• Celeste Vee

How much gear does a violinist need?

When I tell people that I’m an event violinist they usually picture me sitting on a chair with an acoustic violin and a music stand in front of me. But that just isn’t my style. I’m an entertainer first and foremost. I like to put on a show! It might be a super elegant strolling violin show… or it might be an all-night-party-rockin’-with-electric-LED-lightup-violin-show. But it's a show either way.

What I have discovered over the years is that each event is unique and requires not only a different set list, but also a different sound setup. I have a wide variety of sound and lighting and performance options to help give my clients the best experience possible.

Option 1: Un-Amplified Acoustic Violin

This is by far the simplest of all my setups. It’s what I use for intimate wedding ceremonies and small gatherings. I play my tracks through the small bluetooth speaker, but the violin is completely acoustic. Vocals are also available, and this setup requires no power source if the performance length is two hours or less.

Option 1 Gear List

  • Acoustic Violin

  • MacBook Air

  • JBL Charge Bluetooth Speaker

  • Music Stand (for laptop and speaker)

Photo: www.facebook.com/ElizabethMariePhoto

Option 2: Amplified Acoustic or Electric Violin

This is great for slightly larger gatherings when I’m not going to be moving around much. In this setup I’m tethered by a cable but my violin is amplified and a vocal mic can be plugged in, too, if needed. My speaker is quite powerful and can provide background music for up to 100 people comfortably indoor or outdoor. My speaker has 3 inputs - one for violin, one for computer (tracks) and one for the optional vocal mic. Power is required, but my battery is good for up to five hours if there’s no outlet nearby.

Option 2 Gear List

  • Acoustic or Electric Violin with Quarter Inch Cable

  • MacBook Air with Auxiliary Cable

  • Bose L1 Compact Speaker

  • Handheld Mic with XLR Cable

  • Mic Stand

  • Music Stand (for laptop)

  • Surge Protector

  • 100 Feet of Extension Cords

  • Jackery Battery

  • Folding Violin Stand

Option 3: Full Sound with Violin / Vocals / MC

This is by far my most usual setup. I use it 90% of the time. It’s what I consider my norm and works for a huge variety of events - from dinner for four up to wedding receptions for 250 guests. I’m completely wireless (vocals & violin) and I bring everything I need so I don’t require a single thing from my client other than a minimum of 5’ x 5’ space to set up. I prefer to have one power outlet provided, but my battery power is good for up to five hours if necessary. I can also DJ to a small extent with this setup.

Option 3 Gear List

  • Acoustic or Electric Violin

  • MacBook Air with USB Cable (to mixer)

  • (2) Bose L1 Compact Speakers

  • Folding Table with Cover (2’ x 4’)

  • Wireless Pickup and Receiver for Violin

  • Wireless Headset Mic and Receiver for Vocals

  • Extra Batteries for Wireless Packs

  • Behringer Mixer with FX

  • Boss Distortion Peddle

  • Surge Protector

  • 100 Feet of Extension Cords

  • Jackery Battery

  • Folding Violin Stand

  • Laptop Stand

  • iPad and Holder (for lyrics/sheet music)

  • Mic Stand for iPad Holder

  • All Necessary Cables

Photo: www.jbelliottphotography.com

Option 4: DJ and Electric Violin / Vocals / MC

This is my top tier setup for when my clients want the whole shebang. They don’t have to choose between a DJ or live music. They can literally have it all! With just a few additions to my normal setup we can have the dance floor going all night long! Lighting is what really takes this over the top.

Option 4 Gear List

  • Everything from Option 3, PLUS:

  • DJ Controller

  • Chauvet LED Lighting System

  • (2) Wireless Handheld Mic for Speeches, etc.

  • Additional Up Lighting (for around the room)

I wrote this blog for two reasons. One is to help my clients understand what I offer and the other is to help other violinists/musicians who are trying to design their own setup. Whether you’re planning an event or building a music business I’d love to hear your questions! I’m also very open to suggestions and ideas from other sound/tech pros, DJ’s and musicians! I’ve been figuring this out as I go and I’m so intrigued by the different options out there.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope to hear from you! You can also email me anytime at info@celestevee.com

All the Violin Love,

Celeste Vee

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