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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
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Here are the steps I think you should take if you're new to this or if you want to start over and are tired of spending money.

1. Get a good wireless and make sure part of that wireless is a madonna style cardiod headset. They are loud, cheap, and sound really great. I've not run into a venue where this does NOT work perfectly and I've had some nasty setups to deal with.

2. Get a small PA system that runs on batteries that you can use for small shows. Since you already have a wireless, this can be quite inexpensive.

3. Get a bigger PA for medium to large shows with multiple speakers. Since you already have a wireless this will save you money again.

4. Hope that larger venues will have a PA already or that a DJ will be there. If so, you just plug your wireless into the house system (or DJ system) and leave your other gear in the car.

5. Get a nice way to run your music if you use it.

Notes:

My personal preference is to have everything battery powered. This saves a lot of time in setup/takedown and trying to figure out where the power is.

Notice that with this scenario, the wireless that you've invested in is being used at EVERY gig. Small, medium, large, XXL, etc. Even the gigs where there already is a house system or a DJ.

My current wireless/PA is as fast as setting up any all-in-1 system if I want it to be because it's small and only uses a belt-pack receiver. I can plug it in, velcro it to the side of the PA and it's essentially an all-in-1.

And use your laptop and a Sound Commander for a no AC solution to music.
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Bill Wilson
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Isn't the Madonna style cardiod headset a big klunky looking thing that sits on the corner of your mouth? I know a cardiod prevents some feedback but the thing is hidious. I have a countryman E6 omnidirectional mic, seems to work fine and you can't see the thing. As far as battery powered, there is always a power outlet, just make sure you carry an extension cord. Unless you work outside, which I don't, then of course battery is the way to go.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Yep. it's the clunky one and is not hideous. I used to think so but not anymore. the e6 is good but it is not as usable in every venue. hence my decision.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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I forgot to mention that I used the words "part of that wireless" because I know some don't like that particular type of microphone but it can be a gig-saver under certain conditions. I also have a mic like the e6 which I also bring with me but more often than not I don't use it.
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Bill Wilson
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When you say the e6 is not as usable in every venue Frank, I assume you are speaking of possible feedback problems?
TheAmbitiousCard
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Yes. you got it. I have had gigs at numerous venues where .... when I arrive the DJ has placed their PA system in a configuration that would really not allow for a earset, lav, etc.

or other venues where to re-set-up what's there would take an hour or more.
for this reason I started bringing a cardiod headset with me just in case.
now I could just care less and I rarely even try to see if the earset will work.

obviously there's a trade-off but one I've decided is worth it as it is 100% headache free and a huge time-saver. my #1 stressor is gone just by having it with me.

more often than not, lately, all I use is my wireless and I just leave my PA in the car. I just use what's available and plug right in.
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Bill Wilson
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Well thanks Frank. I now have my own system (Yamaha StagePas 300 + speaker stands) which I bought specificly so I would not have to use house systems which were unfamiliar to me. I assumed having my own P.A. would prevent sound problems that may occur when using other system I'm not used to. So in your opinion I may still encounter feed back problems?
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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I fully agree with Frank that, if you use a lav or an earset/tiny headset, you should have a full-size headset as a back-up.

I look at it this way. Both of these scenarios assume efficient use of the overall PA system.
- If you use an earset, your mic will be almost invisible to some of the audience most of the time (depending on the audience size), and there will be times when you have feedback , and there will be times when you cannot be heard at the back of the room.
- If you use a full-size headset, some of your audience will be distracted by seeing the headset, but they see them every day on singers (the better your "entertainment factor", the less likely they are to notice the mic). You are extremely unlikely to experience feedback with a full-size headset, and, as long as your speakers are powerful enough, you'll be heard at the back of the room.

Again, I fully agree with Frank that, if you use a lav or an earset/tiny headset, you should have a full-size headset as a back-up.

Cheers from Toronto!
Dan McLean Jr
Bill Wilson
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Thanks guys. I guess I'll invest in a headset style as well. Don't care for the look but I suppose I can't have everything. Any suggestions for a good but moderately priced make and model? How about the Shure?
TheAmbitiousCard
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I felt the exact same way as you wandboy but once I got the headset, my pre-show pacing stopped, my stressing over thoughtless speaker placement (that I specifically requested NOT to be like that) stopped, my swearing under my breath at the promised "sound expert" that was late, missing, drunk, etc. all stopped.
Now I don't care what's there.

I knew I made the right decision when I was hired for a birthday party for a 1 year old boy. It was held for a couple hundred people at some hall. The DJ was there and had huge speakers set up and pointing directly at where I would be performing. Big loud speakers. I set up the wireless to go thru his PA and used the headset right in front of those speakers. Not one little chirp! Woo #$%$#%^ Hoo!!! I never looked back.

Your StagePas is a great little system. Nothing wrong with that. Owning your own system will certainly help. But if you can save up to an hour by using what is available (often pretty darn good. just unprofessionally set up) why not do it if it will work as well or better than your system.

Shure, Sennheiser, AudioTechnica all seem to know what they are doing and have models available for around the same price. Mine is a Sennheiser.

What is the brand of your wireless now?
This is mine:
Sennheiser Evolution ew 112-p

and I use this:
Sennheiser me3 headset

I also recommend using your StagePas even for smaller shows where you don't need it until you really figure out how to set it up quickly and work out all the kinks. PA setup needs rehearsal just like your show.
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Bill Wilson
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Thanks for your help Frank. My transmitter/receiver is a Pro Star by Telex. I've had it for about twelve years. It came with a lav mike, which I don't much care for so I bought the omnidirectional Countryman e6. I sure wish they made a wireless with the invisiblity of my Countryman and have the advantages of a cardiod. Until then I guess the way to go is to have both. The Countryman will be my primary and the cardiod, once I get one, will likely end up as my backup. Thanks again.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Last week I did 2 grad nite shows.
The most I ever needed to take out of the car was....


...my senheiser wireless mic. That's it. Never had to take out a PA at all.
I just plugged into the DJs systems both times.

Neither time would an earset mic work. I was performing literally right in front of huge speakers (and in one case a huge Sub-Woofer too) at both events.

Never any feedback, never plugged anything into a wall, no power necessary, etc.
Just give the guy my wireless receiver belt pack and I'm done and can focus on my shows.

So in total, that was 3 grad nite shows this season, all that required me to bring sound, and I never brought anything in. Except my mic. Always just plugged into the DJs nice system.
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Alan Munro
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Quote:
On 2009-05-03 21:12, Frank Starsini wrote:
My current wireless/PA is as fast as setting up any all-in-1 system if I want it to be because it's small and only uses a belt-pack receiver. I can plug it in, velcro it to the side of the PA and it's essentially an all-in-1.


That receiver must be very light or else the velcro is very strong. The velcro that I found, on a roll, won't even hold a small cup of water. The adhesive just isn't very good.
miscoes
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Allariz, Spain
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Hello.

I do also fix my receivers with adhesive velcro strips.
The receivers "live" inside a rockbag 10" rack with a little Tapco mixer and a minidisc player (I usually use a laptop with a remote to play music but the minidisc saves me in little and fast performances and in case of a computer failure)
Everything (but the mixer) is fixed to rack drawers with two strips of adhesive velcro in the bottom part. Doing it in this way it's easy and clean for me to put it out of the rack to reconfigure, test or in case of damage. Adhesive velcro does not void your warranty.

There are many kinds of velcro. If you look for it in your hardware store you will find industrial strenght types (not hook and loop but some kind of little balls in the top of plastic wires)

I'm a fan of velcro (and of my sewing machine and, of course of cheap fabric stores and "Todo a 100")
Regan
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Another vote for industrial strength velcro! It is great stuff!

Regan
Mister Mystery
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Quote:
On 2009-06-12 00:24, Alan Munro wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-05-03 21:12, Frank Starsini wrote:
My current wireless/PA is as fast as setting up any all-in-1 system if I want it to be because it's small and only uses a belt-pack receiver. I can plug it in, velcro it to the side of the PA and it's essentially an all-in-1.


That receiver must be very light or ....


That is correct Alan. The receiver is a belt pack unit just like the transmitter.
As stated above, it runs of 2 AA batteries. Another option I thoght of is to buy a small camera case with shoulder strap. That way it's protected with padding and you can just hang it near the PA/Amp.
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miscoes
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I'm using several cases like this:

http://www.thomann.de/es/rockbag_rockbag_rackbag_24210_b.htm

They are cheap, sure for the equipment, and standard size.

It's bigger than a camera bag but it suits my needs and is very light.

It also adds a professional look to my setup and is big enought to put my laptop over it.

Click here to view attached image.
miscoes
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TheAmbitiousCard
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I did another 2 day festival this weekend. Never any need for taking anything out except my battery-powered wireless mic.

That's 6 shows in a row without the need for me to touch my PA at all.
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Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2009-06-09 21:46, Frank Starsini wrote:
Neither time would an earset mic work. I was performing literally right in front of huge speakers (and in one case a huge Sub-Woofer too) at both events.

Frank, are you saying there is a big difference between the headset and earset mics dealing with sound?

The reason I asked this is because I plan to buy an earset. I already have a headset. Is buying a earset a waste of money?
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