There has to be a reason not to, so I thought I'd ask...

My band has a warm up gig at a house party and space is limited. We have a good amount of gear, and I'm trying to figure out ways to save space. What would be the downside of only using one side of our PA? Everything is running mono anyway, and there's no way we'll lack volume for the space we're playing.

So, only one sub and full range speaker instead of two of each (in case I was not clear).

Last edited by axeman80 at Apr 19, 2011,
It's pretty strange that you don't have enough space for two speakers, unless they're those massive 2x15 jobs. That said, sure you can play with one speaker, except it won't have as much coverage of sound, and is at risk of being drowned out by the amps so you'll want to keep your levels low. Obviously you're intending to put the speaker in the middle, infront of the band. If you don't have a fold back that could cause some issues for the singer. The lack of a second speaker will also result in a lower perceived volume.

Consider the difference in sound with your TV or computer of having one speaker in the front middle vs two on either side.

Edit: Didn't see the "sub" thing. If you are that strapped for space, I don't see the need for a sub. I'd go two fronts instead.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Actually thinking about putting the one speaker group in the front corner of the band. We're going to be in a corner and people watching will be off one side of the band.
I agree with alan on the two fronts as opposed to the one speaker and one sub....

how many monitors do you guys have? you may be able to cut one or two of those, I know that when we have a gig with very little space the guitars and vocals will share a monitor, the drummer will get one that sits right behind him and the bassist hos one next to him, instead of using five we cut it down to three.....
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
Drummer has a monitor behind him, and we have two in front for 2 guitars, bass, keys and 2 vocalists. It's a linear footprint problem. I don't think there is enough space side to side for: PA Bass Guitar VOX VOX Guitar Keys PA
7 members.... how big is the drum kit, is there a way for maybe the bass or keys to be next to the drummer to share a monitor with him?

also do you have the dimensions of the space?

and how big are your monitors vs the size of the pa speakers? we jammed in a small space that required us to put the pa speakers on a couple larger speakers (they weren't as good as the pa speakers and they were real old but they worked) we were using as monitors....

another thing to think of, is it possible to put a monitor under the keyboard or under a symbol or something (sorry don't know how your drums are, some racks give you extra space so you could hide a monitor under a drum or something) to save some space?

just some ideas...
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
Taking a slightly different direction, if you don't have that much space, I'm going to assume you can't be very loud due to the size of the room.

Using this logic I'd just skip the monitors all together, have the two fronts and get the singer as forward as he can without getting feedback, using the fronts as monitors. You'll just have to play quietly.

Seriously that's a lot of monitors if you are limited for space. Even just one for the singer should be enough.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Drums are electric actually, but still fairly large (bass pad, 7 other drum pads, 4-5 "cymbals" plus the computer and monitor). Thought about skipping the front monitors--we should be able to hear still. Room is probably 16' wide and 12' deep. Certainly will not be playing very loudly, but house is open and most people watching will be off to one side (another room which is 14'x14' maybe), or up a few stairs which is open to the lower level where we will be.

Is there a risk not having some sort of load in one channel of the amp as well (like not having a cabinet plugged into a head)?
would you be able to put one of the speakers in the other room? since it is all mono it really wont effect too much....
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
If you are playing at relatively low levels then you could ditch the subs. The electric kit is great as you can keep the volume down but for those who haven't tried them you absolutely have to have a drum monitor or no-one will hear the drums, especially the bass player.

I'd not go for a fully mixed set up, Just put vocals through the PA.

You shouldn't have any problem with no load on a solid state PA amp but pan everything to the side you are using so you are pumping no power through the unused side. Alternatively scrap the monitor amp for the night and use the other side as your monitors.
Our band recently did a wedding reception in a room that was a good 30'x30'. We used our monitor PA with 10" speakers as mains. It was MORE than enough. We got by without needing a monitor system by placing the speakers out on the sides of the band and angling them toward us enough so that the singers could hear themselves. Guitars and bass used their own amps/cabs.

It took us a little bit to dial in the sound without feedback due to angling of the speakers with mics and the acoustics of the room (dance hall, hardwood floors). The drummer also had a hard time hearing any of the instruments since the drums and amps were put in back against a wall. So don't forget to angle some instrument amps so that the drummer can hear what you're playing.

My daughter had a boyfriend who borrowed my main PA setup for his band's gig, and it worked fine running it with one speaker for the vox.

For house parties, you'd be surprised at how little sound equipment you can get by with. I've known lots of bands at house parties where the singer uses a guitar amp.

Have your band setup your practice space and mock up how you'll have to setup for the party. Resist the temptation to overdo it.
Thanks for the input. We just got done practicing in close to the set up for this house party, and it worked well. No monitors (besides the drummers to the side of the kit), both PA speakers (no subs) pinched towards the middle, amps flat against back wall and I ran an output from my head to the drummers monitor as well. Should work well. Room is 16' wide and 20' deep (carpeted family room).