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Starting in a band

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  • Starting in a band

    I wasn't sure which topic heading to use, so anyway here goes.
    well, I may be starting in a band soon. It's not for sure yet. I don't know where to start as far as gathering info.
    I wanted to get some advise. I just got my drums a couple months ago, so I really don't know what I am doing as far as the tech stuff. I want to get an idea of what kind of equipment I will need to get, ie: PA speakers, mixers, FX, amps, etc. The main thing I need to know is how much it will cost, so I can start saving and budgeting for it. I don't want to go to crazy at first. Basically the essentials to start.

    I have a Hart Dynamics Giga Pro kit with a Roland TD-10(not expanded). I'm thinking of getting some accoustic cymbals to go along with the E's, as well, and of course the TDW-1.

    [This message has been edited by snared (edited November 01, 2001).]

  • #2
    I have a small practice PA that has always done me well.
    Mackie 1202 mixer- its all you will need for small clubs and rehearsal, and it is very portable.
    QSC or Mackie amps- I have always been a QSC fan, but I recently bought a Mackie and I have been impressed. Buy which ever is cheaper.
    2 JBL MR monitors- beats any monitors I have ever stood in front of.
    1 Drum monitor- I have a custom built Drum monitors with a horn, 8", and 15" speaker. It will knock you out of you stool!
    Peavey SP-1's- I don't recommend them, but I have rented them for small clubs and parties and they have work okay.
    DBX 1066 compressor- It's not the greatest, but It does the job for live vocals and kick drum.

    I would concentrate on monitors for your rehersal place first and later worry about PA. Carrying around your personal PA is hell I would not wish on anyone (except for certain terrorists).
    Basically my advice would be to buy middle of the road equipment. Cheap equipment will always be lacking, and high end is usually just over priced. Do not settle because that is all you can afford now, because I can tell you from my experience, you will have that equipment for ever, so go ahead and save for some decent stuff. Also, DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY SALESMAN IN ANY STORE. Do your own research. Be sure and match RMS wattage and rated impedances and your equipment will rock for years to come!


    • #3

      Your question could better be answered if we knew what equipment/PA the band will have available to use or tie into, the size of the venues and even the type of music. In general, avoiding cheap gear is good advice, so is doing research.

      Sounds like cost is going to be a consideration, so give as much info as possible, and we may can give you a couple of alternatives at different levels of cost to consider and maybe some logical order to start with a get by system and build.


      • #4
        Well thats the problem Dr. It is in the very begining stages now so I/we don't really know anything. I am not even sure if it will happen and when with this preticular band. I just thought I should be somewhat quasi-prepared. Not only for this band, but for any band I get into. Its safe to say the only thing I know for sure is the genre of music: rock. I also like to play metal, jazz and blues.


        • #5

          I'm assuming your question is what you need for the drums only (?),

          First thing you need is a monitor/output. You need to be able to play with your new mates.

          I say, a G2 - cheaper,louder than Mackie, and has mixer. The whole band could play through one simultaneously, if need be, during practice. Can serve as mere monitor, or do double duty as output as well.

          The TDW-1 is next. Makes the sound and the playability of the module up to snuff for playing live.

          So far, you're at $900-$1000.00

          At this point it gets dicey, because of how you may all configure your main P.A.

          Myself, I went for the Mackie subwoofer and have zero regrets. For myself, I am happy with this system, for both self-monitoring as well as for the audience. (My bass player hooks up to it as well, and has found bass Nirvana)

          The Mackie subwoofer is about $800.00.

          Add a BBE from E-bay (My next possible purchase) and you have a good round number - $2000.00.

          Now, I think, the drums are set pretty good, and the band can get their P.A. If you leave or start another band, you only have 2 large pieces of equipment in addition to the drums to lug.

          Amazing how one recommends what one has!

          Nevertheless, my reasoning, as always, is iron-clad, impervious to challenge by the yapping ankle-biters of discontent.
          Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance


          • #6
            This ankle-biter still says more info = better answers, but in these general terms, I would agree with "iron-clad" that the first thing you will need to consider is monitoring. There are so many posts on this that I won't even try to summarize. The size of your venues will be the determining factor in what is adequate. When in doubt, buy more than you need right now.

            Next, I'd probably say get a BBE, cheap and cheerful, corrects a ton of what happens to that signal you know and love when you blast it into a big room through bad a$$ speakers. Adds a little noise (that can be dealt with particularly easily in a rock context) and well worth it.

            TDW-1...if you are going to go with acoustic cymbals, not as big an issue, but for the price, probably still worth doing.

            From there, depends on what you feel you need more (or less) of most. (i.e. killing noise, crisper highs, punching lows, etc.) I hate to be negative, but the effects in your module are only marginally better than its sequencer, so don't scratch your head if you come to the conclusion that you can use more of something "you already have". The other side of that same coin is, if it don't sound broke to you, don't fix it.

            That would be a generic good start IMO. If/when you know more specifics (and if your budget and needs dictate), there are further cost effective refinements that can be made, but this, some good cables, a fan and some patience would make for a helluva reasonable general initial approach.


            • #7
              Thanx, you guys have been extremely helpful.

              I guess what i really need is the gear needed to practice/record with the band, first. Then, move on to what I need for gigs after that.

              Yes Gingerbaker, I only want what I need for the drums. I can't afford to supply the band with the PA and other gear.


              • #8
                I like my Roland KC-500 for practice, and use it as a stage monitor as well. It's not super powerful at 150 W and it tends to crap out on the low end but does a decent job and has a built in 4 channel mixer, so you can control things a little better if you separate your outputs into four groups (k, S, Toms & cym). I got it for $450 from a local Guitar Center. I'd like to get a Mackie sub next, so I'm not so dependent on the PA subs for my low end, but the $850 price that I'm seeing locally has got me a bit puckered up.