How To Build Your P.A. System

Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V
Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V P.A. System Package

One of the most essential collections of equipment you’ll need for your live band is a good P.A. System. There are a lot of different P.A. System configurations and you can spend a lot of money building a P.A. from the ground up. Today I’m going to talk about what you need to build a basic P.A. system that will get you out in front of people playing gigs.     Continue reading “How To Build Your P.A. System”

Complete Portable P.A. System Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V

The Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V is an excellent P.A. package package that has everything you need for your live band.

Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V
Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V P.A. System Package

   If you play in a smaller live band such as a 2 to 4 person group then I’m sure you understand the need for a smaller P.A. system. A lot of acoustic duos will go out and play with a small amp, a couple mics and a pair of small speakers. But with a larger 3 or 4 person group I’m sure you’ve learned that you need more than just a  little 4-channel powered mixer head and a couple of speakers.

   I’d like to talk about an excellent P.A. system for smaller groups of two to four people. The Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V is a complete P.A. package that will have your smaller group completely covered for all your P.A. needs. At the heart of the system is an dual-channel, 500 Watt per channel, powered mixer that has 8 total microphone inputs. The really nice thing about the EMX512SC is the added bonus of four of the eight channels being able to function as either mono microphone inputs or stereo line inputs. This gives the amp/mixer a total of 12 input channels.     Continue reading “Complete Portable P.A. System Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V”

Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX-PRO Mixer Review

The Behringer UB2442FX-PRO is a lot of mixer for a very low price but it’s build quality is not the best.

Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX-PRO Mixer
Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX-PRO Mixer

The most important component in your live band’s P.A. system is the mixing console. Without a mixer you’re not going to be able to mix your live sound properly when playing a gig. I’ve written a couple posts such as “You Need A P.A. System To Play A Gig” detailing how important having a good P.A. system is to the success of your band.

Today I’m going to talk about a budget mixer made by Behringer called the Eurorack UB2442FX-PRO. I know that many of you that have experience with Behringer equipment are rolling your eyes right now and I don’t blame you. Behringer has a reputation for cheap equipment that doesn’t always come with the best build quality. I know I’ve had my share of problems with Behringer equipment but at the same time I’ve been able to use Behringer products quite successfully in my studio and with my live band.    Continue reading “Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX-PRO Mixer Review”

What To Do When People Are Complaining About Your Volume Level

Here are some suggestions to help you set your band’s volume level when you get complaints about volume.

Solve Volume Problems With A Decibel Meter
Solve Volume Problems With A Decibel Meter

   Having played in live bands for so long I’ve been in plenty of situations where I’ve had comments about the bands volume level. Some people complain that the band’s too loud. Some people complain that the band’s too quiet. I’ve even had cases when there have been people commenting both ways right after one another at the very same gig!

   Here’s a funny story for you. One night we were playing a gig at a local Elks Lodge. There was an incredibly diverse range of ages and people there that night. An older lady came up and complained that the band was too loud. We turned down just a little bit and a younger girl came up and demanded we turn the band up louder! We told this girl “The lady over there complained that we were too loud, so we turned down.” Immediately the younger girl marched over to the older lady and got right in her face saying that the older lady wasn’t the lodge manager and that the band was way too quiet. It turned into a full scale fight and somebody had to actually separate these two women!    Continue reading “What To Do When People Are Complaining About Your Volume Level”

Should You Bi-Amp Your P.A. System?

Bi-Amping is an excellent way to get better and more efficient sound from your P.A. System.

Rane AC 22S Crossover - The Key To Your Bi-Amp System
Rane AC 22S Crossover - The Key To Your Bi-Amp System

   There are a lot of different ways to run a P.A. System in your live band. Depending on the size of your gigs, your P.A. requirements can be very different. If you’re just playing a small room such as a coffee house for 20-30 people then using powered speakers may be the way to go. If you’re playing medium sized to large clubs, it may be time to step up to a bi-amped P.A. System.

   So what is bi-amping? Put simply, it’s using two separate amplifiers on your P.A. System with one of the amps powering the low  frequencies and the other amp powering the mid/high frequencies.     Continue reading “Should You Bi-Amp Your P.A. System?”

What Can You Do If Your Live Band’s Volume Is Too Loud Onstage

Controlling your stage volume is essential in your live band so you can save your hearing and sound your best.

A Drum Shield Will Help Control Stage Volume
A Drum Shield Will Help Control Stage Volume

   One of the most common problems with playing in a live band is dealing with loud stage volume. High stage volumes can hurt you and your band in several different ways. The biggest problem with having a high stage volume is the terrible toll it takes on your hearing. You are literally destroying your hearing when you have things too loud onstage. It also doesn’t help your band at all when the clubs that book you are complaining about volume either. I’ve heard of many bands not being asked to play again because they were too loud. So what can you do to deal with high stage volumes?            Continue reading “What Can You Do If Your Live Band’s Volume Is Too Loud Onstage”

Live Mixing Tips For Small Venues And Small Budget

Live mixing can be tricky when it’s a small room or you have limited sound reinforcement.

In Stereo Plays A Small Room
In Stereo Plays A Small Room

   In my live band we have a microphone on every drum and on every piece of equipment onstage and it’s all run through the main P.A.. It’s by far the best way to get a good mix and the best way to control your live sound level. Of course we have invested a lot of money in our live setup and we also play fairly big venues so having everything mic’ed up and mixed through the P.A. is not a problem for us. But there are times when we play a smaller room and we don’t need to mic everything up. There was even a time when all we could afford was a drumset, instruments and amplifiers and a microphone with a small P.A. for the singer. That’s when it can be tricky to get a decent live mix. So what’s the best way to get a good live mix without mic’ing everything? Here are some tips for you to help you with your small venue and and small budget live mixing.

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Creating Sonic Space Between Instruments Before Mixdown

Create sonic space between instruments while working out parts and you will save a lot of trouble during mixdown.

Bill and Frank work out parts in the practice room.
Bill and Frank work out parts in the practice room.

  How many times have you spent a lot of time recording your new masterpiece only to come to the mixdown and finding that there are way too many low frequencies? It sucks when you get to mixdown and you have to filter out frequencies on the bass guitar just so it will have some presence in the mix. Having too many low frequencies in the mix is something that you will struggle with at your live shows as well. The biggest cause of too many low frequencies that I have found over the course of my live and recording career is the simple fact that the players in the band are playing in the same frequency range as each other at the same time. I’m not talking about lovely unison lines but when two or more instruments are playing different parts at the same time in the same frequency range.

Continue reading “Creating Sonic Space Between Instruments Before Mixdown”

Set Delays On The Beat With The Delay Effect Formula

Use these formulas to calculate delay times to match the Beats Per Minute (BPM) of your music.

Yamaha SPX2000
Yamaha SPX2000 Digital Effects Processor

   One of the tricks of the trade when it comes to mixing down recordings is synchronizing the delay settings with the beat of the song. It gives your recorded tracks a very smooth and even feel when the delays are hitting on the beat or on divisions of the beat. These days, so many live bands are using sequenced tracks or recorded backing tracks that it’s an essential skill as a live musician to be able to set your delay effects to hit with the beat of the song that you’re playing. With all of the excellent digital delays and digitally controlled analog delays it’s easier than ever to get your delay effect units set to the beat of the song you’re playing.

Continue reading “Set Delays On The Beat With The Delay Effect Formula”

Perfect Club Speakers – JBL JRX125 Dual 15″ 2-Way Speaker

JBL JRX125 Speaker

Probably the most critical item that you will need to purchase as you become a performing live musician is a great pair of speakers. The success of your live band really depends on how well your sound is translating live and the speakers are the voicebox of your band. Today I’m going to tell you about my JBL JRX125 speakers and how well they have served my music.

I have owned my JBL JRX125’s for about 2 years now and have had no problems whatsoever with them. Visually the speakers are very nice looking with a rugged 18-guage steel mesh grille and a cloth covering. They have recessed handles on the sides and will accept both 1/4″ and Speakon connectors. The JBL nameplate on the grille and handles is nice and understated and keeps the speakers very professional looking.   Continue reading “Perfect Club Speakers – JBL JRX125 Dual 15″ 2-Way Speaker”