So I run a local live band in my hometown.

Aside from performing, my job is also to find cost-effective sound system from 3rd party.

The sound system is only used for my live band and for the MC.

My live band consists of: [1x Acoustic Violin] [1x Acoustic Guitar] [1x Digital Keyboard]

Here's the thing. I don't know much about sound system setup or the equipment used.

Lately the sound system providers has been quoting me charges that are very expensive to my clients.

I figure it's time that I rent essential equipment only.

I asked in another forum, and here's what I get for this particular event:

Venue: Some Indoor Hotel Event: Wedding Reception Tables booked: 25 People using sound system: 2 musicians (1x acoustic violin, 1x acoustic guitar) & 1 MC

2x mics (1 for violin, 1 for MC) 2x XLR cables for mics 2x quarter-inch cables for acoustic guitar & digital keyboard 1x mixer 1x power amp 1x long outlet sockets to connect to power source 4x speakers 4x speaker stands

Are these essentials sufficient?

  • This question is pretty much unanswerable except as a checklist you bought "enough bits". If the whole lot cost $£€ 500, then you'd be better off hiring professional services.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 18:51
  • They are, like you said, a very basic setup but they will do if the musicians are good (no offense meant) and they equipment isn't of the cheapest quality. Some compressors, a DI and an FX unit might make a good addition but with the exception of the DI, they could be parts of a digital mixer. Also, what are you going to do monitor-wise? Will you be able to hear each other well enough to perform? If not, you also need monitors, amps and the same number of free aux sends on your mixer. Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


You will want a violin pickup rather than a mic. A pickup clips to the violin itself and will work more reliably than having to play in to a mic.

You will want to use a direct boxes for both the acoustic guitar (assuming it already has an unbalanced pickup (1/4" jack)) and the keyboard. This will let you get to a balanced signal more quickly that will produce less noise and allow lifting ground off the keyboard's power in case of power issues at the venue.

The keyboard may have stereo output in which case you may want to outputs from it.

You will need a mixer, but rather than a power amp and speakers, I would recommend simply using powered speakers. 4 speakers is excessive for the size of venue you are talking about. Two decent sized powered speakers should be sufficient for your purposes.

You will need 6 XLR cables, 1 for mic, 1 for violin, 1 for each of the direct boxes. You will also need 1 for each of the powered speakers as you will want to run balanced signal to each speaker.

Overall, I would expect the cost to be a minimum of $1200 and probably closer to $1500 to buy the setup. It's possible to spend much more and still get your money's worth, but much below $1200 and you are asking for trouble with various components.

Rentals tend to not be a particularly great deal as the gear gets badly abused in open rentals and has to be replaced a lot. Within 4-5 events you can typically pay for buying the gear new outright, let alone if you buy used gear.

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