#1
So im looking to start a band and have a practice place at my house.

I have my gear and a drumset. Most bassists have their own setup.


But if i were to put a "Need Singer" add on craigslist should i expect them to bring a PA or is it assumed that one will be provided?

Cuz im too broke and cant afford a PA lol
#2
It's typically assumed that a P.A. system is provided at a band's practice place or what-have-you.
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"I'm a musician, what did you expect?"

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#3
It really depends, if you find someone who may have the voice your looking for but has never been in a band, would probably not have a P.A nor up until the time have a need for one.

If you find a vocalist that's been playing in bands and does live shows regularly they'll probably have some sort of P.A.


I have a small P.A system, hardy ever gets used and sucks, but for when I get some people over to jam, it's nice to have and for a basic practice for the band.

You can get packages for just a few hundred dollars or find one used, and it's one of those things that is definitely nice to have if you plan on being in a band at all.
#4
It's as common for the singer to own a PA as any other person in a band. Using that logic I definately wouldn't "assume" that the singer owns one, but it's always nice to have a band member who does own one. I have a crappy no-name PA that's used for my practice sessions, as it's a necessity for pretty much any genre. You should grab one too if you want to take practice more seriously.
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#5
It can depend upon what sort of PA you are talking about.
If it's a large PA that the whole band goes through, then it really should be the whole band chipping in to buy it, but a small PA that's used for purely vocals really should be the singer's responsibility as he's the guy using it, in the same way that the drums are the drummer's responsibility and the guitar amp is the guitarist's responsibility.

That's the theory, but in practice though, not all singers own a vocal PA. Dunno why that is, but that's simply the way it is. A guitarist is expected to own his own instrument amplification, so is a bassist, (a drummer can generaly get away without having to amp his drums, noisy bastards. ) yet a singer isn't generaly expected to own any form of amplification for his own voice... unless of course they are answering an advert that requires them to supply their own vocal amplification.

And even then, if you say "must have his own PA" in an advert for a vocalist, most decent vocalists will look at the advert and simply assume that you're too cheap to buy/hire a PA or use a rehearsal studio that has a PA.

You literaly can't win, vocalists seem to have it all their own way. As a bandleader who's putting a band together, you either have to make sure there's a PA for the vocalist to use yourself or risk not attracting the better vocalists... or... hope that you are lucky enough to find a decent vocalist who owns his own PA, something that often appears to be somewhat of a rarity these days.
I've even known bands to accept a bad vocalist into their band, simply because he owns his own PA, which is of course a mistake, but it does happen.

It didn't used to be like this, in the 60s and 70s, when bands were getting together, the vocalist was generaly expected to provide his own amplification. Upon reflection, I think the cause of the current situation is probably the rise of the availability of relatively cheap rehearsal studios, that have PAs already fitted, over the past few decades.

I'd advise you to simply buy a small vocal PA, then at least you'll have something to properly audition vocalists for your band if you are auditioning them at your house, or alternatively, use a rehearsal studio for auditioning and rehearsals and split the rental between the band. This also has the added advantage of taking the responsibility for soundproofing out of your hands.
After all, one pissed off neighbour calling the police can really put a dent in your creative flow while you are rehearsing/auditioning.

For the record, if you are using a hired studio for auditions, it is considered impolite to charge someone you are auditioning their share of the rent for the actual audition. Once they have been accepted and become a 'member' of the band, then you charge them their equal share of the rent for rehearsals and future auditions of other members. As new members join and the band grows in the number of its members, everyone's share becomes cheaper.
#6
Slacker - it could also be the rise in bars/performance places having PAs themselves, so you very rarely need to provide it for live work. Obviously, you need it for practice (although I have been in a band where we used a megaphone for practicing...ah, post-punk), but it does differ slightly from a guitarist's gear - you don't need a PA at all to be a 'singer', just to play in a group as one, whereas you need a guitar and amp from the start as a guitarist. It's also something you'll never use yourself outside of playing with groups, so is a bit of a step up in terms of investing in your career/hobby. A fairer comparison might be 'asking a guitarist/bassist to upgrade their gear to be in the band'.

I'd agree on the 'use a rehearsal studio for now' point if you're really broke, but a PA is a good investment in the long run.
#7
Any given singer (might) have a PA, but definitely don't assume he will. If you find someone ask if they have one, if not, there are plenty of cheap PA systems you could get. For practice you really don't need much. In my band we just run two mics through the PA and thats it. It's just enough to hear ourselves. And at a gig you can use the house PA
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#8
Stricctly speaking you are not talking about a PA, which is what points at the public, but vocal monitors, which is what the band and the singer hear at practice and at gigs. It is the equivalent of your stage amps or back line. The good news is that as the monitors don't have to be as loud as a PA you can buy quite a cheap solution. Read this http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/junkyard/sound_good_in_the_rehearsal_room.html

Any singer who is serious needs to have their own monitors and just as important their own mic'. But, but, but, when you start out they may not be any more of a singer than you were a gutarist at first and they are probably going to be in the same financial position as the rest of you in the band. So my advice is to be flexible, if you hire rehearsal space then it may not be a problem, though you'll have to pay. If you decide it's cheaper to use your own space then you'll have to buy. Just talk it through when you come to this stage, maybe the singer will buy a mic and the richest band member will buy a small PA/monitor, maybe you can all chip in or it could be a birthday present or you could borrow/share with another band.

A good singer will make or break the band however good the musicians are, take your time and find a good one, cherish them and worry about the gear later. Audition them acoustically with just a guitar if you have to.

Good luck
#9
I've never owned a full PA but have sung now with probably a dozen bands (and always rehearsed in studios where they are provided). Sometimes the band has borrowed one for gigs or hired at a decent rate from the studio (who if they are keen to have you there regularly should be able to do decent deals - if not, go to a studio that will), a few bands already had one when I joined, in one case where it was a bit longer term we agreed to save and split desk, speakers, monitor so we'd own things if we split up and shared storing it - which is a pain otherwise. Also, venues sometimes have them. Anyway, this thread reminded me of one band I was in a while back who initially advertised just for a singer and said they had a PA - sure enough they did and it was ok but then after a handful of gigs they felt it wasn't good enough so wanted a new one.
Then there was grumbling at a few rehearsals about they all have to buy their amps and they have spent money on their gear and whatnot so it should be me buying the PA - we were all being paid to play and doing ok. It was obvious from how it kept cropping up it was an issue that was going to cause problems and to me though they disagreed I felt it should be the band who owned it so I just left on as good terms as possible agreeing to cover a gig already booked. It took less than 2 weeks for me to find another band doing similar stuff but they struggled to find a replacement. This is not meant as boasting it's just supply and demand.
Guess that situation bugged me for 2 reasons - there was the fact I also own guitars keyboards amps and other musical equipment - including 3 studio quality microphones and a decent powered monitor which I still use at gigs. More than that though was the attitude of 'you just have to turn up and sing' which was said to me a few times and perhaps is a common enough thing to say. I guess that's true in a way and can imagine it can cause resentment for folk having to lug amps around. It's great just being able to get on a bike after rehearsals in bands where I've just sung rather than drive around guitars or a cab and head. But then my attitude is someone's voice is an instrument just like any other. So it needs work and (for me anyway) investment in terms of practice and lessons and a decent mic and monitor. Too much division between singer and band is never good and it is not good to split a band over an issue that is basically not about music or ability.
Remember being in a band at school... Was anyone else ever in a band where one guy was in only because their dad gave everyone a lift
#10
for band practice, the singer can buy a poweted speaker like schools use for assembly etc. gigging is a different matter
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#11
If you practice in a studio, they usually provide a P.A system. But i can see why singers should really provide their own. Everyone else does.

As a singer myself i'm saving for a basic P.A since my band is thinking of doing a lockup soon.
But yeah, if they can, singer should try and get their own stuff