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Improving our live sound with our current PA

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  • Improving our live sound with our current PA


    We're a 80s band that have been playing together for some years. Back in the days we purchased a big PA (for us atleast) to be able to play in larger avenues after recommendations from different people that works with live sound.

    Our PA:
    2x Martin Audio W8
    2x Martin Audio W8S

    2x Tannoy TDX1 Digital System Controller

    2x Crown CTs 3000
    1x LAB.GRUPPEN LAB4000
    1x LAB.GRUPPEN FP7000

    1x LAB.GRUPPEN LAB2000c
    4x Marin Audio LE-350A

    Soundcraft Si Expression 3

    We haven't been tinkering too much with the PA, the adjustments we've done to the sound has been to the indidual instruments using the 3-band EQ on the mixer.

    After using the PA for some years, these are the issues we currently have:
    1. Our synth sounds hard (especially the piano sounds). We have a Roland Jupiter 80, but just this month we bought two VSTs (Omnisphere and Hans Zimmer piano) and they have the same tendencies.
    2. Some lack in the lows (If we want that punch from the bass-drum I feel we need to boost it a lot so we often opt to a middle way).
    3. Lack of crispiness in the highs.

    Our experience with live sound:
    At home we have 2x Munro Acoustics sE Electronics The Medium EGG 150 System which we used when we decided to buy the VSTs. The VSTs sounded great with the EGGs compared to the sounds from our Jupiter-80 (even though the EGGs are lacking some lows), so we will with time build a computer and only use the synths as midi controllers for to use the VSTs from a computer. Also we've been to concerts where the bands sound amazing (playing for 500-30.000 people), but most of them are national or international artists (so I guess they have access to great gear and great sound engineers).

    In the later years we've worked with 5-6 sound engineers, but we've always ended up doing the sounds ourselves as they have been below par.For instance we ended up giving our two guitarists each a Voodoo Lab Amp switcher. Usually the output from the guitar goes into the switcher and you have four selectors to send the guitar signal to one of four different connected amps. Instead, we connect the guitar to the amp, and take the DI-signal from the preamp of the amps and feed it into the Amp Switcher, and then run four jacks into four different tracks in the mixer where each track is panned (to the sides or center) and volumes adjusted differently. This is so that when one guitar switches from comp (panned to one side) to solo (center with higher volume), the other one switches from comp (panned to other side) to a stereo panned track with higher volume to compensate for the other guitar dissapering from the comp and keep the balance. Audiences and some semi-professionals have taken note of our well-balanced live sound.

    Maybe we are a bit perfectionistic, but we know the sound we want is possible (as we've heard great bands with great sound live before), though we don't know if it's possible with our current PA. We are new to the idea of configuring a PA and that's why I come to you. Can our issues be solved? The problem here is that we don't know what we don't know so it's hard to look for information about our issues.

    Please keep you answers simplistic enough so we understand, we haven't learned all the jargon/slang yet.
    Last edited by Nheme; 07-14-2017, 09:04 AM.

  • #2
    Looks like you have some decent stuff. I'd guess that you don't have proper correction EQ programmed into the controller - horn loaded cabs such as yours generally require a fair amount of tweak to get flat. I couldn't find recommended EQ for them - maybe contact the manufacturer? You could also get someone good at SMAART to tweak them in for you.


    • #3
      Roadranger has it right.

      Download an RTA on your phone (they are cheep). This isn't the greatest RTA since the microphone in a phone isn't the best, but the better RTA's should correct for this.

      Get a pink noise recording on some device you can play through.

      Run the pink noise out your speakers and use your RTA to see what it looks like (it should be fairly flat, but likely isn't with your rig). NOTE, ONLY USE ONE SIDE SINCE COMB FILTERING WILL OCCUR IF YOU USE BOTH RENDERING YOUR WORK USELESS.

      Use the PEQ and main GEQ in your Soundcraft on the main output to flatten out your system.

      See if this makes things sound better to your ears (which is the most important part).

      Good luck!
      With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding


      • #4
        Find a good sound company and pay one of their engineers to come out and help you during a performance. At least that's what I would do.
        “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

        -- H.L. Mencken, 1915.

        Thanks Anton