ok, I didnt realize you already had a massive collection of songs on the comp. it may well be easier to go the pc route then for the gig, assuming you can find that program or another like it for playing the songs...its gonna irritate me until I remember what it is....urg...
the main reason Im not wild about hauling a desktop pc to a gig is, if something comes loose, your dead. desktops werent meant to be hauled around a lot...
the dj setup is designed for that.
some dj type cd players support mp3 disc playback, so thats something to consider, but I dont know how easy it is to find tracks quickly on them. since they can hold 10 albums of material, navigating to a song could be slow and clunky.
I dont normally go into sound system design for free, I have my own business doing sound work, but I will in this case only. I am keeping it on the cheap side, with a couple of exceptions. besides the sound card, skip to the end for the cheapest way to go...
I will use links from musicians friend, since I know their site. shop around, you might find a better deal.
has rca I/O, and a decent software bundle.Echo Mia
is the card I recommend, its high quality, has professional balanced I/O. more on that later.
has several small size mixers. this one is super cheap. go up to the 10/02 if more channels are needed. these are cheap mixers, and very hit or miss on individual unit quality.Soundcraft
is much better quality. this mixer looks pretty cool to me, I might buy one myself just for my computer sound I/O!
Mackie makes the better quality small mixers, but they cost more. look at the 1202 or the 1402.
or consider a dj type mixer for the cross fade slider (if you need it- fades can be done using regular sliders, its just not as user friendly). just make sure it has balanced outs!
the advantage of balanced audio is that its a hotter signal, has better noise rejection, and can go on longer runs. there are 3 conductors instead of 2. its pro level. thats why I suggest the echo card, and it uses 1/4 inch balanced plugs, which you can buy easily, and plug straight into the mixer without needing adaptors.
you will want a mic for announcements, MC'ing, hype, etc. theres lots of cheaper ones, but I stand by the SM58
. spend the extra bucks for an industry standard mic in this case.
dont forget a mic cord, and maybe a mic stand.
you will need an amp and speakers. there are options galore here. if you dont mind the extra weight in the speakers go with powered speakers. amp in built it, which is much more efficient. Mackie 450's
are easily the best. they cost, but its worth it.
use mic cords or 1/4 inch cables to connect mixer to powered speakers.
otherwise, go with a separate amp and passive speakers. tons of options there. dont forget speaker cables if this route is taken.
you may need speaker stands to get the sound up over peoples heads, so it projects.
you will probably also want a graphic EQ to put between the mixer and the amp/speakers. this is to fix room acoustics, and kill feedback on the mic.
is probably the best deal, with lots of features.TOLD YA IT AINT CHEAP!!!
there are options on how to save more here, look at powered mixers, which will include a limited graphic EQ, and amps. then you would just need passive speakers. Here
is an example. there are 4 pages of these on the musicians friend website.
so, now youve got an idea of the good and the cheap but will do the job. I will answer a couple questions on specific pieces once you narrow it down.
Edited by audioboy, 22 May 2005 - 08:30 PM.