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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Hi all, really glad I found this site. Tons of great info. I've been singing Karaoke for decades and have always thought I did a good job. People would come up to me after I sang a song they liked and tell me they enjoyed it. I sing songs that are in my range even if it means not singing my favorites. Tonight for the first time I heard myself sing on a recording and I was mortified. I was absolutely awful. My wife suprised me on Valentine's Day with the news that she is taking singing lessons so she can sing at Karaoke too. Tonight she asked me to see if there was some way to hook up something to do Karaoke in the Living Room. So I dragged out my XBox One and loaded Karaoke One on to it. Sang 3 songs that I sing regularly and like I said it was just f'n brutal.

So knowing that every song I hear on the radio is heavily processed. Is the stuff the KJ is doing Saturday night when I sing making that much of a difference vs. my XBox One just recording my voice and adding it to the song? The Xbox was just a temporary thing just to have a little fun with, but as of now, I don't ever want to sing in public again. My wife is in tears because she feels like she wrecked something that brought me a ton of happiness. I'm not mad at her for any of this, I just can't sing in public if that's what I really sound like.

I had the green light to actually start looking for some nice gear, mixer, mics, speakers, etc, but now I'm wondering if I should save my money.

This is a serious post, so I'd appreciate some advice from the pros.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:40 pm 
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The worst critics are ourselves - that is something to think about. I know really good singers that cannot STAND to hear themselves.
The seriousness in your post shouldn't be about being good or not, it should be about having fun - bottom line, enjoy it no matter what. I would rather have a bunch of so so singers having a blast and enjoying what they are doing than an entire room of 'good singers' snubbing and looking down on one another (which i've seen in shows all over). You are at least singing in places that are supportive of everyone and that's rare in itself any more these days.
And yes much of what kj's use is pro quality, use effects on vocals and able to process the eq for singers. Singing in your home over an X-Box is not eq'd, effected or anything else. A decent little mixer with built in effects, some decent powered speakers and good quality mic can go A LONG WAY over the XBox toy program. A dry (straight to recording) vocal, I don't care how good you are, will sound like crap IMO. Every single song in recorded history have SOME kind of reverb on the vocals and most live concerts as well. Karaoke is no different in that it's a live singer and needs some effects to smooth out and thicken up the vocals.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:53 pm 
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This is just my personal preference but in knowing that most karaoke tracks are already mixed and mastered, I tend to leave the audio as close to flat as possible (Bass, Mid, Highs all set around 0)

The only thing I have been using is an audio compressor just to balance the volumes between quite and loud tracks. Mixers like the BOSE T4S digital mixer has compression along with many other FX, EQ and processing available for each of the channels so no extra components need to be purchased.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Lonman, as usual, is spot on! Get yourself some decent equipment and sing your butt off. Having fun is priority one when singing karaoke. Simple effects and minor adjustments will make a world of difference. I once bought a cassette of me singing at karaoke in the early nineties and listened to it the following morning with a hangover. I was absolutely mortified at how I sounded and also considered an early retirement from Karaoke.

Thankfully, my wife convinced me to keep up the good fight and here I am running Karaoke shows and having a blast!!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:44 pm 
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x7xHawkx7x, I feel your pain. I am in the same boat as you are. I have never considered myself to be a "singer". However, I enjoy singing and having fun. Like Lonnie says, that is the main objective, to have fun with it. Singing songs in your range is a great place to start and learn how to control your voice and all it's "uniqueness". Starting with some basic gear to be able to practice on will only go so far. The real proof is getting into a "live" setting, with audience and someone who can tweak the board as needed. We are all our own worst enemies, I hate my voice too. But setting that all aside, and just have fun. Let loose and "perform" however you like. In my opinion, singing is mostly about "confidence" and "attitude". The vast majority of the professional singers have spent most of their lives perfecting how to control what we think of as "talent". Yes, there are those people who do have a "gift" of melody, but without practice and confidence, that will only go so far.

My advise is to simply enjoy the ride and don't worry about how "good" or bad you might think you are, just have fun and sing your heart out.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:16 am 
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the words of wisdom. I'm happy to hear that the equipment does have a profound impact on the end result. I get what everyone is saying about having fun no matter what, but that doesn't work for me if I don't feel like people are enjoying me being up on stage singing a song. I just can't be the guy up there where everyone in the crowd is saying to themselves, "Bless his heart".

That being said, I'm deleting the Karaoke One app off my Xbox. LOL. I'm going to invest in some quality gear and keep plugging along. This incident has even helped push the issue higher up on my discretionary spending list.

I know there are older threads out there about quality Home Equipment or even a good starter list of equipment for someone who is interested in venturing into the KJ world. I've done some searches on here for them and not coming up with the right ones apparently. If someone has a couple of the discussions booked marked and could post the link here, I'd really appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:40 am 
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mrscott wrote:
My advise is to simply enjoy the ride and don't worry about how "good" or bad you might think you are, just have fun and sing your heart out.


I'll echo that. In my case, I don't believe many folks have written home about "that OK karaoke host with the great voice". But I sing anyway.

To me, Karaoke is ALL about having FUN.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:47 am 
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Yes, karaoke is supposed to be about having fun. And I encourage that at my shows... BUT...

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was a good singer. It would make the night so much better. Now, if you went to Nashville, any karaoke bar you go to is going to have star quality singers. A true joy to behold. Imagine, listening to people who can actually sing all night.

But, everyplace else we're saddled with people who just can't sing and shouldn't be singing. And even though karaoke is supposed to be about fun, nobody wants to listen to the screamers and the people who can't hold a tune. Because this is what drives people in the bar away.

So yes, it does make the night go so much better when you have good singers in your line up. Otherwise, if I have to listen to really bad singers it makes the night suck. Nobody including the owner, staff, and non singing customers wants to hear that all night. It's like "just shoot me now".

So, just to be clear... everyone is welcome to sing at my shows. I encourage it no matter how good or bad you are. I'm just saying it does make the night so much nicer for everyone when the majority of people can "actually" sing.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:31 am 
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Lonman wrote:
The worst critics are ourselves - that is something to think about. I know really good singers that cannot STAND to hear themselves.


During my professional playing days we recorded almost all live performances dry at the board. I would cringe at every little mistake I heard myself make both vocally, and instrumentally. Even the sound of my own voice would make me want to run and hide sometimes. I was (and still am) my own worst critic, but it was very good for learning!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:05 pm 
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x7xHawkx7x wrote:
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the words of wisdom. I'm happy to hear that the equipment does have a profound impact on the end result. I get what everyone is saying about having fun no matter what, but that doesn't work for me if I don't feel like people are enjoying me being up on stage singing a song. I just can't be the guy up there where everyone in the crowd is saying to themselves, "Bless his heart".

If they aren't enjoying it, they wouldn't tell you anything or applaud at all. Do you applaud singers no matter what? Because they were good? Because they were fun? Because they were done? Doesn't matter. People don't go to karaoke to hear good singers, people go to karaoke to have fun and make friends no matter the quality of singer.

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I know there are older threads out there about quality Home Equipment or even a good starter list of equipment for someone who is interested in venturing into the KJ world. I've done some searches on here for them and not coming up with the right ones apparently. If someone has a couple of the discussions booked marked and could post the link here, I'd really appreciate it.
Need to start with a budget and go from there. Most think they can get into an ok home system for a couple hundred bucks - they would be wrong.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:06 pm 
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Alan B wrote:
Now, if you went to Nashville, any karaoke bar you go to is going to have star quality singers. A true joy to behold. Imagine, listening to people who can actually sing all night.
I call BS, I haven't been to any karaoke bar EVER that held all star quality singers, don't care where you go.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:27 pm 
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Lonman wrote:
Alan B wrote:
Now, if you went to Nashville, any karaoke bar you go to is going to have star quality singers. A true joy to behold. Imagine, listening to people who can actually sing all night.
I call BS, I haven't been to any karaoke bar EVER that held all star quality singers, don't care where you go.

I'm sorry Lonnie but when I was in Nashville for a week in 2017, went to a few karaoke bars and I'm telling you just about every singer was awesome. And they didn't just stand there and sing. They moved around, got the crowd into it and get this... they actually used mic control!

It's not hard to see why since Nashville is considered by many as the music capitol of the world and there certainly is a lot of talent there. It made the night very enjoyable since you knew that everyone was going to sound good. If I had to put a number on it, I would say that 80% were star quality with the remaining 20% good to very good.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:34 pm 
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Fine, but that is far out of the norm. And totally unrelated to the OP's concern.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:21 pm 
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Quote:
I know there are older threads out there about quality Home Equipment or even a good starter list of equipment for someone who is interested in venturing into the KJ world. I've done some searches on here for them and not coming up with the right ones apparently. If someone has a couple of the discussions booked marked and could post the link here, I'd really appreciate it.
Need to start with a budget and go from there. Most think they can get into an ok home system for a couple hundred bucks - they would be wrong.[/quote]


Budget wise, let's start in the $800 - $1000 range with the ability to improve from there. If I'm off on my starting budget, give me a nudge in the right direction.

I have my eye on this mixer. Behringer X AIR XR12 Digital Rackmount Mixer - I already have a wi-fi capable tablet. What is your opinion on picking up a refurbished one with a solid warranty? Saves me about $100
I already have a laptop running Windows 10


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:32 pm 
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Just my opinion, going digital might be a little difficult to learn to make it sound decent right out the gate. But if you are a quick study, then go for it. I prefer analog myself - simply because I hate needing to go through a menu everytime I want to adjust something.

A couple decent powered speakers and decent mic will bring it closer to the $1000 (maybe a tad more) mark.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:35 pm 
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Just snagged a used XR12 in Mint Condition for $160. The guy that runs the band at one of the churches nearby upgraded to the XR18. He was able to hook the 12 back up at the church and verified with me that everything was working and sounding awesome. Really excited to learn about Mixing now. I even got to rip out a really nice "Stand up and shout!" from Steel Dragons when testing the Mic input. \m/ \m/


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:33 pm 
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x7xHawkx7x wrote:
Just snagged a used XR12 in Mint Condition for $160. The guy that runs the band at one of the churches nearby upgraded to the XR18. He was able to hook the 12 back up at the church and verified with me that everything was working and sounding awesome. Really excited to learn about Mixing now. I even got to rip out a really nice "Stand up and shout!" from Steel Dragons when testing the Mic input. \m/ \m/

The beauty is that you can run 4 different effects on the vocals at the same time making them sound even fuller.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:02 pm 
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Lonman wrote:
I prefer analog myself - simply because I hate needing to go through a menu everytime I want to adjust something.

I prefer analog too, for the same reason. Why can't someone make a reasonably priced digital mixer that has the external controls (knobs, sliders, etc.) without having to use a menu system?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:36 pm 
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Well, moving along with gear. I picked up a pair of Harbinger APS-15s. Nothing amazing, but they sound pretty good and they only cost me $100. I went to the local music store and bought fresh cables and a Sennheiser e 835 mic. Managed to figure out how to connect my laptop to the XR-12 and after some back and forth with Google, my wife and I were able to fire up some YouTube karaoke songs to mess around with.

I have so much to learn, but even just turning on some basic vocal presets and adding in a little Vintage Hall, the difference compared to Xbox fiasco was night and day.

Thanks again everyone for the words of advice and encouragement. You're stuck with me now. I'll have plenty of questions about mixing and stuff. If anyone of the KJ Superstars <cough Lonman cough> has any links to past discussions or even to an outside website that can give me some building blocks on mixing I'd be very grateful.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:31 pm 
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Don't connect your laptop via the headphone jack, get a decent USB I/O like the Lexicon Alpha (unless that board has a USB interface already). It will be like replacing a 10 watt light bulb with a 100 watt light bulb.

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