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Help putting together PA for Russian music group

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Help putting together PA for Russian music group

Postby nar » Thu May 17, 2012 9:03 pm

Hi, I play in a russian music group consisting of 10 players and I've been tasked with putting together a PA for us to do gigs with. It ideally needs to be as simple and cheap as possible, with a budget of about 700 quid. I have a Soundcraft 200BVE, an SE1A, a rode M2 and a D112 already.

I'm thinking for speakers a pair of behringer B212Ds, or possibly something like this system if you think it's worth the extra hassle.

The problem is how to best mic up the group, as the instruments are so quiet. Here is the type of stuff we play and the instruments.

Our maximum group is 6 domras (circles) of various sizes, 3 balalaikas (triangles), and a contrabass blalaika (the huge one at the back).

The options I am considering are:

1) Get a pair of ok SDCs like Rode M3s to augment the SE1a and have them a bit further away, 1-2m from the players and D112 on the bass.

2) Get 2 sets of cheapo condensers like the behringer C4s to have more mics closer to have better gain before feedback. Or several of these studiospares own brand SDCs

3) Dynamics? We don't need the ruggedness, and I think the sensitivity possibly isn't enough unless really close.

4) Any of the above, with a 31 band graphic, or some sort of feedback killer?

We are usually not in the best position in whatever room we happen to be in, and feedback has often been a problem when we've had borrowed PAs, but we don't want to blast people away, just be heard.
nar
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Re: Help putting together PA for Russian music group

Postby shufflebeat » Thu May 17, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi, Nar

I suspect your weakest link is the bass end. With low frequencies being undirectional a microphone turned up loud enough to be heard will also be very susceptible to feedback.

With that in mind I'd suggest putting a pickup on the bass Bally. If you're sure you're not playing in hostile environments then mics on the others might be ok. Personally I'd be looking for pickups for them too.

Alto active speakers got a good review in SOS. I bought a pair of 12"s for 400 quid and am very happy with them.

There are a few small mixers to consider. Have a read through the "live sound" forum to get some background info.
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Re: Help putting together PA for Russian music group

Postby nar » Fri May 18, 2012 12:11 am

Thanks shufflebeat,

The pickup on the bass seems a good way to go, but the technique of playing balalaika involves hitting the instrument quite a lot - when I've tried a pickup before all I got was a lot of banging and scratching sounds!

Though too big, my soundcraft mixer can do for now. I wish a company made a mixer that was basically mic pre - eq - pan - fader - output without any usb or fx.

What I really want to get down is now either more cheaper mics or fewer more expensive ones? Any suggestions apart from Rode M3s to come in at 150(-200) quid for the pair?

There's a deal at gak for 2 thump 12s with stands and xlrs that seems tempting whilst I still look around.

And is a graphic eq a necessary investment for all the time or more something to help with problem rooms?

Sam
nar
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Re: Help putting together PA for Russian music group

Postby shufflebeat » Fri May 18, 2012 12:45 am

nar wrote:Thanks shufflebeat,

The pickup on the bass seems a good way to go, but the technique of playing balalaika involves hitting the instrument quite a lot - when I've tried a pickup before all I got was a lot of banging and scratching sounds!

What are the strings made of?

nar wrote:
Though too big, my soundcraft mixer can do for now. I wish a company made a mixer that was basically mic pre - eq - pan - fader - output without any usb or fx.

There are many

nar wrote:
What I really want to get down is now either more cheaper mics or fewer more expensive ones? Any suggestions apart from Rode M3s to come in at 150(-200) quid for the pair?

Check out Karma mics, others will have suggestions based on their experience. Search the forum.

nar wrote:
And is a graphic eq a necessary investment for all the time or more something to help with problem rooms?

Sam

I'd say it's a necessity, particularly if you're using a mixer with restricted features.
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Re: Help putting together PA for Russian music group

Postby nar » Fri May 18, 2012 7:57 pm

Thanks again shufflebeat,

There are 3 strings, 2 nylon both E of the highest pitched string of a guitar, and a steel A a fourth above that. You play with you finger rather than a pick, and the technique for strumming, single pizzicato (index finger held like a pick) and double pizzicato (thumb for down strokes index finger for up) both involve playing in to the instrument rather than across it, so accompanying the note there is a thud. Vibrato is also played by using the side of your hand on the bridge, which creates small noises through a pickup as you wobble it back and forth to bend the note. This might help. I am not this good...

The karma mics would be great at ~£85 for a pair plus postage and whatnot and would leave enough money for a slightly more expensive graphic eq.

Any opinions on the graphic? I could only spare about £130 so that narrows it down to behringer, samson, peavey and the like.
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Re: Help putting together PA for Russian music group

Postby shufflebeat » Fri May 18, 2012 10:13 pm

Have you explored this yet?

www.wilson-pickups.com/en/pick-ups/double-bass/assortment/detail/28-double-bass/flypage/72-k3-3-pickups-eg-bass-balalaika.html?sef=hcfp


...although to be honest a buddy and musical compadre of mine made something like this together from basic parts for his double bass. He is quite handy with a soldering iron but it can be done. It would need to be matched with a good high impedance preamp but those are easy to find these days.
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