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First outside gig

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by TJBass, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. We have a gig on June 5th, outside, no backwall, its a biker rally not real sure how many bikers will be there, maybe several hundred.

    Our PA consists of a yamaha EMX512C powered mixer and two Yamaha 15 inch loudspeakers, for monitors we have two Kustom 12 inch loudspeakers.

    Band consists of bass, 600 watt w/2-10's and an 18, guitar, crate SS 100watt head and ampeg 4x12 cab, drums, Pearl 6 piece set, then ofcourse the singer.

    I'm concerned we are not going to have enough volume.

    Do we need to DI bass and guitar, mic the drums?

    Will the PA handle all that?

    I know the band that is going to play before us, they have tons of PA equipment and since they have a gig afterwards, we must use what we have. Gig only pays $200 so we are not going to be able to rent a truckload of gear and a soundman.

    This setup has worked well in the past in small and medium venues but we've never tried it outside with nothing to bounce the sound off.

    And ofcourse, no money to buy more gear at the moment, so if anyone has any constructive ideas or comments I would greatly appreciate it.
  2. Well, you'all are pretty much screwed. I'm sorry for the downer, but 2 monitors? You will not be very loud, even if you are able to mic or DI. You need subs for outdoor stuff, especially a biker gig! Too bad you can't use the opening act's stuff (or try to switch!).

    Good Luck! We're all pullin for ya! :D :bassist:

  3. Agree'd with Russ; you're going to be struggling with that setup.

    Renting amps around here is cheap, maybe you should rent an SVT + fridge and a proper Marshall tube amp. And some big sticks for the drummer. Just let the PA do vocals as I think that's all your going to get out of it with what you have outdoors.
  4. Actually me and the gui**** can drown out the drums, I was hoping we could mic the kick and snare...would it be worth it? I guess we will just have to balance the volumes the best we can so everyone can be heard. I did get the word that they are bringing in a back drop with a roof on it, so maybe that will push some of the sound out into the crowd a bit more.
  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Amplifying low frequencies hogs system power, and the PA you have will likely struggle just to get the vocals out.

    With that system, mix the vocals to ride just over the level of the acoustic drums, and then bring guitar and bass up to fit the mix. You probably won't be as loud as you'd like, but at least you'll won't sound like a hot mess.
  6. Well thats the best I can hope for then, I appreciate the input, we have a dry run sched for this sunday outside.
  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Invite another band to play with you, buy em a round of beers. Make sure they have a nice PA with subs, tell them you will help them carry everything You can run sound for each other.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    File under, "Gigs That Probably Should Not Have Been Taken". Between the puny pay and your small P.A. you're in a tight spot. It takes a load and I mean a load of wattage to pump good live sound outdoors.

    But, a deal's a deal so I hope it all works out. Watch out that your guitarist doesn't go nuts on his volume. With 100 watts and a 4x12 cabinet he has the potential to blow you and the drummer completely out of the water if you two are not getting any help from the P.A. And the singer too for that matter. At least you don't have to worry about putting any of him thru the P.A.

    Best of luck and let us know.
  9. Mr Grady

    Mr Grady

    Feb 26, 2006
    i say go for it.

    we have a real crap system atm as we have just started out, but did a biker gig from a HGV trailor, with about 1500 people milling about.

    unless you are going to be the main event as apposed to "background noise" then just play and have a good time.

    we got asked back for next years event, so take heart......dont panic!

    and you will love it!

    all the best.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    In this instance, balance is mission-critical....volume is not. Its nice to be able to enjoy a meal and have a normal conversation without having to yell above the din of an overly-loud band.

  11. boxerrider


    Mar 16, 2009
    Zooberwerx & Mr Grady +1

    I've played harmonica outdoors through a combo amp next to a guy on acoustic guitar. Yes, at biker gigs and invited back.
    If you try to make your system do too much the whole package will sound bad and nobody has any fun.

    Keep it simple. Start out low and keep everything balanced, leave everybody some headroom.

    If you're quiet but sound good people tend to move up and interact more, this is a good thing. They have a good time and you have a good time.
    A lot of people in the audience host smaller rallies, parties, BBQs, etc. throughout the year in places where a loud band is not an option. Your band looks like just the ticket.

  12. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    It all depends on what you have to cover , distance wise. If all the listeners are glued to the speakers , maybe you can do it with your kit , but I doubt it.
    Figure 5Kw to cover 100 feet in front of the stage , minimum.

    You said a biker's thing , I hope for you that they are "bicycles" and not Harley's :D
  13. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    This has Epic fail written all over it. Why would you agree to play for $200.00? The band playing before you with the big PA will probably sound like a real band. You guys will sound like a transistor radio. :(
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, look at the bright side.....they'll be $200 closer to buying some upgrades.

    To the OP: we expect a full follow-up report, spec:

    *Were your received well? Receive compliments?

    *Were you asked back for next year's engagement?

    *Were you able to "network", possibly snag addt'l gigs from other sources?

    *Despite the equipment shortcomings, did you pull the thing off looking / sound as the consummate professionals you are (or wannabe)?

    Seriously, let us know how things go!

  15. Our dry run went surprising well. Out in the wide open field, measured out the distance the sand box is that the audience stands in front of the stage, set our gear up just as we would with the same stage size.

    Setup: Bass Di'ed to the PA. Kick drum, snare and over head mic on the drums. Guitar, miked but only up a touch.

    Up front, loud as hell, noone will have a problem with that volume.

    Between 25-75 feet, sounds fantastic, no problem hearing everyone, sound was even and balanced after really dialing in the EQ's.

    Out to 100 feet (which is beyond the sandbox) not as loud but plenty of volume to be heard and we were really not pushing the PA.

    So nice to know we have enough to cover the music area.

    Oh and I so love getting replies like "epic fail" and "bicycles and not harleys" cause it really helps knowing that my fellow TB'ers have so little confidence. As far as the pay goes, we're being paid $200...but we plan to turn around and put it back in the donation pot for the STL Childrens Hospital which is what the event is for....and we didn't call them, they called us...more like hounded us to play. Anyway, we all have day jobs, its not about the money, its about the kids.
  16. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    This X 1,000,000...
  17. Good to hear your test run went well. Just remember that the Modular Sound Absorbers/Reflectors will play a role in how you sound 100ft out. But the main thing is you were able to get an idea what you will be up against. :cool:

    Please let us all know how the gig goes! :bassist:

  18. Thanks Russ, I'll keep you guys posted
  19. jtrow


    Mar 1, 2009
    Mid America
    Rock it as hard as you can without blowing your system. You'll be fine. If they want it louder, they can move in closer.

    All the good things happen closer to the stage anyway, who wants the crowd 300 feet away?

    Have Fun.:)
  20. Thats a very good point!

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