Using a Single PA Speaker for a Gig

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jive1, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'm wondering if any one else has experience using a single PA speaker for gigs....

    I have used a single speaker, a Yamaha DXR10, for my acoustic shows and it has worked nicely. I did an outdoor solo gig, and my wife said she could hear me clearly from a distance. Since then, I ran sound for a largish band that had a small stage in a back patio, and there wasn't room for 2 stage monitors or 2 mains. So, I just ran the show with one main (QSC K12) and one monitor (DXR10). We ran the vocals and keys through the mixer. The clients were very happy with the sound. From the front, I thought the sound was really nice as well, and fit the room nicely.

    Since then, I've been considering using just one PA speaker for smaller gigs where the only thing going through it would be vocals. Since the bass and guitar are going to be only going through one speaker, why not the vocals? I did this at a recent bar gig in a lively sounding room, and the results were pretty good. I wouldn't do this for a gig where I needed more coverage or where everything is going through the mixer, but for a small gig, it seemed to work nicely.

    Anyone with similar experiences or thoughts?
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    For those circumstances (vocal-only PA, modest volume, small crowds), it makes life easier and sounds just as good.

    A second main at those kinds of gigs primarily provides insurance.
  3. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've run zero mains in a small bar. The monitors where so loud I had to shut off the mains!

    There are lots of situations where I wish I could run just one main, but the band thinks we need two to get proper sound :atoz:
  4. mwbassace


    Jul 26, 2010
    N.W. Ohio
    Lots of bars we play setting up a PA on both sides of the "stage" isn't going to work due to the buildings design, so we just set up one side of our PA (sub w/top box) that works best for the room. Hell one gig the women had to walk between me & the drums to get to the restroom!:smug: We run a mono PA that has drums, bass & vocals in it. The guitar never needs to be in the PA (surprise, surprise!).
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    In my old jazz trio we did hundreds of gigs with just one mains speaker for the crowd and the other one pointed more or less back at us for monitoring. Vocals and keys through the PA, and usually a 1-12 for bass. Works just fine.
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Did many many gigs with single speaker on a pole. Works fine. Did many more without monitors. Placed the EON15's on poles slightly behind us so that we could hear our vocals.

    The less gear to schlepp at 0300am, the better.
  7. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    Done a number of shows with my 3pc blues-rock band
    using a single main,
    sometimes a powered 15, sometimes a 12.
    No probs from the venue owner or the patrons.
  8. I've done this many times before with a singer/pianist, and a third member who's either a guitarist or a drummer. Works, fine, received compliments, no complaints. The 1 speaker is a JBL, standard size.. 40lbs or so. When even that shclep is too much, we use my AI Coda as a PA, running bass+voice+keyboard through it, drums acoustic. Worked great for the times we've done it. There are so many ways to sound good, working with the limitations at hand. I know a few jazz singers who have a littler AER amp combo as their portable PA.
  9. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    One place our 3 piece plays each month has no space for two speakers, so we stack up our K series small sub, and two 12" QSC K powered speakers on top of it, one aiming at the bar, and the other aiming at the back of the room. That place, and another place we play is too small for monitors, although I put a Hot Spot up for the drummer. Vocals and kick in the PA.

    Single source can help tame a too lively room.