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it will happen. not as planned, but it will happen.


rumpelstiltskin.

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this is a tribute to resources.

 

there is a big festival being held in royal oak (a northern suburb of detroit) over labor day weekend called arts beats and eats. my church is a couple buildings away from what is officially downtown royal oak. so my band decided to put together a show in front of our church.

 

it was my job to make sure we had sound for the show. what i wanted was two 15" 2-way mains with subs (15" or 18", powered), two monitor mixes, wedges for down front and drums, and preferably at least 7 channels for the mix (2 vocals, acoustic, electric amp mic, keys, bass, kick).

 

because my church has always been heavy on live performance (and now we have a live music venue on site), it wasn't supposed to be that big of a deal to provide something. i was a little disappointed that the best we could come up with for the mains was an old pair of passive 12" JBL EONs with no subs. the 12" EONs sound good, but they have no low end.

 

apart from that everything was in order for the show yesterday. until i got a text on saturday afternoon that a power surge from the festival blew out the EONs. crap. i know only one person with PA gear, and his was spoken for yesterday.

 

i called my local music store, music castle, to see if they rent PA equipment. ("please be under $100," i recited to myself.) for $84 including tax and $10 deposit i got a pair of yorkville Y150 300W 15" 2-way passive mains and a pair of yorkville NX200S 200W 10" powered subs.

 

but what to power them with? the church was able to provide an old altec-lansing power amp at 150W per channel. we used that for monitors. i grabbed my crown K2, which i got from the compliance testing engineer when i worked at peavey. i haven't plugged it in since i got it, but sure enough it worked. we bridged it and daisy-chained the mains (meaning we could have provided over 1200W to each loudspeaker).

 

we had a 16-channel mackie mixer, so we were able to provide two mixes, and we used a third aux send to get kick and bass to the subs. they weren't a lot of power, but they gave the sound just enough depth that it was fairly rich and not at all thin.

 

the best part was that the sound was bouncing off a condo high rise across the street and down to the festival. we got a lot of passersby stopping to listen for a few songs, and we could be heard all over the place. i was told by someone it was the best outdoor sound they'd ever heard. i'm skeptical of that, but at least it shows the setup was successful.

 

i feel blessed to have the resources for live sound that we do as a church. and i feel blessed to have the knowledge to put together a system in a pinch, not to mention the blessing to be able to afford the fees. (i also feel blessed that my wife is now open to purchasing a small-to-medium PA system for just such occasions.)

 

anyone else with similar experiences in cobbling together a live sound setup?

 

robb.

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...

anyone else with similar experiences in cobbling together a live sound setup?

...

 

Every gig with my latest band and every gig with my first band 20 years ago.

 

In May I turned up to the first gig I had played with the band since our singer left. At all the previous gigs there seemed to be 4 people crowded round the PA during set up so I expected the same to happen again. However it was just the drummer with a sheet of paper with a sketch on it. It seems that the singer had 'sort of known' how it all worked and the others had been just 'sort of watching' him set it up.

 

I looked at the sheet and have never seen anything more complicated in my life. Aux sends to one place then returns somewhere else etc... I patched it together how I would any normal desk in about 5mins.

 

BUT

 

The drummer wanted to mic his bass drum. All we got was ringing ("No I can't put any padding in as that would stop it sounding like it should") Then there was a special harmonica mic ("take off the treble please"), an electro acoustic guitar ("can you take a feed from my acustic amp" - "1 song only"), singer ("can I use my own monitor amp"), guitarist/backing singer ("hey can I use my monitor amp too?"), CD player (for background music), spare mic (for announcements and raffle) and the drummer does backing vocals ("I need a monitor amp too")

 

The sound-check took a while.

 

The drummer then said "It looks like you know what you're doing. Can you run the desk while we play?"

 

:crazy:

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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The drummer wanted to mic his bass drum. All we got was ringing ("No I can't put any padding in as that would stop it sounding like it should") Then there was a special harmonica mic ("take off the treble please"), an electro acoustic guitar ("can you take a feed from my acustic amp" - "1 song only"), singer ("can I use my own monitor amp"), guitarist/backing singer ("hey can I use my monitor amp too?"), CD player (for background music), spare mic (for announcements and raffle) and the drummer does backing vocals ("I need a monitor amp too")

 

fortunately for us, the middle band didn't bring all their stuff. usually their drummer uses a click track and an IEM setup, so he needs a monitor send rather than a wedge at the drum throne. we weren't really prepared for that, so it was good he didn't bring it. their lead singer played both acoustic and electric (and i was informed of this the day of the show). sounds similar. fortunately, we had a friend run sound for us.

 

robb.

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Cool way to pull it together, Robb.

 

You are blessed to have that kind of setup. Most churches I have been around can barely operate an indoor system and make it sound good, let alone deal with adverse challenges.

 

As far as your setup sounding good and people saying so, don't discount it too much. You might not have had the biggest PA in the world, but it sounded good. That's the important part. There is so much overkill going on nowadays in sound rigs that it's enjoyable to hear a good sound without feeling like my ears are fatigued. I know when I was 21 'feeling it in my chest' was awesome- now at 33 I get a headache after about 10 minutes. That's not fun when I have to go home and deal with 4 loud boys for the rest of the day.

 

So good job, man. :thu:

"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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http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs445.ash1/24562_1399283619279_1147935997_31165293_2001648_n.jpg

 

I was out of town, though.

 

Before I had this all I had was an old Peavey 8-channel powered mixer (with only 1/4-inch inputs!)**. I just happened to have enough mic cables with 1/4-inch ends to make it work. Maybe 200 W? Same (borrowed) Fender 1x15+horn cabs in the pic. No monitors but it was a small room and somehow it (barely) worked.

 

**This was the result of a band pooling its money to buy a PA and then breaking up. I ended up with the mixer and the other remaining member ended up with two cabs.

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You might not have had the biggest PA in the world, but it sounded good. That's the important part. There is so much overkill going on nowadays in sound rigs that it's enjoyable to hear a good sound without feeling like my ears are fatigued.

 

Amen. We use 12's or 15's on sticks, sometimes without a sub, sometimes with, and a powered board. We are not too loud, and get compliments on the blend/balance all the time. My ears don't ring when I go to bed, either, which is a bonus.

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