Author Topic: PA System for Backyard Gigs  (Read 376 times)

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Offline CT

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PA System for Backyard Gigs
« on: July 05, 2019, 02:48:14 am »
Picked up a "high value" PA system for backyard gigs, gig practice and general party entertainment. Bought it new for the price of a one time rental. I'm putting it through its paces and breaking in the speakers at the moment. Playing music from an iPhone or computer is really amazing. Still getting the feel for the mixer/EQ on the line inputs. Overall it's off to a good start. Using the monitor line out I was able to plug into my audio interface and record from the mixer into my DAW. Tons of potential with this system. We may be playing at a house warming soon, so that might be the first gig with it.

I'm interested in anyone that is setting up their own gigs with a portable PA system. Pitfalls, experiences (good or bad) are welcome. 

Offline Majik

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Re: PA System for Backyard Gigs
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 08:40:14 am »
From my experiences of running sound and lighting for a local band, the biggest issues are monitoring, feedback, and sound level in general.

Monitoring is needed so the individual band members can hear themselves, and their band mates, play. Individual players will have different monitoring requirements. The classic approach to monitoring is floor wedges, but these add to the general volume level and cause more feedback issues. You may also have to compromise on monitor mixes if band members are sharing wedges.

IEMs make monitoring easy, but some musicians hate them and they are expensive. They also require a desk with lots of monitoring channels or a digital monitor bus and personal mixers. That's all probably overkill for back yard gigs.

Feedback can be the biggest issue relating to this as it can limit the monitoring level that instruments, especially vocals, can have. If you have a desk that's capable, it's a good idea to "ring out" the monitors by deliberately inducing feedback and then removing it with EQ.

Finally, the audience sound level can be an issue, especially if the band are playing with electric amps. Often the guitar player will want to hear their amp and turn it up, blasting the audience with high frequency sound. Guitar amps tend to be 'beamy' so the sound directly in front of them is much louder than off-axis. If the amp points forward then the audience can get blasted because the guitar player can't hear it so well and turns it up. Also, the classic way of getting the amp into the PA, by micing it up, itself requires the amp to be quite loud, and can cause additional feedback issues.

Solutions to these include raising the amp or tilting it back so the guitarist can hear it without turning it up, or using a DI or preamp out from the amp to the desk, and monitoring via the wedges.

Cheers,

Keith


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Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
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Offline CT

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Re: PA System for Backyard Gigs
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 03:34:59 pm »
From my experiences of running sound and lighting for a local band, the biggest issues are monitoring, feedback, and sound level in general.

Monitoring is needed so the individual band members can hear themselves, and their band mates, play. Individual players will have different monitoring requirements. The classic approach to monitoring is floor wedges, but these add to the general volume level and cause more feedback issues. You may also have to compromise on monitor mixes if band members are sharing wedges.

IEMs make monitoring easy, but some musicians hate them and they are expensive. They also require a desk with lots of monitoring channels or a digital monitor bus and personal mixers. That's all probably overkill for back yard gigs.

Feedback can be the biggest issue relating to this as it can limit the monitoring level that instruments, especially vocals, can have. If you have a desk that's capable, it's a good idea to "ring out" the monitors by deliberately inducing feedback and then removing it with EQ.

Finally, the audience sound level can be an issue, especially if the band are playing with electric amps. Often the guitar player will want to hear their amp and turn it up, blasting the audience with high frequency sound. Guitar amps tend to be 'beamy' so the sound directly in front of them is much louder than off-axis. If the amp points forward then the audience can get blasted because the guitar player can't hear it so well and turns it up. Also, the classic way of getting the amp into the PA, by micing it up, itself requires the amp to be quite loud, and can cause additional feedback issues.

Solutions to these include raising the amp or tilting it back so the guitarist can hear it without turning it up, or using a DI or preamp out from the amp to the desk, and monitoring via the wedges.

Cheers,

Keith


Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Thanks for the insight @Majik! Monitoring, feedback, and sound levels in general are exactly the issues we hit when we play our Bar 20 venue gigs. We're dealing with an acoustic/electric guitar, plus either another acoustic/electric or an electric, and one or two mics. Seems simple enough. My friend has an old Yamaha acoustic /electric that likes to howl and boom at times, so that's an ongoing issue as well. The target is slightly amplified acoustic play along with vocals.

We're going to start off at first with small groups in a fairly confined outdoor area without monitoring. We will see how that goes.   

 

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