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Do I get an eq, compressor, etc or go for a driverack pa+?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by spacerust, Jan 2, 2012.


  1. spacerust

    spacerust

    Feb 9, 2010
    South Texas
    I was looking at eq's and was about to buy a dbx 231 eq when I came across adbx driverack pa+. Now I dont know which route to take. Im looking for something that will be with me in the long haul but also since I play bass in the band and kind of the closest one to being a sound guy as well I need something easy. Anyone have any experience with both?
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The DRPA+ has a lot more than EQ on it. I use a DR260, and it has both parametric and graphic EQ on it. It is cumbersome to do on-the-fly EQing with it. The screen is tiny, and it takes some practice to navigate through the menus quickly.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a very useful piece of kit. I like the crossover/filters for separating out the subs from the mains. There are available presets for tuning different speaker combinations. It also has a feedback killer that comes in handy. Limiters, too. It can be connected to a laptop for control, with a slightly better GUI than the onboard screen. The GUI is still pretty primitive, though.

    Again, it's not a piece that is easy to use on the fly. If I were interested only in the EQ aspect, I would definitely go with the 31-band graphic EQ. The Driveracks are more for set it and forget it.
     
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I use a DriveRack but keep an old ART GEQ in-line (but on stand by) for "rescue" work if necessary...haven't touched it in years. For the most part, I set individual mic channel EQ's then AutoEQ the room via RTA mic / pink noise (when feasible). That's it. If you do go the DR route, be prepared to read the manual and spend some time with the finished rig in a controlled environment so you can get a true feel of how the mixer, DR, amps, and enclosures interact. Nothing worse than showing up at a gig with an untried / untested system.

    Riis
     
  4. spacerust

    spacerust

    Feb 9, 2010
    South Texas
    But is this where live sound is going? I like the concept of what the driverack is capable of but just wondering if this would be easier than using an eq, compressor, etc on a individual basis.
     
  5. Hi.

    Easier, no IMHO if using it te way You describe, but way more flexible than, say, an active cross-over + the signal processing. But NOT ON THE FLY, as Munjibunga pointed out.

    The loudspeaker management is a necessity with todays scalable PA systems, and there is the area where the driverack and eqvivalent devices shine.

    As for the initial question of Yours, for a bar duty with conventional cabs I'd choose a separate processors system, for line arrays and/or bigger scale, I'd choose a driverack.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You can use both a DR and, for example, graphic EQ in smaller venues if you wish to retain that bit of control. Simply run the GEQ in your mixer's insert(s) and use the DR for everything else: xovers, limiters, etc. You can configure a particular patch, flatten / delete the DR's EQ, and save to memory in another location (you have 25). Recall when needed and use either the headphones or "sonic scout" for fine-tuning. FTR, decent EQ's can be had for low dough. Doug / dcr gave me mine. It's a little scarred but does the trick.

    Riis
     
  7. The DriveRack PA+ is fantastic. I have one for FOH (plus a rescue EQ) and I'm thinking of getting another PA+ for monitors.

    I wouldn't advise using it at a show without getting to know it first. Set it up at home and run through various configurations and get to know the wizards etc. Read everything you can, especially the dbx forums, before you start.

    I did a show without mine a couple of weeks ago and couldn't stand to listen to my system without the benefit of the auto EQ.

    IMO, the PA+ or equivalent is he way of the future - as you say.
     
  8. TimmyP

    TimmyP

    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    What mixer are you using, and when do you expect to upgrade from it? It might be smarter to take the StudioLive plunge ASAP.
     
  9. Keithwah

    Keithwah

    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    Agreed on the StudioLive console and blow off the DBX piece. I had a BSS SoundWeb (waaaaaaay more manly than any DBX dsp) in line after my SL16.4.2 and wound up pulling it since it was really just dead weight as I was able to get what I wanted out of the console.
     
  10. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    For the average bar band live sound is going toward powered speakers. Then a drive rack is not needed at all. Another vote for the studiolive as well. I just got one a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to use it at a show.
     
  11. I've used the Driverack for years with great success. It's not something you would want to just fiddle with on the fly. Once you dial it for your system you can kinda leave it alone. I've also got dbx eq for the monitor system which is where feedback it more likely. Between the driverack EQ and the built in feedback supression..........I've never had a problem with feedback. If I begin to hear a frequency that is a problem......I can lower that frequency on the monitor eq. Again, Driverack stuff is great......but there's a bit of a learning curve. Powered systems are no different sound wise than a passive system with amps. The same basic sound system fundamentals apply.
     
  12. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    Except unless you really know what you are doing with a driverack. For the average user a powered speaker will sound better than a passive one of the same quality.
     
  13. Made the night and day difference for my PA.... once dialed in ... really don't have to touch it... does wonders for output and clarity.
     
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Why is that?

    Riis
     
  15. Hi.

    +1, I'd like to hear that as well.

    Most of the budget active top cabs still lack the proper active cross-overs, separate amps for different drivers, and most importantly, the cabs themselves are usually excactly as good or as bad as their passive versions.

    Active cabs are really nice, but the price and weight is usually still too much for an average week-end warrior.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  16. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    Because the processing has already been done for you to make the cab sound about as good as it can. Here is a link to another forum. Read Don Boomers post #117 Speakers He works in the industry use to work for Peavey,and Sabine now he is at line 6.
     
  17. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    Well there are alot of good powered speakers out there for around a $1000.00. The weight is nothing. A JBL PRX512 weighs 34.5 pounds the passive mrx512 weighs 33. The price difference is $100.00 more for the powered version. It is a no brainer decision IMO. When you factor in the cost of an amp the powered JBL is cheaper.
     
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Interesting read. Like others, I "backed in" to the DriveRack having already procured our band's budget-conscious components (Carvin enclosures, used Soundcraft board, QSC RMX amps, etc) when the project commenced. The features mentioned (filters, active xovers, tunings) are available but are subject to dbx's interpretation of what sounds best in addition to that of the cab builder.

    Riis
     
  19. x2 for the combo enclosure/poweramp/crossover etc...

    Why.... Takes some of the talent out of a mix.

    to forget the word "average" is a huge oversight on this.
     
  20. PopaWoody

    PopaWoody The major rager

    May 28, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    We use the Driverack, for powered speakers. Our setup consists of 2 Mackie SRM450 Tops, 2 Mackie S500 Subs, we use 2 Carvin PS15 as monitors with another 2 Carvin 12" wedge monitors available if the stage is large enough to warrant them.

    We run live on a Mackie 16 Channel VLZ Pro, I use a TC Electronics M350 Reverb/Delay, a single DBX266 compressor via Aux Send.

    I EQ the room once with the Driverack, the first time we play there. I store the EQ as a preset. Next time we play there I recall the setting. IT is a bit of a pain in the ass to pink noise a live room on the other hand. We warn people first and still get annoyed people during the Auto EQ process. If it was up to me I would show up to an empty room to Auto EQ, however that is just not practical for most weekend warriors or rooms.

    I get a lot of compliments on my ability to run live sound and play bass. We can also lower volume to comfortable levels with our drummer on his Roland digital kit.
     

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