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starting venue equipment?

a few of my buddies are beggining to purchase equipment to start a venue. all of the people involved are very musicaly inclined but we dont have a lot of experience yet (some, but not alot) and i have some questions that need to be answered.

fist off, i am going to be one of the sound guys. ive have some experince recording and some experince setting up my bands live sound. i will also have help from other people who have done sound before. i am currently in charge of purchasing mics for the venue. my budget isn't set in stone, but it is by no means infinite. i am hoping to spend around 2-3 thousand on mics, maybe more if i really have to. here are my questions.

will 2-3 thousand in mics be reasonable for a medium size venue? what mics should i get in this budget range? i plan on getting some 57's, but how many should i get? if a bigger band is playing i need quite a few mics. i need multiple vocal mics. what are good vocal mics for the money?

drum mics: i have the least experience in drum mics. what do i need and how much will it cost? the mics need to be all around as we will be booking all types of music from hippie jug bands to metal to (hopefully) jazz.

compression: all of my experice with compression has been digital. it is in theory the same thing just on a computer, so feel compitent in how to use it properly, but i still need some help.
here i go.
the mixer that my friend wants to get is a Mackie onyx
it has built in compression but i dont think that it looks very usefull. is it better in a live situation to compress the mix or to compress every thing seperatly? i was thinking that i would get a PreSonus or dbx 4 chanel compressor so that i could have independent control of a few chanels and then use a 2 chanel compressor to slightly compress the mix as i won't have enough chanels of compressino to do them all independently. if we get the Mackie mixer i could possibly use the compression on it for the mix.
is this a proper way to achieve good sound?
when gateing sound in a live situation do i gate the mix or try and do it independently by channel? i know to approach each band differently as some will have more feedback problems than others, but i dont really know how prepared i need to be as far as gates go.

are there any points i need to cover besides these? if there is a better way to set something up or just a sugestion based on your preferance, please tell me what you think i need to do.

note: i know that i dont know every thing that i need to know to be an awsome sound guy at this point. i will have time and help to learn to use all the equipment before show time though, so help me out and wish me luck.

again my budget is undecided, i can spend more or less. i dont need the finest in quality equipment but i want what would be considered a generaly "good" sound for a reasonably amount of money.


moonbaby Thu, 09/14/2006 - 07:24
Oh Boy!!! Let's see here. You don't indicate where you reside, so I will assume you are spending"2-3000 US dollars"? Just for the mics, that will be tight. Figure (8x) SM57s (minimum), (8x) SM58s for the corded vocal mics, a couple of wireless vocal mics, a decent drum mic kit, and a pair of small diaphragm condensers. Nothing esoteric or fancy. You an get picky about having a specific bass amp mic, timbale mic, etc. later on. Here's what that would run:
8x 57s @ $90 ea $720.00
8x 58s @$100 ea $800.00
2x CHEAP wireless
mic systems @300ea$600.00 (you might re-consider your budget)
Audix Drum Pack $600.00
Pr of Rode NT5's $450.00
So far, we have $2570.00 ("street prices")....and we haven't bought a single cable, stand, windscreen, stand clip (they all break, especially in the hands of amateur musicians!), boom arm, or gooseneck. Did we discuss DI boxes?
I would probably skip on the wireless at that budget because "cheap" wireless (under 800-1K) are a real PAIN in the wrong environment.
I chose the Audix because their kits for drums are a great value. There are cheaper ones out there, but they are prone to crap out more as the drummer takes aim at them!
The Rodes will do well on acoustic instruments, and with (8x) 57's, you'll have the amps, extra percussion, a horn section (!), and even the odd squeezebox or jug player covered. And with (8x) 58s, you have the vocals of almost any size group. The kicker is the may not have that right away, and you could use that $$ to go towards the afore-mentioned accessories. A decent wireless is easily $1K...
I mentioned DI boxes. A couple of mid-priced passive Whirlwinds (60ea), a Countryman (180), or Radian (160). Stick with good quality stands and booms (Atlas, Ultimate, Koenig) the cheap ones are a waste of $$.
As for the mixer, there are better choices for live sound applications, but the quality of the Onyx is decent for the price. I would look very hard at the Midas Venice or the Allen & Heath GL2400 series. You will need to get a snake for it, too.
Don't bother with a 2-bus compressor. You can create more problems there than you can imagine. Get a good digital EQ/dynamics processor instead-dbx,PreSonus, and Sabine all are good, as is BSS and Ashley.
Regular compression/gating can be handled on the channel inserts.The PreSonus ACP88 is a great choice for that.
You have a great deal of work ahead of you, but it can be fun,too. Good luck!

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 11/01/2006 - 09:27
once this project really takes off, you can invest in better overhead mics for your drums. personally, ive enjoyed using SHURE's SM 81, so i recommend it!

a reasonable kick drum mic which ive used for ages and is still goin strong is AKG's D112.

technically you dont really have to mic up the bass guitar. since your budget is kinda tight that is, you can improvise by taking the line out of your bass amp to the wall panel instead.

best of luck!