I'm in a three piece (2 acoustic guitars, 1 mandolin) revue, and I'm pretty much the sound engineer of the group... we play americana, newgrass, folk, bluegrass, that sort of thing. I've played for a long time, however i'm still a noob to live sound engineering. currently my gear is mackie cfx16, peavey pv2600, qsc rmx1850hd, 2 JBL jrx115 tops, 2 jbl jrx112 monitors (jrx100), 2 audix om-2 and 1 shure sm58 for vox, all instruments via DI or acoustic amp
I'm looking at making some major upgrades to the live sound system... and i want some opinions on whether I should buy all the units seperate (EQ's, compressors, etc...) or a drive rack unit. Also i will be running separate FOH and Monitor mixes. Do i need two separate drive racks, one for FOH and one for Monitors? Any advice would be appriciated!!!
Your equipment setup and band configuration is honestly very simple. Unless you're looking for recallability of settings for specific venues, I'd just invest in a few good-quality graphic EQ's. If the system is configured and deployed correctly, you really shouldn't have to spend much time monkeying with the EQ anyway- just a couple specific cuts where needed.
Actually, before that, I'd invest in some better main speakers and perhaps a better mixer, and then you'd need less fiddling with EQ to make the system sound good. The CFX mixer and JRX speakers are things I'd be pretty leery of having to use and make sound good. A few pieces of good gear always sounds better than a mountain of mediocre gear.
I guess i should have mentioned the things i have been thinking about purchasing I am FOR POSITIVE upgrading the board haha. I know that cfx16 sucks, it was a great starter kit but i'm on to bigger and better things now. Also the speakers i have been tossing up upgrading but i wont do that til i upgrade my mixer
here's what i've been considering
Mackie onyx 1640i (for rackmount) or the onyx 24.4(few built in goodies) even the 2404 VLZ3 is sweet in terms of built in goodies .... also been looking at the soundcraft GB4 24
DBX 1046 for vocals
for an effects unit it'll probably be a lexicon mx300 or 400
also the new mixer wont have a FOH EQ so i'll need one of those... was thinking DBX 2215
or as my original post asked: What's the deal with the drive racks?
I just picked up a ART HQ231 for my monitors. Running them from the QSC 1850HD. The two JRX112s on one channel and a yamaha 15 on the other channel... it seems to have made a huge difference and i dont have to guess where the hot signal is coming from, however, im sure that there are better sounding (more transparent) EQs out there but this is a nice start. Other EQs i looked at where the ashly GQX3102 and the Rane ME60. I'll be adding another amp to seperate the other monitor soon as i upgrade the board
i also dont remember if i mentioned i have no sound man and i do all my sound from the worst possible point... the stage! i make sure to go stand in front of a tower now and then but u know how that goes...
I just installed a dbx Driverack PX in my stage monitor feed chain. It seemed to solve my feedback problems. The three wizards appear to do the following: balance volume between the channels (not essential for monitors), level the EQ using pink noise (ditto), and automatically find and kill feedback with twelve notch filters (that worked well).
I have not worked with it enough to see if you can overide the automatic flattening of the EQ. I assume that you can. I don't have subs (yet) so I can't use the cross-over functions.
So far, I'm pretty happy with the way the Driverack works. It did not seem to add much noise either. The only drawback is that it handles only two channels (of course). My mixer has only two aux busses, so that's not really a problem.
Last edited by Rosenfelder; 09-06-2012 at 07:45 AM.