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Author Topic: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band  (Read 20082 times)

BrianHenry

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2017, 12:29:28 am »

Good point Ned about outdoor equipment. Maybe I just need to charge more for gigs lol.

I used to use a digital mixer before I moved to the MW. I just didn't like the workflow. I am more comfortable with an analog console and some choice pieces of rack gear. To be fair, the digital mixer wasn't great (Yamaha 01v).
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Richard Penrose

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2017, 04:07:01 am »

I've been using a pair of KW181's with Yamaha DXR15 tops. Usually use this system for venues around 200-300 people and haven't yet needed to push them to their max.
I find the DXR tops are clearer and sound better when being driven harder. The Yamaha DSR's are a step up again!
My only complaint with the DSR112's is the handle is on the top of the cabinet which makes it more awkward to mount on a pole.
The QSC KW tops are not just the K series in a wooden box. They use different drivers, amps and DSP according to support at QSC.
One other range of speakers worth looking at are RCF. I heard the 735a's over the 8003 subs and this setup sounded massive. From what I've heard, I would expect the RCF 8003 subs to noticeably out perform the QSC KW181's whilst not weighing much heavier or costing more! They are a little bigger though!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2017, 03:53:07 pm »

Hi Brian-

The big-dog QSC is a decent sub but some users prefer the JBL.  Debbie Dunkley and a couple other Lounge participants have posted at both length and depth about them and topic creep brought into the discussion some other speakers as well.  These are worth the read as they covered logistics, sonic (audible) impressions, power consumption and other minutia.

We're a mostly JBL shop and I'm still not sure what I think of the SRX828sp (and probably its 818 lil bro).  To me it's like JBL traded some 'punch in the chest' for 'why are my pant legs ruffling in a breeze?'  They feel like they go lower but don't quite have the impact I've associated with JBL subs.  I need to spend some time to build up input EQ presets, probably.

That said the general advice you've received so far is spot on.  Subs will make the most obvious difference; new tops will be less obvious but useful (you can re-purpose your existing tops if you don't sell them); and purchase gear to do your indoor shows and hire in (or have the promoter hire in) the sound for your bigger/outdoor gigs. Outdoors you'll find it takes about 3x the subbage of indoors and unless that outdoors show is pretty small you'll find out just how fast you can run out of top box coverage and/or output, too.

One other consideration in selecting tops & subs - if you want the patch and play simplicity of a "system" you may need to stay in the same brand and model line.  Some brands put the sub/top crossover into the sub, others into the top.  Some have the crossover output available and others give you a loop-thru of the input signal.  Just something to think about.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 03:55:30 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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Patrick Cognitore

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2017, 06:28:55 pm »

Single 18s sound like a better fit, but as you mentioned  getting them up onto the gate requires a hefty deadlift. A dual 18" or tall horn loaded sub is actually easier because you can lean-tilt-lift it. But if it don't fit or takes up too much space that don't matter.

I've never mixed on the KW181's, but have heard and played through them and they sounded fine. And since there are so many out there you will likely always have used options if you want to add to the stack down the road. I learned quickly with my current JBL PRX700 system that the tops can outrun the subs pretty easily, if I were playing 'real' rock music I'd definitely want to be doubled up (or more) on the subs. Particularly if the venues were outside. Something to consider is that if you need it you could probably rent more KW181 for particular shows. I know several providers in my area have them, plus guitar center also rents them. Can be pricey but you can pass that cost onto the client.
Patrick, we travel with a full size pickup with a cap, and due to the fact I like to use road cases for a lot of gear, there probably isn't room for a 828 at the moment and 2 1x18 might fit better. I am seriously considering getting a 5x8ish trailer though so I am trying not to let size dictate this too much. The worst part of the truck is lifting to the gate height so a trailer would be a dream come true for that reason alone. Budget is flexible and I am willing to wait to afford the right gear. I can find used KW181's for $1k ish locally if that's any indication of my budget.

It looks like the 181s can be had cheaper than the 818s and if the difference is minimal in a real life setting, that may make the decision for me between those two. But, the 828 is tempting as it offers serious bang for the buck compared to both those 1x18s. You are correct that dimensionally a pair of 1x18s is not much different than a 2x18.
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2017, 07:23:13 pm »

Uhaul 5 x 8 is my friend here how ever in the DC inside the beltway parking is painfull with a trailer. 

I pay the insurance and let uhaul worry on maintenance and license problems. 

Rent the big system to try out the sound of a speaker set you want to work towards.  How many shows are outdoors and need the bigger system? 
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jesseweiss

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2017, 08:52:45 pm »

I don't have experience with these speakers, I'm still on level down, but I can second the comment about getting a digital mixer.

I've only recently learned on an LS9 in the last few years but got an XR18 for band and having all those FX, EQ, and dynamics available helped clean up sound massively.

The workflow takes some getting used to, but isn't hard to learn. If you want faders get an X32 (which I may cave and get eventually).

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

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BrianHenry

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2017, 02:27:14 am »

Thanks all for the thoughtful replies. Thanks Tim for mentioning the plug and play aspect. As I need quick setup, I probably should choose to be ending up with a matched set. I didn't think about crossover location issue if I mix and match brands.

We don't play too many outdoor shows. We have three booked for the summer (so far). So rental is probably to way to go for outdoor shows that are on the larger side. Two of the three are small, but one is a block party which the organizer has billed as 150-200 people and I'm a little worried about reinforcement. This was booked without thought to cost for additional PA, unfortunately.

Looks like I need to give this some more thought (and try to listen if possible) as what subs I choose may dictate my next set of tops. I truly appreciate all the help!
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Steve Garris

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2017, 01:09:53 pm »

Thanks all for the thoughtful replies. Thanks Tim for mentioning the plug and play aspect. As I need quick setup, I probably should choose to be ending up with a matched set. I didn't think about crossover location issue if I mix and match brands.

We don't play too many outdoor shows. We have three booked for the summer (so far). So rental is probably to way to go for outdoor shows that are on the larger side. Two of the three are small, but one is a block party which the organizer has billed as 150-200 people and I'm a little worried about reinforcement. This was booked without thought to cost for additional PA, unfortunately.

Looks like I need to give this some more thought (and try to listen if possible) as what subs I choose may dictate my next set of tops. I truly appreciate all the help!

You've been given some great advice here. There are some really great sounding powered speakers available to us today. I own or have worked with everything discussed. Here's my brief impressions:

I too think it is a good idea to have a matched, single brand system.

KW181 - great sounding sub, and fairly small. The only downside is I'm not as big of a fan of their matching KW tops, which don't have the warmth and clarity of an SRX or Yamaha top.

SRX818 - also great sounding sub, gets plenty loud and deeper than my PRX sub's, but as one poster stated it sometimes lack that "punch" I'm looking for. I'm still learning with this PA and haven't used much EQ if any. My SRX system is (1) 815 over 818 per side, and is plenty adequate for even outdoor shows of 600-800. I do a summer concert in the park series with this system - sounds great. The 815 tops are fantastic but heavy. You'll need HD extension poles with these. I think if I were buying today I would get the 12" tops in lieu of the 15's.

Yamaha DXS18 - There is one in a club were I run the house system, and it reminds me of my SRX818, except not as warm sounding. It's really loud and deep though. The tops are K12's, which make fantastic monitors IMO. I also have a bunch of DSR112's which I use for floor monitors. They get crazy loud and are very clear and linear to my ears, but I prefer the JBL sound for mains. A pair of DSR's over the DXS18 sub's would make for a great sounding system, and it would have a much lower cost than the SRX stuff.

JBL PRX800 - You should be looking at this as well. I was going to sell mine (600 series) after purchasing the SRX last year, but in the end I kept it, and it actually get's used more. It is really light weight, and sounds great for small clubs with crowds up to 200-250. I run a 615 over a 618xlf per side.

Double 18's - I would certainly have dual 18's per side if I had room to transport them. If you do buy a trailer, then I highly recommend dual 18's. With all of the systems noted above, they would all sound better for rock music with dual 18's. There have been occasions that I ran a single stack, with both 18's under one top, and it really sounded fantastic. I need to get a trailer myself! As mentioned, the SRX 828 cab is the most economical route for this.

Mixwiz - Was a great board for it's time, but the small digital boards just plain sound better, and are more capable in a smaller, lighter package. I went from a Mixwiz to the suggested Mackie DL1608 4 years ago, and never looked back. The EQ's on each channel and output are really full-featured, and just a delight to use. I only use the parametric EQ's on the outputs now, which IMO are far better than the graphic EQ's (also available). Compression & gate on every channel, effects, etc - you no longer need a processing rack. There are many other great digital boards available as well, as others have mentioned. The A&H Qu series comes to mind if you want physical faders.
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BrianHenry

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2017, 06:00:55 pm »

Thanks Steve, yes everyone's replies have really great!

I will look more in depth at the Yamaha line as well. And maybe I will hold off on making a decision until I decide if we will be getting a trailer in the near future re that 2x18" idea.

My concern about digital mixers has always been that I didn't think they sound as good as the analog desks, but sounds like the times have changed that (I disliked the pres on the 01v). The Qu16 has a feature which allows for onboard recording to USB without a laptop. That would be huge for me as I was looking at one of those JoeCo BBR boxes for recording from direct outs (I'm currently taking 8 tracks to a zoom R16, which I do not care for at all). The Qu costs less than one of those boxes. If the Qu indeed sounds better than my MW, then it might be a no brainer. Is the A/D conversion on the Qu series mixers decent?

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Steve Garris

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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2017, 09:49:29 pm »

Thanks Steve, yes everyone's replies have really great!

I will look more in depth at the Yamaha line as well. And maybe I will hold off on making a decision until I decide if we will be getting a trailer in the near future re that 2x18" idea.

My concern about digital mixers has always been that I didn't think they sound as good as the analog desks, but sounds like the times have changed that (I disliked the pres on the 01v). The Qu16 has a feature which allows for onboard recording to USB without a laptop. That would be huge for me as I was looking at one of those JoeCo BBR boxes for recording from direct outs (I'm currently taking 8 tracks to a zoom R16, which I do not care for at all). The Qu costs less than one of those boxes. If the Qu indeed sounds better than my MW, then it might be a no brainer. Is the A/D conversion on the Qu series mixers decent?

I don't have any real experience with the Qu series, so hard to say. It might be wise to post a new thread for your mixer needs. I am very certain that my Mackie sounds better than my Mixwiz did. It might be the added tools on every channel, and the EQ being easier to really dial in that makes it sound better, but it just does. I have to think the A&H boards have even better components than my low-cost Mackie.

Be sure to contact Mike Pyle on this forum for speaker pricing.
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Re: PA Growth Strategy for a Rock Band
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2017, 09:49:29 pm »


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