Using a PA

Jankowske

Senior Member
Depends on the system, venue, band, etc. For a larger venue, everything goes through the PA. Small and medium ones might only have vocals and whatever else needs it.

My band uses big nasty hundred watt half stacks and the bassist has 1000 watts going into a fridge, so we only ever really need PA support for the vocals and kick drum at most places we play. But most all places we go with a decent system mic us up anyways and we turn down so the soundguy can control the balance.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Of course - that's how concerts work. :)

For smaller venues, it depends the size of the room and the necessary volume, the capability of guitar/bass/kbd amps on stage, and the capability of the particular p.a. to handle a full range of sound, and volume needed.

Keep in mind that anyone who isn't amplified on stage (vocals and electric players without amps) will probably need monitors, whose success also depends on the capability of the p.a.

Bermuda
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
According to Steve Gadd's latest video, the bottom hi hat cymbal is by far the most important element. It is for studio monitoring anyhow, and as studio is identical to live stage in every way, it's something to take special note of ;)

Also worth adding that fitting a Kickport completely removes the need for mic'ing the bass drum, irrespective of venue size.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
According to Steve Gadd's latest video, the bottom hi hat cymbal is by far the most important element. It is for studio monitoring anyhow, and as studio is identical to live stage in every way, it's something to take special note of ;)

Also worth adding that fitting a Kickport completely removes the need for mic'ing the bass drum, irrespective of venue size.
I can't tell you how true this is.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I can scond that. I use a 20" BD with a Kickport and at rehearsals I have to put a heavy coat over the BD to knock the volume down to an acceptable level.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
We put everything through the PA as otherwise we end up with excruciating levels from the backline on stage. Beware the guitarist with access to a volume knob....
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Running everything though a PA "can" reduce your stage volume. And distribute more even sound to the audience in smaller/moderate sized venues. This only works if folks can keep it down. Halfstacks need not apply.

In my old corporate band the bass player would turn his regular cabinet at the drummer and have a 1-12 combo bass amp on top of it so he could hear himself. I used a 1-12 cab on my guitar amp (Bogner Cube) turned up just enough to hear what I was doing. We had enough stage volume to keep things lively right in front of the stage. Which is something that doesn't happen with folks who run everything direct to the PA and use IEMs. Unless you have front/in-fills, the folks dancing in front of you get less energy than the middle of the house where the PA hits. But you can get a good balance with moderate stage/just in front of the stage levels, reinforced (note the origins of the term "sound reinforcement") around the house with a good mix through the PA.

Note that this takes a good PA to pull off. A couple Mackies on sticks isn't going to do it. Running a bunch of stuff though a lot of consumer/music store PA gear just results in mud. You are usually better off just singing through the PA. Any name brands budget or lower mid lines isn't going to let you do mix everything clearly. And the low cost stuff shouldn't even try. If all you can afford is some Kustom or Harbinger (demise of a great name in actual pro level SR gear) then just sing though it.
 
Top