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Thread: Karaoke noob Question re. ME singing?

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    Karaoke noob Question re. ME singing?

    Although I am a DJ of more years than I dare to admit, so not exactly a 'beginner' in this sense, I have been considering trying my hand at karaoke - something where definitely WOULD be quite a novice.

    I have done a couple of fill-in karaoke jobs over the years but never wanted to take this up as a full-time service ... until recently. Everything went well on both gigs.

    One thing which concerns me is that I would be expected to perform a solo singing act or two myself, particularly at the beginning of a session, as I have heard done at a few karaoke gigs I have been to. This might sound weird, but I really don't want to sing. I have never sung anything in my life, nor would I want to. DJing is fine and I've made a decent enough career out of it, but there is no way I would wish to sing myself.

    My questions are: Would I be expected to sing if I provided a karaoke gig? Could I get away with stating that I DON'T sing in an ad, etc.?

    I am curious how many karaoke suppliers out there do not sing themselves. I would imagine that this is an absolute requirement, particularly in the UK.

    Thanks for any views.

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    Member b.ill's Avatar
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    I've been running successful weeknight karaoke shows for years. I always have one room going - currently have two. Although I can sing, I hardly ever do anymore. I'm just not into it now, and honestly - singers don't come to hear me sing, they come to hear themselves. Once rounds get long I'd be taking someone else's slot - which I've seen work against some karaoke hosts who insert themselves into every round.

    I did not sing a note to land my new Thursday show - a show that's going very well. Although the UK may be a different scene, the host does not have to sing around here (PNW, US).

  3. #3
    Truck Driver Dix's Avatar
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    I agree. I have never run a karaoke business but considered it a couple of time because I had so many requests from potential clients requesting it.
    In my opinion, a karaoke provider would not necessarily need to perform. It would be beneficial at times on slow nights (Monday night Karaoke) but, I don't think it alone would hinder me from offering karaoke in my DJ business as a partial or part time business venture.
    (I'm in the deep south of the US)

    Good luck my friend.....
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    Thanks b.ill and Dix .

    That all makes good sense to me. What tipped the balance to make me ask was when somebody recently asked me to cover another karaoke gig. I was told about the online Karafun streaming karaoke service too, which would solve the problem of me not having any karaoke files, although I am not a fan of live streaming for obvious reasons. I don't know how good or bad your wifi or mobile signal coverage is in the USA but it's not always that good here in parts of the UK. We usually have three mobile phones with us and two laptops when DJing at private functions, many of which have been out in the countryside and we often find that there is little or no mobile signal. Wifi is often available but can be oversubscribed.

    OK, I'm looking at the negatives. I really need to give this a try and get a better feel for it.

    Hoping for some feedback from UK DJs too.

    Thanks again.

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    BanHammer™ Manu's Avatar
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    Hi, UK here, I've been contracted before to run a few karaokes here and there, I was never asked to perform, or slightly and politely declined. I guess that's a good thing considering my singing skills would probably empty the room.

    I was told about the online Karafun streaming karaoke service too
    It was a bit of a pain to gather a music collection large enough for choice, and to limit the expense. Back in the day I ran the system via a DVD player (unlocked that would also play karaoke discs, screen size depending on size of venue, I used a short throw projector most times ) and the mics were plugged into the mixer (I used a mixer that could run up to 5 mic inputs so easily done to have a multi-people karaoke going on, it adds extra fun for both audience and participants). I was lucky to have a local friend running a second hand shop that had a bunch of discs enough to provide a choice... I would not rely on the internet with no backup, because the gig will only go as far as your connection

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    Hi Manu.

    Thanks for this. It's a kind of fear I've always had. Yep, a fear of singing! There is probably a name for this.

    I was talking to a friend earlier today who also DJs. He does the occasional karaoke but LIKES to sing. However, he usually declines as he says the crowd are always up first to get their singing in. I am getting the idea now. It's probably a bonus if you can sing, but not an absolute necessity.

    Today, the dreaded happened. The karaoke gig I mentioned above has come in as a definite and I have been asked to cover this. I'll check with the organisers about me not singing first to make sure it won't be a problem, but I am kinda looking forward to it in a way as this could be another string to the bow. Discos have fallen off a little now we are leaving summer, so this could fill in a few gaps before the Christmas madness begins.

    *IF* I am asked to perform, I will probably find a suitable rap song or do my favourite, Ebeneezer Goode, the words of which I know well. U Can't Touch This could be another track.

    To the mic situation. We have three Trantec radio mics and an old cabled SM58. All work well ... until you try to run two together. Buzzzzz! But I've found a combination of two of them recently where there is no interaction whatsoever. The mixer we use only has two mic inputs though. I only take a mixer as an EQ boost for the mics as the VMS5.0 controller we use has poor quality mic amps. (It's excellent for everything else!) I will have a look around for a mixer with at least 6 mic inputs, but two radio mics should, I am guessing, be enough for most karaoke gigs. I'll work on adding more if this becomes a regular thing.

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    Member b.ill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Faulkner View Post
    I'll check with the organisers about me not singing first to make sure it won't be a problem, but I am kinda looking forward to it in a way as this could be another string to the bow.
    I wouldn't even bring it up. It's not going to be an issue. The only time I get asked to sing is to cover the male parts when a woman wants to do something like Picture, Summer Nights, Rihanna's Stay, Love Shack... and honestly I can usually find a guy in the room if I don't feel like doing it.

    Once you get twelve singers you've got a rotation of an hour (five minutes each for the song plus singer change) which is quite common even on slow nights. The last thing they want you to do is throw yourself into rotation too.

    Of far greater importance is sound. Karaoke shows have got quite competitive - with the successful ones featuring full sound systems with subs, monitors, and lights. If you bring it, you will have regular weeknight work for years. I've been relying on weeknight karaoke shows for additional income for the last 20 years. The only time I wasn't working them was pandemic lockdown.

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    Noted, b.ill. Thanks.

    We'll be taking a full sound system (bass and tops) and lighting rig with haze, so that's all covered. Well, how things have changed. It was just a simple sound system years ago. So much to learn, but there's 3 weeks to practice.

    Thanks again. I'll report back after the event has happened.

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    ... and it was cancelled! :Undeterred, we have ordered some new gear, monitor stands, hard drives, etc. so, with a bit of luck, we will be ready to hit the road in a week or so!

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