#1
Hi, this is my first post on here.
I have recently formed an acoustic band with a couple of friends.
We have been practicing for a few months without amping up our sound.
Recently we have acquired some gigs to perform at: mainly bbq's, open mic nights, and a function in a fire station engine house.
Band consists of : lead singer. Acoustic lead guitar/ backing singer. Acoustic bass/acoustic guitar.
If anyone could help point us in the right direction in terms of amps mixing equipment, mic's etc, I would be grateful. I am new to amps as I have always practiced without.

Thanks, Rob.
#2
The one thing I would suggest as a regular acoustic troubador is either a mixer with reverb, or a reverb pedal. Unless your acoustic has a really good pickup it will sound dead, lifeless, absolutely awful if it's just going out dry - I suffered from terrible live tone for quite a while before I started packing my Holy Grail for acoustic gigs, and I've never looked back...
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#3
Quote by Rob Brear
Hi, this is my first post on here.
I have recently formed an acoustic band with a couple of friends.
We have been practicing for a few months without amping up our sound.
Recently we have acquired some gigs to perform at: mainly bbq's, open mic nights, and a function in a fire station engine house.
Band consists of : lead singer. Acoustic lead guitar/ backing singer. Acoustic bass/acoustic guitar.
If anyone could help point us in the right direction in terms of amps mixing equipment, mic's etc, I would be grateful. I am new to amps as I have always practiced without.

Thanks, Rob.


this will heavily depend upon the size of the shows you are doing. also a budget would be nice to know. i will assume all you have is acoustic instruments with no pickups on them.

let's start with mics and pickups.

you will need at least two microphones. if you want the bass player to have one too then you will want 3 mics. some shure SM58's will do just fine, it's what i use for live gigs and they are pretty bullet proof.

generally going live i prefer to use pickups on acoustic instruments rather than micing. i like the sound of a mic more, but you have to worry about placement, proximity and you have a higher chance of feedback with a mic. a pickup is much more 'set it and forget it', quite a bit less hassle.

if none of your acoustics have pickups then there are aftermarket ones you can get. i prefer to actually spend a bit of cash on acoustic pickups as cheap ones do sound quite bad, of course this will depend on your budget. it's been a while since i have done acoustic amplification but i remember very much liking LR Baggs equipment and i would prefer to get the pickup mounted in the acoustic (including a mounted jack). you can get soundhole pickups with this cord dangling out the soundhole but they always get in my way.

acoustic pickups are usually active and you can get ones that have an interface that is mounted on guitar that provides preamp gain and possibly EQ control. some people don't like cutting a slot for one on their acoustic so you can actually get pedal EQ/preamps that sit on the floor like a normal guitar pedal. this makes the interface a little more remote but also keeps you from having to cut up the acoustic.

i will assume the bass player plays standup bass. there are a number of styles of pickups for standup bass, most temporarily mount somewhere near the bridge. i'd recommend one of those. i see more bass players using a pedal version of an active EQ/preamp pedal with their basses.

on to amplification

you're going to want a PA. the size you will need depends on size of the gig you are playing. i have gotten away with my 200 watt PA with two 1x10 cabs before but it wasn't all that great. especially if you want a good bass sound.

i'd recommend something at least 500 watts (RMS rated) and two 1x12 or 1x15 speakers with some speaker stands to project out to the audience. you can either get an all-in-one style PA amplifier that has the mixer included or you can get a separate mixer and a power amp. i would think an all in one with a bare minimum of 6 channels (8 or more would probably be preferred in case you have someone sit in, you always end up needing more channels) would do you alright.

if you want a more robust setup then i'd recommend something like this
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-Yamaha-MSR400---MG124C-PA-Package-421822-i1552229.gc

that just takes care of the audience though, you will also need to monitor yourself, a couple of powered wedges ~150 to 200 watts should be able to do that for you just fine.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#4
I'd say a PA package with some fx, hopefully your guitars are equipped with pickups so you won't have to add these to the bill. If you need to buy pickups - there are a few brands available or you can put a mic in front of the instruments which will limit mobility.
#5
Quote by Tombe
The one thing I would suggest as a regular acoustic troubador is either a mixer with reverb, or a reverb pedal. Unless your acoustic has a really good pickup it will sound dead, lifeless, absolutely awful if it's just going out dry - I suffered from terrible live tone for quite a while before I started packing my Holy Grail for acoustic gigs, and I've never looked back...

Thanks, any specific mixer you would recommend?
#6
Thanks guys, some great info there. All guitars have active pickups with preamp settings. BBand if I remember.
Gumbilicious: those setups sound good, will they be overkill for smaller gigs like open mic nights?
#8
Quote by Rob Brear
Thanks guys, some great info there. All guitars have active pickups with preamp settings. BBand if I remember.
Gumbilicious: those setups sound good, will they be overkill for smaller gigs like open mic nights?


if you have the monitors (100 to 150 watt powered speakers) and the mains (the big PA setup) then you could just use the monitors at small coffee shop gigs and leave the mains at home.

if you are going to be playing mainly small gigs then a couple of powered speakers and a small mixer is all you'll really need. you probably won't even need monitoring.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#10
You got to factor in mics, cables mic stands as well.
It will probably be easier to go for a combo setup, powered mixer + speakers, most likely for that budget the Behringer or Samson brands.

Two of these:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/behringer-eurolive-b210d

Plus a small mixer will do, I prefer to go a brand up from Behringer there as that will make a difference, might want to get one that has USB outputs if you want to record your live shows:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/yamaha-mg124cx-12-input-stereo-mixer-with-compression-and-effects

Or maybe an all-in-one like this one:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/fender-passport-300-pro-portable-pa-system

Or maybe just a few steps up if the British price is within your budget:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/yamaha-stagepas-600i-680w-portable-pa-system
#11
Quote by gumbilicious
if you have the monitors (100 to 150 watt powered speakers) and the mains (the big PA setup) then you could just use the monitors at small coffee shop gigs and leave the mains at home.

if you are going to be playing mainly small gigs then a couple of powered speakers and a small mixer is all you'll really need. you probably won't even need monitoring.

Great, that sounds more like what I would want, probably start with mixer and smaller speakers, and add a larger p.a later. What effects do you think I'd need(if any)?
Can you recommend any specific gear.
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
#12
Quote by diabolical
You got to factor in mics, cables mic stands as well.
It will probably be easier to go for a combo setup, powered mixer + speakers, most likely for that budget the Behringer or Samson brands.

Two of these:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/behringer-eurolive-b210d

Plus a small mixer will do, I prefer to go a brand up from Behringer there as that will make a difference, might want to get one that has USB outputs if you want to record your live shows:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/yamaha-mg124cx-12-input-stereo-mixer-with-compression-and-effects

Or maybe an all-in-one like this one:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/fender-passport-300-pro-portable-pa-system

Or maybe just a few steps up if the British price is within your budget:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/yamaha-stagepas-600i-680w-portable-pa-system

Brilliant, thanks. I like the idea of the portable p.a systems. Would I still need monitor speakers with these? Are they just as good as separate mixer speaker combo?
#13
I'd imagine since you're going acoustic that you won't need monitors, but if you do then just buy more powered speakers, but might need another mixer that has 4bus (not sure if this one was) so you can bus monitor mix separately that way you can tailor what you need to hear vs what the audience hears.
#14
Not the Behringer, man. They're piles of crap.
I'd try to find a small used Yamaha PA system. Yamaha systems are almost indestructible so a used one is certainly a viable option if you can't afford a new one.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 13, 2014,
#15
i'll +1 the yamaha stuff

you can probably just get by with a mixer with DSP for reverb and the such. you probably won't even have to buy external effects.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#16
B-bands are good; they are not prone to feedback. Get a powered speaker like samson auro as your monitor speakers. You then connect the powered speakers to the PA's mixer via the xlr out. Optionally, you can put a DI box after the acoustic for a tighter sound, though B-bands should have xlr outs already.

Let the organizer rent a PA system. These are venue dependent and it would cost more than your gears to buy equipment that is usable in any location. Any fixed venue should already have them. Ask first if there is a house PA.
Last edited by royc at Feb 14, 2014,
#17
thanks for all the comments guys, im considering the Yamaha Stagepas 600i. A couple of Shure mics and some stands and I think were pretty much ready to go for small medium sized gigs. Like Royc says, im sure larger events will have their own p.a system, im guessing we can still use the stagepas and connect into their p.a aswell?
ive put it to the other guys to see what they think, what do you guys think?
#18
Good choice. If they have a house PA you just leave yours at home. There's no benefit in having it with you.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#19
Quote by Cathbard
Good choice. If they have a house PA you just leave yours at home. There's no benefit in having it with you.

thanks, would I still need to take the mixer part with me?
#20
Nope.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#21
thanks.
to plug the acoustic guitars into the stagepas, would I need to use DI boxes?
#22
Not if it's fairly close to you. I know when I was doing the solo acoustic thing I'd have the mixer sitting on stage next to me. I'd just plug my piezo pickup equipped acoustic straight into the desk.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#23
Quote by Cathbard
Not if it's fairly close to you. I know when I was doing the solo acoustic thing I'd have the mixer sitting on stage next to me. I'd just plug my piezo pickup equipped acoustic straight into the desk.

the stagepas only has one channel equipped with hi-z, we have 2 acoustic guitars, would this be a problem?
#24
Nah, it'll be fine.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#25
Quote by Rob Brear
thanks for all the comments guys, im considering the Yamaha Stagepas 600i. A couple of Shure mics and some stands and I think were pretty much ready to go for small medium sized gigs. Like Royc says, im sure larger events will have their own p.a system, im guessing we can still use the stagepas and connect into their p.a aswell?
ive put it to the other guys to see what they think, what do you guys think?


The problem with venues that don't have their own PA is how to position your stagepass. Point it to the audience and you cannot hear yourselves. Point it to the band and they cannot hear you. All venues should have its own PA system, fixed or rented. You just have to ask how many inputs they can accommodate and if they provide monitors. You will need a mixer if they only have a few inputs in addition to the mics. You also need to know if there is a cable available to connect your mixer.
#26
It's not really a problem with acoustic gigs. I could hear myself just fine without wedges.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#27
thanks a lot for the input fellas.
Im sure a lot of it is trial and error, it seems like the stagepas will be ample for what we need initially, and im sure our equipment list will grow as the band does.
#28
Sounds like you've already had a lot of good advice,

just to add, sometimes a personal "hotshot" like mic mounted monitor
or even a powered wedge for monitoring helps singers
hear themselves and stay well blended in the mix.

with a unit like the yamaha, you can always add to it, no problem.

edit: the best part about adding onto a system, that is that (for example) if a singer wants
improve their pitch, they can put out the money for their own personal monitor they can take with them if they move onto other projects.
Jenneh

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Last edited by jj1565 at Feb 14, 2014,