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How long for pa setup? How long for sound-check?

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July 21, 2004 12:20:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi all,

I know there is no hard fast answer. I’m just looking for a
ballpark.
We have at least two Christmas parties to play this upcoming season,
one of which is black tie for 1000 guests and will pay us upward of
$3000.00.
One of the two is giving us two hours between load in and the start of
the party.
My first impression is that we cannot set up in that amount of time,
much less get a good sound-check.
So here’s our setup:
4 vocalists, 2 guitars, keyboards, bass and drums.
The drums will be mixed onstage and the rest will be run down the 8
channel snake to the 16 channel Behringer board (hope to upgrade this
soon)
From there the signal goes to two mains power amps crossed over and
powering a 2x15 pair of subs and two-way JBLs on the top.
We have one monitor mix into two amps running 4 wedges and one aux
that we use for effects.
Of course there are eqs between the board and the amps.
We also spend a little extra time and send, a variety of ways, each
instrument’s signal to a keyboard amp facing the drummer so he
can hear everything without having instruments in the monitor mix. We
use side fills as well.
The drummer uses a plexi-glass shield.
Questions:
How fast should we be able to set this up?
How long should a sound-check take for a band of this size?
Since the drums are close miked with clip on mics should we be able to
get a drum mix in a sub-mixer that will work for most rooms? Or are
there eq issues that will change from room to room.

Thanks in advance,
Shawn
Anonymous
July 21, 2004 9:52:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Shawn" <Shawn@Thrillofthechase.biz> wrote in message news:2a4e3021.0407201920.4ee054cc@posting.google.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I know there is no hard fast answer. I'm just looking for a
> ballpark.

You don't have enough PA for a ballpark. ;-)

> We have at least two Christmas parties to play this upcoming season,
> one of which is black tie for 1000 guests and will pay us upward of
> $3000.00.
> One of the two is giving us two hours between load in and the start of
> the party.

And I suppose it's the one that's paying well with a lot of folks on hand.

I'll be willing to bet it's a hotel ballroom or a convention center conference
hall. These are about the only looney tunes that try to turn over a room
for multiple uses per day in under 4 hours.

> My first impression is that we cannot set up in that amount of time,
> much less get a good sound-check.

That would be my first impression as well. I think the big question is,
whatcha gonna do about it? You could easily shoot them a contract
that required substantially more time pre-show load-in time. However,
you can probably do it in that length of time with no more equipment
than you have... just be leaning on the door when they open it for you.

> So here's our setup:
> 4 vocalists, 2 guitars, keyboards, bass and drums.

Fire 2 vocalists and one guitarist. Re-hire them as labor for the set-up.
(That's a joke...)

> The drums will be mixed onstage and the rest will be run down the 8
> channel snake to the 16 channel Behringer board

Down the snake to where? Is the mixer out front? A $3K, 1000-seat
gig should be mixed from out front. This *will* save time and assure
you a more prompt and proper, sound good-all-night, baby-sittin'...

> From there the signal goes to two mains power amps crossed over and
> powering a 2x15 pair of subs and two-way JBLs on the top.
> We have one monitor mix into two amps running 4 wedges and one aux
> that we use for effects.
> Of course there are eqs between the board and the amps.
>
> We also spend a little extra time and send, a variety of ways, each
> instrument's signal to a keyboard amp facing the drummer so he
> can hear everything without having instruments in the monitor mix.

I'd dump that time in favor of simply pointing the amps at the drummer
to begin with. This will also lower the stage levels from the audience's
perspective.

> We use side fills as well.

Optional. The stage is filling up with speakers already. I can hear the
"more me" battles ensuing as the volume goes up.... <g> That's a
*real* time bandit.

> The drummer uses a plexi-glass shield.

Optional... I'd remove the plexiglass and give him 4 mics... K, Sn,
Rack & Floor. (You will essentially already have four overheads via
the 4 vocal mics). The cymbals will carry on their own. Hat bleed
through the snare mic should suffice. A 1000-seater room probably
doesn't need the plexiglass, anyway. If you need the plexi because
of the drummer's technique.... well....

> Questions:
>
> How fast should we be able to set this up?

Well under 90 minutes... but you could ask for more time. Odds are
that the person paying you is not the person that runs the room. The
person paying you has been told what the 'typical' guidelines are, and
that is not always written in stone. You should be able to get into the
room the minute the furniture is in place for the event, or even as the
first thoughts of setup are occurring with the folks responsible for setting
up the room. They don't need to be in private for that because you are
actually a part of their 'setup'. You need a contact name at the location
so you can research any other possibilities. Besides, you need some
details ironed out with regard to the electrical, etc.

> How long should a sound-check take for a band of this size?

Under 20 minutes.... half hour at the upper end of banality, given the
situation as described.

> Since the drums are close miked with clip on mics should we be able to
> get a drum mix in a sub-mixer that will work for most rooms?

80/20 against this carrying well from room to room unless they are
electronic. It's an OK starting point, but there will inevitably be tweaks.
In a time-sensitive situation, I'd prefer to be limited to a kick and a
single overhead as opposed to having to deal with the clip-ons...
especially if there's more than a couple of toms.

> Or are there eq issues that will change from room to room.

Invariably. This cannot be avoided. If you moved from one position
to another in the same room you would have EQ changes.

--
David Morgan (MAMS)
http://www.m-a-m-s.com
Morgan Audio Media Service
Dallas, Texas (214) 662-9901
_______________________________________
http://www.artisan-recordingstudio.com
Anonymous
July 21, 2004 12:13:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Since the drums are close miked with clip on mics should we be able to
get a drum mix in a sub-mixer that will work for most rooms?>>

If the house engineer has no individual control over the kit, don't expect it
to ever sound right. I have heard one of the most respected drummers in the biz
do his own drum submix from stage, & the Grammy winning engineer could do
nothing to make it sound even remotely correct in the hall. It was just stupid
& made the whole band sound bad.

<< Or are
there eq issues that will change from room to room. >>

Yes, EQ & many other issues that require the engineer to have hands on control
of all the mics on the drum kit.


Scott Fraser
Related resources
Anonymous
July 21, 2004 12:35:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <2a4e3021.0407201920.4ee054cc@posting.google.com> Shawn@Thrillofthechase.biz writes:

> black tie for 1000 guests and will pay us upward of
> $3000.00.
> One of the two is giving us two hours between load in and the start of
> the party.
> My first impression is that we cannot set up in that amount of time,
> much less get a good sound-check.

My thought is that if you're a band that gets gigs like this, you
should be able to set up your PA system in less than an hour, play a
CD through it, adjust the main EQ, set monitor levels, and go to the
kitchen and scarf up some food. There's no reason to take two hours to
set up PA for a "carry-in" gig unless your system is so poorly
organized that you have to carry in one box at a time and build it
from scratch on site. Your system and stage setup is quite
straightforward.

Of course if you've never done this before, you might need half a day
to figure it out.

> Questions:
> How fast should we be able to set this up?

Half an hour, tops.

> How long should a sound-check take for a band of this size?

Ten minutes.

> Since the drums are close miked with clip on mics should we be able to
> get a drum mix in a sub-mixer that will work for most rooms?

You may have to EQ the overall drum mix, but then who's going to be
mixing the drums on stage? The drummer? All drummer jokes aside, how's
he going to have any idea what he's doing sounds like out in the hall?

I have a feeling that there wont be anyone running the sound system.
That's probably why you're having "issues" with this issue. Have you
considerd hiring an experienced sound engineer for the gig? If you
provide the gear and get it into the hall, you should be able to get
someone for $300. It's a small price to pay for peace of mind.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
October 4, 2012 9:26:44 AM

As long as you can get! Thats why Digidesign came up with virtual sound check... anyway this is my 5c on the topic:
a blog post i wrote...
http://t.co/EZO0dwip
!