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PA advice

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Not sure if this is the right area, and I can't search on PA, or "going through" as they are popular words so I'm asking instead...

    At the rehearsal studio we use a 600W PA, which the vocals and drums use (electronic kit). We just set the volumes, bring our amps up to volume (2 guitar and 1 bass) and forget it until we leave.

    This is the same PA that the studio will be hiring out to us when we play gigs. We're not expecting to be playing anything bigger than your typical bars and maybe a few smaller clubs...maybe 50-150 people I suppose.

    I have a 320W Eden Nemesis pushing 200W @ 8Ohm. The guitarists are using a 100W Marshall Stack and a 60W Fender combo.

    I presume we'll be going through the PA at live gigs...so I'm wondering whether the guitarists and I should be going through the PA while we practice? The guy at the studio reckons we won't need a soundguy since it's a simple PA setup as well...does that sound right??


  2. i believe a sound is a must to sit at the console however simple it might be because you guys gotta be playing and not changing eq and volume levels mid songs when something goes weird
  3. If you plan on doing your own sound, you should definitely rig up at rehearsal as if at a show to get experience using the PA. I'm guessing the Nemesis has a DI out - connect that to the PA. Mic the guitar cab with a SM57 or other capable mic. Of course, vocal mics will also run to the PA. You can also mic the drums depending on the room, number of channels, and true size of the PA. The more you do, the more you need a soundman.

    You never mentioned monitors. Does the PA have them? You need them to hear yourself sing at the very least.

    Does 600W PA mean 600 is going to each speaker? You need to do the math on watts/ohms of both the PA and speakers to determine what is really pushing through your speakers.
    Advice on what to do is difficult without detailed info on the PA, band composition, and type of music.
  4. Hi.

    I usually play and mix rock, so this might apply or not.

    Anything below 1K is best to be left entirely for vocals IME.

    The smaller (active) PA systems are mostly designed for recorded music in mind, so the sound quality is a bit compromized when it comes to the raw MI signals. Naturally with enough compressors and expanders plus a variety of other devices, the frequency band can be filled in a way that produces reasonable results with reasonable levels.

    If I were You, I'd leave the set-up as it is (exept for that Marshall, I'm assuming tubes?) and test it on a few gigs.

    The phasing problem is another thing to be considered, as long as the same signal is coming only from spesific points all is relatively well. When everything comes from three points, things tend to get complicated.

    Just my 0.02€
  5. hey bro,

    A lot of the venues around these parts (but definately not all) already have PA's, and if they have a PA, there will (in most cases) be somebody there to operate it. I'd say proabably 80%-90% of the pubs i've played are in this category. Some of the outer suburb pubs don't, but assuming you're going through an agent, you probably wont get too many of those (hopefully!!). And yes in these situations, everything is mic'd/DI'd.

    There have been a few pubs i've played where we've had to bring in a PA. Most of the time we get a guy with a good system, and charge the venue extra (however much he charges, around $400 i think). When we haven't been able to do that, we've hired a cheaper system and done it ourselves. Definately not ideal. No matter what, if the venue doesn't have anything - be sure to make it known that it's gonna cost them a few extra $'s for PA hire. If they don't have one, they'll know how it works.

    So, not really an answer to your question haha, but hope it helps anyway :)

    all the best,
  6. Please excuse me wet ears, but nothing changes at rehearsal once we set the PA up...What's gonna change live? Not being wise, I just don't know!

    Yep, the Nemesis has a DI/recording output for the PA. And yeah the PA has one vocal monitor. Drums are electronic, so no need to mic them, they just use a channel on the PA, and the drummer has his own LOUD JBL monitor as well.

    I thought our amps on stage doubled as monitors. Yes, I am that green at this side of things :D

    Haha I'll find out more info for ya :)

    That was my original plan. But the closer we get to gigging, the more I think of these things :)

    Thanks for your info too.

    Hey Andy thanks for that mate!

    From now on, I'll just send you a PM. It sounds like you have a real good handle on the scene in our parts :D :D

    Cheers guys.
  7. hahah sorry man, hope i don't come accross as arrogant. i just know exactly what you're talking about because i've had all those same questions before :)

  8. Naah mate, you didn't come across that way at all.

    I did find out the PA is a Yamaha EMX660, so I will look it's specs up and do some research.

    That said, we had a smokin' rehearsal tonight...so I didn't really worry too much about the PA, except how sweet we sounded through it :)
  9. I suspect that you are about to run into some serious problems. I am guessing that the studio is setup with the PA speakers facing everyone. In a small room setup this way you can hear the trap set like it was an acoustic set. In a live performance the drums will be in front of you. Even with stage monitors it will be very strange, especially for the drummer. I can't think of any way to anticipate this short of setting up for real somewhere.

    As for running the back line through the FOH system, like some others have said, I wouldn't do it. That PA does not have the guts to push the drums and your bass at the same time and not put the vocals into a muddy distorted mess. Plus, unless bars are different in your end of the world then mine, you and the guitar players have plenty of power for a small club.
  10. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    You're getting some good advice here.

    I didn't catch what the particular genre is, but your stage volume and ability to dynamically balance yourselves will have a huge effect on your success with a smaller PA.

    If I were working with an electronic drum set I would vote for some sort of stage rig for the drums in order for the drummer to hear it more like they usually want to, in addition to keeping it out of the monitors. Unless you want a little of it in there which, if he has a stage rig, A little might be all you need. Plus it can lower the drum burden on your FOH.

    Multiple intruments can be run through small DIY systems if you're careful and smart about it. Lots of ways to do it.

    Bass: If you have nice loud rig that gives you good low end, cop a good room sound, and with your DI line just give yourself some definition in the mids and highs. Hence, you get some reinforcement but your not laying all the low end (read power sucking here) burden on the system.

    Guitar: Depending on the room, a guitar can punch through a lot. But if your guitar player is working at real world levels, guitars can be some of the easiest load for a small system to carry.

    The key to DIY small systems is playing at reasonable levels, playing to the room size, and doing the best sound check you can get.


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