#1
My band is probably going to be playing kind of short notice and we don't really have time to get together a mixer and mic's. All we will have is a bare bones PA.

I was wondering if there any tips you guys had for the set up of our amps to get the best sound possible without a mixer?

We usually have drums and guitar amps on either side, with the bassist on either side, but I'm sure one side of the crowd will mainly only hear one guitar part.

Thanks
#2
Put the amps in front of the drums? See if you can have at least the bass amp tilted, the PA, assuming it's a single-speaker PA, have it as close the the front of the stage as you can, making sure it's not in the way. That way, all the amps are together, with the drums, so everyone gets the right balance of sound and the vocals are at the front, helping the audience hear the vocals properly.
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#3
Quote by jaffawoman
Put the amps in front of the drums? See if you can have at least the bass amp tilted, the PA, assuming it's a single-speaker PA, have it as close the the front of the stage as you can, making sure it's not in the way. That way, all the amps are together, with the drums, so everyone gets the right balance of sound and the vocals are at the front, helping the audience hear the vocals properly.


Thats what my first thought was. We have a two speaker PA system, we usually mount those to the front.

So its kind of set up like this


------------------DRUMS-------------------------
--------------AMP-----AMP-BASSAMP-------------
-----PA--------------------------------------PA---
Last edited by cray159 at Oct 24, 2008,
#4
Quote by cray159
Thats what my first thought was. We have a two speaker PA system, we usually mount those to the front.

So its kind of set up like this


------------------DRUMS-------------------------
--------------AMP-----AMP-BASSAMP-------------
-----PA--------------------------------------PA---


Spot on, that's how we've always done it. I don't see why you'd want to run guitar amps through a PA anyway, unless they're cheapo solid-states.

You can also move the bass amp back a bit if you need space, the sound is much less unidirectional so it doesn't matter so much where it's placed.
#5
maby have the drums in back with bass amp infront of it, guitar amp on eather side.
#6
When I hear 'bare bones PA' I think of a rehearsal PA. With something like that, I hope your room isn't much bigger than a large gymnasium.

Run only vocals through it. Anything else will compete with the vocals and make it hard for the PA to handle it cleanly.

If you take your time with it, you should be able to get a decent mix out front. Try getting one of the speakers to point towards the stage (yeah, without feeding back, which can be a bit of a trick) so that the singer(s) can hear themselves. Otherwise, they'll sing out of tune.

Guitars should go through larger PA systems in larger rooms because with a setup like this, the sound the audience hears will be very subject to the direction the amps are facing. Right in front of the amps, the guitars will be loud. Go to the far side of the room, and you'll hear one guitar considerably louder than the other. The only solution to this is to run the guitars through the PA and keep a lower stage volume. This setup doesn't sound like it applies to you, though.

Beyond that, you just have to make the best of it.

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

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#7
Two things i'd reccomend- number 1, dont overplay your amplification. Ive seen many bands that play well, but they want the music to be as loud as possible, so they crank everything up until the bass and pa are clipping and come out with a muddy sound with little clarity.

second, if possible use an amp stand or something to elevate the guitar amps. if the sound is coming out around your ankles, then some of the high frequencies will be blocked by you and the first row of people, unless you're on a pretty high stage
#8
We usually set up like that. We have the drums in the middle and the rythem guitar and bassist on one side and the lead guitar and singer on the other.
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#9
Thanks guys,

I would say the venues we play are comparable to a large gymnasium. When we play 99.9% of the people we are playing for are standing directly in front of us, so I think we are ok in that reguards.

We have tried using a monitor before for the vocalist (we don't have a sound guy), but seems like we always have trouble with it (whether it being it cutting out or terrible feedback).

I play out of a Fender Amp with kick legs so it can be angled up, but my fellow guitarist has a half stack, I suppose we would need to riser for him.

Although the only problems I could see is with the amps in front of the drummer, is the drummer wouldn't be able to hear. In a perfect world we would be able to get him a monitor, but it seems we are in serious lack of space at this particular venue. Any ideas?
#10
Quote by cray159
Thanks guys,

I would say the venues we play are comparable to a large gymnasium. When we play 99.9% of the people we are playing for are standing directly in front of us, so I think we are ok in that reguards.

We have tried using a monitor before for the vocalist (we don't have a sound guy), but seems like we always have trouble with it (whether it being it cutting out or terrible feedback).

I play out of a Fender Amp with kick legs so it can be angled up, but my fellow guitarist has a half stack, I suppose we would need to riser for him.

Although the only problems I could see is with the amps in front of the drummer, is the drummer wouldn't be able to hear. In a perfect world we would be able to get him a monitor, but it seems we are in serious lack of space at this particular venue. Any ideas?


Your original setup you posted is the best. If you've got a vocal monitor make sure you're using the passive 'monitor out' output from your PA or you'll be overpowering it. It should be at a much lower level than your main speakers, just enough for you to hear yourself but without feeding back. If your PA doesn't have a monitor/headphone output, don't use it.
Try and have the amps to either side of the bass drum so it carries further, with the bass amp out of the way towards the back on either side. For the guitar amps, a stool or chair to rest it on is more than enough. The halfstack is fine as it is, and if your Fender leans back that's fine. If you're using tube amps, don't mic them up, they sound much better working at a decent volume.

You might find the guitar tone to be a bit harsh and treble-y n front of the speaker cone(s) if it's a combo, for this you can buy special 'beam blockers' which spread your tone more evenly. I've found a beermat tacked to the speaker grille works fine.


My band hosts a busy weekly jam night and this is the stage setup we use, usually with our ultra-cheap backup PA out front:


----PERC.----DRUMS-------------
-BASS------------------------------
--------GUIT-------GUIT--GUIT--
-------------MONITOR------------
--PA---------------------------PA--
#11
OK, I'm assuming that the only signal going through the PA is vox. If that's true, it depends on what your band lineup is. One guitar? Put bass on one side, guitar on the other. Two guitars? Bass towards the middle, guitars on either side.

As far as the monitor situation goes, again I'm going to assume. I assume that you're using a diaphragm mic with a cardioid pickup pattern (like an SM57 or SM58). DON'T put the monitor right in front of the singer. These mics have a very small area of pickup directly behind them, which means that putting a mic faced away from the monitor but directly in front of it will almost inevitably result in feedback. Instead, try putting the monitor 45 degrees to the left or right of the singer, still pointed at him. If you haven't been doing this already, you will be absolutely AMAZED at the headroom you have without feeding back.

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