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Skotosynthesis

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Maybe a weird thread for this forum, but figured you guys have plenty of experience with this... what's the best PA option for a loud band? Homegirl needs to be heard over a 100 watt stack and a pretty bombastic drummer. I'm mostly thinking "economy" right now, will maybe invest more later when we're more established. Thoughts, ideas?
thanks
 

Jethro Rocker

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Is 100 watt stack turned up? If so, good luck. You will need a huge system. Economy won't work. I play with a loud drummer and do not need anywhere near 50 watts to be heard.
 

Jethro Rocker

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lol preferably, but probably rarely. You know how it is these days!! Especially with local clubs... this is mostly going to be for practice, though.
Keep it to a reasonable level amd set amp where guitar can hear it but not pointed at singer. So many people seem to set amp where guitarist cannot hear it well.
In Canada we have excellent supply of Yorkville PA and lots of used. So we have all Yorkie PA. Excellent monitors. Ring em out properly with EQ and /or feedback controllers.
I can't vouch for other brands other than cheap stuff is cheap. Speakers blow easier etc. Been there done that.
 

Dogs of Doom

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for practice?

best thing you can do is invest in a stage monitor system. Use floor monitors (wedges). You can most likely get away w/ one of those PA heads w/ like 6 channels, 300 watts, or so. The 100 watter should never be turned up all the way at practice...

The whole point of the band is evening out the volume between instruments. You can't turn down drums too much, but, if everyone simply turns up so they can hear up to that, then you should be ok.

I find that using a PA, especially on stands, is counter productive. Using floor wedges, you can easily move the vocal mic away from feedback zones, whereas, the PA on stands is always mic level full blast. You can buy a small mixer & get powered speakers, but the powered mixer-head & floor wedges will be cheaper...

Cheaper won't be better... but, more expensive won't necessarily be better either. It's all about using what's set up/designed for the purpose...

If you are playing places needing your own sound, you're going to have to pony up, because you'll need mains & monitors.
 

Jethro Rocker

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for practice?

best thing you can do is invest in a stage monitor system. Use floor monitors (wedges). You can most likely get away w/ one of those PA heads w/ like 6 channels, 300 watts, or so. The 100 watter should never be turned up all the way at practice...

The whole point of the band is evening out the volume between instruments. You can't turn down drums too much, but, if everyone simply turns up so they can hear up to that, then you should be ok.

I find that using a PA, especially on stands, is counter productive. Using floor wedges, you can easily move the vocal mic away from feedback zones, whereas, the PA on stands is always mic level full blast. You can buy a small mixer & get powered speakers, but the powered mixer-head & floor wedges will be cheaper...

Cheaper won't be better... but, more expensive won't necessarily be better either. It's all about using what's set up/designed for the purpose...

If you are playing places needing your own sound, you're going to have to pony up, because you'll need mains & monitors.
Yep, that's what I mean by monitors. Not on stands. I prefer powered wedges. A cheaper mixer and decent powered wedges is so easy and saves space and equipment. No need for a powerful amp that way, get some 350+ powered wedges.
For us, anyways...
 

Skotosynthesis

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Thanks for the input! I never considered floor monitors... now for the tl;dr version real quick, before I have to get to work:
I haven't been on stage in 7 years, even longer than that since I've been in a serious band. Back then, my entire outlook was "hired gunslinger" and I didn't put much thought into what the vocalist was using. One guy had a stage-ready setup with an amp & speakers on towers, another guy had an amp on top of a speaker cabinet, another guy just screamed into a guitar amp and we had to turn down to match him lol
Then, of course, he would simply plug in to whatever the house system was when we played out. This was pretty awful, because that would make our sound completely different from practice and we would be just lost up there.
Furthermore, I know things have changed a bit since then. For example, powered speakers weren't much of a thing back when I was gigging.
But now I find myself wanting to be more knowledgeable & in control of the situation- it seems the main inhibiting factor in getting people on board, aside from conflicting schedules and general apathy, is that they're talented and want to participate but they're clueless about equipment and either couldn't afford it anyway or don't want to take the investment risk. I never thought of myself as a Ritchie Blackmore/"this is my band and here's where you stand" type but it's beginning to seem like that's what I'm going to have to do if I want a band at all these days. Hope that doesn't make me cynical?
 

Dogs of Doom

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well, if it's a business, then it's a business...

If you are putting out all the money to get it started, either:

*you are the boss

*or provisions are made, so that you get paid off, for up front expenses before anyone gets paid

It sucks, but, there does have to be a place where you guys separate business from friendship, if you guys are friends. Sometimes you have to weigh out the goals of the band. Some bands exist just for the friendship, & that's ok, but, don't expect it to run as a business, on any serious level.

If you guys are all in, on it being a business, then it needs to be discussed, what's expected of everyone & how to make it somewhat fair to everyone. But, do note, that in business, there is always a pecking order. You can not run a business when everybody is equally "the boss". The boss should also be compensated for being the boss.

Just like, when a band is an original band. A label will chose the pecking order. Songwriters get priority, over background instrumentationalists, even if you feel you contribute your part. The label will recognize the song & the songwriter as their bread & butter & they know, that, they can get anyone to play an accompanying instrument to the song written. If you are not a songwriter, you are expendable, to the corporate...

But anyway, if you are doing covers, you still need a leader. If you buy & get supplimented for the gear, then, what happens when the band breaks up? Who keeps the gear, if it's now band gear?

All things that need to be agreed upon.
 

RCM 800

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I have a very expensive but very heavy mix of old school yamaha/QSC/mackie/multi effect/EQ/etc.....and when I got tired of lugging all that shit around I rebuilt light and cheap. Got a new mackie mixer but with built in effects, couple class D amps (1500w ea IIRC) that weigh 15 pounds together VS my 3 QSC's at like 150lbs. Used to have to have a seperate rack for the mixer and effects and then one for the amps just so they could be moved without breaking them. Then the mains and monitors were another 4 or 500lbs. Now the mixer and amps are all in one rack. Got some Behringer mains and monitors (cheap and light and sound good enough to me). Anyways you can spend an infinite amount of money on PA equipment but it all depends on your needs but it can be done with good results on a budget if you have constraints. If you are a bar/cover/wedding/event band etc., you actually need a better PA than if your going to play places that are setup for bands and already have live sound.
 

Calebz

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It has to be loud enough to match your drummer. If your drummer is a loud/hard hitter, the guitars and bass will match that.

If the drummer has volume control as part of his skill set, everyone else can turn down a bit and you can save a few bucks PA horsepower.
 

Jethro Rocker

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Thanks for the input! I never considered floor monitors... now for the tl;dr version real quick, before I have to get to work:
I haven't been on stage in 7 years, even longer than that since I've been in a serious band. Back then, my entire outlook was "hired gunslinger" and I didn't put much thought into what the vocalist was using. One guy had a stage-ready setup with an amp & speakers on towers, another guy had an amp on top of a speaker cabinet, another guy just screamed into a guitar amp and we had to turn down to match him lol
Then, of course, he would simply plug in to whatever the house system was when we played out. This was pretty awful, because that would make our sound completely different from practice and we would be just lost up there.
Furthermore, I know things have changed a bit since then. For example, powered speakers weren't much of a thing back when I was gigging.
But now I find myself wanting to be more knowledgeable & in control of the situation- it seems the main inhibiting factor in getting people on board, aside from conflicting schedules and general apathy, is that they're talented and want to participate but they're clueless about equipment and either couldn't afford it anyway or don't want to take the investment risk. I never thought of myself as a Ritchie Blackmore/"this is my band and here's where you stand" type but it's beginning to seem like that's what I'm going to have to do if I want a band at all these days. Hope that doesn't make me cynical?
Around here, bar n club type venues have house PA. Way easier. Sounds different, sure, but one gets used to playing in a variety of sound situations. As long as you get decent house monitors!
Sometimes only 1 mix ie- you all share a monitor mix.
I would look for a minimum of 4 aux pre fader mixes for monitors. Depending how many band members...
 

BRMarshall

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My 2 cents…

Buy a quality mixer perhaps with a few effects and enough inputs. Powered speakers. You can add more powered speakers and monitors as funds and need dictate. Thinking about what your needs may be down the road a bit should influence mixer choice.

I do the guitar/sing thing. Yamaha mixer and 3 pairs (different brands as on sale) of powered speakers that daisy chain pretty well. - flexibility: 2,4,6, a pair as monitors?

None of my speakers are Yamaha, but if I were starting fresh, I believe the DBR (?) line provides very good value.

Best of luck!
 

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