I sing in a punk band and i need to sort out my current setup. At the moment i am plugging a mic directly into this which i bought not long ago.

I can't post the link, its a Behringer EUROLIVE B212D 550w Active PA Speaker System

I usually have to have the volume dialed a few notches back from its max volume for me to be able to hear myself over the other instruments, i dont want to have it maxed out because im scared i may blow it. I've done some searching on the web and ive seen lots of talk about mixers and preamps. Could someone please clarify what the two are.. do i need both or? I need something that will overall make my voice louder (not sure if there's such a thing). I also sing with a lot of rasp, like Tim Mcilrath as an example, and id like to have something that would put a bit more distortion on my voice, would that come with a mixer or?
Also how would i set it all up?
All this will be solely used for band practice for the time being.
Last edited by TomRA at Dec 20, 2012,
If you want to be louder, then you need a more powerful PA system.

A mixer, essentially, is a piece of hardware that has multiple XLR/Line Inputs, faders, onboard EQ/Compression/other FX, that has outputs.

If you play a live show they mic everything run it into a mixer, and then send the outputs to the house system.

A preamp is something inside a mixer or pretty much any audio system that puts out sound. It prepares a small electrical signal for further amplification. When people are talking about preamps they're probably talking about the Pres that are in their mixer/interface, or they could be talking about outboard hardware units that are dedicated preamps they use when recording or whatever.

Either way, neither of those things is really related to what you want.

If you want to be louder, you need a system with more wattage, and speakers that can handle that wattage.

If you want to distortion your voice maybe sing into an amp and mic the amp and put that through a PA (a la: The Strokes).