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The idiot among you ...

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  • The idiot among you ...

    Ok, here goes ...

    I've been playing drums now for about two whole years, but I've been finger-tapping and banging on things my whole life. I wonder how common that is among drummers? Anyway ... my bandmates and I are basically ready to get out there and start gigging. We're doing classic rock / 80's tunes.

    I have a Hart Studio Standard kit w/TD-8, and a Peavey KB 60 amp, which will do as a monitor when gigging, from what I understand. Two guitarists singing backup, bassist and a singer. We don't have a P.A. Here are my questions:

    1) Can any of you recommend a P.A. system for small to medium size gigs? We'd ultimately like to do headphone practices, and I've done the search on that and read about the Behringer and Rolls solutions.

    2)What else will I personally need to add to my E-kit to perform live? I've read about DI boxes, etc., but I'm not really sure what they are ...

    3) What else should I know or be aware of before setting out? Any feedback is appreciated, I'm working from nothing here ...

  • #2
    DI Boxes

    Check out this link for a pretty fair description of DI boxes. They refer to them as Direct Injection boxes on this page, but they are also called Direct Interface boxes or just Direct boxes (as I always knew them).

    Direct Boxes

    See the grey section on the left. There is also a link from there to another article. You pretty much will need a DI of some type to connect to your PA.

    Sorry, I can't help you with the PA question. I would be asking the same thing myself!

    Good luck,

    Brandon Lecrone
    My favorite hangout Rohs Street Cafe

    Comment


    • #3
      PA Ideas

      Well, there are 1000 different answers for PA questions, but in my search I found the Berhinger B300 15" Powered Speakers to be the best bang for the buck. Then hook that to a nice 2000 series mixer and poof... Great small PA setup...

      If you need more power, string together a few Mackie 1400 or 1400i's and get some of the Berhinger non-powered gear to run off of them. Then a nice 2000's series mixer with at least 3 outs...

      Good Luck!
      Mapex Acoustic Birch 6pc Kit - Sabian Cymbals - PC Recorder/MIDI: Sonar 2.2 - M Audio Audiophile 24/96 / Avance AC97 - Samson 65A Monitors - Building a V-drum revolution kit: 3 - 10" Toms, 14" Snare, 2 - 16" Crashes, 12" Hats, 10" Mesh Kick - MODULE TO BE DETERMINED...

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info ... it seems lots of you feel Behringer is good all-around bang for the buck, eh?

        Comment


        • #5
          You get what you pay for ...

          RE: Sound Systems for small or medium gigs

          More questions than answers on this one.

          1. Do you have a soundman or will you mix from the stage?

          2. Does anyone in the group know any basic pro audio or electronics?

          3. How much do you want to spend?

          4. How will you be transporting the gear? (often overlooked but very important)

          On the Behringer issue. It is generally worth what you pay for it. It rates as decent semi-pro equipment from a standpoint of performance and reliability. If I had to make a living on it I'd use something else, but for weekending it's sufficient.

          Later,
          E2P

          Comment


          • #6
            1. Do you have a soundman or will you mix from the stage?

            Chances are, at least initially, that we'll be doing it ourselves from the stage.

            2. Does anyone in the group know any basic pro audio or electronics?

            Not very much, but we're fast learners.

            3. How much do you want to spend?

            Not really sure.

            4. How will you be transporting the gear? (often overlooked but very important)

            We have lots of space - truck, van, etc.

            ... but for weekending it's sufficient.

            Right now, that's about the scope of our outings ... weekend gigs. Thanks for the feedback.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Rules for PA:

              1. Don't skimp on channels, since you'll quickly run out of them. Buy with the expectation that your needs will grow over the next couple of years. More equipment, more drums stuff, etc.

              2. Behringer and QSC amplifiers are about the only exception to the saying, "You get what you pay for."

              3. Size the amps so they approach the peak operating power of the speakers. If a speaker is rated at 500 watts RMS/1000 watts peak, a 450 watt amp will work with minimal clipping. However an 800 watt amp will sound better, while a 300 watt amp will make everything sound weak and lifeless. It's sort of like a small car trying to tow a travel trailer up a hill, with the car being the amp and the trailer being the speakers. More "umph" gets the job done better.

              4. You'll have to spend more than you anticipated for PA gear once you figure out what your needs will be. It's common for people to bust out $3000 on fancy instruments and top-notch gear to run it, then go cheap on a PA system. Then they wonder why their gear sounds so lousy through it.


              Behringer are great mixers. Their outboard stuff is good as well. The only negative thing I've heard regards the sound of their tube preamp stuff, but since I've never had need to "get that warm tube sound" I wouldn't know. Their 2642 mixer gives you 26 inputs for $250. 8 are mic lines and the rest are variations on stereo inputs, most with tone controls. Great starter, probably has enough inputs to handle electronic drums, vocals and instruments. Powered mixers usually have too few channels and too little power for most needs. A lot of people do use them, and they're happy with them. A full band will quickly outgrow it though, if they're using keyboards, electronic drums, vocal mics and feeds from bass and guitar.

              $100-$800 buys you an effects unit from Behringer, Lexicon, Alesis, etc. Look for something with more capability than those little MicroVerb units.

              For mic's, Musician's Friend has $99 and $199 sets of 3 or 4 microphones from Behringer and Sennheiser. I'm not a great fan of Nady, so I'll ignore those. Anyway the above two brands emulate what a Shure SM-58 cardioid mic will do. For better, I've picked up Shure Beta SM-57 mics for $100 apiece through Guitar Center. The supercadioid pattern really avoids feedback in close-quarters rehearsal room use.

              For EQ, a 2 channel 15 band unit will do the trick. That'll run about $99. If you go with the Behringer 2642, 2 EQ channels are important since you have to run out of the board in stereo, and all those stereo channels won't have anywhere to send to.

              For amps, QSC, Mackie, Crown and Yamaha seem to offer best band for the buck. They have a good reputation, especially the QSC units, which seem to be popping up all over. If you go used, the old Peavy 400- and 800-series amps are great units, although they are huge and weigh a ton. Remember to keep the speaker wattage needs in mind when buying amps, otherwise you'll wonder where all your sound went. Keep the speaker cables as short and large-gauge as possible to avoid overworking your valuable gear!

              An option is going with powered speakers. It will cost about the same as speakers, cords and amps, but you'll have less stuff to haul, and you won't have to worry about power loss over the length of the speaker cord. On the down side, if the amp or the speaker dies, you're down a cabinet and an amp. At least with separate components you only have to replace one piece.

              The typical speaker setup seems to go like this: You buy a set of 200 watt PA mains and a subwoofer or two, then a year later you want more sound. You buy larger speakers and then you discover you need monitors as well. The original PA speakers won't sit compactly on the floor, so you sell them for a fraction of their initial cost and spend another big chunk on monitors.

              A way to avoid this is to buy decent monitors FIRST, and use them as PA mains. When you are ready to go larger on the PA mains, knock yourself out! Buy bigger, and move your monitors to the floor where they will happily do their job. You save about $600 in the long run.

              Going with a 2-15 single horn cabinet is not a substitute for buying a subwoofer. You'll get muddy sound while all those frequencies fight for room in the cabinet. From the feedback I've seen, JBL isn't worth the money. Yamaha is the ruler here for cost versus performance. Better stuff, better sounding, better quality. Behringer are good from what I've heard, but the 1" driver for the horn is a weak point. A 2" horn driver gives better clarity over a wider power range, and their a lot tougher to kill.

              Mackie is the ruler of the powered speaker universe. EV and Behringer are good choices aside from that.

              Hope that was worth the time it took to read!

              Comment


              • #8
                Most certainly was, and I very much thank you for taking the time to write it!! What would be your estimate of cost, then, for a good setup?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mackie Ruling?

                  Personally, I have liked the performance of the Behringer stuff that I have heard just as much as the Mackie. And personally, I would like to have 4 - 15" powered cabs instead of the 2 Mackie 15's...

                  If you look at the cost verses performance, I think the order of pecking would have to be...

                  1) Behringer
                  2) JBL
                  3) Samson (though stay away from low end...)
                  4) Mackie

                  That's just an opinion though... beat me if you want to...
                  Mapex Acoustic Birch 6pc Kit - Sabian Cymbals - PC Recorder/MIDI: Sonar 2.2 - M Audio Audiophile 24/96 / Avance AC97 - Samson 65A Monitors - Building a V-drum revolution kit: 3 - 10" Toms, 14" Snare, 2 - 16" Crashes, 12" Hats, 10" Mesh Kick - MODULE TO BE DETERMINED...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by c. jude
                    Wow.

                    The underlying topic is a little too broad, so I'm not weighing in at this point, but I hadn't heard such favor for Behringer outside of their marketing before.

                    I'll admit that I rarely even look at Behringer stuff hard, but I've yet to see any of their stuff come close to the gear they copy. In general it functions along similar lines so is good value on the low end for the features they try to mimick for price, but I wouldn't put it in the same class as some of the other brands' gear mentioned in the thread.

                    Not trolling for an argument, just surprised to hear the perspectives being offered. I don't recall hearing the Behringer stuff compared to original products favorably (other than price) before... ever.
                    They emulate Mackie indeed, but they do a very good job of it for a fraction of the price. I was leery at first, but the more I tinkered with their stuff, the more I realized their gear was quiet, reliable and good value for the money. I've heard of durability issues, but for the most part if you're putting a system together to tour for 6 months, you've probably got the ability to go with something a bit more high-end. For rehearsals and small gigs, Behringer works nicely for the money. Samson and Alesis both tried competing with Mackie for the mixer niche, and their offerings weren't nearly as good.

                    Rumor has it their goal is to put Mackie out of business by out-competing them. After going through the days when a half-decent used Peavy 12 channel unpowered mixer cost $400, I have no problem taking advantage of pricing wars like this.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by barebones
                      Most certainly was, and I very much thank you for taking the time to write it!! What would be your estimate of cost, then, for a good setup?
                      The definition of "good" depends on a few things. For the mixer, how many inputs will you need to run? How many of those will be microphones, how many will be 1/4" inputs? How many auxillary feeds will you need to run (effects, monitor sends, etc.)? Type of music? Desired volume? Just mains or mains and monitors? Number of microphones? Effects unit? EQ?

                      Start by putting a wish list together, then you can get an idea of the cash you're looking at. It can be done for around $1500 for a basic low-frills system, with room to embellish later. I've seen some small system suggestions for about a grand.

                      Check out the Live Sound Forum at Harmony Central, there are hundreds of threads about this very subject. Just stay away from Open Jam there. Trust me on that.

                      http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...?s=&forumid=33

                      Remember, stay clear of Open Jam!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Caveat Emptor

                        I'll stand by my original statement regarding the value of Behringer sound equipment.

                        Ask yourself why it is so inexpensive compared to most mfrs similar products. There are two basic reasons.

                        1. The design is either off the self or licensed, meaning they don't do serious R & D to develop new products, or improve old ones. So don't look for innovations or better performance compared to others in the market place.

                        2. Manufacturing cost savings are realised mostly through using less expensive components - especially mechanical parts. So all the connectors and controls (switches, pots. etc) are the cheapest possible.

                        The first reason is why perfomance is acceptable but not exceptional.

                        The second reason is why the products tend to be less reliable.

                        Please understand, I'm not knocking Behringer. Their products meet a demand in the market at a reasonable cost. But they are not Pro level, or even serious Semi Pro. This is strickly my opinion, based on over 30 years in the music business, with a good chunk of it as a live sound engineer.

                        I hope whatever you opt to do it goes well for you and you have a lot of fun.

                        Later,
                        E2P

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sure, I'd rather have a grand-plus board.

                          The Behringer boards work for a lot of people. Including me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Caveat Emptor

                            Originally posted by OldGuy_E2P
                            ...based on over 30 years in the music business, with a good chunk of it as a live sound engineer.
                            Just curious; are there any openings for dead sound engineers?
                            My website...
                            VCustom kit,
                            TD8 + Aphex Impulse,
                            HDI Cymbals.
                            A great site: eDrumming.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Re: Caveat Emptor

                              Originally posted by Ranman
                              Just curious; are there any openings for dead sound engineers?
                              Only the Grateful ones.

                              Comment

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