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Can I get by without monitors?

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  • Can I get by without monitors?

    I'm closing the deal on a new V-session set.
    I want to be able to use this kit on the road as well as in my house. I'm in the dark as far as pro-audio is concerned. Heres my issues:

    If i'm going to take these thing out, it's only (foreseeably) going to be used in bars. Most of the bars and clubs by me are fairly small (150-200ppl?).

    Do I really need monitors, subwoofers and stage (PA?) speakers to satisy myself, and the crowd? Why go with the big ass monitors when, I'm thinking all I have to do is get a pair of powered speakers (100w ea?) and put them behind me facing out?

    I've been searching through here on tips for this scenario, I'm not exactly what the rest of you consider to be a small, medium, or large venue. I'd consider a local bar to be a fairly tiny venue compaired to a concert hall or say, a stadium.

    After forking out 5k on the kit itself, I'm not going to have too much left over for anyone else but myself hear me play. (Unless I invest in a very wide headed Headphone setup)

    Do you think spending ~$500 on stage sound will cover venues the size of the bars I will most likely be playing in?

    If so, what can you suggest?
    If not. what is the average setup for these types of venues?

    Thanks for anything you can throw my way,

    -FC

  • #2
    Undone,
    First congrats on your pending purchase and foray into e's. I'm not sure what you are buying with your Session kit, but the kit can be bought for about $4,100.00 delivered. Now I bought about the most expensive double pedals and throne around, but even so, all that, and a snare stand came to under $4,500.00. O.K. a bit over with tax, but you should have a fair bit of change out of $5K. If not, shop around, the savings could go toward whatever else you decide on.

    As for live sound, you can "get away" with just about anything that will allow you to keep up with the other intruments vocals at a reasonable mix. The "right" gear has to do with the size of the venue, whether PA is provided, what stuff your band already has/uses, and what kind of monitoring you (and they) can live with or without in addition to just PA. Beyond that, the quality of the sound you can live with is the other $ determining factor. It will be easier for some of us to take a stab at that part of your question with a little more info.

    BTW, you're gonna love your Session kit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dr. kildrum:
      ...but the kit can be bought for about $4,100.00 delivered
      Online? If so where?

      -FC

      -BTW What do you use for sound delivery?

      -FC2

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrats on the purchase and enjoy!

        If you're on a budget, headphones are a great option. Also, in-ear monitors are another relatively cheap alternative if you don't like the "look" of headphones.

        Also, a great accessory with in-ears or phones is a bass shaker.

        Dr. Kildrum - where do you get the session for $4,100. I may need to spring for one at that price (I'm trying to get a kit together like Marc.'s).

        Comment


        • #5
          nudone, what type of music do you play?
          -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by drumlogic:
            nudone, what type of music do you play?
            I usually end up in bands that play top 40, classic rock.

            I'm looking for a R&B band though. I love playing with horns next to me.

            -FC

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by drumlogic:
              nudone, what type of music do you play?
              My influinces: (the ones that affect my style) Zep, Floyd, Alman Bros, Rush, Dave Matthews...

              Comment


              • #8
                $400.00 will get you a new set of AKG K270S (sealed) headphones and a Behringer Powerplay Pro headphone amp. That's all you need. I don't know what type of mixer your band uses, but my Mackie board has what are called CONTROL ROOM OUTs, and these are for the specific purpose of monitoring. Most any good mixer should have some sort of extra set of 1/4" outs for this function. Simply plug two 1/4" cables into the MAIN INs on the headphone amp, then plug those into two of the 1/4" jacks on your snake (or directly into the board, if desired). Plug the corresponding snake ends into the CONTROL ROOM OUTs on the mixer adjust the volumes at the board and on the headphone amp to suit your taste. Voila, instant kick-ass stereo monitor that you have control over......
                TD-30 / SPD-SX

                Comment


                • #9
                  All this talk of headphones is making me a bit confused.
                  Undone, the way I read it you will have no dedicated FOH system? All instuments will be going with the sound straight off the stage? If that is the case then you will need a decent sized monitor system in order to carry your sound. In particular your kickdrum sound will not be particularly noticable with 100w speakers. Generally you want to have excess headroom to play with rather than be pushing the limits of your system. There are plenty of posts around regarding the options. You could search for 'Mackie' or 'JBL' to get an idea of what is out there.

                  If I have read this wrong then please just ignore me (as most others do).
                  Steve

                  'I only ever quote myself - except when I quote someone else' - me

                  , plenty of , and , , triggered acoustics, , and a plethora of PA blah blah freakin blah...I mean does anyone care about the specifics of pedals, speakers, processors, hardware or anything that I'm using?? :confused: Hmmm, maybe this is an appropriate place to mention that I tried out a new cymbal stand the other day...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Steveo the Devo:
                    All this talk of headphones is making me a bit confused.
                    Undone, the way I read it you will have no dedicated FOH system? All instuments will be going with the sound straight off the stage? If that is the case regarding the options. You could search for 'Mackie' or 'JBL' to get an idea of what is out there.
                    Sorry. The problem with you understanding me is that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. Most of my gigging expierience has been in local bands with an acoustic when I was in the UK. Most local pubs don't need any kind of amping on the drumkit, so I never payed attention to the terms and lingo of pro-audio.

                    It's not that I wont have a dedicated FOH sys. (I'm taking a stab at gussing that FOH means "Front of House". Which I'm also guessing means those big speakers on poles that are setup in front of the band.) It's that I dont want to get caught with my pants down if I don't. I'm not in a gigging band right now. I dont want to discount joing a kick ass band, if they don't have the equipment to support me.


                    [B]then you will need a decent sized monitor system in order to carry your sound. In particular your kickdrum sound will not be particularly noticable with 100w speakers... [\B]

                    Also, I'm guess I don't understand the word "monitor". I take it to mean sound reinforcement that is only meant to be heard by myself, or the band. It sounds like you recommend a "monitor system". I dont really much care what I sound like to me ,as long as its loud enough for me to feel a beat.

                    I dont want to sound like **** when I my sound mixes with the rest of the band and hits the onlookers.
                    How much do I have to pay to ensure that happens without having to rely on the gear (FOH?) the guitar or bass player has?

                    No insults intended with the quotes or harsh tone bro,

                    -FC

                    PS
                    Don't drummers seem to apologize alot?
                    I think it says somthing about our breed.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi undone

                      I think many of us talk about a "monitor system" because when you play out with the E's, you have to make sure YOU hear the drums AND your bandmates do too.

                      Not to mention the gyrating drunken horde.

                      Unless everybody in the band is using In-ear monitors, they probably won't hear you too well through typical floor wedge monitors.

                      For small clubs, you probably will not be going thru the FOH system.

                      What you bring has to sound good to the audience and to you and to your mates simultaneously.

                      So, something powerful and with a good audio spectrum, like, for instance, a powered FOH speaker plus a subwoofer seems to cover all the bases pretty efficiently.

                      Cost is reasonable, and only two things to carry.


                      Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Undone, sorry I have been a bit sloppy with my PA grammar too. You have correctly identified FOH and Monitor.
                        FOH = Front of House, usually big kick ass speakers through which the whole band runs
                        Monitor = Something through which you want to hear (feel) yourself through. Singers and instrumentalists call it foldback.

                        Edrums are a fairly unique scenario because without a 'monitor' you don't hear yourself (unless you use headphones). Whereas you have correctly pointed out that acoustics don't have this issue to deal with.

                        To emphasise my point (although you seem to have gotten it), regardless of whether or not you have a FOH system, you will still need to hear yourself. If there is a possiblity that you will go without a FOH system then you will need a decent sized monitor. This is to ensure that a decent sound makes it past the stage and into the crowd. And as you aptly pointed out, this should sit behind you facing out (as opposed to at your feet facing up).

                        Now that we have established your needs(??), we can look to matching you up with some decent stuff. Many users here have Mackie SRM450's and some combine it with subs to get that extra bottom end. Gingerbaker has hit it on the head.

                        The trick is to get out there and try out as much stuff as you can. I always try to err on the side of bigger rather than smaller. This gives you room to move.

                        Good luck
                        Steve

                        'I only ever quote myself - except when I quote someone else' - me

                        , plenty of , and , , triggered acoustics, , and a plethora of PA blah blah freakin blah...I mean does anyone care about the specifics of pedals, speakers, processors, hardware or anything that I'm using?? :confused: Hmmm, maybe this is an appropriate place to mention that I tried out a new cymbal stand the other day...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A good ( and sweaty ) accoustic drummer will produce ~ 130 dB sound level. So if you need to be that loud your loudspeaker / amplifier combination must produce that much sound. All decent cabs will give you a maximum SPL figure (at their maximum rated amplifier power ) but as a rule of thumb you are looking for about a 500-1000W system, if you are going to hold your own against brass and marshall guitar stacks.

                          If all the band is going through a decent FOH PA and you don't need to be loud on stage, you could get away with a 100W speaker just so that you and your band mates can hear you. but you need a decent size speaker to get any bass ( I would say 15" minimum, I use a 24" driver and even with a 150W amp I get a lovely full kick drum) I have also used a 4*10" bass guitar cab, that was quite effective, nice and punchy.

                          One other thing, if you use a compressor on your drums they will sound louder.

                          ------------------

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by undone:
                            Online? If so where?
                            -FC
                            undone/Schuh Man:
                            I got my Session kit from Midwest Percussion (online) for $4,195.00 delivered. You have to e-mail most of these folks for a quote and the price is often better than their catalogue or listed price if they list one at all.

                            Later I found out that Music 123 and others that do price beating would better that price. Since then the best price I have seen was around $4,100, but I haven't been looking for another Session just related stuff.

                            I have heard here of a couple of folks claiming to have paid ounder $4K but I haven't actually been quoted that price myself, so can't confirm. Try a search, the posts may say where, and the deal may still be good. I can tell you with some certainty that others have paid less than I did (and everytime I'm happy for that drummer, and just a little pissed at myself for not shopping better).

                            Originally posted by undone:
                            -BTW What do you use for sound delivery?
                            -FC2
                            I have quite a bit of gear. I have a small studio in my home in Atlanta. The V's don't fit well so are in an adjacent room. When playing them at home (but not recording), I usually monitor through some good Sony headphones, but I also have an Alesis 150 watt amp and some (extra) studio reference monitors that I can play through and a spare mixing board and the drum effects gear all in the room with the drums.

                            Anyway, this is probably more than what you meant. What I use live would not be relevant to your situation at all. You've got some good advice here on starting a search for sound gear for the type of venues you are trying to be prepared for.

                            I'd also say that I think you're going about it the right way. It takes a pretty courageous person to say, hey, I really don't know much about this, can you help me out?

                            I think its been explained here pretty well, and I don't want to be overly basic and insult, but I'll try add a few very basic thoughts that you may already know one more time for what its worth.

                            When playing live, you have to be able to hear yourself and your bandmates in order keep together. With e's, you don't hear anything (like you do with a's) unless you hook them to some sort of speaker. If that is something other than headphone level, you will need to amplify.

                            If you want to use headphones to hear yourself, you have to have an effective way to still hear your bandmates (and they still have to hear you). To complicate things, all of you will likely want to hear all of these things at different volumes. This is not as important if all of you can hear everything, but is a matter of much concern sooner or later with most bands.

                            Whether you decide to monitor in headphones or with speakers, I would strongly recommend that you consider a system where you have some control over your mix of the levels of what YOU hear, to suit your needs. It doesn't have to be very elaborate, but you will thank yourself in the longrun.

                            Yes, It is possible to have your monitor(s) be the only amplification, but if you are going to be doing this (i.e. not utilizing a separate FOH delivery), all the more reason to get a good quality monitor system with enough oomph to do double duty in small clubs. You will have little control over the mix of what you hear, (cause it will/should be geared for the audience hearing a balanced mix), but it can work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dr. Kildrum - thanks for the info. I'll have to give it a test.

                              Undone, I would echo gingerbaker on the subwoofer plus power tops (500w to 1000w total watts) if "volume to the world" is what you're after. This type of setup is extremely flexible and should give you enough power to cover almost any situation you encounter. Mackie, JBL, Yorkville are all great options.

                              Undone said: "I dont really much care what I sound like to me ,as long as its loud enough for me to feel a beat."
                              Since you ARE the beat, the bass shaker is a great addition for this purpose. Its amazing to me how this little piece of gear adds to the audio/playing pleasure of my setup, even with a 600W sub sitting right by me.

                              Comment

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