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P.A system help and advice needed

littleplum

Member
Messages
441
Ok folks first of all please be aware that you are dealing with a question from a technophobe so please keep all answers simple. Thanks

Now the question, I have been busking for nearly 18 months and from this I have been asked to play at quite a few weddings. Well so far I have got away with my little battery powered amp. However I feel that this sometimes lacks the power I need and also doesn't give a professional impression to any potential clients.

For the busking I am going to stick to my amp, but I am looking to invest in a p.a system for the weddings etc.

So question 1 I suppose is what sort of system do I go for and how powerful? remember there is only me, my backing tracks and my Saxophones involved.

Thanks

Dave
 

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
http://www.studiospares.com/pa-speakers/mackie-srm150-x1/invt/261990/

I was going to suggest something quite expensive, hence my previous question. However, I've just seen this...
I must stress, I've never actually heard one, but I've used Mackie products before and really like them. It has its own internal amp, so less to carry. Also you can jack your mp3 player directly into it. It appears to be stand-mountable, so you can get it playing over the top of the general hub-bub of a chattering crowd.
If you use this in conjunction with a Shure SM57 microphone I think it would do the job very well. You'd also need to factor in the cost of a mic stand and speaker stand.

Depending on your budget, you could also use an effects pedal to give you some echo or reverb on the sax, rather than just a 'dry' sound.

P.S. Studiospares are by no means the cheapest- have a good look round.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I've done a few of the same sort of gigs from my busking and I have been looking at the Yamaha Stagepas systems. The 300 is very good, my friend uses one for her acoustic guitar and vocal set up. You can mount the speakers on poles and project your sound over the audience instead of into them. It's mains powered and quite powerful enough for what I'd want.
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Hi!
I am going to give you a premium option, which I've been using myself for the past 2 years.
It's a bit expensive but if you are doing, as you say, quite a few weddings and events I would definintly concider this option.

Do you do some kind of "show" also where you need to be able to walk around, between the tables or out in the audience?
Then you could add on the wireless system as well. I've used mine for over 5 years and it has paid itself many times over.

Ok. Here's my setup:

1.Microphone:
Shure Beta 98H/C Clip-on mic
You can easily add a wireless system to this one. That's what I've got. Works really well and sounds great!

2. PA-system
Bose L1 Compact ($900) with the Tone match Monomixer

First of all, the L1 sounds incredible by itself!!!
Now this could be either good or bad news depending on what type of day you are having;)
However, together with the Tonematch mixer ($450), or any other mixer that has compression (which tightens up the dynamics of your sound) and a nice reverb (which turns the sound a bit "wet" or sizzling. Not too much though!) you cannot fail.

The reason you need a mixer is obviously because you want your backtracks separate from your sax mic.

Alternate Setup using a Mac and Mainstage
However, getting a mixer to the L1 might blow your budget and therefor I have another tip regarding that.
I realize this may not be you but IF you have Logic Studio ($600, recording software) on your Mac computer, then you also have a program called Mainstage, which comes with Logic.

Now, Mainstage is a great piece of software, where you can setup all your backtracks and route you sax mic (adding compression/reverb/delay/whatever) on there before sending it out to your PA.
(You also need a soundcard to make that happen though.)
I've got the Apogee Duet ($400), which I use both live and in the studio if I am just recording 1 or 2 channels.
A budget version wich also works fine is Mobile Pre ($100)


As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a high end option but I love it.
Setting up the L1 take 1 minute and you do not need any cables other than from the mixer to the L1.
You can carry the whole PA, your sax and other stuff all at once.
That's also a part of their marketing. Something like: "Just one trip from the car to the venue".

Well, I don't know if you got more confused or if it helpt?
Hopefully, I helped out a bit.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Also, look at the Fender Passport system. Very portable and compact, also incredibly rugged - a band I used to be in had one which was our rehearsal system and was used as the monitors for gigs, and it got kicked about and abused for nearly 10 years without complaint.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I have to add a big fat +1 for the Bose setup! Not sure why I didn't mention it as I was using my mates one on Saturday night. It really is an outstanding piece of kit but sadly way out of my price range. I think they start at about £1000. The one I used on Saturday night was £3000. That's why my mate came with me so that could keep an eye on it. Not that he doesn't trust me you understand!
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
I totally understand! Yes, it's high end but I just love it!!
£3000!! That must have been the monster version which you can actually link so you get a full blown PA system.

Sidenote: I saw a documentary maybe half a year ago about , I think it was, Pat Metheny or Mike Stern, about his life on the road and the entire band used the Bose systems for stagesound as well as the two monster versions for Front of house sound.
It looked cool because the stage was so much cleaner without all the amps and wedges that you normally have to see and deal with.
 

littleplum

Member
Messages
441
Thanks for the replies folks.

I already use the Ion Blockrocker which is 50 amp so looking for more power than that really.

I like the sound of the Bose but the price is out of my league really.

Taz. I looked at the yamaha system, do you think the 300 will be powerful enough? I have no idea as I have never used this sort of set up before?

I will also check out the Fender system and the studiomaster and the Mackie.
The budget is about £500 ish. Not sure I want to go second hand as too many potential problems i think.
Thanks I will keep you updated.

Dave
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Dave, check out the Behringer site they will have what you need...and at a much lower cost than Yam or Bose.
 

littleplum

Member
Messages
441
Ok folks I blame you lot totally for my predicament! I read all of your replies and did a load of research and ended up confused. So I went to Intasound on Narborough road in leicester.
A family run business who know their stuff. They gave me lots of good advice and answer all my technophobic qeustions in English not gobbledygook.
I had to up my budget but it is worth it. I am now the proud owner of some wharfdale titan speakers and ALL of the necessary gubbins that make it work.

Now Im broke, so thats your fault for wetting my appetite. Ha ha

I will let you know how I get on once I have had a practice or 2 and I would certainly recommend intasound.

cheers

Dave
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
Bit late to the thread...

... I asked some similar questions a few years ago (different context) and the helpful guys at the place in Shrewsbury suggested that hiring might be an option if it's not a regular thing and you pass the costs on.
 
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