic stands, extension cords, power strips, the TV that will go in front of the singers, the floor monitor speaker, the laptop computers that hold and play the karaoke tracks over your PA, and the song books.
- We take about an hour and a quarter to pack up and remove our gear after the party. If you need us out the door to either lock up or turn over the room for another event, please talk with your client regarding the end time of their party and karaoke.
HERE IS A GENERAL LAYOUT WITH EVERYTHING ON A MEDIUM SIZE STAGE. THE HOUSE MAINS WOULD ALREADY BE INSTALLED IN THIER PERMANENT LOCATIONS. THE HOUSE AMP AND/OR MIXER COULD BE BEHIND THE HOST, IN THE CORNER, ETC., AS LONG AS IT'S WITHIN ABOUT 6 FEET OF THE HOST'S MIXER. NOTE THE CABLE RUNS FROM THE HOSTS TABLE TO THE SINGING AREA.
THE HOSTS COULD BE POSITIONED FURTHER FROM THE SINGERS, EVEN OFF STAGE, BUT THEN THE CABLE RUNS WOULD ALSO BECOME LONGER.
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