This is my first post on sweetwater and I am a complete novice when it comes to Live Sound. That's why I'm making this thread. lol
About a month and a half ago I was invited to join a local country rock band in town as their new bass player (and as of out last gig a keyboardist). I agreed hastily without knowing that my duties where not just being the bass player. Long story short, the former bassist of the band was also the main sound guy. He was the one who help decide the PA system and all the speakers and such. And now I have to take over that duty... Hooray?!
So my experience with Live Sound and PA is little to none. I understand the basic connections and such but I'm lost when it comes to making EQ adjustments. So I'm asking you, the forum, for advice.
The band consists of 3 guitars (1 electric and 2 acoustic electrics), a Drummer (whom we mic with 3 or so drum mics during bigger shows), 1 main vocal, 2 backing vocals, and me (Bass guitar and Keyboard). Our PA rig is a Behringer Xenyx X2442USB mixer, a Behringer Europower EP4000 power amp to drive our mains, a Peavey power amp *I don't have the specs on hand* to drive our monitors. The mains our 2 Behringer 2x15s and our monitors are 3 Behringer Angled 1x15s.
The major problem that I see with our PA rig is with our connections though. All of the guitars, except for the bass, are going into the mixer directly with 1/4 inch connections, thus making our tone sound flat and colorless. My bass is going into my Markbass amp and using the DI out on the back of the amp to go into the mixer. I hope that this is enough information for you to use and work with. If you need any more info please ask and I'll get back to you asap.
The 1/4" inputs on a mixer are not really meant for plugging an electric guitar direct unless it has active electronics or through a preamp.
I'm not much of a Behringer fan but you work with what you have. Nevertheless, you should be able to get passable results. I would suggest some guitar preamps if you don't have them. Otherwise, just experiment with the EQ at practice for an acceptable tone.
Thank you Dave for your advice. I looked at the bands gear last night at practice and I have this info. So the electric guitar is not active but it is going into a DigiTech multi-effect pedal, a RP25 I believe. So would that be considered a preamp by chance? And if not should I start looking into a DI box or asking my lead guitarist to use his Marshall half stack and we mic it or use a DI in between the head and the cab?
The acoustic guitars do have built in preamps so that should be fine with a straight 1/4 in connection. But if not would my idea of using a DI box be beneficial?
Also after last nights practice I did some work around with the EQs and the tone is sounding a little better, not to my standards but meh in time it will come. But are there any other ways to help with Tone Shaping process? Like for example, looking at getting a rack mounted EQ, or a rack mounted Compressor/Limiter, and/or looking at getting a Exciter?
Originally Posted by Dave Burris
I'm not much of a Behringer fan but you work with what you have.
I totally agree with you. Haha I would rather have a nice JBL rig but meh you got to work with what you have.
The RP255 has a max output of +10 dBu and an output impedance of 500 Ohms, so technically yes this could be considered a preamp.
If your board EQ is not sufficient, then an external EQ for guitar would probably be helpful. A parametric EQ with at least 4 bands would probably be helpful. You should experiment a lot at practice to find the sound you like. Working with the multi-effects device to get a consistent level for various presets would probably also be helpful.
I'm not too sure if your trying to fix the overall eq of the PA or just individually eq each channel to get a good mix, sooo...
For an overall EQ look at the dbx DriveRack PA+. I know that you don't really need speaker management as you're not running tri-amped here, but the EQ, compression and feedback suppression are invaluable if you are the bassist and FOH engineer. The unit and reference mic will take care of pinking the room and with the feedback suppression you shouldn't have to worry about ringing out the room. The unit listens for feedback and will cut the correct band when feedback occurs returning the band to it's original position after a predetermined period of time.
When it comes to getting a good mix with your Behringer, that just takes practice. I would say start out as simply as you can. Zero the board, including effects. Then sound check each channel. See what that sounds like with zero EQ. If it's missing something, say the acoustic has too much bass in it, start slowly rolling off the 80Hz channel till it sounds better. If the singer is too midrangy try boosting the mid and sweeping through your frequency. Once your found the offending frequency cut it out a bit. But keep it simple. 99 times out of 100 your going to be behind the speakers and you're not going to have any real idea of what's going on out there, so keep the band happy with the monitor mix and don't sweat it too much. If it's a really important show and you want to to sound tops for the night try having an audio guy come out and mix for the gig. We could use the work