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-   -   Most versatile audio solution to this application? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f12/most-versatile-audio-solution-application-143754/)

roasted 05-14-2012 02:55 PM

Most versatile audio solution to this application?
 
I have a 12 year old shelf stereo from Aiwa that I've had hooked up to my computer since the beginning of time. It's loud, sounds decent, has a range of equalizer settings and presets, etc. All in all, it does the job done, and blows any 2.1 computer audio system I've seen completely out of the water. Well, I'm getting married in October, and in an effort to save some money we're doing the music ourselves with the help of my brothers to keep an eye on the pre-defined playlists. My computer will be there running Ubuntu + Clementine with everything set up ready to go. They just have to transition from "dinner" music to "dance" music and whatnot, which will be separated by playlists. Super easy.

The curve ball is, the Aiwa system I have I was planning on using, as I'm sure it would be enough for the venue we're having the reception at, but the one speaker is starting to have a baffle/mumble sound as it hits certain notes, which from my car audio days suggests the speaker is being clipped or in the beginning stages of failing. This, of course, kicks me into thinking about a replacement.

Three options are on the table.

1 - A newer, bigger shelf system. This guy here looks like it would be perfect. Pros and cons... Pros are I could re-use it as my replacement audio system for my computer, which is a pretty decent idea. Cons, well, maybe I could piece together my own more "professional" grade system with some PA speakers and a receiver? I don't know. It looks like that route is getting a bit pricier anyway, so this shelf system looks attractive. Several reviews have stated they've used this system for a similar situation, such as anniversary parties, etc.
Amazon.com: Sony Muteki 560 Watts Hi-Fi Stereo Shelf Audio System with Integrated iPodŽ Dock, 5 Disc CD Changer, Game SyncTM Mixing & 3 Way Bass Reflex Speakers with Dual 6.75" Woofers: Electronics

2 - A regular home audio system. This option is probably the one I dislike the most. The pro is, I could re-use it later for the living room as I have no stereo system there connected to the TV at all... it simply runs off of the onboard TV audio, which is okay, but not entirely optimal. I don't see how a living room home theatre system, even a higher dollar one, is going to be powerful enough to push enough volume/sound across the venue. The venue isn't absolutely large... but it's enough to fit 110 people into around round 8 person tables.

3 - A pieced together PA audio system. I considered this option heavily, especially after being at my cousin's wedding this past weekend which had two large passive speakers on stands and a receiver, along with a laptop plugged in to control everything. The speakers themselves looked to be 200 a piece, based on what information I could see on the speaker and cross referencing that to online sites selling this equipment. The other thing is, I would need to get a receiver/mixer/whatever that thing is that goes in between two PA speakers (I have no idea if receiver is the proper name or not). Pros - it MIGHT offer more/better sound than the Sony system, but I'm not sure how confident I am in that. Cons, it's likely to cost more (which is okay, as long as I can re-use the gear) which brings me to the next con, I don't know how to re-use this gear. It won't just plug in to the TV over HDMI, and it won't be easy to adapt to my computer, which further isolates this option from being an optimal one.

Overall, I'm leaning more towards option 1. Best Buy had this system in stock for the same price as Amazon. It sounded decent when I quickly cranked it for a few seconds, certainly better than my Aiwa.

I'm still on the fence, and still have time to play. Figured I'd post here to see what you folks thought.

Evstarr 06-11-2012 01:48 PM

I would buy what works best for the house. Then find out if your venue has an in house system available either portable or built in and what adapters you'll need for your computer. If they don't, rent a pa for the event. You will not be happy with the pa at home or the bookshelf at the wedding. Plus the rental can give you a mic for cheesy speeches lol.

Seattle2k 06-11-2012 04:51 PM

Take it from an experienced DJ....just rent a PA.

gregzoll 06-11-2012 07:45 PM

For a wedding, spend the money to hire a DJ. It is hopefully a one time affair, and even for a couple of hours, it is better than just doing a setup, that you normally would leave reserved for hanging out on the patio, or when hanging out with friends for dinner or convo at home.

Even at $75-110 an hour, depending how long you are talking, it will be worth it. Most dj's will set up and run a playlist off of a iPod, or dvd with a bunch of mp3's on it if you ask them, and then just hang out until time to get everyone up and dancing. Trust me, it will be worth it.

roasted 06-11-2012 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 941231)
For a wedding, spend the money to hire a DJ. It is hopefully a one time affair, and even for a couple of hours, it is better than just doing a setup, that you normally would leave reserved for hanging out on the patio, or when hanging out with friends for dinner or convo at home.

Even at $75-110 an hour, depending how long you are talking, it will be worth it. Most dj's will set up and run a playlist off of a iPod, or dvd with a bunch of mp3's on it if you ask them, and then just hang out until time to get everyone up and dancing. Trust me, it will be worth it.

Some time has passed and I've had a lot of time to think about the pros and cons of each scenario. I appreciate your insight as well, but the 2nd paragraph you just wrote is the *exact* reason I decided to not go with a DJ. Paying 1,500-2,000 for somebody to do something I could easily do? Not only that, but it's not something I'm going to have to personally handle. My brothers (musicians) have been using the software for the past few weeks, so we'll be in good shape in that department. I'm going to be renting a stereo system and running everything from my desktop computer (bringing the laptop with all the music/playlists as a backup). Everything will be set up and ready to go, pretty much just have to hit "play".

We'll see how it goes. I'm confident it'll be fine based on what "test drives" we've done so far.

gregzoll 06-11-2012 10:48 PM

You are talking a wedding. Also, it is not 1500 to 2000 for "something you can do". Get over it, and pay someone. Your soon to be will realize how the cheapskate you are. My wife & I got lucky and actually got a discount on the dj, since it was someone she worked with, that did it professionally on the weekends.

Again, you are talking a wedding, and the last thing you want to deal with, is the computer crashing, due to it decided to go tit's up, and instead of you spending time with your new wife, you are up there playing IT.

roasted 06-11-2012 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 941413)
You are talking a wedding. Also, it is not 1500 to 2000 for "something you can do". Get over it, and pay someone. Your soon to be will realize how the cheapskate you are. My wife & I got lucky and actually got a discount on the dj, since it was someone she worked with, that did it professionally on the weekends.

Again, you are talking a wedding, and the last thing you want to deal with, is the computer crashing, due to it decided to go tit's up, and instead of you spending time with your new wife, you are up there playing IT.

I understand what you are saying, and I know there's an "art" or whatever that DJs bring to the mix, but I've been to quite a few weddings in the last year or two and each time I made it a point to talk to the DJ and get an idea of what their setup is since, well, I'm curious about any and all technology. More times than not they're simply running through a series of playlists and downclocking the volume when it's time to say something over the PA system. It's not to say they're doing nothing, but some of the quotes I've heard of vs how good the DJs were was kind of a disappointing ratio, but that's my personal opinion. I might be in a semi unique position though too since my brothers are going to be performing some music for us at the reception (they're both musicians), which is why they're going to be handling the computer/stereo system as well. I appreciate your insight, but some time has passed since I posted this thread... we've done some test drives with the setup and things have worked out great. I've gotten some quotes on rental gear for the actual speakers and whatnot and, well, let's just say: :thumbsup:

For what it's worth, I work in IT, so backups come as second nature - which is exactly why (as I said above) I'll have a laptop there with the same music and same playlists as my desktop that we'll be using as the primary system. It'll already be fired up and ready to go, just in case.

wkearney99 06-12-2012 10:22 AM

Ugh, getting married is effort enough without throwing the setup of an audio system into the mix. I'm in the 'hire a dj with his own gear' camp.

Otherwise check around for what it costs to rent actual PA gear. Or pick up something cheap via craigslist and turn it back around once you're done wiht it. The sort of speakers and amplification you'd need to for a hall are a lot different than what you'd have in your home.

roasted 06-12-2012 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wkearney99 (Post 941685)
Ugh, getting married is effort enough without throwing the setup of an audio system into the mix. I'm in the 'hire a dj with his own gear' camp.

Otherwise check around for what it costs to rent actual PA gear. Or pick up something cheap via craigslist and turn it back around once you're done wiht it. The sort of speakers and amplification you'd need to for a hall are a lot different than what you'd have in your home.

Which is exactly why I'm going the renting my own audio gear/using my own computer route. :thumbsup:

gregzoll 06-12-2012 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roasted (Post 941454)
I understand what you are saying, and I know there's an "art" or whatever that DJs bring to the mix, but I've been to quite a few weddings in the last year or two and each time I made it a point to talk to the DJ and get an idea of what their setup is since, well

You know, I have seen my dentist fill a cavity, but that does not make me qualified to do it myself. As for seeing a dj do what they do, there are bad ones, then there are those that are professionals and you would never be able to compete with what they do.

roasted 06-12-2012 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 941786)
You know, I have seen my dentist fill a cavity, but that does not make me qualified to do it myself. As for seeing a dj do what they do, there are bad ones, then there are those that are professionals and you would never be able to compete with what they do.

I agree with you. The curve ball I'm having trouble with is finding a DJ in the area that comes highly recommended that I haven't already seen. So far, what I've seen has absolutely not warranted a 2,000 dollar price tag. Hence, my decision.

I appreciate the insight everyone, but we're pretty much good to go now. The original thing was whether or not a large desktop shelf system would be enough, but I decided to cut out that portion of the guessing game and rent the gear needed. Besides that, this wedding will be as in-house as possible. :thumbsup:

unbalancedwood 06-24-2012 05:58 AM

My wife & I just got married in April & we found our DJ through a friend of ours. He's done parties, etc in the past but this was the first wedding for him. He was great! Brought his own equipment, we just provided a table for him. One PA speaker, laptop, mic, etc. It only cost us $600 I believe (wife handed all bookings for the wedding). And it was great, we provided the music desired, he compiled it all, and was in constant contact with the wife...with her adding songs she wanted played. Although we didn't get to listen to ALL the music we had in mind, he did a great presentation, people loved talking with him & taking requests. A DJ, even though simple in presentation is something that should be hired for a wedding, you or no-one coming to your wedding want to 'fiddle' with making sure things are working, taking requests, playing music, etc. You can find a deal...just have to look hard enough...or know a few good people...

Fix'n it 06-24-2012 10:55 AM

$2000 for a DJ for a few hours :eek::eek::eek:

where do you live, HOLLYWOOD ?

roasted 06-24-2012 11:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unbalancedwood (Post 950123)
My wife & I just got married in April & we found our DJ through a friend of ours. He's done parties, etc in the past but this was the first wedding for him. He was great! Brought his own equipment, we just provided a table for him. One PA speaker, laptop, mic, etc. It only cost us $600 I believe (wife handed all bookings for the wedding). And it was great, we provided the music desired, he compiled it all, and was in constant contact with the wife...with her adding songs she wanted played. Although we didn't get to listen to ALL the music we had in mind, he did a great presentation, people loved talking with him & taking requests. A DJ, even though simple in presentation is something that should be hired for a wedding, you or no-one coming to your wedding want to 'fiddle' with making sure things are working, taking requests, playing music, etc. You can find a deal...just have to look hard enough...or know a few good people...

Glad to know your situation was a success! I definitely hear what you're saying... I'm not sure I'd consider going this route if it wasn't for the confidence I have in my brothers handling it. They've played a series of live shows at quite a few different concert venues in the city, so the "live" aspect (even though they're handling the music and not actively playing it with instruments) isn't anything that would deter them. Likewise, they're as obsessed with music as I am IT... between me making sure things are set up and ready to go with the push of a button and them handling the flow of things, I'm sure we'll be fine.

I've got a laptop ready to go as a backup, even though the likelihood of needing it is slim to none. It's a little more comforting knowing that my desktop is RAID'd too, so I at least have a layer of disk redundancy there as well.

At first I was really hesitant on the whole situation, but living 1/4 mile from my brothers helps, as I've popped up there a few times to do a mock-setup. Things have gone *that* well that I really have no doubt at this point. Between the pre-set up playlists, spare backup systems, knowing the software in and out, it'll be fine. They have an amp/mic set to use, so really I just have to rent some PA speakers and a receiver. :thumbsup:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Fix'n it (Post 950256)
$2000 for a DJ for a few hours :eek::eek::eek:

where do you live, HOLLYWOOD ?

No, that's the crazy part. There's just not that many DJs in the area that I've found, and most of them are 1000-1500 easy. Based on what info I've gotten from the DJs I've talked to, if I really want to get a DJ and feel comfortable it'll be done right, 1,500 it is. Things in general aren't that cheap for wedding, as I'm sure anybody who's married knows. Some photographers we talked to wanted 2,200 for their services, even though their portfolio was the definition of less-than-mediocre. But like unbalancedwood said, deals are out there if you search long enough. We found a photography student who's in school and has done a few weddings already. Her prices are 1/4 of everyone else and her shots are phenomenal. I just didn't have that kind of luck on the music front, however, like I said before, that part is a done deal. We're good now. :thumbsup:

Fix'n it 06-24-2012 12:38 PM

for that money, i don't blame you for looking for a different way. i would to. my wedding DJ , about 15years ago, cost about $300(maybe less, i don't remember exactly). and he did fine.


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