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Old 14th February 2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default PA hire advice

Hi all

I'm organizing my first live show. It is going to happend at the end of March. The venue is fairly small, around 150 people, east London. Four bands, electronic music. I need PA hire, AV hire and lighting hire. what sort of speakers would you recommend for a small venue? is 10's inch enough?
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Old 14th February 2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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I would go for either a 1x15 or 2x10

PFevents
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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Depends,

Bandpass subwoofers, bass-reflex? what's the size of the place you want to fill with music? is it indoor or outdoor? what levels do you want / are allowed?
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Dual 10's was too wimpy bass for my living room; I bought PV SP2-XT's with 15" woofers and a horn. But I only use 60W peak/ch in a living room, 1 W average listening level. These are 100 db/w @ 1m speakers, very efficient. You'll need 200-400 w/ch to fill a room, unless it is a chat party with music. I have high standards, I own a Steinway console piano and hope the hifi would sound as good on the bass. After the "no smoking" bar band market crash, I am able to afford decent sound in the house.
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:36 PM   #5
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"electronc music"?? Usually with 4 bands at least one will have a PA big enough to handle the whole night for a nominal fee. Only 150 people? That's like a wedding gig. Still, electronic music generally requires bandwidth, lots of extreme bass and lots of extreme treble. I'd go with more.
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Old 14th February 2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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Indianajo, sometimes it's a hard test of a sound system to make recorded piano sound like real piano to a pianist. We get used to how a Steinway sounds and certainly can pick up on any frequency response deviation that makes the piano sound different at all.
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Old 14th February 2012, 06:15 PM   #7
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Maybe this is helpful;

In a small location (~50 people) I use a 15'' subwoofer and 4 10'' midwoofers + compression tweeters. This is powered by a 500W RMS subwoofer amp and a 500W RMS amp for the rest. The max SPL I can reach with "dutch techno" (Bart B more for exmple) is ~ 110dBa.

I don't think you want much more than that. At a party I visited in Belgium (I think it was I love Techno) they limited the levels at 120dBa, the bass was so loud I had to leave the room after ~ 30min because it started to make me sick..
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Old 15th February 2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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Remember that if you bring a lot of equipment, you can always turn it down and enjoy less heat-compression effects and lower distortion and no fear of blowing anything out. If you don't bring enough, you've got no recourse but to drive to to the max.

This is all assuming some dance space. If people are just milling and talking at a party you don't need nearly as much volume as you do to get them moving. And you're talking about live bands, not recorded music, so it also depends on what they bring. At a very basic level, is your PA running just vocals or are you driving all instruments thru the PA also? Even for small bars, proms, wedding, parties for a rock band I always ran all instruments including drums and bass thru the PA. For electronic or techno you may have more synthesizers, midi sequencers, and drum machines with their own amps (or without). Are they instrumental or how prominent are vocals, and is vocal intelligibility important?

You can also seriously consider two PAs, one for instruments and another for vocals. You can also dedicate a power amp and couple of speakers to the bass guitar and offload the main PA.

Lots of possibilities, depending on what you can beg and borrow from the bands involved too.

Good luck, have fun, make money, meet girls?
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Old 15th February 2012, 11:29 PM   #9
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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If you are going to hire the system, why not let them suggest to you what to use. If nothing else, if I were to recommend X, Y, and Z models, and the company you rent from doesn;t have them, then my recommendation is of little use. Ultimately it is about putting out sound to your liking, it isn;t about needing a certain size speaker.

COnsider bass players. SOme use a single 15" speaker, others like four 10" speakers. Both do the same job.
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Old 16th February 2012, 12:48 AM   #10
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For live bands you also need to think about the stage monitoring needs of the band. Will they use in ear monitors, wedges, a combination of both. At the very least for something like your talking about I would bring a double 15 sub with a double 12 x 2 inch high box on top per each side of the stage in addition to the bands requirements. Tri-amped mains bi-amped monitors. If it's wanted and expected to be a thumping party and not a party where people just want to talk and drink I'd think about going with double 18 subs instead of the double 15's.

If it's intended to be laid back social get to together event where the people attending don't want to scream just to talk to each other keep in mind how loud your band or bands are just from their own "stage volume" before any PA system is even turned on.

You also need to think about available power to run the PA system, band equipment and if any the lighting. Is the load in on the ground floor or up or down a flight of steps. Any of the above could be a determining factor in the equipment that can be used for your event.
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