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Essential Equipment For Function Singers and Musicians

by Sheldon Conrich 02 Apr 2024

Check out all the main essential bits of equipment you’re going to need if you want to become a successful function singer/musician.

PA system

When turning up to a venue like a bar, pub or function space you’re going to need a decent set of speakers to perform out of. They need to be small and light enough to fit in your car and transport around a venue. Sometimes venues have multiple floors so you’ll need a little trolley to cart things along if performance space is a fair distance away.

Microphone and Mic Stands

The industry standard live performance mic is the Shure SM58 for singers and the SM57 for instrumentalists which are both dynamic mics and hav a decent frequency range. They’re also fairly robust just in case they fall on the floor. The cardioid microphones have a thinner diaphragm and therefore are more susceptible to breaking when dropped. Also it’s important to get yourself a boom mic stand if you’re using an instrument or performing sitting down or a straight mic stand if you’re a singer who like to stand.

Cables

The image above covers a wide range of cables you’ll need on gigs. The main cables you’ll be using are the 1/4 inch Jacks for instruments and the XLR cables for speakers and mics. You may also want phono cables if you have a DJ controller set up and mini jack to stereo phono/RCA or Jack if you want to use your phono/RCA or tablet for backing tracks or background music music between sets. Some speaker systems use speakon cables to make sure you’re aware what you system requirements are when you buy it and definitely before the next gig.

Mixing Desk

You’ll need to connect your PA system to a mixer if you want to be heard and you’ll also need the mixer for plugging various bits of equipment like your mics and cables. There are two main types of mixers — analogue like the one above and digital. Digital mixers are useful for having a lot of features in a small area. You have have multiple channels as well as effects channels like reverb as well as monitoring for in ear set ups. Analogue desks are simpler to use because they are linear. What you see is what you get and so for the beginner performer it may be better to start analogue and get used to linear signal paths before jumping into the digital domain.

Monitor Wedge

A small monitor wedge may be useful to be able to hear yourself better on gigs. This can help with pitching and also mean you don’t have to sing or play as loud to hear yourself properly. This can be the difference between lasting a whole month on gigs or running out of steam within a couple of weeks through straining and over performing. The alternative to a monitor wedge is an in ear system. This is more expensive because it requires you needing a set of in ear headphones as well as a system that sends signal to the in ears. The monitor wedge is more affordable and can be discreet as well as easy to mix.

Tablet Stand

This is another essential piece of equipment as a performer on functions. For the musician you’ll need your tablet for quick easy reference to set lists or any charts. For the singer you may need your tablet for set lists or lyrics. These stands clamp onto regular mic stands and are super easy to use. Of course you’ll need an extra mic stand to clamp it on but it’s massively necessary.

Backing Tracks

If you’re a singer or instrumentalist you may need some good quality backing tracks to perform to if you’re performing by yourself or in a duo/trio. There are a wide range of tracks out there from full blown karaoke replicas of original tracks to more chilled acoustic backing tracks. Whatever feel you’re looking for, there’s something out there for you and having professional sounding backing tracks can be the difference between your performance sounding amateur and classy.

I hope this has been helpful for you as you make your decisions about buying equipment for performing at functions. Acoustic Backs And Tracks provides professional quality acoustic backing tracks perfect for intimate environments like bars, pubs, receptions dinners, corporate dos and social media posts. If you’d like to purchase any of our tracks head over to www.acousticbacksandtracks.com

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