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Help me with my first pa

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by JimiLL, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Ok so I'm chipping in to help build my cover bands pa. So far we have two 118 peavey black window cabs, and a carvin dcm 2000 feeding them. Two powered Mackie mains, a 20 channel board, 31 band eq. What else should go in there to do small/medium venue gigs? Vocal effects are in planning the stages.

    Also, the other guy I'm splitting stuff with seems to think we need 7 channels of compression. ... 4 on drums, 3 on vocals, all gated. I was thinking just kick and snare would suffice. What do you all think?
  2. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Do you have any monitors? That would be my first purchase. As far as compressors that would be way down on the list.
  3. Yeah I didn't mention we have 3 monitors
  4. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    Compression on live mics is not madly easy to control.
  5. Are you saying its typically not worth the trouble? I've only really seen kick and snare compressed live... is that still excessive?

    Are gates worth the time? Guitar guy thinks that's a necessity.
  6. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    For small/medium venues it's way OTT. I assume that you won't get time for a proper soundcheck? Compressors take some skill to set up properly, and that's 4 of them on the drums alone. Compressing your overheads will probably cause "breathing" as the signal level fluctuates, they will also amplify stage noise and be prone to feedback. Gates, sure if you want to, but again they require some savvy to set up. Plus, bottom line: do you want to be lugging that lot around to gigs?
    static0verdrive and Roland GR 88 like this.
  7. What do any of you suggest? Setup wise
  8. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    What board is it?
  9. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    You've already got a fair bit of clout there for small/medium: 2kW power amp AND powered Mackie mains ought to dish out the SPL alright. AS per Modulus, some monitors would be good/essential, possibly IEMs. If your compadre is hell-bent on gates/compressors and all that then a digital desk would be a nifty upgrade as they have all that stuff per channel strip and more (though I haven't bitten that particular bullet yet-as always with new(ish) tech., let the early adopters do the bug-ironing for you!
  10. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    If you don't have a sound tech---- axe the compression for now- especially on the vocals. And don't compress anything in the monitor chain. Levels will drive you nuts.
  11. geez, you have to lug all that stuff around ?

    Well, I guess when i was in my 20's, we lugged a PA rack with mixer, power amp, reverbs, delays, crossover, a couple of JBL 2x15 towers and a couple those old Cervin Vega subs. 16 channel 100' snake as well. At least we had a sound guy to help us hook up and run the whole thing.

    Ah well, go for it!

    I'd say fine tune what you got before you figure out what you NEED.
    Mostresticator likes this.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If you're gonna gate anything, it should be the kick drum. Compress all the vocals on a sub-group insert if available. Neither are essential, though, to get the project up and rolling.

    A decent outboard FX processor can be had for well under $50. I have a MidiVerb III collecting dust in my storeroom.

    mjmeche likes this.
  13. Put your 31 band on the monitors - you need that to deal with feedback. Forget it for the front of house and just use the desks eq. If you need to at a later time get a 15 band for front of house.

    Are you running mono or stereo. I would suggest mono.
    mjmeche, john m and bigfatbass like this.
  14. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    maybe one of the DBX DriveRack PA all-in-one boxes .... interesting for controlling and protecting your gear ... interesting setup features which can be saved ..! various EQ, compressors , crossovers, etc ...

    I do think Gates on drum mics help a Lot ... if you want them to punch instead of being noisy ringing mud ..

    but you do need to read and learn and experiment with comps/gates ... a little goes a long way ..!

    effects ... I like programmable multi-fx units ... most can be used like 2 or more individual fx units ...
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  15. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    Did someone just discover compression? This is the second thread in as many days.

    In 40 years playing live I've rarely said, gosh, if we only had compression

    There are some styles where it's sort of integral to the sound - re hardcore dub

    But, other than that meh
  16. This is my first foray into live sound, I've used compressors in my rigs for years now
  17. I should add we are going to run the sound from on stage, We have wireless and we can step out front to hear what's happening
  18. For small to medium venues I would go further and say to leave one sub at home. Don't mic the drum kit except possibly the kick - and don't overdo that, mic the vocals and just a little guitar. If you have a decent bass rig then run that to the room as well. Keep your volumes to a decent but not stupidly low level and you would be surprised how good the sound out the front can be. (the vocal mics will pick up a surprising amount of drums).
    Roland GR 88 and bigfatbass like this.
  19. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    You don't provide enough information, but it sounds like you are going overkill for a first system for small club use. Two 18s are going to be a tidal wave of mudpie in most small/medium venues, I would really be thinking smaller to start out. We just run an 8-channel powered board that has 2 discreet power amps, and 2 EQs and some built in effects, (several of which don't suck). We mic kick and snare, no compression on anything, running through two JBL 15s on poles, with one powered sub. It crushes most rooms of 100-200 bodies, and if we need more outside or whatever, all we have to do is bring 2 more speakers, and cut the ohms in half for the headroom. Unless you are having ringing/feedback issues what do you need all the gating for? Not trying to be a dink, but even talking about compression and gates, and vocal effects units, before you have a system up and running is a bit cart before the horse. That is a lot of big heavy stuff you are talking about moving, and a lot of cables to run. How many venues are you going to be in that really need that 4-way front end? I would take the time to assess what you're real needs for the system will be, and then ask more questions.
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A whole new challenge that almost requires a "set it & forget it" mentality. It is convenient to have a "scout" in the audience to report back and make adjustments based on his/her observations.


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