November 19, 2015
Music magazines, like Live Sound International or FOH (Front of House), often feature articles highlighting the latest in sound systems, but it seems a majority of these articles are catered towards large, up-scale budgets and locations. It’s always fascinating to read about what these bigger venues are doing and how quickly technology is progressing. However, many sound people work in hundreds of small venues throughout the US. If your band plays gigs in small venues or if you operate sound systems in small venues, your sound dynamics radically differ from the larger sites. You have to adapt your skills to the characteristics of small venues to achieve sound success.
If you are a one-person show or setting sound for a solo performer accompanied by an electric piano or guitar, a combo amp specifically manufactured for acoustic guitars may be the perfect system for a small space. In this scenario, acoustic guitar amps work better than electric guitar amps because they basically act like a miniature PA system.
Electric guitar amps, on the other hand, add their own music to the sound they project. Acoustic guitar amps are perfect for a solo performance as they customarily include an XLR mic input and a musical instrument input. These acoustic amps usually have speakers that can support a broad vocal range and incorporate some fundamental effects like reverb.
A solo performer with an instrument rarely creates enough low frequencies to necessitate bass extension, but if you are playing in a band or setting sound for one, you have to think about incorporating electronic keyboards, backing tracks, and bass and drums in your sound equation. In small venues, a system with a small sub plus two satellite speakers will probably work best. These systems are easy to transport and will easily fit in a car.
They are, however, strong enough to amplify sound well in a small venue and make it an enjoyable experience for the audience. The sub in these systems manages the bass; the speakers may be extremely small (you can almost go down to a shoe-box size). The majority of these systems can provide good stereo sound even with just the lone sub. If the band playing needs to project more drum and bass sound in the PA, one or possibly even two 15-inch subs ought to be viewed as the basic requirement. In such cases where more is also needed from the tops, there’s always the traditional system with 12-inch (plus horn) main active speakers to project more.
Line array systems, although generally viewed as large venue systems, have been scaled down to what are called column array systems and can work great even in small spaces. These column array systems are made up of a column of small-diameter mid/high drivers coupled with a 10-inch or even 18-inch sub. These systems are great for bands playing in small to medium venues. The tiny size of these systems may give you the wrong impression that they won’t work for a band, but these column array systems can outperform typical “box” systems, projecting better sound coverage and producing more natural vocals.
Just keep in mind, line array or column array systems are usually very wide dispersion speakers and cannot be placed side by side like narrow dispersion conventional speakers. But this is also a plus, because they are so wide in dispersion you don’t need to add more side by side speakers. They may seem to have a higher cost, but they will do much larger shows (and still do the small shows). Their even projection to the audience both in width and front to back provides a friendly experience to all listeners both near and far.
October 13, 2021
Let’s face it, feedback is a nightmare. No one likes a squealing mic stealing the show in the middle of an intimate ballad or a heart-felt anthem. When you first start out on stage, feedback can seem mysterious, but once you’ve got a handle on what causes it, it’s not rocket science to prevent it.
Here we’ll go over a few basic, common-sense mistakes that cause feedback on stage.
October 07, 2021
For some, which gear to power up first is common sense. Others couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to such trivial details. Some may know which gear to power up first but not why, and for some, this may be the first you’ve heard of this question.
Whatever the case, we’ll go over the proper power up sequence here and explain why it’s important.
September 29, 2021
The WM5 Wireless Microphone System will transform your existing wired microphone into a wireless microphone, giving you the freedom and the simplicity you are looking for. The 5GHz frequency band offers excellent range up to 200 ft and is less crowded than the 2GHz band, reducing your chances of interference from other wireless audio gear. The extremely low noise design and compact size coupled with an intuitive set up makes going wireless an easy process.
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"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all of the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the voice of the psalm." - Psalm 98:4-5