Looking for a karaoke system for a bar? Here are the essentials!
Karaoke is more popular than ever and a recent study of 37 karaoke venues showcases why. In short — karaoke is fun, interactive, and brings patrons to the venue who spend more time in the venue and more money on fare. Hosting a karaoke night once or more weekly with the right karaoke system for a bar is a ‘win win’…but what equipment will you need and how are you going to keep your karaoke music library fresh so your singers stay engaged?
One item, and the most important piece of ‘equipment’ you’ll need, is a qualified karaoke host (AKA KJ). Someone that knows how to work the crowd, sing when needed, and generally help with the flow of the karaoke night. The remainder of what you’ll need is a tightly meshed combination of karaoke software, karaoke hardware, and karaoke music.
Karaoke System for a Bar | The Essentials
The Laptop/Computer Specifications
First, you’re going to need a proper laptop, either MAC or Windows, that’s capable of running karaoke software efficiently and problem free. Here are the minimum system requirements we recommend:
- OSX 10.9 or greater
- 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad / Core i3/i5/i7
- 4 GIG RAM or Better
- Video card: Dedicated Video Card or Intel 3000 series (or Iris) or better
- 200 MB free on the hard-drive
- Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 10
- 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad / Core i3/i5/i7 / Amd Phenon
- 4 GIG RAM or Better
- Video card: Intel HD 3000 Series Graphics Card or Better
- 200 MB free on the hard-drive
No one brand sticks out above the others, but you also don’t want bargain basement and otherwise entry level machines. You need something that can hold up to the rigors of weekly abuse. If you allow smoking in your venue, especially.
The Karaoke Software
LYRX is modern, snappy, and easy-to-use karaoke show hosting software for MAC and Windows that’s capable of managing a singer rotation (keeping singers in order automatically), filling the gaps between singers and sets with automated filler music (so there’s no dreaded ‘dead air’), and much more. If you also want to DJ, our DEX 3 Pro software combines all the karaoke features found in LYRX with DJ capabilities and video mixing.
You would run the ‘lyrics-only’ output from your laptop (MAC/Windows) via HDMI into the ‘singers display’. The singers will only be able to view the lyrics on their screen while the KJ mans LYRX on the laptop screen. If you have multiple displays in your venue you can run to an HDMI splitter like this one.
LYRX is a one-off purchase that will provide you with activation for three different computers and FREE upgrades for life. Once you own it, it’s your’s to keep, and supports all popular standard karaoke file formats. A qualified karaoke host should be able to learn and use LYRX in a matter of a minutes. Learn More about LYRX
The LYRX karaoke software provides all the karaoke tools needed to search, add to rotation, and play karaoke songs — but where do you get the music, and just as importantly, how do you stay current with new karaoke music without having to scour the web weekly?
The Karaoke Music
Enter Party Tyme Karaoke — the leading manufacturer of new and popular karaoke music in the United States.
The commercially-legal Party Tyme Karaoke Subscription service is designed for professional use in bars and by professional karaoke hosts. At the time of this blog post the Party Tyme Karaoke subscription platform comes with over 15,600 HD quality karaoke songs with a perfect blend of old classics and brand new hits, with regular updates so the library stays fresh.
The legal Party Tyme Karaoke subscription service is $99-a-month, which undoubtedly sounds fairly pricey, but when individual karaoke downloads run anywhere from $2.49-a-track to $2.99-a-track from legal karaoke websites the value comes into focus. If you were to purchase the 15,600 + karaoke songs that Party Tyme includes you’d be looking at a lump payout of about 40K!
The best thing about Party Tyme Karaoke is the seamless integration with LYRX. You subscribe, login, access, search and stream from the Party Tyme catalog directly within the LYRX browser — so you never leave the application. What also makes the Party Tyme Karaoke subscription service unique is that you can download the entire catalog for offline use. That means that even if internet in your venue goes out one night the karaoke show can go on. Learn More about Party Tyme Karaoke
Now that you’ve got the karaoke player (LYRX) and the karaoke music (Party Tyme) sorted, what else are you going to need to host a proper karaoke night?
The Karaoke Hardware
The various hardware-based karaoke equipment you’ll need can be sourced from stores such as Guitar Center or online avenues such as sweetwater.com or musiciansfriend.com. If you have a local pro audio dealer you prefer than go with them.
Here’s a rundown of what essential hardware is required for your karaoke bar or venue — print this list and take it your local pro audio retailer or find online.
- Karaoke Mixer/Amp (PA style mixing board with at least 3 mic inputs – one for the karaoke host, two for the singers (duets))
- Minimum of 2 Speakers with minimum 15″ sub-woofer
- 2 Speaker Stands for the two ‘tops’
- 2-3 Wireless Microphones (The KJ’s mic can be corded)
- RF Converter
- 19″ Color LCD/LED TV with minimum resolution of 1366×768 (or another size if you prefer – but 19″ is fairly standard for the main ‘singers display’ for the lyrics)
- TV stand (or mount)
- Component Rack (hardware to mount all the hardware gear, and the laptop for the karaoke host, in one ‘rack’ or table/stand)
- Various Cables and Accessories to connect the hardware components (including HDMI for the lyrics output).
With all these items combined you’ll be up and running with a karaoke system for a bar that meets today’s standards and ensures a quality, problem free, karaoke event.
Still have questions? Call a PCDJ product specialist at 877-999-7235 x 1 to discuss!