Best mixer under $1000 for 5 piece rock band --- /// --- Wedges vs IEM?

Astounding

Member
Messages
142
I have 2x ZLX-12p for FOH mains. I may add a single sub in the future. I'm trying to put together a system for small to medium venues.

We play rock, blues, hard rock.

I'm quickly realizing this ZED10-FX mixer would barely be adequate even if I didn't want to mic the guitars.

I'm also not sure if I should be planning to do that for the size of shows this ZLX-12P pair is capable of.

From what I've read it seems as though separate IEM mixes to each musician would be ideal.


1) Should I be micing the drums / amps? Or is that not necessary at the levels these speakers can reach? Should I just use the ZLX-12ps for vox and let the amps take care of the rest, they are 2x12 and 4x10 for the guitar cabs. Bassist has several cabs to choose from.

2) Would wedges or IEMs for each musician be my better option with this rig?

3) If wedges, what would you suggest to pair for monitors for the group?

4) If IEM, which system would fit my requirements without breaking the bank?

5) Considering the above 4 questions, what mixer and wedges/IEM would be my best option to pair with these mains?

6) Will I need a sub?

Thanks for any advice, all of these decisions seem to affect which mixer will meet my requirements.
 

chrisjnyc

Member
Messages
8,242
How big or small are the venues you are playing in? In a smaller bar\club you could get away with just vocals in the PA (maybe a mic on the bass drum). If you are playing a bigger room, you will need to mic the drums, mic the guitar cabs and DI the bass. With the ZED10 mixer I would get a pair of Alto TS210's or TS212's for wedge monitors.

IEM's are great, but its fairly expensive, and you would dramatically change your amp tone... at least from what you hear. I would be sure to try it as much as possible without buying a whole IEM rig. My band uses a Behringer Xr16 mixer with IEMs. I have a Audio Technica wireless, and the rest of the band uses a wired belt pack\headphone amp. We went IEM because we are using a backing track (keys and some percussion) and the drummer couldn't keep time without a click in his ear. We started out with Shure IEMs and headphone amps with a long headphone cord.

XR16 = $400 new
IEM wirelesss = $600 new (and this is low end model)
Alien Ear custom IEMS = $420

Yea, a sub would be best for playing larger clubs. Powered speakers have a fairly high bass roll off, so the sub would fill in those frequencies.
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,239
1) Should I be micing the drums / amps? Or is that not necessary at the levels these speakers can reach? Should I just use the ZLX-12ps for vox and let the amps take care of the rest, they are 2x12 and 4x10 for the guitar cabs. Bassist has several cabs to choose from.

It depends on the venue. Many will say yes, you should mic everything. And I agree, if you want to sound the best you can. That said, the amps you're using for guitars are most probably plenty loud enough. It's just that their sound will be mostly focused loudly right in front of them. So if someone was off to the side of the guitar amps, then the guitar/s may not be heard very well. The idea is to evenly disperse the sound around the venue, rather than having to blast the folks right in front of the amps. All that said, I see many bands in small venues not mic everything, and sound fine. Bass isn't as much of an issue since it can be somewhat omni directional.

2) Would wedges or IEMs for each musician be my better option with this rig?

IMO, each singer and the drummer need either a monitor wedge or IEM's, at least. IEM's will cost more to do it right, and some do not like IEM's. I can't see using less than three monitor wedges. For me, that would be a minumum.

3) If wedges, what would you suggest to pair for monitors for the group?

For a club setup, I like the idea of using the same speakers for both FOH mains and monitors. In case a main goes down, one can quickly swap it out with a monitor without much difficulty. But others will use less expensive monitors, like Alto's, to save a little $$. In your case, since your mains are already relatively inexpensive, I'd just get some more of those ( ZLX 12P's)

4) If IEM, which system would fit my requirements without breaking the bank?

I have no recommendations, since I don't sing and I prefer wedges. My understanding of IEM's is that it cost a bit more to go that route, especially if you want wireless.

5) Considering the above 4 questions, what mixer and wedges/IEM would be my best option to pair with these mains?

Monitors, get more of the ZLX12Ps. Mixer? I'd want one that had a minimum of 12 XLR mic inputs, and a minimum of no less than 2 aux sends. For a decent analog mixer, I'd consider the Soundcraft EPM12 ( http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EPM12 ). It hits my minimums, but, it has no built in effects. I used a Soundcraft MPM20 for yrs and it sounded good to me and never once had a problem. For a Soundcraft analog mixer that has 8 XLR channels but does have built in effects, there is the Soundcraft Signature 12 ( http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Sig12 ) for only $20 more than the EPM12. IMO, these offer more features than comparably priced A&H analog mixers. If you're considering going to a digital mixer, I guess the Behringer X series are probably the best bang for the buck with many happy users.

6) Will I need a sub?

Again, it depends. Not only does a sub reinforce the low end ( bass and kick drum ) much better than your average active speaker, it also takes the lows out of your mains. This allows the main speakers to do their job better. So, using a sub will make your over all system sound clearer and punchier with more low end punch. If you want that, then yes, you will need a sub/s to do it. But can you get by without one? Yes, you can. In smaller venues, some bands don't use one and still continue to get booked. I've been in bands for many yrs, and most of the time, we didn't use subs. But things change, and now you're competing not only with other bands to get bookings, but also DJ's. So, you need to bring your A game if you want to continue to compete. Ask yourself this. "What are the successful bands in my area doing/using?"
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,306
Figure a little under a grand per player, for a wireless IEM rig that actually works.

And, you need to mic everything, so there's $ for mics/stands/cables, as well as the extra setup time.

A digital mixer would allow you to save mixes, but you'll still need to tweak them in for each player.
 

tribedescribe

Member
Messages
859
Great advice so far by wanted to add my own experience......

1) Should I be micing the drums / amps? Or is that not necessary at the levels these speakers can reach? Should I just use the ZLX-12ps for vox and let the amps take care of the rest, they are 2x12 and 4x10 for the guitar cabs. Bassist has several cabs to choose from.

Every band and situation is different so there is no right answer for this question. It depends on a lot of factors such as the venue/audience size, players preference, sound guy vs. player mix on stage. When I play with a 4-5 piece cover bar band I run a vocal only pa and mix our volumes on stage. I regularly record these performance from the back of the room and all instruments can be heard very well. When I play in a outdoor wedding gig with 7-8 members we mic everything and run some iem. Its a totally different situation. Regardless of how your set up key to getting a good mix is to do a proper sound check. This is something I insist on for every performance. Sometimes I sit out a few songs so I can mix everything when there is not time for a sound check. Start out with the vocal only pa and do a proper sound check. If your really worried record the performance in the back of the room to see how the mix can out.

2) Would wedges or IEMs for each musician be my better option with this rig?

This can be very personal so it depends. My drummer swears by them, while my wife prefers a wedge and hates iem. In fact she used to have a well know pro level iem engineer mix her shows and she hated the disconnect and could not sing properly. (ambience audience mic might solve the this) I think they can be very useful for singers to her their pitch and can also help keep stage volume down. This is especially true for a bigger band when they all fight for volume in the wedges. Iem are extremely expensive so I would make the individual players pay for this. Try starting out with regular powered speakers for monitors.

6) Will I need a sub?

I never use one for bar gigs, but outdoors it always helps to mic the kick/bass. Again you wont know what you need to till you try it out. My feeling is no.

If you ever want to upgrade to a bigger mixer get at least 12 channels but keep the small mixer for those smaller gigs. The behringer xr18 is a very popular digital mixer for a great price. FWIW the set up time for my bar band vocal only pa is about 15 minutes while my wedding band is at least 1-2 hours to mic and check all the instruments. If I had presets and a digital mixer I could cut the time down some.
 

Floyd Eye

Member
Messages
13,838
I say used Mixwiz or if you aren't afraid of digital, Mackie DL1608. The Mixwiz is very user friendly and capable. The Mackie will require an iPad, but it has built in gates, comps, FX, EQs and pretty much eliminates the need for a rack full of outboard gear. It is very highly regarded by Walter W. and he knows his ****. With powered boxes you would just need the speakers and the mixer. Very appealing when your rack weighs a couple hundred pounds like mine does.

Yes you need a sub. I am a proponent of mic everything, all the time, but no way I would do any gig without at least having the drums mic'ed.

As for IEMs, I didn't care for them the couple times I used them, but I am not the lead vocalist and I am not picky as for what goes in my monitor. Vocals only is just fine unless it's a large stage and I can't hear the guitar, then I would want a little bit of that in there. I would say if money isn't tight you would be better off getting them. Definitely for the singer.

Are you mixing yourself from the stage or do you have a dedicated SE?
 




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