PA…Groan

keithb7

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The PA…We often need to get over the din of 60-100 people in cement and glass buildings. I’ve owned a decent sized PA in the past. It takes up too much space at most gigs. More crap to lug in and out. I’m not interested is owning it all again and being mostly responsible to setting it up. Band members will set their own gear and run cables but they pretty well have no idea how it all goes together. At this point I’m past all that. Sold it all. I don’t want that again.

I play in a 4 pc. Acoustic based stuff with a cajone and bass player. We have Fishman mini amps that can do a pretty good job in most smaller to mid sized restaurant & bar places. Ale houses etc. Yet sometimes we are so packed into a tight spot we are up close to our Fishmans. They are basically our mains and monitors. I like the simplicity. 1 amp for vocals and acoustic guitar. Yet the sound on a tight stage sucks. The audience seems to love it. We get a crappy mix. We can’t all hear each other. The rhythm section is struggling to hear each other.

In ear monitors the way to go? We want to keep it simple if at all possible. Push the Fishmans out front? DI off each one into a small mixer for IEM’s?

Something has to change from what we have been doing. It has become a struggle as our audience grows, yet the floor space we get allotted seems to continuously shrink.

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bettyseldest

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We are a six piece band. We bought the Behringer XR 18 digital mixer a few years ago to give us six monitor channels and enable iems. We also use the setup when doing ampless gigs. We are mostly wired, with a couple of wireless iem sets. It works well for us
Since then I have done a few duo and trio gigs using a small mixer, a couple of powered speakers and iems. The Inexpensive Behringer PM1 or P2 wired beltpacks work fine for this.
 
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schmee

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If you cant hear the singing right in front of those mini's then the crowd cant hear it. IEM's wont solve that.
 

brookdalebill

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I sing and play through my Fishman Loudbox Performer regularly.
It’s 180W RMS, and is loud, clear and clean.
The effects sound great, it’s dependable, and has paid for itself many times over.
Great stuff!
 

keithb7

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At our recent gig on Sat we rented a portable line array PA. It included one sub and tower. Yorkville. We wanted to try something different to get the sound out in front of us. It worked well. Our stage volume was kept low. We also used a crossover for the cajone. It was excellent. We were able to boost high and low frequencies separately through different PA channels. Creating crisper highs and warm lows. It brought the cajone alive.

We'll rent the PA tower again. It was cheap to rent and seems to be a much better solution. Keeping our stage volume at reasonable levels.
 

TeleTex82

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I've seen several acoustic numbers use and get good results with that Bose set up with the tall skinny speakers.
 

schmee

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Yes the Bose are nice. For the duo we are using some little Alto Trouper towers, but they aren't unidirectional like the Bose system. We cross angle them so we can hear them like monitors too. But yeah, it's back to carrying a PA ........
 

SRHmusic

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I worked through some of these issues in our band, still not all the way to IEMs, but that's next. (My comments apply to larger bars and outdoors where the music is a main attraction, not small, low volume rooms or gigs.)

I hate standing in front of an amp that is also trying to fill the room. Terrible for the ears, and really not a good way to get even sound except one spot in the room perhaps. Same goes for any single loud amp pointing into the room. (Edit- maybe it's better with a few 4x12 cabs and heads? Hmm. Might rather carry a PA.)

A couple powered 12 or 15 inch speakers on sticks or the line arrays and subs are much better. (Bose says the line arrays are ok to have behind you because only a small segment drives until your ears. Maybe.)

In any case, it's important to have reasonable volume, clear stage sound, and to project higher volume into the room. It makes sense to separate the two jobs, especially for larger rooms. Floor monitors are great for causing feedback, particularly when the sound reflects off a back wall. So if the line arrays don't cut it, then in ear monitors are the way to go.

Steel, concrete and glass rooms are unusually terrible for acoustics and feedback, so it's good to have a person running sound to help.
 
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RCinMempho

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Yes the Bose are nice. For the duo we are using some little Alto Trouper towers, but they aren't unidirectional like the Bose system. We cross angle them so we can hear them like monitors too. But yeah, it's back to carrying a PA ........
My acoustic duo uses two Alto 8" powered speakers. I have been very happy with our Alto powered speakers. Very.
 

loudboy

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Keep it simple. A pair of speakers on sticks, and a box mixer would work. Yamaha Club Series 1x12, EV or JBL PRX. 12s will give you better response for vocals and guitar.

Powered speakers need more cabling, and you still need a mixer.

Put the speakers behind you shooting over your heads. We do it with 3 live vocal mics and feedback isn't an issue.

Have the bassist continue to bring an amp, to balance his volume with the rest of you.

I wouldn't consider IEMs, you really can't do it halfway. Everything, including the audience, needs to be miked/DI'ed, and you each need discrete mixes, preferably stereo. This necessitates a digital mixer with a lot of Aux sends. Then add in $500-800/ea. for decent buds and transmitter, and you're looking at mid to upper 4 figures, just for that.
 

schmee

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My acoustic duo uses two Alto 8" powered speakers. I have been very happy with our Alto powered speakers. Very.
Yeah, I have been surprised by them also. 4 years and no issues.
We played an outdoor gig with a sound guy and he had Alto's for Monitors 1x15's I think. They did fine.
 

johnnylaw

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The larger the room & crowd, the more crucial having dedicated FOH mix becomes. When you sacrifice your stage mix, you can not win.
 




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