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  • Upgrading a PA system and playing out first time for money

    We have a 8:30pm -12:30pm gig Sept 9th. in a fairly small bar. The stage can be extended 27 feet in width and 15 feet out towards audience. We will have 2 guitars, a bass, a drummer, a singer and keyboard player. Should be tight. I just bought a used Allen and Heath GL 24 channel. It is big 32.2 inches wide and 22.2 inches long. Should I have this mixer on stage? i don't have a snake so I can't put the mixer out to the middle of room unless I get a snake? The Allen and Heath is a unpowered mixer. Do I need to buy an amplifier for the mixer? Our band has no monitors for this show. Should I buy powered monitor or passive monitors.t We are looking to purchase a couple monitors one for the drummer one for the vocalist. We have RCF 312 for FOH speakers. Any monitor recommendations. Any advice on the snake monitors a outboard effects like reverb that we can attach to the mixer?
    Last edited by chord123; 08-21-2016, 09:39 AM.

  • #2
    I recommend, in the band's best interest, consider hiring a capable sound contractor in the area for this first gig. Admittedly, the cost of the sound contractor for the show could equal or exceed the band's pay, but take notes of the sound contractor's methods and equipment... will likely be a very cost effective education, and could avoid the possibility (probability?) of a disaster for the band's first gig... so the band can concentrate on putting on a good performance, and not noodling around with gear.

    Otherwise: You likely won't "need" to mic anything but the vocal(s)... or rather, you can likely get by micing only the vocal(s), unless your guitarists, and/or bass, and/or keyboardist don't have stage amps. I suggest not complicating things with attempting to incorporate a snake and FX. Certainly a couple more powered speakers for monitors is a good idea... you don't need outboard amps if you're running powered speakers.
    I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Audiopile, the questions you're asking indicate a lack of understanding to accomplish the task in such a short time.
      Thanks,
      Bill Cronheim
      Entertainment Systems Corporation
      Back stage since 1965
      Equipment specialist since 1973

      Comment


      • #4
        BillESC .I don't need to be told again that I lack the understanding to accomplish a task. You did not answer the question. You just echoed back what the previous person said.. Can anybody recommend a powered monitor? Tell me the brand give me a model number and tell me why I should go with this monitor.Tell me there own personal experience with it.
        Last edited by chord123; 08-21-2016, 03:05 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by chord123 View Post
          BillESC .I don't need to be told again that I lack the understanding to accomplish a task. You did not answer the question. You just echoed back what the previous person said.. Can anybody recommend a powered monitor? Tell me the brand give me a model number and tell me why I should go with this monitor.Tell me there own personal experience with it.
          You have two seasoned pros giving you some good advice and you come back at them all sassy?

          You want a powered monitor recommendation? Go get yourself some JBL PRX 712's. You'll be happy but none the wiser. JMHO
          Last edited by Telecruiser; 08-21-2016, 03:21 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Specific to the monitor question: I'll offer another couple of those RCF 312's could be a logical choice. Although I have no experience with those speakers, you do, and I'll suggest that if you like them, they'll likely serve a-ok, fine in a monitor application... and having a couple more would offer you some redundancy if need be: IE: You can likely make it through a show with one less monitor better than one less FOH speaker.

            What I additionally recommend that I suspect you may need for this gig, and that I have continued first hand experience with, is:

            1) Sufficient AC power cable.
            2) A good handtruck.
            3) Speaker stands for your FOH speakers.
            4) A decent multimeter and knowledge of testing electrical outlets to confirm suitable function.

            After 40+ years of being in "the business", I continue to find that AC power at the venue and load-in and load-out to be the most challenging aspects of most gigs... *that*, plus "the drummer and guitarist is too darn loud" (burying the vocals). Nevermind the fact that the venue owner has assured you that "bands play here all the time" concerning AC service at the venue (the supplied stage power at last gig I played consisted of a 100ft. 16ga. weedeater cord run from the "kitchen"... missing the ground and the load and neutral swapped due to a duck taped "replaced" male end that involved some string and what looked like burnt bandages... and "load-in and load out" closest parking was a few thousand feet away... closest route was "pretty ugly"... nevermind... the longer routes were equally as ugly... we (I) opted for the closest route).
            Last edited by Audiopile; 08-21-2016, 04:03 PM.
            I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

            Comment


            • #7
              Chord123

              I'm not sure why you took Bills post so hard, maybe things get lost in translation....
              Yes you can get some recommendations for gear but there is a MUCH larger issue here. Your questions indicate that you don't (yet) know much about operating or connecting a system and you have a gig in two weeks. Learning to properly run a system takes time you apparently don't have available. No ones trying to bust your chops, just trying to save you from a train wreck.

              A&H GL2800 console, BagEnd Crystals over D-18's, 12"and 15" BagEnd and EAW wedges powered and processed by QSC, Klark, BSS, Symetrix, Valley, Sabine, Peavey and BagEnd INFRA.

              Comment


              • #8
                I did not say I am taking it hard only you seem to say that. You and everybody else are just restating Audiopiles thoughts. A PA system is not rocket science. I can hook some speakers up in a minute to a mixer. What is so hard about that? Does that require months of learning? The bass player in the band has plenty experience with sound systems and gigging so we are not as inexperienced as you think. No train wreck is going happen. I see you could not come up with any recommendations either. Again you miss the point .I am just trying to get somebodies idea of very good monitors that's all.If you would start answering that question I could get some for the show and get some more experience you say I lack.
                Last edited by chord123; 08-21-2016, 09:29 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok so I will play the game. Your attitude sucks and since you seem to know it all "should I plug my sound console into an amp" because it's not powered is an interesting question to which you wont get an answer from me. I will also leave you clueless to my experience on stage monitor selections that might fit your needs perfect. The others that have had the patience to answer you respectfully have more experience than you know and could help you avoid making costly mistakes financially as well as poor sound for your band. Your most likely purchasing your own gear now because you treat people with disrespect and can't get a soundguy within 100 miles to assist you. "A PA is not rocket science" makes me smile as I never heard anyone EVER make that statement regardless of the experience level they have. GOOD LUCK your gonna need it!!!! That said you could always hit the reset button and be respectful, that might get you the answers you desire but will see where that goes????
                  Last edited by aaronm72; 08-21-2016, 09:33 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am sorry if I came across as sassy. My intentions are good .Since you are so willing to give me helpful advice. I want to give you some helpful advice. Doing so will help you avoid costly financial mistakes in the future. Don't hire a professional sound man. Been there done that. Our sound man is not worth the $800 he will charge . Especially for a bar gig that pays $400 for a six member band. Thats $65 each member, and the sound man gets $800. Do you think we are that stupid? I liked the suggestion but will not consider a professional sound man that charges twice what the band makes a night. We are doing our own sound. Now monitor recomendations please?
                    Last edited by chord123; 08-21-2016, 10:41 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chord123 View Post
                      I am sorry if I came across as sassy. Since you are so willing to give me helpful advice Do you want some helpful advice from me that will save you from costly mistakes financially? Don't hire a professional sound man. Been there done that. Our sound man is not worth the $800 he will charge . Especially for a bar gig that pays $400 .So not even considering a professional sound man.
                      I apologize that I seemingly struck a nerve here with my suggestion to consider hiring a production contractor (sound person). I agree a $800 sound man is likely not worth it for a $400 bar gig... unless the sound person is "quite good", and the combination of the production and the gig is a springboard to considerably better paying work and a busy schedule.
                      Last edited by Audiopile; 08-22-2016, 08:48 AM.
                      I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Having been in your situation - running sound from the stage & playing rhythm guitar in small clubs for small money. I can offer an amateur's advice.

                        ​For what you need to do now, Yamaha A12M wedge monitors deliver good performance for the money - about $240 each from online music stores.

                        Amplifier: Behringer EP2000 delivers a lot of power for the money. Run one speaker from each channel. If you really understand your mixer, then you can do individual monitor mixes - for simplicity, you can feed the monitors with the FOH mix. Do not use reverb in the monitors as it will only increase the likelihood of feedback. Vocals seldom need reverb in a live room. Vocals come first - I don't care if you have Edward Van Halen as your guitarist and Jason Bonham as your drummer, the vocals HAVE TO BE ON TOP.

                        Use your PA for vocals only unless you have a dedicated sound man who can do the mix properly. You'll have to run your EQ flat until you have that sound man - you can't do it on stage. If you do have a graphic EQ, it should only be used to reduce microphone feedback.

                        Advice from an amateur who had to do it on the down low.
                        Seattle Senior - Classic Rock
                        EBMM Silhouettes (6-bolts)
                        6V6's: Who needs more than 20 watts?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I didn't know where to begin so I just put out some random thoughts as they came to me.

                          1 - First of all, a 27' wide by 15' deep stage is not "tight", it's a godsend. In over 750 shows we've maybe had a performance area roughly that large 20 times at most and NEVER for a "small bar". Heck, there's a "small bar" we play that isn't much bigger than 27x15. FWIW, our contract says min dimensions for the performance area are 16x12 and we're lucky if we end up with that 1/2 the time.

                          2 - You're really asking if your passive mixer needs an amp and then getting snarky that someone dare suggest you're in over your head? This question shows you've put no time into learning about this stuff. Your comment that it's "not rocket science" further illustrates you not only "don't get it", but actually don't want to get it.... just tell me what to buy is a foolish proposition.

                          3 - Yes, $800 for sound is indeed outrageous for a "small bar". I'm not sure where you are located, but "small bar" production usually runs $200-$350. For a setup like yours (speakers on sticks, no subs, no lights) you'd probably be around $250, but would also get 3-5 monitors, 31 band eqs, some sort of micing of the drum kit if needed. You'd be very well served to stop buying random gear and instead, try to find some small time operation that would do your production for $400 or less. At the "first gig" experience level you're at it shouldn't be about making money YET. Consider it paying for an education and also having a shot of sounding decent with someone there that's at least monitoring the situation and adjusting things.

                          4 - Throwing a couple of monitors onto your pile of sound gear still doesn't really give you what you need. Do you have an EQ for at least the FOH? What about EQing the monitors?

                          5 - Do you know what to do with that big ol' mixer? For example how to work the High Pass Filters? What sweepable mids are and how to use them? Will you run pre or post fade monitors?

                          6 - What about all the other stuff? Do you understand microphone placement to best avoid feedback? How to set proper gain structure? How to mic a drum kit....and get it to sound good for your genre with no gates, compression, etc? That every open mic on stage reduces overall headroom, not to mention mix clarity?

                          7 - All this said, bars paying $400 for a 6 pc band don't really deserve very good sound. Most of the bands coming in with basement gear and little knowledge of production.... you you'll just be "the next one" doing this. The performers should make something approximating a wage and they really aren't at $400 a show because they are either paying most of it to the sound company, or are bringing in $10,000+ worth of PA and lights themselves that will never be paid off at $65 a night. These types of gigs can only be profitable with a minimal system with only vocals amplified (powered mixer/passive mains or small passive mixer/powered mains - A monitor for the main vocalist and the rest of the instruments all using their personal amplification and trying to balance the sound well enough to be passable. Max volume would be dictated first by the ability of the PA to amplify the vocals, and secondly by ability of the unmiced drums to be heard. (maybe you mic the kick, EQIng out most of the lows in favor of the slap/attack so you can have both volume and headroom)
                          Last edited by abzurd; 08-22-2016, 06:31 AM.
                          PA: JBL PRX712, PRX718XLF, RCF 745-A, 522-A, 310A, A&H Qu-16
                          Lights: AMDJ Dotz TPAR, Haze Generator, Chauvet GigBAR
                          www.nextexitrocks.com | wedding band | Columbus, OH | VIDEO

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, there are a lot of questions here, but I agree that this isn't rocket science.

                            Here's my .02 which is worthless given that I don't know what kind of music you're playing.

                            Put the mixer on the stage, buy another powered speaker and point it at the band. Just get a another RCF 312.

                            I wouldn't do anything more than that, assuming that you have stands and can put the pa speakers up on some appropriate speaker stands.

                            Actually, if you're not a loud band, instead of buying another speaker, I'd just put one of the speakers behind the band for a monitor. I play crappy restaurant gigs every week and that's what I do pretty regularly.

                            Go play your music.

                            When you find out things that are problems, then think of ways to make those not problems.

                            Thinking about a snake is wondering about a solution to a problem you don't have (ie... "our soundguy can't sit in front of the speakers to make changes"). Same thing with reverb and outboard eqs. And pro sound guys who can keep equipment in operation all the time have much different ways of operating that folks with bar bands, so they general have somewhat different equipment at least where I live.

                            Don't go looking for solutions until you have a problem.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Luckenbacher View Post

                              Don't go looking for solutions until you have a problem.
                              Sure, because troubleshooting in front of a live audience is a great way to be asked back. You'll also likely not know what problems even look like as you're on the "other side of the speakers".

                              You can also think all you want about making things "not problems" but limited knowledge and a limited toolbox will limit your ability to correct those problems.


                              Look, I'm not saying it's going to be a disaster... At the end of the day it's like this - if the bar sells booze you'll be coming back. If they don't then you won't. If you're a new band and bringing all your friends on your big first nigt then you'll probably be asked back. After 2-3 times the rubber meets the road. You lose the novelty and your friends stop coming in droves. Now you must convert the venue patrons to followers that will either come see you play other venues, or at least make a point of coming out when you're at their watering hole. In contrast, you don't want to be the band that keeps the regulars away, or has them complaining to the staff. That's a sure way of getting the venue to lose your number.

                              So if things get ugly with the sound, assuming you are playing with musicians that aren't there to just listen to themselves on "11", turn it down (the band and the PA). That alone will solve many a problem.
                              PA: JBL PRX712, PRX718XLF, RCF 745-A, 522-A, 310A, A&H Qu-16
                              Lights: AMDJ Dotz TPAR, Haze Generator, Chauvet GigBAR
                              www.nextexitrocks.com | wedding band | Columbus, OH | VIDEO

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