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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:49 pm 
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Keep in mind i'm not a sound engineer...

Assume my primary goal is to have a system large and loud enough to keep up with a full drum kit - including different recommendations for say a more common jazz or soft rock setup vs the really sharp loud heavy metal kits with a crazy drummer so hard he pierces drum heads periodically... how loud do I need to design around and which speakers would be the best match?

The assumption is that if were mic'ing up the drum kit, it's a big enough venue to expect to use a house PA, or upgrading the PA at that time. We'd like a PA setup we can haul ourself however which will keep up with any drummer, without becoming unnecessary overkill. (again possibly taking into account different 'intensities' of drum kit)

Also not sure if best idea is to run everything right into a mixer (ie guitar/bass) using amp simulators, vs having separate guitar cab, bass cab, and vocal/keyboard amplifiers. Note at moment i'm more concerned about the tops than bottoms, as how much beef any band needs depends how urban/electronic they're getting, so lets say generic use, more straight up rock - from soft rock and pop thru hard rock heavy metal AC DC Megadeth type songs. What would be the best tops to use, and how many, how much wattage, "up to the crowd size normally handled by an unamplified drum kit"?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:06 pm 
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It takes practically no system to keep up with a drum kit. That's why drums are put through the PA. I never run any gig without the drums in the PA, not even 50 seats. It's not about volume, it's about dispersion. A ham fisted clod with delusions of being the next Tommy Lee or Neil Peart may seem really loud if you're on stage with him, but he won't carry the room acoustically, nor can acoustic drums duplicate what compression and EQ accomplish in the PA.
Where house PA is concerned, outside of a few large cities where they have to have house PA because there's no way a band can get theirs to the gig it's pretty much non-existent.
As for backline, some go without it, but you'll sooner see the full membership of the NRA giving up all their guns than me without my own amp.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:32 am 
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A couple of thoughts, in addition to what Bill has said.

Any PA capable of handling heavy metal can also do Jazz, or soft rock.

As an acoustic drummer myself, it's interesting that the perception is that the loudest thing on stage is the acoustic drumkit. Sure, it often is, and that's where electronic drums as an option have surfaced.

I've done plenty, no, far to many gigs where (apart from a miked kick drum) the kit wasn't through the PA, and after the first set I've had to plead with the guitarist/bass player/keyboard player to turn the hell down, because I can't get up to their level!
That's stage volume, not FOH, which, as Bill has pointed out, is worse.
My kit is no POS, it's a mid 80's power tom based Pearl Pro kit which I've had since new, and it is quite loud without even trying to smack the crap out of it.

DR's are better than Otops. If you can't do DR's, you will be able to do Otops. (CNC or no)
Subs depends on content, but since you're talking live music, t39's or t48's.

What you need to decide is your target SPL level in a given area. That might, for example, be at the mixing area. Once you know that, we can tell you how many cabs you need to do that figure.
Regardless of genre...

_________________
Built:
2 x DR 250 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
4 x 20" BP102 T39's, 2 x 28" 3012lf loaded underway.
3 x WH8 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:45 pm 
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One Otop12 and 2 T39s per side work for me in most venues up to a couple hundred people for rock / pop and country.
I work with one drummer who hits his tubs like they owe him money, and often have to mix around his snare, where it may hit 95 decibels at the back wall of a venue with no amplification. Add vocal mics on stage, electric guitar amps and my mix may end up being mostly Kick, Bass, Vocals, and solos. Nice thing about Bill's designs is how incredibly loud these speakers get with so few watts.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:01 pm 
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Bill Fitzmaurice wrote:
It takes practically no system to keep up with a drum kit. That's why drums are put through the PA. I never run any gig without the drums in the PA, not even 50 seats. It's not about volume, it's about dispersion. A ham fisted clod with delusions of being the next Tommy Lee or Neil Peart may seem really loud if you're on stage with him, but he won't carry the room acoustically, nor can acoustic drums duplicate what compression and EQ accomplish in the PA.
Where house PA is concerned, outside of a few large cities where they have to have house PA because there's no way a band can get theirs to the gig it's pretty much non-existent.
As for backline, some go without it, but you'll sooner see the full membership of the NRA giving up all their guns than me without my own amp.


Well i've got no performance experience so i'd have no way of knowing. :) I've just listened to small indoor groups before and don't remember seeing drum kits mic'ed up at smaller club sizes, though maybe i'm not too observant. (see remark about not being a sound engineer) That said, the kits were thrown in an acoustically reflective corner and seemed to fill the rooms nicely.

Assuming a crazy metal drummer, do you think i'd be fine even with just a single narrow Titan 39 on the bass guitar and some XF12 guitar cabs (on what wattage?) to keep plenty of volume for room filling sound smaller groups like that?

What about for vocals if JUST needing amplification and speakers for that? (not the full PA mix)

What about separately adding speakers for a keyboardist who likes to play LOW electronic samples, what speakers and power would you think to be 'enough'? (or is that a situation where "as soon as you have a keyboardist... you might as well have a full PA kit, mic the drums, plug everything into the board, and amplify it all" instead of dedicated keyboard speakers... aka dont bring keyboard speakers meant to fill the room, just keyboard audio monitors for the player, and expect to need a full even if smaller PA kit and mixer board)


I'm sure someday we'll need a proper PA... i'm just looking to kit out a band for home practice, to bring the same equipment to real small venues like the above/unmic'ed drums, and potentially places they have a house PA/which i'm not expected to bring a PA with (even if we have to bring extra mic's for the drums we can plug into their equipment we could accept that gig - but if it's a gig we have to bring our own PA I wont have all that ready for a few years yet).


Last edited by infrasound on Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Location: Ilfracombe Queensland Australia
infrasound wrote:
Assuming a crazy metal drummer, do you think i'd be fine even with just a single narrow Titan 39 on the bass guitar and some XF12 guitar cabs (on what wattage?) to keep plenty of volume for room filling sound smaller groups like that?

If you're running subs in FOH, unless it's a stadium size gig, don't use a sub on stage for bass guitar.
Think jacks or simplexx as bass guitar cabs.
DI bass guitar in to the mix


What about for vocals?
Please explain more thoroughly. Do you mean monitors, or acoustic type gigs?

What about separately adding speakers for a keyboardist who likes to play LOW electronic samples, what speakers and power would you think to be 'enough'? (or is that a situation where it's "just mix the keyboardist in with other stuff and play it all thru the PA" instead of dedicated keyboard speakers... aka dont bring keyboard speakers meant to fill the room, just keyboard audio monitors for the player, and expect to need a full even if smaller PA kit)

Full range cab will do keys, so again, jack eg J15
Or a WH10.
DI keys



I'm sure someday we'll need a bigger PA... i'm just looking to kit out a band for home practice, real small venues like the above, and places i'm not expected to bring a PA with (even if we have mic's for the drums).

_________________
Built:
2 x DR 250 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
4 x 20" BP102 T39's, 2 x 28" 3012lf loaded underway.
3 x WH8 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:11 pm 
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Posts: 27
Grant Bunter wrote:
infrasound wrote:
If you're running subs in FOH, unless it's a stadium size gig, don't use a sub on stage for bass guitar.
Think jacks or simplexx as bass guitar cabs.
DI bass guitar in to the mix


Okay, I thought I had read somewhere about a Titan being used as a dedicated bass cab somewhere in the past (someone's anecdotal story about the 'bass being absolutely sick' and outdoing whomever's 4x10 full stack... nice testimonial copy btw but I forget where it is) but I can't remember where on site. I might be confused.

Putting the bass guitar into the mix is one option but it then leaves the question of what system to use during practice in the garage at home. (unless that's still the PA kit) Preferably something that can keep up with a detuned 5 string playing Korn in the worst case.


Grant Bunter wrote:
infrasound wrote:
What about for vocals?
Please explain more thoroughly. Do you mean monitors, or acoustic type gigs?


Just the speakers aimed at the crowd for vocals needed to keep up with dedicated guitar and dedicated bass amps. As opposed to those aimed at the vocalist for monitoring. :) Whether were singing classic rock, screamo, metal, rap, whatever. Enough volume that the guitar/bass/drums doesn't drown out the vocals and there's good dispersion for the crowd - with a preference for smaller size and pack space since the station wagon would at that point already be full of guitar cabs, bass cabs, and a drum kit.


Grant Bunter wrote:
infrasound wrote:
What about separately adding speakers for a keyboardist who likes to play LOW electronic samples, what speakers and power would you think to be 'enough'? (or is that a situation where it's "just mix the keyboardist in with other stuff and play it all thru the PA" instead of dedicated keyboard speakers... aka dont bring keyboard speakers meant to fill the room, just keyboard audio monitors for the player, and expect to need a full even if smaller PA kit)

Full range cab will do keys, so again, jack eg J15
Or a WH10.
DI keys



Right, i'm just wondering if best practices would be "if you need a full range cab for the keyboard, you might as well mic everything and play it all thru the PA, both practicing at home and for small gigs".

Maybe i'll start over from ground zero so it makes more sense:

Basically i've inadvertently volunteered myself as speaker builder by telling other potential financially challenged bandmates that I know of some super cool, efficient speaker designs to get us all kitted up and everyone is sold on the idea, they're just waiting on me to build stuff. We've screwed around on little practice amps (ie 8" guitar amp crap) with each other which just doesn't have the oomph to keep up to play for others/so directional and beamed that only directly in front of the guitar amp does it keep up with a drum kit and then the guitarist cant hear it well, etc etc...

So i've been planning on ordering the full plans CD at some point.

I'm trying to avoid too much redundancy in the sense of if i'm building one set of speakers for more than one use that's better than having two/three sets... but if the first set is oversized it defeats the point. I could just build a monster PA that if we can't haul it around and I cant get it down the narrow stairs for a basement party it becomes overkill for the smaller gigs and we'll hate every time we move it.

We have a potential keyboardist who'd like to jam but lacks amps/speakers to keep up with anything, so that's a separate question.

So i'm trying to figure out a total package of multiple projects to potentially build for all of us, to cover multiple situations... 2x12 guitar amps (at least for practice, possibly for performance if its loud enough to keep up with a full kit over a good dispersion pattern), undecided bass guitar amp, obviously required vocal amp and vocal monitors (assuming guitarist and bassist dont need monitors or will be near their rigs)... with a maybe added keyboardist at times complicating things either forcing a full PA or adding something just to play keyboard sounds with good dispersion separately. And since i'm no sound engineer and don't have experience with bigger equipment (but I do do woodworking) I honestly don't know how much or how loud I should need for any of this or if I should combine signals (keyboard+voice? keyboard+bassist+voice?) or if that forces oversized speakers for when Mr Keyboard isnt there...

Pack size is an issue... we'd like to be able to fit everything into a 2001 Jetta station wagon if at all possible (it may not be) plus a little overage room (I mean the Jetta doesn't have to fit all the people, just most of the bulkier cargo - drums, subs, largest speakers - then other people pile into one or two compacts, which should have room for the guitar in gig bag or some small vocal monitors or the mixer board, etc) without needing an SUV or pickup or trailer. Thats why i'm trying to avoid the largest PA gear even though it's more flexible and will keep up better.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Responding in reverse order I guess just to be sure it's all answered for when I next check for followups. :)

Grant Bunter wrote:
Any PA capable of handling heavy metal can also do Jazz, or soft rock.


I'm assuming that too, I just making myself open to advice such as which seems implied "you are going to have to mic those drums anyways to not sound like poop if you arent doing metal and possibly even if you are".

I'm trying to see if there is anything between "you can use your practice gear for small gigs too" and "full PA always needed" for the band. If it's the latter, it will turn into whats the largest PA I can build for the pack space of a Jetta wagon that also has to haul full drums.


Grant Bunter wrote:
As an acoustic drummer myself, it's interesting that the perception is that the loudest thing on stage is the acoustic drumkit.


The extent of my jamming with others so far has been in a concrete walled basement with a full kit in the corner. To me it's quite a wham under those conditions.

Grant Bunter wrote:
I've done plenty, no, far to many gigs where (apart from a miked kick drum) the kit wasn't through the PA, and after the first set I've had to plead with the guitarist/bass player/keyboard player to turn the hell down, because I can't get up to their level!


I know things like right in front of a full Marshall stack beaming into my cranium will get dumb-loud, but I was assuming something like a XF210 or XF212 cabinet optimized for wide dispersion might struggle with the loudest metal drummer... if i'm incorrect please advise.

I was then curious what matching sets would be for bassist, vocalist, and keyboardist. Both for practice conditions (we aren't mic-ing a drum kit for 'at home practice' I mean) and for small gigs below house PA required levels.


Grant Bunter wrote:
DR's are better than Otops. If you can't do DR's, you will be able to do Otops. (CNC or no)


Perhaps the question is morphing into what are the smallest DR's that would keep with a combined signal of detuned 5 string bass, keyboardist and vocalist then playing with a loud metal drummer? Should I build full range or separate sub/tops?


Grant Bunter wrote:
What you need to decide is your target SPL level in a given area.


That's honestly something I wasn't quite sure of, so I used a drum kit as an example. But if i'm going to end up mic'ing the drums ANYWAYS, remic'ing the guitar signal from the speaker (and bass if not straight into the board) were in more conventional PA territory... which I assumed might end up being too big to fit anymore in my expected 2001 Jetta Wagon for haulage. :) (I assumed a PA that would be amplifying kick drums was going to require more power and excursion than something just playing keys/bass - again I may be incorrect at that too!)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:36 pm 
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There's a bunch of ways you can do what you're looking to achieve, but it sounds like you need to discuss it more with everyone else too.

You're right, it makes not a lot of sense to build different PA for rehearsal and live.

What I'm used to in rehearsal is this:
Everyone has their own amp (or amp and cab, or combo), except drums of course.
The only thing in the PA is vocals.

Now, if, for example, the bass player will always be ampless (rehearsal or live), or DI'ed when live, then bass goes into PA too. Same for keyboards. If this is what you want, then you need full range cabs for rehearsal.
I would go Jack 15's. Add a powered mixer, and you're into it!
That setup would be adequate for the first 2 years of your band.

A pair of Jack 15's will take up less room than some Otops and subs.
But after 2 years you start getting bigger gigs and a bigger name, and play in venues with no house PA. Build Otops and subs. Add a quality mixer, and all the gear you need for that kind of PA.
Cart that.

Leave the J15's in the rehearsal space with the powered mixer, and you now have both covered...

_________________
Built:
2 x DR 250 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
4 x 20" BP102 T39's, 2 x 28" 3012lf loaded underway.
3 x WH8 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Location: Ottertail, MN. 56571
My beef with how drum sets sound live is that you seldom hear the high hat, ride cymbal(s) or some toms. I'm talking in concert too with a " professional " sound man. Listen to any You Tube concert with your eyes closed. Just show up with a kick, snare, one hitch tom, and crash. Sound men seldom let you hear the other stuff. Many musicians hate electric drums because you can hear the hats, rides and other things as the drummer mixed it and his mix includes the whole kit as it should.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:56 pm 
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biodad wrote:
My beef with how drum sets sound live is that you seldom hear the high hat, ride cymbal(s) or some toms. I'm talking in concert too with a " professional " sound man. Listen to any You Tube concert with your eyes closed. Just show up with a kick, snare, one hitch tom, and crash. Sound men seldom let you hear the other stuff. Many musicians hate electric drums because you can hear the hats, rides and other things as the drummer mixed it and his mix includes the whole kit as it should.


I mic every drum and the hat and ride. Crash cymbals are plenty loud and bleed into the vocal mics enough for most all the settings that I mix in.

Hat and ride are the time-keepers - I've always believed that having them in the mix sets you apart from all the other weekend warriors that mic Kick, Snare, and Toms. Even on my drummer's Roland kit, I get a separate feed for Kick, Snare, Crossstick, and Toms. Then I mic the brass.

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6 - T39 4-25" 2-22" 3012LF
4 - OT12 2512 Melded/NSD2005
1 - T24
2 - XF210


"A system with a few knobs set up by someone who knows what they are doing is always better than one with a lot of knobs set up by someone who doesn't."


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