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Thread: Parade Float

  1. #1
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    Parade Float

    I am clueless when it comes to DJ equipment and am hoping to get some advice on getting started on building a setup for my wife's parade float. We participate in multiple Latin parades each year. We are playing music for a Peruvian dance group (30-150 dancers) that follows the float. There is a need for microphones (preferably wireless) as well. The music is normally coming from a cellphone. However, other options/suggestions are welcome.

    The hope would be to build this in phases as we have the finances for it. I believe my starting budget is $600-1000.

  2. #2
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    Hey welcome to DjForums

    I am not sure about your budget, because I have a question, do you already own a PA system? A $1000 is a bit tight to get something working with wireless microphones, that said I'm not from Washington so what do I know about local prices. It also depends on your specific needs regarding the DJ gear. Playing from a phone is usually a no-no, but what the hell I have done it before. That said I do recommend using another device to provide a much better sound signal.

    I am moving this thread to Digital tools so you get more attention, as obviously you need some input on the mics as well, maybe some of the big boys are going to chime in.
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  3. #3
    When you say "starting budget" does that mean 600-1000 for phase one? What's your total budget do you think.. if the whole project by the time you are done costs you $3000, is that insane, or something you could handle?

    And.. does this money have to pay for the generator as well? Because you are going to need a good generator.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 10-17-2021 at 10:03 PM.

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    I have been doing a caribean parade float with a DJ customer of mine for a few years, I just provide the sound system and generator and he sources the truck and uses his Pioneer DDJ controller and laptop that he regularly DJs with. The sound system I provide for this is a 6kw passive rig consisting of double 15 mains and double 18 subs, it gets plenty loud but it's not the biggest or loudest rig at this event, but not the smallest either. I have also done a smaller float for another parade with powered speakers... two 12" tops and one 18" sub, and in that case we had one of the biggest sound systems, many of the other floats used one of those all-in-one PA systems like the Yamaha Stagepas. Those small PA systems are really too small to project sound very far outdoors... especially when there are a bunch of other systems blasting away in close proximity, the sound just gets lost in all that background noise.
    So the bottom line is it's probably going to cost a lot more than you think to buy the right equipment for this, so renting should be considered if at all possible. With a 2kw inverter generator, a small mixer and laptop, and a cheap wireless mic added to the powered speakers in that "small" system I mentioned above you're looking at about $5k total cost.
    Last edited by conanski; 10-19-2021 at 11:33 PM.
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    Thanks for the replies!

    The starting budget would be $600-1000. I think the goal is to stay around ~$2500 if possible.

    We have access to a 5kW and 6kW generator. I have a laptop.

    The wireless mics can be phase 2 or 3.

    It doesn't need to be the biggest system for sure. It needs to be loud enough that the dance group can hear it though.

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    I started with a pair of Alto 15" powered speakers, decent sound for the money, you could get by with one to begin with, about $400. An inexpensive mixer can be had for under $100, wired mics are not terribly expensive.

    For power there are several options. Most generators are extremely loud, I would consider power off of the tow vehicle if available, my '16 F150 had a 120v/400w plug in the dash that would easily run 2 powered speakers, and the mixer, or you could run an inverter on the tow vehicle, a 300W is $40 on Amazon. Another option is a battery power pack, I just bought a 240W Jackery that will also easily run the equipment mentioned, plus another speaker, $160.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
    I started with a pair of Alto 15" powered speakers, decent sound for the money, you could get by with one to begin with, about $400. An inexpensive mixer can be had for under $100, wired mics are not terribly expensive.

    For power there are several options. Most generators are extremely loud, I would consider power off of the tow vehicle if available, my '16 F150 had a 120v/400w plug in the dash that would easily run 2 powered speakers, and the mixer, or you could run an inverter on the tow vehicle, a 300W is $40 on Amazon. Another option is a battery power pack, I just bought a 240W Jackery that will also easily run the equipment mentioned, plus another speaker, $160.
    How does Alto compare to Ectro-Voice. I had been told Elctro-Voice was a good brand speaker. Is it better to go with a set of 12' and a 18" sub, or a set of 15" and an 18" sub? I also was told that Peavy is a good brand. I was looking at a 6 channel mixer by them for ~$150.

    There are so many brands, and I have no idea was is considered good, and what is considered junk.

  8. #8
    A 12" top with a sub is better than a 15" top with a sub.
    15" and 18" speakers are for low frequencies. Your low frequencies are going through your subwoofer.

    8", 10", and 12" speakers are much better at producing mids than 15" and 18" speakers.
    But the number of US Supreme Court judges was always 6.
    Then it was 5, then 6, then 7, then 9, then 10, then 7, and then 9.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ludvball View Post
    How does Alto compare to Ectro-Voice. I had been told Elctro-Voice was a good brand speaker. Is it better to go with a set of 12' and a 18" sub, or a set of 15" and an 18" sub? I also was told that Peavy is a good brand. I was looking at a 6 channel mixer by them for ~$150.

    There are so many brands, and I have no idea was is considered good, and what is considered junk.
    There is no comparison, but you will have to adjust your budget a lot. I went from Alto to EV, the difference is night and day.

    I run 10" tops, with an 18" sub.

    You have to decide if there is value in running a sub on a float, they do consume a fair amount of space, the trailer is off the ground so you aren't going to get the full potential of the sub, but it will provide significantly more bass.

    A pair of ETX-10's with an ETX-18 is about $4k retail.

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    Okay, Thanks again for more education.

    I am thinking that 12" EV is where I am going to start. I don't think we can budget the ETZ-12 though. I am guessing the ZLX-12 would be too underpowered, but would ELX-12 work? I would have to get the Sub in the 2nd phase. The float is big enough that we could get a sub on there with no issue. I would probably go with the EKX-18.

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