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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / PA system for Music Room

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BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 31st, 2017 08:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"See the "Home Recording Forum" for tons of info on DAW's and much, much more."

I have snooped around in there a bit from time to time.

After asking the question ... DAW? I did eventually figure it out. It is something I am aware of but did not put it together with DAW until I had half a day at work thinking about all this stuff.

Fortunate thing for me is I can do what I do for work and be thinking about damn near anything. ;)

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 31st, 2017 08:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I stopped at Guitar Center on the way home.

It was almost in my way, just pull into the parking lot as I was crossing town on Charleston.

Found a sales rep with some pretty substantial knowledge on this stuff. Says he has spent the last 22 years designing sound studios and the likes.

The problem there is he is a sales rep and will with out a doubt be thinking largely in terms of what all he wants to sell, while I'll be thinking in terms of what do I really need.

One good thing about it is with Guitar Center I have the guy there and the stuff also right there.

It is nice to be able to grab something and say, "looky here" or 'listen up to this", while you are talking about an item.

Anyway, I purchased nothing. Didn't even come close ;)



Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Jul 31st, 2017 11:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Regarding the Mackie CFX mixer series...good mixers and outdated now as several features have improved the newer replacement which are...

(wait for it...)

The new improved Mackie ProFX mixer series that I was suggesting.

There is NOTHING WRONG with the Mackie CFX series. I was in a band for 4 years where they had a CFX16...great mixer. I seriously considered one more than once...then when I saw they were discontinued, I started kicking my own butt...until the ProFX came out.

What does the ProFX offer over the CFX series?

USB OUTPUT on the back.

I own two of the ProFX12 and love them for simple and easy.

I love the ProFX16 because it has two monitor mixes and up to six Sub Group Outputs AS WELL as the extra input channels AND COMPRESSION (granted, it is "single knob controlled compression".)

You cannot go very wrong with any of the CFX or ProFX mixers. It is darn difficult to go wrong with a quality brand name for your speakers...whether you opt for powered speakers with internal power supply or external power amps with passive speakers.

I KNOW LESS THAN NOTHING ABOUT RECORDING.

As for the Behringer XR18Air (wireless) mixer. We have one at work. The young guys love it. We use it for several applications at the Center. We will be assigning it to the collegiate ministry that rents from us for their mid week service. The tech that works that gig is proficient on the XR18Air software and control surfaces...and he is the same age as the people involved as musicians or congregation or worship leaders at that client's services. For their fast and simple set up, they love that board and that other tech. I have successfully avoided that assignment. I get the "gray hair brigade" events and some "public speaking events"...and more than my fair share of main office assignments. For a few events, I bring in my ProFX that is appropriate (12 or 16) and go to work. I can get decent sound in less than 10 minutes. Works pretty decent for MY assignments and my own sound for hire and my own band.

BUT...there are lots of options. Find what you like. but there are lots of current model mixers that offer USB output to your recording device.

I bought one of the hand held TASCAM stereo recorders...recorded to a "card". (I am repeating what I was told.) I used it twice and screwed it up both times. The local volunteer choral group complained their "internal tech guy who knew how to set up the cumbersome recording gear" was having health issues and would not be back. They were having a panic. I offered to loan them my TASCAM DR-05 to see if it would help for the short term AND if they wanted to see about perhaps buying a smaller, simpler recorder. They bought their own after using mine for 3 performances. My son came to town lamenting his partner in a class project left the school's Tascam recorder back in DFW (Master's student in film production at UNT, Denton) I loaned and later "gave" him the DR-05 to get him thru this project. I told him that it was his, keep it.

SIMPLE recorder. I just don't do the whole digital stuff very well. This? Digital? Really, who knew, I thought I just typed and all the other stuff just appeared like magic.

Selecting a PA system is about like picking a guitar amp. For the most part, they all do the same job...

If your recorder does not have a USB input, you can always go to the mixer on either ProFX-12 or -16. Take your speakers out of the XLR main output. THEN take the recording signal out of the mixer via the 1/4 inch output on the "Main Out" and put that into your recording device of your own choosing.

Worth repeating:

It is pretty hard to screw it up beyond repair.

If it sounds good to YOU then that is the only opinion that matters.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Aug 1st, 2017 12:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Tony, you should really try mixing a show with the XR18. I find the control surface so much like my Mackies it is uncanny.

Other than less headroom in the preamps, and that is easily solved there isn't much I dislike.

Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 1st, 2017 06:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hammond...are you saying that you hit "Peak/Clip" a little quicker with the Gain above 50% with the XR18 than with the Mackoids? Probably not the end of the world.

My problem thus far is learning where stuff is hidden on screens. At least with the Presonus SL-16.4.2 there is a real board with real controls. (Uhhh, remember we have the XR18AIR not the "board" version.)

And to be fair, I have only used the XR18Air on two occasions. And even those, I probably only had full control without someone leaning over me for maybe 5 minutes each time.

...and no real training on that system in the first place.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Aug 1st, 2017 10:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, I have the Air model.

I will admit it was a bit intimidating at first. "What if something happens and I can't find the control?" type of thing. I take real pride in doing sound. The change was a bit un-nerving at first.

I mix mostly from a 15.5" laptop as the entire mixer fits on the screen. I set the thing up when I bought it and just fiddled with it for an afternoon. That top row of buttons for Input, EQ, Sends, FX. etc. and clicking on an individual channel is the key. I've gotten quite quick with adjustments. If seated I use a mouse. Walking around a room I use the touch screen function of the 2 in 1 laptop. I always bring a tablet as a backup and load my first scene to it just in case.

As for the preamps, it's just easier to overdrive them. The Mackie is such a forgiving board. The Behringer's sound just fine to my ears. Not an issue at all for anyone who knows what they are doing. You just need to watch your input gain (yes, on another screen) or you can detect a bit of clip if pushed too hard.

The other thing I do miss is a sub out. Very handy on the Mackie boards. With all the FX and compressors built into the XR18Air all I need is one little rack case with the mixer/stagebox and the crossover in it. I set my router on top of that.

Setting up "talk back" requires a wireless mic. Break/house music can also be problematic. I understand there are now added apps so you can send music from your control device to the X-Air software app.

FOH house mixing from anywhere in the room is sweet. Better yet is being able to walk up on stage during sound check and make monitor adjustments. Eight sends is a bit of overkill for me but I typically run 4. I get complements of, "We've never had such a good stage mix before".

I bought this thing mainly to get rid of my snake. I still own it but some venues it was not possible to use it and I'd be stuck doing a side mix. I didn't like hauling the snake, uncoiling and winding the thing back up, 100', 24 channels with 8 returns, a real Anaconda.

One more thing. Everybody who owns an XR18 should know about the reset button next to the wireless LAN switch. If the unit will not connect via wireless at setup you stick an uncoiled paperclip in the little hole to reset the unit then power cycle. Mine has never had an issue but I've reset a friends unit who had an issue at a gig. If you lose wireless connection while using the unit(unlikely and has never happened to me with the router) it just keeps going with the last settings. You can reconnect on the fly and the band or audience doesn't know the difference.

We've come a long way from the Shure Vocalmaster. I had one of those, a Phase Linear 400 and two Voice of the Theaters back in the day!

Tony Wright
Contributing Member
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 2nd, 2017 02:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the review of the XR18.

I will try to spend some quality time on it learning the operation. Finding that time is rather hard.

Juice Nichols
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Aug 8th, 2017 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had an XR18 for a little over a year now and agree with Hammond that this thing is a beast for it's size. It's basically taking an X32, cutting it in half, and stuffing it in a stage box. I agree that the built in router is not very good outside of the house and since I switched to an external router I've never experienced a problem connectivity wise. It also doubles as my mobile recording interface and performs quite well in that configuration too!

The quality of Behringer products has increased considerably over the last few years. I own numerous products from this company and have never had one of their pieces of gear fail on me and this stuff gets gigged quite a bit.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 23rd, 2017 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Found this in a Pawn Shop this afternoon.

I got it for $80.00 OTD, didn't feel too bad about that. It's really clean. Shows no signs of abuse at all.

It has only 4 inputs, but being an amplifier as well I can purchase less expensive standard speakers.

I'm hoping this thing can accomplish what I need in there and do it at budget pricing.

Edited to add: My buddy Mike and I tested it out (he has speakers, I don't) This unit seems to work perfectly!

And from what I could hear it should do what I need just fine and dandy :)

Peavey XM-4 Mixer Amplifier

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 06:38 PM, Aug 25th, 2017)

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 25th, 2017 05:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Can someone give me some guidance on what I have here for speaker output.

It says 4 ohm, also speaker jacks paralleled.

Does just plugging in two 8 ohm cabinets put me right on this, or is there something more I need to know?

Also, two *ON* positions *off* at center ... Is one a standby? Nothing marked as such.

Mixer out

Bopper
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Motor City, USA

Better get hit in yo' soul
Aug 26th, 2017 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This help?

Manual

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 26th, 2017 10:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, maybe.

The link was indicated to be a security risk, so I won't be moving any further into it ;)

Edited to add: Found another way to it. Thanks for the suggestion. ;)

I'd still like confirmation on the speaker aspect. I'm no brainiac on this stuff and the instructions don't say any more than what is on the back of the amp.

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 12:13 PM, Aug 26th, 2017)

Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 26th, 2017 11:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Two 8 Ohm speakers wired in Parallel connections equals ONE 4 Ohm load and you are thus pulling 100% of the potential volume from your XM-4 amplifier.

Two 8 Ohm speakers wired in Series connections equals ONE 16 Ohm load, but the volume is lessened since you are not getting the full output capability of the amplifier in the XM-4.

There are not very many 16 Ohm PA cabinets still on the market. Fender/Sunn and even Peavey had a few in the 1990s and early 2000's. You could connect all four 16 Ohm speakers in Parallel and have one 4 Ohm load and thus pull 100% of the power of the XM-4 out of the amplifier, however...that power will be equally divided between all four speakers.

Regarding the "Mixer Out" on any powered mixer is an Unpowered signal output from the mixer that you could run to a "POWERED SPEAKDER" or "to a power amp and passive speaker". Since the Mixer Out does not send a powered signal out, Line Level signal cable (guitar patch or XLR with a 1/4 adapter on the Mixer Out). Using a standard guitar patch "could" (will) allow external noise into the signal path...that whine you hear from the amp on stage at the club when the bartender is using the blender...60 cycle hum...all of that is external noise. So using a "gender bender" adapter from 1/4 T/S to a male XLR and then connect standard mic XLR cable as needed to reach a powered speaker or a power amp and a passive speaker.

As I recall, the "center off" and "left on-right on" was an attempt to provide the owner with a way to change the ground of the amplifier...but that has been a long time since I used one of the XM-4.

As for your speaker issue...My advice is to buy two 8 Ohm speakers that YOU like and that are in your budget, plug each one into one of the speaker output jacks on the back of the XM-4 and use 14 gauge or 16 gauge speaker cabinet. 16 gauge is adequate for most powered mixers. 14 gauge is better for power amps over 350 to 500 Watts per channel.

IF IT WERE ME...I would buy 8 Ohm MONITOR SPEAKERS.

Set the speakers on the floor so the angle sends the sound more or less towards the performer's ears. BE SURE that you do not point the monitors towards the input side of any microphone. "Mic to speaker placement" is the largest cause of feedback. One of the other major causes is "reflected sound". Sound can and will "bounce around" when hitting hard surfaces such as glass or ceramic or metal and even hardwood.

Sorry if I am telling you things you already know. Just the standard disclaimers and advice...

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 26th, 2017 11:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Tony. Some of what you mentioned I did read in the (PDF) manual, but that's fine. I need all the guidance I can get on this stuff. :)

I can easily do the speakers on the floor out front and hopefully solve some issues. They would not be pointed at the business end of the microphones and on the floor I don't need speaker stands. :)

You are correct regarding the double *on* positions of the switch.

I saw a pair of 12" 8 ohm Yamaha monitor speakers on Craig's list that would work out nicely I think ... Sadly I'm monetarily tied up in my 67 Camaro and don't have the requisite $300.00 at hand. :(

Thanks again Tony, I appreciate all your effort to help me with this.

Now I'll need to get organized on the recording aspect of things. ;)

Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 26th, 2017 01:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, if it would help...

I suppose I could trade one of my Mackie ProFX12 mixers and my four Yamaha DBR10 speakers along with the necessary IEC electric connections and I would even throw in four 20 to 30 ft XLR mic cables to connect to the powered DBR10...

Even trade for your Peavey XM-4...
...AND the 67 Camaro in running condition so I could drive it back to Oklahoma.

EDIT TO ADD:

"...running condition so I could drive it back to Oklahoma" implies completely street legal and all that kind of stuff...

(This message was last edited by Tony Wright at 03:50 PM, Aug 26th, 2017)

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 26th, 2017 04:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well Tony, this is not to say I accept your trade offer ... But the Camaro is very mechanically sound and certainly would make the trip to Oklahoma without a hitch.

At the moment it's just minus the windshield I had to removed to do some repairs. And it needs some interior which I also have. :)

Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 26th, 2017 10:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have no business driving a 67 Camaro anyway.

With my arthritis, even if I could stoop over enough to get in, I could not get out. So no hard feelings...

Glad you got the Music Room PA worked out.



picnic
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NJ/FLA

I like guitars and amps
Aug 27th, 2017 07:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've put a decent, reliable PA together over the years with craigslist and flea markets buys. Mackie 808S powered mixer, 1200 watts, 8 channels and goes down to 2 ohms. Yamaha mains S115 Club series and 4 Yamaha 12" two way monitors.

We used it again last week for a picnic grounds gig. Easy to assemble and sounded fine.

Some events bring in pro sound. The digital, wireless ipad controlled PA's are amazing, but way over my pay grade.

At yesterday's event the band used the Bose stick as its sidefill. FOH was some noname speakers and there was a rack and mixer on the stage. Sounded great to me from 100+ft away. Those Bose stick systems have an excellent dispersion. I've seen and heard them here several times. Pricey new, but they show up on CL.

Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 27th, 2017 10:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Picnic: I used to own one of the Mackie 808...well, actually, I owned two over the years, one "M" and one "S". Since I set the power amps up like you did, mono mains and monitors...and since I owned Yamaha S115V cabinets for mains and four of the (now long out of production) CGM ARM112 monitors (kissing cousin to Yamaha 112 monitors) we (you and I) probably got very similar sounds. I think that might be THE best powered mixer I ever used.

The last Mackie 808 I owned was part of my rental inventory...I ended up renting it to a client who kept the stupid thing and took it on the road with him. I sent a pair of the passive Mackie C300z (the 1x12 passive version of the SRM450) and two of the CGM ARM112 monitors. I made a ton of money on that relationship. He kept that rig for about 7 months as I recall. He did a lot of central and south Texas clubs as a solo act. He paid me more than I paid to buy the components of that system.


picnic
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NJ/FLA

I like guitars and amps
Sep 4th, 2017 08:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Tony, No complaints or issues with the Mackie's over the years. One of the bands I was in 10 years ago had a real gear slut guitar player who loved to buy equipment. He heard my rig at a picnic grounds gig and bought the same thing.

Dan, my current band's keyboard player did the same and bought an 808S for himself.

The Yamaha line has always been reliable for me whether it was guitars, pianos, dirtbikes, speakers or motors.

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