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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Next add to the PA?

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Sep 7th, 2017 08:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Our PA consists of used gear we purchased as we could afford. It’s not state of the art, but it's mostly Sennheiser, A&H, QSC, dbx, and Yamaha stuff and sounds decent.

We do not have a Driverack, outboard FX, or BBE/Aphex type processor. Which of these things, or what other things, would you add, in what order? I understand that BBE and Aphex are somewhat controversial, but I’ve never used them in a PA and have no opinion on the subject.

(This message was last edited by Rick Knight at 11:04 AM, Sep 7th, 2017)

Contributing Member


Clearwaterrrrr Revival
Sep 7th, 2017 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you don't currently have a stage snake, get one.

Keep thinks simple. Add too much outboard gear and that multiplies opportunities for equipment failures. Simple means fast setup and fast teardown. And less weight to haul around.



Thank God for guitars!
Sep 7th, 2017 11:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you play lots of different types and sizes of venues, the drive rack can be a real time saver. Get a measurement mic to go with it. Not real useful without the mic. Much more useful than a bbe or Aphex.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Sep 11th, 2017 06:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

I assume you mix from on stage?

Pegoo recommended stage snake saves a lot of rolling cable at the end of the gig. (We call it a drop snake, same difference. It is also called a "multi core" snake.) If you have to link two or more mic cable together to reach from the mixer to the far side of the stage...you simply use a short snake from mixer to the far side...then split out with mic cable from the "far end". If you mic drums and if bass is right beside the drums, there is your biggest congestion of mic cable. Typical drum kit uses 5-7 mics, you just saved several minutes with that one "extension cord". Bass is an instrument that typically lives near the drum kit...so throw that into the snake as well.

Concerned about quality? The biggest concern should be about the quality of the actual connections done in "off shore" countries. While there are dozens of manufacturer's I like EWI. Fair price and high quality labor make for a very decent priced tool.

Yes, there is still a need for mic cable, but if you do your own repairs, simply cut them down and put new ends on the two bare ends and you now have shorty cables to use from stage snake to tom or snare or ???


While I do not own a DBX GoRack, I wish I did. The GoRack is a "Driverack for Dummies" and can still be found at very decent prices...considering. That might be an effects unit that is worth looking into. But if you are more computer savvy than I...go ahead with the full Driverack. I can't read the screen anymore even with my new Rx. (At least that is the excuse I use.)

Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Sep 11th, 2017 07:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

First things first.....what boxes are you using?

You don't state that you own a Xover.....so...the boxes are powered and the amps have on board processing?

Don't spend a dime on peripheral stuff until you are sure you have nailed the fundamentals.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Sep 11th, 2017 06:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the input.

I tried to avoid too much detail but apparently went too far in the other direction. The system consists of: an Allen & Heath MixWizard WZ3, a dbx compressor, 2 dbx and 1 ART EQs (1 for FOH, 2 for monitors), a 100 ft. snake, a dbx crossover, a QSC PLX 3402 powering a pair of Yamaha S115s, a PLX 3402 bridged into a pair of Yamaha SW118 cabs with Eminence Kilomax drivers, and 2 PLX 2402s powering 4 Yamaha SM12 monitors. Vocals, 2 guitars and drums get their own monitor feeds. I can hear enough from one or more of them.

We mic the guitar cabs, and the drummer likes a bass drum mic and 2 overheads. My heads have direct outs if bass needs to be in the PA. I'm not sure whether that will be necessary now that we have a second guitar instead of a keys player with a heavy left hand.

(This message was last edited by Rick Knight at 09:03 AM, Sep 12th, 2017)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Sep 12th, 2017 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

Your board already has effects so I wouldn't spend money on an outboard unit. The Driverack is nice if you have the time to properly set it up. My experience with them is we never had time to do a setup with it because we we're always under such a time crunch during our load-ins. Basically, it was get everything set up and start playing.

Personally, if I had to pick something from your list it would be the BBE Sonic Maximizer, but as Roly stated, if everything else isn't in order do that first.



Thank God for guitars!
Sep 12th, 2017 08:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

BTW, the driverack PA has cross-over functionality.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Sep 12th, 2017 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hmmm, the PLX3402 produces a maximum of 3400 Watts at 4 Ohms Bridged, and the 8 Ohm Eminence Kilomax 18 appears to be 1250 Watts RMS and around 2500 Watts Program. Thus two 8 Ohm Kilomax 18 in a pair of Yamaha cabinets would "each" receive 1700 Watts (half of the 4 Ohm bridged mono which should be a good match for the two 8 Ohm SW118V subwoofers.

As for the two 8 Ohm S115V rated at 500 Watts Program, 1000 Watts Peak, they should mate well with the first QSC PLX3402 running one 8 Ohm load on each side of the stereo power amp rated at 2 x 700 Watts at 8 Ohms.

The MixWiz WZ3 is a very nice analog mixer and does indeed have internal effects processing as noted by Juice Nichols.

In fact, your system is reasonably well thought out and any changes that might be suggested are mostly brand name loyalty or preference.

I will assume that you lock up with the drummer and can carry the stage with adequate volume without a dedicated monitor...and you can probably hear vocals and other instruments from stage amps or from near by monitors...

What to add to your PA? Should I assume you have a trailer or box truck or van?


Have you considered a young sound tech? Strong back, good ears. Looking to learn a craft that will earn part time money and let him experience "show business" first hand...yep.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Sep 13th, 2017 06:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

"your system is reasonably well thought out"

It grew from a Yamaha EMX 5000 and a pair of S115s, and the expansion wasn't random. I got a lot of ideas reading posts here. We just had to wait for the right equipment for each step to be available at affordable prices.

"Have you considered a young sound tech? Strong back..."

Oh yeah. I'd like to have a regular sound guy and an assistant (roadie), but we don't. A couple of musician friends run sound for us when they are available. One of them is as old and beat up as we are, though. When they aren't available, one of our guitar players handles it.

(This message was last edited by Rick Knight at 07:04 PM, Sep 13th, 2017)



Earn while you learn
Sep 16th, 2017 12:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

A mic cable "loom" would be a good addition for a band that has a consistent set up. It would save you some time during setup/tear down.
I made one about 10 years ago..:
Five mic cables; labeled A through E.
A is twenty feet long and the subsequent letters go up in increments of ten feet per letter.

I store it on one of these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-150-ft-16-3-Cord-Storage-Reel-HD-130PDQ/205038360

Just roll out the loom across the front of the stage and everyone plugs in - easy.

At the end of the gig, just roll it up...

My small sound company

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Next add to the PA?

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