beefing up pa sound?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by underdog726, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. underdog726

    underdog726 Member

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    Ive always been more/less a hired gun as a guitar player in blues bands, and knew very little about live sound systems. I recently moved and have been forming my own band, and for the first time am responsible for the pa system. Basically for practice i low budgeted out and bought a phonic 220watt a channel pa with two 15 inch speaker mains and poles, which have been serving well for reheasals. We have our first gig coming up in a month and the bass player and i have been wondering if this pa will handle the mid size room we will be playing at(an american legion hall). Bass player offered to buy a subwoofer to add the system(bass minded that he is).I guess my question is, what would be most cost effective to add to our system to give us a little more power if needed? Thanks.
     
  2. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I assume you're talking about this. I wouldn't gig with any part of that system and it's not worth trying to add to. For gigging, you'll need real gear not bottom feeder junk.
     
  3. doesitmatter

    doesitmatter Member

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    Agreed. You need more wattage more than anything.
     
  4. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    No one appreciates being budget-conscious more than me, but I would have to agree with GCDEF on this...."putting lipstick on a pig".
    You can get some really decent gear out there for pennies on the dollar with patient shopping.
     
  5. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    Start from scratch. Buy real stuff that you can expand on later. Buy used to make your dollar stretch farther, but make sure it works OK. Buy brand name stuff, not music store junk (Harbinger, B52, Behringer, Phonic, Kustom, etc.). If you don't have the dough now to do it, rent something that will work for upcoming gigs, and then buy good stuff a piece at a time if necessary.
     
  6. underdog726

    underdog726 Member

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    hmm seems to be unamious i wasted money on a cheap pa, well it works for in the basement for practice, maybe use it as a monitor pa or something, or craigslist and try to recoup half the $ back for a real system
     
  7. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    If it works for rehearsal, sure hang on to it. That way you don't have to tear down/set up x2 every time you do a gig. But, I have a feeling after listening to a halfway decent set of speakers, properly powered, you'll not want to listen to those Phonics anymore.
     
  8. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    i always seem to be shot down with this suggestion, but why not hire out a sound company to handle your lives sound needs and keep your practice rig at home? a boxhead and a pair of speakers on sticks is not going to cover a hall of any sort.
     
  9. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

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    I've gigged with worse stuff than that. You just have to let your amps carry the room and run your vocals through the crappy system. Totally possible, but it will never really sound good.
     
  10. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    why sacrifice your sound just to save the cost of hiring a professional? sure, you can use your PA as a vocal only PA system in the hall, but you won't get any of the low end energy of the kick drum or the bass guitar, and what if you need a keyboard or an acoustic guitar in the PA system? Chances of getting a good sounding mix this way are slim to none.
     
  11. Reincaster

    Reincaster Member

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    This guy always has great advice. For those of you with sound companies that can cater to bar gigs and renting out PA's, DO IT! Then learn from them and their gear before you go out and buy stuff you don't need! I don't have that option, so I had to borrow or rent from other bands, and I learned the hard way.
     
  12. sacakl

    sacakl Silver Supporting Member

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    I think in a perfect world, we'd rent all the time. Problem is that it's so expensive around here to rent per gig that we'd be paying money by a longshot to play in the end. Last time I checked around here, the best deal I could find was going to be $75 just to rent one powered monitor, let alone a whole system plus hiring a soundguy. We'd have to charge a lot more to play out to make it worth our while.
     
  13. lschwart

    lschwart Member

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    I don't think renting is a long-term solution (not unless you're getting paid enough to afford it). But it IS a great short-term solution and a great way to learn about how to build up a decent system of one's own. Also: see if you can find a local rental company that has a "rent-to-buy" policy. If you rent a system that works well for you (either a simple one you run yourself at the gig or a more complex one that someone from the company runs for you), you might be able to buy it (or similar gear) from the company used, minus the rental fees you've already paid. There are a few around here that do that.

    And I agree with the others who've said you should keep your Phonic PA for rehearsals. If it works for that, no reason to sell it--and you won't get much for it anyway.

    Louis
     
  14. JamonGrande

    JamonGrande Supporting Member

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    Perhaps keep an eye out for other musicians who already own a PA, but would appreciate a night's pay running their sound gear. For a while I was using a person in that exact position: he had invested in building up a reasonable system, but wasn't gigging out enough with it. It will be cheaper than going through a rental company.

    Being roughly in the same position as the OP, I have occasionally invested in mid-low end PA gear thinking it would be useful for band situations. At this point, I have enough to cover solo weddings and cocktail-type gigs. And then I thought, "Lights!" It has become a little ridiculous and I feel like I'm moving further and further away from being a guitarist/musician and doing much more event production. In the long run, you'll need/envision using more than some boxes on poles with a powered mixer, at which point it gets expensive fast.

    More and more, I am fine with hiring someone else to do that work, own/maintain the gear, and spend their evening making sure the PA sounds good. I'd much rather spend the money on a great guitar/amp than another mixer/powered speaker/lighting fixture/etc.

    joe
     
  15. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    there is a difference between renting gear by the piece for the night, and hiring out a production company for the night. you'll pay far more to rent than you will to have a company supply and run everything.

    if you call local sound companies and ask them if they will work with you in your price budget, most of them will. it might not be their "A" rig, but it will most likely be a better system than what you have. you can rent each piece individually, but when you forget to order a snake, or power cables, you are really going to regret your decision.

    here's a question for you all....what would you consider a fair price to pay a sound company to supply a system with 4 mixes, subs and tops, mixer, mics, etc., including an engineer and a modest lighting rig, for your average saturday night bar gig?
     
  16. harpinon

    harpinon Silver Supporting Member

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    Craigslist seems to have a lot of older pa gear for grabs and asking prices are fair.
    Some of the old stuff can sound really good. The only drawback is that the gear can be really heavy.
     
  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    What is probably a fair price and what most bands can afford are likely two different things. I would guess a fair price for all that would be about 3 bills. Out of my price range for sure unless it is an extremely important gig.
     
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Here's a question. What if I only needed 3 monitor mixes, subs, tops, one mic for the bass rig, one for the guitar rig, 7 or 8 for the drum kit, 3 vocal mics and no lights? What would something like that run?
     
  19. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I got a price in my area for (2) powered mains, (2) powered subs, mixer with at least (2) monitor mixes, (2) monitors. No lights or microphones. We would supply the mics and stands, and if we wanted lights, that would be more. The sound company would deliver, set up, operate, pack up and return for $150.00. I thought that was a good deal. I think the gear was Yamaha, Peavey or ? Don't remember. But, in my way of thinking, a gig would need to gross around 10 X that to make it worth while for a 5 member band. I'm not a believer that the sound guy should make more than the band members, except under certain conditions.
     
  20. lschwart

    lschwart Member

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    There's a company in my area that will rent a solid, basic rock band PA (a powered mixer, mains, monitors, 2 powered subs, cables and stands--all Yorkvile stuff) for $140. The guy who owns the company will take some time to run through the basics of setting it up and running it for you, but you do need to be prepared to run it yourself at the gig. And he has a "rent-to-buy" policy. Very affordable, although not the same as hiring a sound man with some really nice gear to come and run it all for you himself.

    Louis
     

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