Karaoke - One Night Only

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Albatross

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I'll preface this by saying... I've never hosted karaoke. It's not something I've ever aspired to offer, and the thought of hosting it regularly is not a way I'd like to make money. But... one of my June weddings is concerned about DC's "no dancing" rules that are currently in effect for events, and wants to add it.

So if this was a new lead, I would probably have declined the gig. But I'm already booked, and now I'm going to do my best to make the planner and client happy without making an ass out of myself. I basically want to lay out what my current plan is, and if you guys have any feedback on how I can do this smoother - I'm all for it.

Since I don't have a karaoke library right now, I'm looking at Karafun for the content. The venue has wifi and has agreed that we can use it for this event.

My understanding is I basically need 2 screens operating for this. 1 so the singer can read lyrics, and a second so the audience can participate as well.

I'm thinking I will set up my backup laptop on a high-top table. This machine will serve as the karaoke engine and the screen that singers can use to read lyrics. I am buying a TV mount and will have a truss totem with a TV mounted facing the audience which they will use to read along.

I think I can just run a 1/8 inch output from that machine back to my console to get the audio from Karafun into my PA. And an HDMI cord to the secondary TV to present to the audience.

Since that secondary laptop won't be super close, I will have an assistant helping me cue up the next song for the karaoke singers while I announce them up and play some interlude music between each singer.

Does this sound like it will work? It's probably not the way real karaoke pros would do it, but I think it'll get the job done.
 

Jeff Romard

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Good on you for making it work. I would say what you have planned should do just fine for a one-off. You could probably drop the second screen if you wanted to I don't think audience participation is all that important in this case.

The big question is can you sing? Most hosts sing to fill the void
 

Albatross

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The big question is can you sing? Most hosts sing to fill the void
Not in a way I'd feel comfortable doing in a professional setting. After 5 beers at a karaoke bar with strangers... perhaps. But that won't be my situation for this one :)
 

Albatross

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Good on you for making it work. I would say what you have planned should do just fine for a one-off. You could probably drop the second screen if you wanted to I don't think audience participation is all that important in this case.

The big question is can you sing? Most hosts sing to fill the void
If the audience being able to see isn't critical, should I use the TV for the singer, and keep the laptop at my rig? I can certainly set it up that way too. But since I'm using a totem I thought it would need to be off to the side anyway so it doesn't block sight lines.
 
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Proformance

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I don't use a screen for the audience, it doesn't really help. If there's one already in the venue then I may connect to that but, I only provide a 19" monitor on a small stand as a teleprompter for singers. It's the "performance" that should take center stage not television sets.

I have a karaoke library, and I use a software that can run simultaneously with my DJ software. The DJ audio goes to my controller as usual, but the music output of the karaoke software goes out on my headphone port to an aux on the mixer. That makes it easy to just bounce back and forth between the two or to use the DJ software for music fill and change-over beds. It also means people can sing-along to a regular DJ track if by chance there's no karoake version of it.

I don't know if running Karafun from a second PC that is also your prompter will work. The lyrics should be alone on a secondary display, with the PC simply being used to select tracks and build a cue. Even when I run karaoke from a separate PC it stays in the booth with me. The only thing out there is the prompter and the mics. People request karaoke songs from the DJ just as they do any other song, and I call them up to perform. The goal is to keep the event moving with no down time.
 

rickryan.com

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Kudos to you for stretching. I'll be honest, I hate K-gigs and turn them down. That said, Karafun is definitely the way to go. If it were me, I'd probably just use my main laptop to drive karafun and just provide a screen for the singer (next to my DJ stand). I assume this is a wedding. If you're not careful, Karaoke will take over and dominate the event and often times not in a good way. I've seen it be a hit at vietnamese weddings but at american events it was annoying for most of the audience.
 
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Jeff Romard

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If the audience being able to see isn't critical, should I use the TV for the singer, and keep the laptop at my rig? I can certainly set it up that way too. But since I'm using a totem I thought it would need to be off to the side anyway so it doesn't block sight lines.
Back when I did it I always set the TV to the right of the singer kind of on a 45 degree angle depending on sight lines slightly lower than eye level.


Kudos to you for stretching. I'll be honest, I hate K-gigs and turn them down. That said, Karafun is definitely the way to go. If it were me, I'd probably just use my main laptop to drive karafun and just provide a screen for the singer (next to my DJ stand). I assume this is a wedding. If you're not careful, Karaoke will take over and dominate the event and often times not in a good way. I've seen it be a hit at vietnamese weddings but at american events it was annoying for most of the audience.
It's a non dancing event it may be the only entertainment
 
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Ausumm

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But... one of my June weddings is concerned about DC's "no dancing" rules that are currently in effect for events, and wants to add it.
Sure, they have a "no dancing" rule...
but they are perfectly okay with 100 people touching the same monitor and sharing a microphone...
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

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I have a terrible voice for singing. So Karaoke isn't a good idea for me. Once I was in my best friends house and singing the song by Earth Wind & Fire On Your Face. I hit a bad note and we cracked up laughing!
 

B-Sharp

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I have a terrible voice for singing. So Karaoke isn't a good idea for me.
I hate singing, but a good karaoke host always has a song to sing. For me, it's "How Bizarre" by OMC. :D
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

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I hate singing, but a good karaoke host always has a song to sing. For me, it's "How Bizarre" by OMC. :D
I don't hate singing. I'm just not good at it. If I tried singing as a way to make money to survive, I would starve to death.
 

Albatross

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Sure, they have a "no dancing" rule...
but they are perfectly okay with 100 people touching the same monitor and sharing a microphone...
I ordered mic covers so I can swap them between each singer, but the point is certainly well taken.
 

sawdust123

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I use Karafun at home a few times a month and my friends love it. Here are some comments:
  • Adding some reverb and chorus really helps. I used a small 12 channel mixer with an effects section for this.
  • As others have said, you don't always need a second screen. However, I find that audiences do enjoy seeing the words. If the venue has a large monitor that both the singer and guests can see, use that.
  • If the venue screen is not in view of the singer, get a $30 HDMI splitter to support the small screen and the venue screen. I use no name 25' HDMI cables in my home setup without much problem.
  • Karafun lets you adjust the amount of background supporting vocals to add to a song. I use this feature a lot with less confident singers. It improves things for the audience too.
  • Karafun has several price plans. I would get one of their professional plans that allow you to download a number songs. You can get it for just a week or a month. You don't want a slow wifi letting you down.
  • Karafun takes a while to set up well. Adding bumper music to play between singers is more of a chore than it should be but worth the effort. You should probably make your own playlists too as their pre-defined lists suck and their search function lacks decent filters.
  • If you are hooking into the venue system, watch out for ground loops through your HDMI cable. Set up early to test. This may be a good reason to bring your own monitor just in case that you can plug into the same outlet as the rest of your system.
 

SemiRetired DJ

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You don't need the display for the audience.

Run the program on your main laptop; don't worry about a second one.

As to singing, I can't carry a tune in a bucket but I still did karaoke back in the day. Pick song you can talk through. I used Big John and King Tut. I filled the void with dance music. If people dance, you can't stop them and I don't think the venue will try.
 
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Proformance

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It's already been
I hate singing, but a good karaoke host always has a song to sing. For me, it's "How Bizarre" by OMC. :D
LOL. That's not singing - that's "talking in time." Good news is you're also a shoe-in for Life Goes On - Beatles, and Rappers Delight - Sugarhill Gand. :)
 

B-Sharp

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LOL. That's not singing - that's "talking in time."
That's all you need to do to convince an audience that anyone can do it. The trouble with the rap songs is that the lyrics go by too fast on the screen.
 

Proformance

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I ordered mic covers so I can swap them between each singer, but the point is certainly well taken.
It's already been determined that Covid is not transmitted by surfaces. The transfer to your hands is not a sufficient enough exposure even if you lick all your fingers. Covid needs to be inhaled because you lungs are what provide it the fast track into your blood stream.

I don't change mic screens - I spray them with 80% isopropyl which kills anything on it, and evaporates very quickly. Spraying them is also more visually comforting to germaphobes than changing wind screens. It's also far more sanitary than constantly handling things you presume are infected, and more economical than buying hundreds of wind screens.

At AV gigs when people mention changing wind screens I tell them that's the worse thing to do because the act of removing it is like shaking out a mop - and who wants to be down-wind of that?
 
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