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Hello guys,
there is probably already a lot of threads on the subject but I have a couple of questions. I am starting a new project for cocktails with electro jazz and lounge music. I basically will improv over loops and tracks. I have zero equipment but my mac for now. I have no clue of where to start.
What do I need?
Speakers?
Ableton?
Clip on mic?

I need suggestions on how to make it the cheapest and easiest possible for now with a great sound.

Thanks!
 

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PA speakers are going to be needed. I would look at self powered units, and lightweight. QSC K8 and K10 are very good, but not cheap. You probably don't need a subwoofer.
JBL and others have similar speakers that are lightweight and cost less. You can probably get away with a single speaker and run mono.

A small mixer that can take the input from your mac + a microphone, or maybe an input device (called an audio interface) and mix it on the laptop itself.

I'll let others comment on the microphone side.

Ableton live is one solution. If you don't have it yet, you can possibly get away with the "LE" version which is limited to 8 tracks and 20 clips (I think) vertically. So 160 clips total on a single file. The LE edition is often included with various midi control surfaces like a Novation Launchpad, Akai APC and the like. If you are buying a midi controller used, the card that has the registration information might not be included or the registration has already been used -- so be aware if you are looking for a controller just to get the reduced price copy of Ableton.

Otherwise, a guitar type loop pedal from Boss or Electroharmonix might work and have an easier user interface.

If you are planning to use Ableton, I would look at videos on youtube to see if others are doing "loop pedal" type stuff with it.
 

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tmonster pretty much hit the nail on the head. Last December I had a gig and used everything that he mentioned, except I used backing tracks from YouTube and it was pretty easy.

I had powered speakers which was easier than bringing an amp with me. I found a cheap gater case and installed my effects and mixer in that.
 

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On the cheap:
Audio 2000s AMX7303 mixer (efx built in)
Ion Audio Pathfinder active speaker ($120 at Costco)
Clip-on mic.
I use this (an older Ion Audio unit though) for small rooms.
 

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I need suggestions on how to make it the cheapest and easiest possible for now with a great sound.
Great sound requires that you spend money. For about $800 - $1k (US) you could set yourself with the minimum elements necessary for a pro gig.
 

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Are you playing solo sax to tracks? No vocals?
QSC K8.2 powered speaker - $650
Depending on venue, volume level, etc. you may not need a mic.
If you do need or want a mic, I suggest Samson AWX wind instrument wireless clip-on - $350
I can't advise about interface, but I know you can directly connect the mic to one of the QSC XLR inputs from the wireless mic receiver. I believe there is also a way to connect the Mac to the other line input on the QSC, but you'll have to figure out adapters or interface from Mac to QSC. Others are much more knowledgeable about that than me.
 
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