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The Most Important Sound Gear at Live Gigs for Singers

Kevin Alexander shares what the most important live sound equipment is to have when performing.

Kevin Alexander

Sound Engineer | Technologist | Co-founder of Singdaptive

This week’s Tips from the Team are all about vocal effects! Today, we hear from sound engineer, technologist and Singdaptive co-founder, Kevin Alexander on some vocal effect terminology and turn-offs.

Kevin on the Most Important Live Sound Equipment

Tips from the Team Transcript: So you’re doing some gigs on a regular basis. Their live gigs and you’re kind of going, “What is the live sound equipment I really need to make sure I have? What’s the most important thing to have?” And in my experience, it ain’t the speakers, it ain’t the microphone, it’s your little bag of odds and ends, your little kit of things that you need that fix common problems that come up. Like for me, there’s European mic stands and there’s North American mic stands. There’s two different threads sizes on the end of mic stands and some mic clips fit on one and not another. And you can get these little threaded adapters that help match them. You know what, having a little bag of some of those adapters is great.

You might be on a gig and have certain cables that you need like, “Oh no, I need an XLR and quarter inch. And I have to go home and get it.” or, “Oh, somebody had a phone. And I wanted to plug that in. And I had my headphone adapter, but I didn’t have an eighth-inch that went to RCA or phone or whatever it was.” All these little interconnect cables and things like that are really crucial. These are in some ways the most important things to have in your bag because they’re things that often people forget and don’t have. So you can have the best speakers, the best microphones. Who’s going to forget a speaker? Who’s going to forget a mixer? No one does that. It’s all those little in-between bits and the problem with those is you often can’t just go down to your local sound store and even buy them.

So developing a little package or kit of those things, things where honestly you went, “Oh my goodness. I had to go home and get something.” Put whatever that thing was in the bag. The other tip I recommend is the cables and stuff you use at home when you practice, don’t use those same ones for your live gig. We don’t forget speakers. We don’t forget even generally microphones and mixers. We forget all the little cables. So I often have separate power cables, separate mic cables, separate interconnect cables, separate power cables, and I leave some at home. And some go with me to the gig. That would be the most important part of my live sound kit.

What's the Most Important Live Sound Equipment to Have?

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The Singdaptive Team feature a collection of contributions of thoughts from Singdaptive founders, instructors and currated vocal experts.