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PA Help

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bme1, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. bme1

    bme1 Guest

    i am new to sound. this question is for live sound and i really need help as things are very confusing.

    i am in a six piece band consisting of the following:

    lead guitar
    rhythm guitar
    lead vocals and harp

    we are a blues based rock & roll band doing covers and originals in small to medium sized clubs. my questions is this: what would be an ideal configuration for a band of this size that does not need to play overwhelmingly loud. we have all been playing for years, and although we understand PA's on a rudimentary level, none of us are sound engineers. it has been left to me to research all of this and while i have come to understand a good deal, i am still confused as to the best configuration for a versatile, good quality of sound, PA system. could somebody please offer some advice?

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    What is your budget? With this kind of question budget is the first consideration.
    I am looking to do this exact same thing so my buddies and I can rock here at Cedar Flat. I'll tell you what I am looking at. I am a major snob when it comes to audio and my feeling is this is a bare minimum. Others might think it is overkill but I think anything less would be frustrating! This will surprise a lot of readers as I usually talk bad stuff about Mackie. But that is only for recording which I see as much more intensely scrutinized and played back repeatedly. For live, and in the moment, Mackie stuff rocks!!! For your band I would look at a Mackie 1604 or better yet a SR24 mixer and 6 Mackie SRM450 speakers for monitors. This will provide a monitor for each of the players. You will need at least 4 - 1/3 octave (27 to 31 band) eq's for monitor sends.. (I recommend running 4 programs / mixes for monitors) and a pair of the larger Mackie main speakers such as the SA1521's or the SR1530's. You should have a pair of 2/3 octave (15 band) eq's for the mains. Don't skimp on the eq's. They are very important so do not try to get by without them.. For mics, Shure SM58's on vocals, a bunch of 57's for the instrument amps, snare and toms… an AKG D112 for the kick and 3 of the cheap Shure BG 4.0 condensers for overheads and hat and you should be kicking! This would be a major kick ass system, very loud and simple to move and set up… I figure the cost would be less than $8 K for a package system including all cables to hook it up. If you decide to go this way, ask the salesperson what the list price is for all the above items is. They will try to give you their deal price but you need to know the list price to know what kind of deal they are offering. You should be able to negotiate a 30% off deal with no trouble. Maybe even better. If you can't get at least 30% off walk for the door! They will stop you and fold. Trust me. This would be a large deal and they won't want to lose it to another store. ….. Fats

    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!
  3. bme1

    bme1 Guest

    thank you very much for your reply. i just got off the phone with one of the product developers for EAW and man did he know his stuff. been there for years. but i like your recommendation. are the mackie speakers better than the JBL? also, is carvin good stuff? i have a factory outlet right here in california and can get it pretty cheap. thank for your help. you are very knowledgable and a tremendous help.

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    EAW (Eastern Acoustic Works) is pretty high end gear. It's a smaller company than Mackie and they don't have as good tech and after sale support as Mackie does. Its real good stuff but more expensive and easier to damage. Also the Mackie gear I am recommending is powered. You won't need to lug a bunch of power amps and racks. The only racks you will need will be for your eq's and outboard.

    Carvin??? :D ) 'Nuff said!

    Mackie gear is built like a tank, very "roadable" and will last and serve you for years. You could all share in the cost of the mains, eq's and the mixer and then each chip in for your own monitors. Mackies line is as good as the comparably priced JBL. JBL makes some high end stuff that is excellent (I have always liked JBL) but in this mid range area it's really apples and oranges.. The JBL's are not powered either. I think the Mackie line is the way to go... Fats
    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!
  5. Ken C

    Ken C Guest

    Hey there
    If you're wanting road gear, stuff that holds up,easy to get repaired or repair you self,
    I suggest you look into jbl, or peavey.For the buck and availability in small or large towns
    peavey can get you what you want.For a better high end sound then look at jbl,but then repair parts on the road are a little harder to get.If you have to watch the buck,$, peavey is road strong and has come a long way and every mom and pop music store has repair parts and possibly a repair facility, if you can't fix it yourself.
    good luck with whatever you choose

    Ken :c:
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Sorry, I have to disagree. Any town or music store that has parts for Peavey will have Mackie support also. I like Peavey speakers but their electronics leave a lot to be desired. Every piece of Peavey equipment I have ever owned had a switch, jack or light or something that never worked. Very poor quality control and cheap components. I have used Peavey gear for over 25 years and I can honestly say that Mackie makes a much better product. Built like a truck. Drop 'em, throw mud on them, spill water on them and they will keep working. The Mackie system I specified has all bi-amped powered speakers. No speaker cords to carry, just 1/4' and XLR line and mic cords to hook it up. Peavey doesn't make powered monitors or mains so you have to carry racks of heavy assed power amps and boxes of speaker cable in addition to mic cables. Set ups and tear downs are much more difficult. If you love plugging and unplugging stuff all the time, Peavey would be the way to go. Twice as many connections to make at each set up! Twice as many connections to foul up too. Mackie mixers are much better than any comparable Peavey mixer in build and sound quality. A comparable Peavey system consiting of 2 mains, and 6 monitors with real metal diaphragm hi frequency drivers (not peizios), 8 stereo power amps (remember the Mackies are bi-amped!) 4-3/4 octave and 2-2/3 octave eq's eq's and a 24 channel mixer would probably cost at least 8 grand if not more! A new day has dawned and Mackie is the sh*t when it comes to portable PA systems.
    ............ Fats
    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!

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