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Need feedback on new live system

Postby bmlmusic5426 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:08 am

Hey SOS folks,

Looking at possible small line array setup, would like to be able to handle at least 3k listeners outdoors, but also could scale down for indoor events.

Thoughts/advice on -
- Brands
- # of boxes for mains, subs, mounting options
- cabling

Things we have -
- IEM system is already in place plus M32, snake, etc
- 6 piece live band - drums, guitars, bass, keys, fiddle, mandolin, banjo
- mic package already in place as well, along with cabling for
- no hard budget guidelines, but would like to see a few options if available. We do have backing financially.

If I’m way off base with going this route, point me in the direction you think is best so I can give it an honest look.

Thanks everyone, if you need any additional details I’ll do my best to get it to you.

-Brandon
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:40 am

When I worked with the PA hire company we had a small JBL LA rig, IIRC. 7 tops a side, which could be used with one or two a side on standard poles or linked and flown. We teamed it with 2 to 8 PRX 718 (?) subs and it was good for 3k punters if you didn't need heavy metal levels.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Dave Rowles » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:47 am

Brands for 3,000 people, I'd be looking at L-Acoustics, Martin, D&B, Meyersound, Coda Audio, Nexo

To be honest, most systems that will scale to that size will be decent. As to boxes/mounting/cabling etc that will totally depend on the venue, but I'd imagine you'd be looking at flying the rig at some and ground stacking at others.

Are you looking to start a PA Hire company? I'll be honest, I wouldn't buy a system that would cope with that many people unless I expected it to be used for 60/70% of the year. It's a massive space and cost outlay, and I'd rather let that be someone else's problem and just hire in for the gigs that need the extra.

I recently priced a system for a 1200 seater room, and the L-Acoustics Kara II system came to over the £120k mark, which was to cover stalls and circle, plus being flexible for it to be moved out of the venue for the occasional outdoor gig.

You'll also need to factor in a 7.5 tonne truck and someone with a licence to drive it, along with a roadie or 2 to help move the gear.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby bmlmusic5426 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:09 am

Dave,

Thanks for the response! I’ll check into some of those brands.

This rig will be for a touring band. We have a few fairs we have to provide our own production on. So I’m looking for something we’ll be able to set up and manage on our own without an engineer present every gig.

I had in mind doing a Yorkville Paraline setup, 4 tops and 2 dual 15 subs. I just am not sure if that’s enough for our outdoor gigs. I also don’t have a precise scope of the area we’ll be performing in at these events, so trying to over prepare a little just in case.

Sam,

Thanks for the input as well! We’re a country rock/southern rock outfit, so not quite anything that heavy.

-B
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:47 am

bmlmusic5426 wrote:This rig will be for a touring band. We have a few fairs we have to provide our own production on. So I’m looking for something we’ll be able to set up and manage on our own without an engineer present every gig.

Don't do it, budget for hiring a rig and engineer, there's no way you can do a proper job doing it all yourselves* and mixing from the stage.

I love country rock BTW, been in a couple of half decent country rock bands over the years :thumbup: but it's a genre where clarity and quality of sound is seriously important, an under specced rig just won't cut it...

* Load in, setup, tear down etc a well as playing the show and driving to and from the venue. And take notice of what Dave says about transport, we managed in a LWB/high top Sprinter but it was well overloaded and rammed to the roof :blush:
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Dave B » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:17 am

Interesting stuff, but a few things spring to mind :

1. The 3000 capacity - is that overall? or the number of people you'll play to? If this is a fair, then is that the capacity of the whole fair or just the bit that you will be performing for - you might be overcooking this a bit.

2. Power. Are you going to get power? or do you need to have generators? this impacts the budget - and H&S issues as well from what others have told me. It's not always plug and play with outdoors power...

3. 'provide our own production' is a loaded term - does that include stage and lights? 'production' can be very broad.

4. no engineer. (shakes uncontrollably then screams into a paper bag) If someone told me I was playing outdoors, to 3000 people and there would be no FOH, I would politely decline and move on. At the very least, the engineer is the person who the public will nag for 'more vocals', 'those drums are a bit muffled', 'it's all a bit too loud, can you turn it down', etc

The chaps above are all experienced hands at this and they are advising you that hiring is the way to go. Out of interest, have you spoken to hire companies to get a price on the sort of specs you are talking about? Because then all your problems are someone else's issue, and they specialise in this kind of stuff. And have storage. And lorries. And power. And stages. And lights. And spares for when things fail. And all the cabling (you mentioned this and it was smart to ask - there's going to be a lot of that). And their gear is all regularly tested and certified safe. And will provide that important buffer between the band and the (opinionated) public.

Just saying ... ;)

Edit : couple more thoughts...

1. Insurance? both for the gear and if you are providing the production, does this affect your PLI?

2. Another benefit of a hire company - they rig it so there's no chance of a sub dropping onto a musician and incapacitating them ... small but critical point
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Wonks » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:29 am

Is 3k the expected audience listening to you at the fairs, or is that the expected overall turnout, with a smaller percentage of that who are actually going to be in front of the stage listening (obviously you'd like everyone to do so, but it never happens)?

Even with 300 people in the audience, I'd insist on having at least a FOH mixer who can quickly pull down faders if feedback occurs or you suddenly get a nasty buzzing over the PA etc.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby bmlmusic5426 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:00 pm

Thank all of you for the input.

As far as hiring FOH, budgeting, logistics, I agree with you all. The only problem is these events are already contracted, so we have to be there ready to perform. The situation is obviously less than ideal.

I’ll try to cover all the questions:

- Production scope does include lights on our end; stages, power, etc are being providing.

- The “up to 3k people” figure is based off what we ran into recently when we had record attendance for a particular venue we played, which wasn’t 3k, but was way more than anyone was prepared for, including the sound company that was hired for that gig. I do not personally anticipate being expected to cover 3k people every show, but I’ll explain later why that number, I feel, is a decent target to shoot for.

- As far as hiring, the band itself is in its fourth year of existence, this is my second full year with the band. Although the money is decent for someone as new as we are, you start running numbers and without our own gear and traveling 2000 +/- miles one way some trips, the budget is simply not there yet.

- Insurance is covered through our booking agent/management. Again, it’s smaller scale, so the budget that larger agencies could help with is not available for the rest of “ideal scenarios.”

- This rig will be purchased by a third party that is interested in acting as a label sorts, so we would be “leasing” it from them. This is also why I’m looking at that 3k people target. The party has plans to start a festival, open a venue, and some other ideas. So while we probably won’t need the full system for the production we are providing, I’ve been taking into consideration those things, plus the fact that I was instructed by said party to “make it what I want.”

That being said, I’m not expecting budget help for hiring hands, but gear and transportation has been discussed.

Thanks again for all the advice, input, thoughts.

-B
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:20 pm

It sounds like this third party wants to start a PA business - in which case they need to hire someone to run and look after the kit. I've been the person who sorts out the PA while playing in a band before and I really don't want to do it again (unless it is a really small scale gig to a handful of people). I've seen others do the same and they're usually the most stressed member of the band. For anything more than a hundred or so people you really need someone running the sound and lights.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Dave Rowles » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 pm

bmlmusic5426 wrote:As far as hiring FOH, budgeting, logistics, I agree with you all. The only problem is these events are already contracted, so we have to be there ready to perform. The situation is obviously less than ideal.

I'll be utterly surprised if you can't find a hire company who has spare capacity to help you out. I would ask around and get some quotes. I think you might be surprised as to the costs.

- Production scope does include lights on our end; stages, power, etc are being providing.

You NEED to hire people to deal with the gear for you. You will almost literally kill you selves trying to load in/out set up/run the show all by yourselves. It's a very long day to get all that set up.

- As far as hiring, the band itself is in its fourth year of existence, this is my second full year with the band. Although the money is decent for someone as new as we are, you start running numbers and without our own gear and traveling 2000 +/- miles one way some trips, the budget is simply not there yet.

Se above. It's something you need to find the budget for if you're going to do it yourselves

- Insurance is covered through our booking agent/management. Again, it’s smaller scale, so the budget that larger agencies could help with is not available for the rest of “ideal scenarios.”

Make sure you have the correct amount of public liability to cope with a pa stack falling over and hurting a mass load of people. Be sure you know what you are doing with setting up a system capable of providing sound to that many people. We are not talking about a small system here.

- This rig will be purchased by a third party that is interested in acting as a label sorts, so we would be “leasing” it from them. This is also why I’m looking at that 3k people target. The party has plans to start a festival, open a venue, and some other ideas. So while we probably won’t need the full system for the production we are providing, I’ve been taking into consideration those things, plus the fact that I was instructed by said party to “make it what I want.”

That being said, I’m not expecting budget help for hiring hands, but gear and transportation has been discussed.

I think you've not fully appreciated what a system this size means as far as logistics and set-up are concerned, and lights as well? If you're looking to provide for up to 1000 people then this is manageable for doing on your own, or with maybe one FOH engineer. That sort of system will fit in the back of a transit van and there'll probably be space for your band's gear as well. for 3000 you're looking at a much bigger lorry, and you'll need a drive with the correct licence.

For reference, I toured with a tribute band with a decent following. Lighting engineer went in around 9am to start setting the venue, we'd go in with sound at 12. Band would be there at 4 for soundchecks, we'd break for dinner at 6, for a 8pm show. Show down at 10.30, we'd be out the venue by 11.30/12. And we didn't tour our own lights. Playing to 700-1000 people venues.

For the shows i do to 3k-10k people - large band with orchestra, Lights are in the day before, Sound rig goes in from 3/4am, I get there as a white glove FOH at 10am, and work through till show down at 11pm.

It's a different scale, and if there's budget for doing something like buying a PA then it's going to be cheaper to hire from a PA company I expect.

It's a great goal to have, but I would get a system that will cope with 1000, then if you've got a gig that will have more, hire in.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby bmlmusic5426 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:46 pm

Man, you all have been great. I think somewhere along the lines I’ve led you astray, because everything you folks are bringing to me I do agree with and see the logic and validity in your points.

I’m going to try to reword what I’m looking at, keeping in mind that everything I’ve presented prior is valid, but I have definitely not asked questions in the right way.

Here’s what I’m looking at:
- I’m looking at having the third party get a Yorkville Paraline rig, 4 - 4x6 tops and 2 - dual 15 subs, PSA1 and PSA1S respectively. I chose Yorkville because I have used the brand myself as well as have worked on several events where the sound company that was hired used Yorkville as well. My previous band used a Paraline/Parasource mix for the club/bar circuit.

- With 4 PSA1 x 2 PSA1S, or similar set up, what do you think is a good estimate of the crowd it would adequately handle outdoors?

Again, I appreciate everyone’s input. The amount of knowledge floating around this forum just from this one post is great.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby bmlmusic5426 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:51 pm

Dave,

I think you are right that I may be overlooking what an actual 3k+ crowd would look like from the sound side of things. I’ve played crowds that large, but never ran sound for that personally.

I do know the crowd we had in May was right at 2k. The sound company brought in a DAS system that worked one main and sub per side - but I was never out front to have a listening perspective.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby AlecSp » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:06 pm

Firstly, it looks like you're in the US, where most of this board is UK based. While sound is sound, many low-mid brands (including Yorkville) can be rather local - so you're not likely to get great feedback. Also, budget structures and hire packages will vary a lot.

I'll be a little less tactful than the other chaps here - if you go along this line, you will soon end up either:
a) bankrupt
b) knackered
c) nowhere near ready for showtime
d) injuring someone
e) a band who's lost any reputation they might have had
f) any combination of a+b+c+d+e
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:45 pm

Around here people seem to rate the Yamaha range - and also QSC. Looking at the specs, a single Yamaha DZR12 will give you more level than four of those Yorkvilles (although the Yorkvilles claim to have better vertical directionality). The QSC K12 will give you the same peak level as 2 of those Yorkvilles.
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Re: Need feedback on new live system

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:31 pm

FWIW I run a pair of QSC K12 and and old EV sBA 750 sub as my FOH, it'll do 250 people well and 400 'just about' (but not loud). If the Yorkvilles are not a hell of a lot more powerful than the K12's then you're wasting your money, take the given advice and hire in a proper rig for the job.
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