Mixer help

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by drummer_192, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. drummer_192

    drummer_192 Guest

    OK to start off, the band I am in is a 4 piece alternative rock band, we all know alot about our own instruments, although were always open to help, but none of us know a thing about a PA system so please forgive me, Im tryin to get my head around all this.
    Currently we have a Kustom 4 Channel 120 W powered mixer with 2 Kustom passive speakers. Were looking to do a little upgrading. 2 150 Watt Powered speakers and a new powered mixer. But we dont know what to look for. The venues we'll play will be small, bars, clubs things like that for now. So i was wondering if you guys had any suggestions as to how big of a mixer we should look at (wattage wise), we currently only run vocals through the mixer, like I we dont know alot about live sound, so not sure how many inputs we should be looking at either. Were on a fairly tight budget, id say about a $1000. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated

  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Try to get more inputs than you think you need. You'' be glad you did.

    Determining how much power you need is dependent on several other factors. Work backward from your desired volume levels in terms of dB SPL, to speakers that can reach the target level (with the desired coverage angle, weight, price etc.), to watts. The wattage rating of speakers says nothing about how loud they get, only how much power they can handle.

    You will probably want to reach about 100dBSPL at a meaningful distance, say 32 meters. Volume drops off by 6dB per doubling of distance. Speakers are measured at 1 meter. 100dB at 32 meters translates to 121dB at 1 meter. Give yourself a little headroom and look for speakers that are rated for a maximum SPL of 124dB/1m. If your stage volume is well controlled and you are okay with somewhat less than rock concert levels you could lower the target by 3-9dB.

    Now you have to compare sensitivity. Speakers will have a sensitivity/efficiency rating in dB/1w/1m, that is volume with 1 watt input at 1 meter. The higher that is the less power you will need to drive the speakers to a given level.

    Now the speaker's power handling specs come into play. They tell you how big an amp you need to get the speaker up to a useful volume. Typically they will have program and peak numbers. An amp with a power output rating about the same as the the peak power rating of the speaker will be about right. A bigger amp will cost more, be heavier and be more of a risk to your speakers. A smaller amp might not get as loud as you need.
  3. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    drummer192 "2 150 Watt Powered speakers and a new powered mixer. But we dont know what to look for."

    One thing I can tell you is that you want either powered speakers/unpowered mixer, or passive speakers/powered mixer. There are two or three factors that most often steer where a band goes in buying their first PA, one is obviously$$$$, the other projected venue saize (eg: small clubs where thye crowd is noisy and drinking or coffeehouse/ church and quiet) and then quality. Another thing to think about is are you going to mic individual instruments or just vocals, don't worry about drums unless you are in fairly large rooms. Have you guys thought about who is going to own the gear? How are you going to pay for it?
  4. drummer_192

    drummer_192 Guest

    Im gonna own the gear, using my tax return to purchase it.

    As for venues, it will be just nigtclubs, bar scenes, the usual for a band just starting out.
    As for miking each instrument, that would be a negative. But if its a better choice were all for it, like i said, we really dont know much about running a PA. We were just planning on running vocals through it. We currently have our Kustom 120 watt PA, and the 2 kustom 10" unpowered speakers, there just not gonna do the job for a show though. So ive been looking around and the mixer im looking at is this one. Buy Yamaha EMX212S 12-Channel Powered Mixer | Powered Mixers | Musician's Friend

    As for the speakers, one of our friends is offering us his 2 12" Peavey powered speakers, that are 200W, and then we were looking at gettin 2 more of these Buy Yamaha EMX212S 12-Channel Powered Mixer | Powered Mixers | Musician's Friend

    However, we dont know the best way to take this, would the 2 unpowered with that mixer be enough?
  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    A really good thing to do is take whatever speakers are in your pre-bought kit and just replace em.

    Maybe different in the US, but I got like 20 Carlsbro 12-inch 200W (ha!) PA speakers, and filled em with Eminence 400W full-range drivers. It took me a while to find a guy, but I now have an incredible deal on Eminence speakers, they ship direct from the factory.

    Hmmm....maybe I should open this up to everyone.
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    PS get shot of Peavey, Carlsbro, etc. If you are buying speakers to last, either buy cheap cabs and update the drivers or look at something like D&b for a kickoff.
  7. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I have been in this situation several times during the thirty five years I have been playing out. I have over the years been involved with the purchase of several powered mixers similar to the Yammie you linked to. It is a decent powered head and certainly one way to go. If you buy a powered head then you will also need to get passive speakers, I think it is doubtful that your Kustom 10" speakers are going to provide you either with the quality or volume level you are likely seeking. The problem with a powered mixer is that is sort of a dead end as far as growth goes. If you want to add to the system there aren't many directions to go in. Advantage they are small and convenient to move around.

    You might want to read this outline 8 Steps to building your first PA system | Sweetwater.com as I think you need to educate yourself quite a bit more on the general theory of small PA setups before you can make a wise decision. I would do a search on similar articles as well. I still think you are confused in the fact that you can not easily use powered speakers with a powered mixer it is a self defeating equipment purchase.

    Yamaha MG166CX 16-channel live mixing console or Mackie 1642-VLZ3 Mackie 1642-VLZ3 | Sweetwater.com are IMHO the way to go. You could buy your friends Peavey powered speakers (12" ought to be fine for just vocals to start out.) You could use the Kustom amp and speakers as monitors possibly and I'll assume you have mics, if not consider SM58 or similar. The thing about using these boards is they allow for potential growth with out become immediately obsolete if you decide you want to mic the instruments, add more power, larger speakers, external effects and so on.
  8. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    You guys must get only the lowest range of Peavey. My Impulse 200s are practically bulletproof, get to 133dB SPL given the power (1.4kW), and sound pretty good doing it.

    There are some pretty good (near) entry level speakers. Yamaha Club series come to mind. I doubt you could engineer a better speaker at a comparable cost.
  9. if you want any thing you want to get a samson TXM16 for only $650 and its 1000 watts

    Samson TXM16 | Sweetwater.com
  10. get some Peavey PR 12 there only $150 for one and they can handle 400 Watts

    Peavey PR 12 | Sweetwater.com
  11. marconi

    marconi Guest

    I realize this is a bit above your 1k budget but you can always find deals and you could prolly rent such a system for about 100 bucks to try it out - You'll be impressed. and any reputable rental shop will give you a full tour and answer all you questions to make sure it all works flawlessly for you.

    ALSO - the Mackie 450's are indestructible (audio-wise) they have thermal protection and limiting - you will never blow these speakers! and the 1402 is very usefull for home recording and generally a versitile lil workhorse.

    get a pair of used Mackie SRM 450s (~1k$) and a Mackie 1402 ($200) (HAS real big boy faders and XLR outs - no funny stuff :) - 1202 would work fine -just get trs to xlr adaptors) some ultimate / knockoff speaker stands ($100) and just run vocals through it.... This setup will work for 2 to 200 people... after that more complexity is in order but this rig will do coffee houses and small clubs for the end of time and SUPER EASY, go download the 1402 or 1202 manual to get a feel for them - GREAT manuals - yau actually WANT to read them - go figure...

    add however mics you need (Shure sm58 ` $100 new - 50 used) and tripod BOOM stands ($35 - 75 ea)

    wanna get "fancy" add an old midiverb (~$35) (at this point the cables to hook it up are "expensive"...)

    FWIW - I worked (soley) as a live audio engineer for over a decade - and this is what I'd buy for MY band in such a situation:)
  12. marconi

    marconi Guest

    ooops -just saw you can get them NEW at musicians friend for 1k - maybe get a used pair for 600 ish?!?

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