Odyssey FRGS1016WDLX (case) – (installed)
2 x Electro-Voice ELX112P (tops) – (arrives this week)
1 x Electro-Voice ELX118P (sub) – (ready to connect)
Allen & Heath ZED-12FX (mixer) – (arrives this week)
FMR Audio RNC1773 (compressor) – (installed)
VocoPro UHF-5805 (supporting wireless mics) – (installed)
Shure Super 55 (main stage mic) – (ready to connect)
dbx DriveRack PA+ (EQ/Feedback/PA Management) – (arrives early next week)
It’s nothing much to look at right now but it will of course get filled in over the next week!
I am also ordering up some new lights for this rig. Guitar Center sells combo packs of lights with lighting tree stands. I have had good luck with them in my other rigs so I will be dropping by to pick one up this weekend. But I love the lasers!
AmericanDJ Micros Hypnotic (ready to connect)
Chauvet Scorpion GBC 2.0 (arrives early next week)
Chauvet Scorpion RGY (arrives early next week)
All this for a karaoke show? Hell yeah!
Here is what I have so far….
Odyssey FRGS1016WDLX (case)
2 x Electro-Voice ELX112P (tops)
Allen & Heath ZED-12FX (mixer)
FMR Audio RNC1773 (compressor)
VocoPro UHF-5805 (supporting wireless mics)
Shure Super 55 (main stage mic)
All that is left is to nail down a dbx DriveRack PA+ and then It is pretty much all set.
I have all the cabling as well as a laptop that is ready to go.
I decided to go with the smaller ELX112P main PA’s because 1) cheaper, 2) smaller/weigh less. The smaller 12” dome should actually deliver tighter bass when couple with the ELX118P sub.
I also decided to go with the ZED-12FX over the ZED-60-10FX because of the Mic inserts on the 12FX supporting TRS jacks. This makes bypassing for effects units and the RNC1773 very simple.
Will show pics of the build out over the next week!
Today I received my brand new Odyssey FRGS1016WDLX case! I have had my eyes on this case for about 2 years now. The sliding platform on top for a laptop is what initially sold me. But now that I have it put together, the front panel conversion to a side table that can be used on either side of the rig is also very slick.
My plan is to drop a ZED60-10FX in the top slant along with a DMX lighting controller. Then add a power conditioner, dbx DriveRack PA+, RNC 1773 compressor, wireless mic receiver and drawers for the rest of my karaoke gear.
For more info and specs on the case – Odyssey FRGS1016WDLX
Over the years, hundreds of karaoke music companies have come and gone. Some were only around for a short while, others have been (or were) around for 20+ years. Some have made great music while others…..not so much.
My karaoke library has over 50 brands in it. Some of those brands are just rebrands of exactly the same music so there is really a fair amount of duplication. I have to admit though that there are a bunch of those brands I have never actually used or plan on using unless they have a song that doesn’t exist on any other brand.
I have my favorite brands:
Sound Choice – This is my go to brand for rock, classic rock, alternative, and most pop music from the 80’s on.
Chartbuster/Digitrax/Karaoke Cloud – Country, some pop music.
Pop Hits Monthly/Stellar Records – Rock, classic rock, alternative, urban and some pop music
Karaoke Version – New releases across all genres
Zoom/Sunfly/SBI – New releases across all genres
The other 45+ brands in my library could honestly be dumped and my singers probably wouldn’t miss them. They are there only because I acquired a bunch of discs in a package and ripped them in just in case there was a track that didn’t exist anywhere else.
Karaoke Hosts: Do you have a go to brand or brands that you use? Maybe you like a brand for a particular genre or time period of music?
Singers: Do you have favorite brands? Do you even notice the brands? Do you care?
First – My previous post – A request for the singers…. – has seen more activity than any other post I have made…. whopping 43 views. That is more than double my next highest viewed post. Thank you!
Second – It has been been brought to my attention by one (and only one reader) that what I wrote is quite possibly not what I meant. The exact accusation was this –
“What you are REALLY asking is for singers to become your business partner and personal “karaoke cops” and punish an establishment (who usually doesn’t know or care about the music source).” – Source: Another karaoke host in a Facebook forum
That isn’t what I am asking for at all. What I am asking for is for singers to care about the integrity of the hosts they support.
I do not under any circumstances feel singers should become policemen for the karaoke industry.
I know t is absolutely unrealistic for me to think that singers are going to care about anything more than a good song selection, how fast the rotation is, how easy it is to get to/from the bar, and how good the drink specials are. I have been doing karaoke for 20+ years and to this day, those are the primary factors in what karaoke bar I go to. That is just how karaoke works.
I don’t believe for a moment that my post will result in a hoard of singers asking hosts across the world “How do you get your music”?” or “Is all of your karaoke music stolen?” (I wouldn’t recommend phrasing it that way anyway…). Chances are, with only 43 views, exactly zero singers will ask a host how they have acquired their music.
Truth be told, there are some fantastic hosts with kick ass, fun, well attended karaoke shows. The only downside is they stole their music.
Should anyone care about that?
I know singers generally don’t care that much about the source of a KJ’s music. As long as we have what a singer wants to sing, they are happy. But did you know that karaoke music is the single largest expense for a legitimate karaoke host? The sound and lights are miniscule compared to legally acquiring the music it takes to provide a broad selection of desirable tracks.
The retail cost for buying a single karaoke track runs about $2.00 (and sometimes more) per song. To buy a full disc of tracks that contains 10-15 songs can cost a KJ between $10 and $30 dollars depending on the vendor we buy from.
That is for new music. For older music, we can get much of the cheaper buy buying old karaoke discs on eBay, through Craigslist, or from other KJ’s that are downsizing or getting out of the business. All of these means of acquiring karaoke music are perfectly legal so long as what is being bought and sold are the original manufacturers discs or storage media. Buying karaoke on a loaded hard drive, USB memory sticks, burned CD’s and DVD’s is illegal. However, even the buying the music legally in the after market can costs thousands of dollars. And we still have to buy new requested music at current day retail pricing to satisfy our singers.
Because the cost of music is so high, some KJ’s cut corners by illegally downloading karaoke music from various sites on the Internet. They buy (and sometimes sell) loaded hard drives that have literally 200,000+ karaoke songs on then for as little as $250 dollars. Much of the karaoke music on these drives was produced many, many years ago and only by certain vendors. Pioneer was famous for the LaserDisc karaoke videos that show the videos in the back ground. Those laserdiscs sold for up to $180 a piece back in the early 90′s and some of them only had 8 songs on them! If we just simplify the math and say every karaoke song costs only .50 cents, that would mean the 200,000 tracks on those hard drives should be selling for $100,000. As they say, if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
It isn’t easy for anyone to tell if a host is legally acquiring their music these days. Most hosts (including my company) buy new music in MP3+G format and have “ripped” or otherwise converted older karaoke music to a format that we can play with a computer. There are lots of benefits from doing this –
It’s a lot easier to carry a laptop and maybe an external hard drive than it is to manage one or more disc players and carry hundreds if not thousands of discs around to every show.
Discs get damaged, lost, stolen pretty easily. In the case of the old Pioneer LaserDiscs and many other defunct manufacturers, that music is not replaceable in any form (unless it is pirated).
Computerized systems are easier to back up and restore too. Many hosts carry a spare laptop in case their primary fails allowing the shows to go on. Even if we don’t have a spare, we can sometime borrow a laptop or even run to a store to buy one. Karaoke disc players are a bit more specialized so having an on hand spare is a requirement.
So what you will see is that even though computers and technology have made it much simpler and convenient for legal hosts to run their shows, it also has made it very easy for unscrupulous karaoke hosts to do the same. These hosts can get started and maintain operations in the industry for a fraction of the cost that a legitimate host can. In some cases, because the pirate hosts have significantly lower overhead, they can undercut a legitimate host and drive them out of a show by offering the venue a discounted price. This puts a lot of pressure on honest, hardworking host to stay competitive. Speaking only for myself, I cannot compete with a host that is willing to work for $50/night and a bar tab. I can’t even compete against someone that charges twice that. Anyone that can work for that kind of rate does not have the same kind of investment in their equipment and music that legitimate hosts do. It just isn’t possible.
I would like to encourage karaoke singers, particularly those in my area of Seattle, to support karaoke hosts that actually paid for all of their music. It can be an uncomfortable thing to ask a karaoke host if they actually pay for their music. Hosts that do should not be offended by this question. In fact, they should be happy to prove anyway they can that they have paid for all of the karaoke music they use at their events. Again, speaking for my company only, I am happy to show not only the original discs I have stored at home, but the certifications I have received from several karaoke manufactures demonstrating that I am in compliance.
Please….. support honest, hardworking, legal karaoke companies and hosts. In my experience you will find that these hosts are dedicated to what they do, treat their singers with respect, and support the industry by supporting the artists and karaoke song manufacturers that give us the great songs we get to sing.
….were you gone?
It has been about 8 months since I had any activity on the blog. There have been a few people stumble on the blog and left comments in that time, all of which I read when they were posted, I just didn’t have the motivation to respond.
In the past 8 months, my own karaoke journey has been quite eventful…
I lost a gig over a pay dispute. I walked away from a gig because I felt the owner didn’t understand what it took to build a karaoke show. I have been discouraged over the low pay and poor quality shows venues are looking for and seem to be happy with. I took some big risks which have paid off. I took some big risks that have not. I have spent a lot of time contemplating the future of karaoke and where my place is in the industry. I have managing a very active full time day job while trying to grow my own karaoke operations on the side. To say I have been busy would be a tremendous understatement. Throughout all of this, what has kept me going are the singers, my enjoyment of seeing people have a good time singing, and….my wife.
I want to get back to blogging about karaoke. More importantly, I want to focus on the positive aspects of karaoke. I have wasted too much time in the last 2 years engaging with people on a negative level. By this I mean that I have allowed myself to be drawn into discussions that go nowhere by people that I don’t feel could possibly enjoy karaoke, much less being a host. I feel I have become very judgmental of some of the folks I have engaged with to the point that I just can’t imagine they could be remotely successful as a host given the interactions I have with them online and in person. But the fact is, many of them are quite successful. We simply disagree at a fundamental level about certain aspects of the industry. We always will. Neither side will change the other’s view. So it is truly pointless to argue the points. Even this paragraph started off trying to be positive and ended up giving too much time to the blah.
I want to promote the positive aspects of karaoke. The fun, the camaraderie, the enjoyment of music and singing. The showmanship, the entertainment, the nervous anticipation of getting in front of a crowd for the first time (or the 50th!). All of that is fun and enjoyable. It is a good time and that is what I feel karaoke is and should be all about.
I will have to blog about the negative from time to time though. There just won’t be any avoiding it in my opinion. Piracy, theft, backstabbing, undercutting, crappy hosts, crappy shows (that latter three a direct result of the previous three)….they are a reality we have to address in our industry. But I think the positive outweighs the negative and so there will be much more focus on the good.
So in closing…..
There is a reason why I named my karaoke business “Feel Good Productions”. Karaoke is something we should all feel good about. So let’s feel good about karaoke and have a positive discussion about it!