PA and Lighting


Senior Member
Ouch...a bit of a sore subject for me.

I have purchased all the PA and lighting for our band. Not that I'm rich or anything (supermarket career for God's sake!) but the other 3 in my band are a bit financially irresponsible. So for our band to proceed, I realized we needed these things.

I do not ask for an extra cut only because that will cause a rift in the band. I realize that playing a couple gigs a month is more for fun than anything else for me. These guys rely on that gig money to supplement their income and pay their bills. Yeah, deep down I know that they're "getting off easy" but I'm OK with it on the surface. Hopefully we don't have a dispute one day and I blow up about it, but for now I'm OK providing these things for the band. My wife says I'm VERY unselfish.

I've purchased 5 speakers (2 mains/3 monitors), 3 SM 58's, all cables, extension cords, surge protectors, basic lighting rig consisting of colorstrips, pars, pinspots, and t-bars....not to mention containers to transport it all.

But there's no way in hell I'm buying them strings, cords, amps, etc...


Senior Member
Axis, that's mighty big of you. Have you had any discussion with the guys about maintenance/repair of the equip? If a PA speaker blows, will the band chip in from gig pay, or will you cover it? Do they help load/unload? There's always politics/logistics involved with that kinda stuff, but I salute you for stepping up to the plate. As for me, I have enough crap to schlep around with just my drums. If I had to worry about PA and/or lights, I'd need a trailer, roadie, and prolly 3-4 more hours!


Senior Member
We haven't discussed repairs yet, although the guitarists are somewhat proficient with that. Would I trust them to repair it? That's another story. :)

They do help with all the loading/unloading and as much setup as possible. Although after I get my drums set up, I'm a bit more proficient as far as which cables get plugged into where. But they ARE willing.

Transportation wise though, I have my SUV which holds my drums and a few totes or equipment. The other guys have small cars so I have to borrow my father-in-laws van to transport and one of my bandmates drive it.


Platinum Member
I bought a PA specifically for the reason of being able to make more money. I double-dip all the time, making the playing wage as well as a little something extra for providing the PA and running sound from the stage. If I didn't get paid extra, in no way would it be worth it, monetarily. In that regard, I sometimes have to be careful about who I tell that I own a PA system, so I avoid the whole, "Oh, could you just bring that along with you to the gig?" scenario. Same with having a recording/project studio: "Oh, you have a studio? Can we come over for the next 6-12 weekends and record?"
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Silver Member
I have a full PA I've put together over the years and some lighting that I don't use that much. I own a 150 foot snake and all my drum mic equipment. I don't charge extra, but I want control over the PA. I'm the engineer of the band and I can't trust my guitar player (who I have known for 35 years since high school) to do anything with the sound. He likes to buy equipment, but he doesn't know how to run it so I like to keep control over the PA. It's an odd reason, but as an engineer, I I just can't handle his emotional way of trying to solve sound problems.


Staff member
I own a decent touring PA & lighting rig c/w trussing (not quite line array, but I can dream ;) ) The system is suitable for audiences up to around 600 people, but we don't always use all of it.

Thankfully, we have crew to set it up & break it down, but all the band dig in & help too - mostly ;) I charge the band £70 (about $100) per gig + additional fuel for haulage. After the crew receive their gratuity (I won't say pay, because that implies they receive due consideration for their work), we divide what's left amongst the 5 band members.

The fee I charge represents incredible value for the band, as hiring such a rig would cost many times the charge I apply. From my side, it's not a great deal TBH. There's no way my charge would repay my outlay within a reasonable period of time, but I do use the lighting rig & trussing in our Guru show stand, so that offsets the pain to a degree.


Platinum Member
I provide the small PA for the blues band I drum with (SOS). The stuff they have is terrible and I would rather spend an extra 20 minutes setting up than have it sound bad to the audience. The corporate band I played guitar with I provided a decent sized 15kW PA for which depending on how big the venue and if I needed to bring lifts for the small line arrays and all the subs might take an hour to hour and a half to set up. At least the guitar rig was easier to get going than setting up a drum kit. I never got into lighting, we had a couple of cheap trees that the singer owned and would bring. I just have a couple of cheap LED Pars that clamp to speaker stands.

Like bringing a 10 piece kit to a bar blues gig, hauling, setting up, and especially breaking down all that stuff looses it's luster as you get older. I actually took out a business license to have a small sound company using all the stuff I put together for the corporate band. But even though I had a ramp trailer and everything on dollys, for the money people wanted to pay (I had one offer of $300 a gig for a street festival series that ran through the summer that would have meant getting off work early every Thursday and 2 hours on either end of the show) it wasn't worth the work. That's a young man's game.


Gold Member
I have always felt that it was the singers job to provide the PA, but most singers are flakes, so thats a story for another time.

I have an affinity for doing the sound, so I am the sound guy by default. I provide everything but the monitors, which I have had each member buy their own. I have emassed a pretty good sound system over the years and have used it for some pretty large gigs.

To offset the cost I have pimped myself out to other bands to do their sound. But I decided long ago that, much like my drumset, I will never make enough money to cover the cost. Its a labor of love and I do it gladly.