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Live Sound Setup

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by skin, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. skin


    Jun 22, 2003
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    OK... being a bunch of over 50 guys, we are used to big stuff on the backline and PA just for vocals. We know that the trend today is going to small stuff on the backline and a wide ranging sound system for the audience with good monitors, probably with subs.

    I am working to help my keyboard player understand this is THE WAY to go.

    What are your opinions, pro and con?
  2. Big backline. Big PA and blow the doors off the place. But what do I know. I am 43 and playing in a metal band. Thought I would have grown up by now.
  3. Stegre


    Aug 14, 2007
    Sorry, we make a lot of $$ with a small backline. Personally being a guitar player, I went to a Yamaha DG-100-12 modelling amp which absolutely quiet, a custom Variax guitar with effects (again silent). Mic it with a Sennheiser e609,

    Bass player goes direct, but has a small on-stage amp with a single 15". Keys go direct. Trying to get the drummer to go electronic. Using 4 JBL 1-15 cabinets, a 16 ch powered mixer.

    All of our gigs are in the multiple thousands of biucks, and nothing but compliments on the clarity of our sound. We really emphasize vocals.

    So I guess you could say we really have niether. Or ... the best of both.

  4. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'm in the midst of this with my band right now. Granted, I used to be a full-time sound mixer so I'm biased, but I believe the PA is where to put the big stack of speakers, not behind you.

    This is coming from a bassist with a 6-foot stack of GK behind him at rehearsal, but I much prefer to leave everything I can at the rehearsal space and just bring a 2x10. With a good PA, I can do that.

    All the backline in the world won't earn you a single $ if your house sound isn't the best it can be...and that usually means a quality PA, with quality monitors.

  5. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    Everyone in my band is over 50, and for the last 10 years we have had no backline equipment, full electronic drums, including the cymbals, with a big PA and monitor system.

    This way we can play super soft or super loud when needed, just turn the volume faders up or down!

    Bass and guitar use preamp/modeling devices before going into the board.
  6. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    I agreewith the big PA vs big backline, although I run a extra cab at outdoor or real big venues.

    I am currently trying to come up with the dough to upgrade my PA from 2 sv yamahas to 2 JBL eon G2's and a subwoofer.
    really expensive but worth it no question.

  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
  8. Wayfarin


    Aug 29, 2007
    I don't think it should really be one or the other in this case. I think that if you are touring or playing small clubs, you can rely on the p.a. system but definately not the moniters. From my experience, no matter how many times you tell the sound guy what you want from your moniters and no matter how many times he acknowledges you and vows to fix it, I hardly ever get enough of myself to play comfortably. I play with a reasonable eden 4x10 and my swr plugged in direct, which is great because it really picks up the tube preamp section of the amp.
    For me what sounds best is to put all that on side stage facing inwards so the sound guy has all the control he wants and you still don't have to rely on him to hear yourself.
  9. ElectrAcoustic


    Aug 29, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I can't wait for BOSE's next generation of P.A.S. systems... hopefully priced below $2Gs.. that's the future of live sound IMHO...
  10. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    From my experience, a large backline will do mostly harm to your FOH mix, your ears, your back and your wallet. I used to carry a large bi-amped 4 cab system back in my "hair-band" days. Man, those were some LOUD stages!!!
    Now, our band uses in-ear monitors, the g-tar player and I use Line6 Pods, (no amps), keys are direct, and our drummer is admirably "restrained" most of the time. I also sing 25 - 30 songs, and the in-ears are a total god-send.

    The PA is where the audience needs to be hearing you from, not the stage.

    Your back, ears and wallet and FOH mix will thank you.
  11. Roger Pounders

    Roger Pounders

    May 24, 2006
    We do a small backline and big PA/ monitors for med to large venues, Vocals only and the small back line for small venues
  12. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yup. My little band from a couple years ago - Mole Patrol - did that for smaller gigs, and I was amazed how easy everything was (My favorite 'amp model' is the GK700RBII head, so I just used my 700RBII as a preamp). The main reason we didn't do it often is because the drummer hated playing his old-old Pearl electric set. When everything (including drums) is silent/electric, the in-ears don't even make that-big of a difference, because you can have little monitor speakers, and still keep them low volume.

  13. skin


    Jun 22, 2003
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    Well, all I can say is 'Thank you!'... you have all said VOLUMES about the concept!
  14. skin


    Jun 22, 2003
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    OK... here's something to reflect on... have you ever placed a small rig in front of you on the floor next to your monitor? In other words, instead of a backline, it might be called a 'frontline'? I have seen bands do that- the bass and guitars have small amps on the floor or a stand tilted toward them next to their monitor- no worry about hearing yourself!

    I'd really like to hear if you have had any experience with that setup!
  15. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    Before going "ampless", I ALWAYS had my bass amp on the side of the stage pointing in at me and the rest of the band. It worked much better for the FOH, and the band could hear me better also. Our guitar player did the same, sometimes pointing it back at him from a little off to the side (kinda behind the P.A. I've never played in a band where not everything was going through the PA, but I'd imagine this concept would not work well for those type of groups.

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