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Out of the garage - help needed!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by NeilGB, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. NeilGB

    NeilGB Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    SF Bay Area - East Bay
    We are about to head out of the garage and start playing gigs and I am hoping some of you can help with some pointers and links to good sources of information for how to create a good sounding PA. Turns out I know a lot about bass and guitar gear but very little about PA's!

    Currently I have some Electrovoice 2 way cabinets (old!) a QSC power amp, a couple of mics and a small Allen & Heath mixer.

    We are a 5 piece (bass, drums, vocals (female with a big frequency and dynamic range), gtr, gtr/keyboards). We do not play loud and expect to play bars and clubs that hold 200 - 300 tops.

    I am hoping for a hi fi sounding rig with smooth bass, no boxy mids and sweet treble. I doubt we will have a sound person available.

    Other considerations will be ease of set/up tear down and getting the system balanced.

    Any help greatly appreciated!
  2. Manufactures commonly have downloadable how to papers..... The Yamaha book is about 15 on amazon


    To get your desired sound... You may be missing some gear
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Do you know to operate your existing gear...I mean, with any degree of fluency? If not, you may want to try hooking up with a sound guy, possibly from another performing band, for some concentrated tutoring. You'll end up with a working knowledge of how gear functions / interacts with each other and some idea of the addt'l gear required to perform the basics. You're on the right track and may be able to get this project rolling without spending the anticipated 10K on new equipment. Well, that's how I pulled it off.

  4. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    Learn how to properly use PFL to set gain on your console. Be aware of the gain structure throughout your system to help it run as efficiently and cleanly as possible. I'd start with that lesson Ndebele then learn about EQ. Look at the Mackie console manuals. They have a lot of info that is relevant to gear by any manufacturer. Their manuals are easy to follow and actually display bit of humor as well. Good luck and remember you NEVER stop learning.
  5. I ran cables for a really good guy for a season... was a good way to learn.
  6. testing.. Trial & error.. diagragms and color coding...

    Let's start by having you do an exact diagram of your exact components...
  7. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    Take a peek through live sound and read console manuals. As pflash mentioned, Mackie manuals are well-written.

    However, if possible, I'd suggest finding a well-respected engineer who you could be a "go-fer" for, a mentorship of sorts.
    Gaining mixing experience through hands-on learning, in a real-world environment, is very valuable. I know that I learned more from a few weeks of an internship than I did reading countless "Idiot's Guide to Mixing" books or whatever.
    That said however, reading and understanding gear manuals is a big help.
    To truly understand what's going on, you should familiarize yourself with your gear by scouring the manual.
  8. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    We ran our own sound for about 6 months. Then left it to the professionals. We have a couple guys that will do it for 150-200 bucks. It's worth it in the long run. Good luck. I will say if you do it yourself.... Get familiar with gain structure. :)
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Slightly OT, but is does that 150-200 include the PA?