The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Looking for best sound system for DIY Venue
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Looking for best sound system for DIY Venue

Hey all
I have a small DIY music venue and I'm looking for the best PA system that I can assemble for under $1500. The space is about 1000 SQ FT with 12' sound treated ceilings. We would have live bands so I need a system where vocals can still be heard through drums and guitars. Right now we have a pretty basic portable PA that just isn't cutting it. Would love any insight on what the best set up could be.

These are the systems that I was looking at but I am wondering if it would just be better to piece a system together.

https://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-AMS-PA5-LIST

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQMQ53X..._t2_B00E87OLBU
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077QMN89L..._t2_B001FUDJK2

Thanks!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

What genere of music are we talking about? What volume levels? Drums and guitars in a folk or country group are rather different in sound system needs from drums and guitars in a heavy metal band!

$1500 is not really enough money for a halfway decent system. Five times that amount might be a more reasonable starting point if buying new for a simple and non-extravagent but functional lowish-end system. This is still a very far cry from any remotely high-end system.

I wouldn't touch the second or third systems with a ten foot pole for anything beyond a backyard pool party...and probably not even for that. They are not at all suitable for your use.

The AMS package is very much low-end, but it does at least stand some chance of working and being more or less usable if you keep your expectations appropriately low. Peavey, Behringer, and Samson are at least real companies with (some) real support and quality assurance people and something of a reputation to live up to. You could expect to be able to get some parts if needed for any repairs. It probably wouldn't sound great, especially if pushed hard; if you have loud drummers and loud guitars I suspect it will struggle, but if your musicians are able to keep their levels somewhat subdued it might hold up a little bit better. I doubt it would sound objectively great under any circumstances; the microphones and speakers are not great, made to meet their price points.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
What genere of music are we talking about? What volume levels? Drums and guitars in a folk or country group are rather different in sound system needs from drums and guitars in a heavy metal band!

$1500 is not really enough money for a halfway decent system. Five times that amount might be a more reasonable starting point if buying new for a simple and non-extravagent but functional lowish-end system. This is still a very far cry from any remotely high-end system.

I wouldn't touch the second or third systems with a ten foot pole for anything beyond a backyard pool party...and probably not even for that. They are not at all suitable for your use.

The AMS package is very much low-end, but it does at least stand some chance of working and being more or less usable if you keep your expectations appropriately low. Peavey, Behringer, and Samson are at least real companies with (some) real support and quality assurance people and something of a reputation to live up to. You could expect to be able to get some parts if needed for any repairs. It probably wouldn't sound great, especially if pushed hard; if you have loud drummers and loud guitars I suspect it will struggle, but if your musicians are able to keep their levels somewhat subdued it might hold up a little bit better. I doubt it would sound objectively great under any circumstances; the microphones and speakers are not great, made to meet their price points.


What would an ideal set up be? Disregarding price of course
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

It looks like you need a mixer AND a PA system, including FOH and monitors?

That's a lot of stuff to get for $1,500

Like it was already said, option 1 would atleast be a bare minumum funtional set up.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedop View Post
What would an ideal set up be? Disregarding price of course
One would need a good bit more information to really answer that properly, answers to such questions as (but not limited to):
What's the shape and layout of your area?
How acoustically live is it?
What volume levels do you want? What music genres?
How skilled are the people who will be operating the system?
How many performers, and what instruments etc. are they using? (i.e. how many inputs are involved)?
Does the system need to be packed up because this is a multi-purpose space, or can it be permanently installed?
If permanently installed, what's the structure like for attaching things, running wires, and so forth? What sort of ceiling and wall construction/supports exist?
Is there any need to record or broadcast audio, or is this purely live sound reinforcement?
Will the system be used only for music, or are there other sorts of events such as lectures, meetings, or film screenings to be accommodated?
How much money can you spend? (I know you said to disregard price, but it's always or virtually always a constraint...and if it isn't, it really should be, unless you're doing this for personal rather than business reasons.)

If you're serious about getting a pretty decent system, hiring an independent professional to design and specify it would most likely be money well spent. I'm not that professional; I probably know about enough to get myself in trouble pretending to be one. If I were to buy a generic system for my own use today, something generally good but far from high-end professional quality, I probably would look at the Behringer X32 for a mixer, perhaps some Yamaha DZR series speakers (although they may not be the best bang for the buck), and I'm not sure what various microphones (on paper at least the Shure KSM8 appeals). I rather doubt that DrewE's generic system would be the absolute best for your specific needs, nor indeed for most any specific needs.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

So our set up is very DIY at the moment. The space is normally meant to be a film studio so its a boxed room with one white cyclorama wall. Drums are live - no mics. The amps are the same. The music genres vary but usually rock, punk, folk - but generally 2-4 member bands with guitars drums bass etc. The only thing the PA would be used for would be vocals or specialty instruments that need to be mic'd. We had a fender portable PA and could barely hear vocals so I really just want something that could be loud enough to hear over the live instruments.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lots of great advice so far. As others have notes $1500 won't cut it for a professional system. Running a vocal only PA is a compromise but could work pretty well depending on the situation. Any quality venue would have soundman, subs, mic everything and provide separate monitor mixes. I play a lot of bars and smaller venues and understand not everyone can afford that. If I showed up to a venue, below is the bare minimum system I would consider using and not lugging my own system. Even though it would not work in every situation for a basic bar band it would be adequate. I would start with buying two quality mains and two cheaper monitors and a small mixer. Below is a decent system that could work within your budget.

Vocal only pa system

2 Yamaha dxr10 (mains) $1200
2 alto ts310 (monitors) $500
Soundcraft signature 12 mixer $350

Later on you could add some subs and snake to the system above so a sound guy could run the pa. A small 8 channel snake would also save on wear and tear on the mixer inputs. I love digital mixers but in this situation as a house pa with no sound guy I would go for an analog mixer.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

QSC K series.

It's sounds amazing and is the right price.

Loud and crystal clear
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribedescribe View Post
Lots of great advice so far. As others have notes $1500 won't cut it for a professional system. Running a vocal only PA is a compromise but could work pretty well depending on the situation. Any quality venue would have soundman, subs, mic everything and provide separate monitor mixes. I play a lot of bars and smaller venues and understand not everyone can afford that. If I showed up to a venue, below is the bare minimum system I would consider using and not lugging my own system. Even though it would not work in every situation for a basic bar band it would be adequate. I would start with buying two quality mains and two cheaper monitors and a small mixer. Below is a decent system that could work within your budget.

Vocal only pa system

2 Yamaha dxr10 (mains) $1200
2 alto ts310 (monitors) $500
Soundcraft signature 12 mixer $350

Later on you could add some subs and snake to the system above so a sound guy could run the pa. A small 8 channel snake would also save on wear and tear on the mixer inputs. I love digital mixers but in this situation as a house pa with no sound guy I would go for an analog mixer.


Thanks! This definitely helps.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedop View Post
So our set up is very DIY at the moment. The space is normally meant to be a film studio so its a boxed room with one white cyclorama wall. Drums are live - no mics. The amps are the same. The music genres vary but usually rock, punk, folk - but generally 2-4 member bands with guitars drums bass etc. The only thing the PA would be used for would be vocals or specialty instruments that need to be mic'd. We had a fender portable PA and could barely hear vocals so I really just want something that could be loud enough to hear over the live instruments.
Are you far enough away from any local residents that you won't get noise complaints?

Running a vocal only PA system and everyone doing their own instrument volume without any foldback monitors is a VERY punk way of doing things but it could work.

Until you get noise complaints from the neighbours that is and the local police shutting you down.
It certainly won't sound professional.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I don’t think people here realize what a “DIY” space is. If it’s like my city that means a punk band or screamo. There are popular ones in my town with less than $1500 in gear and the singers will be disappointed if it’s not a Shure 58.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by forbiddentruths View Post
QSC K series.

It's sounds amazing and is the right price.

Loud and crystal clear
QSC K-series are okay at moderate volumes, but suffer quickly if you turn it up. IMO, QSC have fallen behind on the active speaker market.


To the OP...

I'd try to get 4x the same speaker, in the 10-12" range. Get the best you can. Use two for monitors and two for main speakers. That way, if a main speaker goes down, you can throw a monitor up there without interrupting the show.
SM58s and an 8-channel analogue mixer will do the job.

Keep an eye out for 2nd-hand deals, too, and make sure you can test before you buy.

As things progress, look at adding a couple of subwoofers, adding a mic for the kick drum. Some bottom end thump keeps the crowd going.

After that, if you want to go further it's time to look at additional mics for cabs/drums, and more monitors.

Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAnotherNut View Post
I don’t think people here realize what a “DIY” space is. If it’s like my city that means a punk band or screamo. There are popular ones in my town with less than $1500 in gear and the singers will be disappointed if it’s not a Shure 58.
JustAnotherNut

You get what I'm saying. Thank you hahah

It is non residential. It is a basement. Above the venue space is a store that closes around 6 or 7. Its really the most ideal spot for a diy venue.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
S21
Lives for gear
 
S21's Avatar
 

Reach out to the music community and see what they can lend or give.

There is a lot lot more gear sitting around in cities than there are places to use it.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
If it's meant to stay in place and not be moved around a lot, a second hand passive system should be easy to find.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
Ditto to looking for used..
Old passive systems are being replaced with active systems all the time. After I bought an active system, my passive stuff sat around for a couple of years. My dilemma had multiple elements:
1. No one can afford to ship the heavy components of a large passive system and expect to come out ahead on the sale. The gear isn’t worth a lot.
2. On the buyer’s end, how do you know the equipment is in good shape if it is shipping from another locale?
3. The equipment was at a storage facility. There isn’t any easy way to set it up, power it, and demo it there.
4. Even if I could demo it at storage, I don’t want to show wannabes I do not know the location of my storage and let them see what else is in there.

Eventually I heard that a kid I knew who had an interest in audio was moving out of state. I asked him if he had room for my old system in his truck. He did. We loaded it up and he insisted on giving me $150 (just about all he had). Later that week a full system; mains, subs, monitors, amps, crossovers, a mile of speaker cables and a couple of speaker stands hit the road for Oregon. If he uses it or sells it, he’s got to come out ahead, and I’m just glad those old dogs probably went to a good home.
You need to look for a me in your community.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump