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Make Money Makin' Music! Part 1

Make Money - Makin' Music... hurrah. Get $ Notes for Notes o o o Groovy;--) This page contains a lot of info and tips, so I suggest printing it out if you wanna get an efficient band/unit up and running fast quickly. If your new to the game, it's best to read through from the start - experienced players can delve in where they like. Beginners  - you probably have a lot of similar equipment already, this will help you fill in the gaps. There's loads of options open here so take your time, good luck with the gigs and break a proverbial.

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Musicians Lucky Penny width=30 height=26$ Make Money Special/Backing Tracks $

  • Vox 1 / Midi - Drum Programming / Bells (recorded on location in Geneva, Switzerland;) / Biog and Demo Packaging / Artwork - Gerry Hoey.
  • Vox 2 / Recording / Mixing / Guitars / Bass / Demo Masters / Ordering at the Bar - David O'Toole.

- altho' there's nothing like the real thing such as blasting it out with rockin' combo, sometimes push comes to shove and the bills have to be paid.

  • Bittersweet Symphony: The original of course written and recorded by The Verve. Mix a quality backing track with live, versatile musicians. A recipe for a cookin', well-rehearsed and extremely tight 1, 2 or 3-Piece or ...whatever. The higher the number the more mouths to feed and so on.
  • #2 Super-effectively promote the band yourself by using your PC to design and produce high quality demos/for sale CDs, promo-packs, flyers, logos, posters, band-website, and whatever else you can dream up to get high paying gigs. There's so much under your control!
  • #3 Designate different duties to individual band-members. Cut out the middle-men! Keep the Money and the Peace!
  • #4 Give your Band some Visual Impact!
  • #5 Make sure all members are on the same wavelength. ie This a serious professional project, and the main aim is to earn some serious wages (and have a bit of fun of course). Explain clearly to potential partners what your aiming for, make sure your all on the same wavelength.

Follow these methods and you will make top wages and get the gigs you want!


To answer this question you need to look at the following list of what's needed, and what you already have or can afford to buy. Bear in mind that we're here to make money as well as set up and run a fun but Pro Unit.

In general, unless you are experienced, and can already sing and play a 2-Hour set, and cover all the duties necessary, I would suggest teaming up with 1 or 2 others who can share the load. If you're a guitarist pick a keyboard player and vice versa.

If you don't sing, start now! It's never too late. Take a few basic lessons or try a good tutor. Every week, pick 3 fast, simple, and popular songs that you like, and learn them until you know them backwards. In only a month you'll have 12 songs to contribute to the band. That's a third of a 2-hour set! Remember everyone sings in this group. Lead AND backing Vocals. The effort is worth it. The difference is huge!

Regardless of how many people you decide on (for an effective money-making unit you must consider this very carefully), here's a basic list of equipment and skills needed to operate a Money-Spinning Team. You probably possess some of it already. It's pretty basic stuff.

This subject is dealt with in more in Make Money Makin' Music! Part 2.


Musicians Lucky Penny width=30 height=26$ Make Money Special/Equipment Band Equipment and Skills $

Gig Set-up Tips
  • Have a look at the stage and choose the safest place preferably a corner, and also with easy access for whoever's on the controls for the night.
  • Each venue will need an individual approach. Remember expensive equipment repair bills are not part of the plan, so taking and making a few simple precautions helps things along.
  • A very good tip for beginners is to allow some extra time for setting up, if it's the first time you'll be playing this particular gig. You'll get to know each stage if you play them on a regular basis, and the time involved for set-up. Please don't forget Murphy's Law.
  • When your placing the gear, do keep in your mind the loveable, enthusiastic but potentially dangerous, drink wielding punter. He or she can blow a fuse and your gear at the swish of an expressive hand.
  • For this type of problem, build a little BARRICADE between your gear and the dangerous parts of the dance floor, if there is one - Use guitar cases and the like, allowing of course the punters to still see and adore you ;-).
  • Keep a careful eye on your guitar pedals on the floor - a vulnerable part of any guitarist's defence - hmmm.

Ok here's a few well researched and used bits of kit, that will give you excellent quality and tone, along with a most important gigging factor... reliability. This gives you the freedom to concentrate on your playing and guitar, and not worrying why the right side is down or something horrible like that.


Musicians Lucky Penny width=30 height=26$ Make Money Special! P1 Lead + Backing Vocals & Instruments $


For a Microphone that will stand the punishment try a Shure SM58 Rugged and great sound. Great for live work AND recording guitars and vocals and... a lot of instruments.

Shure SM58 Mic

Shure SM58 Mic

Legendary for its uncanny ability to withstand abuse that would destroy any other microphone, the Shure SM58 has not only helped to define the sound of rock vocals on stage, it's also been used as a hammer to build stages and gone on to perform flawlessly later at the gig. Using a club's house system? You'll be singing through an SM58. And in the studio? Guess what mic Bruce Swedien used to fatten up Michael Jackson's vocals on the Thriller album .The Shure SM58 Mic is world-renowned for its distinctive upper-midrange presence peak that ensures an intelligible, lively sound. Perfectly fits the hand, balanced for total comfort during long gigs. Frequency response is a smooth, vocal-tailored 50Hz-15kHz, and the price is a bargain considering its life expectancy.

This is an inexpensive industry standard - an awesome seriously established and credited classic. No batteries needed, so think of the cash you'll save - think Make Money Make Music! ;-). Ok it's a small point, but apart from this, it is a handy feature of this basic, but brilliant bit of kit. This is what's known as a Dynamic Microphone or Mic in the biz.

You can also get a Condenser/Capacitor or Electret Mics, and these are far more sensitive, great for the studio. Usually they require powering by the aforementioned battery or Phantom Power from the desk.

  • Mic Tips Start off with an SM58 and you'll get off to a good footing for live AND studio work. Use the Capacitor Mics for special occasions (if suitable) or recording.
  • Mic Tips If a vocalist is naturally very hissy and trebly, don't bother with a Capacitor, use a Dynamic.


Musicians Lucky Penny width=30 height=26$ Make Money Special/Live Sound $  Stage Rig or P.A.


Your stage rig or PA system is vital to get right. Don't cut corners here if you want to get a professional sound and asked back for more gigs. It's possible to get a great sound AND make money at the same time - good.

Stage Mixing Desk-Power Amp-Speakers-Small Monitor-Lights-Mic Stands

  • Gigging Tips If Stage Equipment is hired, there is one major advantage, and that's free maintenance. I think it's far more cost effective tho', to invest in a new, guaranteed 1 to 2k Power-Amp and Speakers, (pay it off over a year if your stuck for cash). In my last band of two, The Crybabys - Hi Ger, we went for the Peavey Power Amp and the gear is still going strong.

Peavey CS 3000 Power Amplifier

Peavey CS 3000 Power Amplifier

The CS Series is the global standard bearer for workhorse reliability. These amps have benefitted from Peavey's most popular audio innovations, including exclusive DDT compression/anticlipping protection. Circuitry protects against shorts, improper loads, abrupt turn-on levels, high temperatures, and subsonic frequencies that could damage loudspeakers. All CS power amps include toroidal power transistors for lighter weight and increased power.Have different needs than this amp provides? Check out the rest of the CS Series: 2-channel models: CS 1400 CS 2000 CS 4080HZ CS 40004-channel CS 800 x 4

A speaker system is needed of course and the matching Peavey speakers for their power amps are durable and sound professional - a winning combination.

Peavey SP 5 2-Way 15

Peavey SP 5 2-Way 15" Speaker Cab

The 2-way, full-range enclosure of the Peavey SP 5 Speaker Cab houses a 15" Scorpion woofer with field-replaceable basket, asymmetrical Quadratic Throat Waveguide horn, and an RX 22 2" titanium-diaphragm compression driver. Peavey includes Sound Guard III tweeter and midrange protection with the SP 5 Cabinet. Handles 400W continuous power, 800W program, and 1600W peak. Baltic birch construction. Frequency response: 69Hz to 17kHz. Max SPL: 133dB peak.A live sound standard for more than 3 decades, SP series enclosures feature exclusive Peavey technology for better performance, lighter weight, and killer value. Enclosures come loaded with Black Widow loudspeakers, RX22 compression drivers with ferrofluid cooling, and Quadratic Throat Waveguide technology that results in dramatically reduced horn distortion.Tired of backbreaking load in/load out situations every night? 25% lighter than their predecessors, these rugged, 9-ply Baltic birch construction enclosures utilize extensive internal bracing to produce tighter bass response. These Peavey speaker enclosures also include 1/4" and Neutrik Speakon I/O, plus a switchable Speakon for biamp (plug and play); built-in stand-mount adapters; and black carpet covering.

With the Peavey setup, we saved a fortune on hiring, gained peace of mind, and relaxed as we sank our beers... Purely medicinal of course. Reliable and good all round sound - we put this particular Peavey power amp thru the mill many a night, and it always does the biz.

In a couple of months, a speaker system and the amp's will have paid for themselves a hundred times over in money AND peace of mind terms. Oh yeh, and you'll get an excellent professional sound too!

Musicians Lucky Penny width=30 height=26$ Make Money Special/Mixing $  Mixing Desk


Soundcraft are a good solid make and company, famous for their professional mixing desks, sound and gear. A good solid make to fit in with your Make Music - Make Money plan ;->.

Mixing Desk Powered

Sometimes the mixing desk is powered itself, and I've always used mostly Carlboro, Spirit/Folio, SoundCraft and I think there some of the best. Choose something with as many channels as you can afford and think ahead.

You might need more channels in the future, so get a few spares if you can. For a 2/3 Piece, we mostly used a 12 channel Spirit/Folio desk as far as I remember, but we used every output available - yeh yeh.

Monitor - Vital for a pro sound - just a small one to spill the mix back at you.

Fender Powered Monitor width=100 height=87

  • Did U Know? Known as a "wedge" in the biz.
  • Did U Know? If your stuck, use whatever you can lay your ears on.
  • Monitor Recommendation Try the self powered Fender 1270P Powered Monitor

Effects Processor

Put some icing on the cake. You must have a good FX rack for pro results. Check out Alesis Effects Rack Processors. Excellent quality and effects.

Alesis MidiVerb4 Digital Effects Processor

Alesis MidiVerb4 Digital Effects Processor

The Alesis MidiVerb4 Digital Effects Processor is perfect for professional project studios and musicians who require an affordable solution for fully programmable, hi-fi effects. Its excellent effects algorithms produce dense, natural reverb; rich chorus, flange, delay, and pitch effects; and up to 3 simultaneous multi-effects. The MidiVerb 4 offers 18-bit A/D/A converters and 24-bit internal processing for a 20Hz-20kHz bandwidth and 90dB dynamic range, making it ideal for digital recording. Plus, its valuable Auto Level Sensing feature can instantly set the optimum input levels . . . a great time-saver. MidiVerb 4's 32 algorithms give you a complete arsenal of fully programmable effects, many using true stereo parallel processing. A total of 256 programs include 128 spaces for user-created effects. With its easy-to-use graphic interface, programming your own effects is a snap. And by using MidiVerb 4's MIDI controller routing and assignable footswitch input, you'll have complete creative control over every aspect of your sound.

I've used an Alesis Quadraverb FX rack (N/A) myself for many a year now, and it's gigged in Ireland, Spain, Switzerland and Oz. Not one problem and excellent FX. And it's firmly earned it's place in my home studio. I've retired it from gigging for the moment - give it a little rest.

Also recommended is the DigiTech S200 Multi-Effects Processor And as we all know - Pro Results = More Gigs + Make Money! Not to mention that there great fun to play around with too. Try a few time-delay based vocal tricks and fool around with it. 'til you know it inside out.

Musicians Lucky Penny width=30 height=26$ Make Money Special! Sequencers$ PC with Music-Sequencing Software


A Software Music Sequencer is what you need to put a killer set together for your Make Money Unit of ? I often recommend (and use) Cubase This bundle is probably all you'll need to get started making killer backing tracks -then build if necessary.


Midi File Player

You'll need some sort of MIDI file player if that's what you'll be using - A great advantage of using midi-files is that you can finetune or live mix them on the night. Another choice is to use an MP3 player/mini-disc or similar to play the backing tracks - no live mixing but lots of other plus points going for this system.

Yamaha MDF3 Midi-File Player width=100 height=81

Get this part of your live set right. A bad midi file player can ruin the whole gig. Unfortunately I found this out the hard way but that's another story.

They'll break as soon as you look at them, and will drive you crazy trying to find out which one is dodgy. Here's the type I use and recommend -

Horizon MIDI Cable
Horizon MIDI Cable 1 Foot

Another backing track live option is to do your midi-file work at home and record it onto a mini-disc player. This has the added advantage of being able to include backing vocals in the mix. But once it's mixed and you press play at a gig, you don't have much further control on the mix.

So if the snare for example is too loud at one particular venue, you can't drop it down in the mix like in a midi live-setup, using a player with various outputs.

So it's crucial that you get a good general mix that sounds well in most gigs. You'll get better at this as you get experienced. If you are experienced, you'll know what I mean.

  • Gigging Tip The worst type of venue to handle for sound, are very high ceilinged and big rooms, with lots of reflective surfaces. A backdrop is a bouncing-sound absorber that can help here. A useful addition to your armour for promotional reasons too.

But the advantages of the M/D player over a midi live set-up are worth considering too. Less equipment therefore less to go wrong. Hit play and off you go.

Mini-Disc Player

For live backing track playback (and for the likes of interval mood music), maybe try Denon. A very pro unit that play's and records, and is also well suited to a music home recording studio - Pretty expensive but very professional. Here's a good unit in this department.

American Audio MCD-810 Dual CD and MP3 Player

American Audio MCD-810 Dual CD and MP3 Player

Bomber features include MP3 and CD play, folder search, MP3 track listings, seamless loop, tempo lock, fader Q start, and digital FX including Scratch and Bop. Hands-on command from 4 sample bank buttons per side; 5 b-trim; 4%, 8%, or 16% pitch control; pitch bend; and tap sync button. Advanced performance capabilities include flip flop relay playback, advanced cueing with track search by frame, S/PDIF digital output for each player, bright LCD display with single/continue, and time viewing. 19"W x 3-1/2"H x 11-1/2"L, 17 lbs.

Ok now we have that lot cleared up let's move along swiftly to Make Money Makin' Music! Part 2 -

Including info on:

  • Make Money Makin' Music P2 - Set Lists
  • Make Money Makin' Music P2 - Band PR and Promotional Opportunities
  • Make Money Makin' Music P2 - Gig Hunting and What to Arm Yourself With!
  • Make Money Makin' Music P2 - Design/Sell Your Own Band Products - No Overheads!





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