Audio / Hands-on Review

Holiday 2012: Rock Your New Year's Eve Party!


New Year's Eve is upon us again. That special night when we make big plans, dress up, get our hopes up and attend the coolest party we can find—only to be let down. It doesn’t have to be this way, folks. This year, be a party vigilante! Find a cool space, set up your own gear, create your ideal party and avoid the crushing blow of a disappointing night.

What’s the most important element of any big party? Music, obviously! B&H has PA kits of all sizes, so you can amplify your best friend’s garage band. Mackie, one of the foremost names in live sound, has two full PA kits— one with 12” speakers and if you’re really expecting a crowd, one with 15” speakers. Both kits include an 8-channel compact mixer, speaker stands, cases, headphones, a microphone and all necessary connection cables.

If you’d like to go a bit fancier with your sound, a PA kit from RCF is available. The ART310A reference-grade speakers aren’t only powerful, they also feature an integrated processor that continually optimizes your sound quality. This kit features all the same accessories, but upgrades the microphone to the classic Shure SM-58.

If you have the need for speed, and by speed you mean volume, three high-powered 2,000-watt PA kits are available from QSC. The K8 Kit has two 8” speakers, K10 has 10” speakers and the K12 has—you guessed it—12” speakers. These kits also include an 8-channel compact mixer, speaker stands, cases, headphones, an SM58 microphone and all necessary connection cables. If you have to amplify a singer over a heavy rock band, QSC won’t let you down.

Let’s take music a step further… the band is going to need to take breaks, so what to do in the meantime? You could put on an iPod mix, but since you just had all the excitement of a live band, you’re better off keeping the energy level up. What pumps up a crowd better than a live DJ? Nothing. And who could possibly know your guests better than you? Nobody! You see what I’m getting at here? That’s right, you could be the house DJ!

Of course, nobody expects you to learn how to scratch on real vinyl overnight, so check out these Digital DJ Controllers… The Numark MIXTRACK PRO lets you create awesome beats and effects easily, with the help of your laptop music library. You could be crossfading between tracks, virtual vinyl scratching and impressing your friends before you know it. (Fedora not included.)

If you have a friend who raps and want to get him in on your performance, choose the Numark N4 DJ Controller. This controller features two microphone channels in addition to four audio channels. It also includes analog connectivity, allowing you to connect a turntable or CD player.

And if you just want to play music on something with pretty lights, you’ll look quite cool behind the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO. This DJ Controller has LEDs galore and features Pulse Control, which visually prompts your DJing with cool lighting effects. For a more detailed look at DDJ-ERGO and many other models, check out the B&H InDepth Holiday 2012: DJ Controllers article.

Okay, so speaking of pretty lights… you can’t have an awesome PA, a live band and your DJ debut without some awesome lighting effects! This is New Year's Eve, for goodness sakes!

The American DJ Micro Galaxian Laser is a popular model, producing more than 200 green and red laser beams in whichever direction you point it. You can light up the ceiling, a wall or, of course, the dance floor. Best of all, it’s small and lightweight enough to fit in your hand! Another cool laser effect available from CHAUVET is the Min Laser, a compact laser light.

Alright, so we’ve covered dance-floor lasers… now we need something to put behind the band and the DJ. The CHAUVET COLORstrip, on either side of the bandstand, would look great, and a couple Mega Par Profiles behind your DJ setup could really cultivate some more atmosphere. Of course, you’ll need stands to mount everything on; the American DJ LTS-1 is always a stable choice.

Perhaps you and a few friends want to delight the audience with a recreation of the choreography from the “Thriller” video. You’re going to need fog! American DJ has you covered with their Fog Storm 1200HD, providing 7,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of fog output. You can choose between normal fog juice and low-lying fog juice, though the latter seems more appropriate for the situation described. And just in case you also have a wild hankering for some bubbles, B&H has a machine and some juice for you, from Chauvet! If you’d like to read more on the topic of odd indoor precipitation, our own Ryan Zanoni has written a great article all about it.

Last on the list is a big projection of a classic movie or music visualizer. While conventional projector screens can be expensive and tough to mount, Goo Systems has an easy paint-on solution that turns any surface into a projector screen. The Epson PowerLite X12 projector has a wide variety of connectivity options and can be used easily with a laptop or DVD player. Learn more about projectors here!

Wow, we’ve just covered quite a bit of material; enough to really knock your New Year's Eve party out of the park. Your guests will have a blast and you’ll be the star of the show. But with all this sight and sound, things could potentially get out of hand … for good measure, and to be heard above the din, I recommend a bullhorn. Happy New Year!

Make your way to the Live Room at the B&H SuperStore, in Midtown Manhattan, to see these products displayed, excluding bullhorn and precipitation creators, and to discuss them with our Sales Professionals.