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Discussion Starter #1
My band might start playing in some small clubs in the future and I have a question. To gig, all we need are mics and thats it? We just plug the mics into the clubs PA system or do we have to have our own pa system?

Thanks.
 

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It all depends on the venue. Best thing is to check out the club well in advance. Find out what they have, how good the acoustics are, what the crowd noise levels may be etc. You may decide it's better to rent good stuff and have full control rather then to leave it up to chance. (Renting is your best option until you're playing regular and getting well paid!)
I'm finding it hard doing "Open Mike" gigs. I'm at the mercy of who ever sets it up and what ever equipment he (or the club) have. I never get a decent sound check. I just march up, plug in and what ever comes out is what I'm stuck with. (And a couple of times it's not been pretty.)
Back in my youth, (a century ago) the garage band I roadied for (later became the bass player) use to play backyard parties just for testing and exposure. We would also have full "dress rehearsal" type practice sessions. We would invite all our friends and more. Play around with the mix and song arrangements and get feed back from everyone. Sure made the gigs better. You should try doing the same.
 

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Most clubs that get bands to play have their own PA system and a lot of the times, even their own mics. I work at a celtic pub house and there's a PA system there and a mic or two. Nothing in the way of a full band since there's not much more than a guy with an accoustic and thats it most of the time.
 

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A lot of clubs will have small PA systems but like Stephen W said if you want to not leave it up to chance look into rental schemes. Most of those PA's are ment for maybe 1 or 2 performers but a band...... maybe. Check out L&M they usually offer a rent to own thing.
 

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I rarely play at clubs that supply a PA. We have a small PA for vocals and we usually try to mic the kick drum. We all own our own mics/stands and I have a set of monitors. The guitarist also has a light rig. The rest is stage sound from our amps / drums. We play small clubs mostly. We have rented bigger sound once in awhile, but clubs just don't pay enough anymore to go the rental route.
 

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yea I agree with the clubs not paying as well as they did in the past, 20 yrs later and still getting 100 a night...... It is better to have your own PA, what we did in the past was if the band had a front singer then he/she supplied pa equipment as we had to put out for our gear. It's nice when you get a gig and the sound is done by someone else professionally. :D
 

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It comes down to what you need.

There are VERY few clubs I've palyed that had an adequate house PA for my needs.
If you don't mic anything except vocals, many clubs have small systems that will suffice, providing you keep your stage volumes to a minimum.


If you're starting out, chances are, the clubs you'll be playing will have woefully inadequate systems.


As someone else said, it's best to check each club out to see if you need to rent gear.


As for gigs not paying enough, that's true, but if you base your production values on return on investment, you may be in the wrong business.

I'd have to play gigs until I was 130 to cover the amount I've spent on PA and stage gear.

If you want to make money, learn some country songs, polkas, maybe the Bird Dance and other gems.

Not to be a smart ass, but if it comes down to money, the music and the show suffers badly.
 

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When we started out, I had a Yamaha 6-channel 200W head and speakers that I bought in a pawn shop for $300. This did vocals only for a 4-piece band in small clubs. I rented a power amp and bigger speakers for a couple of weddings/pool parties, and plugged my profits back into gear. I still use the Yamaha head, but the amp section and speakers are now the monitors, and I have a 2x 800W amp and 15" 2-way speakers on sticks for mains. These items came off EBay and cost $800. Mics are a mix of Shures and AKG's that I picked up from a classified ad for another hundred bucks.

So for $1300 I have a system that I own that covers all the gigs we are likely to do as a hobby band. I will probably add another amp, crossover and sub or subs to help with the low end as finances permit, but at the moment we get the crowd dancing with what we've got.

Some careful research and some time spent crawling pawnshops and papers can be rewarding.
 

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PAs are money pits though.

Once you move up to active crossovers, effects racks, subs and such you start to know the true meaning of GAS.

I invested in such a system and have been adding components and power gradually.

My PA is worth more than the combined values of my vehicles, LOL.

Right now, I think FOH power is 8800 watts and foldback is 1600 watts.
 

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For the record, though, Milkman's system is one of the best I've heard in a bar setting. And he doesn't crank it 'till yer head blows off. You Toronto types should really try and make the pilgrimage to IT on Friday to hear these guys.
 

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buckaroobanzai said:
For the record, though, Milkman's system is one of the best I've heard in a bar setting. And he doesn't crank it 'till yer head blows off. You Toronto types should really try and make the pilgrimage to IT on Friday to hear these guys.

Thanks man, nice of you to say.

The idea of headroom is clarity and the ability to play large rooms.


I don't want to hurt people, but I want them to feel it. The system is not pushed hard in a room like IT or the Norfolk. This is made easier by the fact that we strive to keep our stage levels down and let the system do the "heavy lifting".

When we do our annual summer bash (July 15 this year) I add a couple of subs and have no trouble filling a large barn even with several hundred humanoid sound baffles.
 

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Like some have said, you need to have your own PA system. Most of the bars around here (Ottawa) have their own system but very few have something really adequate. And then on some that do have one, they don't have anyone to set it up for you and you would have to set it up for yourself which means there would be some learning curve that will be required to set up their PA system. Having your own also allows you to book private parties/gigs and not having to rent gear. It's probably an investment that you will never get back but that's not unusual when it comes to gigging musician's gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
But most clubs will have atleast speakers there right? So Ill have to have a mixer and mics and that should be it?
 

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Yes I have used a Bose system (with sub) on many occasions. I have also heard it used by professionals like, The Men of Steel. It's amazing how much sound, tone definition and clarity it produces when set up correctly. But like any system it needs someone who knows what they are doing to achieve success.
The big draw back is the price. L&M are the only retailers I have found that stock it. And it's over $3000 (with one sub) out the door. Add to that a quality mixer, (everyone I know with a Bose does) plus effects etc. it adds up to $$$$
You can get yourself a lot of good gear for less. Just my opinion, YMMV.
Still, If I win a lottery I'd have to have one. Heck make that TWO! :D

Stephen "the Dreamer"
Living life on the edge. Less crowded, better view.
 

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Benee Wafers said:
So Milkman what gear are you runnubg for your P.A.?
Anybody out there familiar with and use the BOSE PAS system?
Benee Wafers
Mostly Yorkville

The board is a Yorkville Powermax22 which is a 22 channel stereo powered board.

Onboard power is 2 X 800 and 2 X 275. I only use the onboard power for monitors.

The mains are Yorkville TL3215s (I have four) which are 2 X 15, 1 inch horn and 2 X piezo.

The subs are Elite powered 18s Can't remember the model but they're 1500 watts each.

Wedges are also Yorkies 1 X 12 and a horn. I use four of these.
Main power is a couple of Yorkville AP4020s.

The rack had basic stuff including a styereo crossover, delay, stereo graphic EQs, an Ashley comp.

Mics are an assortment of AKG, Shure and Apex. I have six Yorkville active DIs.

100 foot Yorkville snake (24 channel, 4 XLR returns).


I've hauled around some big assed systems over the years, but this one compares favourably to any MArtin / Soundcraft rig I've used.


It's very transparent and has tons of oomph.

There's lots of other stuff but that's the heart of it.
 

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Very impressive Milkman. You guys set that up and break it down every night/gig?
Checked out your website. Didn't see any place with audio links though. None there?
'Spose this isn't the right place to be asking unrelated questions..........but.........you guys do The TommyKnockers as a full time gig or are you all lawyers, structural engineers,biochemists during the week?
Noticed in one of the perfomance pictures the band was floor level with the dance floor.? Seeing as you bring everything but the kitchen sink isn't there some kind of portable stage you could use?
Good to know there are still venues around that can accomodate the show you bring.
Congrats man you've achieved relative success and that's something I can appreciate and envy.
Benee Wafers

Hey Stephen
Oh yeah I knew it was pricey but the concept sounded so right to me.
To get a whole band to use the system would be the best but then not all members would agree to shell out that kind of cash.
I think though that solo or duo could use that system to great advantage.
I wasn't aware that it would be necessary to use a mixer in addition to the system. For that money it should come as an all inclusive system don't ya think?
Benee Wafers
 

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Benee Wafers said:
Hey Stephen
Oh yeah I knew it was pricey but the concept sounded so right to me.
I think though that solo or duo could use that system to great advantage.
I like the concept too. Very compact, works great in tight spaces, (which is most pubs these days). The photo I use for my avatar was taken at The Village Inn, in Bowmanville Ont. They set you up in a little alcove just big enough for one small table. Just out of the frame (to my right) was the Bose system they use there on Sundays. Several members of the different fingerstyle guitar associations I belong to use them. (Our Quinte group have one.) If I go forward with this idea of getting serious about playing out then I will have to purchase some gear of my own. I may end up going with the Bose even though I think just as good sound could be had for less. They are easy to transport. Another plus when you're driving any distance in a small vehicle already loaded with guitars and players.
Benee Wafers said:
To get a whole band to use the system would be the best but then not all members would agree to shell out that kind of cash.
That is what the Men of Steel are using on their present tour. Each member has his own dedicated system. Seeing it's basically a two channel set up I assume they each use one channel for their mike's and the second for their instruments.
Benee Wafers said:
I wasn't aware that it would be necessary to use a mixer in addition to the system. For that money it should come as an all inclusive system don't ya think?
Benee Wafers
Oh it has some mix / EQ abilities built into the main panel plus on the remote. But obviously most people feel it's not broad enough. They want more control over a greater variety of parameters. Check it out. Just remember that those are US prices. And that local retailers paid higher exchange rates back six months ago when they placed their orders.
 

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Benee Wafers said:
Very impressive Milkman. You guys set that up and break it down every night/gig?
Checked out your website. Didn't see any place with audio links though. None there?
'Spose this isn't the right place to be asking unrelated questions..........but.........you guys do The TommyKnockers as a full time gig or are you all lawyers, structural engineers,biochemists during the week?
Noticed in one of the perfomance pictures the band was floor level with the dance floor.? Seeing as you bring everything but the kitchen sink isn't there some kind of portable stage you could use?
Good to know there are still venues around that can accomodate the show you bring.
Congrats man you've achieved relative success and that's something I can appreciate and envy.
Benee Wafers

Benee Wafers
We're not full time. I was full time for more than eleven years (78 ~ 89) while on tour and for an additional five or six years working at a music store as a tech and teacher. I like it better this way. The music comes first. Business comes third or fourth. No weddings, Bird Dance songs, et cetera. We take only gigs that we really want and we play only the songs we love.




These days I and my keyboardist are employed in the corporate world. My bassist works as a painter (vehicles) and my drummer is a full time student.


We use a riser for the drummer for some big shows, but my preference is to be right on the floor. I love being right down with the crowd. High stages seem to create a distance between band and audience. That probably sounds flaky, but I discovered my preference for this sort of set up when I was obliged to set up on the floor a few times back in the 80s.
My absolute favourite set up is an amphitheatre or quasi-amphitheatre, where the audience is actually looking down to the stage.


I believe there's an audio link on my site. It's an unmastered early mix of a tune from the album.


http://www.hxcmp3.com/bands/10368/index.php

And yes, we set all this up and break it down every night, and additionally, most times we set up our own power distro (tap right in to the 220) and a full light rig (24K, par 64s, rain lights, beam splitters, lasers, fog machine et cetera).


We do all of this because I want every gig to be something special for us. If the gig I played this weekend turns out to be my last (we ARE all mortal) I want it to be something we can all be proud of.


It AINT't about the money, that's for sure.


Thanks,


Mike
 
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