#1
Me and 2 other friends formed a little band. We want to play at weddings, resorts, parties etc.. Band consists of 2 guitarists, 1 bassist and we're currently looking for a bongo player.

The question though...
What do we need? I mean like mics and stuff. We're playing acoustic guitars, so we need to mic it right? Or should we invest in electric-acoustic guitars?

^^ need help on the sound stuff.


Sorry if I didn't explain the question clearly enough.


Thanks,
#2
Most venues will likely have a sound guy who will already take care of that stuff, but assuming you are doing everything yourselves, you will need mics, a mixer, a power amp, and speakers (plus cables and stands for everything)
#3
You can get pickups for your (assumed) existing acoustic guitars, or mic them up for more volume. For resorts/restaurants etc, you should be able to get started right away, since those kinds of places usually have PA systems, stages, etc.

For weddings and special events; however, you'll probably need at least a small-to-moderate PA system, and all the microphones, stands, lights, cables, etc that you expect to have. Possibly a small transportable stage as well, if you expect to be elevated (some places might have you covered, but some almost certainly would not).

If you guys are good enough I'd recommend trying to get the restaurant/resort gigs right away; with or without your eventual bongo player (whom I think is somewhat unnecessary, but certainly could be of help 'fleshing it out') since those will pay. At most you might want to buy some microphones and pickups beforehand (sometimes venue's in-house mics are f*@kin' nasty), and you could probably make due without.

As for the microphones I recommend Shure Beta 58s for vocals. They run around $150 each, but sound beautiful for vocal ranges bass-alto. They're a little screechy on a soprano, but I'm going to assume you guys are probably all baritones (if male) or altos (if female). Fishman Rare Earth (magnet) pickups are the best acoustic pickups I know of that come externally. Some DI (direct-in) boxes for the acoustics would also be a good idea. If you want to mic the guirtars you can probably get away with some inexpensive condensor mics. I have a pair of CAD-brand ones that I picked up for $60 that'd probably do okay, though they could be subject to some killer feedback under the wrong circumstances.

As for the PA, a system you could "get away" with would run around $500 from some no-name brand or another. A proper system from a solid brand name (like JBL) would run closer to a $1000, but should suit all your needs very well. I don't think you need a separate mixer and power amp, one of the combo units will do just fine, but you will need direct in boxes for acoustic pickups (if you go that route) and make sure that if you're picking up extra speaker cabs (or the like) that they match well with your system (don't buy powered speakers if your system runs passive, or vice-versa, that sorta thing, mixing brand names is fine as long as you're smart about it).

Finally: don't underestimate how important good speaker cables, mic cables, stand, etc. are!!! That stuff will run you up a few hundred dollars and that can really sneak up on you if you don't plan for it, but it's worth it to get stuff with warranties and that will help you avoid feedback and noise!!!
#4
I'm going to assume you are trying to do this for as cheaply as possible? Because to get all the gear you are describing can easily run you over 1000 dollars. First I would try to get some acoustic electric guitars, whether that means buying new guitars or buying pickups to make it so you can electrify your current guitars. I think this will be easier than trying to mic your guitars. Then you need vocal mics, as RadioMuse mention Shure SM58's are the standard when it comes to vocal mics, but you can get away with a cheaper dynamic mic if you don't feel like spending 100 per mic. Now you need a PA. Luckily because you are playing acoustic and don't have drums you won't need a ton of power which can significantly drive up the cost. I would suggest buying a powered mixer and a couple passive speakers. The powered mixer will supply the power for the speakers and also give you a little control over the volume and effects you can put on your vocals. That is pretty much it for the basics at least. Depending on if you want better sound, or more power things get more complicated and expensive from there. One piece of advice is to always look to buy used first. If you have any sort of budget then there is absolutely no reason you should be paying full retail prices. Look on craigslist and you can get all of this stuff for half the price as new equipment. Even still I would expect to be paying around $500 if you are trying to go the cheap route.
#5
Quote by MaddMann274
Me and 2 other friends formed a little band. We want to play at weddings, resorts, parties etc.. Band consists of 2 guitarists, 1 bassist and we're currently looking for a bongo player.

The question though...
What do we need? I mean like mics and stuff. We're playing acoustic guitars, so we need to mic it right? Or should we invest in electric-acoustic guitars?


I wouldn't skimp on the gear, even if you have to go second hand (and there's a lot of second hand gear around).

Anyways:

Vocals - 1 x microphone for each singer, I'll back the Shure Beta 58 also, Sennheisser 835s are also nice.

Add:
1 x mic stand
1 x mic lead

Acoustic guitars - Pickups of some sort. Mics usually sound better, but are just impractical in a live setting. I'd personally fork out for internal ones like Pure Mini K&K pickups, as they'll sound better than the equivalent external pickups, without affecting the "depth" of the soundhole.

Add:
2 x guitar leads
2 x DI box if possible

Bassist - can opt to DI into PA or play through amp. As your budget is short I think it's better to opt for the amp right now (rather than forking out for subs).

Bongo - an instrument mic, like a Shure SM57.

Add:
1 x mic stand
1 x mic lead

And then you have the front of house stuff. I'd opt for:

2 x powered speakers
1 x mixer

Add:
2 x speaker stands

And that's not including foldbacks.

So all up that's a fair bit of gear. But if you buy good stuff it will easily last you 10+ years. Those Shure mics in particular have a reputation for being "unbreakable".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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