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Author Topic: What's up with musicians and PA buying?  (Read 4686 times)

Scott Helmke

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 05:07:31 pm »

Bands don't like to collectively buy PA gear because
a) it'll be another source of fights when they break up
b) half the band won't help to set it up
c) not any fun to own, store, move, or maintain
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Steve Crump

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 05:20:02 pm »

That's also why the sound guys gets paid so little.  They aren't actually DOing anything, right?

Around the area I live  bands don't make enough to have great PA gear. They only reason they buy their own PA gear is because they want to play and feel like they can't afford to pay a sound guy for each show. Most are hobbyist and have decent jobs and buy good instruments because they may play with multiple bands and at church. And sometimes they get a good gig where sound is provided. Most of the bands I know would much rather play and leave the sound for someone else. Of course, their willingness to play cheap, also is one of the reasons it pays so little. It is like a guitar player told me, "man I used to get $100.00 to "stand in" on a Saturday night in the 70s and now they want to hand me $50.00...

Off subject a little, more to do with soundguy's pay and venue's attitude toward having to pay...
Not long ago I was hired (hand shake deal) to provide sound in a local venue, they had a charting artist coming with a three pc. Room only holds 200. One of those dinner and an evening with _____ type shows. The promoter for this show, who operates a club a few states over was working with the venue trying to help them establish a regular schedule and route for small tours, he decided at the last minute "why pay someone to do the sound" I was fired and for FOH he brought some old JBL EONs on stands setting on the stage, and right beneath the EONs, slightly in front he sat on the floor of the stage the Presonus powered speakers, (this combo and setup didn't work well).

Long story, short. My wife was hired to take marketing pictures that night, so I was there and I heard the promoter tell the venue owner, ("all you need is an inexpensive mixing board and a couple speakers and stands and let one of your staff run the show, one of the young guys from the kitchen who helped me sat up today, seemed like he would like to learn. You don't have to spend that much on gear") (something like that)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 08:29:31 pm by Steve Crump »
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Steve Crump

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2018, 05:27:47 pm »

I read once that is how David Lee Roth ended up joining Van Halen (or what would become Van Halen). He owned a PA and they needed one.. So, sometimes being the band member with the PA works great!

Mike Caldwell

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2018, 09:34:17 pm »

A guitarist has no problem paying $4000 for a guitar, 2000 for an amp and another 2000 for all kind of noisy pedal stuff.

A drummer has no problem paying $6000 for a drumkit, and another 2000 for cymbals which are way to loud.

A keyboard player has no problem paying $5000 for some synths, and another 2000 for his own monitoring.

But when it comes to buying a PA they ALWAYS wanna buy the cheapest, crappiest stuff.

Why, oh why?

That same analogy can be said for the front lead vocalist of that same example of a band who goes all out and buys a Nady wireless mic.

Debbie Dunkley

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2018, 10:17:18 pm »

I've been saying this for years - it drives me mad. The signal chain  starts at the source - mic/instrument and ends at the speakers with  the overall sound quality only as good as the weakest link will allow.
I still see PRS, DW, Neumann on stage going through eons......
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A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Tim McCulloch

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2018, 10:46:08 pm »

I've been saying this for years - it drives me mad. The signal chain  starts at the source - mic/instrument and ends at the speakers with  the overall sound quality only as good as the weakest link will allow.
I still see PRS, DW, Neumann on stage going through eons......

That same analogy can be said for the front lead vocalist of that same example of a band who goes all out and buys a Nady wireless mic.

Garbage in, certainly garbage out.  Mics are small enough that I can carry a few with me if I have particular needs but speakers?  Eh... no.

So I'm one of the audio stage hands at our local PAC, which hosts about half the high school graduations in town.  At one ceremony a couple years ago we had a nylon string acoustic guitar and vocalist.  The PAC has some good mics so I hit the locker for an AKG C-460 for the guitar and a C535 for the vocalist.  The music teacher and the Principal both commented later about how it sounded; the year before that when the ukulele was a hot item I used a C451E (an original, probably 35 years old) for the uke and because the singer wanted to close-mic, a Shure SM-59.  Again, music teacher comes up after rehearsal to comment.

The room is a fan-shaped box with terrazzo floors, plaster ceiling and some tectum on the walls, for up to 5,000.  The PA is EV DeltaMax behind the proscenium 'eyebrow' with a delay ring of DeltaMax for the balcony.  Every bit of that is probably 30 years old...  And the mics still make a noticeable difference.

Mike, I too fail to grok how a singer can buy the cheapest wireless out there and then complain about the way his/her monitor sounds.  When I hand them a wired 58 and the problems disappear I smile on the outside whilst saying "see, I told you so" on the inside...
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Rob Spence

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2018, 12:17:22 am »

I've been saying this for years - it drives me mad. The signal chain  starts at the source - mic/instrument and ends at the speakers with  the overall sound quality only as good as the weakest link will allow.
I still see PRS, DW, Neumann on stage going through eons......

Singers who donít even own a mic...



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Caleb Dueck

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2018, 07:40:09 am »



Singers who donít even own a mic...

And acoustic guitar players who don't even own a 1/4" cable.

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frank kayser

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2018, 09:47:52 am »


<snip>
Off subject a little, more to do with soundguy's pay and venue's attitude toward having to pay...
Not long ago I was hired (hand shake deal) to provide sound in a local venue, they had a charting artist coming with a three pc. Room only holds 200. One of those dinner and an evening with _____ type shows. The promoter for this show, who operates a club a few states over was working with the venue trying to help them establish a regular schedule and route for small tours, he decided at the last minute "why pay someone to do the sound" I was fired and for FOH he brought some old JBL EONs on stands setting on the stage, and right beneath the EONs, slightly in front he sat on the floor of the stage the Presonus powered speakers, (this combo and setup didn't work well).

Long story, short. My wife was hired to take marketing pictures that night, so I was there and I heard the promoter tell the venue owner, ("all you need is an inexpensive mixing board and a couple speakers and stands and let one of your staff run the show, one of the young guys from the kitchen who helped me sat up today, seemed like he would like to learn. You don't have to spend that much on gear") (something like that)
With marketing pictures including that "speaker array" will be sure to impress any small tour to be sure to put that venue on their tour list. Not.  Short sighted, for sure.  Is this a corollary to "buy once, cry once"?
How many bullet holes that promoter have in his feet? 
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Steve Crump

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2018, 10:48:41 am »

With marketing pictures including that "speaker array" will be sure to impress any small tour to be sure to put that venue on their tour list. Not.  Short sighted, for sure.  Is this a corollary to "buy once, cry once"?
How many bullet holes that promoter have in his feet?

Despite the sound quality, people loved the show... I guess enough beer, wine and food?

Nothing met the rider by the way.

I know this post started off with why musicians buy the type gear they do, but I have been in several listening rooms, either with a band or to see an artist, and the room has crap gear or either the gear has not been maintained and these rooms still get great artist with well thought out riders. So, it's not just bands buying so so gear.
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