First of all, I am not in business as of yet as a KJ, but soon will be. I have sang for years, and have a good ear, and love mixing sound, and this all kind of found me.
I will say I agree with Sound Choice, and other manufacturers going after people who use these pirate hard drives. I don't agree in blanket lawsuits that accuse people with no proof and burden those who after spending tens of thousands of dollars buying discs(2000 discs x $15 each= $30,000), and equipment, just so maybe someday if they're lucky make a small profit.
I have been in business(not dj or karaoke) for over 20 years, and I know how to do cost analysis, and make a business profitable. From what I can see, karaoke as a business is a loser, with all its expenses, and constant upkeep, new songs , blown speakers, mics, ruined songbooks, and a big vehicle/fuel costs, to haul all this around with . Then you through in the hassle of worrying about the disc manufacturers lawsuits, really scares people away. I have been collecting discs for a couple years now , pouring my extra money into what I thought might be a fun business to try, I knew right away it was a losing battle, when I saw new sound choice discs selling for $17 or more for 15 songs, and more than half were filler,(no one will ever sing them) and how you ended up with doubles, or quadruples, after your collection got bigger. Even with all the expense, I wanted to do it, not because of profit, because lord knows, I would make more collecting bottles, but because I love singing , and making others sound their best. Maybe if you do weddings as a DJ on the weekend you could tip the profit scales to make it into a living, but what kind of business is Karaoke if it can't stand on its own? I have already acquired over 2000 discs, half are new, but the other half I got from DJs that just wanted out, and to only do weddings or dance clubs, and I can see why, there is no real money in hosting karaoke. Maybe these lawsuits will put the prices KJs charge back where they should be, maybe the high prices KJs have to charge to stay legit will keep bars from having karaoke in the first place.... I have heard there are guys charging 150 bucks here, you cant make a living on that if your legal. Even the legal guys are getting 300 or so, whoop dee do!! Get a piece of paper and start writing all the costs down, discs, gas, vehicle,speakers, mics, cables,insurance, computers, taxes,your time(including looking for, and maintaining song library) and it is a big fat loser! All I know is I paid for all my discs, and I have receipts, and I am not going to submit to the Sound Choice Gestapo. If they want to come after me, and I have to get a lawyer and it harms my future earnings, or my reputation, then they will have a counter suit on their hands, and I imagine more than a few guys will win those in the near future if noting else , for emotional stress it has caused.
All this said, I can't wait to get out there and do this, its about the love of it for me, in the end I could always resell my discs, and get all my money back.
Those of you who post saying your going to use pirate music or whatever, I hope you get what you deserve, because it's stealing. No one would make karaoke if they didn't get paid for it. Artists won't agree to let it be made if they don't get paid as well. If you steal you are a criminal, and should go to jail, when you steal music it hurts the Artist, Consumer, and all the law biding KJs.
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jan 2011
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They are very easy to work with to get an audit done. I have been through one and was not pressured in any way to buy anything after the audit showed I had the discs that I said I had and was on my hard drive. That said I chose to purchase the GEM series which is the only way to get 6000 unduplicated songs in one package. There is no need to go through the legal process to do the audit because they will do it for you ahead behind the scenes so that you don't lose any business due to the audit. In fact passing an audit gets your company's name and info on SC's site. http://www.soundchoicestore.com/certified-host-karaoke-pg-69.html is the page where your name can appear.
Posts: 22 | From: Waterbury, CT | Registered: Oct 2010
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Well you should have started when I did when SC & every other brand were $40+ PER disc. $120+ if it was a laserdisc. As far as filler, you NEVER know what is going to be sung until you have a crowd. What is the biggest/hottest song to sing in this club may lie completely dormant next door - been there/done that! So that is a weak arguement to begin with. Plus knowing what the crowds you are actually working with want to sing and buying accordingly also help so you aren't buying filler song, but actual requested music - also not buying from every manufacturer helps not to waste money as well, buying songs you already have just to get that one song you want. This is where custom discs come in handy, buy only those songs you actually need. Treatment of equipment is another thing, i've used pretty much the same stuff for 20 years - upgrading only because I wanted to, not because I had to. Proper maintenence & knowing how to run the equipment to begin with goes a long way so you don't have to replace blown speakers, mics. Books/pens is a constant as well as music, but this is hardly a losing scenerio. This is my only job & live quite comfortably doing it. $150 per gig (clubs) around here is actually on the upper end anymore (and i'm making a little less than that 7 nights plus paying hosts 3 nights) so cost is area dependant on whether it's going to be a liveable wage or not, sure I could probably make more if the pirates didn't oversaturate the market - was making almost twice what i'm making now 15 years ago, would LOVE to see those prices again for weekly club work, but that isn't going to ever happen again. Private parties - sure.
Started out with Laser disc $125 to $165 per disc (for pioneer) Sound Choice Disc CDGs were $39.95 a pop MM was $24 a pop Pioneer was $22 each Legends were $20 each!
If you own the disc then you don't have anything to worry about, if you are using a computer request an audit before hand and get it done (btw) you also need to request an audit for Chartbuster and PHM content as well and the "other" brands each of the manus have purchased the rights to as well!
If you are using a computer you need permission from the manus to transfer your songs to that medium if you don't have you are in violation and then you are subject to suit by each of them.
There is nothing Gestapo about any of them they are simnply protecting what is their's!
As far as this being a loser business well only if you are a loser to begin with I have been making a living from this business for well over 20 years. The money from this loser business has purchased investment properties (talking about a loser business) it has paid off two homes, purchased (continuing) 5 vehicles, and kept all of my families bills paid. I would suggest that if you feel this is a loser business and the only thing you like about it is being able to sing is that you continue to go to someone else's shows and sing your heart out because being a Karaoke host isn't about you singing it is about the patrons where you are working getting to sing. Everytime you get on stage for a song you have cut someone else's chance of getting in another or a fist song!
So think long and hard about getting into a business that you nthink is for losers because with that additude it is a sure way to become a loser!
-------------------- Cheerleader for the efforts of Sound Choice Chartbuster and Stellar. Posts: 75 | From: Virginia | Registered: Nov 2010
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OK, so you have 2000 discs!!! Good start!!!
Now you have to realize that you will be competing with pirates who have have invested less than $1,000.00 for a hard drive with ten times the amount of songs you have. How's that for costs analysis?
You will be entering a market that is over saturated. You will be babysitting drunks that will be non stop in their harassment of "when am I up"? and a zillion other things. You like sales ??? You like dealing with bar owners?
You really do gotta love it!!
If you are paranoid, or defiant, or whatever, about what you call " the gestapo" then there's another reason you should think twice!!! If you are legit, you have NOTHING to be concerned about!
You can have the time of your life during one song and the next can be excruciating! One night you can be the king and the next , you can be the dog who gets kicked.
I have checked around for competition, in my estimation, within a 30 mile radius to me, there are about a hundred karaoke shows at least, per week, and from what I have seen, easily more than half are not legitimate. My intentions are to have the best sound, half of that being good CDG's , the other half is the best equipment, and mixing. I am a singer yes , but my passion is making others sound good, that is what seems to be lacking in karaoke around here. Too many places hire hot chicks,or young guys, who can't mix sound, sing too much, or can't keep a rotation straight. Although there is one hot chick who can , in her defense.
I never said it(karaoke)was for losers Thunder, read it again. I merely said as a business model in todays environment, where I am located, it is a losing battle. I am not on here to argue. I am merely stating my observations. Even if I lose money, I don't care, its like a hobby to me, and if it becomes profitable , so be it. I can handle drunks fine, I don't do this for an ego trip, its about the people singing, sounding good, and having a good time, and I intend on having a contract signed with any bar owner, with my terms laid out beforehand. I have no worries like I said, I paid for and have receipts for all of my discs. I buy from Stellar directly, and am just starting to buy Chartbuster and Sunfly. I just discovered singsunfly.com for downloads, they have a good selection, but more expensive. I used 2000 discs as a round number, I might have more or less, I don't even know, more in my mailbox every day. Some discs I got for a buck some I paid over 80 if it was a hard to find, 'milestone' ect. Needless to say I have a good starting point, now I am filling in the blanks.
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jan 2011
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Uh I usually don't post a lot unless I feel that I have something to say. I just think that enough is enough! I have been around karaoke as a singer and as a KJ for about 15 years now and I have never EVER heard the amount of fighting and arguing as I have in the past few months. Enough already!! If you have a problem with Sound Choice don't buy from them, don't use their products and please don't spread your opinions on THEIR Soundboard. Are there pirates in this business? Very sadly so but for the most part they don't last very long because they don't know the business, don't know SC discs from SGB discs, and they honestly could care less. Honest KJ's like myself and I figure most of you out there get better shows and better money because we know karaoke. We know which version of a song is the best. We know how to make our singers sound their absolute best. One of my very best friends makes absolute top dollar because he is one of the best in the business. So legal KJ's let's pull it together and instead of crying about the pirates let's show why we are best thing going and these fly by night pirates will just fade away and when the dust settles we will be standing on top of the heap!!!! Thank you for letting me vent.
Posts: 100 | From: Woodstock, Georgia, U.S.A. | Registered: Apr 2004
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well said, Willy. It's too bloody bad that the bar owners aren't reading these forums. They're the ones who really started the piracy, simply by agreeing to hire a pirate simply because they were cheap.
(oh, and again- rot in Hell, pirates.)
-------------------- Taking piracy out of karaoke and putting it where it belongs: On the high seas, yarr... Posts: 30 | From: La Grande, OR, USA, Earth | Registered: Apr 2008
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