Advice on a new pa system
I was thinking of getting a new pa system and was wondering what I should be looking for in this area. For example does this sound good?
"POWER PACK 408 complete PA system with a Powerpod 408 powered mixer amplifier, 2 x 10" Phonic SEM710 speakers, Phonic dynamic handheld microphone and all cables. This complete PA system is perfect for small venues and as a rehearsal or practice PA.
This mobile PA system is fully outfitted and ready to go and the Powerpod 408 Powered Mixer includes a 4-Channel Microphone / Line mixer with high-quality Variable Digital Delay effects, with a power output of 120w (60w program per channel at 8 ohms). Plus two 10" Phonic SEM 710 speakers and a Phonic dynamic handheld microphone.
Compact, mobile and very easy to transport and set up, this complete portable small PA system is for solo and duos, aerobics, conference and lectures, karaoke, small halls, church groups and almost any other application where a mobile, compact, portable PA sound system is required."
I'm just wanting to use it for jamming in my bedroom with drums and guitar etc.
Got enough inputs
My experience is that small PA amps don't really do a stellar job on electric guitars, but if you have sufficent equalizer control that should help. I assume since you're talking about a 'bedroom' or household use that you probably have a little practice amp for the guitar(s) anyway. The PA amps usually also have some line-ins you can pirate for other inputs as well if you have pre-amps available.
My buddies and I get together on friday nights and jam a bit, and my observation is that the more inputs you can get, the better. Two to three guys, 1 mike each, 1 to three guitars (acoustics, usually) and the next thing you know you are looking for more channels. Then you invite the hot gal with the decent voice to come and add some top-end to the vocal harmonies... (Though getting her to 'share' your mike would probably be OK too)
I generally find 6 inputs to be a minimum number if you are going to be playing around with other folks, and I keep a 4 channel Behringer unpowered mixer (UB1204FX) on hand for mike overflow (they're cheap and easy to set up.) For a one or two guy setup, the 4 input mixer/amp should do. The power you spoke about seems more than adequate for a small venue, but you will probably want to get the speakers off the floor with stands if they are not already included.
You might consider the Behringer PMH880S?, it's more powerful (2x400W into 4 ohms), more inputs (8 mike channels), has two seperate digital effects channels, and (best of all?) it's class D and switchmode PSU - so it's small. light, and powerful. It can also be used either stereo, or mono - with F.O.H. and monitors.
I've used it in various gigs for my daughter, most recently as a duo, with two mikes, bass and guitar - both DI'd with a DI box - no instrument amps.
In larger setups I've used it as above, but with instrument amps as well, and with the remaining four channels miked on the drums, plus a keyboard connected to a line input socket, and a CD player (for background music before the gig) connected to a tape input socket.
Rather like Shotgun suggested though, you can't have too many inputs! - but the Behringer does pretty well everything I've needed. If I need an extra channel I just steal one from the drums! :D
For your current requirement (a bedroom) either is really overkill, but if you're buying a small PA you may as well make sure it's good enough to do reasonable gigs.
Fix the GAIN CLIP problem on Behringer PMH880S Mixer
I bought a Behringer PMH880S, formerly PMX880S, powered mixer thinking they cornered the deal of a lifetime, only to discover a can of worms. There are several problems with this powered mixer, but the real problem is the microphone gain . The problem becomes apparent with medium to high output dynamic microphones that cause the channel input stage to clip, because the input stage has too much gain. The sound is distorted. The pad function has too much gain reduction (30dB) and is really only suitable for line level inputs. So it doesn't help with the microphone problem. There is a reason that almost every other mixer available has a variable gain adjust for the microphone input stage, for with it, you can optimize most any microphone. Please see my fix at:
My only complaint would be no pad switches on channels 7 and 8, so you have to use those on the correct channels.
I could thing of various other improvements that would be nice, as I'm sure we all can, but generally for the size and price I find it excellent.
Biggest improvement would be more input channels, but size obviously precludes that, and the small size was a major reason for me purchasing one.
BTW, you don't have a scematic for it do you?.
i remember one band i was in. we decided to make our own demo tape. we started with an 8 channel mixer, and ended up borrowing another 8 channel to run in tandem with the first. the drummer needed at least 5 mics to get the right sound on tape. add to that mics for each instrument amp and vocals, and we had about 12-15 channels for a 4 piece band and 3 vocalists. we were actually able to get a good sounding tape out of it. obviously it wasn't studio quality, but it didn't sound like a tape made in a garage either.
also, if you have a clue about what you want your mixer to do, check out the piece of equipment you want to buy, and see if you can do what you want to with it. a few years ago i was helping somebody re-eq a sound system in a church after they bought a new mixer. we had problems because the new mixer didn't have a particular feature in the monitor send switching that the original mixer had.
Sod the drummer! :smash:
Eight channels on the Behringer:
1 - Bass guitar.
2 - Bass guitarist vocal.
3 - Guitar.
4 - Guitarist vocal.
5, 6, 7, 8 Drums.
Oops - Keyboard added:
5 - Keyboard.
6, 7, 8 Drums.
Oops - Mouth organ.
6 - Mouth organ.
7, 8 Drums.
See where I'm going with this :D
This is for live performance, if you were multi-tracking a recording session you could always record the drums individually.
To add more channels, get another mixer and plug that mixers output into the PMH880s AUX IN Input to Main.
The problem with running the mics at line level is that they will be noisier and sound bad. Running the initial stage at the highest possible gain (without clipping) improves the signal to noise ratio for that channel, because the initial amplifier is where most of the noise is generated (and then further amplified). Maybe it is not as important to sound good than to not work at all, but it doesn't cut it in my opinion.
And nobody has a service manual for the PMH880S. If you can get one from Behringer, I would like to know about it. I was refered to Full Compass for parts for other Behringer parts I have ordered, and they were excellent at avoiding getting the parts for months.
Behringer does not knowingly allow their technical documentation to be distributed. As service centers, we are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. To even get on our support web site, wae have to use VPN application first. (Virtual Private Network.) That allows us to connect to them, but won;t let us connect to anything else while there.
Their idea of a service manual is a schematic, and that usually omits the mains wiring. Behringer dealers and service centers are at the Mercy of Behringer for parts. As a service center, I have ordered things that never came, and things that took 6 months. DOn;t blame the dealer. They don;t stock much.
dbm pro services in New York is a part stocking service center for Behringer, and they often have parts in stock that Behringer USA doesn;t. COntact John Frondelli there. Just parts, no boards.
Of all the Behringer powered mixers, I think I hate the 880 the most. I find it incredibly inconvenient to work in.
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