Compact yet powerful live sound setup?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by zastruga, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. zastruga

    zastruga Member

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    I've been racking my brain around this problem for awhile now, curious if you folks might know a good solution.

    I play in a LOUD rock band and we often lament having to haul a giant PA around just for vocals. We don't use monitors and we don't mic any amps, just a handful of vocal mics (and occasional keyboards). But, because we're so loud we need a beefy setup. Our current rig is a Mackie Onyx 1620i housed in an absurdly heavy rack case running a Crown XLS2000 to mains, which are big carpeted heavy (did I mention heavy?) 15"s.

    My question is, is there a way to build a rig that's equally as powerful that could be hauled by a single person in a small hatchback? None of the all-in-one units seem to be powerful enough, and once you get to mixers that can be rack mounted you lose the size advantage.

    So, with these requirements, what's the smallest PA rig you could build?

    1) As powerful as a Crown XLS2000
    2) At least 4 XLR in and a couple of aux inputs (iPod friendly)
    3) Reverb
    4) Stereo mains, 15" preferably
    5) Able to be moved by a single person BUT mixer/power amp/etc all hooked up and ready to go. All I should have to do is plug in speakers and mics and ready to make some noise.

    Possible?
     
  2. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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  3. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    Allen & Heath ZED and some EV/Yamaha/JBL/QSC powered speakers. Easy.
     
  4. zastruga

    zastruga Member

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    Our speakers are old Yorkville cabs loaded with 500w Eminences. They sound killer and I really don't want to lose that vibe. Our guitar player moonlights as a DJ sometimes, so I'd hate to lose that fuller response.

    I'd thought about the powered speaker approach, not sold on it yet. I like the modular approach better if there's a viable option (especially since it would let me reuse the power amp I already have).

    Even just a road case that would be small enough for one person to carry without destroying their spine, but still be able to mount a power amp and a mixer the size of that Allen & Heath? The biggest hurdle for me is finding a way to mount a small mixer like that. Most mixer racks are HUGE.
     
  5. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    Well you would be surprised at how much low end you can get out of a 10" or 12" inch powered speaker. I have used just one of my dxr10s with a sans amp as my bass amp for smaller gigs.
     
  6. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes. A pair of powered two way PA speakers and a mixer with built-in effects.
     
  7. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    If space is the major hurdle over budget, a pair of those powered Yamaha 10's or 12's and a Mackie DL1608. Plenty of juice, and all the mixing/processing you'll ever need in a tiny, 16 ch mixer that you run with an iPad. I carry mine in a shoulder bag.
    Since the 32 ch version came out, prices have really dropped on the 16's.
     
  8. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    We're not a super-loud band, but we've done gigs with just a pair of QSC K8's when we had favorable acoustics. We've done a couple with the K8's over a single powered sub. My board is a Presonus 16.0.2.
     
  9. lschwart

    lschwart Member

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    I think you're being oddly stubborn. You want the size and weight problem solved, but you don't want to give up on using the sort of components that are causing the size and weight problem.

    A pair of good powered 10" or 12" powered speakers and a compact mixer (digital or analog) will give you exactly what you asked for in the initial post. I'd look into a pair of Yamaha DSR112's and either one of those Mackie digital mixers or a small ZED or Soundcraft board. Unless there's really something magical about those big passive Yorkville speakers that makes them worth hauling around along with a rack--I don't see that that's really likely--you'd be losing nothing and gaining a lot in terms of portability and easy set up.

    At least find a local place that will rent you a pair of those speakers or something comparable and try them at a gig or two and then decide.

    Louis
     
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  10. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Supporting Member

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    I agree going with a 10" or 12" powered mains with small mixer with built-in effects is the way to go. If you don't want to get rid of the 15's because your guitar player DJ's with them.... let him worry about that. Either let him use the old setup or have him buy a sub and pair it with the smaller mains.
     
  11. lostpoet2

    lostpoet2 Supporting Member

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    Aren't a lot of powered 10 and 12 inch speakers able to be used in vertical arrays for this type of scenario?
     
  12. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    Why do you need a "fuller response" for vocals? You are asking how to lighten you PA, but still insisting on using 15" woofers...LOL. You need a little mixer and a couple of QSC k 10s or 12's.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  13. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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  14. sacakl

    sacakl Silver Supporting Member

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    I think if what you have is too much and want to be able to throw everything in a hatchback, powered speakers would probably be your best bet. I can easily fit my mixer, 2 QSC K10's and 2 QSC K12's in the trunk of my Honda. If you're not sold on powered speakers, then probably not serious about reducing the load and being able to pack everything in a hatchback.
     
  15. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    Makes a great PA. Shockingly loud and clear for the size.
     
  16. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I'm having a hard time fathoming a LOUD rock band with a heavy PA that's vocals only.


    I guess in that situation I would say a Pair of DSR12s and a Zed. You could ( and should) always add a nice powered sub later and at least put some kick drum in there.
     
  18. zastruga

    zastruga Member

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    Oof, should have expected the attacks. Sorry if I have specific goals in mind that don't suit your worldview. The reason I poised the question was because I assumed it was impossible to meet all my "stubborn" demands, but was just curious what options were out there that I didn't know about. I know powered speakers exist. That's not what I'm after.

    I like modular because its easier to replace something that goes bad. I don't like powered speakers because it puts all your eggs in one basket. If a speaker dies or the powered section dies, you're out both the power section and your speakers and can't just plug-in something else quickly. We've killed plenty of speakers for this to be a legitimate concern. Punk/metal shows aren't the safest place for gear.

    Beyond that, modular lets me reuse speakers and power amps that I already own. I'm OK with the slightly-too-big speakers, I can carry those on my own, it's the giant rack that requires two of us to carry and it's only giant because I can't find a small one to mount a small mixer in. A smaller shallow-depth rack that allows mounting a small mixer (sideways even) WOULD solve 95% of our problems, but I can't find that such a thing exists.
     
  19. sacakl

    sacakl Silver Supporting Member

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    Didn't think there were attacks here in response, just possible solutions to reducing the load. However, I find it strange to forgo monitors. How do you hear the vocals onstage while playing, especially if you're a loud band? Through the mains facing the crowd? Where do you position the mains?
     
  20. lschwart

    lschwart Member

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