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First Time Renting a PA System

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Akirabanana, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Akirabanana


    Dec 12, 2005
    Kingston, On
    I am hoping some of you more experienced folk can help me out here with renting a PA system for the first time.
    We are a local university cover band and we may be playing a semi formal at a banquet hall. We have been told that there is no PA system beyond a small one for speaking.

    I've spoken to the local music/PA place and they seem to have an awful lot of options for equipment to rent. The event should be about 150 people. What kind of things should I be looking for in a sound system?

  2. Spoiled Grape

    Spoiled Grape I <3 Darkstar

    May 29, 2003
    Riverside, CA
    How large is the hall? How many people are in the band that you want to mic? 150 people sounds like the sort of event you probably won't put your bass or guitars through the PA. A kick and snare might be nice, but again, probably won't be necessary.

    A simple set-up, especially considering this is your first time running a PA, might be appropriate.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Unfortunately, 150 is just about the size for a room to be too big for a small club PA. But if you don't have to be too awful loud, you should rent a small PA with a 15" and a horn on each side and a 500w per side powered head and just use the PA for vocal mics and a kick mic.
  4. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    This might be a longshot, but here goes.....

    If there is a local musician or band that you can trust, how about renting it from them? They will be familiar with the system, it will be complete without you having to mull over options, and you can help out a fellow musician and save yourself some bucks. You may be able to get one of them to run sound for you.

    Just a thought.
  5. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area

    You don't want to be messing with unfamiliar equipment at the show. Even if you have to rent getting somebody else w/ experience to run it will make your gig go much more smoothly.
  6. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    What kind of setup do you already use? And what style of covers do you play?

    Are you going to be playing background music or actually performing as a main feature of this formal?

    What have you done as far as setup and sound at previous gigs? I assume that you've always used house PA, but what have you run through the system?

    In general, I agree with the idea to rent from a band. To be quite honest, to rent a good quality PA from a music store is going to cost more in most situations than renting from a band. Plus, bands will generally have incidental things that you might not consider - rack gear, multiple monitor mixes, subwoofers, etc...
  7. Roger Pounders

    Roger Pounders

    May 24, 2006
    Hire a sound guy......

    you can have them do a show for 200-400 bucks depending on size etc.
  8. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    And the average band will do it for half that and sometimes with a much better PA.

    After all, if you're a soundman, why should you haul out your nice gear for "only" 2-400 bucks?
  9. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Ditto that. If its an important gig (and which ones aren't?) you'll want to sound your best.

    I'd fill every channel that is practical on the thing. Definitely bass guitar and DEFINITELY the kick drum for sure. In any room. Its sounds simple, yet always seems to be a challenge to control the volume on stage and use the PA for all its worth. Any vocalist knows that excessive stage volume is a huge hassle. I've heard it a thousand times.
  10. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I don't know what kind of banquet hall you'll be playing in, but every hotel worth its salt has a relationship with an established A/V company to supply sound, lighting, video monitors, etc. (I managed hotels with meeting and convention facilities for 30 years).

    I'd ask the manager of the banquet hall who their A/V contact is and what kind of cost to expect. In larger facilities, it isn't uncommon for the A/V company to store gear on the premises. It is also quite common for hotels and other operators of banquet facilities to have a representative of the A/V company on the premises to coordinate last-minute changes and solve problems as they occur.

    If the facility in which you'll be playing has these kinds of suppliers, all you'll have to do is communicate before the fact, show up, and play: the convenience of having no gear to pick-up or return is often worth a small rental fee.

    Good luck!
  11. Roger Pounders

    Roger Pounders

    May 24, 2006
    id do it for 400 bucks
  12. Akirabanana


    Dec 12, 2005
    Kingston, On
    I sure do appreciate all the advise,
    It turns out that the event will have a fairly powerful speaker system already, we will end up renting monitors and a seperate mixer/poweramp for our own use.

    Lets hope this one goes well :bassist:

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