Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gladstone Hotel Update: Peter Styles on new Laptop based system

Folks you should know that in an effort to be more up to date Peter Styles is now setup on a PC Based Karaoke system. After using the VocoPro system with its awkward song changing system he decided it was time for a change. Sow now his system is PC based and its huge different from his VocoPro system attempting to navigate 6k songs with only a directional based remote control. So those of you who haven't see Peter recently, check it out. A new 17" LCD Lyric monitor is also in use and it does make reading easier (although I would like the monitor a bit higher myself). I've been a bit behind but I have karaoke KJ software reviews written in draft form starting with PowerKaraoke's Siglos Profession suite. Its been mentioned my blog was getting a little stale so I apologize but my research (and application of results) had been taking time. The good news is I can publish notes on going Laptop based on karaoke system and what pitfalls to watch out for should you make the leap yourself. Cheer

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Karaoke Review:Chick N'Deli w/Nicholas with Hitsville Karaoke

Reviewed: 2008-04-15

For some time I've been hearing about this venue so it was high time I checked it out to see if I got a few good cluckles or laid an egg. Wednesday nights is not the most active evening but this could be a great place to go for people who don't like to wait for songs. Off to the BBQ.

The Good:
The service was fairly quick and food quality was also quite good. The food selection has a wide variety of bar food: Various Burger choices, Chicken (of course!) Whole, 1/2 and 1/4 sizes both BBQ and Jerk) , wraps Chili Salads Sivloki, Pasta, Wide dessert selection along with good appetizers selections with calamari, brushetta, calamari, wings nachos and onion rings.

Song Selection is above par with 8978 songs (approx) with a good spread of generes from oldies to modern contemporary hits by Radiohead.

There is a real stage which gives a nice feel as the stage faces the entrance.

The Mixed:
food prices are around average: $7-$17 although combo salads with burgers are a tad high. While the equipment was good the monitor was too low and difficult to read. Audio monitors aren't really there and one cannot hear their own voice. Mike sometines not quite connected so guessing the cable was loose. The MC's commentary had some good moments but sometimes it just fell a little short. Brilliant moments but some luls in between. Wait times are within 1 hour which is average citywide.

The Bad: As much as I was trying to put this in the mixed but this is all about the user experience. Nicholas is not terribly in attention to sound levels. Sound Balances were mostly okay but WEAK SINGERS GET OVERPOWERED by the high music levels and the MC doesn't seem to notice. Bass was often much too heavy as well. As much as I dislike saying this is an MC's job is to make sure that ALL participants can sound as good as they can and I felt like this venue was geared for season karaoke participants and beginners are not really monitored. Also, Nicholas seems to do little more than change the songs. More personality please. If Nicholas is reading this please pay attention to this. The decor of this venue is not great either. It has a run down feel which could be improved with a little TLC (Tender loving care). There is potential for a better overall feel but at the moment it feels like a run down bar/restaurant.


The Chick'n'Deli has a great food selection and excelent service. The stage for participants is excellent and song selection is on par with some of the better venues in Toronto. Unfortunately the MC attention is not only the main weak spot its a weak spot that is felt be anyone karaoke participant who is not seasoned and that makes it difficult for new participants. This really needs to get fix and the MC needs to be listening to levels of the weak singers as well as strong. Having seen others do an excellent job at adjusting sound levels for all classes of singers there is simply no reason for Nicholas the same. If he can fix this combined with some touch up on the venue decor this could be a really fantastic venue in an awesome location.

Final Grade: C+

Facilities: 7.5 (great stage and layout but overall bar decor needs some work. Feels run down)
Equipment: 8.0 (Speakers are good but loose cables get noticed)
Song Selection: 8.9 (Excellent spread of genres kept up to date)
Food Selection: 8.7 (Very nice sellection)
Food Quality: 8.1 (Portions good, salads very fresh, burgers pretty good but salads were better)
Food Service: 9.0 (Food service was great...worth a good tip along with it)
Prices: 7.1 (average)
Location: 8.0 (Just a trip to Eglington Subway Station and an eastbound bus or 20 minute walk gets you to Mt. Pleasent)
Wait Times: 7.0 (MC keeps the que moving, so it makes city avarage)
Host: 7.2 (Sometimes great commentary between songs, other times flat, doesn't appear to notice his volume levels overpower weak singers)

Venue Information:
Chick N'Deli
744 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON, M4S 2N6
Phone: (416) 489-3363

Karaoke Host Info:
Hitsville Karaoke (A Division of Bent Roots Music)
Phone: (416) 84307400