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Differences in PA needs between my two bands.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Stinsok, Jun 18, 2004.


  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    In the group I play drums in, our bass player owns the PA. He does a lot of sound work and has a LOT of PA gear. In the past few gigs since we started playing again he has run it off the stage and it has been just fine. Last night, they bring in all kind of stuff and the guy that he works with ran the sound (from the side of the freakin' stage!) We wound up having to cut the money one more time for the sound guy. The club we were playing in seats probably 100 people (serious overkill.) I couldn't hear outfront but suspect due to the stage volume the only thing in the PA were vocals.

    In my other band (I am the bassist,) Our guitar player owns the PA. He owns a fairly large PA. For the same club/same night of the week, he uses some EV 15/horn speakers with 1 amp running the FOH and the monitors (from the stage.) His thinking is that if you can get the vocals on top everything else will take care of it self in a club this size. In this club his thinking is correct. When the gig is over, the PA fits in a mini van and we are out of there in a jiffy. Sorry, I will take that cheese to go with my whine now.
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    And the point of the thread is?
     
  3. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    No particular point, just like your posts.
     
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That's pretty good :D ROTFL
     
  5. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Hey, don't mean to be an arse. I just felt like venting about overkill.
     
  6. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Some people think that "bigger is better"

    I remember one of my friends was a waitress at this restuarant/bar. While I was waiting for her to get off of her shift, the night's band started setting up. This was a rather small room; maybe the size of four living rooms put together. I swear to God, they stacked up 10 PA cabs. Even if you miked everything, there's no need for 10 freakin' PA cabs. I didn't stick around to hear them play. I don't think I would want to be infront of all of that sound.

    I once worked with a soundman who had self-powered cabs. They were a little bit heavier than conventional cabs, but it eliminated a lot of equipment. (he still had spare power-amps if needed) Plus, they pounded.
     
  7. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Heck, we could have run a smaller PA and just have his partner run it from the side of the stage. It took us about an hour longer to tear down with the big stuff. The club area is about 60 to 70ft long at the most and about 30ft wide. Brick and hardwood.
     
  8. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I don't even want to begin to tell you what I deal with in my band as far as gear drama, you guys would tell me to quit the band. Keep It Simple Stupid the KISS thoery....as you found out. 98% of the time all you need is 15's and a decent PA, you may want to mic a guitar cab, or put some over heads over the drums. But if you need anything larger 98% of the time the club will have it covered already.
     
  9. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3

    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Yeah, powered speakers are the way to go to save your back. We usea powered mixing board and run the sound through powered JBL's and they sound great. No need to stack a bunch of cabs. Of course, we never play large venues, either.
     
  10. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yes they do. It's such a "Spinal Tap" way of thinking. In Austr ther is a bit of a revolt against oversized PA's. People don't want to watch a band that makes them feel like they've shoved their head inside a microwwave.
     
  11. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    It's kinda funny until the loadout. Like I said at the beginning, my other band is playing the same club this Thursday with a rack mount mixer, one Crest amp and some EV 15/horn speakers. We only have 3 monitors (the girl who sings the bulk of the stuff uses in the ear.) When it's over we will be gone in a very short while.
     
  12. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I don't understand the point of a huge PA with the intent on mic'ing everything and running it in the PA. It IS overkill for normal bars. If everyone has powerful instruments amps, shouldn't only vocals go through the PA? Does it really sound better to have guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals ALL going through one speaker?

    Besides who wants more gear to carry.
     
  13. Pete

    Pete

    Jan 3, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm not a very regular poster here but I thought I'd chime in. I'm the PA guy in most of the bands I play in. Because I'm playing covers for casino's and other high paying gigs I prefer for most places to bring a full set up. For me it's usually a Yamaha 01V, Rack of EQ's, amp rack (stereo Mains + Subs, 4 monitor mixes). With that set up everything else is just a pile of boxes: 2x dual 18's, 2x EV 15+1"'s, 4x-8x wedges (depends on band). Really it's quite simple and easy but it takes a lot of work to keep it in shape and calibrated. That's really the key.

    I can't do most gigs without mic'ing the kick/bass and everything else because then we'll sound like a "bar band". It ain't fun to do, and I rarely like the sound of bands who only mic vox. Point is that if you mic the kick, then why not mic everything else? There's nothing that will draw more juice and demand more speaker than that and vocals. Putting the band thru the PA make the band sound very uniform and helps the band sound more like the recording the songs came from.

    Just my 2 cents. I do use vox only PA when I can get away with it, but I always use good speakers and lots of headroom!

    pete
     
  14. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    My favourite desk ever! Yeah it's digital but I'm not scared of it like most sound guys are. I was trained on a Yamaha Pro-mix so I took t the O1V easily. Have you tried the new model? If so, how do they compare to the old?
     
  15. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Why listen to CDs, you have all those instruments going through one speaker? ;)

    Just for a different spin on things. Having things go through the PA could reduce the amount of gear you have to bring. I have played gigs with nothing more than my trusty Sansamp DI with great results. A keyboard player can easily go straight into the PA, and use monitors for the stage sound. The guitar player can use a HK Redbox or other Speaker Simulator and go straight into the PA, or the guitar player can use a smaller amp, and just mic it. When you consider the possibilities offered by electronic drum kits and midi instruments you can literally have the entire band go through the PA. By using a PA that I would have to bring anyway for the vocalists, I reduce the number of amps and cabinets that needed.

    There's no reason why vocals should be the only thing going through the monitors and mains. Good PA speakers are meant to be full range, not specialized to the frequencies of a instrument. They are also designed to have a longer throw as well.

    As Pete stated, micing things up gives a more professional sound. Most of the time instrument amps are on the floor, while PA speakers are on stands. Last I noticed, we don't have ears on our feet. The more things that you run through the PA, the more sound will be sent at ear level. The sound of a guitar amp that is just screamingly sweet on stage can sound like mud in the back of the bar. Using PA speakers designed for a longer throw that are elevated on stands really helps in this department. Plus PA speakers generally have tweeters desgned with a wider dispersion. It's the crisp highs that give the listener the image of clarity.

    Plus running things through the PA gives the guy running sound more control to make adjustments to the room, the band members, etc. Guitar player too loud? No problem, I'll just turn him down in the monitors. :D

    But, truth be told, all this can equate to extra effort and it may not be necessary or feasible for some gigs. It just depends on the situation.
     
  16. Pete

    Pete

    Jan 3, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I haven't used the old pro-mix at all, I was thinking about getting one just to have around. The new 01V's look really similar to the old except the 24/96 set up which to me doesn't warrent the huge price markup.

    Bringing in a huge PA for me isn't a big deal since my bass set up time is about 3 minutes (if I'm slow). I don't like running everyone dierct because most musicians rely so heavily on their amps for tone. Monitors are usually vocals onlys will amps producing only stage volume. Sometimes it can be loud up there but the monitor rig has to be decent with plenty of mixes. The times I have volume or feedback issues really is because of not enought monitor mixes. One mic lites up 2 or 3 wedges in a small space causing less gain before feedback.

    My bass rig almost never covers the room. Has anyone ever heard their rig from 50 feet? I'll bet it sounds nothing like you think it does. Besides, 2x dual 18's in large cabs will out throw my wimpy sized eden 410xlt anyday. Tone I get mostly from the head anyway, but if it's the speaker cab sound you need then mic your cab as well.

    pete
     
  17. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I am all for running every instrument through the PA, but the club I am talking about is small enough where stage volume covers the room and there is only room for vocals without blasting everyone's ears off. We carried in a big PA just to run the vocals through.
     
  18. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    For small gigs we use our trusty PA on a stick. JBL 15 and a horn powered by a Mackie powered mixer. We also have one Yamaha monitor. Since it's mostly only our singer and myself singing we can get away with it. For larger shows which BTW is most of them for us, we rent sound. We have a guy that comes in and sets it all up and everything goes through the PA. This guy is a pro and makes us sound like money. It costs more but we don't come off like chumps.
     
  19. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    It's all about the room.

    I myself like big production, for a lot of the reasons Pete mentioned. (by big, I'm talking about running things through the PA; I don't mean stacking up mounds of speakers just for the heck of it, like in my earlier example) If you check my profile, I have a small amp. Cool enough, it has a direct out. I plug a low-impedance chord in the back, and the sound man makes sure that I pound. The amp is just a stage monitor. Running full production is also nice because you don't have to blast your ear drums out to get a good volume level. You can play quietly on stage, and the PA will do all of the work.

    I'm not saying you have to run everything through the PA to sound good; I've heard plently of bands use their PA for nothing more than vocals. But the better you sound, the more people will dig you, and the more money you can charge.