You can sing vocals into a microphone running through a guitar amplifier. However, there are other options that you can use for singing that will produce a better quality of sound for your vocals.
A few of these options are to go through a pre-amplifier, use an acoustic amplifier, or use an effects pedal with a microphone input. All of these will yield different results. However, your best bet is to sing through a PA system.
As someone who has played guitar and sang backup vocals for over seven years, I can confirm that all of the above options are doable.
I understand that finding the best possible sound for all of the different inputs (voice, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, etc.) can be challenging. However, with a bit of experimentation, you can get the best possible sounds for what you are working with.
In this article, we will cover potentially using a guitar amplifier for karaoke and whether it is bad to plug a microphone directly into a guitar amplifier.
We will also review a few frequently asked questions, such as if you need a unique amplifier for vocals if you can use a guitar amplifier for home audio, and if you can use one for a condenser microphone.
Can You Sing Vocals Through a Guitar Amp?
Although you can sing vocals through a guitar amp, the output of the vocals could be better. The best option is to go through a PA system.
However, if you would like to use a guitar amplifier to run vocals through, these are the two best options:
- Use an acoustic guitar amp to sing through. This will sound better than an electric guitar amplifier because acoustic guitar amplifiers are designed to pick up more natural clear sounds.
- Use an electric guitar amp and an effects pedal with a microphone plug-in. This works for the electric guitar because the pedal will go ahead and alter the vocals in such a way that it will be picked up better by the electric guitar.
Can I Use Guitar Amp for Karaoke?
It is technically possible to use a guitar amp for karaoke. However, the sound will be less than ideal. The best bet is to use a PA system for Karaoke.
There are also potential risks to doing this as well. Remember that the guitar amplifier is best designed for the guitar. If you run the song minus the pre-recorded vocals and the music has a lot of bass, you run the risk of potential damage to the amplifier.
However, you may be able to play the karaoke through a guitar amplifier if you first run the audio from the karaoke song (the track of the music that plays without the vocals) through an equalizer to reduce the bass output. Depending on the music, this may or may not sound ideal.
You can then sing through the guitar amplifier through the proper microphone input. However, again, this may not sound ideal because the guitar amplifier is designed primarily for the guitar.
Is It Bad to Plug a Mic Into a Guitar Amp?
So long as you plug the microphone into a jack specifically for a microphone and NOT the guitar, then it is not bad to plug a microphone into the guitar amplifier. However, it can be harmful to plug a microphone into the electric guitar jack for the electric guitar itself.
Please also remember that you can plug a microphone into an effects pedal so long as the effects pedal has a microphone jack. This is because the frequencies of your voice will be altered appropriately to run through the amplifier.
Do You Need a Special Amp for Vocals?
It is best to get a PA system for vocals, as this is what it is specifically designed for. However, you do not need to have a PA system.
Vocals through the guitar amplifier will not sound as clear and distinct as they possibly could through the guitar amplifier.
When playing through the guitar amplifier, they will all sound slightly different. You will be able to hear the natural difference in playing between a Marshall and a Peavy (both of which are popular guitar amplifiers).
While both electric guitar amplifiers will work for vocals, the best option is to get a system that does not create tonal differences for your voice. This is why the PA system is ideal.
Can You Use a Guitar Amplifier for Home Audio?
You can use a guitar amplifier for home audio. However, doing so involves a certain amount of risk of damaging your amplifier.
Please remember that the guitar amplifier is designed to amplify the guitar’s sounds. If you are playing other types of sounds through a guitar amplifier (such as bass, for instance), there is a possibility of damaging the amplifier.
One option to reduce the risk of using a guitar amplifier as a home audio system would be to first run the audio through a mixer or equalizer to reduce the number of bass your audio outputs. The less amount of bass that is run through a guitar amplifier, the lower the risk to the amplifier.
Can You Plug a Condenser Mic into a Guitar Amp?
It is possible to run a condenser microphone into a guitar amplifier. However, the quality will not be great.
You could experiment with this process and try running it through different effects pedals with a microphone input.
Another potential workaround for this is to get a phantom power supply. Then take this power supply to the guitar amplifier. There is no possibility of potential damage when using the phantom power supply.
Then, you can plug in the condenser microphone and sing this way. However, unless you are plugging into a microphone jack in the amplifier, the quality of sound produced will most likely not be very clear.
Can You Play an Electric Guitar Through a Pa System?
Yes, you can play an electric guitar through a PA system. If you play only rhythm or clean tone, then the PA system can deliver you a cleaner tone.
However, guitar tones like distortion, wah-wah, and others require a guitar processor with an amplifier. Else, go for a dedicated guitar amplifier with a built-in processor.
You can also use the PA system with the amplifier for a louder sound.
The Public Address (PA) system uses a microphone, monitor, speakers, and other related gadgets to deliver the amplified sound. It can be used for vocal, acoustic guitar, rhythm instruments, and even electric guitar too.
I have often used a PA system in the studio for rhythm on my acoustic guitar. It delivers a rich tone. However, in the case of an electric guitar, it only works for a clean tone. Else, you have to connect the PA system with the guitar amplifier.
If you play acoustic guitar only, a PA system can be the best option. But, for electric guitar players, I would recommend buying a good guitar amplifier. You should go with at least 200 watts for a loud and rich tone.
We covered potentially using a guitar amplifier for karaoke and whether it is bad to plug a microphone directly into a guitar amplifier.
We also covered a few frequently asked questions, such as if you need a unique amplifier for vocals or not, if you can use a guitar amplifier for home audio, and if you can use one for a condenser microphone.