2 subs or 1?

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  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 564
    Ive given this some thought recently.

    We have a couple of options available to us:
    Option 1:
    Bass player uses his 2 speaker cabs each side of the stage 
    Vocals into FOH
    Guitars into FOH
    Bass drum and pad into FOH

    Option 2:
    Bass player uses his 2 speaker cabs each side of the stage
    Vocals into FOH
    Guitars into 2 yamaha dxr10s positioned each side of the stage
    Bass drum and drum pad into FOH

    Option 3
    Bass into FOH
    Guitar into FOH
    Vocals into FOH
    Bass drum and drum pad into FOH

    In my opinion, all options would need a sub. However, option 2 would be be alot less strain on the pa (with sub).  And give clarity. I just wanted to ensure we had a nice spread and people could hear the band rather than being blasted.

    Also, if option 2 was employed, myself and the bassist wouldnt have to do anything with the sub in terms of transporting it and storing it as our singer wont touch it and nor will our drummer. Thats the real problem with all of this really.

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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1581
    I wouldn’t complicate it.   Either you want to play at a volume that needs a bigger PA so you have subs and run everyone through it.  Or you play quieter and have a vocal PA and backline.   
    The amount of each instrument in the PA might change spending on the size of the room but I’d have a standard way to set up and keep life simple.  
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31615
    Jetfire said:

    Option 1:
    Bass player uses his 2 speaker cabs each side of the stage
    Why? The bass will sound better if the cabs are together. Bass is fairly undirectional, but can suffer from phase cancellation if the cabs are widely separated.

    What I would do is:

    PA with 2 subs.
    Bass amp, with one or two cabs where the bass player is.
    Guitar amps, where the guitar players are - preferably raised/tilted/pointing slightly sideways.
    Vocals, guitars, bass, kick drum into the PA.
    Monitors, with mostly vocals in and only just enough of anything else you can't hear properly.

    There is a reason why this is the absolutely standard set-up.

    If you can't persuade other band members to pull their weight regarding carrying the gear, you have three options - carry it yourself and accept that it's worth it to improve the sound of the band; have the band sound shit; insist that the singer helps carry the subs, since she's the one who wants them. Fair enough if the drummer doesn't, he/she has a drum kit to carry and set up.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1772
    IMHO, you've got a vocal PA. Anything more than adding a slight spread of anything else will overwhelm the vocals.

    I had a similar discussion with my band recently. We talked about getting our own PA and looked at various cheaper options similar to the Mackie SRM450. Our drummer wanted kick in the PA. I said, if we're in a venue large enough to require drums in the PA then we need a bigger PA than that.

    I ended up buying a HK Power Pack, plus a Yamaha TF-Rack desk + TIO1608D stage box. Not cheap, but it's more suited to the task of amplifying a full band (we're 8/9 piece, drums, bass, guitar, keys, accordion, harmonica, 5 vocals). Even with this rig, I back off the drums and the backline to keep the vocals effortlessly on top of the mix.

    In your situation, I'd do something like this:
    • use both subs (for reasons explained by @ICBM earlier)
    • start with just vocals in the mix
    • listen to how it sounds
    • what's missing?
    • add a bit of what's missing to the mix
    Without knowing your band style, and making assumptions about equipment, I would add this:
    • I'd be surprised if you need bass in the mix
    • Keeping the guitar quiet on stage and in the PA can improve things onstage
    • A couple of mics on the drums can be very effective - kick, and overhead. Don't have them too loud but it can add a bit of "something" to the sound.
    Most importantly, don't play too loudly. A smaller PA pushed to its limits will sound dreadful.

    HTH,

    R.
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  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 564
    Just for full info, My guitar amp is a helix into a Yamaha dxr10 at the moment so i tend to put that speaker pointing at me for monitoring. Myself and the bassist have just bought IEMs which will be arriving soon. I guess it depends on venue but ill be taking the sub this weekend and hopefully end up dropping the use of the yamaha as Ill have IEMs.
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  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 564
    So last night I took our sub along and set it all up. When we sound checked, we did a basic volume with just vocals in the pa, bass and guitar via our own speakers and no kick drum via front of house. Sounded ok but no bass drum definition so turned the sub up, high pass filter on the tops and upped the sub so the pa carried abit of everything. The spread was nice and we sounded good.

    Thanks for all the sensible advice!
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