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Title: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 18, 2012, 08:30:11 pm
Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 18, 2012, 08:46:38 pm
Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.

Are the individual components in good working condition?  If yes, how do you know?  If no, there's your answer.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 18, 2012, 08:52:27 pm
Are the individual components in good working condition?  If yes, how do you know?  If no, there's your answer.

I know the power amp is brand new, I have used the compressor with my bass and amp to test it and it did all it was supposed to. The mic kit is brand new as well as the speakers...the mixer itself is the only thing that is really questionable...I am a bassist not a sound engineer but I'm the one who took the time to figure out how to hook it up so it seems I'm the one to figure out the gremlins.  Been wondering if I could take the actual mixer somewhere to have it tested...for our purposes i can get a decent mixer for a few hundred, or so Im told.                 p.s also been considering getting a powered amp/suitcase style mixer which I think would remove some of our equipment to a mixer with a handle and speakers...would be less to carry but since we have this it would be nice to get it working right
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 18, 2012, 08:58:30 pm
Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.
WOW-so many unknowns.  How is the system setup-physically.  You said 4 mics- what are they?  how far away for the sound source are they?  What all is going on-instrument wise-you said vocals and drums-anything else (guitars-keyboards etc?  If so-how loud are they playing?
Where are your eq's on the channels set?

What are the various meters on the different pieces of gear showing?  Mixer-amp etc.

It could be any number of things-or a single big thing-or a combination of lots of little things.

You said 2x15" speaker with voice coils.  Well I certainly HOPE SO.  Without voice coils they won't produce any sound.

Are there any horns or high freq devices in the cabinets?
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jerome Malsack on November 18, 2012, 09:07:53 pm
Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.

One of the things that I have come to encounter is that the monitor feeds are possibly needing to be polarity inverted.   They will compete with the mains and the drums.  I also run into bands using the powered speakers as monitors and have no way to reverse the polarity or ground lift.  So I have a rack for my monitor sends that has a behringer di4000 that is an active di with polarity reversal and ground lift.    If the kick is hit then the drum head is positive speaker out, and the monitor is positive speaker out being behind the drum and causing opposit polarity and canceling sound pressure.  Reversing the polarity helps the drummer to hear his kick.

Sorry, above is not addressing your front sound problem, do the other three microphones not have a problem with blasting?  Move the drum vocal onto another channel and see if there is any change?  Try the amp at home on a quiet no input you should not be having random pops either.   The random pops can come from power problems in the building being picked up and amplified from the guitar pickups. 
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 18, 2012, 09:12:26 pm
WOW-so many unknowns.  How is the system setup-physically.  You said 4 mics- what are they?  how far away for the sound source are they?  What all is going on-instrument wise-you said vocals and drums-anything else (guitars-keyboards etc?  If so-how loud are they playing?
Where are your eq's on the channels set?

What are the various meters on the different pieces of gear showing?  Mixer-amp etc.

It could be any number of things-or a single big thing-or a combination of lots of little things.

You said 2x15" speaker with voice coils.  Well I certainly HOPE SO.  Without voice coils they won't produce any sound.

Are there any horns or high freq devices in the cabinets?

We have no amps ran through the mixer..that is being used exclusively for vocal and drum mics 1 shure 58 wireless for vocals and a three piece drum mic kit the drummer bought from who knows when the earth was still forming (but try telling him he needs some new stuff and see where it goes).
Peavey PV 215 Dual 15" 2-Way Speaker Cabinet Specifications:
Frequency range (-10dB, half space): 40Hz to 21kHz
Frequency response (3dB, half space): 58Hz to 17kHz
Sensitivity (1w/1m): 98dB
Power rating (program): 700W
Peak power capacity (peak): 1400W
Maximum SPL: 123.5dB
Transducer complement: Dual Peavey heavy duty 15" premium woofers, RX14 1.4" titanium diaphragm dynamic compression driver on a 60 x 40 coverage constant directivity horn
Driver protection: Positive temperature coefficient resistor
Nominal coverage pattern: 60 x 40
Electro-acoustic crossover frequency: 2.6kHz
Nominal impedance: 4O
Input connections: Two 1/4" phone jacks in parallel
Enclosure materials & finish: Trapezoidal, black carpet-covered enclosure with dado-joined 1/2" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and a full-length, black powder-coated steel grille
Dimensions (HxWxD):
Front: 48.25" x 18.38" x 14.25", 122.6cm x 46.7cm x 36.2cm
Rear: 48.25" x 11.75" x 14.25" 122.6cm x 29.8cm x 36.2cm
Weight: 79lb. (35.9kg)
QSC GX3 Stereo Power Amplifier Specifications:
Power Rating:
8Ω / both channels driven / 1 kHz: 300 W
8Ω / single channel driven / 1 kHz: 350 W
4Ω / both channels driven / 1 kHz; 425 W
4Ω / single channel driven / 1 kHz; 500 W
2Ω / both channels driven / 1 kHz; 200 W

Distortion (typical): 20 Hz - 20 kHz: 1 dB below rated power 8Ω: less than 0.05% / 4Ω: less than 0.1%
Signal to Noise: (20 Hz - 20 kHz) 100 dB
Input Sensitivity: 1.2 Vrms
Voltage Gain: (8Ω) 32.2 dB
Output Circuitry: Class B
Power Requirements: (1/8 power, pink noise at 4Ω, 120 V) 6.3A
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz, +0, 1 dB
Dynamic Headroom (4Ω): 2 dB
Damping Factor: 100
Input Impedance (Ω): Greater than 20k (balanced)
Maximum Input Level: +24 dB (16 Vrms)

sorry bout the length of that but figured the actual specs would help
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 18, 2012, 09:20:01 pm
One of the things that I have come to encounter is that the monitor feeds are possibly needing to be polarity inverted.   They will compete with the mains and the drums.  I also run into bands using the powered speakers as monitors and have no way to reverse the polarity or ground lift.  So I have a rack for my monitor sends that has a behringer di4000 that is an active di with polarity reversal and ground lift.    If the kick is hit then the drum head is positive speaker out, and the monitor is positive speaker out being behind the drum and causing opposit polarity and canceling sound pressure.  Reversing the polarity helps the drummer to hear his kick.

Sorry, above is not addressing your front sound problem, do the other three microphones not have a problem with blasting?  Move the drum vocal onto another channel and see if there is any change?  Try the amp at home on a quiet no input you should not be having random pops either.   The random pops can come from power problems in the building being picked up and amplified from the guitar pickups.

I dont want to waste anybodies time here guesstimating at things...when I get out of work tommorow I have to go pick something up at our jamming basement anyways so I will figure out what these other mics are and repost on here tommorow and hopefully that will give someone a better idea of what im looking at here
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 18, 2012, 09:20:55 pm
I know the power amp is brand new, I have used the compressor with my bass and amp to test it and it did all it was supposed to. The mic kit is brand new as well as the speakers...the mixer itself is the only thing that is really questionable...I am a bassist not a sound engineer but I'm the one who took the time to figure out how to hook it up so it seems I'm the one to figure out the gremlins.  Been wondering if I could take the actual mixer somewhere to have it tested...for our purposes i can get a decent mixer for a few hundred, or so Im told.                 p.s also been considering getting a powered amp/suitcase style mixer which I think would remove some of our equipment to a mixer with a handle and speakers...would be less to carry but since we have this it would be nice to get it working right

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSJ1oOQ9tY

This video shows how to set channel input gain on a Mackie mixer.  You should know how to do this. 
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 18, 2012, 09:25:29 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSJ1oOQ9tY

This video shows how to set channel input gain on a Mackie mixer.  You should know how to do this.

Yeah Ive done that....I have all four mics on solo at 0db level showing in the led gauge.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Scott Harris on November 18, 2012, 09:36:19 pm
Gain levels?  Stage volume?  Remove everything else from the mix except vocals?

Where are you located?  This may be a 5 minute issue in person versus weeks of emails.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 18, 2012, 09:39:42 pm
Yeah Ive done that....I have all four mics on solo at 0db level showing in the led gauge.

One at a time or all at once?
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Mario Maric on November 19, 2012, 12:35:30 am
That amp seems underpowered for the speakers you said you have IMO should be ok though. Are you clipping the amp?
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Greg_Cameron on November 19, 2012, 12:56:40 pm
That amp seems underpowered for the speakers you said you have IMO should be ok though. Are you clipping the amp?

Agreed. There's no way you're going to reinforce an entire band with a relatively weak amp driving those speakers. For now, I'd recommend putting nothing but vocals through it if you want them to have a fighting chance.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ned Ward on November 19, 2012, 01:19:11 pm
Agreed. There's no way you're going to reinforce an entire band with a relatively weak amp driving those speakers. For now, I'd recommend putting nothing but vocals through it if you want them to have a fighting chance.


Agree. With the gear listed, guessing you're playing smaller clubs/bars - no need to mic any drums. Use the PA for vocals only.


I'd also say that the Shure PG58 wireless is suspect; if you have a wired SM58, try using that to see if the issue improves. I'm not familiar with that particular unit, but it's at the bottom of the wireless barrel and may have signal/noise issues and/or gain staging with your Mackie.


You'll get far better sound with a $99 SM58 with an XLR cable than you will unless you get into very expensive wireless mics.


Is there a specific reason why you have or need wireless?
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Greg_Cameron on November 19, 2012, 01:26:16 pm
also been considering getting a powered amp/suitcase style mixer which I think would remove some of our equipment to a mixer with a handle and speakers...would be less to carry but since we have this it would be nice to get it working right

Going to a powered mixer is not a path to success unless you're a lounge act. None of those types of devices have serious power behind them by today's standards. If you're a light weight lounge act or soloist, they work fine. But not for a rock band.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 19, 2012, 11:08:49 pm
Going to a powered mixer is not a path to success unless you're a lounge act. None of those types of devices have serious power behind them by today's standards. If you're a light weight lounge act or soloist, they work fine. But not for a rock band.

Thanx all for the replies...after a bit of research I'm coming to the conclusion that the Shure Wireless might be under powered and we are feeding back by having to turn it up too much, seems compression might help that a bit but I dont think it would be a real fix....Seen a few posts saying that an Audix OM7 would be more to our needs but if a wired Shure 58 would fix the problem that's even better. The singer went wireless cause he wanted to be able to move around. But that might have to wait. And I have had my concerns about the power of the amp, after 3 mics on the drums and one for backup vocal.
I have 0'd out each mic several times with the amp at lowest setting, adjusted gain and cut some EQ here and there till he sounds good but once we turn the amp up less than halfway its all feedback. Just read today that running a gate on the drum mics might solve that which I'm sure I could use the Alesis for. Really trying to keep our equipment from growing to ridiculous proportions here. Gonna look into seeing if theres a place I cant rent a few mics to take and run through our set up and see the difference.

And yes if we turn the amp up a little past halfway it will clip when all mics are running...so in the basement I have been cutting out the drums, and just running the two vocal mics...still gotta get it fixed for live application....at the moment we are kinda stuck using an antique Kustom 200watt Pa head with the matching slim towers.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: george welder on November 20, 2012, 01:07:37 am
Thanx all for the replies...after a bit of research I'm coming to the conclusion that the Shure Wireless might be under powered and we are feeding back by having to turn it up too much, seems compression might help that a bit but I dont think it would be a real fix....Seen a few posts saying that an Audix OM7 would be more to our needs but if a wired Shure 58 would fix the problem that's even better. The singer went wireless cause he wanted to be able to move around. But that might have to wait. And I have had my concerns about the power of the amp, after 3 mics on the drums and one for backup vocal.

I have 0'd out each mic several times with the amp at lowest setting, adjusted gain and cut some EQ here and there till he sounds good but once we turn the amp up less than halfway its all feedback. Just read today that running a gate on the drum mics might solve that which I'm sure I could use the Alesis for. Really trying to keep our equipment from growing to ridiculous proportions here. Gonna look into seeing if theres a place I cant rent a few mics to take and run through our set up and see the difference.

And yes if we turn the amp up a little past halfway it will clip when all mics are running...so in the basement I have been cutting out the drums, and just running the two vocal mics...still gotta get it fixed for live application....at the moment we are kinda stuck using an antique Kustom 200watt Pa head with the matching slim towers.

The "volume" controls on the power amp are not volume controls. They are for attenuating input signal. example, "all the way up" or clockwise should be 0db, meaning output from your mixer should be 0db or lower. If your power amp is clipping when you turn those "volume" knobs half way up then the output from your mixer is way too hot. Start this way, pull all the individual channel faders down, turn the power amp knobs all the way up, hit solo on vocal channel, set the preamp level to about 0 or a bit less. With the master fader set to 0 bring the vocal channel up. Use the master fader and channel faders as your "volume" control and leave the power amp all the way up.

I don't remember which ones but some of the Mackie boards had an additional output level pot located by the power switch. I would check for that and if it has one be sure to set it to 0.
Think of it this way, 0 out of the board can be 0 into the amps. +3 out of the board needs to be -3 into the amps. +6 out of the board and you will need to attenuate or "turn down" your power to -6.

Lastly a kick drum through a couple of 15's and a horn isn't going to sound like the kick that you heard at the enormough-dome. It's only gonna do so much and then to get the vox on top of that is asking a lot of any single box a side. Respect the limits of the gear and work with what you got. It's been recommended often for good reason, the Yamaha sound reinforcement handbook is a great guide to get it goin.

Good luck, have fun, and don't let out the magic smoke. But if you must be sure let it all out.
Title: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ned Ward on November 20, 2012, 02:12:06 am
Again at this level, do not put the drums through the PA. Start with vocals only and get those right first. You don't need drums in the PA and you are just raising the level that the vocal mics need to be louder than, causing feedback.

Can you explain why you think you need 3 drum mics?

Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 20, 2012, 06:52:46 pm
Again at this level, do not put the drums through the PA. Start with vocals only and get those right first. You don't need drums in the PA and you are just raising the level that the vocal mics need to be louder than, causing feedback.

Can you explain why you think you need 3 drum mics?

I personally dont want the drums ran thru the pa...any recording Ive gotten off my Zoom with the drums ran thru the pa comes out with entirely too much snare and cymbals....but tell a drummer that cant hear the rest of the band to begin with that he doesn't need to be louder....Maybe you've had better luck with that than I have. Personally would be happier if he would take them somewhere and have a professional tune them but hes been playing forever so he knows whats right...right! Even though his bass drum has no bass unless ran through a mic with high gain and ridiculous EQ settings. I discussed just this issue with the singer this morning and we will be looking possibly into a dedicated Pa system entirely for him, leaving the drummer out of the amp'd loop entirely. He got better results simply mic'ng off his kick drum to a bass amp anyways and we have several of those.
Im running a 200 watt bass head on a 4x10 and 1x15 but usually only use the 4x10 .......the guitarists are both running peaveys 200 watt and 400 watt combos.....no matter where we have been the bass and guitars have been plenty capable of  filling the space the drums are fine but he insists on running his drums mic'd off which has been nothing but a headache.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 20, 2012, 06:59:34 pm
The "volume" controls on the power amp are not volume controls. They are for attenuating input signal. example, "all the way up" or clockwise should be 0db, meaning output from your mixer should be 0db or lower. If your power amp is clipping when you turn those "volume" knobs half way up then the output from your mixer is way too hot. Start this way, pull all the individual channel faders down, turn the power amp knobs all the way up, hit solo on vocal channel, set the preamp level to about 0 or a bit less. With the master fader set to 0 bring the vocal channel up. Use the master fader and channel faders as your "volume" control and leave the power amp all the way up.

I don't remember which ones but some of the Mackie boards had an additional output level pot located by the power switch. I would check for that and if it has one be sure to set it to 0.
Think of it this way, 0 out of the board can be 0 into the amps. +3 out of the board needs to be -3 into the amps. +6 out of the board and you will need to attenuate or "turn down" your power to -6.

Lastly a kick drum through a couple of 15's and a horn isn't going to sound like the kick that you heard at the enormough-dome. It's only gonna do so much and then to get the vox on top of that is asking a lot of any single box a side. Respect the limits of the gear and work with what you got. It's been recommended often for good reason, the Yamaha sound reinforcement handbook is a great guide to get it goin.

Good luck, have fun, and don't let out the magic smoke. But if you must be sure let it all out.


will be printing this off and testing out this Friday or Saturday when we get together again.  Thanks for being thorough. This is wholly different than I have been instructed before. Damn YouTube! And after reading this I checked the manual for the amp and realize what your saying.....will be trying this for sure
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ned Ward on November 20, 2012, 07:37:14 pm
Jeff - thanks for answering my questions.

We have a current drummer that won't learn to play with dynamics, and he will no longer be with us after our Dec 13 holiday show.

I'm not sure I understand (beyond the fact that your drummer is the problem), but if he can't hear the other instruments in the band, why does he want to make his drums louder? If the issue is he can't hear his drums over several 200+ watt guitar and bass amps, I understand.

Overall, you need to get control of your overall stage volume. Having 200 and 400 watt Peavey guitar amps (I'm guessing they're from the 70's) is great, but they are in all likeliehood way too loud and that's what's making the drummer demand his drums are mic'd to keep up with several hundred watts of guitar and bass. In our band, we have 2 guitar players, drums, bass, keyboard and 2 singers. I have multiple guitar amps to choose from, from 5 to 85 watts. The only time I would use my 85 watt Showman would be for outdoor shows. Anything else, it's 40 watts or less and that's plenty for most venues. Work to get the stage volume to where everyone can hear each other on stage without need for micing anything, and then use the PA system to ensure that vocals, etc. can be balanced into that.

You may also find that your drummer needs a monitor -- it's hard sometimes for the drummer to hear himself. With a sub and a top speaker by him, he could get all the drum sound he needs to hear himself without punishing the band. You can then mic the kit, but the sound only goes to the drum monitor, not the front of house.

Where are you playing - bars, clubs, outdoor festivals?

So if the problem is the drummer can't hear himself over the din of way loud guitars and bass amps, I sympathize.

If the problem as you wrote it is that the drummer can't hear the other players over his drum kit blasting through the PA, he's an idiot and you should look for a new drummer.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 20, 2012, 08:47:08 pm
Jeff - thanks for answering my questions.

We have a current drummer that won't learn to play with dynamics, and he will no longer be with us after our Dec 13 holiday show.

I'm not sure I understand (beyond the fact that your drummer is the problem), but if he can't hear the other instruments in the band, why does he want to make his drums louder? If the issue is he can't hear his drums over several 200+ watt guitar and bass amps, I understand.

Overall, you need to get control of your overall stage volume. Having 200 and 400 watt Peavey guitar amps (I'm guessing they're from the 70's) is great, but they are in all likeliehood way too loud and that's what's making the drummer demand his drums are mic'd to keep up with several hundred watts of guitar and bass. In our band, we have 2 guitar players, drums, bass, keyboard and 2 singers. I have multiple guitar amps to choose from, from 5 to 85 watts. The only time I would use my 85 watt Showman would be for outdoor shows. Anything else, it's 40 watts or less and that's plenty for most venues. Work to get the stage volume to where everyone can hear each other on stage without need for micing anything, and then use the PA system to ensure that vocals, etc. can be balanced into that.

You may also find that your drummer needs a monitor -- it's hard sometimes for the drummer to hear himself. With a sub and a top speaker by him, he could get all the drum sound he needs to hear himself without punishing the band. You can then mic the kit, but the sound only goes to the drum monitor, not the front of house.

Where are you playing - bars, clubs, outdoor festivals?

So if the problem is the drummer can't hear himself over the din of way loud guitars and bass amps, I sympathize.

If the problem as you wrote it is that the drummer can't hear the other players over his drum kit blasting through the PA, he's an idiot and you should look for a new drummer.

we have an assortment of various different strength amps to choose from. But as for my case...200 watts can be turned down when unneeded but 20 watts cant be turned up or eq'd enough to cut through two guitarists trying to screech the paint off the walls.
We are mainly doing small bars as they show up, few parties, as of lately we haven't really gone out lining shows up...trying to get through a few equipment issues and haggling over songs. No reason going around singing songs that cant be heard. None of the places we have been as of yet have had an in house PA system. Leaving all the sound to us. Had a few chances to do some rather large benefits in the area but had to back out due to these equipment issues...we are a rock, heavy metal act so we need some power...but if its all feeding back it doesnt matter what you have really. Gonna try these suggestions here and see whats happens...already looks like a much better idea than what I have been doing.

As far as the drummer I think it is just a case of he wants to showboat...but that can be contained. He is a decent drummer with some dynamics but hes been at it for too long and set in his ways. But we have all known each other for a long time so we are trying to pin down anything that is actually equipment based before pointing fingers at each other.

Am also looking at some monitors.....just not sure where to go with those....I think it should be just the singer and drummer that needs monitors but whether they should be powered, un powered, how powerful?
And once we get this Pa situation under control we have already discussed either going somewhere or having someone come to us to go over the volumes and fine tune.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: george welder on November 21, 2012, 01:11:22 am

will be printing this off and testing out this Friday or Saturday when we get together again.  Thanks for being thorough. This is wholly different than I have been instructed before. Damn YouTube! And after reading this I checked the manual for the amp and realize what your saying.....will be trying this for sure

Hey Jeff, for sure give it a try. I bet if you did some searches on gain structure and the such on these forums you would have plenty of excellent information to lead you in the right direction.

As for the loud guitars... good luck. seriously though. Think of the mix as a whole and each instrument as respective parts that make up the whole. It doesn't get divided equally, and the one instrument that needs the greatest reinforcement is the "quietest" of them all, the vocals. I'd start there, I guess exactly what the other sharper, brighter, and more articulate posters have said.

george
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 21, 2012, 11:13:14 am
Thanx all for the replies...after a bit of research I'm coming to the conclusion that the Shure Wireless might be under powered and we are feeding back by having to turn it up too much, seems compression might help that a bit but I dont think it would be a real fix...
I have no idea what that statement means.  If the battery is weak-then get a new one. 

Using a compressor can often INVITE feedback-not get rid of it.

You need to look for  real solutions-not start grasping for straws.

How is the singer HOLDING the mic-that is one that is often overlooked.  If they are cupping (rapper style), then they are changing the polar pattern by blocking the back entrances to the capsule and turning it into an OMNI mic.-not good if you want to get it loud.

There are various "things" than can help to reduce feedback.  Loudspeaker placement is a huge on.  How close the singer holds to mic to their mouth is another (the 2 biggest gains in the PAG-NAG equations).

Yes some mics are less prone to feedback-HOWEVER they are also MUCH MORE sensitive to how they are used- and if not used properly (for their pattern), the feedback could actually be WORSE!

If the response of the loudspeakers is out of whack-then and eq-IF USED PROPERLY!!!!!!!!- can help to gain a few more dB before feedback.

DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP in the "if I change the gain structure I can get more gain before feedback" thing that seems to float around.  There is NOTHING you can do by increasing the gain at one place and decreasing it at another to get more ACTUAL SPL before feedback out of the system.  Sure you may be able to turn a fader up more-but it won't be any louder.  If the physical position of a knob turns yo on-then go for it :)

Very often the real solution is to start turning things DOWN-rather than turning them UP.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 21, 2012, 01:48:08 pm
Find a local soundie who knows what's what and give him/her $50 to check your setup.  That's the quickest and cheapest way to get it right.  That'll take care of the technical matters.  As for the band and musicianship................. :-X
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 21, 2012, 07:11:03 pm
I have no idea what that statement means.  If the battery is weak-then get a new one. 

Using a compressor can often INVITE feedback-not get rid of it.

You need to look for  real solutions-not start grasping for straws.

How is the singer HOLDING the mic-that is one that is often overlooked.  If they are cupping (rapper style), then they are changing the polar pattern by blocking the back entrances to the capsule and turning it into an OMNI mic.-not good if you want to get it loud.

There are various "things" than can help to reduce feedback.  Loudspeaker placement is a huge on.  How close the singer holds to mic to their mouth is another (the 2 biggest gains in the PAG-NAG equations).

Yes some mics are less prone to feedback-HOWEVER they are also MUCH MORE sensitive to how they are used- and if not used properly (for their pattern), the feedback could actually be WORSE!

If the response of the loudspeakers is out of whack-then and eq-IF USED PROPERLY!!!!!!!!- can help to gain a few more dB before feedback.

DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP in the "if I change the gain structure I can get more gain before feedback" thing that seems to float around.  There is NOTHING you can do by increasing the gain at one place and decreasing it at another to get more ACTUAL SPL before feedback out of the system.  Sure you may be able to turn a fader up more-but it won't be any louder.  If the physical position of a knob turns yo on-then go for it :)

Very often the real solution is to start turning things DOWN-rather than turning them UP.

I may have been incomplete in my explanation of my issue here...if so I am sorry. It is not that we are trying to overload everything and squeeze every bit of db out of our equipment, eardrums be damned. Yes we have big amps that are just as easy to turn down as they are to turn up. But even my carcass knows that if your mixer/amp set-up is supposed to run at its max setting and you cant get any where near that without feeding back so loud that whales in the ocean all change course...something is wrong. Once we actually get this Pa doing its simple task of actually doing what its there for we can concentrate on any overall volume adjustments. Would much rather play a bit quieter, but than again playing a Slayer song at lounge act volume is just disrespectful. 
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 21, 2012, 07:19:30 pm
But even my carcass knows that if your mixer/amp set-up is supposed to run at its max setting and you cant get any where near that without feeding back so loud that whales in the ocean all change course...something is wrong.

Feedback occurs when you don't know how to run the equipment......
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Mac Kerr on November 21, 2012, 07:59:28 pm
even my carcass knows that if your mixer/amp set-up is supposed to run at its max setting and you cant get any where near that without feeding back so loud that whales in the ocean all change course...something is wrong.

Where did you come by this piece of misinformation? it is absolutely not true.

The factors that lead to feedback include poor speaker placement, poor microphone technique, unrealistic expectations for monitor volume, unrealistic expectations for PA volume, eq, and dynamics processing, in roughly that order.

How much you can turn up the PA doesn't depend on how far the knob is turned, it is determined by when feedback starts. The first place to start eliminating feedback is with the above list in pretty much that order. Position and aim the PA speakers so they cover the audience, but minimize the amount of sound that gets back on stage. Use microphones that have some rejection to the sides, and do not "cup" the mic as this makes them omnidirectional. Listen from out in the audience area to how loud the vocals are. Since you have aimed the speakers away from the stage already you have no real idea of how loud it is in the audience area. You will not be able to sing softly into the mic and have it be Slayer coming out of the PA. If the feedback is consistently happening at one or two frequencies you may be able to reduce those frequencies with some eq. This may give you better gain before feedback, or it may make the mics sound crappy, it's a tradeoff. Once you are able to get the vocals loud enough to mix with the band's stage sound you can think about dynamics control, but remember that it wiil never reduce feedback, only increase the likelihood of it.

On a small stage there will be limits to how you can set up the PA. If the vocals are the limiting factor, and can't keep up with the band's stage sound, it is time to think about reducing the stage sound so you can do a better show. A show volume that is less than you want is probably better than a crappy mix with the instruments overpowering the PA.

Mac
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 21, 2012, 09:13:03 pm
Feedback occurs when you don't know how to run the equipment......

probably the number one reason I got on here in the first place. But thanks for the help.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 21, 2012, 09:18:01 pm
probably the number one reason I got on here in the first place. But thanks for the help.
Stick around.  You'll get the help you need......sooner or later. 

But you'll need to accept the fact that your concept of how things work is just in the formative stage.  You've made some statements that imply a misunderstanding of how things work.  If I or someone else call you on it, don't take it personally.  The object is to get things stated clearly (both the problems and the solutions) and to accept all our individual approaches, limitations and talents......whatever they are.

Keep at it.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 21, 2012, 09:42:06 pm
Where did you come by this piece of misinformation? it is absolutely not true.

The factors that lead to feedback include poor speaker placement, poor microphone technique, unrealistic expectations for monitor volume, unrealistic expectations for PA volume, eq, and dynamics processing, in roughly that order.

How much you can turn up the PA doesn't depend on how far the knob is turned, it is determined by when feedback starts. The first place to start eliminating feedback is with the above list in pretty much that order. Position and aim the PA speakers so they cover the audience, but minimize the amount of sound that gets back on stage. Use microphones that have some rejection to the sides, and do not "cup" the mic as this makes them omnidirectional. Listen from out in the audience area to how loud the vocals are. Since you have aimed the speakers away from the stage already you have no real idea of how loud it is in the audience area. You will not be able to sing softly into the mic and have it be Slayer coming out of the PA. If the feedback is consistently happening at one or two frequencies you may be able to reduce those frequencies with some eq. This may give you better gain before feedback, or it may make the mics sound crappy, it's a tradeoff. Once you are able to get the vocals loud enough to mix with the band's stage sound you can think about dynamics control, but remember that it wiil never reduce feedback, only increase the likelihood of it.

On a small stage there will be limits to how you can set up the PA. If the vocals are the limiting factor, and can't keep up with the band's stage sound, it is time to think about reducing the stage sound so you can do a better show. A show volume that is less than you want is probably better than a crappy mix with the instruments overpowering the PA.

Mac

have seen a few postings on here alone saying that the power amp should be set at 0db...on my amp this is all the way up. This is why I refer to "all the way up"... wasn't speaking in volume terms. At this moment due to earlier info I gleaned from YouTube a while back I have this mixer set in such a way that the power amp is unable to go above -14db before feeding back at an extreme level of sound. I am no where near a sound engineer but if this was normal they wouldn't be producing them with the other -12 to 0 db increments...unless of course they enjoy making us think that enough adjustments might one day get us a sound we will never get. Due to the things I have read on here all I can really do for now is show up to practice this weekend move a few things around, remove the drummer from the Pa, tell the singer that he doesn't have to make love to the mic but needs to get at least a bit friendlier with it. Change a few settings on the PA....and see what happens.   


Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 21, 2012, 09:44:50 pm
Stick around.  You'll get the help you need......sooner or later. 

But you'll need to accept the fact that your concept of how things work is just in the formative stage.  You've made some statements that imply a misunderstanding of how things work.  If I or someone else call you on it, don't take it personally.  The object is to get things stated clearly (both the problems and the solutions) and to accept all our individual approaches, limitations and talents......whatever they are.

Keep at it.
sorry man the way you worded that seemed a bit too short.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 21, 2012, 11:43:16 pm
At this moment due to earlier info I gleaned from YouTube a while back I have this mixer set in such a way that the power amp is unable to go above -14db before feeding back at an extreme level of sound. 

Here's "Rule #1" regarding feedback:

Loudest sound at the mic wins.

Translation:

If the mic "hears" the sound from the speakers as the loudest sound present, feedback will happen.
It's a system phenomenon, not a function of where the knobs and sliders are set.

As Mac pointed out, if the feedback happens at a certain few frequencies, these can be addressed with a good graphic (or parametric) EQ.  Do you have an EQ for your system?
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 22, 2012, 09:36:30 am
Here's "Rule #1" regarding feedback:

Loudest sound at the mic wins.

Translation:

If the mic "hears" the sound from the speakers as the loudest sound present, feedback will happen.
It's a system phenomenon, not a function of where the knobs and sliders are set.

As Mac pointed out, if the feedback happens at a certain few frequencies, these can be addressed with a good graphic (or parametric) EQ.  Do you have an EQ for your system?
I do have an old Carvin 32 band EQ with a few shelves and a boost but nothing that locates any troubled frequencies. And its kinda scratchy due to the sliders being dirty. But it does work for the moment. Haven't wired it to the PA as of yet though. A few people have suggested a particular Behringer EQ with feedback finding capability. But my experience is that newer Behringer stuff is garbage. At-least their pedals are, not sure if this translates into their rack mount equipment or not.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Brad Weber on November 22, 2012, 09:37:04 am
At this moment due to earlier info I gleaned from YouTube a while back I have this mixer set in such a way that the power amp is unable to go above -14db before feeding back at an extreme level of sound. I am no where near a sound engineer but if this was normal they wouldn't be producing them with the other -12 to 0 db increments...unless of course they enjoy making us think that enough adjustments might one day get us a sound we will never get.
You probably don't always drive with the accelerator to the floor but I bet it's nice to be able to do so when you need it.
 
The input sensitivity for the GX3, which is the input signal level that generates full output, is around +3.8dBu, thus any incoming signal level above that needs to be attenuated.  On your mixer the maximum output is probably +24dBu or greater.  24dBu - 3.8dBu = 20.2dBu.  So your mixer can likely output a signal 20dB or so greater than the signal level that creates full output for the amplifier.  There are reasons for that but it is why it is common for many mixers and other electronics to require 20dB or so of attenuation at the amplifier inputs in order to have proper gain structure.  And that is addressing purely gain structure, which has nothing to do with gain before feedback.
 
Due to the things I have read on here all I can really do for now is show up to practice this weekend move a few things around, remove the drummer from the Pa, tell the singer that he doesn't have to make love to the mic but needs to get at least a bit friendlier with it. Change a few settings on the PA....and see what happens.
A good start but you could also do some things you could do in advance.  For example, research the patterns for your microphones and speakers and try to get a better understanding of how they may interact with one another.  Practice identifying frequencies so that you may have a better idea of what frequencies are feeding back.  And study why you may want to have the "Low Cut" enabled on the EQ for mic channels.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 22, 2012, 09:42:23 am
I do have an old Carvin 32 band EQ with a few shelves and a boost but nothing that locates any troubled frequencies. And its kinda scratchy due to the sliders being dirty. But it does work for the moment. Haven't wired it to the PA as of yet though. A few people have suggested a particular Behringer EQ with feedback finding capability. But my experience is that newer Behringer stuff is garbage. At-least their pedals are, not sure if this translates into their rack mount equipment or not.

"Feedback finding" in most of its implementations is basically an LED that lights up for whatever frequency band has the most signal.  That may or may not represent feedback depending on how you're attempting to use it.

Training the gray matter computer between your ears is a much more effective way, but it takes a little bit of time to learn.  Do a web search for "simple feedback trainer."
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 22, 2012, 11:48:52 am
"Feedback finding" in most of its implementations is basically an LED that lights up for whatever frequency band has the most signal.  That may or may not represent feedback depending on how you're attempting to use it.

Training the gray matter computer between your ears is a much more effective way, but it takes a little bit of time to learn.  Do a web search for "simple feedback trainer."

Loaded that trainer and it does look useful.
Title: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ned Ward on November 22, 2012, 11:55:11 am
If you do get a new or used EQ, peavey and ART both had models with lights to show the feedback frequency. Not automatic, but the Behringer "feedback destroyers" don't work - I bought one on eBay for $35 and I still felt ripped off after using it.

Worthwhile addition.

Other things to check:
Speakers should be forward of mic position; otherwise, you risk having their sound going back into the mics. While it can be done with speakers behind you, I'd recommend starting with them in front of the mics. If the singer is moving around, know that if he moves in front of the speakers at this level you'll get feedback.

Also ensure your speakers are at the right height - good info on this site on the proper height and how to do it.

No one is suggesting Slayer at lounge levels, but if your PA only goes so loud, you'll have to turn down everything else to hear the vocals.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 22, 2012, 12:06:51 pm
I do have an old Carvin 32 band EQ with a few shelves and a boost but nothing that locates any troubled frequencies. And its kinda scratchy due to the sliders being dirty. But it does work for the moment. Haven't wired it to the PA as of yet though. A few people have suggested a particular Behringer EQ with feedback finding capability. But my experience is that newer Behringer stuff is garbage. At-least their pedals are, not sure if this translates into their rack mount equipment or not.

Jeff...

I've written the following procedure so many times that I should really put it in a .doc so I can just paste it in.  There are some YouTube videos, but I find something wrong or "fuzzy" in every one I've looked at and so do not link to them.  But there are quite a few. 

To locate problem frequencies in your setup and attenuate them with a graphic EQ:

1.  Hook up your system as usual, then set your input gain for your mics as usual.  Meters should show peaks of not more than +3 with the strongest signal applied at the input.  Power amp should be full up.  Graphic EQ should be patched between the console output and the power amp.

2.  Set your microphone channel faders to a bit above 0.

3.  Now raise the Master fader until you hear the first "hot" frequency start to ring, then back off just a tad.

4.  Starting from the low (left) side of your graphic, proceed to boost and return to 0 each of the bands one at a time until you encounter the first one to excite the system into ringing.  Then apply a cut on that frequency.  You'll know how deep to make your cut by how quickly and intensely the system "blows up".  If it's immediate and strong, try cutting 6dB.  If it's slow and light, then cut just a couple of dB.

5.  Lather, rinse, repeat until you've gone through all 31 bands.  If you're cutting a lot of frequencies, then something is drastically wrong with your setup in regards to speaker positioning.

6.  Return your channel faders to the bottom, raise your Master fader to -5 or so, then proceed to build your mix.  If you find you're raising your channel faders above 0 to get what you need, then back them off and raise the Master fader and continue.


I run my systems in mono so I only have to do this with a single channel of EQ.  Once you've learned how to do it, you can run "stereo" if you want.  The procedure for "ringing out" the system will be the same, just taking a bit longer to deal with two channels.

This is a simple over-view of how to do a basic EQ.  There are other tricks and caveats, but for now this will help you get more out of your system before it feeds back.

Get yourself a nice, clean graphic with long-throw adjustments (avoid the single rack-space models).  It'll allow everything else to function at a higher level and is arguably the best money you can spend at the moment.  The "feedback finder" models are somewhat of a gimmick  as Tim mentioned.  The machine can only identify which bands are "hotter", not which bands are actually feeding back.

Oh......one more thing.

Once you've gone through the procedure with all the mics open, try raising your system volume until it just starts ringing,  then, one at a time, either mute or drop the fader on each mic in turn to see which one is the first offender.  You can then perform further, finer adjustments by using the channel strip EQ to lessen that particular input's response to the hot frequency.

The DBX graphics are very affordable and serviceable.  I've used the 2231's for many years and they'll do the job for you.  They also make a cheaper model with the same filters and without the limiter of the 2231 and it should be just as good for you.

Best of luck.     
 
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 22, 2012, 10:10:38 pm
Jeff...

I've written the following procedure so many times that I should really put it in a .doc so I can just paste it in.  There are some YouTube videos, but I find something wrong or "fuzzy" in every one I've looked at and so do not link to them.  But there are quite a few. 

To locate problem frequencies in your setup and attenuate them with a graphic EQ:

1.  Hook up your system as usual, then set your input gain for your mics as usual.  Meters should show peaks of not more than +3 with the strongest signal applied at the input.  Power amp should be full up.  Graphic EQ should be patched between the console output and the power amp.

2.  Set your microphone channel faders to a bit above 0.

3.  Now raise the Master fader until you hear the first "hot" frequency start to ring, then back off just a tad.

4.  Starting from the low (left) side of your graphic, proceed to boost and return to 0 each of the bands one at a time until you encounter the first one to excite the system into ringing.  Then apply a cut on that frequency.  You'll know how deep to make your cut by how quickly and intensely the system "blows up".  If it's immediate and strong, try cutting 6dB.  If it's slow and light, then cut just a couple of dB.

5.  Lather, rinse, repeat until you've gone through all 31 bands.  If you're cutting a lot of frequencies, then something is drastically wrong with your setup in regards to speaker positioning.

6.  Return your channel faders to the bottom, raise your Master fader to -5 or so, then proceed to build your mix.  If you find you're raising your channel faders above 0 to get what you need, then back them off and raise the Master fader and continue.


I run my systems in mono so I only have to do this with a single channel of EQ.  Once you've learned how to do it, you can run "stereo" if you want.  The procedure for "ringing out" the system will be the same, just taking a bit longer to deal with two channels.

This is a simple over-view of how to do a basic EQ.  There are other tricks and caveats, but for now this will help you get more out of your system before it feeds back.

Get yourself a nice, clean graphic with long-throw adjustments (avoid the single rack-space models).  It'll allow everything else to function at a higher level and is arguably the best money you can spend at the moment.  The "feedback finder" models are somewhat of a gimmick  as Tim mentioned.  The machine can only identify which bands are "hotter", not which bands are actually feeding back.

Oh......one more thing.

Once you've gone through the procedure with all the mics open, try raising your system volume until it just starts ringing,  then, one at a time, either mute or drop the fader on each mic in turn to see which one is the first offender.  You can then perform further, finer adjustments by using the channel strip EQ to lessen that particular input's response to the hot frequency.

The DBX graphics are very affordable and serviceable.  I've used the 2231's for many years and they'll do the job for you.  They also make a cheaper model with the same filters and without the limiter of the 2231 and it should be just as good for you.

Best of luck.     
 
yes you probably do need to save that to a pdf or something...thanks now go rest your fingers.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Mario Maric on November 23, 2012, 12:27:18 am
Question. Are you pointing these speakers at your band for monitors, or you are actually using them for mains? If you are getting feedback pushing the sound away from you then you are definitely doing something wrong. From what I understood just by turning it up marginally. If it was a monitor situation I'd understand a little more to why you're experiencing so much feedback. Even with my bands setup our stage volume isn't that loud we have 3 monitors with 1 pair running on the same eq and I rarely have to ring out or get feedback.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 09:07:37 am
Question. Are you pointing these speakers at your band for monitors, or you are actually using them for mains? If you are getting feedback pushing the sound away from you then you are definitely doing something wrong. From what I understood just by turning it up marginally. If it was a monitor situation I'd understand a little more to why you're experiencing so much feedback. Even with my bands setup our stage volume isn't that loud we have 3 monitors with 1 pair running on the same eq and I rarely have to ring out or get feedback.

When we got these pieces they were set up in a rack with no power amp. I discussed the pieces with a "tech" at GC who informed me that the QSC GX3 would be plenty of power. Apparantly this is not accurate. When we purchased the power amp and threw it in I had to get online to figure out how to set it all up for our uses. Not aware that setting up a passive mixer system requires some actual thought I have been running around in circles trying to figure out why im feeding back.

We have three mics on a drum kit that's right next to a 2x15 Peavey which happens to be pointed pretty much at the singer, 1 2x15 Peavey pointed pretty much directly at the singer about 10 or 15' away from him. Since we are in a basement our set up is pretty confined and so we have three bass and guitar amps pointed right at the singer. The mixer has never been "rung out" and from what Im picking up on here my settings are all over the place.....Im thinking that for our practice session tonight or Saturday we might do better by spreading out in some sort of configuration that doesn't concentrate so many acoustics right on top of the singer. Will be rearranging a few things and doing a reset on the PA settings. Pulling everything out of the PA accept vocals. Taping the drummer to the ceiling when he tries to put himself back in the PA. And once we have a definite volume level for the singer we can then work on our levels.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 23, 2012, 09:49:41 am
When we got these pieces they were set up in a rack with no power amp. I discussed the pieces with a "tech" at GC who informed me that the QSC GX3 would be plenty of power. Apparantly this is not accurate. When we purchased the power amp and threw it in I had to get online to figure out how to set it all up for our uses. Not aware that setting up a passive mixer system requires some actual thought I have been running around in circles trying to figure out why im feeding back.

We have three mics on a drum kit that's right next to a 2x15 Peavey which happens to be pointed pretty much at the singer, 1 2x15 Peavey pointed pretty much directly at the singer about 10 or 15' away from him. Since we are in a basement our set up is pretty confined and so we have three bass and guitar amps pointed right at the singer. The mixer has never been "rung out" and from what Im picking up on here my settings are all over the place.....Im thinking that for our practice session tonight or Saturday we might do better by spreading out in some sort of configuration that doesn't concentrate so many acoustics right on top of the singer. Will be rearranging a few things and doing a reset on the PA settings. Pulling everything out of the PA accept vocals. Taping the drummer to the ceiling when he tries to put himself back in the PA. And once we have a definite volume level for the singer we can then work on our levels.
When you say "pointed at the singer" exactly what does that mean?

Are they pointed at the rear of his head-like towards the "hot" part of the mic? or out in front of the singer pointed towards his face?

The position of the speakers in relation to the pickup pattern of the mic can make all the difference.

From what it seems to me- you are not using the PA speakers as PA speakers-but rather as monitors.  EXCEPT you have them in the WRONG place!

Maybe if you could do a simple drawing of your layout-with arrows pointing the direction the cabinets are facing-that would help to give us a better idea of what you are doing.

As has been mentioned by myself and others-several times on this thread- LOCATION of the speakers makes a HUGE difference in how loud you can get them.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Brad Weber on November 23, 2012, 10:49:26 am
When we got these pieces they were set up in a rack with no power amp. I discussed the pieces with a "tech" at GC who informed me that the QSC GX3 would be plenty of power. Apparantly this is not accurate. When we purchased the power amp and threw it in I had to get online to figure out how to set it all up for our uses. Not aware that setting up a passive mixer system requires some actual thought I have been running around in circles trying to figure out why im feeding back.
First, if you are going into feedback then you are getting as loud as you can without first fixing that, which a bigger amp will not do.
 
The PV215 is rated at 350W/700W/1,400W and a nominal 4 Ohm impedance while the GX3 is rated at 425W/channel into 4 Ohms (at 1kHz).  So a GX5 might be a better match in many cases but at 98dB/1W/1m you would apprently be looking at the difference between 124.3dB and 126.5dB at 1m.  For monitors in a basement I seriously doubt you would need or benefit much from that extra 2.2dB and even then that would only be relevant if you could get the full output without feedback.
 
Put simply, you could potentially get more out of the speakers with a bigger amp but the difference might be marginal, I doubt you need it and it would not matter if the maximum speaker output possible is limited by feedback.  Your problem seems virtually certainly to be limited gain before feedback, which a bigger amp will not change.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: David Morison on November 23, 2012, 12:39:07 pm
... it is why it is common for many mixers and other electronics to require 20dB or so of attenuation at the mixer inputs in order to have proper gain structure.

Emphasis mine...
Shouldn't that be Amp inputs rather than Mixer?
Doing all that attenuation at mixer input is just going to hammer the SNR, surely.
David.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 23, 2012, 12:47:59 pm
Emphasis mine...
Shouldn't that be Amp inputs rather than Mixer?
Doing all that attenuation at mixer input is just going to hammer the SNR, surely.
David.

Likely referring to padding down a line level signal to a mic input.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 23, 2012, 01:03:58 pm
Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.

So now it's clear that you're NOT using this in a "live sound setup" but rather in a basement rehearsal space, not as a PA but as monitors........and with no system EQ.

Of course it's going to feed back when you're in a small space pointing the speakers at the performers.  What did you expect?

Sheeshh.......
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 01:50:08 pm
So now it's clear that you're NOT using this in a "live sound setup" but rather in a basement rehearsal space, not as a PA but as monitors........and with no system EQ.

Of course it's going to feed back when you're in a small space pointing the speakers at the performers.  What did you expect?

Sheeshh.......

will draw up something and link here somehow.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 02:09:41 pm
So now it's clear that you're NOT using this in a "live sound setup" but rather in a basement rehearsal space, not as a PA but as monitors........and with no system EQ.

Of course it's going to feed back when you're in a small space pointing the speakers at the performers.  What did you expect?

Sheeshh.......

here a rough sketch of basement space.....and this system has to operate for both rehearsal and live set up ...this is the reason I am here trying to learn the right way to set it up. have picked up enough here already to know that different spaces require different considerations. These are what Im after. And since the feedback issue is the same when in the basement, outside, in a garage with the door open or otherwise....leads me to believe its it in the settings which were never set up properly to begin with, speaker placement, volume level of amps in the basement, drummers incessant chattering about how he needs more thump, starting to think that its quite possible that the rhythm guitarists wife is even causing feedback with all her talking.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 23, 2012, 02:23:50 pm
here a rough sketch of basement space.....and this system has to operate for both rehearsal and live set up ...this is the reason I am here trying to learn the right way to set it up. have picked up enough here already to know that different spaces require different considerations. These are what Im after.

Use one speaker and run it only enough to bring the vocalist up over the instruments.  Keep the amps and the drums QUIET for rehearsal, work on timing and ensemble.  Don't expect to rehearse at performance level.  If you don't have monitors for performance and get used to listening to yours "mains as monitors" in rehearsal, it will be difficult to get comfortable in live performance as it will sound and feel entirely different.

I'm sorry to sound so critical.  I know you're just trying to learn something and get it right while the "musicians" have fun, but most of us passed through this phase when we were 14.  And for me that was a long, long time ago. 
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 02:40:17 pm
Use one speaker and run it only enough to bring the vocalist up over the instruments.  Keep the amps and the drums QUIET for rehearsal, work on timing and ensemble.  Don't expect to rehearse at performance level.  If you don't have monitors for performance and get used to listening to yours "mains as monitors" in rehearsal, it will be difficult to get comfortable in live performance as it will sound and feel entirely different.

I'm sorry to sound so critical.  I know you're just trying to learn something and get it right while the "musicians" have fun, but most of us passed through this phase when we were 14.  And for me that was a long, long time ago.

my issue is that I only started playing bass a few years ago as a fill in for them when theirs left. Kinda like it so I stuck around. We got involved in obtaining equipment no one knew a thing about cause they had always used a kustom pa head with matching 4x10 towers. Which btw ive been wondering might work better than the 2x15s for our purposes. They match up ohm wise the same as the 2x15's .....i will figure it out though
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 23, 2012, 05:21:57 pm
my issue is that I only started playing bass a few years ago as a fill in for them when theirs left. Kinda like it so I stuck around. We got involved in obtaining equipment no one knew a thing about cause they had always used a kustom pa head with matching 4x10 towers. Which btw ive been wondering might work better than the 2x15s for our purposes. They match up ohm wise the same as the 2x15's .....i will figure it out though
With that setup-the PA speakers pointed INTO the mic-you are going to have problems hearing-if the instruments are at any decent level.

What you need is a PA (speakers pointed away from the mics) and monitors-speakers facing the musicians.

With the setup you have-there are limits as to how loud you can get it. 

Basically you are not operating the equipment properly.  Once you stat doing that-then you will be able to get better results.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Ned Ward on November 23, 2012, 07:56:52 pm
Jeff - in the future, when you post, ensure that you can include as much information as possible. With your subject line of "Live set up" most of us thought you were having issues on a stage. If it's a rehearsal space - that's fine - I've asked questions about my own rehearsal space -- but rehearsal space and a stage are two completely different things. Size of guitar amps and bass amps? Type of music? All excellent to include in your original post.

Search this forum for rehearsal space as there's quite a few threads on people having the same issues and how to do it correctly (as Ivan pointed up in the above post).
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Mario Maric on November 23, 2012, 08:09:11 pm
Thankfully I asked the question. Make sure you guys aren't practicing loud either for health reasons. When my band first started my ears would ring after a 2hr practice that's when I had a talk that our stage volume is waaay to high!
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 08:29:31 pm
Jeff - in the future, when you post, ensure that you can include as much information as possible. With your subject line of "Live set up" most of us thought you were having issues on a stage. If it's a rehearsal space - that's fine - I've asked questions about my own rehearsal space -- but rehearsal space and a stage are two completely different things. Size of guitar amps and bass amps? Type of music? All excellent to include in your original post.

Search this forum for rehearsal space as there's quite a few threads on people having the same issues and how to do it correctly (as Ivan pointed up in the above post).

have recently added that the feedback issue is the same regardless of live , rehearsal, or otherwise...plainly the equipment does not seem as if its doing what it is designed to do. And from what I've seen here I already know that the settings are not right and I have the mixer throwing a ridiculous amount of gain increase into the amp from the start...unless 300 watts isn't much louder than a child's CD player...I know that isn't right. What I am learning here is going to help all the way around in any thing we do. We have played stages, living rooms, garages, basements and they are all "live." I am trying to learn how to operate the equipment in whatever situation we are in. The bars around here do not pay nearly enough to pay a sound man so that out of the question. Sorry for any misunderstanding. But if I had posted something about "how to set up for rehearsal in basement" I would of gotten a bunch of information geared at strictly playing in a basement for rehearsal. This equipment is our main set up and we have a 200 watt spring reverb Kustom PA head with cabs as a last resort. This thread would be weeks long if I made one for the basement, then came back after the next show and made one asking why it didn't work there either. Already talked to the guys and tommorow we should be tearing everything down and re arranging some things, re adjusting this or that. And basically starting from scratch on the set up.  I just looked back and your right, I didn't mention early on that we are currently using it in a basement. We have the possibility of doing a Cancer benefit with a few other band on the 8th and the equipment will need to be working properly, so I hope anyone will forgive me if I jumped a few formalities in my quest for answers.  Will let you all know how the changes work after practice tommorow....or maybe sunday morning
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Keith Humphrey on November 23, 2012, 08:45:34 pm
You might try rearranging your speakers. In the picture they are not really mains but monitors. Try pointing the speaker near the toilet towards the drummer or the stairs. You do not show which way the singer is facing but try pointing the speaker by the stairs towards the mixer/toilet area. Assuming the singer stays in the same area this should  allow him/her to still hear and not have the mains pointing directly into the mics. I also think your overall volume is too much for the space. Rehearsing in the round so to speak  requires lower volumes than in a typical line used onstage.

You mention the drummer needing more thump. If this in rehearsal that further leads me to believe you are too loud for the space. If it is live then it could be that you sound ok out front but the drummer just doesn't feel it. In this situation all you might need is a monitor that will let the drummer feel the thump as opposed to adding it out front. 
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 09:29:19 pm
You might try rearranging your speakers. In the picture they are not really mains but monitors. Try pointing the speaker near the toilet towards the drummer or the stairs. You do not show which way the singer is facing but try pointing the speaker by the stairs towards the mixer/toilet area. Assuming the singer stays in the same area this should  allow him/her to still hear and not have the mains pointing directly into the mics. I also think your overall volume is too much for the space. Rehearsing in the round so to speak  requires lower volumes than in a typical line used onstage.

You mention the drummer needing more thump. If this in rehearsal that further leads me to believe you are too loud for the space. If it is live then it could be that you sound ok out front but the drummer just doesn't feel it. In this situation all you might need is a monitor that will let the drummer feel the thump as opposed to adding it out front.

going to post another sketch of how im thinking about laying it out
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Brad Weber on November 23, 2012, 09:46:12 pm
Emphasis mine...
Shouldn't that be Amp inputs rather than Mixer?
You are absolutely correct, I meant amp input but obviously that's not what I typed.  Thanks for catching that, I've now corrected it.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 09:51:22 pm
You might try rearranging your speakers. In the picture they are not really mains but monitors. Try pointing the speaker near the toilet towards the drummer or the stairs. You do not show which way the singer is facing but try pointing the speaker by the stairs towards the mixer/toilet area. Assuming the singer stays in the same area this should  allow him/her to still hear and not have the mains pointing directly into the mics. I also think your overall volume is too much for the space. Rehearsing in the round so to speak  requires lower volumes than in a typical line used onstage.

You mention the drummer needing more thump. If this in rehearsal that further leads me to believe you are too loud for the space. If it is live then it could be that you sound ok out front but the drummer just doesn't feel it. In this situation all you might need is a monitor that will let the drummer feel the thump as opposed to adding it out front.

heres the idea...along with putting in an eq on the mixer, ringing out the frequencies, setting the gain switch on the singers mic if needed, telling the singer to kiss the microphone, and seeing how low we can turn everything basically.  seems I forgot to add that the one 2x15 would now be pointing at the band. This would entirely for the basement set up however
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Brad Weber on November 23, 2012, 10:02:00 pm
have recently added that the feedback issue is the same regardless of live , rehearsal, or otherwise...plainly the equipment does not seem as if its doing what it is designed to do.
Yes and no.  A big part of gain before feedback is that speakers and microphones typically have some directivity or pattern, they pick up (microphones) or output (speakers) certain frequencies more in certain directions.  Thus the relationships of the microphone and speaker locations and aiming can be a critical element in getting acceptable gain before feedback.
 
That is one reason why in live situations you typically try to direct the reinforcement speaker output at the audience and minimize their output to the performers.  You have no audience in your basement so you are not using the speakers for reinforcement.
 
You are apparently using them for the band to hear, thus as monitors.  And while monitors need to cover the performers, you still help yourself to keep the relationships such that they maximize gain before feedback, for example locating monitors so they are at the null or least sensitive point in the microphone's pattern.  It may be much better to have the speakers when used as monitors in front of the band members pointed back at them, thus putting their maximum output directed at the band members and at the null or less sensitive angle at the rear of cardioid microphones.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 23, 2012, 10:37:09 pm
have recently added that the feedback issue is the same regardless of live , rehearsal, or otherwise...plainly the equipment does not seem as if its doing what it is designed to do.
WRONG  WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How many times do we have to say it.  Maybe if it is capitalized  IF YOUR SPEAKERS ARE BEHIND THE MICS_EITHER IN PRACTICE OR LIVE_THEN THAT IS WRONG-IN EVERY SITUATION-if you want to get very loud.

DON'T blame the equipment-it is YOU that is doing it WRONG>

MOVE THE SPEAKERS OUT FRONT_WHERE THEY BELONG.  If you need to hear-then add some monitors.

DO NOT expect the same loudspeaker cabinets to do BOTH jobs.

THERE IS NOT amount of eq or any other "adjustment" that you can make.  You might can make a marginal difference-but probably not what you are wanting.

FOLLOW THE BASIC RULES OF SOUND-DO NOT LOOK FOR A MAGICAL SOLUTION.

And don't blame the gear when it is obviously operator error.

I hate to be so harsh-but if you would LISTEN to what everybody is TRYING to tell you, then you could improve things.

If you don't want to listen-then keep on trying it your way and good luck- you are going to need it.

There is a REASON people keep saying the same thing-and it is NOT the actual gear you are using.  It is HOW you are using it.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 23, 2012, 11:17:48 pm
WRONG  WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How many times do we have to say it.  Maybe if it is capitalized  IF YOUR SPEAKERS ARE BEHIND THE MICS_EITHER IN PRACTICE OR LIVE_THEN THAT IS WRONG-IN EVERY SITUATION-if you want to get very loud.

DON'T blame the equipment-it is YOU that is doing it WRONG>

MOVE THE SPEAKERS OUT FRONT_WHERE THEY BELONG.  If you need to hear-then add some monitors.

DO NOT expect the same loudspeaker cabinets to do BOTH jobs.

THERE IS NOT amount of eq or any other "adjustment" that you can make.  You might can make a marginal difference-but probably not what you are wanting.

FOLLOW THE BASIC RULES OF SOUND-DO NOT LOOK FOR A MAGICAL SOLUTION.

And don't blame the gear when it is obviously operator error.

I hate to be so harsh-but if you would LISTEN to what everybody is TRYING to tell you, then you could improve things.

If you don't want to listen-then keep on trying it your way and good luck- you are going to need it.

There is a REASON people keep saying the same thing-and it is NOT the actual gear you are using.  It is HOW you are using it.

Ivan, I was merely replying to someones comment that I seem to be looking strictly for help in setting up a basement which is not the case. Be it my fault in setting up the mixer wrong or our speaker arrangements or the walls being made of cheese our equipment is not running as it is supposed to. I haven't been doing this since I was fourteen but I have been around long to know that 425 watts will do a hell of alot more than make you struggle to hear it.

I have mentioned on several occasions that I will re arranging the entire lay out of the set up this weekend, installing an EQ and re doing the mixer/amp settings in an effort to eliminate any feedback from loudspeakers/microphones intermingling with each other. All based on everything you and others have said on here.....not sure where you think I haven't listened

Why haven't you read those comments?

At least four times I have said exactly that, leading one to believe that I have acknowledged several times that the set up is wrong agreeing with you on every point you say im not listening to.

until we get into a space for a bit where we can spread out and find a set up solution for live sound we have to work in this basement.  If I throw the speakers out front I will deluge anyone sitting at the bar with nothing but singer voice at amp'd levels right in their face. It is apparent that in the basement we will have to set up for monitors and watch our levels. But moving the speakers out front laying em down or putting em up in the attic doesn't change the fact that I have set the mixer up wrong and have acknowledged that several times. I haven't had a chance yet to get over there and look at actual settings but I can safely tell you that every channel on the mixer that has a mic is maxed out.  If the mixer isn't set up right EQ'd properly and every input leveled properly there will little to no control over the mix, right. If the mixer setting aren't important there is an entire industry of sound techs who are drastically over paid.  This is what you all have been saying.  I have not suggested in any part of here that I want to get very loud. We are not trying to blow the ceiling off the house. But when our guitarists are doing even acoustics and you cant hear the singer through 425 watts.......it is not running as it is designed to. I haven't blamed any gear here other than to say its not running as it should......I dont mention that I set it up wrong in every post because im sure I established that.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 23, 2012, 11:48:16 pm
Ivan............... being made of cheese, our equipment is not running as it is supposed to.

I think I see your problem.......
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Brad Weber on November 24, 2012, 07:29:37 am
I haven't been doing this since I was fourteen but I have been around long to know that 425 watts will do a hell of alot more than make you struggle to hear it.
A simple experiment, but unplug or mute all the live sources and try playing back a recorded source.  Can you get the system loud enough with no live mics or sources?  If so then the mixer, amp and speakers seem to be working fine.
 
If that works but you can't get the system loud enough with live sources then you need to quit thinking about the amp output and learn about Potential Acoustic Gain (PAG) and Needed Acoustic Gain (NAG).  That sounds technical but it is really about being able to amplify a live sound source to the degree desired without feedback  and whether you can get the desired output with a given input.
 
Needed Acoustic Gain is how gain you need or want for a source, basically how much you want amplify a source.  Potential Acoustic Gain is how much gain can be applied to that source before the system goes into feedback.  The overall goal is an electroacoustic system (room and electronics) that has more Potential Acoustic Gain than is needed or desired (PAG>NAG). If the Potential Acoustic Gain is less than the Needed Acoustic Gain, or PAG<NAG,  then the system will feed back.
 
I won't go into all the details but suffice it to say the PAG-NAG calculations relate to physical relationships - distances, angles and directionality.  How much gain you can get from a system does not even consider the amplifier power, that may affect how loud the speaker output can be but not how much gain you can apply to the singer before going into feedback.  It doesn't matter if your speaker can output 150dB if the system starts to feed back at 80dB.
 
So maybe stop thinking in terms of how loud you think it should be and instead focus on how to increase the gain you can apply to, or essentially how much you can amplify, any source without going into feedback.  And that is going to mean looking at the physical relationships of the source to the microphone, the physical relationships between the speakers and microphones, the physical relationships between the speakers/microphones and the room, the physical relationships between the speakers and listeners, the system processing applied and so on.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 24, 2012, 08:40:40 am
It doesn't matter if you had 10,000 watts, in your current setup you will not be able to get it ANY louder without feedback.

Your basic  problem is that while you have the wattage you do-you cannot get it any louder (or use the full potential of what you have) because of your speaker placement-PERIOD!

Short of eqing out any peaks in the response-there are not settings on the console (ESPECIALLY GAINS/LEVELS ETC) that will get it any louder without feedback. 2+2+3+3= 9+1.  You can adjust till your hearts content-but it will not get any louder.

THAT is limited by the TOTAL GAIN through the system.  As Brad and I have pointed out PAG-NAG.

You say every channel on the mixer is "maxed out".. ExACTLY WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?  If you mean the input gain/trim eq and channel master volumes are all turned up all the way-then you have WAAAYYY more issues than simple feedback.

Distortion would be the FIRST that would come to mind.  But we have not even started talking about that yet.

Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 24, 2012, 09:03:36 am
A simple experiment, but unplug or mute all the live sources and try playing back a recorded source.  Can you get the system loud enough with no live mics or sources?  If so then the mixer, amp and speakers seem to be working fine.
 
I that works but you can't get the system loud enough with live sources then you need to quit thinking about the amp output and learn about Potential Acoustic Gain (PAG) and Needed Acoustic Gain (NAG).  That sounds technical but it is really about being able to amplify a live sound source to the degree desired without feedback.  It's whether you can get the desired output with a given input.
 
Needed Acoustic Gain is how gain you need or want for a source, basically how much you want amplify a source.  Potential Acoustic Gain is how much gain can be applied to that source before the system goes into feedback.  The overall goal is an electroacoustic system (room and electronics) that has more Potential Acoustic Gain than is needed or desired (PAG>NAG). If the Potential Acoustic Gain is less than the Needed Acoustic Gain, or PAG<NAG,  then the system will feed back.
 
I won't go into all the details but suffice it to say the PAG-NAG calculations relate to physical relationships - distances, angles and directionality.  How much gain you can get from a system does not even consider the amplifier power, that may affect how loud the speaker output can be but not how much gain you can apply to the singer before going into feedback.  It doesn't matter if your speaker can output 150dB if the system starts to feed back at 80dB.
 
So maybe stop thinking in terms of how loud you think it should be and instead focus on how to increase the gain you can apply to, or essentially how much you can amplify, any source without going into feedback.  And that is going to mean looking at the physical relationships of the source to the microphone, the physical relationships between the speakers and microphones, the physical relationships between the speakers/microphones and the room, the physical relationships between the speakers and listeners, the system processing applied and so on.

yes I can plug my cellphone into a channel zero it out and it will play with no issues and have plenty of volume...Have read thru a pag-nag site....that one will take some time to sink into my "gray matter."

Ivan, not all the settings....but in a nut shell I would have to say that the EQ on the singers channel is boosted, the trim is almost at full... i have him routed thru 1-2 /3-4 / l-r which I now know makes absolutely no sense for our purposes, their are a few trim knobs for solo, aux's that are way up.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: John Halliburton on November 24, 2012, 09:42:32 am


Ivan, not all the settings....but in a nut shell I would have to say that the EQ on the singers channel is boosted, the trim is almost at full... i have him routed thru 1-2 /3-4 / l-r which I now know makes absolutely no sense for our purposes, their are a few trim knobs for solo, aux's that are way up.

EQ is NOT for "boosting"!!!!!!!!  NO NO NO No fucking NO!

The trim is not supposed to be fucking "at full", unless that's what is indicated by the level on the meters when looking at that channel.

Sorry, I've had a bad week, and you're not listening, nor doing things close to right.

The number of watts has nothing to do with what you perceive should happen-the feedback would occur if you were only using 100 watts.  It's the open mics on stage catching the sound from your band and your ill deployed speakers, and causing the feedback.  This can happen under "proper" stage setups too, but one of the rewards of good stage set up, mic choice and placement, a band who knows how to balance themselves first without a sound system in place-and keep it at a reasonably level, all contribute to minimize feedback problems in the first place, and allow the engineer to dial in as good a sound as possible for the given situation and gear.

I frankly wouldn't worry about putting the speakers out into the bar area more, you should be able to balance the mix accordingly.  I'd even suggest taking your main speakers, and use one as a monitor on it's own feed from an Aux send on the mixer, thru a graphic eq to ring out feedback, and just leave the other main speaker in that corner by the pool table firing down that wall at the bottom of the drawing.

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 24, 2012, 11:31:34 am
yes I can plug my cellphone into a channel zero it out and it will play with no issues and have plenty of volume...Have read thru a pag-nag site....that one will take some time to sink into my "gray matter."

Ivan, not all the settings....but in a nut shell I would have to say that the EQ on the singers channel is boosted, the trim is almost at full... i have him routed thru 1-2 /3-4 / l-r which I now know makes absolutely no sense for our purposes, their are a few trim knobs for solo, aux's that are way up.
I have never seen a "trim knob for solo" what is that?  You may have a master solo level "knob", but that has NOTHING to do with the sound that is coming out of the speakers.

What are you using the aux for?

It sounds like you need to start learning what the knobs are for/do.  Just turning knobs and "hoping" to get a good sound is NOT the way to go about it.

Does you guitar player just turn the tuning keys and "hope" that he gets them in tune?

There IS a METHOD to go about.  GUESSING is NOT it.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 24, 2012, 12:42:58 pm
EQ is NOT for "boosting"!!!!!!!!  NO NO NO No fucking NO!

The trim is not supposed to be fucking "at full", unless that's what is indicated by the level on the meters when looking at that channel.

Sorry, I've had a bad week, and you're not listening, nor doing things close to right.

The number of watts has nothing to do with what you perceive should happen-the feedback would occur if you were only using 100 watts.  It's the open mics on stage catching the sound from your band and your ill deployed speakers, and causing the feedback.  This can happen under "proper" stage setups too, but one of the rewards of good stage set up, mic choice and placement, a band who knows how to balance themselves first without a sound system in place-and keep it at a reasonably level, all contribute to minimize feedback problems in the first place, and allow the engineer to dial in as good a sound as possible for the given situation and gear.

I frankly wouldn't worry about putting the speakers out into the bar area more, you should be able to balance the mix accordingly.  I'd even suggest taking your main speakers, and use one as a monitor on it's own feed from an Aux send on the mixer, thru a graphic eq to ring out feedback, and just leave the other main speaker in that corner by the pool table firing down that wall at the bottom of the drawing.

Best regards,

John

it has now become necessary or me to add that since I started this thread I have not had a chance to get over there to correct these and other issues, I have heard (read) everything said on here but havent been able to implement any of it as of yet....just got back from GC after purchasing a few new cables to replace some questionable cables we have been using.

Tonight I will be going to practice a bit early to re arrange most the equipment/speakers, mic levels, ringing out the PA and seeing how the fight about turning down goes to see what this system will actually do.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 24, 2012, 12:44:16 pm
I think I see your problem.......

seems funnier when you say it.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 24, 2012, 01:01:42 pm
I have never seen a "trim knob for solo" what is that?  You may have a master solo level "knob", but that has NOTHING to do with the sound that is coming out of the speakers.

What are you using the aux for?

It sounds like you need to start learning what the knobs are for/do.  Just turning knobs and "hoping" to get a good sound is NOT the way to go about it.

Does you guitar player just turn the tuning keys and "hope" that he gets them in tune?

There IS a METHOD to go about.  GUESSING is NOT it.

When we first set it up I had no idea about aux/solo/busses/ etc.. But after this thread and what seems to be a ridiculous amount of time the last week and a half studying online manuals and tutorial sites, PAG NAG instructionals. It appears that all I need to do is route the vocal thru L/R, set levels, ring out the system, get rid of one of the 2x15's (which might ultimately be used for an onstage monitor while the other for PA if capabilities allow), make sure the 2x15 that we actually use in the basement is not interfering with the vocal mic's, turn down the guitars(which I have no idea yet how that's gonna happen, our lead guitar alone has so much power that he is running at volume level 1 or 2 if he turns his amp down at all it sounds all screwed up, probably some room in his pedal board to give him some leeway but im sure that will take some convincing.) Have come to the conclusion that  have been trying to use entirely too much of the board for what we actually need it to do...

in the most simplest of needs,...one lead mic on channel 1, one backup vocal on channel 2 set levels, ring out system (with speaker/s in correct locations, adjust all volumes to correct levels making sure that guitars dont drown out the vocals defeating everything I have done here.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 24, 2012, 05:00:30 pm
When we first set it up I had no idea about aux/solo/busses/ etc.. But after this thread and what seems to be a ridiculous amount of time the last week and a half studying online manuals and tutorial sites, PAG NAG instructionals. It appears that all I need to do is route the vocal thru L/R, set levels, ring out the system, get rid of one of the 2x15's (which might ultimately be used for an onstage monitor while the other for PA if capabilities allow), make sure the 2x15 that we actually use in the basement is not interfering with the vocal mic's, turn down the guitars(which I have no idea yet how that's gonna happen, our lead guitar alone has so much power that he is running at volume level 1 or 2 if he turns his amp down at all it sounds all screwed up, probably some room in his pedal board to give him some leeway but im sure that will take some convincing.) Have come to the conclusion that  have been trying to use entirely too much of the board for what we actually need it to do...

in the most simplest of needs,...one lead mic on channel 1, one backup vocal on channel 2 set levels, ring out system (with speaker/s in correct locations, adjust all volumes to correct levels making sure that guitars dont drown out the vocals defeating everything I have done here.

You have learned more than it initially appeared.  Good work, Jeff, and thanks for sticking with us.  The processes here at Ye Olde Skool of Harde Audible Knocks, is kind of socratic with a bit of curmudgeonly-ness thrown in.  Stir in some Impatience of Expertise for good measure....

You've identified places where you were adding unnecessary electrical gain, such as multi-busing signals.  The concept of not aiming Other Loud Things into the vocal has taken hold.  If the band is patient, you can try various things one at a time so you can hear how they impact the results.

Let us know what you try and how it went.

As for the guitarist, there is no simple solution.  The best is a smaller amp, but your Basement Tonmeister either doesn't own one or would complain that he "can't get his sound."  Good luck... and remember, Acoustic solutions for Acoustic problems.... your answer is in there.  Really.  Trust me, I play a doctor in community theater... /humor
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 25, 2012, 02:09:46 am
You have learned more than it initially appeared.  Good work, Jeff, and thanks for sticking with us.  The processes here at Ye Olde Skool of Harde Audible Knocks, is kind of socratic with a bit of curmudgeonly-ness thrown in.  Stir in some Impatience of Expertise for good measure....

You've identified places where you were adding unnecessary electrical gain, such as multi-busing signals.  The concept of not aiming Other Loud Things into the vocal has taken hold.  If the band is patient, you can try various things one at a time so you can hear how they impact the results.

Let us know what you try and how it went.

As for the guitarist, there is no simple solution.  The best is a smaller amp, but your Basement Tonmeister either doesn't own one or would complain that he "can't get his sound."  Good luck... and remember, Acoustic solutions for Acoustic problems.... your answer is in there.  Really.  Trust me, I play a doctor in community theater... /humor

everything to zero...
brought mic's to feedback...
low cut...
mid shelve...
Graphic uneeded...
move speakers...
better overall sound in almost every way...best recordings as well

Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: John Halliburton on November 25, 2012, 09:47:45 am
everything to zero...
brought mic's to feedback...
low cut...
mid shelve...
Graphic uneeded...
move speakers...
better overall sound in almost every way...best recordings as well
Congratulations!

Leave the graphic eq in circuit, things change(crowded room or empty for instance), and be ready to use it just in case.

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Jeff Young on November 25, 2012, 10:06:04 am
Congratulations!

Leave the graphic eq in circuit, things change(crowded room or empty for instance), and be ready to use it just in case.

Best regards,

John

took drummer out of PA completely and ran his kick drum to a little Crate powered mixer and 1x15 behind the drums...

even though these changes to settings, set up, and lay out resulted in nothing but better sound all the way around with more leveled recordings taken from my Zoom....still spent three hrs listening to the drummer tell me that everyone needs to be mic'd off and ran thru the PA.

But thanks all, at least its facing the right direction now
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: Greg_Cameron on November 25, 2012, 12:43:12 pm
even though these changes to settings, set up, and lay out resulted in nothing but better sound all the way around with more leveled recordings taken from my Zoom....still spent three hrs listening to the drummer tell me that everyone needs to be mic'd off and ran thru the PA.

Then tell your drummer to cough up $20k or so for a bigger/better PA that can handle it.
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help-WRONG!!!
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on November 25, 2012, 12:45:04 pm
Then tell your drummer to cough up $20k or so for a bigger/better PA that can handle it.

As an older lady suggested to a soundman, "Put mics on the drums and TURN THEM DOWN!"
Title: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Samuel Rees on November 25, 2012, 03:49:14 pm
What a world that would be - where "mic'ing" something would allow you to negatively reinforce the sound it makes!
Title: Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
Post by: Mac Kerr on November 25, 2012, 03:53:20 pm
What a world that would be - where "mic'ing" something would allow you to negatively reinforce the sound it makes!

Whoosh!