Simple live sound setup...

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by swamesp, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. swamesp macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Location:
    Somewhere on Earth
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm interested in buying a compact PA speakers to be used with 3-4 mic inputs for 2 vocals, a guitar and a KB (sometime later).

    I would like to buy A&H ZED-10 for recording the songs in MBP.

    Which compact PA should I pick? Do not want a heavier stuff as I need to carry them around.

    - Should it be just one powered pa (all in 1 type) like SRM 150 (no other mixers)
    - or ZED-10 and passive pa (compact) speaker?
    - ZED - 10 and SRM 150?

    Help me to choose.
     
  2. RHELF macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #2
    The Zed is a great board but keep in mind that the Zed's USB is strictly used as another output. In other words, All of your mixing will have to be done BEFORE it gets into your mac. Obviously for your shows you will do your mixing on the actual board, but all you will have is basically a Left and a Right output thru your USB into the mac onto 2 tracks(L/R) into your DAW. There will be no re-mixing capability in the DAW after your show is over.

    Not sure what kind of a budget you have, but for speakers, check out the EV SXA 100(12") or the SXA 250(15"). I'm personally not a fan of JBL or Mackie. JBL seems to get real distorted at mid-high volumes in the consumer lines(EON, JRX,MRX) and recent Mackies seem to have an overheating issue especially the SRM450V2(on top of them not sounding good to begin with in my opinion).

    The other(and less expensive) route would be to ditch the ZED board and get a small portable PA like a Yamaha Stagepass or a Fender Passport which come with 2 speakers and a powered mixer. All have enough mic/line inputs based on what you are looking for. You can then run an output into any audio interface(Apogee Duet?) and then into your computer for the same recording capability the ZED will give you.

    The first route would be good if you are planning on using the PA in front of a few hundred people. If it is just a coffee shop gig or small hall, the second route will be just fine.

    What type of application will you be using this system for? Passive speakers are an option also, but being that you do not want to carry too much, powered may be the way to go. If you do go the passive speaker route, make sure you get someone in your local music store that actually knows what they are talking about. You can damage the speakers/amp if not matched correctly.
     
  3. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #3
    QSC K-series all the way. You'll wonder why the other manufacturers even bother after hearing them. Even the little 8" version is fantastic...
     
  4. RHELF macrumors member

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    Jan 29, 2010
    #4
    Or the new KW series. Same as the K, but wood cabinet.
     
  5. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks RHELF for a different ideas, appreciate your thoughts.

    Yes I understand what ZED-10 would give but as you have said in the other option, ditching ZED and getting a compact PA would work.

    Main limiting criteria is the weight of the PA system. I will fly or drive within US and may be even overseas sometimes. So I'm looking for speakers + mixers combo within 40-45lbs which would be a great deal for me.

    I was looking at Fender passport 300 (from ebay) but your idea of Yamaha Stagepass also seems to be good. Which should I choose and what are their downsides (I'm going to research on this, but any experiences would help).

    I think I will choose the compact PA route, cause I need a simple PA system which I would use it for my practice sessions as well as rooms that would contain maximum 50 people and I do not anticipate more as I'm still a beginner.For passive speakers, I don't think I will choose that route cause it seems to be very heavy.

    Also budget is around $600-700 for speakers+mixer+mics+cables. Yeah I know it is way too less but I can't.
     
  6. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    These systems are too heavy also not sure if I could afford them as one speaker costs around $650. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  7. RHELF macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #7
    Between the Stagepass and the Passport, there aren't many differences quality or otherwise. I would go to your local music store and test them out and see which one you like better. I think you may have a few more channels on the Yamaha if I am not mistaken. Another portable PA is the Samson XP308I. It is literally the same thing as the Stagepass but also incorporates an Ipod Dock in the mixer and is about $100 less.
     
  8. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Yesterday I auditioned Stagepas and passport in a nearby GC, I felt that passport had better SQ with more volume. There was jarring effect in stagepas at high gain.

    Few reasons for passport is that GC is offering free 2 speaker stands with the system and also it has voltage change switch which will help when I want to move to other countries.

    For samson, the GC representative said, it's a cheapo and should not look at that. I'm also looking at other options of buying powered speakers and appropriate mixers.. Feel free to share your opinions.
     
  9. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #9
    QSC K8s aren't much heavier than the Stagepas system. I'd look at one speaker first, then get a second later. The QSCs will hold their value much better than the other systems you're looking at.

    Which Stagepas system did you try? I have a Stagepas 500 system for smaller gigs (and to use as wedges) and they work rather well. Sound quality is fantastic and they go plenty loud enough to do vocals in a small room. If you want something which goes much louder, you're looking at 'proper' PA systems (which the Stagepas and Passport aren't, but the QSCs are).
     
  10. swamesp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    QSCs are good and have 5 star reviews all around. The only criteria for me is the weight, complete PA system weight should be within 40-45lbs and that will be a great deal for me. So buying a second QSC is not an option.

    I tried stagepas 300 and FP-300, the GC rep played a song through their CD player. I wanted to check the response at high gain and yamaha had a hissing sound while FP was better compared to it.

    May be I will go again and try checking with a specific song.
     

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