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Upgrading the PA- how do you decide who pays?


Bob O'Brian

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We're thinking about upgrading our band's PA in order to rectify a few deficiencies with our current equipment. We use an old peavey XRD800 powered mixing desk (2x200w, 8ch, the onboard FX are dead and the thing is basically a huge, heavy, dinosaur-beast-monster).

The most important thing, for me, is that we currently have NO reverb or suchlike on our vocals, and that sounds, well, crappy :freak:. So since the desk otherwise works I was thinking that option 1 would be to buy a cheap/simple vocal FX unit.

Option 2 is to replace the Peavey with a better, more powerful mixer amp- maybe a Yamaha or something. We don't really need a desk, a box-style unit would be fine (and more robust for use at gigs) and for about

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My singer/guitard just bought pretty much a full PA. Since he doesn;t use a guitar amp, just goes direct, and does most fothe singing, he said he was looking at it like buying "personal" gear. We offerred to pay "PA rent" out of future gigs, to off set it, but for him, its his gear. For your situation, I'd do something similar- If you shell out the money, "rent" the PA to your band until it is paid off, and then charge a small "maintenance" fee to the band fund for gigs after that.

 

FWIW, he bought 2 Mackie self powered speakers (15 w/ horn) and a sub. The mackies are about ~300 watts, and I don't forsee really needing the sub, but I think he may want me to go direct too eventually. :(

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In my band, individuals have purchased various parts of the PA...intentionally. We did spend band funds on recabling the PA. I will get those cables as partial payback for hauling the bulk of the PA back and forth to gigs.

 

We're also going to purchase a snake. Since no one in the band wants to pony up the cash, we're going to use band funds. We haven't discussed what will happen to the snake, but I believe that I will have first crack at it for a highly reduced price since I own the mixer that it matches up with.

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for just about everything in my band , someone "owns" it. Nothing is owned by "the band". That way if something happens, there's no questions.

 

We have a Mackie 808m with 8 channels, effects, and 600 watts X2. One for mains and one for monitors. We LOVE it.

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for just about everything in my band , someone "owns" it. Nothing is owned by "the band". That way if something happens, there's no questions.


We have a Mackie 808m with 8 channels, effects, and 600 watts X2. One for mains and one for monitors. We LOVE it.

 

 

 

Yeah, I own all my band's PA - and agree with your train of thought about "the band" owning gear...

 

Also - I have an 808s, and really like it, too...

 

 

 

 

- georgestrings

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for just about everything in my band , someone "owns" it. Nothing is owned by "the band". That way if something happens, there's no questions.

 

 

Definitely the way to go here. I was in a collective ownership deal with an old band's PA system and ended up getting screwed. Individual ownership, whether it be of specific components or the entire PA, is essential.

 

That said, spring for the best PA you can afford. It's your most important piece of gear by far. Nothing is worse than seeing a band that has obviously spent tons of money on backline gear really cheap out on the PA.

 

I suggest getting a small Alesis effects unit to run in the loop of your current FX-less mixer for the time being. You should be able to pick up an Alesis Nanoverb or Picoverb on eBay for less than fifty bucks. Run that in the mixer's loop and that will get you all the effects you need. Then you can concentrate on saving money for a better PA.

 

If there is no other option but to own a the PA collectively, you'll have to agree to sell the gear off and split the money evenly should the band break up. This can be tough, 'cause if just one guy splits he'll probably want his share of the PA value, forcing you to sell a unit you're currently using or just pay the guy off.

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Since he doesn;t use a guitar amp, just goes direct,

 

 

Not to totally derail the thread, but my guitard plays through either a Mesa Single Rectifier combo with a 1x12 extension underneath or a Dual Rectifier head w/ Mesa 4x12. They are both stupid loud on stage, especially for the places we play. I have been trying to sell the virtues of going direct to him, and to be fair, he is open-minded but he has really nice tube amps and is worried his tone will suffer. I am wondering what your guitard uses to go direct and how you feel it sounds compared to a typical overly-loud, but good-sounding guitard set-up.

 

To the OP, I agree with most sentiments here. Don't go in it together, even if it means you have to buy it yourself. If the guys complain about it, tell them to fork over their hard-earned change for something better. Also, if you ever leave, you (or someone else) walk away with the it, no questions asked about who gets what. It's just a much cleaner way of doing things IME.

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Singer handles the PA system. The {censored}ing guy can't manage to anything else in the band, so he can pay for the PA.

 

Yeah, but that's ME :D

I have to pony up for my bass and rig, I book the gigs, I organise practises, choose, songs, write set-lists, and when I move into my new house will provide the practise space. I also bought a bigger car especially for the band and it is now our main transport- and I don't take any extra money for any of this, expect petrol money for out of town gigs.

The current PA is owned by the drummer, but the guitard and I bought a sub each, and any new leads have been bought by me with no band money input. So I'm feeling a bit, erm, shafted...

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Yeah, but that's ME
:D
I have to pony up for my bass and rig, I book the gigs, I organise practises, choose, songs, write set-lists, and when I move into my new house will provide the practise space. I also bought a bigger car especially for the band and it is now our main transport- and I don't take any extra money for any of this, expect petrol money for out of town gigs.

The current PA is owned by the drummer, but the guitard and I bought a sub each, and any new leads have been bought by me with no band money input. So I'm feeling a bit, erm, shafted...

 

Yeah, is a little different if you play an instrument AND sing. If that was the case with us, we would probably all pitch in, or take money from shows to buy the PA and then whoever wanted it would pay it all back as he could.

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We're thinking about upgrading our band's PA in order to rectify a few deficiencies with our current equipment. We use an old peavey XRD800 powered mixing desk (2x200w, 8ch, the onboard FX are dead and the thing is basically a huge, heavy, dinosaur-beast-monster).

The most important thing, for me, is that we currently have NO reverb or suchlike on our vocals, and that sounds, well, crappy :freak:. So since the desk otherwise works I was thinking that option 1 would be to buy a cheap/simple vocal FX unit.

Option 2 is to replace the Peavey with a better, more powerful mixer amp- maybe a Yamaha or something. We don't really need a desk, a box-style unit would be fine (and more robust for use at gigs) and for about

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Yeah, but that's ME
:D
I have to pony up for my bass and rig, I book the gigs, I organise practises, choose, songs, write set-lists, and when I move into my new house will provide the practise space. I also bought a bigger car especially for the band and it is now our main transport- and I don't take any extra money for any of this, expect petrol money for out of town gigs.

The current PA is owned by the drummer, but the guitard and I bought a sub each, and any new leads have been bought by me with no band money input. So I'm feeling a bit, erm, shafted...

 

[devil's advocate]

 

Shafted? All of us have made the personal decision and commitment to do what it takes to join, play and work with bands. It's our choice, and we all have to accept that it has some expenses. You buying a car is not a band issue. All of us have to buy basses, amps, other gear etc. These buys are not band responsibilities either. Sure it all helps the band, but they are up to us to help keep our project bands going. Your bandmates do not owe you anything for the purchases you've made, and you don't owe them. Keep every piece of gear individually owned, and don't try to set up any 'buy backs' when the band splits. You are either committed and willing to buy gear on your own, or you're not, there is no 'community' gear unless the band is a professional business. Weekend bands are nothing but our own hobbies, not collective businesses.

 

So if this band is important to you, but you are the only member willing to spend money on pa gear, do it out of your own interest and money. You cannot expect the other members to have the same commitment as you, or the same financial situation as you. If they're not willing or able to spend, then buy the gear on your own or not, but don't feel that you should be paid a bigger chunk of the gig money.

 

[/devil's advocate]

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I would never buy equipment as a whole band ever again. Here's why.

 

It always seems to cause some bad feelings. If one member leaves, or the whole band breaks up, everyone either wants the money they forked over for their portion, or a few members argue over who gets to keep the thing.

 

Really, it's best for one person to buy things themselves.

 

Also, as far as a PA, for the most part, the lead singer should be responsable for that. Think about it this way, did the guitarist, bassist, or drummer ask the rest of the band to pitch in for their amp, guitar, bass, drum, or cymbals? Not at all.

 

Now, some singers may say that the whole band uses the PA. That may be true for some things, but in my years of playing, the places where we were required to mic everything up usually had their own PA. The other places we played at didn't really require us to mic everything. While some members may also be singing backup, the lead singer uses the PA the most.

 

As the lead singer, you should think of the PA as your instrument.

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I would never buy equipment as a whole band ever again. Here's why.


It always seems to cause some bad feelings. If one member leaves, or the whole band breaks up, everyone either wants the money they forked over for their portion, or a few members argue over who gets to keep the thing.


Really, it's best for one person to buy things themselves.


Also, as far as a PA, for the most part, the lead singer should be responsable for that. Think about it this way, did the guitarist, bassist, or drummer ask the rest of the band to pitch in for their amp, guitar, bass, drum, or cymbals? Not at all.


Now, some singers may say that the whole band uses the PA. That may be true for some things, but in my years of playing, the places where we were required to mic everything up usually had their own PA. The other places we played at didn't really require us to mic everything. While some members may also be singing backup, the lead singer uses the PA the most.


As the lead singer, you should think of the PA as your instrument.

 

We have two lead singers in the band- myself, and a female singer. I also play bass (obviously!) so have that to fork out for too. I don't really think it's fair for the singer(s) to pay for the PA- in my own band there are other variables, e.g. only two of us provide vehicles.

 

Nobody going for the 'auction' idea? I guess this only works out when the whole band splits. I didn't consider the prospect of one person leaving and wanting their share.

 

If I accept that jointly owned gear is a bad idea, then that means that I will have to upgrade the PA myself, because the others simply don;t see it as being that important. They'd rather limp along with our clapped out junk and continue to sound mediocre, when I KNOW that we could sound so much better. But they would rather have the money. :deadhorse:

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Go to the Live sound forum and search for this topic..... I think that's where I've seen it

 

Never buy into a joint PA without written and signed documents expalining what will happen when/if someone leaves.. it can be a pretty {censored}ty situation.

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Not to totally derail the thread, but my guitard plays through either a Mesa Single Rectifier combo with a 1x12 extension underneath or a Dual Rectifier head w/ Mesa 4x12. They are both stupid loud on stage, especially for the places we play. I have been trying to sell the virtues of going direct to him, and to be fair, he is open-minded but he has really nice tube amps and is worried his tone will suffer. I am wondering what your guitard uses to go direct and how you feel it sounds compared to a typical overly-loud, but good-sounding guitard set-up.


 

Sorry for the thread Jack :)

 

Honestly, right now he just uses a Boss GT8 direct to the board, and it sounds pretty good, but being a guitard myself part time, I can definitely see where his sound suffers, IMO anyway. I myself have used a POD to great effect in church situations, but not in a "band" per se. What style of music do ya'll play? The Single rec combo with a nice tilt back stand to aim the sound at his head is probably going to be the best bang/buck solution. He will hear himself better, and therefore be able to turn down some, unless he really likes the power tube grind thing, in which case, you are just screwed unless he gets one of the newer 5:25 or older Rocket or Nomad amps. I use a behringer GDI to get the sound to the board though. Its an active DI that goes between amp and speakers, so it captures the WHOLE amp, and it has a 4x12 simulation built in, which actually sounds pretty good. The POD and GT8 both suffer from lack of "punch" (IMO) at higher gains settings, and they miss that cool "Oh wow" coupling between your fingers and speakers that IMO only a low wattage tube amp can provide. Its less sound than feel.

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I second Ender rpm's idea:

 

Treat the PA as another "member" and pay a share of the gig money to it.

 

That will either motivate the others to chip in or it will gain you some return on your investment(s).

 

When we hire a sound guy, he gets paid an equal share. Our lead singer has a PA, but he is feeling pretty good about not having to bring it along.

 

By the way, don't discount the Behringer powered mixers. A LOT of bands around here use them, they're dirt cheap, and and they sound pretty good in small to medium venues.

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I second Ender rpm's idea:


Treat the PA as another "member" and pay a share of the gig money to it.


That will either motivate the others to chip in or it will gain you some return on your investment(s).


When we hire a sound guy, he gets paid an equal share. Our lead singer has a PA, but he is feeling pretty good about not having to bring it along.


By the way, don't discount the Behringer powered mixers. A LOT of bands around here use them, they're dirt cheap, and and they sound pretty good in small to medium venues.

 

 

Ideally, I would like a share of band money to go to the PA- I think I already do way more than my fair share in this band and only take the same cut as everybody else.

About the B****** powered mixers- they are certainly the cheapest option, by far. I can get a 2x400w powered mixer for under

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