I've seen lots of entertainment where there is just one person playing a guitar, usually rhythm, and singing along with the music. Usually they have a laptop and a foot switch and speaker system. Is it special equipment? software? I would like to have a set up like that in my basement but don't know what I need to get started. I do have the songs I want in mp3 format, guitar, amp, speakers. What am I missing? Thank you.
Much more entertaining than a laptop -- at least for other musicians, but I assume everyone appreciates the difference -- is a loop pedal. Instead of karaoke-style pre-recorded tracks, you can build your own on the fly, layer by layer. The good pedals have a mic input and a guitar input, and you can build layers from either (or both), and any time you're playing/singing you have a choice of recording it or just passing it through live based on what pedals are engaged. Sometimes I also see a second microphone, presumably 1 records and 1 is live, but I'm not exactly sure why this would be necessary.
I guess you're looking to purchase a small PA system for the vocals and recorded stuff?
For the past 5 years, I worked solo and duo gigs with a female vocalist. I average about 125-140 gigs a year. We use soundtracks I make on a 16-track Fostex and a laptop on stage for playback. Our smallest setup (every Tuesday for the past 2 years) consists of: 1 JBL MRX512M on a tripod between us, a Mackie 1202VLZ3, a Yamaha SPX90, an ART Tube MP and a pedalboard for the Strat, 2 SM58's, 2 Carvin spot monitors bolted together for her vocals, and a Crown D75A II. We use two 512's on stands and two 512's for monitors in some rooms we frequent where we need more range but not heavy lows, and two 515's for mains when we need a little more bottom. If we have to do a big show, we have 4 JBL MRX515's, 4 MRX512's, and 4 E-V SB122 subs, 2 Carvin DCM1000L's, a DCM2000L for subs, and a DCM2004L when we play larger venues, like a 16,000 sq. ft. building we play in several times a year with hundreds of people in it. The venue must supply PA for anything requiring more than this.