Playing live- solutions you would choose?

Live sound reinforcement, running PA's and general amplifier/amplification questions and discussion.
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Ande
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Playing live- solutions you would choose?

Post by Ande » January 8th, 2011, 9:45 pm

So, it looks like we're going to be gigging, more and more, this year.

We've played a few live gigs already- they were fairly high $$ affairs, though, with the events planners themselves renting rather elaborate equipment setups for us. (we turned up with guitars and bass. They provided two marshall half stacks, a peavey 600 watt bass amp, a drum kit, and a mixer board going into 3000 watts of PA. Mikes for everybody. :D )

That probably isn't going to happen again, at least not often. :(

As we look towards playing bars and clubs, It looks like we'll usually have PA and mikes, at least some mikes, provided. Nothing else.

None of us, at the moment, owns an amp suitable for playing live. (Or a drum kit. Glad that THAT is the drummer's problem.)

Would you-

A) Buy high wattage amps, suitable for club playing on their own?

or

B) Buy smaller amps, and mike them through the PA.

or

C) But multi-effect/amp modeling units that can go straight into the PA?



Assume money were no object- which would you choose?

(Money IS an object, of course. But I'd like your input on the pros and cons of each before we go there.)


Best,
Ande

scott58
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Re: Playing live- solutions you would choose?

Post by scott58 » January 9th, 2011, 7:55 am

From the sounds of it you already answered your own question. You obviously like the Marshall 1/2 stacks and Peavey bass amp. Go with what you like.
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Moonrider
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Re: Playing live- solutions you would choose?

Post by Moonrider » January 9th, 2011, 8:34 am

Ande wrote:
A) Buy high wattage amps, suitable for club playing on their own?

or

B) Buy smaller amps, and mike them through the PA.

or

C) But multi-effect/amp modeling units that can go straight into the PA?
Since money isn't a consideration . . .
Option D: It's safest to work under the theory that IF the club provides PA at all, what they provide is underpowered, poorly maintained junk. It's only in the largest clubs that you're likely to find a decent setup. Plus - do you have any idea where those mics have BEEN?

Buy yourself a PA that's suitable for small to medium club work, and make sure you have all vocal mics needed. You might want to add a bass drum mic and a pair of overheads for the drums in the medium clubs. You won't need an enormous PA, The standard club band can get by quite well with a 12-16 channel powered mixer that delivers around 2000 watts, or a regular mixer with powered speakers.

For example, the normal "small rig" PA for my current band is:
24 channel mixer
a pair of 2 way 15" pole mount speakers,
2 monitors up front (12" or 15" depending on stage size) and a 12" monitor by the drummer.
5 vocal mics, 3 drum mics, 3 mics for bass and guitar
2000 watts for FOH, 500 for monitor.

Guitar amps need to be purchased with the intended use in mind, and that maintaining a sane, balanced stage volume is critical for getting a good FOH sound. If you want CLEAN, go for lots of power. If you want to make use of any amount of power tube overdrive at all, then keep in mind that once you get past a 20 watt amp, you're probably not going to be able to turn up enough to get "your sound" without complaints from the bar and your band mates. My current "go-to" gig amp is a Fender Blues Jr. At 15 watts, I can get some nice crunch and grit when I need it without overwhelming the rest of the band. A good rule of thumb for bass amps is to shoot for 4 to 5 times the power of the loudest guitar amp in the band. Low freqs need more power to produce.
Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

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Ande
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Posts: 661
Joined: November 21st, 2007, 3:12 pm

Re: Playing live- solutions you would choose?

Post by Ande » January 17th, 2011, 6:31 pm

From the sounds of it you already answered your own question. You obviously like the Marshall 1/2 stacks and Peavey bass amp. Go with what you like.
Oh, I do! I definitely do like the Marshalls. And the Peavey. LOVE the sound. Also like the power. But they were WAY more power than strictly necessary. Or even unnecessary. In a medium sized performance hall, with about 120 bodies out there soaking up sound, I had to keep the peavey between 2 and 3. Lead marshall at 3 1/2. Rhythm, with more crunch, at 3. Those are mean amps- but it seems like we don't need that much muscle.

I'm sort of leaning towards getting smaller amps and putting mics on them. (what little amp do y'all just LOVE the sound of?)

Honestly, the simplest solution is probably amp simulators straight into the PA- but I just like the feel of having my own little simple box of tubes...


Best,
Ande

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