PA advice after recent gig

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Gasp100, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Thanks man! We are just covers for gigs right now and our vids are simple iPhone things from some acoustic shows. I really want to get some full band vids happening soon.
    Like I said, I'm 3/4's of the way to a pretty kicking medium sized PA. The question is whether I really need to add a sub and possibly upgrade my board (just for aux sends). I'm going to do some legwork and ask around about good sound companies, pricing, etc... Not having to deal with any PA/lights would actually be a great thing and worth $150/show. I could not afford more than that though...
    And to be fair to the sound guy, we had 1 hour for loadin, setup and sound check. I believe the system itself sucks. I'm also very anal retentive and HATE clutter on or near stage, this rig is ALWAYS a mess because of cables, a snake that is too long, power amps having to be close to stage, etc...
    I really think with less/better gear next time will be amazing.
     
  2. dporto

    dporto Member

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    "I'm also very anal retentive and HATE clutter on or near stage, this rig is ALWAYS a mess because of cables, a snake that is too long, power amps having to be close to stage, etc... "

    I don't see how adding a sub is going to reduce cable clutter, though powered speakers will get rid of the amp rack. This is really just a matter of using a little thought regarding the routeing of cables on stage - it doesn't take any longer to route them neatly than leaving piles of "spaghetti" all over the place (this usually becomes somewhat of a nightmare - especially if you have to troubleshoot something - i.e. buzz/hiss/hum/noise problems). This drives me nuts as well - so I invariably wind up doing it for everyone :facepalm ...it's worth it in the long run (for me anyway - I don't think the other guys care).
    "Concentrate on the dance floor and the enthusiasts sitting up front."
    I think this is really good advice - Those who care about the live music will gravitate toward it. If the venue is large and you try to fill/cover the whole thing, the area closest to the p.a is invariably going to get "blown out" and you wind up pushing people away from the band (this can be done with "stage volume" as well). In any case it looks you're asking the right questions and heading in a good direction - there are many ways to achieve the same end so it's just a matter of finding what works best for you. Good luck
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I'll agree w/you on that - my stage is always dressed.

    I got to a gig once, and the soundguy had routed a bicep-thick trunk of PA and Lighting cables snaking right thru where I needed to set up my rig and stand.

    He knew that I was going to be there - didn't care and it was too late to move them...
     
  4. orogeny

    orogeny Supporting Member

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    i might take that gig until my shoulder heals (can't play more than an hour right now)

    you could also borrow my presonus on extended loan. . . .

    i have tons of speakers/monitors too

    but my first thought was:

    STAGE VOLUME

    it's actually a big part of what made orogeny so good and so popular. you could come to the gig and still talk to the people standing/dancing next to you.

    we were honestly so good at keeping stage volume together that i would regularly tell joe to turn UP. how often does THAT happen to the lead player?
     
  5. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I think what I am hearing here is an odd mix of stage instruments. I think you really need to take the time to get them balanced. An AXE FX with a live guitar - you have to assume the AXE is taking up a fair amount of the PA Bandwidth - which could make the vocals muddy.

    I would spend a lot of time getting the right mix before the gig. I would start with a lower stage (instrument) volume, possibly put the drums behind a barricade if he is THAT loud, dial in your AXE and make sure you are not using frequencies that cover up the vocals. (if possible, I know some AXE users will be shocked I say this, but you might even get a spare amp for the axe output instead of putting it through the PA - you can use a keyboard amp, for example, or a separate small stereo PA system).

    I play blues bar jams all the time where the stage volume is (in my mind) ridiculously low, but that is where they want it for those venues. So, I know it can be done as long as all the players understand the concept.

    As far as whether you NEED a SUB? The kick drum needs to be heard, not necessarily felt. If it is felt, that is a plus, but there are ways to get a kick to be heard without boosting the 35-70 Hz octave. A little bump around 100 and some pop in the midrange and people get the idea.

    Ideally though, get a sub and try controlling the drums (with barriers), consider an alternative amp for the AXE, and get a great stage volume mix between the bass, guitars & drums together. Then mix in the vocals in the PA & monitors and make sure they are on top of the band, so they come across.

    That way, you are not putting the axe, so much kick and the vocals all in the PA, and the vocals are not fighting the too loud drums and the AXE (in the PA and monitors)

    Your main goal is getting your terrific vocals out front, and to have a monitor mix which enables the singers to hear and sing well.
     
  6. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Thanks cruisemates, you bring up some good points.
    I have an amazing monitor / main for use with the Axe (Atomic CLR) and it's more than capable of acting as backline (ie. power amp/speaker cab) so it's possible I could keep the Axe out of the mains entirely. I also think for some gigs I might be the only guitarist so I would like to keep some Axe in the mains for those shows. It would be a similar amount to the bass/kick through the PA.
    I truly feel like the Peavey dual 15's used for the show are crap and my powered EV 12's will prove to be a better fit.
    This club is not really one of those "must keep it down" venues. It gets packed and this particular room is one of three dedicated to live music. The other room is DJ and the other is sit down bar area.
    The drummer we used normally has a plexiglass shield (wedding / corporate). I don't really think that's called for in this situation, but might help.
    But this last sentence is key and I think is guiding my thoughts going forward:

    "Your main goal is getting your terrific vocals out front, and to have a monitor mix which enables the singers to hear and sing well."
     
  7. MLG Audio

    MLG Audio Member

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    You're right about 12's being better than dual 15's. Unless you buy absolute top of the line, dual 15's are not ideal. The plexiglass shield could be great, but one thing to look out for is monitors facing back at the shield. Sure it's keeping drum sound out, but it may reflect monitor sound right back into the mics and cause feedback issues.
     
  8. BBN

    BBN Member

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    If you have 2 of the ev powered 12" tops, start with those and a powered 18" sub. All of those speakers should have built in crossover and that will make the set up easier for you.

    I greatly disagree with the recommendations to not use a sub. If the club is crowded like you said, the you need that kick drum pumping to keep people dancing.

    I've seen many bands set up two tops and no sub....and it sounds like an iron maiden tape through a 70's car stereo. No thump. All people are going to hear is snare....gross.

    Put the sub center stage if you can, and as close to the stage as possible to take advantage of the reflection off the stage. Or if the side of the stage happens to be a corner (stage and a wall meeting)....put it there. Putting a sub against one or more walls/surfaces, increases bass n the room.
     

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