PA wattage for gym

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by leonard d rock, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Member

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    hello,
    how much PA wattage would a band need for playing in a typical high school size gym? typical, i mean basketball court in the center, stage and probably ten rows of bleachers on three sides. the band will play rock metal and pop covers. would something like the yamaha emx512 (2x500) be enough? mix would be vocals, guitar, probably kick and overhead mic for drums. thanks
     
  2. EelEye

    EelEye Gold Supporting Member

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    Back in the good old days (1980s), we had a PA running around 2,000 watts through 4 power amps (plus another amp for monitors). It worked great in a small/medium sized club, but I don't think that would be enough juice for a large gym (especially doing earbleed metal). Hard to tell without seeing how high the ceilings are, etc.
     
  3. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    a minimum of 7-10 watts per audience member. double that is optimal.
     
  4. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    I'm going to say in your case, wattage has little to do with it. There are two ways of doing sound in large, reverberant rooms. You can finesse it with multiple zones of speakers aimed at specific parts of the audience, and kept off the reflective surfaces, or you can get a huge PA that will overpower the room. Neither will be accomplished with a powered head and a couple of passive speakers.
     
  5. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Correct answer. Wattage is only a small part of the picture, and I agree, a powered head isn't going to work for metal in a room as big as a gym. You're going to want subs too if you're going to play any kind of rock and make it sound good.
     
  6. jcarpenter

    jcarpenter Supporting Member

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    I would be very careful with using effects as well. Don't be afriad to not use reverb.
     
  7. MickyZ

    MickyZ Member

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  8. gregc

    gregc Member

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    You're gonna need 2K, min. I'd think.
     
  9. harpinon

    harpinon Silver Supporting Member

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    You don't have to blow peoples eardrums out you know.
    You could have an acoustical drum kit play in a gym and you'll hear it all clearly.
    So, if that is true, you can get away with setting amps to match the drums and use a vocal pa (probably 150-200 watts) and it would sound fine.

    Now if the audience is all stoned, then go for the 2000 watts and let the "blowing" begin.
     
  10. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    What a silly post.
     
  11. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    It's not about blowing out eardrums, it's about coverage and balance. Have you ever done a show in a gym? I've done lots of them. Everthing from gradutions to full-blown rock concerts. 200 watts and 2 speakers ain't gonna cut it.
     
  12. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    I owned that board a couple years back and my advice would be to use that board's built in poweramp for the monitors, run mono mains and feed to to a pair of poweramps to push 1000w to 4 mains: 2 forward and 1 to each side.

    I think your goal here should be to have a solid spread of the sound and limit the volume so it doesn't start bouncing around and muddying up. That is assuming you are on a hardwood floor against wooded bleachers with painted brick walls.
     
  13. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Member

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    thanks very much. we thought about doing that but didn't know where to start. we can rent the poweramps and speakers for mains so we won't need to buy now. this is going to be the first "big" venue were going to play. so 1000 for monitor and 2000 for mains plus another 1000 for subs gonna do it?
    later, if we have the money could be just add powered speakers, right?
     
  14. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    Rent a PA. Then rent several others over the next few gigs.

    Decide what system works best for you, and buy one yourself.


    dk
     
  15. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Rent a PA AND hire a soundman to run it (a reputable one).

    Or sound bad.

    Steve
     
  16. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    I'd user the onboard poweramp for the monitors. You can't have the mixer on and the poweramp off. So if you didn't run speakers you'd fry the whole board.

    Ps - and be sure to use speaker cables if going from poweramp to speaker
     
  17. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Running without speakers shouldn't be a problem.
     
  18. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    you are far better off with too much power than not enough power.
     
  19. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    Are you sure about this? You're saying it's okay to run a powered board without speakers, aka the load?!
     
  20. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    The advice given out here like it's gospel, by guitarists posing as soundmen, is just amazing sometimes.
     

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