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How to Get the Right Street Performance Set up?

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Updated: 2013-08-12

Depending on what you want to do as a street performance their are always a few key things to consider.

Have Fun and spread the Love - Dub FX.

Dub Fx street set-up

Keep in mind:

1. the more attention you bring to your self the better chances you have of making money.

2. the less you worry about making money and the more fun you have will also result in you making more money!

3. most cities have laws against amplified music and you will need a permit.

4. if you are not aloud to use an amplifier but your act NEEDS one, you will most likely NOT get in trouble if you;

  • cover your speaker and cables, or any other electrical equipment with a sheet of some sort,
  • don't do anything offensive to draw negative attention to yourself,
  • respect nearby shops, other street performers and your audience,
  • keep your volume low.


  • if you need to generate electricity for your set up you have a few options. their are a variety of speakers and amplifiers which can be powered by batteries however, they are not that great at producing low frequencies. if however you only sing and play guitar these speakers are perfect.
  • if your act requires a low bass driven sound you most likely need to use a bass amp or a keyboard amp (key board amps are good as they also have a higher range than a bass amp but still have a reasonably low range as well).
  • to power your speaker you will need either a generator or a deep cycle battery and an inverter. the problem with generators are they are, big, heavy, expensive, noisy, smelly and usually supply far more power then what most street performers need. a gell battery and an inverter however can be specifically catered to your needs.

Things you will need:

  • amplifier
  • leads
  • deep cycle (leisure) battery & inverter OR generator
  • Trolley
  • plenty of straps to tie the gear to the trolley

Video on this topic:

My Street Set-up

to use a generator simply:

  1. place the generator somewhere safe and possibly out of sight.
  2. turn the generator on.
  3. connect your power to the generator.

to use a deep cycle leisure  battery and inverter you must first:

  1. calculate the number of watts your equipment uses, (if your speaker is 60 watts and your guitar pedals add up to 40 watts you need an inverter that supplies a minimum of 100 watts. (keep in mind that if your speaker is 60 watts, it will only draw 60 watts at full volume. if you use an inverter which is 1000 watts for a 60 watt amp your inverter will suck more electricity then it needs from your battery so try to keep it as close to what you need as possible
  2. find an inverter that supplies your required wattage, (they usually range from 50 watts up to 3000 watts. wave inverters are the best for musical purposes as they don't give off an electrical hum through your speakers and they only draw the amount of power that your equipment needs resulting in longer life of your battery. however they are 10 times more expensive the regular inverters and the noise that regular inverters make is quiet enough to not make a huge difference to your performance.
  3. find a deep cycle gel battery, the higher in AH (amp hours) the longer the battery should last. (normal car batteries will work but are more dangerous, they leak when tipped over and the acid will eat through anything it comes into contact with. they also don't last as long as a leisure or deep cycle gel battery. 
  4. connect your inverter to your battery making sure that your red cable is connected to positive on your battery and that the black is connected to negative and turn the inverter on (if not you will destroy your inverter when you turn it on).
  5. connect your speaker and any other equipment to the inverters plug socket.
  6. you are now ready to go.
  7. enjoy your performance!

find more advice from Dub FX, here on

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  • Not specified Sylvia
    I'am a 55 old french woman, and I love your music!!!!
  • Not specified Rich
    can u go into more detail on the just startin out with the setup and the amp my lil bro has is allll feedback and small and old.....what should i be looking for to basically makes some sounds outside without havin the amp explode with screeches averytime i try to talk......any info would be much
  • Not specified Dubfx
    Response to rich
    Amps feed back when they are turned up too loud and te amp isn't efficient enough.. This is because of the harmonic distortion introduced by raising the gain level.
    If you have this problem either turn it down or buy a bigger amp with a higher wattage.. The higher the wattage the louder it will go without feeding back.

    For what I do keyboard amps or pa systems are the best because they have a wider frequency response.. Good luck
  • Not specified MasonChambers
    Thanks for the info, been looking all over for a good set up for mobile power so I can start hitting the streets but didn't want to deal with the noise and hassle of a generator and fuel. This is just what I was looking for :) Btw, its the inspiration I got from you that's making me finally pursue music! Got a VE-20 after seeing your review of it since it was in my price range, and my uncle just decked out his garage as a studio for me with walls of speakers, an RC-50, a GT-10, and lots of other toys! He's been acquiring new gadgets ever since I introduced him to your sonic magic. Keep doing what you're doing man. You're music means something to everyone who hears it & literally changed my life... Any suggestions for decent bass amps if going for a similar sound range to what you do?
  • Not specified andy
    gitair amps
    can u use a gitair amp for caossalator or do i have to get difrent speakers for bass
  • Not specified Murphy
    Thank You!
    Dub FX! First off I stumbled across your music on youtube and dude, you shred! I find a lot of inspiration from what you do so thanks! Thanks also for your set up tips. I am relatively new to the street performing scene, but with your advice on everything I've got my rig rollin! If your ever in Cali on the 3rd St Promenade, I would love to see you do your thing live bro!
  • Not specified busssk
    How long?
    Hi, great guide! I'm wondering how many hours that battery will last you. Calculations tell me around 3 hours, but maybe in reality it's a bit more..? Also, when you use two amps do you also use two batteries?

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