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Author Topic: Suggestions for PA setup for "Concert in the Park" Bose and JBL PRX content  (Read 3538 times)

Sean Zurbrick

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Another vote to just use the JBLs. Vocals in the Bose will mean either:

1 - Nobody hears the vocals because the JBL will have much greater SPL capability and will stomp on the vocals

OR

2 - To get a good mix you'll have to bring down the volume of the JBLs so that the vocals remain the loudest thing in the mix, as they should be. This effectively lowers your overall output to what the Bose is capable of.


Most "concert in the park" formats I see are "band provides the PA". The production budget is part of the overall compensation. The problem is, the compensation is generally equivalent to a small bar gig. So you can either do the gig with your "bringing a knife to a gunfight" PA system and all walk away with the same profit as normal, or take a portion of your fee to bolster the production and chalk it up to giving the town a kick ass concert.

If it were me I'd either price out a local company to do it all, or try to rent another 2 tops and 2 subs on the same level as the JBL PRX system you have so you can double up the FOH. It won't be perfect as they aren't the best designs to splay 2 mains per side, but frankly it's probably better than what the audience is used to if this is the way the town usually books these types of shows.

The worst option, IMO, would be dragging every amp and speaker you can find and cobbling together a makeshift "wall of sound" system. So, if you do it yourself, just use what you're used to.
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Steve Garris

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FWIW, I've been doing a low-key, concert in the park event now for about 6 years. We set up a quick, portable system and bands play for 1.5 hours. Mostly rock cover bands, and not at concert levels. I've watched the event grow from 400 to 1000 over the years.

I started doing it with a simple PRX system like yours. After the first 2 years it grew, and I purchased an SRX system for a little more capability, but the PRX system did the job nicely. I too do not recommend mixing those 2 PA's. I do suggest that you have a dedicated guy out front mixing the band. Is this a possibility?

Picture here shows the PRX system. I tried doing a mono sub, but the results were not as good, poorly balanced, so I stick with dual mono with tops on sticks.
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Sean Zurbrick

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Same here. 2 years in a row we did the 4th of July fireworks concert for a suburb of Columbus, OH. Acceptable $ for the band but we had to provide all production.  A few thousand people in front of us with a few more thousand in ear shot around the park.

It's all about expectations. I found out who had played there in the past, what those bands used for a PA, and knew I'd be able to improve on that with what I could fit in my 5x8 trailer. So I just doubled up my RCF PA and center clustered the 4 subs. No, it wasn't the ideal system, but the folks in charge said it was the best sound they could remember and carried to the other side of the park where the rides were, and hired us a few weeks later for the next year.

Here's a pic of the stage and modest PA (circa 2010)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/prBt6tmbQCwD95Pa9
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 02:20:28 pm by Sean Zurbrick »
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Craig Leerman

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I would use the JBLs as the main PA and put the subs together in the center to get some extra dB.  Then I would place the Bose system outside the main PA and point them off to the sides to cover a wider area. If folks want to hear they usually sit in front of the stage. With the Bose you will get a wider area of coverage so folks can congregate off to the sides.

I would not mix the 2 systems together because they are different.

Craig
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Patrick Cognitore

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A lot of valuable input, I really appeciate it.

The layout of the venue makes it difficult to apply some of the ideas. I'll try to be descriptive as possible, and you can reference the pics I attached in the first couple of posts in the thread.

The Stage area is at the top of steps. The PA is typically positioned SR and SL. The horizontal distance from the 'stage lip' down the steps to the beginning of the audience area is at least 30'. So system SPL will be down ~20db before we even reach the first pair of ears.

There is no place at the front of the stage to place coupled subwoofers, unless they are placed at one side of the stage, or they are placed at the bottom of the steps - 30' away from the rest of the PA (which makes no sense).

It's possible to place the entire PA at the bottom of the steps, just a few feet from the front on the audience (and on the same horizontal plane). See pic below.

Again, it will be over 30' away from the performers. We do not have a way to apply delay to the speakers (Mixer is a Behringer XR18). However, the stage is silent (no amps, no acoustic drums, all on in-ears) except for the natural level of the vocals. Not sure if this option is even worth considering. It will provide much more SPL to the audience area, but the distance from the stage may cause more as yet unidentified issues than it's worth.

We will not have a tech to run sound from FOH during the show. We will soundcheck from out from using wireless and iPads, but it will be a set it and forget it after first downbeat.
-------------

Options:

A - Use both JBL and Bose systems together set up on the wings of the stage. All speakers driven from the main LR mixer outputs. This is the planned set up unless I can convince band otherwise.
B - Use both systems, run in dual mono set up on stage wings. JBL can to the heavy lifting (instruments), Bose can handle the vocals and tracks. Each system to be driven discretely from their own output bus.
C - Use just the JBL's on the stage wings, leave the Bose in the truck. <<bandleader is unlikely to go for this option.

D, E, F - Any of the above options, but placing the PA at audience level, ~30 in front of the band but directly in front of the audience.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Is the concrete pad at the bottom of the stairs big enough for the band? I'd be temped to setup there  and maybe build a temporary drum riser from a couple pallets and a sheet or two of plywood setup so the kit sits back on the first step... just to create a little more room if necessary.  And run the PA L and R but spay the Bose system hard L and R for added coverage, setup like this right in the audience will help with SPL but hurt coverage unless the two systems are splayed some.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 05:35:52 pm by Paul G. OBrien »
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brian maddox

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....

We do not have a way to apply delay to the speakers (Mixer is a Behringer XR18).

...

Don't want to derail the thread, but just for the added info.  You CAN delay the output of an XR18 by inserting a Stereo delay on your output buss and setting the mix to 100 percent and the feedback to zero.  I've done exactly this when using these mixers for tiny broadcast events to time align for lip sync.  Works just fine.

[Back to our regularly scheduled broadcast....]
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Patrick Cognitore

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Is the concrete pad at the bottom of the stairs big enough for the band? I'd be temped to setup there  and maybe build a temporary drum riser from a couple pallets and a sheet or two of plywood setup so the kit sits back on the first step... just to create a little more room if necessary.  And run the PA L and R but spay the Bose system hard L and R for added coverage, setup like this right in the audience will help with SPL but hurt coverage unless the two systems are splayed some.
I thought of that too. It seems like the concrete pad is definitely big enough. My guess is that bands don't set up there, because (in the voice of a hypthetical event organizer) "why would you set up down here, we got a big stage up there with lights at the top of the steps?"

Lights are an issue too since we'll be playing as it gets dark. We could set up a small, lighting set up but it will be very minimal compared to the system that's set up over the stage.

I'll suggest it as an option. I don't know about putting together a drum riser, we'd have to see what people in the band have laying around. My guess is it'll be a tough sell (both setting up on the pad and trying to put together a drum riser) since the band's tendency will be to do things they same as they've done at this gig in the past.

Here are a couple more pics of the space.

This is from the back of the stage during a performance of the Cleverlys earlier this month. Whatever audio production was provided for that show is not being provided for ours (but AFAIK, the lights are permanent).



Here's another shot of the audience at that show, perspective is from off of stage right. Note the concrete pad. Also note the closest audience member is probably at least 50-60' from the PA, which is out of view of the picture to the left.

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Kevin Maxwell

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How many outputs are available on the XR18? IOW what is left after you do the IEMs on it?
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Patrick Cognitore

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How many outputs are available on the XR18? IOW what is left after you do the IEMs on it?
IEMs run on Buses 1-4. Usually Bus 6 is used an an Aux sub output. But that can be reconfigured.

So after 4 monitor mix sends - Main Left and Right as well as Bus 5 and 6 - 4 total outs theoretically available for use.

Don't want to derail the thread, but just for the added info.  You CAN delay the output of an XR18 by inserting a Stereo delay on your output buss and setting the mix to 100 percent and the feedback to zero.  I've done exactly this when using these mixers for tiny broadcast events to time align for lip sync.  Works just fine.

[Back to our regularly scheduled broadcast....]

We use three out of four of the effects banks. So one could potentially be used on a bus or main out as a speaker delay.
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