Im looking over PA Systems. I've been playing bass for about ten years as a bedroom bassist, but Im looking to push myself a bit more over the past year.
Im now in a band, got a Fender, convinced the guys to get a mixer rather than using one mic into Garage Band and compete on volume....
So far so good, but the next stage is the mixer output which as all any of us have, are our own individual instrument amps, we either get a tinny sound from the guitar amp, or a muddy ness from my 10 year old 20 Watt bass amp.
I believe it's time to get something with a bit more clarity so that we can hear ourselves correctly during the performance/recording process to hear the output from the mixer.
Is this a good idea? I don't see no reason why it shouldn't.
We got an Alesis USB FX2 8 Channel mixer, so it has eight distinct channels for recording, Im running Mixcraft 6 on my laptop. Im never sure whether to go direct or through effects - Im a Geddy Lee fan so Im kind of enjoying going direct and adding the effects on later.
Unfortunately the mixer only has a stereo output back from the mixing software, so I can't eg, record clean and then put everything back to the individual amps, so I reckon a PA is the right way to go.
Agreed so far?
Now my concerns for PA are - A) Loud Enough, B) Clear Enough, C) Small Enough, D) Price
Im tied between a Behringer B210D and Skytec SPB-8.
I think Behringer wiins on A, B and C. But the Skytec are cheap enough not to seriously consider. For £60 for the Skytec compared to £140 for the Behringer, the Skytec is a serious contender for a not fully serious band.
Anyone got any experience of Skytec vs Behringer?
I think you may be going about this whole thing the wrong way, but I don't quite understand what your end goal is so I can't explain exactly how you should be going about it. Are you trying to record? Have a PA for rehearsal? PA for performance?
In general, I would say that you won't be happy with either of those options for very long. Spend a little bit more money and get something a lot better. I recently bought an Electrovoice ZLX 12P that is fantastic for $340. It handles keyboard and vocals for rehearsal and small gigs and keeps up with a drummer. The 10" version is even cheaper, but won't have the same volume capabilities.
If you are trying to just hear the mix for recording, get a headphone amplifier and have everyone one bring a decent pair of headphones.
Thanks for the reply.
Yeah, without giving too much away, I don't think we quite know what our end goal is! At the moment we just meet up at each others houses and record a few songs every couple of months.
We meet mainly for the fun of performing together, but we also like recording our performances and I like trying to get the best sound possible. We're definitely improving.
Ideally, if it was me, we'd record our tracks one at a time, or as you say, with headphones so that we could isolate the channels during recording. But the others like to have a bit of fun, so we need it sort of quick and dirty while I try to improve the quality.
If it was just rehearsal, we'd go with our amps, but we're trying to record too. Headphones not an option. We'll probably be doing this for at least a year. It's a bit of fun at the moment.
So Im looking at something that's going to be a bit better quality than either the guitar or bass amp we use as a makeshift monitor for rehearsal/recording.
So Im not interested in breaking the bank , but I would like to get best bang for the buck! :-)
Geez, I hope this makes sense.
it sounds like you want to record the whole group at the same time and you want each performer's instrument on a separate track.
if that's the case then you'll probably want an audio interface like http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudioBox1818/
this one has 8 mic inputs and a USB output.
You run the USB to your computer and record each input to a different track using something like audacity or ableton etc etc etc.
it also has left and right outputs on the back so you can run those into a PA for whatever reason
In your situation I would highly recommend surfing craigslist for some used PA gear. You can find some cheap PA speakers and a power amp for a couple hundred bucks. Do you plan on playing live gigs or just recording songs? That will help determine how much you spend on the PA. If you plan to eventually play live you will want to spend a bit more on the PA. If it's just for practice you could get buy on a couple a stage monitors and a small amp to power them from the mixing board.
Used is best. Research anything you buy first and buy reasonable sounding gear from reliable manufacturers. Then if and when you sell it you'll make probably be able to sell it for pretty much what you bought if for.
Here's a good start:
I also suggest you visit the TB Recording Gear and Equipment Forum: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f43/ and study up on the FAQs.
Or maybe you could use something like this:
The smallest model can handle up to 5 members, each with a dedicated instrument input and an XLR input (with vocal effects). Each person has their own headphone mix they can
generate, and the main mix is 2 channel real stereo, that can feed a recorder or computer. And the best part - little or no volume wars. I love mine
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