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Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

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Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby PlainsFolk » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:56 pm

My question is: Would the use of subs enhance the groups sound in small and medium sized rooms?

With that said, here is a bit about the group. Plains Folk is an acoustic group that plays bluegrass, contemporary, cowboy and western music with a lot of four part vocal harmony. Instruments include mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass all plugged in. Vocal ranges from 2nd alto, 1st and 2sd tenor and baritone/bass each with lead vocals and individually miced.

We've had the luxury to play on stages with some really awsome sound engineers making us sound great but must engineer our own sound in small and medium sized venues with the help of musician friends listening and making suggestions. Our current system is a 2444 Carvin board to a 2000w carvin amp then to Yamaha 115 cabnets.

With all this going into the Yamahas would we get a better sound by adding subs?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby Dave Rowles » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:56 pm

Yes. Though you'll probably only really hear the benefit on the bass. However it will be a big difference, and will make the bottom end more satisfying.

That said, I'm not a huge fan of those yamaha cabs, so you may want to look into replacing those. Of course...it all depends on the budget!
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Re: Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby Guy Johnson » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Yes sub(s) would be good, BUT ...

If getting subs, get better tops, 12s or 10s even (smaller tend to sound better in general) and as part of a matched system. It will sound better, especially on vocals and fiddle.

You have to treat every room as unique in sound, obviously, but it's even more important with bass frequencies.

With double-basses, it's nice with just a touch of 40 Hz, so the sub(s) should have at least some output down there.

However, most double-basses can sound pretty natural from speakers like yours

But for now, you could try and borrow even one active sub with it's own low pass filter, and feed it from an aux for that extra bit of low. and see what you think after some gigs and rehearsals.
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Re: Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:57 pm

I'd echo the opinion on the Yamaha cabs.

I think the biggest difference subs would make would be a wider pallette of colours (rather than necessarily a big jump in perceived overall volume) and much more transparent midrange as the bass is not fighting for space.

Well matched subs will be deeply, deeply satisfying.
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Re: Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:11 am

The main priority for your group should be amplification of the acoustic elements and unfortunately the Yamahas are poor in this respect.

I'd be looking to buy good cabinets first up, then consider subs, but only if you think you really need them.

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Re: Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby Jorge » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:28 am

Consider hiring the same sound guy who helped your group sound great to do your sound for a few gigs in small and medium venues. Sacrifice some of each of your pay and pay him well. Specifically ask him to give your group pointers on how to do your own sound from the stage for these smaller gigs, and to help you choose which gear to purchase that will help you sound the best. In return, agree to hire him for any larger future gigs you will have that you can afford a sound guy. Or take him out to dinner and tell him you want to pick his brain to help you do your own sound on your smallest gigs.
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Re: Getting the best possible sound in small and medium sized rooms

Postby PlainsFolk » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:29 am

Thanks for the advice. My next question would be: What would you recommend as replacement speakers for the Yamahas? Powered prefferably but not necessary. Under $1000 each. Thanks again.
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