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  #21  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:50 PM
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I think when most guys say they don't have PA support, it means that there IS NO PA for anything other than vocals. A couple of speakers on a stick and THEIR RIG has to fill the room. Plenty of small club bands will only take a couple of tiny speakers on stands that aren't big enough or powerful enough to handle bass/kick. The guitars, drums, and bass will all fill the room from the stage. If you're only getting a couple hundred bucks, you don't want to drag out your "A" system. You take the minimum to get through the gig. If the club owner wants you to bring more, then he can PAY more.

(Now, I myself don't ever play for less than a couple hundred.... just my cut...... but there are plenty of hobby bands out there that do it for fun and not so much money.)

Plus, I have played weddings where we unloaded the whole truck (because we were getting paid $5,000, so you unload the whole truck). But once we got set up, they complained about volume so much that vocals were coming from the STAGE MONITORS and the drummer (who had been pulled out of the PA altogether) got so many complaints that he switched to BRUSHES without even being in the PA one bit! In cases like this, it's dumb to even take a PA. I could have brought my Fender Bassman 25 1-10 practice amp to that gig and it still would have been overkill. And, no, it's NOT easier to get a good mix with a full FOH going if its a really low-volume gig. I'm a sound man too, and I have tried it. Bad move. I INSISTED that everyone keep it down so I could get a good mix out front. Well, the band members couldn't hear themselves and it got ugly quick. So I told them to let it rip on stage and I did the best I could.
  #22  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:29 PM
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I did one show with some small guitar amps, no bass, godawful loud drummer. They all wanted more of everything in the monitors. By the time we were done there was enough bleed from the monitors it could have carried the show if you weren't fussy how it sounded. OMG it must have been excruciatingly loud on stage. News of this allowed the guitarists to put the acid on the drummer to lay off his fully mic'd kit. It lasted half a set.
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:34 PM
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If you are doing it right, then yeah put everything in the mix.

Many of us can't afford to do it right, though, having to mix sound from onstage and wrangle with band members who don't know how to play quiet.
Because you don't always have a sound man, much less a competent one.
Because sometimes stage volume is already too loud.
Because it takes longer to set up and tear down.
Because it takes that silly competition for stage volume into the front mix where it can be even worse.
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  #24  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin Mike View Post
If you are doing it right, then yeah put everything in the mix.

Many of us can't afford to do it right, though, having to mix sound from onstage and wrangle with band members who don't know how to play quiet.
Because you don't always have a sound man, much less a competent one.
Because sometimes stage volume is already too loud.
Because it takes longer to set up and tear down.
Because it takes that silly competition for stage volume into the front mix where it can be even worse.
+1

I carry mine and mix us from stage. We are a decent bunch and there are no volume wars and such, but the rest still applies. Hauling, setup, teardown, cabling, etc. Depending on the venue, sometimes it just plain isn't needed to achieve good sound at the proper volume. Sometimes it is, and then that's what we do. I do almost always run a mic on the guitar and at least one drum overhead in addition to the kick just to catch those and get them in the mains for dispersion purposes. It can help make a fuller sound and spread it around the audience better without actually being any louder really. When none of that stuff is mic'd, it's a really small gig, the kind where just the bleed from the vocal mics is enough.
  #25  
Old 12-11-2012, 02:26 PM
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Even though I prefer to run everything through the PA, I can think of a number of reasons not to that have nothing to do with sound.

- The gig pays less, so you don't bring the big, expensive sound system.
- You don't have as much time to set up, and each additional channel and mic that you use increases set up time.
- You have somewhere to go after the gig, and want to decrease tear down time.
- Each additional component is another point of breakdown, and an additional step(s) in trouble shooting.
- You don't have a vehicle that can carry everything needed to run everything through the PA.
- You may have a small stage, and additional stands, mounts, and cables can get in the way.

Related to sound:
- You don't have the personnel who can play with low enough stage volume to really make it work.
- The stage or room is too cramped or awkard to place things without causing phase cancellation or unwanted reflections.
- You don't have the equipment to handle or reproduce the source signals.
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  #26  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kmonk View Post
Volume has nothing to do with it. You can still run everything through FOH and have acceptable volume. I understand your point but when running through FOH it is easier to get a good mix and balance as long as the stage volume isn't over powering. I have played everything from very small clubs to large outdoor venues and always run everything through FOH when possible. If you control your stage volume there is no reason to not run through FOH if given the option.
Exactly, when a single instrument is louder onstage than the "balanced" mix out front, then you have a problem that only turning everything else UP in FOH or getting the offender to turn down his stage volume. everything through the mains is really the only way to go as long as you have a talented soundman to manage it properly.
  #27  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:13 PM
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Running everything through the PA is for reinforcement only. I am blessed to not have a volume whore anywhere on stage with me. We set our amp volumes to mix/blend with the drums and the room. Then we bring up each instrument as needed. Typically we mic only the kick in small clubs, medium clubs and outdoor gigs I run dual 18" subs and mic the whole drum kit.

Plus our singer is deaf, as in I need all 300 watts pumping through her monitors so she can hear herself. Everyone else has no issue hearing her at all. I use a Mark Bass 2x10 cab, Post EQ DI to FOH. EV Live X Powered Subs and Crown powered EV Live X 115 tops. Sounds great indoors and outdoors.
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  #28  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:25 PM
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In small clubs, using the PA for vocals only and carrying FOH with acoustic drums and instrument amplifiers is quick and simple. I always get a chuckle when I see bands setting up full PAs in our local small clubs.
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  #29  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by john m View Post
I do GB, "country club gigs" where I can be asked to turn down using a 112 combo.
You can still play at a reasonable volume even if you run through a P.A. In fact, its easier to control.
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  #30  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy n. cognito
In small clubs, using the PA for vocals only and carrying FOH with acoustic drums and instrument amplifiers is quick and simple. I always get a chuckle when I see bands setting up full PAs in our local small clubs.
+1

I run my own sound for these gigs. They don't pay enough to hire a engineer and full rig nor do they require it.
  #31  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by guy n. cognito View Post
In small clubs, using the PA for vocals only and carrying FOH with acoustic drums and instrument amplifiers is quick and simple. I always get a chuckle when I see bands setting up full PAs in our local small clubs.
This certainly makes sense, but for my band it's just more economical to put pretty much everything in the FOH. There's 6 of us (bass, drums, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, and lead vocals, plus the keyboardist and ac. guitarist sing). Keyboardist doesn't have an amp. The acoustic guitar uses an acoustic/electric, so he goes direct. I'm too lazy to bring a rig, so I go direct. Plus all the vocals. At this point the only ones not in the FOH are drums and electric guitar as I doubt we'll ever convince him not to use his amp. Plus, sometimes the drummer goes electronic.

It certainly seems to make it easier to control overall volume.
  #32  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jmoorewright View Post

It certainly seems to make it easier to control overall volume.
I fail to see how. You still have to control a stage-amped guitarist, plug account for the acoustic drums. It wouldn't seem to be any better (or worse for that matter) than a vocals-only PA setup.
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  #33  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy n. cognito View Post
I fail to see how. You still have to control a stage-amped guitarist, plug account for the acoustic drums. It wouldn't seem to be any better (or worse for that matter) than a vocals-only PA setup.
I have to agree with Guy.... lead guitar and drums are the main volume problems.
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  #34  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy n. cognito View Post
I fail to see how. You still have to control a stage-amped guitarist, plug account for the acoustic drums. It wouldn't seem to be any better (or worse for that matter) than a vocals-only PA setup.
I don't disagree with you; our main problems volume-wise have traditionally been very loud drums and a cranked guitar. But lately, the less we have everyone else amped individually, the lower the overall volume has become.

I think there are a couple of other factors at play: we've had a few good conversations about overall volume, and we've been recording every rehearsal. This has really been encouraging everyone to listen to each other and control their own volume so they can hear the overall band.
  #35  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:55 PM
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Don't get me wrong; I would be thrilled to get rid of all stage amps and acoustic drums, and go IEMs, but in a small club managing without a full PA isn't that much work.
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  #36  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:59 PM
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OP here. The gig last week with house sound went OK, huge system in a small room. Sound guy seemed to know his stuff. 4 monitor mixes seemed like overkill, but it was already set up like that.

Gig using my system is tomorrow (again mains 2X 12" + horn powered tops with a single 15" powered sub). I'm going to mic the kick and snare, + guitar amp (Dr Z tube head with Avatar 112. He also has one of those "power brake" things so he can get his tone without being super loud). Keyboardist has a small powered mixer and 1 cab, I'm gonna run a direct out to FOH too though. Bass will be DI to FOH from my GK MB200 head (using one Genz Benz Focus 115 cab on stage). Two monitor mixes with 2- 12" floor wedges on each, one mix for lead vox and guitarist (he sings some lead too) and one for me and the drummer. I sing most of the backing vocals.

I know I'm going a little overboard with this one, but the bar is only 3 blocks from my house, plus I want to do a good check out of my PA. Will post how it goes.

P.S. Forgot to add - I borrowed a wireless from a friend so I can go out and check the mix.
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Last edited by tbirdsp : 12-14-2012 at 09:04 PM.
  #37  
Old 12-16-2012, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jive1 View Post
Even though I prefer to run everything through the PA, I can think of a number of reasons not to that have nothing to do with sound.

- The gig pays less, so you don't bring the big, expensive sound system.
- You don't have as much time to set up, and each additional channel and mic that you use increases set up time.
- You have somewhere to go after the gig, and want to decrease tear down time.
- Each additional component is another point of breakdown, and an additional step(s) in trouble shooting.
- You don't have a vehicle that can carry everything needed to run everything through the PA.
- You may have a small stage, and additional stands, mounts, and cables can get in the way.

Related to sound:
- You don't have the personnel who can play with low enough stage volume to really make it work.
- The stage or room is too cramped or awkard to place things without causing phase cancellation or unwanted reflections.
- You don't have the equipment to handle or reproduce the source signals.
+1 There are many reasons for limiting FOH support. I play a Church Gig every Sunday for 150 people. We use two 12 cabs for mains and three 12 wedges for monitors. We put the vocals, keys, and acoustic guitar in all and we have absolutely no need for anything else in there. I use a 1x12 bass cab with a 500 watt micro head next to a loud drummer with a shield in front. You can hear everything perfectly and it sounds blended. I run the sound using a wireless. We lease a building and I supply the PA. We have to set up and break down every Sunday. No need for more PA or more sound.

On the other side of the coin I play some 500 seat and up clubs on a regular basis. We run absolutely everything through the FOH and try to keep the stage volume down. Though my band mates are loud as heck and it can get a little bit much by the end of the evening.
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  #38  
Old 12-16-2012, 06:31 PM
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If you are mixing from the stage.
If your choice is a DI and some 18" subs as opposed to your 810cl.
If you are playing in a small club and PA support for guitars/basses is overkill.

Plus all the other reasons mentioned already.
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