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Playing first live venue where we have to provide ALL the equipment. What is the minimum needed?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by DChalo, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. DChalo


    Dec 16, 2015
    Austin, TX
    So my band is playing at a rooftop party and they literally have no equipment, so we have to supply everything. This is an unpaid "gig", but we all want to play. So we don't need to sound super amazing, just good enough so that we can be heard pretty well. But, this is a little troubling for us, as we have only played at venues where there is at least some sort of sound system already in place. So here is what i think we need:

    - 3 mics for vocals/backing vocals
    - Guitars and their amps (obviously)
    - 2 monitors? (not sure)

    I mean i'm sure there is more needed stuff, but I just don't know. I'm not sure what the monitors are even supposed to plug into. We will be renting everything other than the guitars/amps. Anyone have a good list of the bare minimum or any tips? Thanks for any help!
  2. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I'm assuming it will be just the 3 vocals through the PA? -

    2 x active speakers, a 4-channel (or more) mixer, and 2-3 monitors.

    If you can hire a mixer with built-in FX for a little reverb, so much the better. I'd advise a minimum of around 500 watts for moderate volume, 1000w+ if you like to play loud. You need to have more power than you need, if you see what I mean!

    make sure they include stands for the mics ;)

    Hire company should be able to give you a run-down of what plugs into where, if you're worried about that. Small systems aren't rocket science :)

    (many more knowledgable folks on here, just my 2c!)
    hrodbert696 and DChalo like this.
  3. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    @knumbskull pretty much covered it, but I'd go rent the system locally for the night..
    You need to know what size rooftop area you'll need to cover.. and your PA speakers will need to be on stands to get over peoples heads, so those at the back can hear
    Contact a local rental company and talk to them.. Be warned that they will [probably] try to over-sell you.. so no, you probably don't need 2000w of dual-15" speakers, amps, etc.
    If they have a website.. most reputable rental companies will list prices.

    Depending on rooftop size and music genre you guys are playing, a couple of 12" on sticks for mains will probably work.
    I'd put vocals and possibly kick thru the mains.. keys/acoustic if you have them

    You'll probably feel more comfortable for a first live gig, using a configuration similar to your rehearsal setup.

    PS: bring a friend that has some FOH experience, so you they can tell you if you need more or less guitar, vocals, etc. and let you know if your mix/blend is good.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    DChalo and knumbskull like this.
  4. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    A few speakers on a stick, a console for your inputs, POWER CABLES.
    DChalo and knumbskull like this.
  5. The only thing you would put through the PA will be the vocals (and maybe keys and or acoustic guitar if there are any). Keep it simple. Rent a system... guitar Centers are doing rentals if there is one by you. Maybe local craigslist has a guy who can supply and run a small system for you. Either will be way less expensive than buying all new gear for a free show
    CosmicRay, DChalo and knumbskull like this.
  6. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Are we talking about loud music?
    For anything acoustic and/or soft, something like an active 15" sub with 8" sattelites and a small mixer will be sufficient,
    you'll only need to mic the vocals and acoustic instruments that are not loud enough.

    For Punk/Rock where the guitars play 4x12 halfstacks, you need more. IMHO the bare minimum for that would be to mike the singer(s) and the bassdrum.

    15/6/1 fullrange speakers or 18 sub and 12/1 sattelites with sufficient power (four figure watts) will do nicely. You can get away without monitors. If you don't have anyone who can really run a mixer, getting it all set up is quite complicated and if you position the cabs right, the singer(s) will be able to hear enough.
    DChalo and knumbskull like this.
  7. DChalo


    Dec 16, 2015
    Austin, TX
    Thanks, for the help guys. We do classic rock mainly and some heavier stuff (like franz ferdinand and muse), but no really heavy music. In fact, we do a ballad or two, and I play Sax on on the the songs, so it is varied.

    I found this place near me that rents out live packages:

    Venue Packages | Sound Systems Rentals | LoudMouth Rentals Austin

    Do you think the first package ($39) will be enough?
    knumbskull likes this.
  8. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    this will do.
    knumbskull likes this.
  9. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
  10. All of your vocalists will share the same monitor mix with that set up.. as long as that is ok, you will be fine.
  11. CosmicRay

    CosmicRay Supporting Member

    Not a bad package for $39, it seems adequate for your situation. As long as just the vocals are going through it, and maybe your sax.
  12. Do you need mics too? Cables? Does the package provide them? What about stands? For the sax, a simple sm57 or 58 will work great. Just remember to mute that channel when you are not using it
  13. DChalo


    Dec 16, 2015
    Austin, TX
    We're gonna add mics to the package. I'm glad it covers the sound stuff though! Thanks for the help guys!
  14. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    It it is going to be dark don't forget lights, if daylight then don't bother with them.

    We would play that with our current PA setup. A small mixer with effects (quite important outside as you don't get any natural room reverb/echo) - 3 mics and guitarist's C9 organ pedal only. Peavey powered 15" mains on poles. (about 300W each IIRC). No subs as we don't put the kick drum in the PA and I carry the house with my bass rig.
  15. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    and some sort of cover (rental party tent or even pop-up tent) if any precip is possible.
    delta7fred likes this.
  16. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    guess i'm old school ... child of the 60/70's ... every band i've ever been in ... part of putting the ' band ' together was hunting/gathering/buying Everything we needed to play out ... personal gear , mics , PA/lights/monitors ... !! when that did Not happen , bands would then stay in the garage/basement ...
  17. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Nothing much to add technically...but on a rooftop please secure everything!
    Cable ties and gaffer tape...use them liberally.
    MobileHolmes likes this.
  18. Wait so let me get this straight.... you are paying to rent equipment so that you can play an unpaid gig? I understand the benefits of playing unpaid gigs in certain situations, but I fail to see the return of paying to play....
    SLO Surfer likes this.
  19. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    This thread has been answered, so here's my two cents.

    If they won't pay you, ask them to cover the cost of the PA. It is the absolute least they can do. :rollno:

    Lots of things wrong here, but OP is fully aware of the situation so I avoided delving into the musicians' politics myself.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    pudgychef likes this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    That system should be fine for vocals, sax, and even if you have to put a little kick drum or overhead drums through it.
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