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Using Pro Audio For Karaoke?

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  • Using Pro Audio For Karaoke?

    Okay, possibly the DUMBEST question ever:

    I have a buddy who is one of those guys who sings in the shower but is always and forever going to karaoke bars to sing and dance with the other drunks. Anyway, once or twice I went with him, and while I absolutely HATE everything that is Karaoke, he has been pestering me since I bought all this new PA gear and lighting to at least consider using it for  Karaoke or renting it to him so he could. 

    My answer has always been a resounding NO, but he brings up some good points. I don't make a lot of money with my band or acoustic act. I have absolutely ZERO interest in providing sound for bands or in doing DJ work. So other than a couple of times a month, all this very expensive gear basically sits collecting dust in my basement. But he claims there is good money in Karaoke. He also said that with my PA system, lights, and vocal mics, that if I went this route, the sound quality I could provide would blow people's minds.

    In truth, I have seen the Karaoke equipment that these Karaoke companies use (I don't even know what to call them or what their "title" is lol) at these bars, and he is right. They are using all horrifyingly crap speakers, ****************ty/budget vocal mics, no real mixer, and they just have a lot of songs.

    Now, while I am not seriously considering it I am sort of kind of considering it since other than my bands, I really have nothing to use my PA system for, and I think there is money to be made in this arena.

    Is this idea worthy of consideration or do you guys think it is a fool's errand? (Right now I am leaning toward fool's errand lol)

    Second, given that I have all the sound equipment, what would you DJ types recommend for something like this? Obviously a flatscreen TV or two would be needed, plus the Karaoke player/recorder, not to mention all the discs with the actual music on (which I know can get pricey since this is for commercial use...royalties and such).

    Third, what kind of money can I make doing this? I mean, I am NOT going to do it for $100.00 to $200.00 a night. It isn't worth humping all that gear, to be honest. So this may be an entirely moot question since, how much could karaoke guys possibly make? Seems like this might pyt me just above "gigging low level musician" on the pay-grade food chain.


    Hahaha I am almost embarassed to his "Post" on this one. :mansurprised:



  • #2
    One thing to think about, most places that have karaoke on Thursday night say, will have it every Thursday rain or shine. I'm actually a backup karaoke host for a friend. She does it every Thursday at one lounge then every Friday at another.

    Since its EVERY thurs or fri come hell or high water, I fill in for her when she can't make it. (Other commitments, too busy, tired etc) I get $150 and a food/drink tab for my efforts. She sets everything up, and I tear it down. 9:30 - 1am. The speakers/power amps/mixer are left at each venue. They are basically installs. So she brings the karaoke machine and ties it into a specific big screen at each lounge. I think she charges $250 plus a food/drink tab. She offered the fill in for $120 cash. I said make it $150 and I'll give you a receipt each time, then it's an expense for you and income for me. So she still makes $100 off it even if she's not there.

    Unless a place is looking for the odd karaoke night, it could be a big commitment. Another thing to look into...


    I get $300/night for doing sound for a band (add $150 - $250 for lights) and up to $1000 for DJ'ing weddings. I was passing on so many referrals,
    I thought what the heck. I have the gear, why not use it.

    It's not an every weekend commitment like karaoke, look into music subscriptions, I think the one I'm going with is $35/month for unlimited downloads, over a million songs to choose from. Have a nice clean setup, do a great job, and its some good money on the side.

    Not as prestigious as doing sound for bands, but definitely an option!


    • toober
      toober commented
      Editing a comment
      The better karaoke franchises don't print books anymore, so you don't have to upkeep those and lug them around. They have been replaced with a laptop for customers to scroll through songs (search features too) and sign up with.

    • Craig Vecchione
      Craig Vecchione commented
      Editing a comment

      StratGuy22 wrote:
      Not as prestigious as doing sound for bands, but definitely an option!

      Next time you're loading out at 3am, in the rain, post a pic so we can see exactly how prestigious it is!:manwink:

  • #3
    Make money wherever you can. You can reinvest it in your system and move forward.


    • #4
      Figure out what it's worth to you. Even if you think your price is high..........so what? You really don't care if you get hired or not. You might be surprised what you could make.


      • StratGuy22
        StratGuy22 commented
        Editing a comment
        Also, for karaoke, you don't need lights, you don't need monitors, arguably you don't need subs. The place here has newer Peavey SP2's at one locaton and some EV's at the other. So it would be a pretty light setup

        Karaoke machine
        2 wireless mics

        Charge $300/night.

    • #5
      You can certainly make good money if the situation is right. Pro audio gear is a good choice too, it feeds into the customers experience.