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During band practice how is a singer heard?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Admiral Axtell, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Just a curiosity question, what does the singer plug into to get their voice heard with the rest of the band playing? Sorry if this is a dumb question...
  2. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Generally through a PA or an amp.

    Singer > Mic > Amp/ PA.
  3. jlt5x


    May 8, 2007
    Yeah, ideally you are going to have a pa - one loud enough to power the singer over the amps, and allow for 1-several inputs (vox, keys, etc).

    I am assuming you do not have one - you could use an amp to make do. Not ideal, but it would work. I think I may have even used an old stereo a while back....
  4. You would need one big ass amp... and how much does a PA cost...?? and what exactly is it... Iv'e heard about PA's in the past but I have not much of a clue what they are exactly...
  5. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    They have to sing REALLY loud.
  6. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Do what I did...find a singer with their own PA system, haha
  7. BassScum


    May 1, 2008
    So Cal
    Go to guitar center or musciansfriends website and check out PA's. You will then know what they look like and how much they cost. Also you can Google "PA system" and get all the necessary info.
  8. Here is an example of a small system, for vocals:


    Bigger and fancier, and the price goes up. You could spend 10 grand...or more...to mic up a band. "Pro" pa, a system that can amplify everyone, all the instruments, + drums, require more channels, more wattage, more speakers...you get the ideal.

    The Carvin catalog is a great place to learn about pa equipment, and a rough idea of what things cost. Although more prestigous brands cost proportionately more...

    ...but for practice, & smaller gigs, a vocal pa will do just fine, as long as you control the volume of the instruments.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Play at a very low volume (including drums).
  10. joeyjoejoe


    Apr 12, 2010
    keep in mind a small pa won't really cut through a reasonably loud band. we have a cheap kustom or something in our space and its pretty much useless.

    in college, someone had a 3 channel peavey keyboard amp that worked great for vocals.
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Here's a nice starter one.

  12. try cramming that into mom's pt cruiser
  13. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I'm finding a lot of these posts less than helpful. Essentially a basic P.A. like what my band uses in our jam space consists of an amp/mixer with several inputs for microphones and/or auxiliary devices such as keyboards, etc, like this - Yorkville-MP8.

    Along with a couple of main speakers and/or monitors, like this -


    Aside from Microphones, that's pretty much all you need. Oh and the speakers cables.
  14. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007

    end caps lock
  15. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Assuming this is not in jest, i still cannot imagine a vocalist keeping up with a band (+drummer) playing softly for a 2 hour practice.
  16. If you're looking for something modular so you can build as you go, you might consider a powered (active) pa speaker with mic inputs. Mackie makes one called the Thump (also sold under the Tapco brand), JBL makes some powered speakers, Behringer offers some inexpensive models too. Lots of companies make these. Check out this listing on Musicians Friend: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/live-sound/pa-cabinets/powered-cabinets

    The advantage to this set up is that for practice you could just buy one of these, put it on a table, plug a mic in and probably be OK.

    Add another one and a mixer and you've got a small PA. Add two more and you've got monitors too.
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    For the doubters out there, I used to be in a rock band that practiced in the kitchen of drummer's tiny apartment. He played a snare drum with a towel over the head, a hi hat and a kick drum made out of a suitcase with a pedal attached to it. The guitarist and I plugged into 5W practice amps.

    I am currently in a country band that rehearses with no PA in the pianists's living room.

    It can be done if you understand that music doesn't require high volume to be exciting.
  18. The bottom line though is that running a PA requires a particular set of skills that few people have. If you're not sure what a PA is, you've probably got a pretty steep learning curve in front of you. It's part art, part science.

    Find someone that runs the sound for their band and ask if they'll teach you. You could go along to a few gigs as a roadie and learn the basics. From there you'll just need lots of practice.

    If you're not going to be doing your own sound live and truly just need something for practice, then a powered speaker with a mic input is probably the cheapest and easiest way to go.
  19. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    For rehearsals, a small moderately-powered powered mixer with a couple of 12" monitors/speakers should do. As long as you don't play too loud, that should work. Prices will vary greatly, depending on the setup.

    A related question for you guys: how many of you play in a band where the SINGER has their own P.A. or amplifying equipment?
  20. +1

    Peavey makes some decent and affordable powered speakers as well with mic inputs. We use the Peavey PR12P at work and they work great, plenty loud.

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