At many of The Travelling Hands events, you will find our team performing their roaming sets with amplification. So how does this work? What does it do? Is it right for your celebration? Our founder Tom explores this popular option and reveals all below...
Meet the Author: Tom Warner, founder of The Travelling Hands.
"I launched The Travelling Hands back in 2011, and I’ve been working directly with our clients to ensure that their weddings, parties and events are brought to life with music, laughter, and energy.
The Travelling Hands have been invited to perform for leading global brands including Cartier, Rolls-Royce, Formula 1, Jaguar Land Rover, Hublot & Royal Ascot, and we are expertly recommended by over twenty five-star hotels in London. We would love your event to be the next stop on our global tour."
What does an amplified roaming performance sound like?
When a roaming band performs acoustically and without amplification, the natural sound of unplugged vocals and acoustic instruments can only travel so far. Whilst this still works very well at smaller parties, and whilst whole rooms are still known to burst into song with this option, sometimes it’s great to give a boost to the sound and this is where amplification comes in. Amplification could be a good choice for your event if you have large guest numbers, a big space, guests in different areas or if you just want to lift the guest experience and bring a further boost to your celebrations.
How does an amplified roaming performance work?
The Travelling Hands have an online ‘tech-spec’ ready and available at any time. We can send this to your chosen production company handling the 'AV' for your event (your audio-visual team - think of this as your sound, lights and technical team).
On the performance date, we will arrive a little earlier than usual to carry out a sound check with your AV team at the performance area. The AV team will have already strategically placed speaker systems around the performance space (whether indoors or outdoors) to ensure that guests in every part of the room or space can hear the performance clearly at the perfect volume. Just in the same way that a playlist can be adjusted to different volumes at different times of day, the professional sound team will find the perfect level for your event suited to what you’re looking for at the time(s) of day that we perform. From a gentle playlist level during afternoon drinks where guests can enjoy their catch-ups, to a party set at higher volume during dinner designed for feel-good singalong anthems as you dine, there’s now much more control to create the perfect atmosphere.
How do you connect acoustic instruments to a sound system?
During sound check, our musicians will be handed two special radio packs each. One will be a pack connected to a headset microphone (think of this as a small foam mic that you can see on our team’s cheeks - you may have seen a sports commentator wearing something similar on TV). The other will be a radio pack connected to each of the instruments to ensure that the acoustic guitars, double bass, saxophone and percussion are all hooked up to the sound system too.
Have a look at the photo below to see the radio microphones fitted:
After running through a song or two to ensure that the levels are perfectly matched, we’ll be ready to go when the performance time comes - that’s it! The band then have a wireless roaming setup ready to go. As they perform, the sound of their instruments and vocals are wirelessly sent to radio antenna in the room - this goes straight into a mixing desk (where the perfect balance of instruments and vocals was found earlier during sound check), and finally this is sent to, heard through and enjoyed by your guests via the speakers in your venue, playing the music at the perfect level for your celebration.
This means that The Travelling Hands will still be able to roam through your venue, and still offer personal performances to small groups of guests at a time - perhaps sitting in an empty seat and serenading guests at a table, or perhaps featuring our saxophonists standing on a chair for a solo. However - there’s one big difference. As the musicians perform and sing for your party, ALL of your guests will be able to hear the performance at once no matter where they are in the room or space. Your guests can all be united together with the perfect song selection and an unforgettable experience enjoyed together.
What does amplification do?
First of all - it brings controlled volume to the performance whilst making the music clearer for guests. When fully unplugged, the band naturally have to perform loudly in order for as many guests to hear the music as possible. They also need to physically turn to different guests in order to be heard in often noisy spaces as guests are enjoying themselves. However, with amplification, they can sing at a much more controlled volume knowing that all guests can hear the band and this allows the music to become much richer as a result. Let’s not forget the moments in between songs too. If the band want to congratulate a wedding couple, for example, they are not going to be heard if they are performing unplugged just by speaking loudly. With amplification, however, they can simply talk as they stroll and their microphone will enable everyone to hear those special words at once.
The Travelling Hands goal at parties, weddings and events is simple. We are there to ignite your celebrations before your guests’ feet have even touched the dancefloor. So what does amplification do to help with this goal? It brings more energy and excitement from song number one to help your celebrations begin ever faster.
If you’d like to talk about your event - simply click here to book a call straight into Tom’s diary. Let’s plan some magic together!
If you liked this blog post check out What is a roaming band?