analog soundboard for live application

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jamrat, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    This will be offensive to some as I am a band member who is running sound from the stage (without a sound person). Question about analog live application soundboards. Revamping my portable PA system, as my old PA powered head from 2003 is shooting craps. I’ve had a Peavey Powered head 8 channel (6 xlr inputs), 2 Yamaha 12” Passive monitors, and a few years ago I got 2 QSC K12 powered mains (which I love). The Peavey has channels going down, scratchy pots all over the place, and I’m using the last month’s batch of technical difficulties as a reason to upgrade. We’ve gotten by for a long time on 6 channels, just barely. It would be nice to have 10 or 12 xlr inputs. What I’ve enjoyed about this system is that it is compact, easy to set up at show time, easy to adjust during the show, and not too heavy. Those are my priorities. I’ll pay more if something really fits all those bills.

    We are a 5 piece Zydeco band (think upbeat blues band but with accordion and rubboard), 3 to 4 vocals, and we always run an amplified accordion (1 or 2 inputs). Sometimes we run a guitar, and the drummer often brings a small speaker to run his kick and snare right next to him. We may start running the kick and snare thru a new set up. (But I don’t want subs! Not trying to offend. Just not interested in lugging them around, and the thump isn’t as important to me).

    Upgrade thoughts: A (non powered) soundboard and 2 powered monitors.

    Powered Monitors: Looked into QSC’s and thought about sinking $1600 into 2 monitors. Yikes. Considering 2 EV Powered 12” (ZLX 1000 Watt). Seem good enough. If you have strong opinions about that, do share!

    The main question for me is the soundboard: I’d like to have 10 or 12 XLR inputs. (would cover rare instance when we need to run drums etc through system). Having 2 monitor mixes would be nice, as the drummer often wants something different than the rest of us. Having a simple parametric eq to adjust the monitor mix would be handy. Occasionally we’ll play at a venue and get a little feedback in the monitors, and tweaking channel by channel to figure out what it is takes too much time. Easier to dampen the monitor mix and get back to the show. (Not trying to offend!) But I’ve only found that in the Mackie Pro FX 16V2. I suppose real soundperson would run the monitor signal through some 15 band EQ, which I could do. But I’ve gotten by fine with my old 9 band parametric EQ that was on the old Peavey Powered Head. I like that I can look at it while I’m playing, think to myself “Just bring those two bands down a hair and see if that takes care of it” and then in a moment I can do it. I don’t want to be opening ipads and tapping through windows between songs to do the same thing, and before you know it 20 seconds has gone by and the audience is staring at me like “hello?”

    In a perfect world: I’d like to just plug a soundboard into the monitors and mains and we’re good. Running it through some other gear just to get the Parametric EQ… I can do that, but I’d rather not. I like less gear and less set up. I have an old Pyle 215 parametric EQ sitting on a shelf at home I could use for this if I have to. Bleh.

    For soundboards, I’ve been looking at the Yamaha MG16XU, the Mackie Pro FX 16V2, and maybe there’s some others that might be a good fit? PreSonus, Sound Craft? But which? I believe in “buy once, cry once” (but I don’t think I’m going to get QSC’s for powered monitors, J)

    The sales person from Sweetwater talked with me about how great it is to have a compression knob on the Yamaha, how it can improved some vocalists. Curious about this.

    Alright, you made it to the end of this. I am very curious about your opinion! Thanks.
     
  2. sants

    sants Supporting Member

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    It you must go analog I’d look for something that has a graphic eq on both the monitor and master bus. Carvin used to make a board that had a master eq and two monitors eqs.

    You will be very limited in what you find


    This is why for any real flexibility most move to digital but analog still can be handy. Some of the newer Yamaha powered heads have a built dsp and graphic eq for monitors so maybe some of their analog boards do as well. I haven’t checked in a while.

    If your current pa head can work for you, a can of deoxit can go a long way. We had an old Samson head that a pub thought had dead channels; after a good cleaning it functioned like new.
     
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  3. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    OP needs to learn the difference between a graphic EQ and a Parametric EQ. For monitors look at the Yamaha DBR series or QSC CP series.
     
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  4. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    The Yamaha speakers are nice, I've used them in fairly large rooms. You won't run out of headroom.

    Analog boards with eq on the aux sends are rare these days. Dust off your parametric for monitors, I'd rather use that than a graphic.

    Yamaha's pro version of the MX, the MGP-X line is very nice. In line comps on 8 channels, two really good effects processors, a main eq and you can record to a USB key.

    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-mgp16x

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  5. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    I'd hold off on powered monitors and use the passives you already have. A good amplifier can be had pretty cheap (Crown, QSC), especially used, and some have quite useable DSP.

    I own a Carvin RX1200 passive. 12 mic preamps, and EQ on mains and monitors ... even each L/R channels have separate EQ. Two FX processors. A nice unit if you can find one.
     
  6. jcarpenter

    jcarpenter Supporting Member

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    DXR 10's make great monitors. Good deals on used can be found. I love my Soundcraft Signature 12 mixer. Plenty of XLR's parametric mid control with cut and boost. Not sure about the separate monitor mix thing adjust but that's more of a digital thing.
     
  7. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    I don't think the OP has a parametric EQ. He is confusing it with a graphic EQ.
     
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  8. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    whoa! lot for me to look into here.
    Correct, I was confusing parametric with graphic. Thanks for straightening that. I have a graphic EQ, and I'm not so skilled at sound at this point to quickly be able to use a parametric EQ, specially while trying to play a show.

    That Zoom board looks like a unique middle ground between analog and iPad type land. Pushing my boundaries a bit... hesitant to get busy with screens and menus.

    Carvin boards? Haven't heard about that option. Nor their sturdiness and reputation.
    Soundcraft.
    Yamaha MGP series.
    Geez. First world problems.

    Thank you for the powered monitor suggestions. Will look into that as well!
     
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  9. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    The nice thing about some powered speakers is they have settings for different applications such as monitors. You can turn them up fairly loud and not get any feedback when they are switched to the monitor settings.
     
  10. vangrieg

    vangrieg Member

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    You know that digital mixers aren’t necessarily controlled by iPads, there are digital boards with actual faders, right? Don’t mean to sound condescending, but feel I should ask this just in case...
     
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  11. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    Got it that digital boards aren't necissarily controlled by iPads. Thanks for clarifying. What I mean to say is that, for my applications, I'm less interested in soundboards that have digital screens that I need to scroll through in order to mix. After watching the demo video on the Zoom board I was certain that I don't want to go down that road.
     
  12. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    It's good to know yourself and think of how you'll use the gear!

    At the same time, the reason SOOOOO many people have migrated to boards that are at least partially digital is that the boards themselves replace not only your current mixer, but many channels of rack gear like those EQ's you're going to want for your mains and monitors.

    So your real choice is between an analog board AND a large, heavy rack, or JUST a digital or partly digital board that replaces both.
     
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  13. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    Right! Thank you for pointing this out. I can see how it would be a smaller amount of gear. I think I can handle learning a new format, and going digital. Its just I am imagining running a board that has screens and menus at the same time as playing/putting on a show as a musician. Crowder, if you've moved to using digital boards, are you working shows as the sound person? Or as the sound person and a musician?

    Anyone here have experience as a musician running sound from the stage with a digital mixer and / or using an iPad to mix? If so, what was the learning curve like, and what were those first few shows like when something went wrong? Were you able to get back into making music / doing the show quickly enough?
     
  14. sants

    sants Supporting Member

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    Yes. I use an X32, m32, Si Impact, Ui24r, and x32 rack. In the last Allen heath Qu series in all formats.

    I can say that after I got the rack type units, the physical faders became more of pain than using an iPad to mix. It’s become second nature now. The best of both worlds is having the ability to use a tablet and have faders. You don’t realize how nice that is until you have the option.

    There is a learning curve but they all make sense once you play around a bit and you can actually see what you are doing. I wouldn’t say there are screens to scroll through. Maybe setting routing and initilization but once that’s done I find digital as easy an analog board but way more options.

    It’s also nice because on your main screen you can see all you me channel settings on the screen. Even see where feedback is occurring and attack otbfrom there
     
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  15. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    The beauty of a digital mixer is it saves everything you do. You can even save scenes for certain venues. Also many digital mixers have iphone apps for musicians to mix their own monitors or IEM. Which frees you up to focus on the mains. Some digital mixers like the qsc touchmix even have footswitch that can toggle between presets if more than one person sings lead. Not to mention Digital mixers usually have more monitor mixes and better effects. I know some musicians pay a soundguy to mix one show for them and then use that mixer scene as a preset for show they mix themselves on stage.

    I also mix from stage while playing. For shows I use a qsc touchmix and pull up a saved preset scene from the previous show. Although when I first got the mixer we did do a soundcheck rehearsal at home with everything set up and I saved it as a scene to give me a starting point. The singer and drummer both use their Iphone app to mix their iem. After I do a line check I sit out the first song and do some FOH mixing. (we rarely get soundcheck time) Then for the second song I step out and check my guitar sound in the mains while playing. During the show the singers sometimes switch from lead to bkup vox, so I use a usb footswitch to toggle presets which essential change the main fader levels for the vocals giving them a boost for lead vocals. Occasionally I also set up a stereo recorder out in the audience to record the foh. Then after the show I listen back to see if I need to make any more tweaks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  16. jamrat

    jamrat Member

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    Very helpful, tribedescribe. Good to hear if it's worked for you, and how you've gotten it to work. Having a saved preset scene sounds sweet. Not having to reinvent the wheel every change of venue. Hmm...
     
  17. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    Typical TGP thread. Guy asks about analog mixers, and less than 20 posts in he's convinced he NEEDS a digital mixer. :rolleyes:
     
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  18. tribedescribe

    tribedescribe Member

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    If you want to save money on powered monitors I highly recommend Alto ts series powered speakers. I bought a refurbished pair of ts110a's for $300($150 each). They do not have enough juice for Foh but for monitors they are perfectly fine if your on a budget. fyi I use Yamaha dxr series speakers for mains.

    As for my qsc touchmix I love it. I did have to get an external router for it though because some venues we play have some serious wifi issue with the included wifi dongle. Routers are cheap though and most digital mixers with onboard wifi also have issues, so do your research.
     
  19. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    Not everyone is still doing it the way it was done 30 years ago.:D
     
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