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Building PA for Rehearsal space, Live Rock band
Old 20th June 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Building PA for Rehearsal space, Live Rock band

Hello everyone!

I am needing to work towards building up a PA for a live rock/hard rock band.

Currently I have some antique junk that isn't working all that well in our rehearsal space (my home basement). The "PA" struggles to keep up with live drums and doesn't really handle E Drums, once a drummer is added everything starts to mush up and vocals become a crap shoot.

I don't have the ability to run out and buy a complete system in one purchase so I will have to pick it up piece by piece and am patient enough to wait for holiday sales. Say $1,000 every 2-3 months to start with. I would rather buy higher quality stuff than cheap junk just to get me by, and don't mind saving for more expensive gear.

I plan to build around what I currently have and replace as I can.

Initial need is rehearsal monitoring.

What I have been looking at:

JBL EON 612 ($299 on sale)
JBL PRX 812 ($599 on sale)
Yamaha DXR12 ($685)
QSC K 12.2 ($799)

I am pretty the EON is bottom of the barrel compared to the others I listed, but I could get a pair for what one of the rest cost, but again if money is better spent on the others I will go that route.


I am trying to gather info on the Turbosound and RCF, But I just read about them today.


I think my idea is to get speakers I can use for monitors right now and expand from there. I have this idea of keeping the same size for mains and monitors for interchangeability.


If I can get some recommendations on what to get, or how I should plan this out better, it would be greatly appreciated.
Old 20th June 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
How loud is the band in rehearsal, without adding vocals? If you don’t have a sound level meter, you can download an app. I use SLA lite, which is surprisingly accurate on a newer iPhone.
That’s a good thing to know before you start buying speakers. If, for example, the band averages 125 db, C weighted, the JBL Eons won’t get your monitors over that, unless you strap a pair on as headphones.
Speaking of headphones... Is your band open to trying in-ear monitoring? That is much cheaper and won’t make you deaf nearly as quickly as overloud mush in a basement (apologies if you have a great sounding basement.).
Old 20th June 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Why do you want mains as well as monitors for a rehearsal venue?
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
How loud is the band in rehearsal, without adding vocals? If you don’t have a sound level meter, you can download an app. I use SLA lite, which is surprisingly accurate on a newer iPhone.
That’s a good thing to know before you start buying speakers. If, for example, the band averages 125 db, C weighted, the JBL Eons won’t get your monitors over that, unless you strap a pair on as headphones.
Speaking of headphones... Is your band open to trying in-ear monitoring? That is much cheaper and won’t make you deaf nearly as quickly as overloud mush in a basement (apologies if you have a great sounding basement.).
I have not bothered to measure it yet, the current drummer has really good control over his volume. Its loud in here, but not overbearing... have not had an issue with ears ringing after practice.

Without going into a long drawn out back story, in my area the available musician pool has really dried up especially vocals, and I have hit a point where the only way I can see myself getting to do what I want is to become the vocalist. I have spent a lot of time over the past year developing my vocals and Im pretty close to being able to do full time guitar/vocals. One area I am struggling with is, I need the volume to be able to sing into so I can sound decent, when I try to sing at lower volumes, or while wearing headphones I lose a lot of projection and power and the end result is not something I want to torture people I consider friends with.
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlecSp View Post
Why do you want mains as well as monitors for a rehearsal venue?
I am looking to build up a system that will be able to be used to play out. Around here a couple of the "entry" clubs, have no house sound... I would guess 150ish people size.

My train of thought, was to use the same cabs for mains and monitors, so we can just keep adding to it as budget allows and band needs grow.
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyW View Post
I have not bothered to measure it yet, the current drummer has really good control over his volume. Its loud in here, but not overbearing... have not had an issue with ears ringing after practice.

One area I am struggling with is, I need the volume to be able to sing into so I can sound decent, when I try to sing at lower volumes, or while wearing headphones I lose a lot of projection and power and the end result is not something I want to torture people I consider friends with.
Thanks. If you do measure and report on practice volume, the advice you get on monitors would be much easier to sort.
As to needing the volume to “sing into”, I’ve seen that argument mostly from new singers who really don’t want to hear themselves very clearly. It leads to thinking your vocal sounds great in and against the roar of the band, which is good for confidence. But it often leads to sloppiness with pitch and enunciation. When the band records live multitrack, singers are sometimes very embarrassed to hear their singing as it really is.
The whole point of vocal monitoring is to hear yourself clearly. Using in-ears or headphones doesn’t mean singing or listening at a lower volume. It does mean having Better CONTROL of the listening volume. Headphones and in-ears can be very, very loud. It’s usually cheaper to buy louder headphones or a better headphone amp than to buy louder monitors.
Torturing yourself, your band mates and your friends is usually a part of the process of getting good at what you’re doing.
Have fun!
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Thanks. If you do measure and report on practice volume, the advice you get on monitors would be much easier to sort.
As to needing the volume to “sing into”, I’ve seen that argument mostly from new singers who really don’t want to hear themselves very clearly. It leads to thinking your vocal sounds great in and against the roar of the band, which is good for confidence. But it often leads to sloppiness with pitch and enunciation. When the band records live multitrack, singers are sometimes very embarrassed to hear their singing as it really is.
The whole point of vocal monitoring is to hear yourself clearly. Using in-ears or headphones doesn’t mean singing or listening at a lower volume. It does mean having Better CONTROL of the listening volume. Headphones and in-ears can be very, very loud. It’s usually cheaper to buy louder headphones or a better headphone amp than to buy louder monitors.
Torturing yourself, your band mates and your friends is usually a part of the process of getting good at what you’re doing.
Have fun!
Thank you. I am a new singer and you're probably 100% dead on, its very strange how fragile confidence can be while trying to move into a new territory.

Though, If I am looking for something to be able to use in a live format, say 200ish people venue, wouldn't that work also in a rehearsal space?

I just took and ran some audio through the system and matched it to what my mic was set at from the last practice and it was peaking at 95db but was pretty muddy.
Old 21st June 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
Hey there,

We currently run Yamaha 16" and 10" boxes for PA for live events. You do not want to go the route of cheaping out on the JBL Boxes as they are priced there for a reason. But the large Yamaha boxes are LUNKERS, and also sound pretty garbage for the price point. We nabbed them cheaply by buying closeout. They are honestly a last-ditch rental item for most of our shows.

Honestly if you're running powered boxes in a rehearsal space, they should do the double-duty of being a live performance or rental option. QSC are the way to go, and they'll last forever and keep their value better than the JBL stuff ever will. A set of 2 QSC is enough to reproduce a live-set 4-piece, although you will still require a set of subwoofers and an amp to get any kind of bass/kick feel on stage. For reference, we've done jazz, 4-piece brass, cello/vocals, and acoustic sets through our 16" and they sound "fine". Same with weddings, small DJ rigs, lounges or corporate gigs...you definitely want the 12's minimum for the best low-end.

Rock/Dance/Alt/Country, you are not going to get any kind of decent reproduction value out of a set of powered boxes, should just treat it as rehearsal rig and try to grab/book gigs with a full rig and do your recordings and videos there.

That said, your rehearsal setup may never see the light of event day, and therefore it might not be worth the $2000 on a set of speakers/stands. Industry prefers to use smaller-sized boxes or wedges as on-stage monitors (out of space constraints more than audio fidelity), but you can dump your PA boxes sideways on the deck and you now have your monitor mixes with a PA and sound colour you are comfortable with.

Would recommend looking into a EQ/desk as well if you decide to go the budget route on the powered boxes, as you can tweak even ****ty Yamaha into a listenable zone if you have a full 20-band EQ to play with.

Last edited by kzmusic; 21st June 2019 at 07:51 PM.. Reason: add info about pa vs. monitor
Old 21st June 2019
  #9
Gear Head
 

I didn't know that Yamaha had a 16" speaker on the market...what is a "full 20-band EQ"? Both JBL and Yamaha have been manufacturing commercial sound equipment for over 40 years now. Some of their gear is great, some is pretty much worthless, but I wouldn't dismiss either brand name so broadly without offering which models/series you are referring to.
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyW View Post
just took and ran some audio through the system and matched it to what my mic was set at from the last practice and it was peaking at 95db but was pretty muddy.
Your test method is telling you something different than what you wrote. A live rock band in a basement is usually going to hit around 120 db C weighted WITHOUT RUNNING THROUGH THE SYSTEM.
if your system starts to get muddy at 95 db, it is completely inadequate as a rock monitor system. You will never get your voice up over the band.
Make sure you are monitoring with C weighting.

I think the JBL powered Eon 10s and 12s can be adequate vocal-only monitors for some bands, but it depends very much on the ambient sound level the band creates.
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Your test method is telling you something different than what you wrote. A live rock band in a basement is usually going to hit around 120 db C weighted WITHOUT RUNNING THROUGH THE SYSTEM.
if your system starts to get muddy at 95 db, it is completely inadequate as a rock monitor system. You will never get your voice up over the band.
Make sure you are monitoring with C weighting.

I think the JBL powered Eon 10s and 12s can be adequate vocal-only monitors for some bands, but it depends very much on the ambient sound level the band creates.
What do you mean by C weighting?

I know 95 is fairly low for a rock band. That was just to try and get some frame of reference, I turned on the PA and ran an audio track through it and tried to adjust to how my mic compared against it (mic in same position and faders on board haven't been moved). Like I was saying in my original post, this system isn't strong enough to push over a drummer. I have acoustic and e-drums here, and some guys like the e-drums and other guys have liked the acoustic. I have the capabilities of being near silent without vocals by using cab modeling for my guitar and the e-drums. I prefer to use my cab, and I prefer having as much going through the system as I can because it keeps everything under control better, I don't mind dropping mics on stuff for practice as I would rather practice how I intend to play out so I can get use to that.
Old 21st June 2019 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyW View Post
What do you mean by C weighting?
Sound level meters have filtering on the mic input. The default on many is A weighting, which rolls off most of the bass and responds best to the human voice range. It is useful in setting volumes for, among many things, an announcer at a public event or paging systems in stores. C weighting is intended for music and restores much of the low frequencies.
Old 22nd June 2019 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Sound level meters have filtering on the mic input. The default on many is A weighting, which rolls off most of the bass and responds best to the human voice range. It is useful in setting volumes for, among many things, an announcer at a public event or paging systems in stores. C weighting is intended for music and restores much of the low frequencies.
Ok, so on the SPL meter I take it?
Old 22nd June 2019 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyW View Post
Ok, so on the SPL meter I take it?
Yes.
Old 15th October 2020
  #15
Gear Head
 
JohnnyShotgun's Avatar
 

By this time you must have your PA, I am curious what did you buy and if it suited your needs well.
Old 16th October 2020
  #16
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Out of all the speakers mentioned, the Yamaha DXR’s are the ones I’d recommend. I’ve tried and a/b’d a lot of speakers in this price range (RCF, FBT, Yamaha, HK, JBL and QSC) at a venue and the Yamaha’s were our favourites. The RCF and FBT also sounded really good.
Old 16th October 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Out of all the speakers mentioned, the Yamaha DXR’s are the ones I’d recommend. I’ve tried and a/b’d a lot of speakers in this price range (RCF, FBT, Yamaha, HK, JBL and QSC) at a venue and the Yamaha’s were our favourites. The RCF and FBT also sounded really good.
What about HK?
Old 16th October 2020 | Show parent
  #18
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallejulius View Post
What about HK?
The HK Linear 5’s were very good but were quite a bit more expensive at the time I tested them. In fact I would rate the Linear 5’s above all the other options mentioned.
Old 16th October 2020
  #19
Here for the gear
 

I'm really liking my new RCF HD-10A for monitor use. I don't feel like I'm missing anything with 10" vs. 12". Clear, punchy, and fairly light weight. They can be had for $360-ish if you shop around online.

The RCF's replaced a pair of Alto TS210 – those were perfectly serviceable for monitor use with a little EQ. The RCF's are obviously a step up – better/fuller sounding, louder, and with a more robust cabinet. The RCFs are also less prone to feedback.

My favorite monitor setup for rehearsal & gigs is Behringer X18 mixer > ART Headphone Amp > wired in-ears. Everybody gets a cheap tablet and can tweak their own mix. Of course, everybody has to be on board with the in-ear technology, which can be a hard sell to some. If everybody commits to in-ears, you have the potential to have CD-quality sound direct to your ears, with the volume and mix you want. It's very liberating.
Old 17th October 2020 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt5135 View Post
I'm really liking my new RCF HD-10A for monitor use. I don't feel like I'm missing anything with 10" vs. 12". Clear, punchy, and fairly light weight. They can be had for $360-ish if you shop around online.

The RCF's replaced a pair of Alto TS210 – those were perfectly serviceable for monitor use with a little EQ. The RCF's are obviously a step up – better/fuller sounding, louder, and with a more robust cabinet. The RCFs are also less prone to feedback.

My favorite monitor setup for rehearsal & gigs is Behringer X18 mixer > ART Headphone Amp > wired in-ears. Everybody gets a cheap tablet and can tweak their own mix. Of course, everybody has to be on board with the in-ear technology, which can be a hard sell to some. If everybody commits to in-ears, you have the potential to have CD-quality sound direct to your ears, with the volume and mix you want. It's very liberating.
This!

To the OP:

For practice, headphones or wired in-ear buds (like the Shure SE215's) are the ideal solution for monitoring for practice and gigs (way better than any floor wedge).

Here is the thing .... yes, sometimes whey you can hear yourself clearly, you notice that it doesn't sound as good as what you thought it sounded like . If you really want to be humiliated, try getting a multi-track recording and then isolating your track to see how you sound!

Despite what you might think, hearing your vocals clearly will help your band sound better because you will sing better.

Now, I must admit, I do like to hear some reverb on my in-ear mix because (as you stated), it helps me enjoy performing when my in-ear mix sounds good.... and very few vocals sound great completely dry (there are an annoying few artists that would sound good in a beer barrel though ).

As for the wedges route, I wouldn't use the EON's for anything at all (They are my least favorite speaker of all time). Everything else on the list is pretty decent, so just use your budget as the guideline (The PRX's looked like a pretty darned good deal to me).
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