what equipment would I need if I wanted to sing live as my laptop played music that I'd be controlling?

Ok, what equipment would I need if I wanted to sing as my laptop played music that I'd be controlling with a midi controller?

I'm a complete noob at this stuff and have no idea what I would need. Things like amps and mixers and other random stuff like venue PA system jargon that pops up on google, I have no idea what it means or where to really start. I just cant find a site with a "here is what you would need to play live with your laptop".

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If your computer already has an Audio In jack, a decent mixer with a mic preamp is pretty much all you need (besides the microphone itself). Most performance venues have their own PA system that you can plug your computer into so you don't need your own. If you need that too, I recommend looking for a very small simple amp. You might be able to get away without your own mixer, or even without your own mic, but then you're depending completely on the equipment that the venue has.

    If you don't have an Audio In jack, or you need something a little more flexible and robust, you might need to get an audio interface for your computer.

    Here's a rundown:

    Microphone: Shure SM-58 is the standard, but decent clones exist for less money.

    A couple XLR cables for the microphone.

    Mic stand.

    Mixer. I have a Mackie 1202, which is a very portable good-quality mixer for not too much money. It has four XLR jacks with mic preamps, which is mostly what I use it for.

    Three or four 1/4" cables (the type used for electric guitars). You might need some 1/4" to mini-jack adapters if you need to plug the mixer into your computer's audio jack. Alternatively, you can get cables with mini-plugs and mini- to 1/4" adapters, but the signal quality won't be quite as good.

    A couple phono cables, with 1/4" adapters, just in case you need that too. An external audio interface for your computer might have phono jacks on it.

    Power strip.

    Amplifier. Look for a small, cheap keyboard amp. A guitar amp will work too.

    I'm not going to cover audio interfaces because I don't know much about them, but I've seen several affordable choices from M-Audio. Some of them offer a MIDI interface too, which it sounds like you might need.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Not always. Sometimes they have the extra 'layers' of music pre-recorded, but are really playing other parts over the top of it. Some bands also have a keyboard player or other guitarist {who are not usual members of the band} set up just offstage or at the back in the dark. * A slight exception to this is Fleetwood Mac, who have used a keyboard player, guitarist, and percussionist in their live shows over the last 10 years, and they are not only on stage where they can be clearly seen, but are acknowledged at the end of the show. I do know that bands appearing live on German TV have to sync to playback ~ I'm not sure why this is, but certain bands have deliberately made a mockery of it by obviously not playing in time with the recording!

  • 1 decade ago

    you can purchase a remote and set it up using the instruction and u can purchase an auxilary cable. put one end into your headphone slot and another into the speakers auxilary input slot. it might be labeled aux

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