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Author Topic: Need HELP!!!  (Read 5181 times)

Scott Bolt

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #40 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.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #41 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!
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Joe Pennachio

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #42 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.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #43 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.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Cleveland OH
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Joe Pennachio

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #44 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?
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Jay Marr

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #45 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).

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Steve Litscher

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #46 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?

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #47 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.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Cleveland OH
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #48 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.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Need HELP!!!
« Reply #49 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
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Re: Need HELP!!!
¬ę Reply #49 on: August 25, 2018, 09:50:16 am ¬Ľ


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