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Looking for advice for running a PA with bass


hags2k

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Hello all. I've been doing a lot of searching lately, but I haven't been able to find the kind of advice I've been looking for as of yet...

 

I'm currently in the process of helping run and possibly expand my band's PA. Since I'm the only one in the band with much knowledge of sound systems, I've been given the job of being the sound man for our shows when we don't have a sound man (which is most of the time). We have a decent PA at the moment. A couple brand new yamaha club series S15V mains, a 1000 watt yamaha powered mixer with plenty of inputs, and a couple yamaha 15 inch monitors (with their own power amp).

 

We recently played a show where we were having a hard time carrying the room with our amps (we currently use the PA for vocals only). We have some SM57s for amp miking, and I have a DI, but we've yet to use them on a gig. I was thinking that we really need to consider running a few of instruments through the PA to provide better coverage and so we don't have to kill our ears by cranking our amps too high.

 

I'm not too concerned about the guitars (at the moment), but I am concerned that there might not be enough power for the bass, and that we need a subwoofer. We've got about 1000 watts from the mixer to the mains, a separate amp for the monitors, but no subs. We play mostly rock/pop covers.

 

I was wondering if some of the bass players here have been in a similar situation and if you have any advice. I'm not opposed to adding gear (like a powered sub) if need be. The only option not currently available is to hire a full-time sound man :-)

 

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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I play in a couple groups that use a very similar rig. Yamaha powered mixer (can't remember the model, but it is nice) and a couple 15's and a couple powered monitors.

 

We run EVERYTHING through it:

 

Kick

Snare/Hats

Toms

Overhead

Bass

Stereo Keys

Electric Guitar

Acoustic Guitar

VOX

 

I am the only stage amp and it's just for monitoring. We don't play huge venues, but it sounds great. There is a certain "presence" you achieve when you run everything through the FOH. We don't crank everything, but it's all "there" in the mix.

 

We have used a sub on a few special events and that really sounds nice. We just don't want to haul it around.

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Subs are great but a pain in the arse!!

It falls on the group IMO. If you got a HEAVY hitter behind the kit it will suffer.

We run everything through the mains (15's n horns) except for drums on small gigs. Roll the bass guitar lows off to help with not squashing out the sound. Boost your amp to help with the low end.

IS the poweramp stereo? If you want to get a sub, splitting it to run the seperate mains and sub if it can be split. You'll also need a crossover.

Try a couple different options at rehearsal and see how it works.

Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson
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Hello all. I've been doing a lot of searching lately, but I haven't been able to find the kind of advice I've been looking for as of yet...

 

Does that mean it hasn't made sense or it isn't what you wanted to hear? ;)

 

Adding a sub wouldn't be a bad idea, but it's one more piece of equipment that has to be loaded, unloaded, stored, maintained, accounted for, etc. Which would probably be done by you.

 

Try adding things through the PA a little at a time and see how it sounds. Pay particular attention to the drums. A little bit of drums an go a long way to filling out the sound.

 

As far as bass goes, you can probably run a little to moderate bass thru it and be ok without a sub, but it should project pretty good. That being said, you still would be better off having a stage amp for monitoring. Trying to run bass thru monitors can be hard to manage because bass takes up a lot of space in a monitor.

 

When you have a sound guy, how do they handle it?

 

Long story short, try a few things before dumping cash down for subs. You might be surprised on what you can do with what you have.

 

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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Some PA rigs can handle what you want to do - some can't.

It's very easy to bury vocals - particularly with drums.

Try it out at rehearsal.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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If you want to trow money at the problem, a pair of these should do the trick. It'll cost you about $1100 (you might be able to squeek by with one if you center it) but they're powered (700W RMS), integrated selectable (also bypassable) crossover with level control. You can daisy chain them or send a line level signal through to powered mains with a matched highpass to optimize the setup.
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We have just used one sub and it was fine. Actually, you can put subs just about anywhere and they work.

True enough...they have a 360 degree dispersion but I was just thinking about somebody walking from one side of the room to the other and noticing a difference in bass level. Probably wouldn't be a problem though.

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Was liking the Carvin 18 till I saw how much they weigh.

77 lbs? Matching his and hernias.

 

Look on ebay hags. They have some inexpensive stuff with free shipping. May not sound as good as the Carvin or JBL or . . .

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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I play in a couple groups that use a very similar rig. Yamaha powered mixer (can't remember the model, but it is nice) and a couple 15's and a couple powered monitors.

 

We run EVERYTHING through it:

 

That's good to hear. I was really interested in anyone who'd run a variety of instruments (esp bass) through a system similar to the one we have. I feel better about giving it a shot now, I think.

 

Hello all. I've been doing a lot of searching lately, but I haven't been able to find the kind of advice I've been looking for as of yet...

 

Does that mean it hasn't made sense or it isn't what you wanted to hear? ;)

 

In this case, the former. I'm all about trying things out without adding more gear, but should we need it I'm not opposed to adding gear. The mains we have can get extremely loud on vocals and guitars, I just wasn't sure about running the bass into it. I don't mind experimenting, I was really more concerned about breaking something (and the subsequent reaction of the rest of the band)!

 

Some PA rigs can handle what you want to do - some can't.

It's very easy to bury vocals - particularly with drums.

Try it out at rehearsal.

 

That's the plan, I think. I'll give it a shot at our next practice this weekend, at least the bass and kick drum.

 

If you want to trow money at the problem, a pair of these should do the trick. It'll cost you about $1100 (you might be able to squeek by with one if you center it) but they're powered (700W RMS), integrated selectable (also bypassable) crossover with level control. You can daisy chain them or send a line level signal through to powered mains with a matched highpass to optimize the setup.

 

That Carvin powered sub looks like a wonderful addition should we need it. The price is pretty low, considering the power and size of the unit. I'd probably only get one for the time being, but we do have room to haul another piece that size, though I probably wouldn't want to bring it everywhere :-)

 

Look on ebay hags. They have some inexpensive stuff with free shipping. May not sound as good as the Carvin or JBL or . . .

 

I'll take a look. I don't know if this would be a personal purchase or if the drummer and I might split the cost (we've split a lot of cost on various items over the past few years), but if I split it we'd probably want to get something new. If it's just for me, I'm certainly down with used gear.

unkownroadband.com - step into the unkown :-)
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