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PA questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chris3142, Jan 4, 2001.

  1. I'm really sure where to put this but amps sounds good. Okay, so my band needs a PA. Here's the deal, we're all 15 so we dont have much money. I have some money coming into me due to the fact that its going to be my birthday soon. probably about 500-700 dollars including all of the money i have now. we need some type of PA because we're running vocals into my amp right now and it works but they're not loud enough. We have 2 guitar players, bass, and vocals. we do not mic the drums. We dont really play anything but basements, garages, and the occasional backyard party and we've been using the other band's that played with us PAs for these shows. Help me out please. remember 500-700 dollars. One more thing, do all the instruments go into a mixer board then out the PA speakers? please help.
  2. The type of PA you'll need will be dictated by where you're playing (small venues) and what kind of kit (amp/speakers) you're playing through.

    With a small PA (a vocal PA), you'll really only be firing the vocals, acoustic guitar (if you have one), and sometimes parts of the drums (kick especially, sometimes hihat and/or snare) into the PA mixer. If your bass rig is powerful enough to be heard @ the front of house, you shouldn't need to PA it - although if you have a spare input a mixture of stage and PA sound can give a bit more "body" to the final mix.

    Get someone to stand at front of house while you play, and pick the holes in the sound, or where levels could be balanced. Guitars (if the amps are powerful enough) shouldn't need PA help. Most drums shouldn't need the PA.

    Something simple cheap and possibly secondhand like a 6-channel powered mixer and pair of 12"+horn speakers won't set you back that much.
  3. Thanks, i said in my earlier post that i'm playing basements, garages and the occasional backyard. i have a 100 watt 1X15. but both of the guitar players are playing out of what we call "mini-stacks" consisting of a 1X8 40 watt amp and a 1X8 15 watt amp. it looks kind of cheesy but its enough power. I would like to be able to put all the guitars and my bass through the PA because i think it would be easier to balance the sound if we did that. to put my bass through the PA i would use the line out.. correct? i put all the instruments into it if they dont all have line out's on the amps? i duno, our guitar players neet to get some money! any more help will be appreciated.

    [Edited by Chris3142 on 01-04-2001 at 08:49 PM]
  4. You've got 3 options for plugging instruments into the PA:

    - line-out on the amp
    - a DI box (splits the signal from the instrument. one half continues to the amp, the other goes to the PA). you could get away with a home-made splitter box.
    - mic the amp

    on a budget, you probably should be looking at where the sound needs reinforcement - vocals obviously, but what else appears to be missing in the mix? the bass can quite often (usually!) kill an un-mic'ed kickdrum. obviously the more instruments you can PA the smoother the resulting mix is likely to be.

    microphones and DI boxes will cost a bit if you go for relatively decent pieces.

    and with a PA head, remember the more channels available now means more room to expand - buy something that's too small or only just capable will be a bad move. i find it's better to buy used decent equipment than new cheap cr@p.
  5. what exactly is a DI box and where can my guitar players get them and how much do they cost? our gigs aren't big enough to need to mic the drums, but eventually they will be because in about 6 months we're already booked to play a huge party. so how many channels will i need? I have no problem with going used. I'm sorry i'm totally clueless when it comes to this stuff but i really need to know before i buy. thanks a lot.
  6. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I would not recommend DI boxes for use with guitars though they are (IMHO) the best solution for bass.

    The influence of the amp's sound is essential to guitar sound, especially for all kinds of distorted sound. If your guitarists use multi-effects devices 'DI-ing' works, but I still would not recommend it.

    For miking a guitar amp you can use a standard mic like the Shure SM 58, this won't cost you more than a DI box anyway.


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