Need advice for Vocal PA

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Digital Black, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Our singer has a decent powerd mixer, Yamaha 5 channel with effects and 300 peak, 150 RMS amp. But the speakers suck.

    Need some advice on whats a good buy. We are looking for something just to handle voice and be enough for a small club if needed. Right now, the spending cap is 500 bones..
    I also have to help him research a decent mike. I'm thinking a 57..
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Total Rondo Addict! Contributor

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    Well for mics, either a sm 57 or a sm 58 would do just fine. They're industry standard and should cover your bases well.

    For speakers, I'd look used if you can. You can get a hell of a lot more speaker for your budget used than you can new. If you must go new I'd look at the Yamaha stuff. It's made of particle board cabinets put the components are pretty solid. Also, if you're just running vocals through them you can get away with a 12" and horn cab. You could also use them for monitors later if you decided to upgrade.

    Here are some brands (new and used) to look for: Peavey, JBL, Yorkville, Yamaha, Mackie, Carvin.

    Here are some to avoid: Kustom, Nady, Behringer.

    I won't lecture you 'cuz I'm sure you already know but if you're only packing 300/150 watts of power you're going to have to take it easy on stage volume or else nobody is going to be able to hear vocals. Drummers hate hearing this the most.
     
  3. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    But vince... there's metal, and then there's folding up into a carry-all. are you SURE this is the right guy for you? :fawk:

    Kidding aside, my band in college used one of those for rehearsals - vocals, acoustics, and sometimes bass. It wasn't ideal for a bass guitar (you really need bigger drivers), but it handled everything else quite well. I can't say how well it'd fill a room - we were just in a practice room - but for what it was it was pretty good.

    Carvins always struck me as great "bang for the buck" speakers, if you already have a PA/amp...

    -D
     
  5. eleven59

    eleven59 None shall pass. Contributor

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    We played a club here that had a Behringer PA that was quite nice actually, minus the fact that we had to bring our own mics.

    As for mics, an SM-58 is a much better idea than an SM-57 for vocals, just my opinion.

    And my band uses this in our "rehearsal space" (a.k.a. drummer's basement) for vocals and it works nicely, though it's way too small, obviously, to fill a club:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=live/search/detail/base_pid/480634/
     
  6. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys.

    So 150w to 250w would be enough? Or should we look for more. I've never had to deal with live vocal sound in a band mix-usually the singer I've played with already had a killer setup..
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Total Rondo Addict! Contributor

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    The Behringer stuff sounds just fine. It has a tendency to blow the fuck up unfortunately. People seem to forget that in order to get their prices that low they have to cut corners. A lot of that comes from not "needing" to pay R & D costs. The parts they use are also suspect.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Total Rondo Addict! Contributor

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    Seph, it all depends on the size of the room and the self control of the other members of the band. If you've got Animal on drums and have a huge backline of halfstacks than you're going to need a bit more to be heard. If the drummer can play pretty dynamically and everyone is conservative with volume you should be fine.

    My advise on getting PA stuff is always to grab stuff that you could use later on if you upgrade or get more stuff. That's why I'm not usually a big fan of powered mixers. Now if you grab a solid cab with 12"s or 15"s in it you could use them later for monitors, side fills, or tops for the system.

    I also think that many guys underestimate the power of micing everything up. It is entirely possible to get a cool sound from the PA being a "vocal amp" and just running backline mixed in with it. If you want great live sound though you can go a long ways by adding in a little guitar or bass or whatever in. It isn't the volume that makes things sound better, it's how well the whole thing gets spread through the room.

    For guys on pretty low budgets I always recommend that they look into rentals in the area. If you live in an area with some cool places you can get a pretty sweet small scale PA for cheap per gig. Your dollar will go a long way with rental.

    It's all in the details though. If you're just doing jam sessions in a 50 person pub than you won't need the same system as you would for going a 200 person club where you're the main attraction.

    What you expect is also a huge consideration. You get what you pay for in PA just as much as in guitar gear. Remember that a $500-$700 PA rig will sound about as well as a $500-$700 guitar rig (guitar, amp, and effects included).

    One of the funniest things ever is to watch guys show up to a gig with $10,000 worth of backline (nice axes, tube halfstacks or big racks) and a $1000 dollar PA. You know right away that the vocals are going to be in trouble.

    If you need more help, feel free to ask anything or PM me. I've been doing the whole live gig thing now for (God I feel old) 14 years now. I've played through just about every conceivable sized PA there is.
     
  9. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    The drummer plays loud and I'm drowning out vocals now with just a 2x12 and a Peavey XXL. Looks like the singer is going to have to spend some dough. The voice is his instrament, so...
     
  10. Shannon

    Shannon Lord Super Awesome Contributor

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    My band is very happy with our Behringer PA products. For practice, we bought a pair of there 12" wedge moniters & they f'n rock!

    The industry standard for live vocal mics are the Shure 58 & Beta58. For guitars, toms, etc., the Shure 57. Another great option is the Audix OM series. IMHO, the Audix OM series mics are every bit as good as the Shure 57, but they're nicer to your bank account. My singer uses the OM-2 and it's awesome!
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Total Rondo Addict! Contributor

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    What speakers is he using now? I have suspect that the powered mixer may be more than part of the problem. Those tiny little powered mixers work great for rehearsals or coffee shop gigs but anything else they're pretty helpless. If you guys are playing the heavy stuff I suspect he's grossly underpowered.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Are ALL of you guys in bands? Man, this is killing me, I REALLY miss gigging...

    -D
     
  13. Shannon

    Shannon Lord Super Awesome Contributor

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    Get IN a band, Drew. You've got the gear, now DO IT! :hbang:
     
  14. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Some old shure pa speakers. We know these aren't right for the job.
    He has a newer yamaha powered mixer. I think this is the model emx212sc.
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    No transportation, I spend all my money on gear. :lol:

    Besides, everyone plays guitar. I'm working on the car thing, should have one within a month or two, but after that I'm half considering gigging as a bassist simply cause it's a lot easier to find bands looking for bassists than it is to find bands looking for seven string lead gutiarists.

    -D
     
  16. Shannon

    Shannon Lord Super Awesome Contributor

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    Ain't that the truth?!?!? Everyone's looking for bassists & drummers.
     
  17. eleven59

    eleven59 None shall pass. Contributor

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    I like to think it's because the guitarists are the most motivated, so we start the band, and then find a bassist and drummer and other people to join :hbang:
     
  18. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    :agreed:
    :agreed:
     
  19. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    I agree. My rig, if you include guitars, is approaching $7k-$8k, my bassist's rig is about $4k and my drummer's kit was about $2k, so the singer can't just walk in and assume that the band is all gonna split the cost of a PA. If the singer's professional and committed, they'll either have their own PA already, or they'll be buying one. Otherwise, they're not dedicated and you might as well move on without them. It's a warning sign that they may be a freeloader.
     
  20. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    :scream2: You're way too talented on guitar to be shackled behind a bass! If you want to get a band going, put out some classifieds, hang out in some local clubs, and get some guys together that are of like mind. Your music rules, Drew. Find some guys to play with you on your music, don't waste your time and talent on someone else's. Theirs won't be as good.
     

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