When playing live gigs, is it custom to mic the guitar amp into the PA system?

We are a 7 piece band (2 singers, 2 guitar players, keyboard, bass & drums)

We play mostly small gigs (50-150 people), and amplifying keyboard and singers should be enough. So we don't mic up drums; bass & guitar go through their own amps.
Yes it is, else the sound is based on what each individual person thinks their amp should sound like. The amps are mainly there for you, not for the audience. The sound guys job is to work the PA to make sure the audience get's a good sound through the PA, it's not entirely a volume thing.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at May 10, 2013,
Though it can be done for really small shows in smaller rooms, it's not ideal. As stated the levels will be so far off its not even funny.

Bass guitars can run be run DI into the PA a lot of times, completely bypassing the need for a stand alone amp. Can sometimes be a good thing, one less thing to have to lug around.
Should we then consider panning the instruments?
Since we have 2 voices, keyboards and 2 guitar coming out of the PA speaker system.
Quote by oskargunn
Should we then consider panning the instruments?
Since we have 2 voices, keyboards and 2 guitar coming out of the PA speaker system.

Yes. The two guitars left and right. Same with overheads. As for the keys, it might be smart to pan that too, just make sure that you have left and right balance so its about the same for both speakers. Since you have 2 singers, it might be cool to pan those 30% to each side. Just make sure that its panned to the same side the musician stands on stage.
The problem is that, to run everything through the PA, including drums, guitars, bass, etc., you need to have a pretty hefty system. No, you're not going to run it loud, but a too-small system will smear everything together and stuff will get lost pretty badly.

There is also the issue that guitarists and drummers are notorious for playing too damned loud already, so sending them through the PA will mean either more problems, or having to set the whole thing so damned loud that you will just obliterate the minds of anyone in such a small space. The key is low stage volume. The less sound on the stage, the more you can control it all with the PA.

About panning... It's ideal, but not all PA systems will allow this. Some of them have a left and right channel, but people use one channel for mains and the other channel for monitors.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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Any big venue you play will want you to run through their PA system. All your amps

Alot of times, in smaller venues where there isn't a good soundguy, or you have to do your own sound.. i'll just play through my amp. I feel like I can control the sound better that way. My rule of thumb is that if you have a PA system with enough mics to get the drums mic'd up good, then i'll gladly run my guitar through it aswell.
Last edited by Peaceful Rocker at Jun 1, 2013,