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Author Topic: Sound System Recommendation  (Read 20510 times)

Jay Barracato

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2011, 10:57:56 am »

Steve,

This comes up fairly frequently, with people working with budget numbers that clearly only take into account a mixer and loudspeakers. I've been managing this Excel spreadsheet for a few years now that gives an excellent starting point. Maybe you want different speakers, maybe you want a different mixer, mics, whatever... it's probably going to cost about this much, and you can see just how much of your money goes into cases and wire.

http://bennettprescott.com/downloads/QD_Bar_Rig.xls

Nothing quite like the realization that your small PA operation has several thousands of dollars of wire.
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Jay Barracato

Steve Tremayne

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2011, 11:41:44 am »

What is wrong with me? It was supposed to ask "What AREA are you in?"

I need to start drinking so I'll have an excuse besides old age for these embarrassing moments.

I can relate to that!!  I am in North Texas, specifically Grapevine which is a town just north of the DFW area.
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Rob Gow

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2011, 03:03:56 pm »

Steve,

This comes up fairly frequently, with people working with budget numbers that clearly only take into account a mixer and loudspeakers. I've been managing this Excel spreadsheet for a few years now that gives an excellent starting point. Maybe you want different speakers, maybe you want a different mixer, mics, whatever... it's probably going to cost about this much, and you can see just how much of your money goes into cases and wire.

http://bennettprescott.com/downloads/QD_Bar_Rig.xls

My setup was pretty much the same as the old list you had (with the Yorkville gear) and yup, it was pretty much bang on.


:thu:
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2011, 07:15:10 pm »

Scott, why the Yamaha's for the mains and JBLs for the subs? 
Mostly personal preference.  The JBL PRX612's are a very good speaker as well; however, having A/B'd them to the DSR's I found that the DSR's were the better sounding speaker.

You should go listen to them yourself and make your own judgement ;)

The SL 16.4.2 is mentioned because it is a really nice board with lots of integrated features which you are going to want to make a good sounding mix anyway (gates for the drums, compression for vocals, bass, etc, parametric eq for everything, reverb/delay). 

If you were to buy decent MI grade analog mixer along with the other individual components that are included with the SL, you would end up with the same bill (or more), but you would have lots more to wire up and carry.

I have a mixwiz2 and while it is a great mixer that sounds fantastic, I wish that the SL was available when I put my system together.

Your point is still well taken.  You can get a decent 16ch mixer with efx and a cheep quad gate and be well under 1K.  I did this for some time myself.

I do not agree with another poster that you don't need the drums mic'ed.  A rock band doesn't sound like a rock band without the drums being mic'ed (especially the kick).  You can cut a few corners with the microphones to limit the cost, but you want the kick and toms at a minimum.  The toms can be covered 2 toms to a mic if you are clever, but I like to have one on each tom myself ;)

Using even a cheep gate (per channel) on the kick and toms is sufficient to tighten up the mix into a decent sounding band IMHO.

And then there is the sub.  Again, real bands have subs.

It isn't about volume.  It is about sound quality.  Drums put out tons of highs, and hardly any lows without sound re-enforcement. 

Bennett's list is pretty comprehensive; however, I think you can eliminate much of the items in the list based on :

  • You only need a snake if you intend on having a soundperson mix from off-stage.  Most bar bands mix from the stage.  I have a 100 ft snake which we only use at larger venues (>200 ppl) where there is actually room somewhere to put it.  Even then, the quality of the soundperson can be an issue unless you are paying decently.
  • You don't need a speaker management system with today's powered speaker systems as this is built in.
  • With decent powered speakers, you can run your main eq flat and sound really good so you don't really need an equalizer.
  • The 01V96 mixer is a really nice mixer, but most bands can get by with much less.  My mixwix2 can be had for ~700 now and I doubt that many would say that you can't get along with this mixer.
  • You don't need a FOH CD player.  Plug your iPod in ;)  It is smaller, cheeper, and holds way more music which you can easily find on it.
  • You don't need the DigiMax D8 since you won't need any more channels for what your stated use is.
  • Buy your XLR cables in bulk.  I have gotten some really good ones off e-bay at around 10 per ~$75 - 100.00.
  • You are better off with 20-25' extension cords in a bar.  This will usually get you where you need to go.  Buy these in bulk too and they are pretty cheep.
  • You don't need speaker stands if you have subs to mount your tops over.  You can get the speaker pole between the two pretty cheep.
  • Buy a couple sports bags from Wallmart to put your cables in.  They are cheep and have lasted me over 10 years so far.
  • If you don't have microphones already, the suggestions in the worksheet are really good ones (and nearly exactly what I use btw).  I like the EV ND767a for vocals over the e835's, but those are great mics too (way way better than an SM58). 

My strongest suggestions are not to skimp on your speakers or your vocal microphones.  Of course, it would be best if you didn't have to skimp on anything; however, we all know that it isn't possible unless you are quite wealthy, or own a sound company ;)
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Brad Weber

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 08:31:22 am »

And then there is the sub.  Again, real bands have subs.
Yes, having a sub makes you a real band.  ;)
 
Bennett's list is pretty comprehensive; however, I think you can eliminate much of the items in the list based on:
I think the difference here may be between addressing what may be typical or recommended versus what you may be able to get away with and the latter may be both subjective and vary for each situation.  Also keep in mind that I believe Bennett's list is based more for a 'sound provider' putting together a minimal system to support bar bands.  If the band is running their own sound, has a dead cable and has to work around it that may be acceptable, if your job is specifically to provide and run the sound then it is probably much less acceptable.

You don't need a speaker management system with today's powered speaker systems as this is built in.
Some of the functions of a speaker management system may be integrated into some powered speakers, but not all of the functions and a dedicated speaker management system can be even more valuable if you start mixing products that weren't necessarily designed to go together.
 
With decent powered speakers, you can run your main eq flat and sound really good so you don't really need an equalizer.
Unless you want a particular sound or the venue affects the system response or any of a number of other reasons that having an EQ may be desirable even if the speaker response is flat.
 
Buy your XLR cables in bulk.  I have gotten some really good ones off e-bay at around 10 per ~$75 - 100.00.
What do you mean by "really good ones"?  You got rid of the snake and are depending on these cables, so probably not a good place to cut corners.
 
You don't need speaker stands if you have subs to mount your tops over.  You can get the speaker pole between the two pretty cheep.
That depends on the specific products and the venue, an example of where spending a little more to have some flexibility or options may be a good investment for some people.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2011, 08:42:49 am »

Yes, having a sub makes you a real band.  ;)
 I think the difference here may be between addressing what may be typical or recommended versus what you may be able to get away with and the latter may be both subjective and vary for each situation.  Also keep in mind that I believe Bennett's list is based more for a 'sound provider' putting together a minimal system to support bar bands.  If the band is running their own sound, has a dead cable and has to work around it that may be acceptable, if your job is specifically to provide and run the sound then it is probably much less acceptable.
Some of the functions of a speaker management system may be integrated into some powered speakers, but not all of the functions and a dedicated speaker management system can be even more valuable if you start mixing products that weren't necessarily designed to go together.
 Unless you want a particular sound or the venue affects the system response or any of a number of other reasons that having an EQ may be desirable even if the speaker response is flat.
 What do you mean by "really good ones"?  You got rid of the snake and are depending on these cables, so probably not a good place to cut corners.
 That depends on the specific products and the venue, an example of where spending a little more to have some flexibility or options may be a good investment for some people.


Or to summarize what Brad said:

When you buy your extension cords at Walmart, make sure they are bright orange...
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Jay Barracato

Steve Tremayne

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2011, 10:46:54 am »

I really appreciate all the feedback.  Here is where I am at so far in terms of what I am considering:

  • Presonus SL 16.4.2
  • JBL PRX615M (X2)
  • JBL PRX618S-XLF (X2)
  • JBL PRX612M (X4)

There have been recommendations in favor of  additional EQ and conditioning and comments that it may not be necessary, so I am not sure how to approach that other than building on as I can afford additonal products.  I do want to keep things as simple as possible but good sound with ample reserve is the ultimate goal.

Comments on my direction so far?
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2011, 11:06:44 am »

I really appreciate all the feedback.  Here is where I am at so far in terms of what I am considering:

  • Presonus SL 16.4.2
  • JBL PRX615M (X2)
  • JBL PRX618S-XLF (X2)
  • JBL PRX612M (X4)

There have been recommendations in favor of  additional EQ and conditioning and comments that it may not be necessary, so I am not sure how to approach that other than building on as I can afford additonal products.  I do want to keep things as simple as possible but good sound with ample reserve is the ultimate goal.

Comments on my direction so far?
Most of the "additional EQ" is in the board with the Presonus (along with compressors, gates, limiters, reverb, delay, etc).

I think the PRX will serve you well - they are great speakers for this level of gear.  One note, I would use the PRX612m's for FOH, since the 615's beam in the 1.4k - 1.8k range.  The 615 makes a great drum monitor, though.

And, finally, when you buy a snake, do yourself a favor and make sure to get XLR returns.  You'll thank me later.

Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2011, 11:14:40 am »

I really appreciate all the feedback.  Here is where I am at so far in terms of what I am considering:

  • Presonus SL 16.4.2
  • JBL PRX615M (X2)
  • JBL PRX618S-XLF (X2)
  • JBL PRX612M (X4)

There have been recommendations in favor of  additional EQ and conditioning and comments that it may not be necessary, so I am not sure how to approach that other than building on as I can afford additonal products.  I do want to keep things as simple as possible but good sound with ample reserve is the ultimate goal.

Comments on my direction so far?

I would not be unhappy with that setup. Many of the comments are focused on the idea that once you have the equipment, you want to make sure you can protect it in storage and transport, as well as have sufficient funds for cables etc. That is a hidden cost that is often forgotten. One of the big points of Bennett's spreadsheet is how much the little things can add up to.

I might also suggest going with 6 PRX612m especially if the bulk of your shows are smaller. It gives you some redundancy and flexibility in setup.
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Jay Barracato

Rob Truesdell

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Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2011, 12:46:51 pm »

The only reason I might get a pair of 615's over some 612's is if you might set up in a small room with out subs. I guess it also depends on what your drummer/bass player might need for monitors.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Sound System Recommendation
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2011, 12:46:51 pm »


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