How to Do Karaoke on PC: Step-by-Step Guide


Setting up karaoke on a PC is a piece of cake. In this article, I’ll take you through it step-by-step so you can get the party started in no time. And it doesn’t matter if you have a karaoke machine or not, it still works!

The Quick Answer

Karaoke can be set up using a PC by connecting your microphone directly to your PC and using YouTube, Spotify, a Karaoke app or CD-G disc for the audio and lyric video. If you have a karaoke machine, you can connect this directly to your PC to display the lyric video.

The route you take will depend on if you own a karaoke machine. If you do, then skip ahead to 2. With a Karaoke Machine.

If you do not own a karaoke machine, then check out the section below to find out the equipment you need, and how to connect it.

1. Without a Karaoke Machine

If you do not have a karaoke machine, then you’ll ideally need access to the following pieces of equipment to do karaoke on your PC.

  • Microphones
  • Instrumental audio and lyric video

Optional

  • Mixer (to combine the instrumental and microphone audio into one output)
  • External speaker

Here’s what each piece of equipment does and how each piece of equipment can be connected to your PC.

Microphones

The way you connect your PC to your microphone will depend on the speaker source you are using.

  • If you are using your PC’s internal speaker, then you can connect your microphone and PC directly together. However keep in mind that this will be very quiet and the audio quality won’t be great.
  • If you are using external speakers, then the first step is to connect your microphone to it.

Here are the most common ways of pairing a microphone to either your PC or an external speaker:

  • AUX lead
  • USB connection
  • Wirelessly (using Bluetooth)
  • XLR connection (this is an older style of connection)

You may need an adapter depending on the PC and microphone combo you’re using. They are pretty cheap though, here is an XLR to AUX adapter on Amazon.

XLR connection
AUX output
AUX input
USB output
USB input

Instrumental Audio and Lyric Video

Once you’ve got your microphones sorted out, you can think about the instrumental audio and lyric video.

The easiest way to setup karaoke on your PC without a machine, is to use YouTube. It’s free, has access to thousands of songs and it takes just minutes to set up. This is my preferred method of choice if I don’t have access to a karaoke machine.

There are plenty of other ways too though including:

  • Karaoke online apps such as KaraFun and The Voice Sing and Connect
  • Sunfly karaoke which uses CDG’s (they look the same as CD’s but their software allows them to deliver video as well as audio) that can be inserted into your PC’s CD drive if it has one
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick. If you say “Alex, play Karaoke Night” and it’ll launch the app
  • Using Spotify. This is another great method that’s quick to set up. Here is my article on How to Set Up Karaoke on Spotify in Less Than 10 Minutes.

Mixers and External Speakers (optional)

If the audio quality on your PC isn’t good enough for karaoke, then you can use an external speaker. This does make things a bit more complicated and longer to set up, but it’s worth it if you want the best experience.

  • Mixers: also known as amplifiers, combine the audio from the microphones and the backing track. The mixer is then connected to a speaker to play all the audio together. Check out my article on karaoke mixers to find out exactly how to connect one to your setup.

If you’re looking for a good quality speaker, take a look at my top 10 karaoke speaker list.

Bringing it All Together

Setting up karaoke can get confusing depending on whether you’re using external speakers and a mixer. Here are some diagrams to show how what needs to be connected to what, according to the equipment you’re using.

PC and Microphones Only:

  • Connect your PC and microphone together using a wired or wireless connection.
  • Open up YouTube, Spotify, a karaoke app, or a input a CD-G to play the track.

For PC, Microphone and External Speaker Setups:

  • Connect your microphone and PC using a wired or wireless connection.
  • Connect your PC to your speaker.
  • Open up YouTube, Spotify, a karaoke app, or a input a CD-G to play the track.

For PC, Mixer and External Speaker Setups:

  • Connect your microphone to your mixer.
  • Connect your PC to your mixer.
  • Connect your speaker to your mixer.
  • Open up YouTube, Spotify, a karaoke app, or a input a CD-G to play the track on your PC.

2. With a Karaoke Machine

The easiest way to use your PC to do karaoke, is to use a karaoke machine. So if you have one that works, go with this option.

If you’re using a karaoke machine and PC, then the karaoke machine will take care of the instrumental audio, the input for the microphones, and it allow you to combine the sound of the music and the singing together so it can all play out together through the speaker.

The PC will be responsible for displaying the screen to show the lyrics, and the speaker if your karaoke machine doesn’t have one, or you aren’t plugging in an external one.

Once you have your PC and karaoke machine positioned, all you need to do is connect them together.

Connecting Your Karaoke Machine and PC

You can connect a karaoke machine and PC together for karaoke, using either a wireless (Bluetooth) connection, or using a wired connection. Bluetooth is the easiest method, but not all karaoke machines have this function.

Wireless Connection (Bluetooth)
  • Go into the settings on your PC, then Bluetooth (this is usually in a section called “devices”). Turn Bluetooth on so that your PC is discoverable to your karaoke machine.
  • Go over to your karaoke machine and ensure that it is discoverable to your PC. This usually involves either pressing the Bluetooth button on the machine, or going into the settings area if it has it’s own screen. Make sure to check the manual for exact instructions.
  • Go back to the Bluetooth settings on your PC and the karaoke machine should be showing up. Simply click to pair them together.
  • If it is not working, then check that your PC or your karaoke machine are not connected to anything else, as this will stop them pairing to each other.
Wired Connection

Depending on the karaoke machine you’re using, there may be several ways of using a wired connection. The cable should be included with the karaoke machine. Here are some common connection types with pictures to help demonstrate.

  • VGA connection
  • USB connection
  • AUX connection

First, find out what connection your karaoke machine uses, then see if your laptop has the appropriate input. If it does not, then you can consider purchasing an adaptor. These are usually very cheap and accessible on Amazon. One of the most common converters for older PC’s is a VGA to HDMI converter, you can find one here on Amazon.

VGA connection
VGA connection
USB output
USB input
AUX output
AUX Input

Need a Larger Screen?

You may be using your PC as the screen for the lyric video, however, often these screens are quite small and may not always be suitable. It’s very easy to connect a PC to a TV using a HDMI connection cable. This will allow the screen on your PC to be mirrored on your TV. This gives you access to two separate screens if you wish (making duets a breeze), or you can simply just look at the TV for a larger screen.

Here are some other articles you may find useful:

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