What's the Best Gear for Marching Bands?
Whether you’re a small marching band program that loves to entertain a crowd during Friday night football games or you’re a large, competitive group aspiring to be like Carolina Crown or Bluedevils and win the DCI or BOA Championships, you want the best field gear available. This guide will provide suggestions for some major categories you need to equip your marching band.
Roland is a great brand when looking for keyboard amplifiers. The manufacturer makes 3 levels of keyboard amplifiers that are compact, high-quality and will fit any budget. Go for the Roland KC-200, Roland KC-400 or the Roland KC-600.
Keyboards and MIDI
Having a portable keyboard is a critical element for electrifying your sound on the field. They’re compact and affordable and allow you to fill in gaps and add effects layers to your on-field performance. Casio and Yamaha are two brands that will serve you well.
A good pair of headphones is a must when adding electronics and technology to your marching program. Be sure to choose ones that deliver a wide frequency response and high dynamic range so you can hear all of your instruments. Look for brands like Audio-Technica and Behringer for affordable and high-quality cans.
Microphones and Wireless Systems
From soloists to the biggest bands out there, microphones are the quintessential device for getting the sound to your audience. Keep in mind that might need a wireless system to mike up marching horns or stationary microphones for your front ensemble. Do you have vocalists or announcers as part of your program? Every individual and instrument that needs a microphone should be mapped out so you’re sure to get all the sound you need. Shure and Audio-Technica are two microphone brands trusted all over the world.
Don’t be intimidated by the look of a mixer. These powerful devices are an absolute requirement when creating an audio system for your marching band. If you’re new to mixers, read about how a mixer works. Once you understand the structure of it, you’ll be able to figure out how to use it to blend together individual tracks and sounds to create a masterful finished product. Or, if you’ve been using an analog mixer for a while, you might want to consider switching to a digital mixer. No matter what you select, you can’t go wrong with Behringer, Yamaha or PreSonus.
Lots of marching programs want to record themselves. Maybe you want your students to be able to study their performance to improve or you need to submit a recording to a competition. No matter the reason, audio interfaces, audio recorders and recording packages are categories for you to explore. If you need more information about recording in a marching situation, check out how to build the ultimate mobile recording rig.
Don’t forget the field accessories! Powering and connecting all of these various devices and elements into one cohesive audio system will require plenty of stands, cables, cords, snakes and racks. Don’t be fooled into buying cheap accessories – go for ones that are durable and well-built, so they can withstand the rigors of practice, performance and transportation to and from events. You’ll replace them less frequently and save money in the long run.
Need More Help?
Read more about technology on the field. Or, if you want to talk to us, our music experts are available to discuss your marching technology needs. If you’re just getting started or you’re upgrading your audio system, we want to help you get the best gear on the field for your musicians. Plus, we offer incredible discounts for music educators. Call us at 800.346.4448 or visit the Educator Website for the top brands in technology products.