#1
Okay, I wasn't sure which forum was the correct place for this, so this seemed like the most appropriate.

Anyway, I'm in a band with some friends and we have songs written. However, they're all instrumentals. Recently the other guitarist said he'd like to try to start singing/writing lyrics for what we've already got.

Now here's my problem/the main point of this thread: We don't know where the hell to start.

When we play our stuff it's kind of just a bunch of amps and instruments in a room. We don't have any mixers or anything like that (although we have looked at some when in audio stores. They look really intimidating).

So if we were going to get some more gear in order to accommodate a singer what would we need? I've read a couple differing things. These are the biggest i've seen.

1. Powered mixer with unpowered speakers. 12" preferable. Going this route leaves less room for expansion.

2. Powered speakers that you can use as monitors later, and a passive mixer with enough channels to allow you to mic everything, that you can also use as part of a bigger PA.

3. Buy a PA package that includes mostly everything

So basically I am so confused as to what exactly we would need to get in order to start on this path.
1.What are the differences between powered/passive mixers?
2.How do we know what to look for in speakers?
3.Would we have to plug all our instruments into the mixer so we could EQ and mix our sound better in order to accommodate a singer?
4.Would it be better to buy everything separate or just go with a PA package?
5. Any recommendations for specific live sound gear? PAs, mixers, speakers... whatever.

The guy who wants to sing already has an sm58 sitting somewhere around his house.

budget doesn't really matter. We all have jobs and can split costs easily.
Last edited by Permaphrost at Aug 23, 2011,
#2
It depends on how much you want to spend.
And the bit you said about sending everything through the PA to accomodate the singer. YOu probs won't need to do that for practice and smaller, indoor gigs. Outdoors and larger gigs, you'll need to put the kick drum through it and maybe the Bass as well.
Whatever you decide on, I recommend Samson. They're PA speakers and monitors sound awesome.
Hope that helped.
Amps:
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb
Laney VC15
Cabs:
2x Blackheart 1x12
Guitar:
PRS SE Soapbar II
Pedalboard:
Line 6 M13, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Digitech Synth Wah, Boss SD-1, Biyang OD-8 (Tubescreamer Clone)
Band:
Fixtures <<Click Here
#3
Not sending everything into the pa, sending everything into the mixer. Isn't that how it works? Amps, pa and everything goes into the mixer and then the mixer is used to EQ all the sound at once? Not talking about micing amps through the pa. Not yet anyway.

If I'm mistaken, I'm sorry. I'm a total noob at this.
#4
Yeh, sorry me being a twat and taking for granted that you would understand what I meant. Send what you want through the Mixer, not straight into the PA. It's more straight forward than you think. Once you get hold of one you'll get it in no time.
Amps:
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb
Laney VC15
Cabs:
2x Blackheart 1x12
Guitar:
PRS SE Soapbar II
Pedalboard:
Line 6 M13, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Digitech Synth Wah, Boss SD-1, Biyang OD-8 (Tubescreamer Clone)
Band:
Fixtures <<Click Here
#5
Alright, but still... what would be the better setup? Should I go for:

1. Powered mixer with unpowered speakers. 12" preferable. Going this route leaves less room for expansion.

2. Powered speakers that you can use as monitors later, and a passive mixer with enough channels to allow you to mic everything, that you can also use as part of a bigger PA.

3. Buy a PA package that includes mostly everything
#6
I prefer Active speakers with a passive mixer. It tends to be on the pricey side though.
PA packages tend to be the cheapest option, but most aren't that great quality (like in anything there are bound to be a few exceptions).
Amps:
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb
Laney VC15
Cabs:
2x Blackheart 1x12
Guitar:
PRS SE Soapbar II
Pedalboard:
Line 6 M13, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Digitech Synth Wah, Boss SD-1, Biyang OD-8 (Tubescreamer Clone)
Band:
Fixtures <<Click Here
#7
carvin makes some pretty awesome PA packages. I have one of the 12 channel powered mixers, and it's really nice. you could surely get away with a smaller one. I like powered mixers personally. Makes the speakers lighter, and you can usually find rack power amps pretty cheap if you ever need to upgrade the output. You could also go that route by buying a cheap unpowered mixer, and running the output to a power amp, then to an un powered speaker.

I'd generally stay away from the cheap "all in one" PA packages you'll find online. A PA package that includes a mixer, speakers, stands, mics, and cables for $350 is surely a box of junk components that will either break quickly, or sound terrible. Or both.

EDIT:
http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=XP800L&cid=12

That's a pretty solid PA for a beginning system. Add a couple passive speakers to that and you're good.
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You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
Last edited by jpatan at Aug 23, 2011,
#8
Quote by jpatan
carvin makes some pretty awesome PA packages. I have one of the 12 channel powered mixers, and it's really nice. you could surely get away with a smaller one. I like powered mixers personally. Makes the speakers lighter, and you can usually find rack power amps pretty cheap if you ever need to upgrade the output. You could also go that route by buying a cheap unpowered mixer, and running the output to a power amp, then to an un powered speaker.

I'd generally stay away from the cheap "all in one" PA packages you'll find online. A PA package that includes a mixer, speakers, stands, mics, and cables for $350 is surely a box of junk components that will either break quickly, or sound terrible. Or both.

EDIT:
http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=XP800L&cid=12

That's a pretty solid PA for a beginning system. Add a couple passive speakers to that and you're good.


So let's say I was to get that mixer. Speakers, microphones and instruments would all be connected to it, and then all the sound would come out through the speakers?
#9
I thought you said you weren't micing any amps up?
Amps:
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb
Laney VC15
Cabs:
2x Blackheart 1x12
Guitar:
PRS SE Soapbar II
Pedalboard:
Line 6 M13, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Digitech Synth Wah, Boss SD-1, Biyang OD-8 (Tubescreamer Clone)
Band:
Fixtures <<Click Here
#10
probably keep him in a shed out in the garden. you want to keep his ego in check.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#11
Quote by Permaphrost
So let's say I was to get that mixer. Speakers, microphones and instruments would all be connected to it, and then all the sound would come out through the speakers?


we're not. Well... we don't plan on it. What I'm asking is, if I get a powered mixer, do speakers plug in to the back, and then can we have one mic, a guitar, and a bass plugged in to the front? Like, into the separate channels? If we do it that way would all the sound come out of the speakers and then we can just eq everything that way?

But how would that work if we don't have instruments plugged directly into the mixer/pa system? For instance, let's just say we've got the powered mixer, and then two speakers left and right. Then we have a mic plugged in to the mixer in one of the channels so that the singer can be heard over the instruments. In order to EQ everything together, would we need to somehow plug our guitars into our amps, and then our amps into separate channels on the mixer? Or would we just have to mess with the EQ/volume knobs on our respective amps in order to get a good mix?

How do they do it at large venues?

It's kind of hard to describe what I'm trying to say. I don't even know if it's viable or not.
Last edited by Permaphrost at Aug 24, 2011,
#12
Yeah thats what mixers do. ^

Each instrument will have its own "strip" or channel on the mixer, maybe more than 1 if you're dual micing or micing a drum kit.

If youre amps allow it if you have a DI/Line out you can just plug them straight into the mixer. Micing is better though.

Bass 90% of the time will be DId straight into the mixer, the bass amp should have a DI out. If not youll have to get a DI box.

Everything will come out of the main monitor outputs.
You can have different speakers for stage monitoring and such where you can send certain channels to the monitors.

A good rule of thumb for live sound is to have 10 watt per person you expect to be there. Make sure you have plenty of headroom so you arent distorting the speakers.

You can buy a crossovers that will allow you to split the monitor outputs so you can have 2 subs and 2 mid-hi speakers.

Make sure the mix sounds good on the stage to you guys first (with your amps and such, if your not happy with the sound then its not a good start), then make sure the mix sounds good from the back of the room with the PA because itll sound different.

Youll need somebody on the desk to make adjustments throughout the gig. Once the room fills up with people the room will again sound different.

Typically getting a mixer, power amp, and a a couple of passive speakers or even just a mixer and powered/active speakers will serve you better than a powered mixer, most of them arent very powerfull.
Last edited by beckyjc at Aug 24, 2011,
#13
Quote by beckyjc
Yeah thats what mixers do. ^

Each instrument will have its own "strip" or channel on the mixer, maybe more than 1 if you're dual micing or micing a drum kit.

If youre amps allow it if you have a DI/Line out you can just plug them straight into the mixer. Micing is better though.

Bass 90% of the time will be DId straight into the mixer, the bass amp should have a DI out. If not youll have to get a DI box.

Everything will come out of the main monitor outputs.
You can have different speakers for stage monitoring and such where you can send certain channels to the monitors.

A good rule of thumb for live sound is to have 10 watt per person you expect to be there. Make sure you have plenty of headroom so you arent distorting the speakers.

You can buy a crossovers that will allow you to split the monitor outputs so you can have 2 subs and 2 mid-hi speakers.

Make sure the mix sounds good on the stage to you guys first (with your amps and such, if your not happy with the sound then its not a good start), then make sure the mix sounds good from the back of the room with the PA because itll sound different.

Youll need somebody on the desk to make adjustments throughout the gig. Once the room fills up with people the room will again sound different.

Typically getting a mixer, power amp, and a a couple of passive speakers or even just a mixer and powered/active speakers will serve you better than a powered mixer, most of them arent very powerfull.


Thanks. That's really helpful.

Do you have any tips on what I should look for in a power amp/mixer/passive speakers?
#14
Depends on your needs and budget really.

PAs are expensive, if your gunna do it properly and not just buy a load of behringer shite.

But if it was me, this is what id get...

http://www.thomann.de/gb/soundcraft_epm_12.htm
(They also make an 8 channel thats a bit cheaper http://www.thomann.de/gb/soundcraft_epm_8.htm)

As far as mixers go anything made by soundcraft, yamaha, allen & heath should be fine.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/samson_sx1200.htm
and 2 of
http://www.thomann.de/gb/jbl_jrx_125.htm

With speakers, JBL are good, mackie, yamaha again.

You still need XLR cables for mics, speakon cables, mic stands, mics...

Make sure you match impedance and you dont over power the speakers. (Get the speaker wattage as close as you can to the amp wattage.)

If you do get some subs too you want like 3:2 wattage to the sub, so like 300 to the sub and 200 to the mid hi speakers. x2 so 1000 total.
Last edited by beckyjc at Aug 24, 2011,