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What is your bands PA set-up like?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by MatticusMania, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Some questions to those of you who play in bands and provide your own sound...

    What gear are you using? Whats the wattage? Is it enough for a medium-to-large sized room? Outdoors?

    I want to put together a decent set-up for the coverband that I'll likely be starting within the next few months. I should probably mention that this'll be for a 4 or 5 piece band - at least 3 vocals, 2 Keys, Bass, 1 (maybe 2) guitars, and drums. Thanks all, in advance, for your input.
  2. toobalicious


    May 6, 2008
    triad, nc
    the best option for me is to have several versions of a pa to use in the vastly different spaces i play:

    i have owned a "big rig" (which is hopelessly small compared to a lot of folks!) running a pair of 2x18 subs along with a pair of 2x15+horn cabs (peavey SP4x), with monitoring via 4 1x15+horn wedges. with 6000 watts worth of amps, it was reasonably effective on up to ballroom sized spaces, and was just enough for smaller outdoor gigs up to a few hundred people.

    nowadays, i have 8 JBL eons--- 6 mains and 2 "subs" (which are really more woofer than subwoofer). top and sub on each side, and up to 4 monitors as needed. for small stuff, i only use one or no subs. anything requiring more juice than that gets subbed out to an independent. it just isnt worth having to haul those big cabs and amp racks around when 75% of my gigs (a) dont need it, or (b) already have sound.

    what is your budget?
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  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thanks for your post. I dont have a set budget, right now. I dont plan on going out and getting everything right away, but more likely will be accumulating pieces going forward.

    I currently have 2(215s), 2(115s, though one needs repair), 2(112 wedges). The next two purchases will be a 16 channel mixer and some power amps. Preferably, Id like to keep the costs low (as Ive not got much money [also why I'll be buying piece by piece]), but not so low that Im buying cheap gear.
  5. toobalicious


    May 6, 2008
    triad, nc
    fwiw, i have played perhaps 80-100 "frat party" type shows using only a pair of moderately powered (<1000 watts) 2x15+horn cabs as mains. in the bigger rooms, we wanted for subs, sure, but overall it was adequate. we are talking from 100-300 people, generally.

    that could be read as "good enough", not to be confused with "as good as it can be".

    but hell, those shows are almost wholly comprised of a semi-captive audience (they *did* hire us, afterall) who are hellbent on getting as wasted as possible. YMMV.
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Im definitely thinking once I get a good mixer and power amp Im off to a decent start. Eventually I'd upgrade my 215s (theyre a bit old & beaten up) and repair the other 115. After that I'll be looking into subs.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I would say we have a medium sized rig for mostly indoor gigs. A 16 ch powered mixer which we use for the mains. Giving 300w going into each main (each main is 8 ohms) so we're not utilizing the full power which is around 500w per ch @ 4ohms. We use powered monitors and some passive monitors powered by an amp. And powered subs. we can get pretty loud. Summertime, we play at a place that ends up literally like a block party and we can be heard several blocks away.
  8. I am in a six piece Rock, Blues and Country band with 3 guitars, one keyboard, bass, large drum kit, and 5 vocals mics.

    We are using a 16 channel Mackie board, three 1,000 watt power amps, 2 Community 4x15's, 2 Community 4x12+horns, and 4-6 monitors of various kinds.

    The Community cabs are for the FOH mains. For most of the smaller venues, I don't use the bass bins (4x15) and don't need the third power amp. When we use the full system, it's just too loud, and frankly I'm getting tired of moving them around.

    For the monitors, we usually have 2 Carvin 15" wedges up front for vocals. Another wedge goes back behind the drummer and teh 4th will usually go over on stage right for the lead guitar to hear vocals. We will add monitors on stage Left for me (bass) and the keyboards to hear the lead guitar, only when needed. All of the monitors will run off of one of the power amps. We run 2 mixes, one for the vocalists up front and one for everyone else off the other channel.

    I run 31 band eq's on both monitor channels and a stereo eq with about half the the number of sliders (don't know how many) for the mains. We usually have more feedback issues on the monitors, very few issues with the mains.

    I have been using this basic system for about 20 years, running sound and playing bass. Over time I got really frustrated trying to do both and got a guy to cover the board once we start playing.

    I vastly prefer to do shows with a house system. I am really tired of tearing down, moving and setting up. We have a trailer to haul it all and are very efficient at packing and moving.

    The system is only used for gigs where we have to provided our own sound, except for rehearsals. The thing is we don't make any extra money at these gigs and all the work is barely worth it. We figure in about 3 hours to tear down and set up, each time the system is moved. This gets a lot shorter with more help. I do it only because there is no other way to make the gig happen at times.

    Currently I want to replace my board with a PreSonus digital, but a 2K for a 16 channel, I'm holding off for a while.
  9. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    What kind of mains are you running?
    It sounds like a powered mixer might suit my immediate needs without needing a power amp just yet.
  10. JPaulGeddy

    JPaulGeddy Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    From what you've said, I'd probably go powered mixer followed by a powered sub. 95% there at that point.
  11. JPaulGeddy

    JPaulGeddy Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    oh, and if you're asking for cheaper gear recommendations, I've had very good luck with the Peavey IPR 1600. Have even run mid/highs off one side, subs on the other and gotten a good loud sound. Would like to augment it with maybe a 3000, but one or two of the 1600s will give you some good mileage.
  12. toobalicious


    May 6, 2008
    triad, nc

    yeah, but those presonus boards are just killer. worth it for having dynamics and parametrics on every channel alone! 8 channels of compression along with 2 sets of 31 band eqs entirely fills an 8U case. it is light since it is only processors, but it still takes up space in the truck and requires another trip during load-in. even still, it pales in comparison to the processing you can do onboard the presonus. literally, my very next pa purchase.
  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    That sounds like a good plan of action that I'll likely follow. Thanks!
  14. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    We're using a pair of Carvin PM15s for mains in small venues. For a bigger room we take along a pair of no-name 2x15s and a Carvin DCM2000L, then the PM15s act as powered monitors. Passive mixer with effects (I've got a bunch, it's usually whichever one isn't currently doing something else).

    I've found that taking one of the PM15s along just in case even if the venue claims to have a PA has been a gig-saver a bunch of times. It's amazing to me how many places have crappy monitors or "oh, that channel went out last week and we haven't fixed it yet" or something similar.

    (edit - correction/clarification - these are the PM15As, the powered version)
  15. modulusman


    Jan 18, 2004
    Buy once cry once. I would be looking to sell/trade in your 215 cabs and buy some powered speakers. You might be able to get some used mackie 450s or older JBL 500 series for a good price. I also like the Presonus boards. Mackie just came out with digital DL1608 that is getting alot of love. You do need an I-pad to use it. You can't go wrong with an Allen and Heath Mix wiz if you want to stay with an analog board. I would not go with a powered mixer because you will probably out grow it.
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Gang of Crown and QSC power amps
    Best speakers you can afford.
  17. don't buy a powered mixer...you won't have any flexibility in your system, and will only be a hinderance in expanding your system.

    better solution is a regular mixer with powered speakers, you can always add without the worry of load impedances and scalability for larger or smaller gigs is sooo much easier.
  18. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Why anyone wouldn't use a PreSonus Live board is beyond me. Mix from anywhere with your iPad. Individual monitor mixes via iPad/iPhone. Effects, memory, presets, etc. Best board ever.

    The new Yamaha powered speakers are killer...and small, and light.
  19. personally i don't really like the sound of the presonus console. i can't argue feature and price...UNTIL recently...now mackie has the DL1608, and behringer's X32.

    don't worry i am usually a person to say stay clear of behringer, but i can't deny them their credit where due. i would certainly pick those two consoles over the presonus.

    oh and might i say that i can use an ipad with both....
  20. modulusman


    Jan 18, 2004
    If you forget your I-Pad at home you can use the Mackie as a door stop.:D The OP is looking for a 16 channel mixer so the x32 is a little overkill. I like both my Studiolive boards.
  21. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    We play small to medium (250) sized venues. We also do outdoor events and the odd wedding.

    I have a Carvin XP1000 powered mixer. Wish I had gotten the bigger one since I really need at least one channel with an insert. Two monitor mixes would have been nice too.... although it would require more cabling. I have two 1x12 monitors and we have two 1x15 mains. I also always run compression on the lead singer.

    Once I started using compression, we never have too little volume. Too much volume is a problem.