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Author Topic: Small Operator System Details and Rationale  (Read 18566 times)

Mike Monte

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Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« on: April 03, 2022, 08:11:44 PM »

Does anyone want to share:
- what sound gear (speakers/mixer/mics/etc.) they are currently using
- why they went with that particular gear
- the application (type of live music only, please   instruments, etc.)
- how you transport it
- and, most of all, what you think of it....
I'm not particularly looking for a list at an installed-gig such as the House of Blues in Boston, but more so portable (I know that "portable" is a relative term) systems that local sound providers/bands are currently using regularly....


« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 11:51:22 AM by Ernie Black »

Weogo Reed

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2022, 09:40:49 PM »

Dear Doug,

    I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...   
Can you indulge us having a bit of fun?

Hi Mike,

    I'm temporarily living quite a ways from home.
The tiny system I brought can do a lower-volume wedding reception or conference, and
is a pair of Tannoy VX8-P self-powered speakers on US TS90 stands with K&M tilters.
Wedges are my Equator D5 recording monitors.

    Mixer is a Mackie DL16S. I'm fast with the app and it sounds good.
I ordered a tiny Behr Flow 8 as a backup, which can have a couple extra
phantom-powered mic channels through a Centrance MixerFace,
which is a very nice two-track recorder or USB interface.
USB 16-track recording is on my laptop or an Ipad with the HarmonicDog MultiTrack DAW app.

    Mics are a mix, KSM8, SM58, hard-wired Beta-53 and E935 for vox,
Rode NT5s with M. Joly capsules, several Bartlett clip-on omnis, an ancient,
tough, good-sounding AKG C3000 if somebody really wants large diaphragm.
One other  -  a custom stereo mic I built.  Radial mini active DIs and two-track interface.
K&M short and tall tripod stands.  APC UPS, ASUS AC68 router.
A few extensions, a powerstrip.  XLRs, 1/4" cables, Ethernet, a few adapters and spare bits.
My trusty old Sennheiser HD25 headphones, Shure and Etymotic IEMs.

    Why this equipment?  Size/weight, I know it and can make it sound good.

     All of this easily fits in my little Mitsubishi IMiEV electric car back in NC, or
the Honda Fit here in NY.

    I'll likely have a few more bits shipped up here. And I've made some local contacts for
renting more substantial equipment when needed.

    Am looking forward to mixing summer events in a tent on a d&b rig  - 
four-piece chamber music to wedding bands.

    What would l change?  Maybe move the Tannoys to wedge duty and
get a pair of RCF TT 10-A(or similar) for mains.
Or get my Danley SM60Fs which are pretty amazing.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Dave Guilford

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2022, 10:56:18 PM »

If things go well- people who aren’t interested in this type of thread won’t bother checking it. I’ll play along. 

6x Srx725
6x SRX728s
Srx715 and srx718 rig

Amps are a mix of Powersoft T series, a pair of itech5000hd, a boatload of Behringer nu/nx.

Mics are all over the place. I learned years ago “always buy mics in pairs”.  So even numbers of most lol.  Sm58, e865, sm81, typical drum mics too. Radial DIs, md421 and 441.  Cheap DIs. 

I get the swap-at-gc live wire brand cables ALWAYS.  Good stands are well worth it.

Mixers - m32, x32 compact, Ui24, Soundcraft expression3. Small cheap mackie analog.

Lights.  A bunch of LED cans and moving lights. Good hazer, cheap hazers. A couple sticks of truss, crank stands. DMX from ShowXpress software.

About a year ago I bought a mobile stage.  24x16, engineering certified, folds down to a trailer.

Sort of just what happened. Started small doing bar gigs in college. Upgraded things here and there for the last 15 years.  I heard then-current srx725/728 stack and fell in love.  Eventually started buying them up.  Look at business as “will this make more money for me?” and buy that stuff.  I haven’t purchased any type of line array (yet) because I don’t see it generating the money I’d invest.  My current stacks perform very well and they’re paid for.  They sound great and - more often than not - they’re actually not all together and I can have myself with one set and other crew doing another gig with another set of stacks. Again, follow the money.

wherever the money is.  I ended up filling a lot of “party in the park” type events in the summer season.  I generate 85% of my income from May til September. I have a couple racks of wireless mics , not the cheapest ones but not the most expensive.  I do corporate gigs once in a while.  Lights are nice when it gets dark out early so I have some of those. 

Cargo van.  Chevy express and a small trailer.  This year I’ll be renting a larger trailer from a friend who does winter work, it’s a 7x14 which is way nicer than my small one. A handful of times each summer I have to rent a 14ft uhaul box truck.  That mobile stage requires a tow vehicle, which means I have to find crew who can and will tow.  I just got a Yukon xl to work as personal vehicle for fam, but will also tow the stage.  More importantly - the best thing I’ve done for transport is to put wheels on the gear!  A trip to Lowe’s for some thick 3x2ft boards and a box of casters. 

I sort of interjected thoughts above. All in all I have a successful operation so I’m happy.

Rick Powell

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2022, 11:46:17 PM »

Updated 12/20/23

what sound gear (speakers/mixer/mics/etc.) you are currently using
Danley SM 80 and TH 118, one each per side (with 2 additional TH118's for big jobs) with a few different K&M threaded pole options, BT-12 balanced tilters, and Duratruss 3900 speaker stands for a variety of mounting options. Danley DNA20k4 for mains power.

4 "Smithers wedges" loaded with B&C coaxials,  and a few Crown XLi 2500's for monitor power.

Midas M32R mixer and DL32 stage box, 20' of Global triangle truss and stands, 2 Ultimate front lighting stands, a bunch of Prost, Cameo and Chauvet lighting with a Show Designer controller. Bunch of mics, mostly Shure, Audix, and Sennheiser. Also have a pair of Yamaha DZR12s on stands, they can also double as monitors or mains. Usually use them for smaller SOS type events. Made all my own mic cables with Neutrik gold plated pin XLRs and Canare star quad.

- why you went with that particular gear
I started with JTR triple 8's and needed some subs to go with them, found a great deal on a used pair of Danley TH115's. Then the SM80 came out and I wanted more SPL for the rig, so I got one of the first pairs. Converted the TH115s to TH118s. Had 4 Bag End TA15 monitors, they were great but 80 lbs each, so I built some Smithers 12" coaxial wedges (plans at Soundforums) since at the time there were less choices in coaxial monitors than today. Most of the stuff I have gotten has had good reviews from multiple people I trust on PSW, since I don't have a lot of opportunity to audition stuff, and I haven't made a purchase I regret in quite some time.

- the application (type of live music only, please   instruments, etc.)
Mostly live bands including my own. We have done everything from acoustic solo acts to hard rock to the Buddy Rich Orchestra.

- how you transport it
6x12 trailer. Both my son and I have tow capable vehicles.

- and, most of all, what you think of it....
I like all our stuff, sounds good, works good, I really had no desire to go bigger but then my son upgraded with the Danley amp and 2 more TH118's. It's pretty much his system anymore.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2023, 11:05:47 PM by Rick Powell »

Jay Marr

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2022, 09:57:06 AM »

Mine is very simple:

2 Mix Racks:
Rack 1 - Behringer X32 Core, S16 and Crown iTech 6k (in a 6 space rack)
Rack 2 - Behringer X32 Rack, XLR panel, Crown iTech 4k, Crown iTech 8k (in a 10 space rack).

Tops:  Yamaha DSR112 -or- JTR Neosis 3tx
Subs: 2 JBL SRX728s, 2 JBL SRX718s

Based on the room, I take the appropriate components from the above list.
I love all of my components.  Love the JBL SRX700 series line of subs and both of my sets of tops are loud and clear.
Compact and can be set up in minutes.

Subs transported in my guitar players Ford Explorer
Everything else in my Caddy Escalade

(monitors, mics and cables are nothing special....the usual suspects)

Steve Crump

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2022, 10:59:34 AM »


A&H QU-16
Midas MR18

Rack 1:
Ashly Protea 4.8 DSP
(2) Crown MA5000i
(2) Crown XLS2500

Rack 2:
(2) Powersoft T602
(1) Powersoft T304

Tops: TW Audio T20 90 or JTR Noesis 3TX
Subs: JTR212 or Tannoy VSX15B
Monitors: EV SX250 and some DIY 12" coaxials

Mics: mostly SM58s, SM57s, Shure drum kit, E-609, along with the SEV7 which seems great for singing drummers.

Radial Engineering. D boxes.

Transport: Family mini van or enclosed trailer

Live music, small community type events.

Reason for gear choice:
Size and weight.
I really like the A&H mixers for most all shows, but I do like the grab and go feel of the MR18. To my ears the 3TX powered by the MA5000i sounds great for folk, blue grass, the acoustic stringed performances, but I really never could get to where I wanted to be with the sound for the Blues Rock, 90s alternative or the Southern Rock music, (could be me, not the gear and I can accept that). The TW Audio using the Powersoft amps seems to fill in what I was missing with the 3TX. I have only used the T20s for 3 outdoor shows, but each time nothing but compliments.

Nathan Riddle

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2022, 12:03:35 PM »

Sometimes it's just fun to gush about what cool stuff you have and how you're super happy with it all :)

Sound gear:


8x QLXD (HH,BP) [B87s/c, SM86, KSM8, sE MC1, B58] [I really only ever use B87 or SM86] [OTE: DPA, THOR, Acacia]
4x EW300 G3 IEM

Senn: e904, e604, e906, e614, e935
Shure: B91a, B52, KSM9, SM81, B87c, B98, SM57
Rode: NT1, NT4
Presonus: PM-2
Audix: OM7
Heil: PR35, PR22

Klark Technik
Teegarden Magic DI

SM-LPM (SM100 monitor)
K12 (if I have to use monitors)

Why I went with what I went with:
dLive    = more FX/Dynamics processing
SQ       = slightly better than X-series at the time
Xair      = small bar bands with no room for FOH
Flow8   = smaller gigs/weddings, perfect mixer; can record; FX, monitors etc.
QLX-D  = Having too many wireless issues, I now have zero
EW300 = Langston's post about IEM's, while these are technically better I think the Shure would have made non-picky musicians happier
Mics     = Just enjoy experimenting with mics. I've narrowed it down to what I like though. V-B87 (cuts/HiFi), D-904 (fast),
DIs      = I enjoy experimenting with DIs. I've narrowed it down to what I like though. RNDI, KT, Radial.
SM100 = Small system (replaced SRX835p)
TD1     = These sound so good
DNA20K4 = good deal, plus these amps are incredible, sips power, endlessly configurable, zero headache limiters, etc.
K12     = money maker

Church contemporary bands. Mostly IEMs with multi-tracks.

14x7 - V-nose trailer towed with F150

Lighting & Video also go in this trailer + trussing.
I'm getting to the point of it is too small.

Do I like it?:
Insert expletives yes!!!
The sound-system sounds so freaking good I can't believe anyone uses anything else. Forget correct coverage & phase alignment and all that crap. Get good sounding speakers is 99% of the battle.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2022, 02:53:48 PM by Nathan Riddle »
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brian maddox

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2022, 01:41:09 PM »

Does anyone want to share:
- what sound gear (speakers/mixer/mics/etc.) they are currently using
Either whatever is given to me on a gig or... 

I own a Yamaha CL3, a Behringer XR18, A rode shotgun and a couple of sm58s. Oh and probably some other labs and crap I don't ever use.
Does anyone want to share:
- why they went with that particular gear

I use the CL3 to remote mix studio gigs from my house. I chose it for it ubiquity in the corporate audio world which is where I ply my trade as well as it's ability to "mirror" another Yamaha console remotely. This enables me to mix gigs in my pajamas, which I enjoy quite a lot.
I use the XR18 as a utility mixer for monitoring control and zoom calls and all kinds of stuff. very handy that it has a 18x18 USB interface to my computer.

Does anyone want to share:
- the application (type of live music only, please   instruments, etc.)

I basically don't do live music anymore. I haven't for quite a while. In fact there are a LOT of audio professionals who don't do music gigs. I'd venture that would be "Most" actually.
I do live special events with both in person live audiences as well as broadcast and webcast events. I work on site, but I also work virtually from my house.
Does anyone want to share:
- how you transport it

My console doesn't get transported [well expect for that one time a few weeks ago when I carted it to a VERY RARE for me local gig]. I have a variety of other gadgets that go into one of the various Pelican style cases I own and then get checked onto planes.

Does anyone want to share:
- and, most of all, what you think of it....

My gear works well for me. It makes me money. That's why I do what I do. It's how I pay my bills.

I've been doing sound professionally now for 3 decades. I still love my career choice. I still love growing and learning new things. I largely left doing music gigs about 15 years ago, and I don't miss it a bit. I find what I'm doing now to be more challenging, and I love that. I also have a lot easier time paying my bills.

I know mine wasn't the kind of answer you were looking for. But I can't seem to pass up an opportunity to remind people that "mixing sound for music acts and shooting that sound out of big black boxes" is not the only way to find an interesting, challenging, and yes REWARDING career in audio.
"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
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Luke Geis

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2022, 03:19:41 PM »

I get to play in two different worlds. I have my own stuff which has turned more into a side gig and the company that I am now employed by, which I get to drive much of the purchasing decisions : )

My gear: Midas M32 + stage box, JBL SRX 812SP's mains, JBL SRX 818SP's subs, and 8 x RCF NX12SMA monitors. My mic box has standard Shure options, Audio Technica, and I have become a bit of a drum mic collector. I have a Miktek PMD5 kit, an Audix Kit and a CAD Kit. I use Behringer C2's for hats and perc., while I have a pair of AKG C212's for overheads. I have a few other options, but that rounds it out. I have a dozen DI boxes that range from passive to active, stereo to isolation.

I use it because: At the level I was working at, I dealt mostly with local and intermediate bands, some small corporate gigs, and medium-sized special events like Pride festivals, or other local outdoor events. I wanted gear that was easy, worked for me as opposed to making me work, would get me in and out of the venue quickly and can pack as much punch as would fit in a Chevy S10 pickup truck.

What I think of it: I mean, it is a pretty good package really. The RCF NX-12SMA's were really nice addition. I am the only game in town with that level of quality sitting on the stage in that quantity. The JBL SRX stuff was as good as I could afford for the type of work I could nab. It sounds really good and pretty much runs itself. The Midas M32 is popular among bands and not one person has faulted me for it. All in all, I can arrive at a venue, set the whole thing up ( including 8 monitor mixes ) in about 3 hours, and strike it all in under 2 hours by MYSELF!!! I don't have to spend much time fiddling with tuning and I can create a good mix easily.

For the company I work for: We own Yamaha QL series mixers, an L' Acoustics Kiva II rig ( 16 Kiva's, 4 SB18's, 4 SB15's, and 8 5XT's ) with 5 x LA4X amplifiers, we use Crown XTI's to run a set of 8 JBL SRX 712M's and we have a standard mic kit that is not as nice as the one I personally own. We do mostly corporate where I work, so most of the gear is suited towards that type of client and their needs. I sort of fill in the rest if needed.

Why we run it: Let's be honest, L' Acoustics is top-o-the-heap and the Kiva II's are a hell of a box. With The LA4X they are very easy to manage and as a system, it really packs more punch than its weight suggests. It's hard to beat really.

What I think of it: The L' Acoustics stuff has its quirks. I do not like ground stacking the Kiva's... It has a thing going on. In the air, it is a dream. The prediction software is accurate and tuning it takes minimal effort. The system as a whole is definitely nice to work with and I would be happy dealing with it anywhere, anytime. The QL is par for the course, you can't go wrong with it. As for the JBL monitors, well, they are predictable and I can get them loud enough for anyone I deal with. We almost went with RCF for everything, but a great deal presented itself to us and I couldn't be happier.
I don't understand how you can't hear yourself

Matt Vivlamore

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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2022, 03:35:21 PM »

Does anyone want to share:
- what sound gear (speakers/mixer/mics/etc.) they are currently using
Main: RCF TTP4A (4x)
Subs: JBL SRX828SP (2x) (being replaced late summer with either RCF TTS18/TTS36 or Sub9004/9006)
Monitors: RCF NX-12SMA (5x)
Mixer: A&H SQ5 & AR2412 + AR84
Mics: Basic Band Festival mic package (Vox: e935, GTR: e609, Kick D6/Beta91a, Snare: e904, Toms: e604, OH/HH: SM81 and a handful of Radial DIs).  K&M 210/9 mic stands
Cabling: CBI Ultimate mic cables (2', 6', 15', 25' & 50'); 150' "drive snake" with 1x Edison extension and 2x Cat5e cables.

- why they went with that particular gear
I’m growing and trying to focus on Mid Level shows; 300-1000 people outdoors (above the bar guys, but smaller than the 8x box line array hang companies)

- the application (type of live music only, please   instruments, etc.)
Live Music of all kinds

- how you transport it
Jeep Gladiator towing a 6x12 tandem axle enclosed trailer; I out grew my 5x8 enclosed trailer over the winter.

- and, most of all, what you think of it....
In 2016, I closed up shop after a 6 year run with a prominent wedding band because I was burnt out.  When I started rebuilding Meerkat Sound "2.0", I know buy quality gear and try to get the gear that I would hold onto for many years.  My last system was Fulcrum FA22ac and SRX718s/Itech amp (at prior to joining the wedding band, I had 4x SRX722 & 4x SRX728 with Itech power).  I started out with the JBL SRX8##P system, and I don't care to much for it.  I don't think it is as good as the older SRX7## and Itech amps.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 09:08:23 PM by Matt Vivlamore »
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Re: Small Operator System Details and Rationale
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2022, 03:35:21 PM »

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