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Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

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Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:38 pm

Hi all,
My first 'gig' in about 11 years, I've been asked to play a short set at a wedding which may be outside (or may end up inside a wooden barn if weather is bad)

Sources will be
1x Vocal Mic
1x Instrument mic (swapping between acoustic guitar and resonator guitar)
1x stomp box (wooden box thing with contact pickup inside it)
The music is trad blues and country.

Already have a mackie 402VLZpro which may be useful and cables but nothing else for live work

Initially I'm thinking:

Vox>SM58>Mixer Pre>Line to PA
Guitars>SM57>Mixer Pre>Line to PA
Stomp box>Line in or mic pre>PA

With the PA being a LD Maui5?

I've never liked acoustic pickups and a front mic means I can use any guitar and just ride the volume on the mixer (the reso is louder than the wooden guitar) I won't be battling on-stage feedback with other musicians at high volumes so think a mic'd guitar will be ok.

In an ideal world I'd have some comp and reverb but would need the hardware and a mixer with inserts and FX sends which bumps the ££££ up significantly.

Would welcome opinions and experiences with similar setups. I want to buy the kit to be able to do further gigs in different small venues and something with a small footprint to store at home.
:)
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:16 pm

A small digital desk would be the way to go with regards small footprint and built-in FX. A QSC Touchmix 8 would be ideal - but it's over £800. However it's nice and flexible and small and you don't need any external effects. There are other similar small digital mixers but this is one of the nicest and it's easy to use.

For less money you could look at a small Yamaha analogue mixer. A lot have a built-in 'one knob does all' compressor on some of the input channels, plus there are lots of versions with a built-in FX processor, with a decent range of delays and reverbs on offer. That would give you your basic requirements without external effects, but of course, they are far more tweakable on a digital desk. However the compression on the Yamaha is on the input to the mixer, so also gets sent to any monitors, which can exacerbate feedback issues. Ideally you'd like to put the compression only on the FOH speakers (or at least have separate compression levels for FOH and monitors).

With the LD Maui 5, I assume you'd not have any monitors, but you'd still have to be careful with any compression as it will bring on feedback at a quieter level than without it.

So a lot really depends on your budget. I'd suggest a digital desk would be more appropriate for using with larger PA systems in the future in bigger venues, but if you only plan to stick to small venues where the Maui 5 provides enough volume, then I'd keep it as simple as possible.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:17 pm

That sounds fine, not used the Maui myself but they seem to have a decent reputation on here for lower volume gigs. You say you have no live mics, so do you have recording mics? The SM57 is often recommended for resonator guitars and will work fine for acoustic in your chosen genre (some bluegrass guys swear by them) As/If your stuff is rootsy/bluesy your choice of mics will probably work well but many in this place think there are better mics than the SM58 around these days. I prefer condenser mics for acoustic guitars and in fact for voices in acoustic genres. I often use SE H1s for vocals, I particularly like them on softer/melodic female vocals (but I'm a bloke and probably a bit rootsy sounding myself and they also suit my voice rather well).

edit :- wonks types faster than me ;)

+1 for a digital desk, the little Behringer XR12 and the Soundcraft Ui12 are great value at £249. Don't be put off by the Behringer of old BTW I have a couple of their bigger digital mixers (X32C and X32R) and they are brilliant but if you can't bring yourself to buy a Berry then the Soundcraft looks good too.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:06 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps.

What's recommended these days for deeper voices and similar price point to Sm58?

I do have a few old dynamic mics but they're cheap and basic, I have a studio projects LDC somewhere but that's not really what I want to put outside if it's windy.

Hadn't thought about a digital desk, that Ui12 is probably too far off traditional for me, and I'm unlikely to have stable wifi in the stable (see what I did there) or want to put my macbook or ipad into this system (I need them for other work and not wreck through gigs)

Things have moved on a bit since I last played real music! For the last few years I've been using an in-house yammy 01v and huge custom zoned sound system for something very different (music and commentary at a sports venue).
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Music Wolf » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:20 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:That sounds fine, not used the Maui myself but they seem to have a decent reputation on here for lower volume gigs.

I've not used the 5s but I have a pair of the 11s which get used now and again for rehearsals and small gigs.

They sound ok, they are less susceptible to feedback than almost any other speaker that I have used (but not immune) and they do have less of a footprint than a conventional speaker on a stand - which is very handy for some of the small country pubs where I've played. The downside is the lack of volume. 113dBs continuous for the 11s - that's pretty quiet. It depends upon your style of music but I would have said that for above 30ish people I'd want my Yamahas.

Although the footprint is small at a gig, when stored I don't think that they take up any less space than my more conventional 12" cabs plus a pair of stands. I keep mine because we have plenty of storage space at the moment and I can't be bothered putting them on ebay. They don't offer sufficient benefit that I would have bought them if I'd already got my Yamahas.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:23 pm

Regarding mics first, there's a huge range of stage vocal mics available these days and I often recommend trying a few out to see which matches your own voice best.

I have a baritone voice, with quite a large range and these days I use a Beyer M69 or a Beyer M201 (with its pop sock). It's a rare day when I pull out an SM58. I also like the Electrovoice RE510 which is a neutral sounding condenser.

For miking instruments, my go to mic is the Sennheiser e614 a nice, well behaved, neutral condenser, but I'll also use an M201. Again the SM57 hasn't seen the light of day for a longtime.

I also often use digital mixers. You don't need a tablet to use the QSC Touchmix, though it's more expensive than an analogue counterpart. I guess the main adavantage with digital is that everything is in the box, including effects, compression and importantly graphic EQ.

You might find your current VLZ quite restrictive, but there's plenty of cheaper analogue alternatives with effects. I like the Allen and Heath Zed range.

Not familiar with the Maui systems.

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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:37 pm

You don't need wifi for any of the digital desks suggested as they use a dedicated built in router. There is a learning curve with any of them and ideally you need a decent tablet/iPad but you can buy a 7" Fire for £35 from PC World so you don't need to take your expensive Apple devices with you. If you were able to master the intracies and idiosyncrasies of an 01V they should hold no fears. The QSC Touchmix even has it's own control surface built in (but, nice as it is it's rather more expensive).

Regarding mics the Sennheiser E835, AKG D5 and (not my fave by a good margin) EV767 all come in around SM58 money or less and all have their admirers on here. Others will be along soon, I'm sure, to give specific advice on the best mic for your voice.

edit :- ah, they're here already :)
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:21 pm

I can see the sense in the Ui12 and at £250 odd it's probably a great solution.
I'm still a little unsure about mics - Sennheiser E845 looks good for vox? Maybe a SD condenser in front of the guitar?

This is starting to look expensive though - if there are no cheaper alternatives to the Maui that can be used with an Ui12 .... Aarrgggh
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Wonks » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:44 pm

Look, both the 58 and 57 are still pretty decent mics so don't worry about those for now if you already have them. I think the 57 has a nice response for acoustic guitars. A condenser will sound a bit clearer and have a higher output so needs less gain, but for live work in small venues then I wouldn't worry too much. It's going to sound better than a piezo pickup.

If you are going to spend money on different mics, then you need to pick what sound good on your voice, not what someone thinks sounds good on theirs.

Have you tried the Maui at all? You really need to go and try these things out and see what you think of them. How good a sound quality and how loud is it? If it sounds great but you think it will be too quiet, then it's not for you and you would be better off with some standard driver+tweeter active boxes.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:02 am

Have you tried the Maui at all? You really need to go and try these things out and see what you think of them. How good a sound quality and how loud is it? .

Where are you located, in case I can help you out with a trial of the Maui 11s?
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:43 am

Wonks wrote:Look, both the 58 and 57 are still pretty decent mics so don't worry about those for now if you already have them. I think the 57 has a nice response for acoustic guitars. A condenser will sound a bit clearer and have a higher output so needs less gain, but for live work in small venues then I wouldn't worry too much. It's going to sound better than a piezo pickup.

If you are going to spend money on different mics, then you need to pick what sound good on your voice, not what someone thinks sounds good on theirs.

Have you tried the Maui at all? You really need to go and try these things out and see what you think of them. How good a sound quality and how loud is it? If it sounds great but you think it will be too quiet, then it's not for you and you would be better off with some standard driver+tweeter active boxes.

I don't have the mics, which is why I was asking. The Shures are just what came from the top of my head based on old school knowledge/memories.

Agree it's best to try things out, but I won't realistically have time to go around auditioning different systems. I have gone through the reviews, the spec and the videos and would probably be happy with most of the suggestions here

I'm open to the idea of active speakers in place of the Maui unit if anyone has recommendations for those (coming in in under £400 for the pair), or even an acoustic amp? (Marshall AS50D is basically 2x8" in a box with 50watts, two inputs and some reverb, run with my sub mixer I could keep things even simpler).
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:45 am

The Marshall AS50D is truly 'orrible :thumbdown: steer well clear. A decent acoustic amp will set you back more than the maui system (think AER, Schertler or Fishman) and won't give you any advantages if you're going to mic the guitar anyway. A couple of Alto Truesonic TS210s will give you a fair bit more volume at around Maui 5 money. They sound pretty good too. You could buy them (and the mics) mail order and return if they don't live up to expectations. Use your present mixer for now and see how it goes.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby astoundan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:12 pm

To kind of reiterate what everyone else has said - The Maui 5 does sound good, and will suffice for smaller gigs! It's always best to hear these things before committing though - find yourself a local dealer and go listen to one / other things around your price range. It's the only way you'll know if it's right for you!

+1 for Alto TS212s (or maybe even the 10"!) they pack a punch and sound great, but once again - it has to be right for you!

If you're looking into the LD range anyway - I'd suggest having a look at the LD D1020. Great sounding mic for the price!

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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The Marshall AS50D is truly 'orrible :thumbdown: steer well clear.

Ditto

I have owned an AS50D, I own a pair of Maui 11s, I have owned LD 12" moulded cabs (the bass player bought them and we now use them as monitors) and I own a pair of Yamaha DXR12s.

Not surprisingly I would rate them in the same order as their price. AS50 / LD 12" / Maui / Yamaha - you get what you pay for. There are better options than the Yamaha but that's the point where I can no longer justify any additional cost (my voice has become the limiting factor).

What you need to avoid is the trap of saying - 'I'll get something cheap because we don't use it very often' or 'it will do until I can afford something better'. It will just sound awful and you will have effectively thrown your money away.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:08 pm

Thanks guys,
appreciate that.

I honestly don't know if I need that much power, a pair of Alto TX8s would probably be alright. This is really "coffee bar" sized kit that I want. If I'm required to do anything bigger then it won't be me carrying and supplying the gear ;)
Budget IS a factor, but I don't buy too cheap usually. Would rather go basic/less powerful than sacrifice quality.

Agree I can actually buy some bits online and send them back if I don't like them, easier and quicker for me as can have delivered to work :oops:
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:10 pm

You might wish to ponder upon the HK Nano 600s
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby grab » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:02 pm

Going back to your guitar situation, mics on guitars are nice in a highly controlled environment where the player is seating.

If the player is standing up, a fixed mic on a stand is always a complete PITA. If you're playing something with a bit of groove, most players will move a bit. This is always an utter disaster for the sound from the mic. Getting a decent sound from a mic on a guitar needs a bit of experimentation anyway - mic at the 12th fret facing back down the body is usually good, but other places work too - but the one thing they all share is that the mic needs to be in the same place all the time. The only place a guitarist can confidently be relied on to place the mic is right in the centre of the soundhole, and that's the place which gives the worst sound ever for a guitar. If you're standing up and you don't like pickups, get a clip-on mic. Otherwise use a pickup.

A player who uses a mic on their guitar, stands up on a small stage in an unknown room with their own gear and no-one running sound for them, and still gets a good sound, is kind of like seeing a Siberian snow leopard in the wild. You know they're out there. Occasionally people film them, like "isn't this completely awesome". And your chances of it ever happening to you are basically as close to zero as makes no difference unless you've invested years of your life in the effort, and most of that is going to be time spent just freezing your nuts off and going home disappointed.
;)

Then there's the environment. Mics don't like a breeze, and you say you're going to be outdoors. You can put windshields on your mics, but they do affect what the mic hears (unless you've got good ones). To hear an acoustic guitar you'll need that gain pushed a fair way up, and that's going to give you some lovely atmospheric effects from the wind unless you've got a marquee keeping the elements at bay.

A decent desk EQ with a sweepable mid can usually clean up a guitar pickup quite nicely. The main thing with a pickup is to set any onboard EQ on the guitar to dead flat, because they're usually significantly less pleasant-sounding than whatever you've got on the desk end of things.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:02 pm

I have one of these https://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_ovid_system_guitar_bundle.htm and it's excellent for the money but it does need phantom power. It's usual to mic a resonator over the cone or f hole rather than the 14th fret as you probably would a flat top. Obviously this would make swapping over more difficult so might not be the ideal solution in your case. The Bluegrass boys seem to manage with a mic on a stand so it can be done.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:30 pm

Luckily I will be seated, and play 'classical' style so the guitar doesn't necessarily have to move about. I also know a little about getting the sound I want with mic placement ;)
If it's windy, then there should be some cover, but a resonator isn't a quiet source like a delicately picked classical. My wooden guitar isn't particularly shy either so both good volume sources.

That Ovid system looks really interesting Sam. A couple of those into mixer pres and I wouldn't need to do anything other than swap guitars with the gains already set. Would also be slightly future proof for further planned gigs with a third guitar in yet another tuning.

Lots to think about.
Erring towards a mini mixer with FX (mackie profx8 or 12)
Perhaps dbx266 or something on the vocal insert.
Couple of smaller active speakers like the alto tx8
E835 for the croak
Something for the guitars, must say that Ovid does look good on the videos
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby zenguitar » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:27 am

And for mic'ing guitar, have a look at the InstruMount...

http://exploraudio.com/categories/instr ... -clamp-/1/

Good enough for Gordan Giltrap ;)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:04 am

If you're self mixing you probably don't want a compressor. Well maybe the tiniest bit of limiting to cap the loud bits when you get carried away but remember compression reduced gain, make up gain (which you'll inevitably add to compensate) eats into your 'gain before feedback' headroom. Compressors usually cause more problems than they solve on small live gigs (by which I mean ones where the stage sound is a significant part of the sound the audience hear).

£350 for the Pro fx 8 plus the DBX? I'd definitely consider buying one of the digital options. The Pro fx range are very nice little mixers, I have used them (and the even nicer A&H Zeds) a fair bit and they do what they say on the tin but the extra facilities you get in a small digital mixer make the choice a 'no brainer' to me (I have a Mackie 1202, DL1608, Berry X32 Rack and X32 Compact so you can see I've placed wallet in place of auditory orifice). But I totally get it if you don't want to go that way.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Alfie Noakes » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:40 am

zenguitar wrote:And for mic'ing guitar, have a look at the InstruMount...

http://exploraudio.com/categories/instr ... -clamp-/1/

Good enough for Gordan Giltrap ;)

Andy :beamup:

Hi Andy, good to see you're still here :geek:

I've seen these before, my question is what mic is going to be suitable to put on these clamps? so it doesn't feel like you're waving a TV Arial attached to a brick around on your guitar
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:49 am

Alfie Noakes wrote:
zenguitar wrote:And for mic'ing guitar, have a look at the InstruMount...

http://exploraudio.com/categories/instr ... -clamp-/1/

Good enough for Gordan Giltrap ;)

Andy :beamup:

Hi Andy, good to see you're still here :geek:

I've seen these before, my question is what mic is going to be suitable to put on these clamps? so it doesn't feel like you're waving a TV Arial attached to a brick around on your guitar

Gordon uses a small Schoeps mic... as seen in the pics on the Exploraudio website. However, one of those will set you back about £1600...

Any of the small capacitor mics would probably suit, but I'd recommend checking-out the Line Audio CM3. A compact mic with superb quality. Available from Pinknosie Systems in the UK for £99...

BUT Gordon only uses the Exploraudio clamp for recording. When playing live he uses pickups routed through his pedal-board and then on into the house sound-system. Gordon uses Fishman pickups. These to be precise: https://www.fishman.com/products/series/rare-earth/rare-earth-blend-soundhole-pickup/

As the name implies this is a combination of a mic and a pickup. Correctly set-up these sound very good indeed...

How do I know all this? I used to be Gordon's soundman! :)
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby grab » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:02 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The Bluegrass boys seem to manage with a mic on a stand so it can be done.

They do, but they use one omni mic for everything. You can't have any monitors with that setup, and you have real issues with FOH level and low-frequency feedback because it's only intended for sound reinforcement. Bit of a different mission.

Re the resonator, you usually want that a bit further back from the instrument if you're micing the cone. Unlike a normal acoustic guitar, you may find that micing the F-holes gives you a more balanced sound, because the body resonance can help balance out the tinniness that sometimes happens.
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Re: Opinions on Maui 5/compact PA for singer+guitars

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Traditionally yes (though I think it's usually a cardioid) but it became common to spot mic the instruments a long time ago. There is a bit of a resurgence in single mic techniques these days but it is somewhat specialised and, as you point out, limits how loud you can go.

I can't find the reference now but I remember reading, recently, about several top Bluegrass guitarists who prefer a 57 for acoustic guitar.

A regular on here at one time was (and I think still is) bass player for the UK Bluegrass band "Hatful Of Rain" but I can't remember his forum name https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ4pkV6dyKs. They use a single Ear Trumpet Labs mic at most of their gigs, no monitors (which are actually completely unnecessary for a fully acoustic band anyway). If you're out there Phil?
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