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PA Live sound advice needed please

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PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:04 pm

Hi all, I'm a gigging solo singer using backing tracks and playing in various size venues (pubs, working mens clubs, hotels, holiday parks etc). I've been searching for active PA speakers that don't peak all the time for ages.

I used to have 2 Wharfedale Pro EVP-X15P's. I think they were 250watt RMS, 500 peak each. (they're about 15 years old, current ones the spec is higher). They were brilliant and never peaked. the issue was that at 29KG each I couldn't lift them onto the stands (I'm a tiny woman.) so I always needed to ask for help. When the bass driver went in one of them, I bought 2 Wharfedale pro Titan 12s which I could easy lift onto the stands and used my remaining EVP-X15P floor based linked to one of the speakers to take the bottom end. This worked for ages.

Then the 2nd EVP gave up on me so I tried out a few speakers from Gear4music to do the same job that the EVP had been doing. My titans developed a fault and had to go back but couldn't be repaired of replace so I got a full refund (£410 for the pair). I then decided to spend a bit more and try and eliminate the need for a third speaker. I spent £750 on a pair of Wharfedale Pro Typhon AX12. 720Watt RMS and 1440 peak. I thought that these would be super powerful and there's no way they would peak. The music sounded great through them. Amazing in fact and nowhere near peaking, but my mic was still causing the red limit light to flash on. I'm using a Yamaha MG06X Analog Mixer and a AKG WMS40 Mini Wireless Vocal Microphone. All advice welcome, thanks in advance. I have 6 months to decide if I want to keep the Typhons or should I get something else, or can I set my mic up differently etc
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:56 pm

They are pretty loud but any speaker will flash the peak light if you put enough signal into it. Obviously the vocal needs to be louder than the backing but your backing tracks will almost certainly be compressed/limited so will vary less between the loud and quiet bits than your voice which is live. You could alter your mic technique to reduce the level of the loud bits or simply turn everything down a little (set the max level while singing your loudest so it only brings the peak light on briefly).

I'm reluctant to suggest getting a compressor as the can be difficult to use live but if you had a sound guy mixing for you that is what he'd probably do.

HTH
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:14 pm

Yeah I tried to turn it down to so it wouldn't peak but the audience couldn't hear me well enough whereas in contrast, the music is barely registering on the desk, it could go way louder
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:24 pm

Have you set up and listened from in front of the speakers? When you say the audience can't hear you well enough do you mean your voice is drowned by the backing or that it is just too quiet? How big was the room/audience when this happened and who told you they couldn't hear?
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:56 pm

The quoted maximum SPL of the speaker is 129dB, which is pretty loud. You'd have to spend a lot more to get anything significantly louder in a package that's both small and light.

What DSP mode do you run them in? I'd recommend 'flat' as both 'punch' and 'bass' will rob mid and high frequency power to make the bass louder.

Which then leads on to the fact that you probably do need a sub to provide the bottom end, leaving the Wharfdales to do the rest. If they don't have to provide a lot of bass energy, there's more power left for mids and treble.

Unfortunately, there isn't a matching Typhon sub and the Typhon isn't really set up to work with a standard sub. It does have a 90Hz high-pass filter, but this is stated as for use in a half-space environment, so probably has a gentle 6dB/octave slope. Sub filter points are typically 80Hz or 120Hz (though some are continuously variable), so you'd need one that had a high-pass filter output for the tops to make sure everything tied up well.

And subs are heavy. Not too bad to move if if on wheels or on a trolley, but still awkward to lift in and out of a car or carry up/down steps etc. So you'd want the lightest sub you could find, whilst it still being powerful and musical. And they tend to be expensive.

Have you considered adding a sub? If so, have you got space to transport and store one?
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:05 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Have you set up and listened from in front of the speakers? When you say the audience can't hear you well enough do you mean your voice is drowned by the backing or that it is just too quiet? How big was the room/audience when this happened and who told you they couldn't hear?

yes, it just sounded too quiet in the mix but if I turn the music down, the music was too quiet, to have the music at an acceptable level, to then hear the vocal well enough, it was peaking. not all the time but the red light flashed on a few times. the room wasn't that big, maybe 50 people. Odd shaped room though so maybe that didn't help, members of the audience asked me to turn my voice up
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:08 pm

Wonks wrote:The quoted maximum SPL of the speaker is 129dB, which is pretty loud. You'd have to spend a lot more to get anything significantly louder in a package that's both small and light.

What DSP mode do you run them in? I'd recommend 'flat' as both 'punch' and 'bass' will rob mid and high frequency power to make the bass louder.


Have you considered adding a sub? If so, have you got space to transport and store one?

I've tried a few subs but they are too heavy and awkward for me. I have ben running the speakers DSP Flat
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:14 pm

The data sheet for the AKG Mini is absolutely useless. No indication as to what the output level is from the receiver. It might be mic or it might be line level. How are you connecting the receiver to the mixer? And what input and switch setting (if channel A) and level control settings are you using on the Typhon?

Can I just check that we are talking about the limit light on the back of the Typhon showing, rather than something on the mixer?

I'm sure it's all set up fine, (you've been using speakers for a long while) but I just want to make sure that there isn't something less than optimal in the connections and settings that's simple to correct.
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:39 pm

Wonks wrote:How are you connecting the receiver to the mixer? And what input and switch setting (if channel A) and level control settings are you using on the Typhon?
Can I just check that we are talking about the limit light on the back of the Typhon showing, rather than something on the mixer?
.

receiver to mixer is connected via jack to XLR into the first channel on my mixer
What do mean by switch settings? The levels on the Typhons were set to about 1 oclock
yes the limit light on the back of the Typhon
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:11 pm

The mic/line switch (If on channel A).
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:25 pm

Wonks wrote:The mic/line switch (If on channel A).
Line
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:14 am

Sounds like everything is connected correctly,

I'd probably set the Typhon input volume to 12 o'clock (unity gain) and try and send a slightly hotter signal from the mixer. But 1 o'clock is probably only 1dB extra gain added at the speaker, so a minimal value. Mixer output levels can happily run at +3 or even +6 on the output meter, and should need to be to get the maximum volume from the speakers with the speaker gain set to 12 o'clock.

With the mixer output meters running at or below 0 and the speaker input gain at 12 o'clock, you certainly shouldn't get any limit indications on the speaker. If you do, there's something wrong somewhere.

Or it may be that the limiter is cutting in a bit earlier than it could do to protect the amp from clipping. If the limit LED is just just coming on occasionally, I wouldn't worry about it. But if it's coming on all the time, then the speakers are certainly outputting all they can. All I can think of is that the Typhons aren't quite as loud as they are quoted to be.

I had Yamaha DXR10 Mk Is which peaked at a SPL of 131dB and they would be more than enough for pubs and clubs and any small-medium sized venue

You do get what you pay for, and I'd be tempted to step up to some Yamaha DXR12 Mk IIs with a SPL of 134dB. SPL is the true measure of speaker output, not its amp wattage rating, so when comparing speakers, compare their SPL values, not their watts. The DXR12s are currently about £100 more per speaker than the Typhons, but you do get a 7 year warranty in the UK (after registration). And that 5 extra dB of SPL (134dB vs 129db) means that the Yamahas are significantly louder than the Typhons - getting on for twice the volume. They are slightly heavier at 18.6kg vs. 16.2kg, but should still be manageable.
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:43 am

I used to have an MG06.

It's main output is very 'hot' and it's easy to overdrive other gear that's connected to it.
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:50 am

That's surprising, Mike. The published specs say the nominal output level is +4dBu and it clips at +18dBu, which sounds pretty standard to me.

The specs for the Typhon say its nominal input is 0dBu, but it's not clear what the clipping level is. However, the small disparity in nominal operating levels would suggest the speaker's input gain control should be to the left of zero, rather than to the right -- say 11 o'clock as a starting position, with the mixer meters hovering around the '0' level.

H
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:03 am

Shortie4291 wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Have you set up and listened from in front of the speakers? When you say the audience can't hear you well enough do you mean your voice is drowned by the backing or that it is just too quiet? How big was the room/audience when this happened and who told you they couldn't hear?

yes, it just sounded too quiet in the mix but if I turn the music down, the music was too quiet, to have the music at an acceptable level, to then hear the vocal well enough, it was peaking. not all the time but the red light flashed on a few times. the room wasn't that big, maybe 50 people. Odd shaped room though so maybe that didn't help, members of the audience asked me to turn my voice up

I agree with Wonks, it sounds like the Typhoons are not delivering the levels they claim*. I also agree that a couple of Yamaha DXR12 mk II would be a big improvement (I have 3 x DXR10 mk I's myself).

WRT subs, a sub will improve the backing tracks but probably not by much and will have no effect on your voice so I wouldn't bother for your needs.

* A room for an audience of 50 is probably no more than 10 metres front to back. The Typhoons should, in theory, be capable of delivering 111dB peaks 8 metres down the room which is pretty loud.
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:11 am

It's just that a sub with the Typhons would allow the tops to be louder in the vocal range. But as subs are too heavy/large for you to manage on your own, then the DXR12s would be a much better overall solution.
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:16 am

Wonks wrote:It's just that a sub with the Typhons would allow the tops to be louder in the vocal range.

Yes it would :thumbup:

Wonks wrote:But as subs are too heavy/large for you to manage on your own, then the DXR12s would be a much better overall solution.

:thumbup:
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby DanR » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:00 pm

Shortie4291 wrote:Hi all, I'm a gigging solo singer using backing tracks and playing in various size venues (pubs, working mens clubs, hotels, holiday parks etc). I've been searching for active PA speakers that don't peak all the time for ages.

I used to have 2 Wharfedale Pro EVP-X15P's. I think they were 250watt RMS, 500 peak each. (they're about 15 years old, current ones the spec is higher). They were brilliant and never peaked. the issue was that at 29KG each I couldn't lift them onto the stands (I'm a tiny woman.) so I always needed to ask for help. When the bass driver went in one of them, I bought 2 Wharfedale pro Titan 12s which I could easy lift onto the stands and used my remaining EVP-X15P floor based linked to one of the speakers to take the bottom end. This worked for ages.

Then the 2nd EVP gave up on me so I tried out a few speakers from Gear4music to do the same job that the EVP had been doing. My titans developed a fault and had to go back but couldn't be repaired of replace so I got a full refund (£410 for the pair). I then decided to spend a bit more and try and eliminate the need for a third speaker. I spent £750 on a pair of Wharfedale Pro Typhon AX12. 720Watt RMS and 1440 peak. I thought that these would be super powerful and there's no way they would peak. The music sounded great through them. Amazing in fact and nowhere near peaking, but my mic was still causing the red limit light to flash on. I'm using a Yamaha MG06X Analog Mixer and a AKG WMS40 Mini Wireless Vocal Microphone. All advice welcome, thanks in advance. I have 6 months to decide if I want to keep the Typhons or should I get something else, or can I set my mic up differently etc

Hi
I have the AKG WMS40 dual mic system. Used them for years but the channel is no longer available for radio mics.
Try rolling some bass off the mic EQ to help avoid speaker amp clipping or maybe try a lead mic, SM58 or similar if you can borrow one.
Adding a sub would help but I think money would be better spent on a pair of more powerful 10” or 12” speakers.
Time to have a break I think from Wharfedale powered speakers having tried 3 varieties.
The Typhon looks a decent speaker with quite high SPL although it’s a little low on power.

As your playing anything from small pub rooms to hotels and holiday parks, your PA needs to be sufficient for the larger rooms.
I think you might be out of gas with your current system.
It is a hassle selling gear but you would notice a big difference spending a bit more.
My RCF HD12s and Yamaha DXR10s are super powerful and easy to carry.
The RCFs are a little wider than the QSC K12 and Yamaha DXR12 but are lighter and have a top handle too as well as side ones.
They are more expensive than the Yamahas though.

DXR10s would do well for most gigs, are compact and good VFM. The 12s lack the top handle, are heavier but would handle the big rooms without the need for a sub.
If possible, try them for size/weight at a store.
Good luck.
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:05 pm

DanR wrote:I have the AKG WMS40 dual mic system. Used them for years but the channel is no longer available for radio mics.

The WMS40 Mini version used by the OP is a channel 70 only mic system. So it works in the still license-free band, albeit at risk of clashing with other nearby channel 70 users.

Dan, can you remember what the signal output level was, mic or line?
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Re: PA Live sound advice needed please

Postby Shortie4291 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:08 pm

DanR wrote:
Shortie4291 wrote:
Hi
I have the AKG WMS40 dual mic system. Used them for years but the channel is no longer available for radio mics.
Try rolling some bass off the mic EQ to help avoid speaker amp clipping or maybe try a lead mic, SM58 or similar if you can borrow one.
Adding a sub would help but I think money would be better spent on a pair of more powerful 10” or 12” speakers.
Time to have a break I think from Wharfedale powered speakers having tried 3 varieties.
The Typhon looks a decent speaker with quite high SPL although it’s a little low on power.

As your playing anything from small pub rooms to hotels and holiday parks, your PA needs to be sufficient for the larger rooms.
I think you might be out of gas with your current system.
It is a hassle selling gear but you would notice a big difference spending a bit more.
My RCF HD12s and Yamaha DXR10s are super powerful and easy to carry.
The RCFs are a little wider than the QSC K12 and Yamaha DXR12 but are lighter and have a top handle too as well as side ones.
They are more expensive than the Yamahas though.

DXR10s would do well for most gigs, are compact and good VFM. The 12s lack the top handle, are heavier but would handle the big rooms without the need for a sub.
If possible, try them for size/weight at a store.
Good luck.

Hi Dan,
I'm not committed to these speakers, Gear4music will let me try them for 180 days before I keep them. I was wondering if I might try some Beringers that are 136 db and the same wattage as the wharfedales but are 15 inch cabs instead? Gear4music do the ones you recommend but they're 133 dbs and not quite as much wattage as the wharfedales or the Beringhers. The typhon is 1440 peak and 720 continuous, 129db. The DXR12 are 1100 peak, 700 continuous 133db, and the Beringhers DR115DSP are 1400 peak (RMS???) and 136 dbs (21kg but I could just about manage) or the 12 inch version of them is 134dbs and 1200 peak and are 17kg.
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