Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

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Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby nolabass » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:40 am

I was always led to believe a 31 band EQ is the only way to go but find myself attracted to 15 band units. I notice most bands around here use 7 or 9 band powered heads and it normally works as long as there is headroom/power. I have personally used Mackie and Carvin and Behringer heads with 7/9 bands and find it will squeak by. Seems like it a little cumbersome setting up the 31 bands when...like Saturday night I have 20 minutes to setup PA....rushing and 31 band EQs don't mix well.
Leaves me thinking of selling my 31 bands EQs and buying one nice 2x15EQ. Shoot, or even just one 15 band as most powered heads on board 7 or 9 band EQ is fine for mains.

I should point out 9 times out of 10 my problem is the user and not the PA. Saturday night I couldn't seem to get it across...... the singer shouldn't stand right in front of my ear high TurboSound side fill monitor while holding an AKG535 condensor. [smilie=angry-smiley-005.gif] Groping for a 31 band 4K slider on a dark stage while playing bass is hard. Admittedly my eye site is going too. Hard to focus on that in low light.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby nolabass » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:48 am

Part Deux:

I also have a nice Rane PE15 parametric EQ. Anybody use a para for monitor EQing and feedback control?
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby basswinn » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:01 pm

How about one of these? DBX feedback destroyer
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby Bob Amstadt » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:27 pm

Do those feedback destroyers work well?
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby GonzoBass » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:54 pm

Bob Amstadt wrote:Do those feedback destroyers work well?


We have a local soundman who uses one
and it works great.

...even with ditsy chick singers who tend to point the mic directly at things like mains, side fills and monitors.
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I only hear a very small *chirp* before it kicks in.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby GLJeff » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:11 pm

I've always used a 2x15 main EQ using one side for monitors, and use it to take away noise (hiss) in a certain frequency more than anything else. I prefer AKG D-189 mics but have noticed they feedback more than SM-58's. I'd try a feedback limiter like others suggested or a compressor/gate. The EQ can also be flattened for the monitors and side fills to reduce feedback. Too hot of a signal can always be a problem. I use a separate board for the monitors which is usually a good idea, I know most club bands don't.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby randall » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:27 pm

For FOH mixing I wouldn't be caught dead without a 31 band on the main mix. But for a set and forget on stage set up, I find 15 bands to be much more forgiving. Especially if set up time is tight. The little 7 - 9 band on board set ups that are popular now are OK if convenience is a key factor, but it can be like using an ax when a scalpel is what you need in some problem scenarios. I have used the dbx units with great success in the past, but mostly on monitors since that is where most feedback is coming from. They have saved my ass more than once in a large noisy band situation.

Stereo 15 bands are great for monitors, especially if you are running 2 mixes.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby nolabass » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:30 pm

Feedback destroyers are out. I find a good EQ will do the job. The problem I have with FBDs is the room changes with the stage sound during the night. So EQ setup for the first set does not work for the third set. As the night went on the units would cut deeper and wider. I found I would have to bypass the thing to get the sound back. I believe a well applied EQ, mic and monitor placement along with good headroom will negate the need for FBDs. As mentioned the 7/9 band EQs almost do the job....gets a lot of bands by. 15 might be a good middle ground for me to run from stage.

I am playing roots music and normally only run a few mics. Brass only occasionally. Never more than 6-8 mics.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby nolabass » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:54 pm

After reading a little about the DBX unit I see the technology has come a ways since I tried it. Looks like it would work. I'm trying to keep my haul down so I would shy away from another processor.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby Passinwind » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:10 am

nolabass wrote:Part Deux:

I also have a nice Rane PE15 parametric EQ. Anybody use a para for monitor EQing and feedback control?


I've been a happy parametric user for a over a decade now. The club I mix in occasionally finally caved to my prejudices and we now have three Ashly PEQs and one 31 Band for our four monitor mixes. Hopefully we'll off the last graphic in that rack soon too, but the guys who work there most of the time are still getting up to speed with the Ashlys. None of us have to mess with them very often at all at this point though. Once a month or so I go in and dial everything back in to account for rampant fader creep, but that's about it. [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]

I can get decent results with either format, but either way it pays to really know your frequencies. 15 bands or less of graphic EQ just won't cut it in many monitoring situations I encounter as a mixer, but OTOH I play gigs all the time with box mixers with 5-9 bands -- often with no monitor speakers at all (and I have nothing to do with mixing any of these shows BTW). I got by OK with one 15 band graphic for FOH and one for monitors for a few years, but after going to a parametric for the monitors I would personally never go back to a graphic of less than 31 bands if I could possibly avoid it.

The newer feedback finders are getting pretty good. Personally, I tend to just manually set around 4 bands of fixed parametric EQ up, then allow at most 2-3 roving bands, if that. That way the unit can't do what you described to any great degree.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby Gil Escalera » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:55 pm

Passinwind wrote:it pays to really know your frequencies.

[smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif] Amen. I strongly recommend people who deal with sound to become familiar with what frequencies different instruments, voices, etc. cover. In my sound classes I usually hand out the two following charts:

Voice/Instrument Frequency Chart

Music Fundamentals and Harmonics Chart

With a good knowledge of frequencies and their harmonics, a 15 band eq can typically work fine (IMO) in the situations you find yourself in Peter. From what I've read about you all these years in the forums, I think you easily have that knowledge to use a 15 band effectively. As we all know, when it comes to "live" we want [need] easy as possible so that we can concentrate on the music and not worry about the technical stuff.

I'm a big fan of the dbx DriveRack PA for small to medium portable p.a. rigs. Setup is pretty simple once you get to know them.

For onstage monitor tweaking, I'm also a big fan of these:

Image

It's the Behringer FBQ3102 Ultragraph Dual 31-Band Equalizer with FBQ Feedback Detection System. They street price at $130. If you only want 15 bands or only want to use one rack space, then they have the Behringer FBQ1502 Ultragraph Dual 15-Band Equalizer with FBQ Feedback Detection System for $100.

It's a familiar full 31 band graphic eq with traditional low cut and high cut filters, plus it has feedback detection. Super quick and easy to setup too! HOWEVER... what I like best about these is that each fader has a red LED on it that lights in instensity relative to the amount of level that frequency band is receiving (the brighter the light, the louder that frequency). SO... when you're onstage and something doesn't sound right, a quick glance to the eq will tell you whats going on visually via the LED's! Then you can just reach over and lower the offending (brightly lit) frequency or boost (dimly lit) the missing frequency. ;)

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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby nolabass » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:08 pm

Heh...that's funny Gil. That's one of my EQs. I also have a DBX. Being the sound is not that different between the 2 I haul the Behringer. I like the filters and the LEDs make it easier to ring the system out....last gig I had no time.
I didn't realize they had a 15 band too....cheap enough to try. My thinking was step up to the $300-500 EQ range, Ashley or Rane... but with 15 bands.

Honestly the problem stems from me not running PA but every once in a while...every time having different variables to contend with. If I had money and there was a stereo 500 watt per side powered board with 15 band EQs I would not have a problem. Those 7 and 9ers just aren't enough.

Allen & Heath has a nice $1K mixer with Para EQs. No $$$ for that though.
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby VocalistKane » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:57 pm

FOH will always be best suited with a 31-band set up. If you are carrying your PA and gigging in various halls and want less than 31, try the dbx 1531X. A great unit by a world renowned company.

I've tried a few Behringer items because they spotlighted their german engineering...only to later learn the stuff is actually made in china and it shows audio-wise. Behringer's stuff is bang-for-buck I suppose, but not anywhere near up to par with the gigging most of use are doing, and it's important to sound as good as possible/as good as you actually are. Anyone who disagrees about Behringer has not A-B'd their stuff against the tried-and-true industry standard rack mount gear.

My vote is for the dbx 1531X, which is like the 1531 but with stereo/mono/pass filter switchable.

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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby Gil Escalera » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:37 pm

nolabass wrote:I also have a DBX. Being the sound is not that different between the 2 I haul the Behringer.

I hear ya Peter. At work I spec'd a dbx 215 for a video conference room p.a. system and I was underwhelmed with it. It's just as noisy as the Behringer and I felt the faders were more sensitive too (no constant Q technology).

nolabass wrote:My thinking was step up to the $300-500 EQ range, Ashley or Rane... but with 15 bands.

I did sound for a band that had a Rane ME15S eq in their FOH rack and it was fine. Rane and the dbx iEQ series use better then average constant Q technology which is nice. The dbx iEQ series also offers feedback suppression, noise reduction, and peak limiting. Nice features for monitors IMO. Ashly makes good stuff, although I don't have any experience with their 15 band stuff (i.e. GQX-1502).

The two eq's I currently have in my mobile rack are both two channel one space digital units: dbx DriveRack PA and Behringer Ultracurve Pro DEQ2496. Of course, I'm a sound nerd. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

Good luck!

- Gil
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Re: Hey PA Knowing Dudes....question.....

Postby nolabass » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:35 pm

Yep...the DBX 231 is the one. <==Meh [smilie=tosser.gif] ....I had an Ultracurve but sold it due to overkill. It was easy to run though. I have a decent board wF/X, a great QSCPLX amp, Turbosound Speakers all round, 15" mains, 12" monitors and a 1x18 sub. I just crave a simpler EQ set-up now. It's a lot to haul if I am not getting paid for it. Keeping it simple to match my limited experience. [smilie=food-smiley-004.gif]
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