What kind of PA systems to the places you play usually have?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by IvanMike, May 22, 2005.

  1. None, venues almost never have a PA

    31 vote(s)
  2. Some places have a PA, but its usually a small one just for vocals

    10 vote(s)
  3. Some places have a PA, but the best is usually a medium size one (no or hardly any bass in FOH)

    7 vote(s)
  4. A good number of places have a PA, usually the best you get is a large, (monitors wont handle bass)

    6 vote(s)
  5. A good number of places have a PA, and some have an Ex. large system with full bass stage monitoring

    5 vote(s)
  6. Venues generally have a PA, but a small one for vocals in the norm

    2 vote(s)
  7. Venues generally have a PA, and it's usually a medium size one

    3 vote(s)
  8. Venues generally have a large PA, but you need an amp for stage monitoring

    14 vote(s)
  9. Venues generally have an extra large PA with full bass stage monitoring. Bringing an amp is optional

    2 vote(s)
  1. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Note! check the size definitions before you vote! And vote for what is normal and usual for you.

    Anyhow, after hearing about how good players have it in Turkey from Andy Daventry in my "reality check" thread I decided to post a couple of PA polls to see where the rest of TB is at. My other poll is up and running and addresses what sort of PAs your bands have and is a "check all that apply" type poll. This one is different and applies to the PAs the venues you play have and is a "check one" type.

    Andy and I have exchanged pleasent PMs, and it seems we really do live in two different worlds. Where he is (Turkey) it seems that clubs generally have PA systems that can provide full support for the bass both in FOH and as stage monitors, and bass amps are pretty much optional

    I'm not so lucky. So read all of the options carefully, and choose one.

    Before you vote, check out these definitions 1st.

    Small PA - A PA that can provide FOH (Front of house, "mains" speakers that are for the audience to hear you) for vocals only, maybe acoustic guitar reinforcement as well. PA has either no monitors :eek: , or monitors that are for vocals/AG only.

    Medium PA - A PA that provides FOH and stage monitoring for Vocals, Miced up guitar amps, and Keyboards. Can provide light FOH drum reinforcement, maybe a bit of FOH bass reinforcement, but only as a small addition to what the bass amp provides. Monitors really cant handle drums or bass.

    Large PA - A PA the provides full FOH for Bass and Drums as well as everything else. Stage monitors can handle a little bit of bass and drums, but you still need an amp for you and the other musicians to hear you.

    Extra Large PA - Not really any bigger than a Large PA, but it has stage monitors that can handle the bass guitar to the point where it provides all the onstage Bass Guitar sound you and the other musicians need. Bringing a bass amp is definitely optional.
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    For clarification, many of our bar gigs do have full PA support, with at least 2 monitor mixes and can provide bass in the monitors.

    The other part of our gigs have NO PA at all. We supply a PA, and have either a small system for vocals/kick/keys or a bigger system that can cover the full band out front with at least 2 monitor mixes (no bass in that mix though).
  3. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    I can count the number of times I've been supplied ANY p.a. on one hand!

    I've never heard myself through the monitors.

    I've played lots of gigs.

    Where the heck do you guys live?? (The ones that get their p.a. suppied.)

    Or are all you guys rock stars?


  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member


    And I rarely if ever go through my bands' PA systems.

    So, that's why I carry lots o' watts.
  5. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    Most of the places we play are "one of the bands playing is responsible for the PA". There is one really awesome place near where I live called HYAMP(Huntington Youth Arts & Music Program www.hyamp.org ) That place has a large PA, and great soundmen!
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    don't forget to vote as well as post!

    i voted for the 3rd option. it's rare that a place has a PA, and generally the best they have is a medium sized one where we can mic guitars, maybe put a tiny bit of kick in the FOH. Of course, there are soem clubs where they have XL PA systems where the FOH and monitors can handle the bass with ease, but that's very rare, so i voted with what i see as the norm for me.
  7. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    OK, I voted for none as probably 2/3 or so I provide sound. Too bad it isn't possible to select more than one as in the other thread. The places that do have a PA usually do control all FOH. As I mentioned in your other thread I strongly prefer to control my own monitor mix so I request no bass in the monitor when it is available. I'll rely on my amp thanks.

    As a side note, while I hate moving my PA equipment, I've yet to find a better excuse for purchasing extra power amps (ie: I need an extra Crown Macrotech etc.) :D
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well, i thought about it, but then this poll wouldn't tell us anything as we all would probably check every option.

    the idea is to check off what's usual. I have encountered no pa and all 4 sizes i described. however, in my case, most dont have a pa, those that do usually have a small one, but some have medium ones. so i checked the 3rd option.

    occasionally i play at places that have large or xtra large systems, but that's so outside the norm that i couldnt really vote for the other options in the poll.
  9. Kindness


    Oct 1, 2003
    I voted: "Venues generally have an extra large PA with full bass stage monitoring. Bringing an amp is optional."

    However, it is common to bring an amp. It's the rare occasion I am asked to play a gig somewhere that doesn't have full PA support. In those instances (typically findraisers) the organizer is responsible for getting the sound squared away, not the band.
  10. 8mmOD


    Mar 20, 2005
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I am used to having an amp behind me, i would have a stack on stage no matter what size the room. I came to the realization a long time ago that it never sounds the same on stage during the performance as when you did sound check anyway. I just need some kick, snare & guitar in the monitors and I know what I am playing so I don't really "need" or really even want to have it blasting back at me. As I can hear at least a little bit of my bass from any area on the stage I am fine. Let the poor people out front go deaf! I'm really not that particular, no matter what size PA. The sound guys always laugh because it takes me about 1-1/2 minutes to soundcheck.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Definitely not a rock star, but then I'm also not 16 and in a punk or hardcore band anymore either.

    We play places within a 2 hour radius for the most part (sometimes we can be lured out further by a good paycheck or a good venue/event)...and we're in upstate New York (people around here call it central New York). To give a better idea of how things work, here's the rundown of shows this month...

    -last weekend, a club with front end for the full band, monitors.

    -midweek last week - a really odd benefit show at the local mall in a department store. we brought 12's on poles for frontend vocals and 2 wedges for vocal monitors (same mix)

    -last night - club with full front end, suspended PA, suspended monitors for the full band.

    -next weekend-outdoor show, they offer sound, but we'll get paid more if we provide. We'll bring: 15's with horns, maybe a set of 18's for subs, 2 large wedges/w different mixes.

    -the following weekend - outdoor festival show - full PA support BIIIIG front of house, full monitors including extra side fills.

    So.. there ya go...not glamorous, but it's not unreasonable to have PA support at a club. There are a few smaller clubs that we do in our rotation that don't have support, but they tend to be smaller places with occasional music. Most full time clubs have PAs in my experience.

    Also, we don't usually share nites with other bands...it does happen occasionally, and for festival type stuff. When we do, PA is provided, and about 50% of the time they'll have a backline.
  12. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I voted for "small PA", but generally it is not the venue providing the PA but the lead vocalist. For most gigs I am a pickup player, many times in a pickup band.

    I am generally expected to provide my own sound and having a good setup is *one* of the reasons I get the gig.
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    amen bro, amen. (see my "reality check" thread) :smug:
  14. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    It's pretty tough to make a decisive opinion up because I've seen the same bands sometimes play on stages with wedge monitors and massive house mains, and also play on other stages with vocals and drums only.

    For the most part though, many venues dont really put out that much. That's why its always best to just pack your power with you and make sure you dont get washed into oblivion if your underpowered. Speaker selection is important too. I'd hate to get shafted with an 810 or something at an outdoor show.
  15. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Dang...I need to move to the city.

    O.k., now which city?


  16. Dell


    Apr 7, 2005
    I find it very odd at the amount so far that play venues with no PA. I have never played a venue with no PA, and only a couple of venues where backline didnt go through the FOH speakers. No wonder you all have such massive bass amps! Ive used a Peavey 80 combo all my bass playing life untill a couple of months ago and I've almost always been heard becuase my bass is DI's into the FOH desk and my amp is just for stage monitoring. Im always told to turn down anyway becuase engineers tend to like all sound coming through the FOH speakers and nothing off stage above that level.

    BTW, I live just North of London, England, I normally play 150-400 Capacity venues in around a 100mile radius of where I live in an unsigned band and get paid petrol money if we're lucky.

    The venue I work at doing studio sound is a 250 capacity venue and has a 5KW PA: 4 15" bass bins, 2 2x12"+horn mono at front of stage, 2 1x12"+horn stereo left and right of stage. monitoring : 4 EV wedges, 2 EV side fills and an EV drum wedge (easily 5ft tall) all running off 5 1000W Crown amps. Ok, its a bit bigger than the average PA we come across in the venues we play, but thats just to give you an idea of what I sometimes play with.
  17. There's no PA in sight in the sticks where I generally play.
  18. I checked "large but bring amp"...but I never do because there is nornally a house bass amp. As I am a SABDDI user, I use the house amp (normally between 200-300 watt combos) bypassing the preamp straight into the FX return so I get a sound I am reasonably familiar with.

    One place, a restaurant, we play has a small 250 watt vocals only PA. I bring an amp. Again, a small amp (165 watt combo).

    I can't think of any club of the 200+ capacity here which does not have adequate sound facilities. Even the small bars and coffee bars that have some guy strumming away on a battered acoustic have some kind of sound reinforcement in house.
  19. We haul our own around and have a good soundman.90% of the clubs we play don't have a PA.Our PA is powerful,about 6 kilowatts,but short throw so if we play outdoors with our PA we struggle some.

    Every summer we do several outdoor local festivals that have concert size PAs with separate monitor mixes and long throw FOH.It's pretty cool when you hit your low E or low B and hear the low end coming back from the front but really I like playing places with our own PA,I guess I'm just used to it.
  20. KPJ

    KPJ Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    My band has it's own PA, with 4 monitor sends, subwoofer system, 32 channel board. A couple of the clubs we play have PAs. The big country dance bar we play has a pumping system and house sound guy, which works alright, once we figured out his quirks. :rolleyes: For the most part we haul in our own set up. I hardly ever use an amp. the drummer and I get a shared mix, and he has a Galaxy hot spot set up so he can control his level. The lead singer and lead guitarists both use in-ears. One other place we play has a good biamped system, but only a 16 channel board and only two monitor sends. We bring a Mackie 1402 and run a seperate monitor mix for the in ears. It's a lot of lugging, but we control our sound.

    Now about those club owners with their SPL meters...