Good PA system for a band in small-medium sized bars?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by mbell75, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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    Went over this another thread awhile back about PA for vocals and wasn't keen on the idea of mic'ing amps but I played around with mic'ing my guitar cab at the rehearsal studio today (no band, just me) and it sounded really good pretty much anywhere I stood in the room. Whats a reasonably priced PA for vocals, guitar and bass for a 50-150 capacity small to medium sized bar? What recommendations for mics? I was just using an SM57 today but I know there is probably something a little better. Thanks
     
  2. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    My band members like the Sennheiser 609 and 906s for mics for their guitar amps. As far as PA goes figure on spending around 2 grand buying a pair of decent powered speakers and a good mixer.
     
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  3. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree on the 2 grand.

    I use a 609 for mic'ing my guitar and use a 57 & 609 when mic'ing guitars for other bands. The 57 sounds great. The 609 is convenient for draping over the amp and not needing a stand.
     
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  4. MLG Audio

    MLG Audio Member

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    There's so many great powered speakers out there right now. Most here will swear by the yamaha dxr line (myself included). A pair of drx 10s or 12s would work perfectly. Not sure what you already own in terms of mics, cables, stands etc, but figure that cost in as well. As far as a mixer, the XR18 is another forum favorite, and for good reason. Tons of power in a very small package.

    As for mics, the 57 should do just fine, but if you want to try something different, the sennheisers that modulusmas recommended are very nice. I've had good luck with the beta 57 and audix i5 as well.
     
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  5. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I'll add this to the previous suggestions. If you're planning on having the bass guitar ( and kick drum ) miked, then you should plan on getting a subwoofer or maybe two. The reason is most nearly all FOH speakers ( unless you get into some serious pro lines ) really can't reproduce those frequences with any authority. Plus, it muddies up the FOH speakers. When running a sub/s, you can off load those lows to the sub/s, and get a much cleaner sound from the FOH speakers.

    I'll add that the least expensive, decent quality FOH speakers are probably the EV-ZLX12Ps. An alternative at the same MAP price point is the Yamaha DBR10. At MAP pricing ( you could buy used or B stock ), these 2 FOH speakers are $800 or less. Add stands and cables for another $150-200, and you're at $1000. Add a used EV EKX-18SP for $650 ( http://www.proaudiostar.com/electro-voice-ekx-18sp-powered-18-subwoofer-us-cord.html ) and you've got another $350 for a mixer. Shop hard, and you can get a pretty good analog or digital mixer and keep your cost to around $2000. But that wouldn't include stage monitors, which most think a band really needs to hear themselves.

    My personal choice ( given your venue requirements of small to medium bar ) would be (2) EV ZLXp FOH speakers, a single EV EKX-18SP sub, and the Behringer XR18 digital mixer, or maybe the XR16 if you do not need as many inputs. The mixer choice could be analog if you do not want to use a touch screen ( tablet, laptop ) to mix on. If so, then I'd consider a used A-H Mixwiz or an A-H ZED. You'll still need to consider what to use for stage monitoring.

    Give ProAudioStar a call and they'll set you up for less than GC/MF/Sweetwater will charge you. ( http://www.proaudiostar.com/ )

    As far as a mic for a guitar amp, nothing wrong with the SM57. If you want the ease of hanging a mic on a speaker cabinet, yeah, then consider the Senns 609, 906. As for my personal choice, I prefer the sound of the 57 over the 609, and the 906 over both of them.
     
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  6. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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  7. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    You just described my exact system except that I have two subs.
    2 - EV-ZLX12Px ($289 each, refurbished with warranty directly from EV)
    2 - EV EKX-18SP subs - ($720 each brand new from Pro Audo Star)
    Behringer XR18 digital mixer - ($425, refurbished with full warranty from Music Group)

    I often only use one sub as that's all I need for many clubs. I use this system for my band and when I run sound for other bands and it sounds great for under $2000.
    As 335guy mentioned, you will still need some monitors. I also use ZLX12Ps for monitors.
     
  8. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    A couple of things. 1st, the Yamaha DBR series of speakers are active/powered, so there's no reason to use a powered mixer. Also, powered mixers have gone the way of the dodo. Yes, they can work in SOME circunstances. But they are most often sorely lacking in many areas of mixing, such as lack of compression, often no low cut filter, mediocre pres, no separate sub sends, only 1 or 2 auxes, mediocre EQ, plus much more. Not to mention that going with a powered mixer and passive mains forgoes the DSP found in active speakers ( which enables them to often sound better than their passive counterparts ).

    If you're investing in NEW gear, forget powered ananlog mixers and passive mains. That's 40+ yr old tech. PLUS, Behringer analog mixers ( NOT the X Air series ) are known for reliability issues.
     
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  9. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I knew that from your many posts. And that you're pretty happy with the performance you get from those EV speakers.

    If one adds up what you spent on the gear you listed, that comes to $1,723. Add a couple of hundred for cases, stands, and cables, and you're at $2k. Smart shopping right there. AND, you're earning your investment back by running sound for other bands. Way to go!
     
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  10. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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    Ok. Would prefer to have a physical mixer, not something run off an iPad. Something like this? Unless there is some advantage to running off an iPad? Just seems like something else added to the process that could fail.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-...x2222usb-usb-mixer-with-effects#productDetail
     
  11. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    If you want an analog mixer, the best one that's inexpensive is the A&H ZED -12FX, assuming you don't need more than 6 mono + 3 stereo channels ( http://www.proaudiostar.com/live-sound/mixers/mixers/allen-heath-zed-12-fx-mixer-b-stock.html ) Alternatives could be Soundcraft or Yamaha. BTW, most of ProAudioStar's B stock is brand new. It's their way of working around MAP pricing. Alternately, a Midas DM12 gives you 8 mono channels + two stereo channels for a LOW price, plus it's quality gear. Downside? no internal efx. ( http://www.proaudiostar.com/live-sound/mixers/mixers/midas-dm12.html )

    Again I say, AVOID Behringer analog mixers. They are prone to problems.

    As to the advantages of using an iPad for mixing, guess what. They have wifi. So that means someone can go out front and have a listen and adjust the sound from their wireless iPad ( or Android device ) without being tethered to a chord. Very handy. Can't do that with an analog style/physical faders style mixer, unless you get into much more $$.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  12. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I'd recommend something scalable.... i.e. you get a non powered mixer (12-16 channels) and three powered 12 inch speakers (2 FOH and 1 monitor) now. Then down the road you get 1 or 2 powered subs. I picked up a XR 18 a few months ago, but after the first couple of weeks I haven't turned it on. I found it overwhelming and went back to the Mixwizard for full band stuff and A&H Zed 10 for duo stuff.

    I'm also rethinking bringing out subs to every band gig. A band hired me to play guitar so I don't have to bring any PA stuff. They run a pair of powered 12s on sticks and it works in smaller rooms. I'd like to mic the guitars still, but with this gig I just roll with it and let someone else handle it. When I've provided PA for the band I always brought both subs. In hindsight, the band could have done probably 1/3 of the gigs without the subs in the smaller rooms and without mic'ing the drums.
     
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  13. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    PLEASE spend a little money and get a decent small-format digital mixer. (PreSonus 16-ch digi boards are very often available used at great prices.) All the EQ and FX are built in, and every band member can control their own monitor mix from smartphone, if desired.

    a small digital mixer and some 12" 2-way powered speakers are the only way to go, because it's totally expandable. just buy more speakers/subs when extra funds are available.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  14. Tele81

    Tele81 Member

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    I’m using a pair of QSC k12.2s and have a 10.2 as my personal monitor. Agree on getting separate subs I don’t have one currently and we’ve been experimenting with running the bass into the mixer and not loving the results. I’ve heard great things about the Yamaha DXR/DSRs as well. I tried to go the cheap route and tried out the EV ELX; Alto TS212s as well as the JBL eons. For my ears (and money) I’d not skimp out on your mains and really do some listening. Vocals, acoustic guitar tones are where the difference are pretty noticeable. My fiancée is in an acoustic duo and her guitarist has a pair of the legacy k12s and while they do sound great my k12.2s sound noticeably better at high volumes. Less harshness and more pleasing high end, better head room more projection. I would venture to say my k10.2 sounds even better on vocals and guitar tones. Richer mids and more realistic tones. For 2k used I’d get a Pair of QSC k10.2s, kw181 sub and a x air 16.
     

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