I have been invited to play in a cafe but they don't have any sound system. I'm thinking of buying a live performance setup, so that I can use to play MJ and music for future gigs as well without relying on the establishment.

I already have the following:

  • Condenser mic - samson C03
  • Focusrite scarlet 2i2
  • Mic stands and cables
  • Laptop
  • Guitar pickup

I need a PA system so that I can plugin audio interface to the system and play.

Now, I have doubt that the condenser mic will pickup background noise and it will be impossible to play and the sound will not be loud enough. In case I'm willing to buy dynamic mic, mixer and monitors. What should I buy?

Also is there a difference between live monitors that connect to an audio interface and those that connect to a mixer.

  • 4
    Are you asking generally what type of equipment to buy? Specific recommendations are not a subject addressed on this particular site.
    – Aaron
    Jan 10 at 2:52
  • Condenser mic will probably need phantom power - not always available on p.as, so a dynamic will be better suited - they also survive knocks far better. P.a. speakers are a better bet than a monitor/foldback.
    – Tim
    Jan 10 at 8:19
  • Even if you're running backing tracks from the laptop, you'd be better off running mics & guitar to a mixer, along with the laptop, rather than through it. Condenser vs dymanic does not in itself dictate the pickup response. Rugged dynamics like the SM58 are not only tailored to close-miked voice, but are built to stand being dropped a couple of times.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 10 at 10:07

Using mic, guitar and any other audio inputs, you'll need a mixer with at least 4 inputs. That will go into either an amp then speakers, or straight into powered speakers. Using powered speakers, you'll need not only the cable out from mixer, but also mains to each cabinet. Or, use a mixer-amp., which is as the name suggests, both in the same box, requiring passive speakers instead. And only one mains lead. Personally, I prefer as few mains cables as possible in situations where the public is roaming close.

Mic wise, the trusty SM58 is standard ware for a lot of performers - any dynamic mic is more robust than a condenser, so is more recommended. Stands for the speakers can be useful where there's no stage - high speakers send the sound out better.

Wouldn't bother with any foldback - it's all extra carrying and wiring - and for one performer not needed with careful positioning of speakers.

What wattage amp., what size speakers, are factors to consider with future gigs in mind. A 1000watt amp with 15" speakers works fine for maybe a 500 strong audience, but overkill for 50! And the opposite too - 100watt with 10" speakers is good for 50, but won't cope with 500!

As an aside, discuss with the venue about insurance - for your gear, and public liability.

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