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Old 05-26-2012, 06:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Live Sound Setup Help (mixer/pa/instruments))

Hi guys, newbie here looking for a wee bit help! I've tried to search for the info, youtubem etc. but can't find answers to my specific questions, so thought I'd post here.

I play in a band. There's 5 of us...singer / lead guitar / rhythm guitar / bass / drums.

We have a Yamaha MG-12/4fx mixer

and a

WA Audio 1000 watt Gig Rig

and each of the guitarists have their own amps (one of which is a 1962 Fender Bandmaster Blonde...nice!).

At the moment we put the singer's mic (and nothing else) through the mixer and out to the PA system.

Now, we really are just learning about using a mixer, and I've been volunteered to work out how to use it!

So, I've been trying to read a bit and checked out youtube, but what I am wondering is, should the other instruments go through the mixer as well?
As it stands, the guitarists basically just turn the volume up or down on their own amps to get the levels right.

If they should go through the mixer, how do I do that? I take it it would have to be guitar - mixer - their amp? If so, how?

Am I right in saying that you could also use a DI box? So it would go guitar - DI Box - Mixer input - mixer output - guitar amp?

Also, the guitarist has a Boss Micro, could I connect that to the mixer to record our rehearsals?

Many thanks in advance guys, and I hope you'll forgive any daft questions:-)
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If your levels and sound is already good without a mixer, I'm not sure why you guys are incorporating one, but for the sake of information, your mixer is going to be the last stage prior to the PA.
Basically, here's a theoretical setup (and one that is quite common in practice):

Guitar to guitar amp, dynamic microphone on guitar amp, microphone feeding into a mixer channel, mixer main output feeding into PA system.
The bass and all guitars will have this same configuration, with the amps themselves serving as monitors for each individual person, and the mixer feeding all instruments into the PA system for the house volume.
Singer will simply use a microphone plugged into a mixer channel which will feed into the PA system as well. (If the singer has a preamp or something, then that preamp will feed into a mixer channel instead of plugging the microphone directly into the mixer)

With this setup, you can have a high degree of control for the main PA system, as each instrument will have it's own channel and panning and EQ, which will allow you to mix everything to sound good on the main PA speakers for the venue you're in. In this scenario, the PA creates your soundstage and the amplifiers themselves serve as monitors for each band member, and also support the main soundstage. When panning each instrument's channel, you'll pan to the location of that instrument's amplifier with respect to left/right, so that the physical location of the instruments is preserved on the soundstage.
Individual EQing will allow you to take out any harsh frequencies for that instrument and mix all instrument levels and EQ so that everything sounds even and good.
Obviously, you'll want the mixer to be situated in front of the main listening position so you can hear everything correctly when making adjustments.

Anyway, I digress.
So again, the setup should be Guitars/bass > amplifier(s) > microphone > mixer channel > mixer main outputs > PA system (just a single R/L pair of inputs on the PA mixer, as you already have your separation and control on your Yamaha)
Obviously, this will mean you will have to acquire a dynamic microphone for each amplifier. Another consideration is if you have a guitarist with stereo effects, it's going to be treated as mono when using one microphone on his amplifier. If it's a stereo amplifier, you can use two microphones, each on their respective speakers, and give them two channels on the mixer with each channel panned away from each other, and this will be preserved all the way through to the PA and R/L speakers.

As far as recording rehearsals, if you guys use your PA during practice, you can set it up exactly like you would at your shows, except you can hook up a recording device to the Yamaha's Monitor output, and you will still have the main outputs feeding to your speakers, and the recorder will be fed the same signal but through the monitor output, which you can control the level of with the monitor level.


Hope that helps.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write that. May I ask; you mention using a Mic for the guitar amps, is there any reason you suggest that rather than using a DI box and cutting out the Mic? Is that so the guitarists can still use their effects pedals? I suppose it would also save us having to buy monitors!

Lastly, you mentioned about having the mixer out in front to get the sound adjusted correctly, we played a packed pub recently where that really wouldn't have been possible, I'm wondering if I could hook up headphones to the mixer and adjust it that way, so I wouldn't have to be with it in front of the band?

Thanks again.

Last edited by Cammy; 05-26-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You could put everything direct in, but then everything will only be coming out of your PA speakers and it's going to be hard for everyone to hear themselves. If you mic each amplifier, the amplifiers become the monitors and supplement the main PA speakers. The only thing you would need in order to do this is a dynamic mic for each instrument. In your case that's 3.

Well, if you can't set up the mixer out in front, then put it anywhere, and just physically stand in the crowd's position and get a bandmate to adjust what needs to be adjusted prior to starting the show.
And no, you would not use headphones, as that wouldn't make your adjustments representative of what the crowd is hearing in the acoustics of the venue, which is why you use a mixer in the first place.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks again, you're a mine of information and your help is much appreciated ;-)
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Instead of junking up the place with a new thread, I guess I could put this in here.

I'm also new to PA systems, and I'm putting one together for my band. At the moment, I have the most flexible income so I'm footing the bill. Anyway, my band has three people in it now. Me on guitar, a drummer, and a vocalist who sometimes plays a guitar. Anyway, I don't know one bloody thing about PA systems and miking, so I'm kinda shopping blind. Most of the venues around hear have house PA systems, but we need one mainly for recording purposes and the occasional gig that doesn't have one. So I guess I my questions fall into two groups:

1.) In my setup, how many microphones will I need? As the guitarist, I use two amps. Not for stereo effects, but to thicken my sound. One amp has some really deep bass while the other is a little shimmering. Do I need two mikes or should I just angle my amps together and use one microphone? Then, how many mikes do I need for the drums? It's just a basic set: two toms, floor tom, snare, bass, Crash, ride, hi-hat.

2.) This is the PA I was thinking about getting: Kustom Profile Two 300W PA System | Musician's Friend. But I'm worried about the number of microphone inputs. So I was considering adding this: Alesis MultiMix 8 USB FX Level 1 | Musician's Friend This mixer also allows me to record to my computer via USB. This way I wouldn't need to invest in a multi-track recorder. But can I connect the two? If so where? Before the powered mixer or after?

Yeah, I'm lost lol.
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