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Hi jerks. Please help me set up my practice PA correctly.

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  • Hi jerks. Please help me set up my practice PA correctly.

    First, let me describe the set up. 4 people, arranged in a diamond shape. It's like this: <> with each member at a point. Me and the drummer are at the bottom and the top, facing each other, and the speakers (310s) are wedged, sitting on chairs, facing both of us. The bass player and guitar player are on the left and right sides of the diamond. The <> is a good graphical representation because me and the drummer have relatively little space between us, whereas the two other players have a bit more room. They can hear the PA fine, I can't hear ****************in' ****************.

     

    The PA is plenty loud, but we face a few problems: mic feedback and the synths getting washed out in the mix. The mic thing is by far the worst problem because I can't drive my own voice without utter destruction.  I run my vocals through a TC helicon create (reverb/delay) and that thing has a preamp all of its own. I'm not sure how to factor that in. I have to hear myself sing to monitor, man. **************** this jazz, it's like I'm wandering into a desert so far.

     

    And then there's the synth issue, and I don't know how to address it but my Tetra keeps washing out. It's playing chords and they can be a little pad-y but I still wanna hear it!

     

    Any ideas? I'm really on a tight budget and want to avoid buying something if possible.


  • #2

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    • pbone
      pbone commented
      Editing a comment
      wtf is kudos? karma for hcfx?

  • #3

    Gain staging.

    EQ 

    Placement

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    • pbone
      pbone commented
      Editing a comment

      Yeah, I get that. The question is not what do I do but how do I maximize results.


  • #4

    Might also be a problem of the room itself... reflections, arrangement sound within, etc.

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    • brokenfixed
      brokenfixed commented
      Editing a comment

      Its funny I just re-setup my practice space over the weekend. We had similar problems with 3 people in a diamond shape. I even have the same vocal pedal, which can be testy with the volume.

      I wanted to set the amps and pa speakers along one wall with the drummer in the middle to simulate what it would sound like if we were playing a show. I basically have the PA speakers on shelves above the bass and guitar amps. We loved the sound last night.

      Dont know if that will work for you guys, and its a pain not having your amp right next to you. But you wouldnt really be in a diamond pattern if you were playing anywhere live. (dont know if thats even your goal just saying)

      Also can the wedge speakers be put on the ground? Sounds like theyre on chairs and closer up toward your mic.


  • #5

    Some thoughts:

    Treat the room.  Nothing fancy, nail some thick blankets to the walls, put an old sofa in there. Roll out some shag carpet.  Hang some extra stuff around the drummer.

    Aim the guitar cabs at the guitar players.  You don't honestly care about hearing their awesome tones, do you?

    Kill the vocal effects until you're generally happy with the vocal monitoring.

    Re-arrange: Move your position as far from the drummer as possible and see if you can hear better.  A loud drummer can dominate everything.

    If none of that  works, be ok with playing rock music in less-than-ideal circumstances. If you still can't hear what you want, invest in an in-ear monitoring system.  (But those solve some problems and create many others...)

     

    ___________________
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    • #6

      first off, describe this "plenty loud PA" for me please including the "310s" and mics, etc.

       

      secondly, I will tell you as already mentioned the cheapest thing a guy on a tight budget could do is dial everything back. Learn to play together and not drown each other out. 

       

      but if you don't like that idea the first thing I would recommend is a decent 31 band eq (dbx or better NO BEHRINGER) and use that to eliminate feedback frequencies. The synth I would try to add some mids around 4-5K to help them cut. (use the channel EQ if it has a sweep-able mid freq)

       

      and the TC thing aint helpin the feedback either I'm sure. 

      Comment


      • VTEC_Dreams
        VTEC_Dreams commented
        Editing a comment

        Turn the guitar amps the other direction, if the drummer is loud enough.

        Coming from the guitarist who used to be too loud all the goddamn time, it's annoying when the guitars think they're all that matter, and they point everything at the middle of the room and crank the **************** out of it.

        They're probably the problem

        Also, my band used to set up:

        >---       oOo        ----C

                     ^
                     I
                    o/

        monitor           monitor

        And I'd (guitar) hammer on a keyboard occasionally.

        >--- =guitar
        ----C = bass
        oOo = drums
        o/ = singer

        We all faced the drummer, guitar/bass amps slightly (2 feet) behind him, and had zero problems with hearing each other.



      • pbone
        pbone commented
        Editing a comment

        RoboPimp wrote:

        first off, describe this "plenty loud PA" for me please including the "310s" and mics, etc.

         

        secondly, I will tell you as already mentioned the cheapest thing a guy on a tight budget could do is dial everything back. Learn to play together and not drown each other out. 

         

        but if you don't like that idea the first thing I would recommend is a decent 31 band eq (dbx or better NO BEHRINGER) and use that to eliminate feedback frequencies. The synth I would try to add some mids around 4-5K to help them cut. (use the channel EQ if it has a sweep-able mid freq)

         

        and the TC thing aint helpin the feedback either I'm sure. 


         

        Plenty loud PA = SM58 + 2 synths heading into a Behringer mixer, which go out to an American Audio VLP-300, which is 300w split between two 150w 310 Kustom towers.

         

        I will have to dial everything back indeed. I think that may be a problem.

         

        I've been looking into those rack EQs. They're pretty expensive for my budget right now as a lowly wage slave but they are at least on the radar. Is it worth keeping the pedal even? I mean if it's so drastic I guess I could really just return that pedal and buy an EQ. I don't really give too much of a **************** about reverb if I can't even ****************ing hear myself.

         

         

        VTEC, how the hell did that work with your monitors pointed behind you directly at a microphone? That seems crazily logic-defying. The guitar player isn't really that loud in my band. No one is really that loud besides me, actually. Me and my synths.

         

        Dave, I'll have to get back to you on that. The moog, however, slices through the mix with the fevered passion of a million burning hot suns.


    • #7
      I have the previous version, no tone button.

      Turning down and doing levels and **************** worked very well.

      What would the signal chain be with a rack eq?

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      • PKTrono
        PKTrono commented
        Editing a comment

        sweet melodies > fuzz and nastiness > flangery negating effect.


    • #8
      you could go mixer (to combine synth signals > EQ > PA. that's of course only if you want both synths to be panned/spread the same. if not then you need another EQ
      soundcloud.com/nonlocality
      nonlocality.bandcamp.com

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      • #9

        the room you have described is the enemy of band practice. obvously the mic and speakers can't face each other. it helps to elevate the speakers or to lower them and use floor monitors so that the mics aren't in the direct path of the speaker output. unfortunately, for most band practice situations, you're kind of relying on reflections from the walls in the room to bring the sound back to you, and you don't have that. but you should still raise or lower the speakers. this chair thing is hurting you.

        for eq, either get that big multi band eq so that you can dial out specific frequencies, or if you don't have one, roll off the highs a bit more than you would like in a live situation. it's not perfect, but it's better than nothing. 

        for effects, reverb is not your friend right now. i like reverb on the vocals too, but i've generally found in practice that it works best to dial in the vocal levels without reverb on and then you can bring it up a little at a time until either you start feeding back or you have enough reverb. you might not end up with very much verb, but you can usually have a bit and it's better than feeding back.

        Comment


        • pbone
          pbone commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for that response other Parker.

          There is a wall a few feet behind the drummer; would it be advantageous to switch places with him? Furthermore, another person suggested that I just lower them completely on the ground and use one of them as wedge monitors; would that be an option to ****************in' park it right behind my mic stand and point it directly at my face? I do have independent control over each speaker level as well.

          I've got a buddy who has a lexicon reverb thing, I think what I'm gonna do is just return that pedal (the switch is kinda non-functional anyways) and then maybe either get a little powered monitor thing or the EQ to ring out the room. Either way it's not really helping at all.

          The confusion about the signal chain was whether or not I needed a dual or single channel thing. Dual would be placed after the mixer and before the power amp. I was thinking that a single channel would work as an insert to the mic channel or in the FX loop of the mixer. But it looks like the general consensus is the dual channel after the mixer before PA is the way to go.

      • #10
        yeah, not sure of what needs answering re: the signal chain. a stereo graphic eq is a good idea if you use the tetra in stereo. and then you'd make it into your favourite graphic and love it forever
        soundcloud.com/nonlocality
        nonlocality.bandcamp.com

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        • #11
          I think a store near me is selling a little Peavey monitor for pretty cheap, would that be my best bet for right up there monitoring? It's the PR10N. Im really lookin for a quick solution so if I can skip the bull**************** with eq'ing and all sorts of other **************** just with my own monitor I'll do it.

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          • pbone
            pbone commented
            Editing a comment
            I bought the PR10P. It sounded purty good in store so we'll see what happens as far as practice goes. It ended up being $150, but I guess that is a good price considering pairs of them were selling for $450. EITHER WAY, if it doesn't work out I'll just return it and pick up the stereo rack EQ they have there. But thanks for the help guys, but I still have one question: now that I'm throwing a powered monitor into the mix, what would be the best placement for the 310s at this point? As they are stationed now--to either side of the drummer--everybody was very happy with that. Would it now instead be better to focus those outwards towards the band seeing as I can probably just use this monitor for everything?

        • #12

          that floor monitor is going to help a lot. you should be able to get good and loud with the vocals without feeding back, provided the other speakers don't have to face you now. you may still want to raise or lower them, depending on the spacial relationship you end up having with them. 

          also, lexicon reverbs are ****************ing great for vocals and you may end up liking that thing a lot better than than the tc unit anyway. 

          Comment


          • pbone
            pbone commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm looking forward to using it quite a bit. I think it'll solve a lot of problems.

            What do you guys use in your PA set ups? Is buying something like a compressor worth it? I kind of want to buy one just to smooth out the synth levels a little bit, as they can be a little crazy at times. I was gonna get something dual channel and run my vocals on one side and then all 3 synths on another. Looks like I can pick up a TC C300 locally for about $30. Worth it, or save my money for something else?

        • #13
          delicate steve
          soundcloud.com/nonlocality
          nonlocality.bandcamp.com

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