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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Karaoke setup

Here is a quick view of my karaoke system components
- Karaoke mixer
You need a mixer to feed your karaoke sources and the karaoke effects.
Fry's Electronics has a decent collection
Laser Tower in Milpitas (408) 263 3372 has a good collection, along with the ability to recommend you something that works best for you.
The mixer I have is 2000's Audio Karaoke Mixer AKJ7100
Mixers come with a wide variety of feature functions as you will discover.The key is the ability to increase/decrease the pitch and the echo.
Once you have gotten a mixer and start using it, some tinkering will help you arrive at the optimal setting.
It is very easy to lose track of changes made on your mixer as you jump from track to track and results are not pleasing. So ideally, arrive at your optimal setting and change it ever so slightly as per need, usually bringing it back to optimal settings later.
- Your Karaoke source
All your Karaoke sources will feed into the Karaoke mixer.
I have seen some folks use Magic Sing - not sure how that would be integrated into a mixer - I am sure it is doable.
A karaoke source could be those karaoke CDs - that are falling out of fashion real quick.
Alternately, your ipod that has the karaoke tracks - take with you wherever you go.
And meragana.com or geetnet.com - playing from a laptop/ mac.
BTW youtube and esnips.com have some decent (latest) karaoke tracks -search for them.
Here are a few youtube channels you can subscribe to
You need couple decent microphones to plug into your mixer.
Shure microphones on Amazon.com are quite good.
If you fancy better ones, the quality is directly proportionate to your budget.
The wireless ones are good too - but a tad over priced and I am not sure how well they work out.
UPDATE 5/9/2011 - Have used the VocoPro wireless microphones for a few months now. No difference between these guys and the wired microphones. Not much interference and is yet to be discharged completely during an evening Karaoke. VocoPro VHF-3300 2 Channel VHF Rechargeable Wireless Microphone System
- RCA switch
To switch multiple devices. Folks sometimes bring their CDs/ ipods. I can switch between an ipod, a DVD player to play the CDs, along with meragana.com from the mac. It is a quick easy switch.
- Amp
You need the Karaoke mixer to feed into your amplifier.
- Mac / Laptop DVI adapters
If you intend streaming video into you TV

I might have missed a few things - let me know if you have questions and I will update with more info.

Also, please contribute to this thought pool - always open to other recommendations based upon what you have experienced.  Here are details on sound recording.

A good local place to get out to and explore

32 South Abbott, MILPITAS
12:30PM to 8PM (Closed Tueday)
FINAL SALE 50 to 70%

(408) 263-3372

How about the microphones?
The best Karaoke microphones are durable and have high quality. There are many places that one can use a karaoke microphone - from a club to a computer equipped with karaoke software. There are different microphones for different settings.
First and foremost, it is necessary to check that the microphone comes with ambient noise filters; that gets rid of the background noise. You should then check the frequency response. The average response should vary from around 10,000 Hz to12, 000 Hz. The lighter the karaoke microphone, the better. The Uni-Directional Dynamic microphones are some of the most popular. They come around 2 inches to 10 inches long, and weigh about 10 oz. Uni-Directional Dynamic Microphones are available in cable and wireless models. With the appropriate adapters, cable microphones work with just about everything.
When purchasing a wireless karaoke microphone, you should check the range and make sure there is no loss in connection between the receiver and the microphone. It is possible to get a decent quality karaoke microphone for under $100. However, the cheaper price means quality is compromised.

Karaoke VOCAL REMOVERS (if you loved it, create it)
Wavosaur and Center Pan Remover produce near identical results
Center Pan is a plugin for Audacity which is a nice audio editor

1. Winamp Plugin: AnalogX Vocal Remover

If you use the Winamp software media player for playing your music collection, then AnalogX Vocal Remover can be installed in your plugins folder to remove vocals. Once installed, simply go to Options > Preferences > DSP/effect to choose the plugin. The interface is very easy to use as there’s just a slider bar to control the amount of audio processing.

2. Wavosaur

As well as being a good audio editor, Wavosaur can also be used to remove vocals from songs. Once you have imported your audio file into Wavosaur, you can use the Voice Remover tool to automatically process the file. As with all voice removal software, the results you get will depend on various factors such as the type of music, how compressed it is, and the quality of the audio source.

3. Audacity VST Plugin: Center Pan Remover

Center Pan Remover is a Nyquist plugin for the very popular Audacity audio editor. This plugin works best on audio files where the vocals are near to the center of the stereo field. Center Pan Remover automates the process of splitting the stereo image and track inversion. Simply copy the plugin into the Audacity plugins folder to see the option in Audacity’s effects menu.

4. Karaoke Anything

Karaoke Anything is an audio player that does a decent job of removing vocals from music tracks. It can be used for MP3 files or entire audio CDs. The interface is user-friendly and you can use a slider bar to control the amount of audio processing. Unfortunately Karaoke Anything isn’t capable of saving what you hear. However, if you want a basic audio player for MP3 files and audio CDs that can remove vocals, then Karaoke Anything is a good tool to keep in your digital audio toolbox.

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