PA System

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Iruleonbass, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    Hey guys, now that my band is getting serious, and myself along with my guitarist are buying amps that can keep up with a drummer, our singer is going to need to come up with something too. He is going to need to keep up with some form of 412 half stack, im not sure what my guitarist is getting. Lets just say 50-100 All tube. And im getting an SVT-CL and SVT-810. And were not planning on needing to mic our drummer.

    What would be a good PA rig to keep up with us?
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    For gigs or just for practices? What's your budget?
  3. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    Lets assume there is no budget, but still being reasonable. Were gigging.
  4. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Some may disagree with me but you have to look at your area.

    If your going to be gigging in bars then look and see if they have PAs there, the majority if not 100% of bars around here who have live music have a PA and they really frown if you bring your own.

    How long is your set? If your sets around 30-45 minutes you really don't need a PA since you'll most likely play with other acts then you can frankenstein what you have and make a PA that'll will work.

    Thats what my band does. We have 2x12's, 2x15's, a Peavy Powered Mixer that's for practice that doesn't really work anymore that we got really cheap, and a fairly new Peavy Monitor Amp. If we play bars then we don't take a PA (We know ahead if they have one of course). If we play at a festival or a party every band combines their PA which always includes our monitor amp and 2x15 monitors.

    Hope that helps some, but this has worked for us for 3 years with no problems.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    You need to be a bit more specific...are you playing small places, large spaces? Are you looking for full sound reinforcement for all your instruments or are you just looking for vocals? If you want a big front end system with full monitors, do you have a van or truck to haul it?

    If you're looking for just vocals, you could probably get away with a pair of 15's with horns out front plus a few wedges...My band is loud but not out of control, and we use 12's plus horns for our small rig and 15's for a mid sized gig and for even bigger stuff we have a set of 18's to go with the 15's etc. For our small rig, I just bought one of those Soundcraft powered PA heads 2x500 watts either as main/monitor or as L/R out front. But we only put vocals through the 'small' set up...we use the bigger rigs otherwise.
  6. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The sad fact of life is, for voice/guitar you don't need that much power compared to bass :(

    On one gig, not loud, the vocals/guitars/keys go through a Yorkville MP8: 100W per channel. This is a 70 seat main area with a bar area behind it. Usually two vocal mics, two acoustic guitars and one or two keyboards. Two speakers and one monitor.
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    OK, assuming you have a powerful vocalist, your first task is to find a mike that works for him. The Soundcraft Gig Rac that Burning Skies referred to is the smallest thing I can see working to get over an SVT and a cranked tube guitar amp, and you'll probably need pretty efficient speakers paired with it to do so. It has decent EQ and EFX built in, and can run your monitors as well. For mains speakers, check out the Yorkville Performance line (or higher), Yamaha Club Series, EV SX series, JBL MR series, or maybe the powered Mackies. Monitors from any of those companies will do fine, but I like the CGM 112 ones for best bang for the buck.

    For main speakers, a 12 + horn is often preferable to a 15+ horn configuration in terms of sound quality, especially if you might add subs eventually when you need to put drums through the PA. The 15+ horn may well handle more power and get louder though, especially in the entry level range. A 15" 3-way is a nice way to go, check out the Yorkville Unity if you've got the dough.

    I'd definitely look at buying used gear if budget is a concern though. Just my opinion, but you might want to look into hiring a sound man if you're going beyond the scope of what I've laid out here. It's tempting to think that vocals-only PA will be easy to mix from the stage, but that may or may not prove to be the case. I'd try to do several gigs with borrowed or rented equipment to see what you really will need for the sorts of gigs you'll be playing. Tagging along with another band for a while is a time honored strategy that works well, in my experience.
  8. Powered cabs are great for this kind of thing - look at the Mackies.
  9. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    Were looking at outdoor festivals at my school. And than during the summer indoor places. And yes I have a truck I can hual gear in. I have an explorer and my drummer has an avalanche. So figure my 810 and a 412 can fit in my truck and the drum set and PA in my drummers truck.

    And were only using the PA for vocals. My amp will definitly be more than loud enough for any gig im playing, and the same goes for my guitarist. The drummer is loud so he wont need to be mic'd. Its only our singer we need up to par now.

    Regarding hiring a soundman, and of the gigs we play at out school will have about 5 or 6 other bands, and im thinking there gonna wanna use our amps instead of combo's, so I think we can have them tell us what needs to be turned down or up, and than just leave the settings alone.
  10. bassontherun


    Jul 9, 2005
    If you are looking to keep it simple, try one of the dual-channel-output powered PA heads that are getting popular. Plenty of wattage and mixing capability in one, easy to use box. With two output channels, you can run a pair of speakers and a pair of monitors (or 4 speakers) off of a single head. You shouldn't have any problem putting together a very usable system for under $1K.

    If the band is comfortable with putting together individual components and believes that the PA system will grow over time, a racked system might fit the bill. Since it's vocals-only for a while, you can start with a small mixer (man, are those things cheap and powerful these days?!), a simple power amp and any combination of FX/Compression/EQ. This can grow and change without making any component obsolete. If you find that you don't like or use a component down the road, it can always be sold to fund the next goody (you won't have to sell an entire PA or a major component when you want to upgrade one part). Like the powered PA head system, a bare-bones, usable rack system can usually be procured for under $1K.

    In my case (I've travelled both roads), I've put a premium on cost. I've always started with low-end gear (Kustom, Behringer, etc.-- no offense to anyone using these. I've had great success with these and other brands and will continue to use them with great confidence) and added to it as the budget allowed. The low-end gear is never discarded, just moved to other duties. This way, I don't consider the initial purchase a waste.

    I've also been in bands where there is no collective ownership of equipment. Often in these cases, more than one fella owned a PA rig. We would normally combine two or three rigs to give ourselves plenty of headroom (one fella's would run the mains, another fella's would be used for monitors, etc.). If your band works on this philosophy, each member could invest as much or as little as he/she likes, and the band would have access to several small power packages (nice variety of setup options and the potential for a poor man's bi-amped PA).

    I agree with those who maintain that spending the extra bucks will buy you better sound at shows, absolutely no doubt there. However, upgrading to an inexpensive, higher-output system will almost always beat gigging with a PA that no one can hear while you wait to save up for Da Bomb of a PA rig.
  11. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    Well, I dont think or band is going to get any bigger than 1000 People. Our school has festivals a few times every year that were going to play. And during the summers we'll be playing little clubs and what not. We have connections somehow, so if we give our friend a demo and he likes it we can have a slot on warped tour for 2 or 3 shows near NY. And that would be the biggest show we would ever get to play I think. So I dont know really, I have to talk to my singer one day with the rest of the band do decide what were going to do.
  12. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The warped tour will have their own PA.

    I would guess that for the school festivals, the school would provide a PA.

    For 1,000 people, you would need a large PA. And you will have to mic the drums. Unless you are going to be doing shows that large a lot, I would rent.

    Which leaves you with a PA for small clubs. Worst case, borrow a couple of guitar/bass/keyboard amps and buy a small mixer. This will get you through the first couple of gigs until you get a feel for what you really need.
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I would recommend renting your PA system for at least four or five gigs before you buy. You'll need to figure out what will work for you.

    When you do buy, you'll get your best deals--more bang for your buck--on good used gear. This is important because you don't want to push your PA system up to and beyond its absolute limits. One thing sure to make your band sound like crap is to have the vocals all distorted because the mic pre, mixer, or power amp is clipping badly. It really sounds annoying, and will tend to drive off all the audience members except your closest family and friends.

    Read up on it. Check out Live Sound for Musicians and the Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Browse the Sound Reinforcement Lounge on ProSoundWeb .