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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bill h, Feb 4, 2004.
The band you are in:
Rent a PA
only play clubs with support PA
I'm a sound provider, but somehow most of my PA gear has ended up in my stage rig. Luckily, the two clubs I usually play in have house systems.
We own. As a matter of fact, just smoked the powered board we use on Saturday. Our new guy has a really nice PA system though, vega sub cabs, and JBL 2x15 full range.
If you rely on house PAs, you are resticted to playing venues that have them. That locks you out of a LOT of potential gigs, it's that simple.
Rent or use house PA. We do have a 700W vocal system in our rehearsal room which I suppose we could use for smaller gigs, but everything we've done so far has needed 2KW or more - that's a serious investment proposition to buy!
95% of the time, we run our own PA.
It is extra hassle to own, store, transport, setup - teardown, and maintain the gear. However:
1) We are always assured that the system is adequately sized/powered for the venue
2) We never fight feedback
3) Although most pro sound techs mean well, there is often friction between he and the band regarding 'how things should be done'. We don't have this problem, 'cause the sound tech is me.
4) Regarding the quality of our mix and proper volume levels... I take more pride in our reputation with the audience and club owner than most hired sound techs would. I believe we have a better mix because of this.
5) When the band gets paid, it all goes in our pockets
I'm not trying to discredit pro sound engineers here, I too am a hired tech & I have been on the other side of the console.
We always rent, $225 a night. Venues are always larger, requiring a sub bin or two per side, plus the mains, separate monitor mixes for everyone. Stuff fills a cargo van to the roof.
If we were to buy it, we'd still have to pay someone to run it, to set it up, to haul it around, pay for the van expenses and insurance, etc. So its more financially reasonable to let someone else carry those burdens, as well as worry about damage and replacement of items, blownspeakers, damaged mics and cords, etc. Just last week a drum mike got whacked and conked out. Not our expense . . . no worries. Drunks spill beer in monitors, not our worry.
If we played smaller venues where you could get by with a cab per side and a simple powered board, that would be another thing, and would probably be best to own.
Man, that's a lot of dough to pay out, I hope you get some good paying gigs! I have gone that route before too, but I have to say, it is more times than not, a waste. It's great to have all the big subs ect, but more times than not, unnecessary. If you get a good stage mix, you will really need minimal PA support. More in the pocket!
I do agree that that is a lot of money pay for a PA for the night. We get as a band 500 to 800 bucks a night and if you give 225 of it away that starts to eat into it really fast.
We as a band have a PA that we have bought as gig moneys have came in. (we keep it all separate) Plus when someone has some "extra scratch" we buy some gear. We also have a great advantage that a very good friend on the band will run it for almost free.
We play two to three nights a week, and each take about $120-$140 a guy per night after PA is paid. We don't have to tear the stuff down or set it up, its all taken care of for us, which is worth the $$ to us so we can carrouse the ladies . . .
Nothing worse than having to get there early, stay there late three nights a week while managing daytime careers. Also, 95% of the time we have the same soundman, he knows our material, what we each like in our monitor mixes, and we have no worries. Its like autopilot. Worth the money to us.
Every venue my originals band has ever played has a PA.
The oldies band that I used to be in has their own PA.
If I could get a take home like that after the sound was paid for.... That sounds like a nice way to work it. We meet at the practice place at 3:00 to play at 9:00 (take a while to load the gear up, and set up). Play till 1:00 Tear down and load out, home buy 2:30
We have our own PA. It's beneficial for a number of reasons to us.
- Not everyplace we play has a PA, or one that sounds good. Having a PA reduces limitations to the places we play, and the way we sound.
- We get to add the sound system to the price of a performance. For example, if we do an event we tell em that we will also provide a good sound system for announcements and background music, as well as a performance.
- I'm also pretty anal about sound, so I like to be able to run sound for the band. I'm familiar with our PA since I put it together, I'm familiar with our band's tunes, and I can compensate for the individual player. For example, I know that I sing farther away from the mic, as opposed to the guitar player who "eats" the mic.
- I also want control of our monitor mix. That is usually the thing that a soundman is disadvantaged because they don't work from the stage. The monitor mix is often the culprit for feedback. And when you have a harmonica player like we do fighting feedback is common challenge for a soundman.
- Lastly, the PA is a source of extra revenue. If there is no gig, and some other band needs to rent a soundman and system, it's available. Since we paid for the PA, may as well get to make as much work and revenue for us, as opposed to sitting in a basement.
The only thing I don't like is setup time and load out. But, the extra revenue takes away some of the sting. But, since the PA is one that I designed, it is designed for easy setup and breakdown. It's also pretty lighweight too.
One of my good friends has his own PA and always runs sound for us. He also does it for next to nothing so we've never even thought of buying our own PA. I once calculated the number of gigs we would have to play in order for the cost of buying our own PA to equal the cost of renting, and it ended up being 150 gigs or something around there. Not to mention load in/out, storage, and transportation. We only play about two gigs a month so it's definitely not worth it for us to buy our own PA.
$225 a night for a PA isn't expensive at all. It's actually rather cheap. Around here sound companies try to charge $500 for a frat party.
I have a PA for practice and emergency purposes, but for the most part, other clubs and other bands have PA's with serious firepower.
I own a PA and rent it out to other bands in the area. If you are in the seattle area, PM and we can talk. I do believe 225 is a good price for someone who does good work and it's nice not to have to worry about sound system stuff. Being able to play and not think about it is what I like. When I run sound, that's all I concentrate on, same for bass playing.
Own. Just bought a new Yamaha EMX5000-12 I do the sound, and I like to be familiar with what I am using. We rehearse with the settings and FX we want to use, so when we hit the stage there are no surprises.
Own it brother.
I just dumped about 5K into a nice Bag End PA system. IMO, we have the best FOH sound that any band has in my area. Not only do we sound in the FOH mix, we can consistently count on great sound no matter where we play.
If sounding good isnt reason enough to buy a PA. If you own/operate your own PA, it will definately help put you in demand as a bass player in your towns circuit.
My main band owns one, but it's only big enough for the rehearsal space really. Only places we play are live music clubs so the venue providing a PA and soundman is pretty much a given. I had 6 2x18 subs backing me up at the club we played last weekend, it's tough for a band owned system to compete with that.
The sound company we employ brings at least two MT-4 subs for most gigs, and two PER SIDE for larger venues and outdoor gigs. I highly doubt anyone would get that kind of low end coverage with a "band-owned" PA. Those suckers are huge, heavy, and expensive, but for great low end coverage, nothing compares IMO.