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Old 04-27-2011, 01:07 AM
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Default Singers and their equipment

I never thought finding one would be this hard! Is it actually like this normally or am I just having a bit of bad luck? The only singers I can seem to find are teenage girls whose family and friends have told her she can sing and has no idea about about how much a singer has to actually do, practice and has no intention of buying equipment.

This is all that is seemingly out there. A couple of band members have suggested that we just buy the PA and speakers between us so we can find a singer easier but really I think that is a bit unfair. The guitarists are spending a LOT of money on amps and guitars and I'm buying new cymbals all the time and currently saving for a new Kit. We have all spent a lot of money on our instruments and I really don't see why I should pay for someone else's on top of that.

Is it common practice to buy the singer their stuff? I mean I can understand chipping in on a PA and I would have no qualms about buying a few wedges so I can hear everyone but really anything else is taking this a bit far isn't it? I'm spending over 100 on just a Mic so I can do backing, surly the lead singer should buy their stuff.

Who try's to join a band and not have any equipment? It's ridiculous! If a Drummer or guitarist turned up with no instrument they would be laughed out of the room.

Sorry for the rant. So really the question is:

Is it normal practice for the musicians to pay for the singers equipment?

If the answer is yes, how do I convince my bassist to buy me a new Ride Cymbal? :D
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by ourlorderic View Post

Is it normal practice for the musicians to pay for the singers equipment?
Nope. But, "normal practice" isn't really any better: usually someone in the band has a PA that everyone uses, including a mic and stand for the singer. As a band, you need to figure out your PA situation, and the finances, storage, hauling, and maintenance issues that revolve around that.

Singers are used to showing up to venues, not having to carry anything with them. Why should joining your band be any different? When deciding what cut to give them, keep in mind what they do in the band, as far as schlepping gear, marketing/booking/managing, etc. If they simply show up 5 minutes before downbeat, sing their parts, and promptly leave (or worse yet, stand around while the rest of the band does all of the work), pay them accordingly...
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by ourlorderic View Post
Is it normal practice for the musicians to pay for the singers equipment?
Nope......In my experience, we've each had to carry our own cross. The band may chip in for PA's, mic's, rehearsal space and other 'communal' gear, but I've never been asked to put my hand in my pocket to fund one lowly SM58 because the singer can't be arsed.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

I would have thought the PA goes beyond the responsibility of just the singer. Maybe a single powered monitor for rehearsing, and a mic...but a whole PA does seem quite a lot.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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I would have thought the PA goes beyond the responsibility of just the singer. Maybe a single powered monitor for rehearsing, and a mic...but a whole PA does seem quite a lot.
Sorry....I certainly agree with that. For some reason I thought we were talking about a humble mic.

Although I'd consider a PA to be a communal expense - given that it's unlikely it'll just be the vox running through it - which I more or less covered in my previous post anyway.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Nope......In my experience, we've each had to carry our own cross. The band may chip in for PA's, mic's, rehearsal space and other 'communal' gear, but I've never been asked to put my hand in my pocket to fund one lowly SM58 because the singer can't be arsed.
So...which is it? Are the microphones part of the "communal" PA, or does each person have to pitch in for all of the mics? Why would the singer have to pay for their own mic if the drum set mics are paid for by the band fund? Or rather, it doesn't seem fair that the drummer would have to pay for ALL of their mics, if the singer only has to pay for ONE. (I'm not picking on you, PFOG, just speaking to the general topic...)

In my experience, the PA is owned by one person--usually the person in charge of the band, but sometimes by one of the band members. Whoever owns the PA gets a "rental" cut of the paycheck, since they have to bring so much extra gear for use by the entire band. Often times, that's me! :D
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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So...which is it? Are the microphones part of the "communal" PA, or does each person have to pitch in for all of the mics? Why would the singer have to pay for their own mic if the drum set mics are paid for by the band fund? Or rather, it doesn't seem fair that the drummer would have to pay for ALL of their mics, if the singer only has to pay for one...

In my experience, the PA is owned by one person--usually the person in charge of the band, but sometimes by one of the band members. Whoever owns the PA gets a "rental" cut of the paycheck, since they have to bring so much extra gear for use by the entire band. Often times, that's me! :D
Yeah, no doubts there's some confusion there. But I've always looked at it pretty simplistcally.

Short answer: each member should have the tools to enable them to do their job. If the singer doesn't have a mic to plug in to an existing PA, they should get one....at their own cost as it's what they require to get the job done. If the entire band needs a PA, the entire band covers the cost. A mic to a singer is like a drumstick to a drummer.....if you as an individual are lacking the tools to do your particular job, then you need to get that aspect sorted out.

I can't remember the last singer I played with who didn't show up with his own mic.....whether they were provided by the venue or not.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

I own my own PA and use it. I'm usually the singer too. And I carry extras in case someone wants to sing. But usually, those who I ask to sing with me, they normally have their own mic, stand and cable at the very least. Actually, most of the guys I play with, they all own their own PA so it's just a matter of deciding who is bringing out what.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
A mic to a singer is like a drumstick to a drummer.....if you as an individual are lacking the tools to do your particular job, then you need to get that aspect sorted out.
Hmm...I think I disagree with you here. The way I look at it, a mic is to a singer like a mic is to a drummer--used to amplify the sound when necessary. It just happens that it's more often necessary for a singer to need a mic than a drummer. I classify mics as part of the PA, not as part of a musician's personal gear that they haul. But, that's just me...
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:40 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Hmm...I think I disagree with you here. The way I look at it, a mic is to a singer like a mic is to a drummer--used to amplify the sound when necessary. It just happens that it's more often necessary for a singer to need a mic than a drummer. I classify mics as part of the PA, not as part of a musician's personal gear that they haul. But, that's just me...
Yep....we've offically created a minefield here Caddy and I'm not sure there is an actual right or wrong answer....only my expectations for the people I play with, I guess.

I will crawl out on a limb and say that even at acoustic gigs, I've never seen a singer without a mic. They use 'em at every gig....even the small ones and therefore I'd still argue the "tool of the trade" line. Admittedly, it doesn't address the wider problem of the PA to plug said mic in to though. May have to retreat with my tail between my legs on the broader issue and just leave it as: if you're gonna sing with one of my bands......bring your bloody mic. ;-)
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

AFAIC, the singer having their own mic is more about commitment than anything; if someone can't even be arsed to spend 50 on a microphone then how much do they really want to be in a band? A lot of band adverts for singers say "must have own microphone". Have you tried putting that on?
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

So really what you're saying is that the only thing the singer should be paying for completely out of their pocket is the mic?

I think I must be getting a bit confused with what the PA actually is and what plugs into it. All the guitarists have massive amps so I assume they would not plug into it and we will not be micing up the kit as that would make it to loud for the places we are playing (pub cover band, lot of laws on noise levels etc). So the only thing that would plug into it is mics right?

Now I have always thought (and I could be wrong very easily) that the PA was just the mixing deck really where you adjust levels on the mics. As well as buying the PA you would need to buy big speakers so the audience will hear the vocals.

So is that right or am I missing something here? Heh did not quite realise the giant gap in my knowledge here. The place we practice has a PA and speaker system that we use and I never really have any dealings with it. Whilst I'm setting up my drum kit someone else will sort out the PA.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

The PA is the whole lot. With the speakers and everything (engineer not included, I hear slavery is illegal).
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

Singers with only a mic join bands all the time. My band's singer bought a small PA because he felt guity that everyone else was spending money and lugging lots of stuff while he got off scot free. He's a good human being.

In most band's I've been in, either we've used the venue's PA, hired PAs or a manager/engineer we had brought his along. In one band the singer would often saunter in after everyone else was well into at setting to. He's just have his Shure and set list. He'd help (or pretend to help or talk to people actually doing stuff) for a couple of minutes and then would go off socialising.

Nice work if you can get it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

OK fair enough. I still feel a little put out because you know, money I could spend on cymbals but if it's the only way to get a singer then I guess we will have to do it. Think we will have to rent one for a while though because we have all just spent all our money on various bits of equipment for our own instruments.

Still a bit fathomed that we have to spend so much on a PA when all we use it for is to make the singer sound a bit better with some backing. Never thought being in a band would be so expensive. We are going to have to gig for years just to break even (not that I'm in it for the money, would be nice to have my petrol covered though...)
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by ourlorderic View Post
So really what you're saying is that the only thing the singer should be paying for completely out of their pocket is the mic?
Pretty much. The PA (which is the speakers, mics, cables and stands as well as the mixing desk) is generally seen as a "band responsibility" even if it is only the singer who will need it. Also you'd be surprised at the size of clubs who have everything including drums and guitar amps miked up.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by ourlorderic View Post
A couple of band members have suggested that we just buy the PA and speakers between us so we can find a singer easier but really I think that is a bit unfair. The guitarists are spending a LOT of money on amps and guitars and I'm buying new cymbals all the time and currently saving for a new Kit. We have all spent a lot of money on our instruments and I really don't see why I should pay for someone else's on top of that.
The PA isn't the singer's equipment; It's the band's equipment
you will all be going through it
you all use it

the band should all put to it and the singer should buy his/her mic.



Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehimself View Post
Pretty much. The PA (which is the speakers, mics, cables and stands as well as the mixing desk) is generally seen as a "band responsibility" even if it is only the singer who will need it. Also you'd be surprised at the size of clubs who have everything including drums and guitar amps miked up.
Erm, pretty much this
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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OK fair enough. I still feel a little put out because you know, money I could spend on cymbals but if it's the only way to get a singer then I guess we will have to do it.
Dude, it's not just for getting a singer, you'll sound better as a band and feel better because of it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

I view the PA system as a communal ownership. In how many bands do just one person sing all the music? As a minimum, there is usually other members singing backing vocals.

If the singer has a special mic setup, then that is their responsibility. They may also have a wireless system, which would be on them.

I play drums and sing about 1/4 of the songs, so I bought my own headset mic and cables, but the band already had the PA system.

My bands may be a bad example, since there is no single lead singer. We all play instruments and sing leads/backing as well. The guy with the least amount of setup is the keyboard player, so he helps others setup and takedown. We try to split the efforts as evenly as possible so we can get setup and taken down as efficiently as possible.

Many times when a singer joins a band, they are replacing someone else that was using equipment the band already had (potentially sans a mic).
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:08 PM
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The guy with the least amount of setup is the keyboard player, so he helps others setup and takedown. We try to split the efforts as evenly as possible so we can get setup and taken down as efficiently as possible.
The PA, being a "communal" piece of gear, should have shared set up responsibilities.

Back in the day, when my rock band played small gigs, we ran the vocals through a second channel of the guitarist's half stack. That's always an option--have the singer buy a comparable amp set up to the other amplified instruments.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Singers and their equipment

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Originally Posted by ourlorderic View Post
OK fair enough. I still feel a little put out because you know, money I could spend on cymbals but if it's the only way to get a singer then I guess we will have to do it. Think we will have to rent one for a while though because we have all just spent all our money on various bits of equipment for our own instruments.

Still a bit fathomed that we have to spend so much on a PA when all we use it for is to make the singer sound a bit better with some backing. Never thought being in a band would be so expensive. We are going to have to gig for years just to break even (not that I'm in it for the money, would be nice to have my petrol covered though...)
No, the PA is potentially for all of the instruments as well as vocals, depending on the size of the venue. If it is a little hole in the wall place and all you need to do is reinforce is the vocals, then that's one thing, but as soon as you play larger clubs you will sound much better with a quieter stage volume and everything run through the PA.

The guitar amps on stage are for the guitarists/basses to hear themselves, not to blast out into the audience (although a lot of guitarists don't understand that!). I've been on both sides of the issue (drummer as well as sound engineer), and for most clubs I'd rather see a guitarist show up with a single 1x12 or 2x10 combo amp (with a stand to angle it up to point to his ears instead of his knees) than a monster stack of speakers. Having a loud stage volume just isn't necessary and it actually makes it harder to get a good overall sound out of a band.

If you choose to avoid the costs/hassles of renting a PA, then the PA is usually a shared expense or is owned by one person. I own the PA for my band because I'm the gear-head who likes to deal with that sort of thing. I have everything labelled, pre-wired, and preset so we can get everything set up quickly. On our last gig, the singer/acoustic guitarist and I had the PA and monitors completely set up in about 10 minutes (not including mic cables, each band member runs their own).
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BradGunnerSGT View Post
I have everything labelled, pre-wired, and preset so we can get everything set up quickly. On our last gig, the singer/acoustic guitarist and I had the PA and monitors completely set up in about 10 minutes (not including mic cables, each band member runs their own).
that's pretty impressive!
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