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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 01:42:30 am

Title: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 01:42:30 am
Hey everyone, my name is Joe and Im the guitarist in a 90s Tribute Cover Band.  We recently started getting some bigger gigs and I felt its time to invest in a PA system.  Unfortunately, I am the only one contributing, so I cant spend a ton of money.  The band consists of 5 Vocals, 2 guitarists, bass, keyboard, and drums.  I recently purchased a Yamaha MG20XU unpowered mixer, figuring that I will get some powered loudspeakers.  I have the opportunity to get 2 Mackie Thump 15s 1000 watts for $450 for the pair. Ultimately, I want to mic everything, but it seems no-one says to do this without a sub.  I dont have the money for a sub right now.  So, are these good overall mains? If I do decide to get them, should I not mic the drums or bass until I get a sub, or can I keep them low in the mix. Should I not mic the guitars if Im not mixing the bass and drums? I am new to this, so please be gentle.  We have weddings and other big events coming up that I want to make sure we sound the best we can.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Gaines on August 20, 2018, 02:13:59 am
If you have weddings and bigger gigs coming up, why not invest in better gear? Seriously, you don't have to go JBL SRX or better. That's probably too expensive.
 
But if the $ is in the pipeline, why not open a line of credit at Sweetwater and dedicate it to the gear? The first year is investment time. Do yourself a favor: don't do it piecemeal. Buy once, cry once, and pay it off as the checks come in.
 
QSC K12.2 tops are great. Now do the right thing and invest in a couple of subs and you're in business. I can personally recommend JBL PRX818XLFW subs. I have em, and they hit hard and deep.
The QSC Kw181 subs are ok, but I don't really like the way they sound. The Turbosound IQ18b looks good. I have the IQ10, and it works great as a monitor. I'll bet the subs sound great, and they aren't that expensive.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 20, 2018, 02:19:45 am
Hey everyone, my name is Joe and Im the guitarist in a 90s Tribute Cover Band. 


Hey Joe, go back to your profile and edit it so your "Displayed Name" is your real first and last names.  Real names are required to post on the Live Audio forums so if you don't take care of it a moderator will lock your thread until you do.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Chris Grimshaw on August 20, 2018, 03:25:23 am
The free advice is as follows:

Do not buy Mackie Thumps.

More will follow once you've sorted your name out, as required in the multitude of pages you went through to sign up for this forum.

Chris
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 07:44:17 am
Unfortunately, as I previously said, Iím buying all of this on my own. I cannot afford subs at the moment. I donít have good credit, so I cannot open a line of credit.
If you have weddings and bigger gigs coming up, why not invest in better gear? Seriously, you don't have to go JBL SRX or better. That's probably too expensive.
 
But if the $ is in the pipeline, why not open a line of credit at Sweetwater and dedicate it to the gear? The first year is investment time. Do yourself a favor: don't do it piecemeal. Buy once, cry once, and pay it off as the checks come in.
 
QSC K12.2 tops are great. Now do the right thing and invest in a couple of subs and you're in business. I can personally recommend JBL PRX818XLFW subs. I have em, and they hit hard and deep.
The QSC Kw181 subs are ok, but I don't really like the way they sound. The Turbosound IQ18b looks good. I have the IQ10, and it works great as a monitor. I'll bet the subs sound great, and they aren't that expensive.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 07:47:29 am
Why not? Even if budget is tight and I can get a pair for $450? Is there something better thatís less money than that?
The free advice is as follows:

Do not buy Mackie Thumps.

More will follow once you've sorted your name out, as required in the multitude of pages you went through to sign up for this forum.

Chris
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: scottstephens on August 20, 2018, 07:58:13 am
Joe,

Try buying used; scour the musician sites for "used, open box, discontinued".  If you can't get a sub, fine,  try getting just a couple of single 15's with a horn. Raise your fee by a few bucks and get your money back. Forget about micing everything for the time being. Unless you or your group is getting paid enough to make it worth  all of the hassle. If you need everything mic'd up try calling sound providers and see what they charge. Make sure you explain to your clients that big "noise" requires big investments on their part.

Scott
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 08:20:35 am
Yes, I buy used all the time. So, the thumps Iím getting are 15s, so just have vocals going thru it until I get a sub?
Joe,

Try buying used; scour the musician sites for "used, open box, discontinued".  If you can't get a sub, fine,  try getting just a couple of single 15's with a horn. Raise your fee by a few bucks and get your money back. Forget about micing everything for the time being. Unless you or your group is getting paid enough to make it worth  all of the hassle. If you need everything mic'd up try calling sound providers and see what they charge. Make sure you explain to your clients that big "noise" requires big investments on their part.

Scott
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Matthias McCready on August 20, 2018, 09:52:19 am
Yes, I buy used all the time. So, the thumps Iím getting are 15s, so just have vocals going thru it until I get a sub?

Since you are so interested in the Thumps.... They sound quite bad, while they will make vocals louder they do not do it well. The top end of these boxes sounds very thin and undetailed. The only positive they have going for them is that they do have a good amount of low end for the size, yes if you are careful (know what the speaker is capable of) you could run some bass and kick through them, just don't expect high volumes. Don't expect the low end to sound great either. The Thump really is quite close to the bottom of the barrel.

$450 seems like a pretty high price for the pair (locally I have seen them go used for $100-150 each).

If you have $450 why not try and see if you can get one good used speaker from a higher price bracket (one that would actually sound good).

Here are a few models to look at (again these are nothing "high end" either, but they are MUCH better than thumps). Again just get one speaker if that is all you can afford, having two speakers means better coverage, not more volume.

1. Yamaha DXR
2. EV ELX
3. Mackie SRM 450 (these can be quite cheap well used)
4. JBL PRX


Joe as a musician I have two analogies for you :-)

1.  When forming your band what was your criteria? Did you bring in the first drummer you could find? (Irrespective of playing ability, whether they would show up on time, or even could play in the requested genre)


I assume you carefully selected your current drummer, passing over those who did not have the ability. In the same manner, take some time to select your speaker. Learn the difference between a poor speaker and an excellent one, before bringing one into your fold.

2. When you bought your guitar, did you decide that a First Act guitar was the guitar to get because it was cheap?

 As for your guitar, it must also be assumed you do not play with a First Act guitar? Why not? It is a guitar, it has pickups, a bridge. and tuners? You don't because you have a minimum standard of excellence. Stating that you must get the Thump (because the price is right) is like someone arguing that the First Act is what they should get because it is cheap (which makes it the guitar for them). Focusing on driver size (15 inch) and wattage is comparatively stating the el cheapo guitar has "tuners" and "pickups." Just like a nice Fender Strat sure the First Act also has these parts, but there is a giant quality difference. Driver size does not indicate quality and wattage does not indicate how loud (or how good) a speaker will be.

---
As you have professed to be "new" to sound let the experienced individuals here help you (I am lowly among their ranks). When they don't recommend something it is the same as you trying to help a young aspiring guitarist get a decent ax and amp.

On another note, if you are getting better gigs, your clients deserve for it to sound good. At minimum get good equipment and learn to properly set it up. However, I would recommend taking time to really dive in and learn, or if this is not your cup of tea, acquire someone to run sound who has taken the time.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Paul G. OBrien on August 20, 2018, 10:31:35 am
Joe.. don't buy Mackie Thumps. If these are used they have already been blown and that is why they are for sale. I think you will find that the collective opinion here is that you can't support a full band on a pair of cheap speakers, what you need costs $3-5k new retail so the best advice is to rent until you collect enough funds to buy a proper PA system, and then scour the used market for pieces that are suitable. Right now the boxes you are looking at are so far out of the realm of capability that you need it is impossible to overstate how much of a mistake you would make in buying them.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on August 20, 2018, 10:39:24 am
Yes, I buy used all the time. So, the thumps Iím getting are 15s, so just have vocals going thru it until I get a sub?

Why did you ask for peopleís opinions if you already made up your mind that you were getting them?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 20, 2018, 10:43:25 am
Yes, I buy used all the time. So, the thumps Iím getting are 15s, so just have vocals going thru it until I get a sub?

Hi Joe-

I've mixed on Mackie Thuds (the sound they make when they land in the dumpster bin).  Unmitigated shit, they are.  Seriously.  I'm not sure how much worse they are than similarly priced products (and I don't really want to find out the hard way) but my experience was not good at all.

Here are the Keys to the Kingdom - The wrong product at the 'right price' is still the wrong product; and Buy Once, Cry Once.

For all the potential problems of having multiple investors, perhaps the band members need to pony up some cash, too, as they benefit from the PA (there is a thread about this, posted a year or so ago) if you can't swing the purchase.  Also for the occasional gig where you need PA, add that into the fee the band charges the customer and RENT, rather than purchase.  You won't need to store, insure or deal with long term maintenance.  The side benefit of renting is that you can get different systems and evaluate them without making a *purchase decision* you'd later regret.

Take your time before spending your own money.  You owe that to yourself.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 20, 2018, 11:10:17 am
Joe - listen to the good advice you are getting here - in the end it will save you money and reputation. I have to agree that Mackie Thumps are not good sounding speakers - IMHO probably one of the worst you could get for the money and you will have to pay a few hundred more to get close to a good sound.
However, many times this same question gets asked here and one suggestion that comes up is to purchase only one speaker to start and then add another later. You do NOT have to have 2 speakers to get a good sound. This way you can purchase a good sounding speaker and earn some money before you purchase the second one. One Yamaha DXR12 used would be not much different to the 2 Mackies in price and would blow them away in sound quality.
As Mathias mentioned so far you have probably chosen the musicians and instruments capable of doing the job well so why would you now buy a PA that is inadequate?
The PA is as important as the other equipment you have and anything being amplified through it, whether you decide to use it for vocals only or not, is going to sound like poop if it is not up to par. Why would you do that?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Thomas Le on August 20, 2018, 11:34:57 am
Mackie Thumps are hot garbage, the market they cater to are the small time DJ's that don't know any better. If you're strapped for cash, have a look at Yamaha DBR/DXR, they easily eat the Thumps. One main reason the Thumps are bad is because they go to Limit too easily and the 1000w is pure marketing.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Chris Grimshaw on August 20, 2018, 11:59:41 am
Now that the name thing has been sorted, I'll share my experience with the Mackies...

- Playing some recorded music, they sound bad. They made Guns N Roses sound like the guitars were missing, and I'm not kidding. There's a big scoop in the midrange where all the good stuff ought to live.
- Mixing live through them, with the overall sound put to one side, they're easy to get to the limiters. Sound checking a band with their PA (they'd bought the subs, too), got the vocals just about level with the drums, add a smidge of guitar and the red lights start firing up.

They're not worth the money or the trip to the van to carry them into the venue.

The cheapest new speakers I can recommend in good conscience (and even then, having dismantled and measured them they pull some dirty tricks) are Yamaha DBR range.

You could look into buying used, too. Good equipment lasts forever - look at the number of companies still using Macrotechs.

Chris
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Dave Garoutte on August 20, 2018, 12:10:09 pm
Yamaha DXR12 or DXR15.
Very good with vocal, pretty much bullet proof, look good.
I agree that one good speaker is better than two crappy ones.
Used or B-stock of DXRs would be a budget way of getting into a nice PA.
There's a used DXR12 on ebay for $550 right now.
You are investing in improving your sound and saleability; invest in VALUE, not price.
I have NEVER been sorry for paying more for quality.

Where are you located?
One or our forumers may be close enough to rent you one of the suggested speakers to try.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Olewiler on August 20, 2018, 04:19:13 pm
Hey everyone, my name is Joe and Im the guitarist in a 90s Tribute Cover Band.  We recently started getting some bigger gigs and I felt its time to invest in a PA system.  Unfortunately, I am the only one contributing, so I cant spend a ton of money.  The band consists of 5 Vocals, 2 guitarists, bass, keyboard, and drums.

Joe,

if you're the only one contributing I certainly hope that you're requiring a bigger portion of the money for providing the PA.  At a minimum take an extra share.  If you don't get that settled now, the more the band makes the more you'll be getting screwed by the other members who are not contributing to the PA.

 I have to wonder what the band is playing thru now if your proposed upgrade is Mackie Thumps?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: W. Mark Hellinger on August 20, 2018, 04:23:39 pm
Quality over quantity may be preferred by your customer base... depending.  The band I play in is generally modest SPL wise.  Our goal is "clean & punchy" at "lower SPL", and we seem to be enjoying reasonably high demand because of it.  But it (the seeming popularity) might be because of our diva center stage... or our cool band logo on the kick drum resonator head?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Tom Roche on August 20, 2018, 04:26:33 pm
I already knew the Mackie Thumps had a terrible reputation for sound and durability.  Recently my band was hired to support a local country artist who uses the Thumps.  My goodness do they sound BAD!  Buying them would be complete waste of money IMO.  I agree with the buy once, cry once way of doing things, but it's a hard sell to anyone who hasn't learned this lesson.  If you must go cheap/inexpensive, consider looking at Alto speakers.  They sound far superior to the Thumps.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 04:48:58 pm
Hey. Actually , both speakers are brand new and never used. Iím getting them from a friend. Itís funny about all the bad comments about them on here. All the reviews I see says they are awesome.
Joe.. don't buy Mackie Thumps. If these are used they have already been blown and that is why they are for sale. I think you will find that the collective opinion here is that you can't support a full band on a pair of cheap speakers, what you need costs $3-5k new retail so the best advice is to rent until you collect enough funds to buy a proper PA system, and then scour the used market for pieces that are suitable. Right now the boxes you are looking at are so far out of the realm of capability that you need it is impossible to overstate how much of a mistake you would make in buying them.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Gaines on August 20, 2018, 05:09:18 pm
Mackie Thumps are garbage.
But let's be honest here. This is a gear enthusiast forum, not a cheapy beginners forum.
That's not a slam against you, Joe. It's just that most of the folks here are working sound guys/gals and are really passionate about great gear. I think that's the issue.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Mike Caldwell on August 20, 2018, 05:14:40 pm
How are you actually promoting your band.....some guys playing 90's music at the local bar or a true tribute band playing all the hits of the 90's. Do you dress up and look the part?

If your selling yourself as a true pro tribute act to festival promoters ect. they are going to expect some real production to come along with the package.

Like Tim mentioned rent sound and lighting while factoring the cost into your fees.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Gaines on August 20, 2018, 05:15:43 pm
How are you actually promoting your band.....some guys playing 90's music at the local bar or a true tribute band playing all the hits of the 90's. Do you dress up and look the part?

If your selling yourself as a true pro tribute act to festival promoters ect. they are going to expect some real production to come along with the package.

Like Tim mentioned rent sound and lighting while factoring the cost into your fees.
Doesn't sound like they're making that kind of dough.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 20, 2018, 05:26:46 pm
Doesn't sound like they're making that kind of dough.
We arenít making a lot yet. We are only making like 100-300 a member, so we are on a budget unfortunately. The fact that I havenít gotten a single good comment speaks volumes. I will be looking for something else. Can I get suggestions for a 15inch loudspeaker for around $500 each?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Gaines on August 20, 2018, 05:56:59 pm
A lot has happened in pro audio over the last few years. A good 12 will outperform a cheap 15, and your vocals will be cleaner. 
I think you should go to a guitar center and try some of this stuff out. The newer cabs are lighter, louder, and more reliable than ever.
Might be worth your while to save a bit longer and grab a pair of Yammy DXRs or QSC K12s. You'll be glad you did. I have a pair of the K12.2 speakers, and they sound good! I've heard that the DXRs are even better. I just don't like the way they look. Plus I got a super deal on the K12s.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 20, 2018, 06:11:45 pm
A lot has happened in pro audio over the last few years. A good 12 will outperform a cheap 15, and your vocals will be cleaner. 
I think you should go to a guitar center and try some of this stuff out. The newer cabs are lighter, louder, and more reliable than ever.
Might be worth your while to save a bit longer and grab a pair of Yammy DXRs or QSC K12s. You'll be glad you did. I have a pair of the K12.2 speakers, and they sound good! I've heard that the DXRs are even better. I just don't like the way they look. Plus I got a super deal on the K12s.

Overall consensus - including me - is that the Yamaha DXR12 is superior to the QSC K12 ( and even the newer K12.2) at a a better price.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Bolt on August 20, 2018, 08:38:09 pm
Hi Joe,

I am going to depart from the very good advice being given here and recommend 15" speakers instead of 12" speakers.

You can get a used DXR15 for around $500 if you look around.  Here are a couple of examples:

LINK 1 (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Yamaha/DXR15-Powered-Speaker-114283090.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjwzenbBRB3EiwAItS-u3ZUcnTC8bEk_o_5KrkJBD1HrW0wNIToY18CW7ugJZ0jAhURI60HIRoCOXMQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^70424644722-device^c-plaid^382887189554-sku^114283090@ADL4GC-adType^PLA)

LINK 2 (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Yamaha/Dxr15-Powered-Speaker-114292524.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjwzenbBRB3EiwAItS-u10K7fTxDobiebZ34R-rtPp5HDAjpEFLajipQi86NzSDaVSBkNE-CxoCuUkQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^70424644722-device^c-plaid^382887189554-sku^114292524@ADL4GC-adType^PLA)

The DXR15 is a very good speaker that can be used without a sub and still provide some pretty convincing bass.  It is also well respected in sound quality and reliability.

I am going to completely agree with others here that the Thumps are one of the worst speakers I have ever worked with.  Not sure I would even use them for a foot-stool at a frat party ;)
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 20, 2018, 09:28:40 pm
Hi Joe,

I am going to depart from the very good advice being given here and recommend 15" speakers instead of 12" speakers.

You can get a used DXR15 for around $500 if you look around.  Here are a couple of examples:

LINK 1 (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Yamaha/DXR15-Powered-Speaker-114283090.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjwzenbBRB3EiwAItS-u3ZUcnTC8bEk_o_5KrkJBD1HrW0wNIToY18CW7ugJZ0jAhURI60HIRoCOXMQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^70424644722-device^c-plaid^382887189554-sku^114283090@ADL4GC-adType^PLA)

LINK 2 (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Yamaha/Dxr15-Powered-Speaker-114292524.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKCAjwzenbBRB3EiwAItS-u10K7fTxDobiebZ34R-rtPp5HDAjpEFLajipQi86NzSDaVSBkNE-CxoCuUkQAvD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^70424644722-device^c-plaid^382887189554-sku^114292524@ADL4GC-adType^PLA)

The DXR15 is a very good speaker that can be used without a sub and still provide some pretty convincing bass.  It is also well respected in sound quality and reliability.

I am going to completely agree with others here that the Thumps are one of the worst speakers I have ever worked with.  Not sure I would even use them for a foot-stool at a frat party ;)

I owned DXR15's and I can agree with Scott - if you don't use subs to start - these have amazing low end.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 20, 2018, 09:34:57 pm
My experience with the Yamaha DXR15 was with a tribute band (I'll take 'Hair Bands of the 80s for $2000, Alex!) that used them for wedge monitors for the bass player and 1 of the guitarists (both sang harmonies as well).  The bass player pretty much matched his SVT rig level in his wedge and stood in the power alley he created unless he was singing.  It became the stage sound I had to mix the show to...  The guitarist didn't use nearly as much of his GTR in his mix but his vocal level was LOUD.  The DXRs stood up to the 2 hour show without overheating or shutting down, not sure if they were into limit (wouldn't surprise me) but damn, they had output.

Color me impressed.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 22, 2018, 04:14:43 am
My experience with the Yamaha DXR15 was with a tribute band (I'll take 'Hair Bands of the 80s for $2000, Alex!) that used them for wedge monitors for the bass player and 1 of the guitarists (both sang harmonies as well).  The bass player pretty much matched his SVT rig level in his wedge and stood in the power alley he created unless he was singing.  It became the stage sound I had to mix the show to...  The guitarist didn't use nearly as much of his GTR in his mix but his vocal level was LOUD.  The DXRs stood up to the 2 hour show without overheating or shutting down, not sure if they were into limit (wouldn't surprise me) but damn, they had output.

Color me impressed.
So, if I get one Yamaha DXR15 now and I just hook hook the one up, would that be sufficient for 5 vocalists?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Gordon Brinton on August 22, 2018, 04:54:48 am
...We recently started getting some bigger gigs and I felt its time to invest in a PA system.  Unfortunately, I am the only one contributing...

What I would ask myself is...why does the rest of the band NOT think that it is time to invest? They apparently see the band's future differently than you.

My advice, just pay a small sound company to bring sound and lights. Then take the expense off the top before anyone else gets paid. It's the cost of doing business.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Jon Brunskill on August 22, 2018, 04:58:04 am
So, if I get one Yamaha DXR15 now and I just hook hook the one up, would that be sufficient for 5 vocalists?

Yes.

Just as an aside, I'm in a band playing covers, and we made the decision to invest in decent gear. We did it because out of 4-5 cover bands in our area, most of them have pretty poor sound equipment - JBL JRX, or Thumps or ancient dusty cabs with a mismatched power amp and a Phonic mixer.

By simply having a good sound system, and a good but not-crazy expensive lighting rig, the very first gig we played we had comment saying how 'pro' we were and what a great 'show'.

Now we were musically not crash hot that show, but we looked and sounded good and we seemed 'higher end' than other local bands. And that reputation as a high end band has led to us booking quite a few wedding and ball gigs which pay more and are nicer events.

Food for thought.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 22, 2018, 05:42:42 am
What I would ask myself is...why does the rest of the band NOT think that it is time to invest? They apparently see the band's future differently than you.

My advice, just pay a small sound company to bring sound and lights. Then take the expense off the top before anyone else gets paid. It's the cost of doing business.

I get what youíre saying, but we arenít making enough yet to pay a sound guy. They go for $250 a gig and thatís more than double we make individuals.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Chris Hindle on August 22, 2018, 07:37:26 am
I get what youíre saying, but we arenít making enough yet to pay a sound guy. They go for $250 a gig and thatís more than double we make individuals.
Umm. There might be a reason for that......
And the question is NOT will the speaker work for 5 vocals.
The question is will that speaker fill the area required, with the volume required.
Chris.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 22, 2018, 09:43:33 am
Umm. There might be a reason for that......
And the question is NOT will the speaker work for 5 vocals.
The question is will that speaker fill the area required, with the volume required.
Chris.

The reason for that is because venues over here donít pay well.  Also, you didnít answer your own question.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Chris Hindle on August 22, 2018, 09:57:35 am
The reason for that is because venues over here donít pay well.  Also, you didnít answer your own question.
No Joe. You didn't answer the question.
Any speaker can "handle" 5 vocals.
BUT, will it do so loud enough in the area you need covered?
I can't answer that, You have to try it out, and see for yourself.

As to venue's, that is a very old story.
Back in the day (I haven't done a bar gig in 25 years), a band was willing to pay me a serious chunk of their take just to make sure they got a good result. More people came to see them, they got paid better as the bar took in more cash. They got more popular, and could work every week.
Just sayin, it takes money to make money.
If your mates are not interested in ponying up for a decent PA, maybe they should stick to the garage, and you should look for more serious players.
Chris.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Debbie Dunkley on August 22, 2018, 11:55:33 am
No Joe. You didn't answer the question.
Any speaker can "handle" 5 vocals.
BUT, will it do so loud enough in the area you need covered?
I can't answer that, You have to try it out, and see for yourself.

As to venue's, that is a very old story.
Back in the day (I haven't done a bar gig in 25 years), a band was willing to pay me a serious chunk of their take just to make sure they got a good result. More people came to see them, they got paid better as the bar took in more cash. They got more popular, and could work every week.
Just sayin, it takes money to make money.
If your mates are not interested in ponying up for a decent PA, maybe they should stick to the garage, and you should look for more serious players.
Chris.

100% this .....

Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Steve Garris on August 22, 2018, 12:07:19 pm
So, if I get one Yamaha DXR15 now and I just hook hook the one up, would that be sufficient for 5 vocalists?

Joe, I agree with the others here that this is a great choice. In addition, depending on the size of the area your are covering, at times a single speaker is better than 2 speakers. I won't get into the details, but a good, high quality single speaker is a great place to start.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Gordon Brinton on August 22, 2018, 06:59:19 pm
I get what youíre saying, but we arenít making enough yet to pay a sound guy. They go for $250 a gig and thatís more than double we make individuals.
Yeah, your thinking is all backward.

It's all about presentation. Bands who sacrifice their pay in order to get great sound and lights, usually get people's attention and draw crowds sooner or later. Bands who don't, rarely ever get anyone's attention.

The band I work for started out being the lowest paid band in all of their venues. (The same place everyone starts.) However, they played practically for free just to pay me every show. After 1-1/2 years, they are now among the highest paid bands in each of those venues because they are drawing well. They are just a cover band, so why do people like them so much? Because they sound great. Because they hired the best soundman that they could afford and worked diligently to solve all problems. Again, you don't have to be fabulous. You just have to be well packaged and presented.

If you insist that your way works best, then go ahead, buy junk and let some amateur friend run it for you. Good luck.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Geert Friedhof on August 22, 2018, 08:13:47 pm
Yeah, you sure Need HELP!!!
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Bolt on August 22, 2018, 08:39:49 pm
So, if I get one Yamaha DXR15 now and I just hook hook the one up, would that be sufficient for 5 vocalists?
Several thoughts here.

First,
I think that a single used DXR15 at around $500.00 is likely going to give you the most and best sound (and even some surprising low end) for that much money.  It will most certainly do laps around those thumps you were thinking about.  No matter how many thumps you put together, it still wouldn't sound as nice as a single DXR15.

Second,
Starting with 1 good speaker is a way better option than getting 2 crappy ones.

Third,
A single DXR15 will give you a surprising amount of vocal clarity..... as long as you don't bury the vocals in the mix with too much guitar.  Nearly any decent guitar tube amp is capable of totally obliterating the mix in anything but the largest of venues (which you are not playing anyway).  In small clubs, keeping the guitar and drums under control is vital to sounding good as a band.  No amount of PA will make your band sound good if the stage volume is not under control.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 22, 2018, 10:59:32 pm
The reason for that is because venues over here donít pay well.  Also, you didnít answer your own question.

I find this to be a specious chicken and egg argument.  When I got back into working with bands 5 years ago I too was working in the bars.  We bought good gear (the bits and pieces add up, the speakers are one small part).  A small bar rig is 15k.  A larger rig with 4 - 18's and three way tops is 20k.  They went out for $350 and $500 respectively which is way cheap.  It's below cost to keep it in service, be insured and transport it to the venue.  But it didn't matter, we were working.  Some nights the bands went into their pockets to pay us.  You never know if someone is going to hire you for a wedding or a 3k gig.  Bands with shitty PA's, drinking on stage, disheveled in appearance don't make money.  Most people don't know a great band from a good well practiced band.  You can make more money but you must conduct yourself in a professional manner in all circumstances.

Today the few bands that are clients book corporate and private events and help us push our portfolio of staging, drapery, uplighting and other goodies.  We are integral partners to these acts success and are treated as such.  We have a voice in band meetings and have earned the implicit trust of these hard working artists.  If you don't want to work like that then we pass and that's ok.  There are plenty of trunk slammer sound guys who will pitch a pile of trash for $250 and get drunk and be ok with that.

While we provide sound our job is to protect our artists.  No matter what we have to do to make sure that the integrity of the act is preserved.  This entails making sure the venue takes care of the artist and they are comfortable. 

Many other acts are surprised that our acts can earn $1500-2000 in a bar and pay $500+ for production, which is still inexpensive but we take it into the larger picture of the relationship. 

Relationships rather than transactions is what we value.

You can be this band, just step up.

Out of curiosity where are you located?

BTW - In the future please try and create a subject that reflects the thread.  "I need help" is  a major turn off and falls in line to the type of attention to detail items that we are all talking to you about.

I hope you find your place and success!
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 23, 2018, 04:29:11 am
I find this to be a specious chicken and egg argument.  When I got back into working with bands 5 years ago I too was working in the bars.  We bought good gear (the bits and pieces add up, the speakers are one small part).  A small bar rig is 15k.  A larger rig with 4 - 18's and three way tops is 20k.  They went out for $350 and $500 respectively which is way cheap.  It's below cost to keep it in service, be insured and transport it to the venue.  But it didn't matter, we were working.  Some nights the bands went into their pockets to pay us.  You never know if someone is going to hire you for a wedding or a 3k gig.  Bands with shitty PA's, drinking on stage, disheveled in appearance don't make money.  Most people don't know a great band from a good well practiced band.  You can make more money but you must conduct yourself in a professional manner in all circumstances.

Today the few bands that are clients book corporate and private events and help us push our portfolio of staging, drapery, uplighting and other goodies.  We are integral partners to these acts success and are treated as such.  We have a voice in band meetings and have earned the implicit trust of these hard working artists.  If you don't want to work like that then we pass and that's ok.  There are plenty of trunk slammer sound guys who will pitch a pile of trash for $250 and get drunk and be ok with that.

While we provide sound our job is to protect our artists.  No matter what we have to do to make sure that the integrity of the act is preserved.  This entails making sure the venue takes care of the artist and they are comfortable. 

Many other acts are surprised that our acts can earn $1500-2000 in a bar and pay $500+ for production, which is still inexpensive but we take it into the larger picture of the relationship. 

Relationships rather than transactions is what we value.

You can be this band, just step up.

Out of curiosity where are you located?

BTW - In the future please try and create a subject that reflects the thread.  "I need help" is  a major turn off and falls in line to the type of attention to detail items that we are all talking to you about.

I hope you find your place and success!
Thanks for the advice. I appreciate everyoneís feedback. So, we are located in Staten Island NYC.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 23, 2018, 05:21:46 pm
Thanks for the advice. I appreciate everyoneís feedback. So, we are located in Staten Island NYC.

So you have some of the highest paying markets in the country within 50 miles of you.

Philly, Dewey Beach, all over Virginia.....NYC of course.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Joe Pennachio on August 24, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
So you have some of the highest paying markets in the country within 50 miles of you.

Philly, Dewey Beach, all over Virginia.....NYC of course.

It would appear that way,  but have been struggling a little bit. We are a great band with potential to be even better, but itís been pretty slow moving.  As far as another speaker option, how are the EV ELX200-15p compared to the Yamaha DXR15? Also, as far as frequency response, it says the EVs have a 19,000 instead of 20k. Is that 1,000 a big deal?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Jay Marr on August 24, 2018, 01:25:14 pm
We are a great band with potential to be even better, but itís been pretty slow moving. 

This is even more reason why you need to invest in good equipment.
If you sound great, you will be recognized for your potential and get better gigs (and more $).
If you sound 'not so great', it's going to be an uphill battle forever.

The advice above is spot on.  I've been through this growth process.
Less than great PA kept my band in 'ok' paying rooms.
Band got tighter and we(I) got a great PA and now I have too many gigs and they all pay great.
This was a multi-year growth process, but I am certain that if I didn't invest in good equipment, I would still be playing the low paying rooms.

I'm now a gear junkie and get asked frequently by other bands that see us, what gear they should buy to sound as good as we do.  (not saying we're better performers, but our sound quality is very good IMO).

Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Steve Litscher on August 24, 2018, 02:19:16 pm
As far as another speaker option, how are the EV ELX200-15p compared to the Yamaha DXR15? Also, as far as frequency response, it says the EVs have a 19,000 instead of 20k. Is that 1,000 a big deal?

Hi Joe,

Not sure if anyone has offered advice around numbers and published specifications, but... if you take away nothing else from the thread here, please know that published numbers should be taken with a grain of salt (in most instances).

I'm a huge numbers/data guy - I love pouring over specifications and reading all of the technical details for everything. When I open a car magazine, I instantly jump to the "performance testing" numbers - I don't even read the article until I've scoured those numbers.

That said... the majority of pro audio specs and numbers have been "massaged" by marketing folks. There are a ton of discussions around this on the forum here, but to make a long story short, the numbers are often optimistic or obtained for only the briefest amount of time (like a millisecond).

The ELX200-15P are decent speakers. But, there's really nothing in live sound that gets reproduced beyond 15-16kHz. Maybe a bit of cymbal sizzle, or a freaky synth note/noise... maybe a tiny bit of violin... And who knows how well the EV can produce anything at 20kHz... it may be at -12dB; we just don't know from the marketing materials.

There's been a ton of good advice here; you've got guys who have hundreds of years of pro (collective) experience. There are guys who have worked with international touring artists and have worked on rigs that I can only hope to dream about.

My $0.02: the DXR15 are great speakers. You won't be disappointed by them. But ultimately, if you're trying to decide between the EV or the Yamaha, why not take a quick trip to the nearest retailer and listen to them? Or rent them each for a gig or two and see which work best for you?
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 24, 2018, 10:31:41 pm
It would appear that way,  but have been struggling a little bit. We are a great band with potential to be even better, but itís been pretty slow moving.  As far as another speaker option, how are the EV ELX200-15p compared to the Yamaha DXR15? Also, as far as frequency response, it says the EVs have a 19,000 instead of 20k. Is that 1,000 a big deal?

It stuns me after all the great advice you have been getting that you go back to a spec.  That 1k or 2db is meaningless unless the equipment is deployed and operating properly.

As has been said specs are meaningless and the best speaker poorly deployed will be awful.

Frankly I think you should invest in your band and hire a pro to see what you can achieve.

Then you can properly capitalize the system purchase.  It's not about a pair of speakers.  You need subs, main, poles and stands, mic stands, cables, microphones, DI's covers, cases and material handling equipment so the gear survives day in and day out.

Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Stephen Kirby on August 25, 2018, 01:46:59 am
+1 for Scott ^^

While something like a Yamaha DXR would provide an instant jump in clarity compared to something like a Mackie Thump, a PA is an entire system.  And best results are when it's correct for the space it's in.  Now starting out you aren't going to be able to have some modular thing that covers every gig possibility so plan for what most of your gigs are with an upgrade path to the next level gig.  As folks have said, if you're playing in bars for a couple hundred a night, a single good speaker will get it across. 
I go every week to listen to some local first call folks playing Sunday afternoons in a small bar.  They have 3 DXR 10's.  They put one up for the house and use two for monitors.  It works just fine.  It's one of those places where the stage plays down the long way but the bar's on one long wall.  The put one speaker up on a stand next to the wall opposite the bar and aim it diagonally across the room.  Everyone on the dance floor can hear the singing and the bartender can hear the orders.  That's an example of appropriate deployment.  They get an larger show, I come in with a pair of DSRs and subs.
So you start with one good speaker for the gigs you have now and when something bigger comes along, you rent another.  The occasional really big shew?  Hire a real sound company.  You don't need the headaches of all that stuff yet.  When the need to rent another speaker becomes fairly regular, you buy one.  In the meantime you get the rest of the system where it needs to be.  Good microphones that work with the voices of the singers.  Reliable cables and power stuff (get rid of those white plastic power strips as soon as you can).  Good safe stands that won't break on you after 3 gigs.  Until you can afford a good modern mixer there are plenty of small budget things from Alto, A&H Zed series, Yamaha MGs and such that are much clearer sounding than the real bargain stuff, which is no bargain.  6 channels should be plenty for vocals and the occasional acoustic guitar that you'll be running though one or two speakers on stands.  Hold off on the fancy 16-24 channel analog board until you have rented a digital tablet mixer or two and decided how you want to go.  Tablet/stagebox or full physical surface?
Get someone who knows what they are doing to give you some deployment pointers in the venues you commonly play in.  I'm guessing you probably can't afford a soundperson for these but have someone musically conversant and who knows what you are trying to achieve in the audience to signal you and talk to you at breaks about how it's sounding.  Especially as you break out new gear.  Maybe after several gigs in the same small bar, you'll learn what to expect the sound reflecting back at you should sound like when the mix out front is happening.  At this point it's mainly singing coming though the PA and managing your stage sound.  As you progress to larger venues, a larger PA and running more stuff though it, you really need someone out front listening.  This is where the tablet comes in really handy.  I have a full blown control surface mixer but I walk around with the tablet listening from different locations and often make small adjustments for how it sounds in the very back or in the corners.  My main focus is the dance floor (where that is happening) and the majority of the audience, but you can still optimize things if you can make adjustments while standing there.  These are the things that will get the sound of your band to the next level, and next economic level.
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Chris Grimshaw on August 25, 2018, 09:50:16 am
When looking for upgrades, I'd consider renting a box o' mics from a local sound co, and having a testing session with the band. Find out who suits which mics and why. When you've all found mics you like, buy them. They're as much of a part of the performance as your guitar/keyboard/drum kit, and they should receive the same care and attention. I've known people drop a lot of money on a guitar, and then pull out a knackered old mic that "the guy in the shop said it's almost as good as a '58". Needless to say, it was swapped out for one of my mics pretty quickly.


When it comes to upgrade paths in your sound, here's my list of things that make a difference, in order of the amount of difference they make.

1 - Acoustics. Mic and speaker positions. The best speaker in the world pointing directly up at the ceiling isn't gonna do anything useful, and a nice side-address condenser facing the wrong way isn't fantastic either (oops). Here's something to try - put a speaker on a stand, and play music. While you're listening, get someone to rotate it on the stand. Note the angles where the sound starts to change a bit, and when there are really dramatic changes. Same for mic positions. Learn what it sounds like as you move a mic around a guitar amp's speaker, and find out why that happens. Repeat for an acoustic guitar and any other instruments ou might have. A really good step towards a band sounding good is having particular mic positions for each instrument, amp, drum, etc. Mark them out somehow, or get them memorised.

2 - Transducers. Mics and speakers themselves. These are the bits that convert sound to electricity and back again. Everything else in the signal chain is very very linear (ie, what goes in is pretty much what comes out) compared to these. Spend a while talking into a bunch of different mics and see how they all behave. Some will reject more to the sides, others directly to the rear. Some have tailored frequency responses, others are flatter. Figure out what's useful and why.

3 - Power amps. They're not all created equal.

4 - Mic pre-amps, different choices of compressors, gates, etc.

In the days of active speakers and digital desks, 3 is pretty much moot and 4 is just "choice of mixing desk".

Somewhere in there is "choice of sound engineer", but any sound engineer worth paying for will be able to advise on the other points and get good results.

HTH

Chris
Title: Re: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Mike Monte on August 26, 2018, 08:07:49 am
I find this to be a specious chicken and egg argument.  When I got back into working with bands 5 years ago I too was working in the bars.  We bought good gear (the bits and pieces add up, the speakers are one small part).  A small bar rig is 15k.  A larger rig with 4 - 18's and three way tops is 20k.  They went out for $350 and $500 respectively which is way cheap.  It's below cost to keep it in service, be insured and transport it to the venue.  But it didn't matter, we were working.  Some nights the bands went into their pockets to pay us.  You never know if someone is going to hire you for a wedding or a 3k gig.  Bands with shitty PA's, drinking on stage, disheveled in appearance don't make money.  Most people don't know a great band from a good well practiced band.  You can make more money but you must conduct yourself in a professional manner in all circumstances.

Today the few bands that are clients book corporate and private events and help us push our portfolio of staging, drapery, uplighting and other goodies.  We are integral partners to these acts success and are treated as such.  We have a voice in band meetings and have earned the implicit trust of these hard working artists.  If you don't want to work like that then we pass and that's ok.  There are plenty of trunk slammer sound guys who will pitch a pile of trash for $250 and get drunk and be ok with that.

While we provide sound our job is to protect our artists.  No matter what we have to do to make sure that the integrity of the act is preserved.  This entails making sure the venue takes care of the artist and they are comfortable. 

Many other acts are surprised that our acts can earn $1500-2000 in a bar and pay $500+ for production, which is still inexpensive but we take it into the larger picture of the relationship. 

Relationships rather than transactions is what we value.

You can be this band, just step up.

............

The above is one of the best written responses to a thread I have seen in a while:)

FWIW: I have walked the line as a performer and (very) local sound provider for the past two decades.
I actually got into providing sound due to the fact that there were some local so-called sound techs in my area that were nothing more than failed musicians with a pile of gear...

All of the above advise (volumes of it) are, for the most part, spot on.

Does your band want to get to the next level?? Really, if your band mates are unwilling to "pony up" to hire a sound man to up your game, you guys are doomed...

You must be using some sort of PA for rehearsing...right?  I would start there.
Get some decent monitors and buy them used.... 
If you are patient there are some great deals on craigslist for QSC K12's as QSC users are hopping over to the K12.2 series...  You just have to be patient and look around.
BTW: the months of Sept/Oct/Nov are the best months to purchase used gear (in my area anyway).
I would look at building a monitor rig first....

There is a local provider in area that uses Berhinger powered cabs as monitors and he swears by them....I have played through them and he makes them work..and well too.

Bands these days also need to think about lights....a PA alone does not cut it for production these days...even at the bar level.  People will listen with their eyes!

All of the above being said, hire production (even if you have to play just to pay the tech), be polished, up your game, and the better paying gigs will follow...

If you have a good product, better playing gigs will come...


 
Title: Need HELP!!!
Post by: Scott Olewiler on August 26, 2018, 12:19:24 pm
**removing strange duplicate of my previous post