What do you put through the PA ?

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 14856
I've got overheads and kick mics on the drummer, I mic my amp, the Bassist and Keyboard player D.I. into the mixer.  The Keyboard player has his own amp.  The full mix is only for the IEMs and the audience hear only the vocals and keys through the mains, plus the backline (and drums acoustically).

Does anyone put the full shebang through the mains ?  If so, why ?  (or why not !)
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
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  • At the moment but it's three vocals and two guitars and one sax. No drums. For one gig with a previous line up we put in three vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards. But I got wary of us not using subs. One sound guy said our monitors couldn't take the bass either, so we didn't get the subs.
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1826
    We put everything through but don't always put the guitars FOH (If we can get away with it :) ). Bass doesn't go through the monitors - we've got a couple of subs though. We use 4 mics on the drums. 
    "A city star won’t shine too far"


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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2706
    Big soul band Mic/DI everything. Only put in the monitors what the individuals can't hear otherwise it becomes a volume battle. Mixer engineer adds levels in FOH once stage volume and monitors set. Lower stage volume is the key to this setup.
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  • Whatever I'm asked to
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  • onyironyir Frets: 6
    edited August 2018
    We are a 5 piece band, 2 lead guitars, bass guitar, singer and drummer. We normally run vocals and guitars through the PA. Depending on the size of the venue, we might mic the drumkit as well (generally only kick, toms and snare).
    With the PA we get a better spread for the guitars than using a guitar cab. Nowadays I'm using modelling so I don't even take a cab with me, just use a monitor.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2467
    We are a five piece too. Two guitars (DI), keys (DI), sax (sax mic), bass (DI), drums (overheads, snare, and kick), and three vocal mics. Everything goes through the PA. We also have backline for guitars, keys, and bass.

    Why put it through the PA? Three reasons. We can set FOH levels independently of backline. We can get everything through our IEMs. We can record all channels from the desk, and match to gig video.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2308
    My own bands I put everything in the PA and try to be minimal with the monitors and save them for vocals, back line as quiet as possible to hear each other over the drums - needs a big stage to need any instruments in the mons. 

    Hires I’ll try to follow a similar rule but accommodate whatever makes the band happy on stage and let’s me have a good mix out front - I usually run 4 monitor mixes so it’s not hard to give cr people what they need.  

    The answer partly depends on what gear you have - if it’s a decent full range rig with subs then your priority is to get the vocals nice and clear with enough kick, drums and instruments to give a good balance and whatever level of power and volume suits the gig. Often I find the guitars and bass don’t need much in the PA but can help give a more even spread to the sound.     
    If you have a pair of speakers on stands then get the vocals sounding good and bring up the back line to give a balanced sound only bringing them into the PA if you have a monster drummer.   
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  • Everything is mic’d always. Depending on the room the drum kit can have a full complement of mic’s or just an overhead. The kick is always mic’d. 

    We all monitor via IEM’s so everything needs to be Mic’d or on DI so we can hear it in our individual monitor mixes. 

    That gives me me the option of putting whatever needs to be in FOH. The monitor mixes are all pre Aux sends so they don’t influence the front of house mix.
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  • uncledickuncledick Frets: 271
    We're a 7 piece at the moment - drums, two guitars and bass with 3 singers out front.  Just the vocals through the pa though.   
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2293
    We're a 4 piece (drums, two guitars, bass) and for gigs everything is miked and goes through the PA. We don't use guitar amps - my Vox Tonelab SE & our 2nd guitarists Tonelab LE go straight through the PA. 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • I play in two bands, both five piece (bass, drums 2 x guitars and vox).

    Band one is the heavier of the two and we mic everything (guitars have direct feeds from Axe fx/Kemper). We do our own sound with a digital mixer that stores settings in memory going to two tops and one sub. Fairly minimal amount of bass and drums (more goes to monitor mixes than FOH), a bit of guitar for spread but mainly vocals.

    Band two uses the same system but with a smaller desk and no sub. Bass drum, both guitars and vocals through the PA.
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  • Everything through the PA, it's not about volume it's about sounding better. Guitars are the worst culprits in my opinion and they need to go through.

    If you rely on backline you generally get some people not being able to hear it and the others getting blasted in the face with treble. 
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  • EggmanEggman Frets: 43
    I play in a three piece rock band. We put vocals (three vocal mics) into the PA, and the bassist and I each use an amp. Depending on the size of the venue, we sometimes mic bass amp and kick drum through the PA.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 36802
    Everything through the PA usually - but with proper volume from the backline as well so it's a good mix with the drum kit. The PA is for reinforcement and better dispersion once you get above that level - no point in having a near-silent stage apart from a massively loud drum kit. But equally you don't want the guitar amps pointing straight out into the audience at ear level so they're louder than the PA in some spots either.

    For a very small gig where the kit is not mic'ed at all I would maybe not put the instruments through the PA - there's something nice about the sound of a band mixing itself acoustically in a space, but you do still need to be aware of position and direction for the guitar amps especially. I usually have the guitar amp raised up and pointing at an angle across the stage so there's no-one directly in line with it.
    "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." - Walt Kowalski

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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3787
    Sometimes like tonight almost nothing goes through the PA, other gigs have been so big everything has to go through the PA otherwise your never hear it. I did a tiny sailing club once and it was so small we never even plugged the electro acoustic in .... was loud enough on it's own and only used one PA speaker for the vocal .... didn't need 2
    Then at the other extreme in the summer we did a big outdoor and had to use one huge 12KW PA at the front and another smaller 3KW PA 40 metres further down, delayed to match the front stacks in terms of timing. Not as good as a high array but it worked. 

    I'm not a fan of putting everything through the PA and having no backline in pubs. It does work further back and to the sides but the people at the front middle  only hear the drums generally .... as bands don't think to put a middle fill speaker on stage as they generally won't have one.  Saw the Ultimate Eagles at Portsmouth Guildhall a few weeks back, they were all using Kempers and IEM's and it sounded a bit strange at the front middle for that very reason. Also drums, if your gonna put a load of kick and toms in the PA then put a dash of snare in there as well ... even if it's only the reverb return otherwise you hear the toms miles apart in the stacks and the snare only from the stage which just sounds weird to me. 

    I think it's best to think of the PA at typical pub level gigs as sound reinforcement ... as @ICBM said, get something listenable onstage and then reinforce it. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1961
    edited October 2018
    4 vocal mics
    Bass drum mic
    If the gig is big enough I'll mic my amp but so far it hasn't strictly been necessary.

    I do wish our mixer was a little bit more featured as I'd quite like my own monitor mix rather than getting the singer's.  I'm sure there must be a way of doing this as some sort of auxiliary from the main mix but I haven't really sat down to work that out yet.

    Oh and I'm trying to work out how I could connect a stylophone direct to the mixer. It only has a headphone jack out and when you make a note, it makes a loud nasty popping sound. I guess it needs something to buffer/dampen the signal.
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 21730
    Cock weights are quite horny in a PA.

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • TateFXTateFX Frets: 71
    We used to run everything through the mixer for our in ears then run vocals, bass drum and sax out the front. 
    Formerly Stu_Tate
    Tate FX
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 14856
    I'm curious about the number of folk using modellers.  All my life I've been told "valve amps are the best, digital is pants, solid state is second rate".  The dark art of NOS tubes and vintage celestions are the only things that can get you close to the holy grail of tonal nirvana.

    ...and now it seems that a lot of you have now gone "fuck this, this thing weighs a ton, chuck it though this computery box instead"!

    What's going on?!!
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 10740
    I'm not using modellers. I have to bring the PA, so if I go direct I need more PA gear to supplement our vocals-only system.

    Amps are not only more betterer, they're cheaper, louder and smaller than the crap I need to bring if I don't use one. 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21012
    If possible everything goes through the mains.
    "I don't go to mythical places with strange men." Douglas Adams
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21012
    Emp_Fab said:
    I'm curious about the number of folk using modellers.  All my life I've been told "valve amps are the best, digital is pants, solid state is second rate".  The dark art of NOS tubes and vintage celestions are the only things that can get you close to the holy grail of tonal nirvana.

    ...and now it seems that a lot of you have now gone "fuck this, this thing weighs a ton, chuck it though this computery box instead"!

    What's going on?!!
    Modelling got better.
    "I don't go to mythical places with strange men." Douglas Adams
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3649
    Depends on Venue.  Small - vocals (and if used, electronic drum kit) only and an ambient backline, larger - DI everything.

    Find that a 10w/25w Mesa Mini Rec is fine for live guitar.

    Monitoring/ feedback is still a PITA (I'm too tall for traditional monitors that aren't >1M away from my feet, singer has the opposite problem he is usually swamped because he's short, drummer wants a monitor as he's mutton - which then creates copious mic feedback n- we've got all the IEM gear, but setup time (individual IEM Mixes) then becomes challenging.

    Taken to having my own pre-input mic headphone amp for my vocals only, and IEM that.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2706
    The affluent musicians tend to be older, so that allows for the development of digital products (no market otherwise). Younger players just assume computery things are good and those older players are thinking about thier backs more.

    It's not yet a sea change, but the idea of a small digital package is not laughed at on professional stages.

    I'm still in the valve amp and pedals catogory because it's very flexible on stage and I play with an assortment of bands/situations. If you only play one style with one band I guess having presets (and a list beside you) works. My back doesn't thank me for my choices but my heart and ears do.

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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2156
    ESBlonde said:
    The affluent musicians tend to be older, so that allows for the development of digital products (no market otherwise). Younger players just assume computery things are good and those older players are thinking about thier backs more.

    It's not yet a sea change, but the idea of a small digital package is not laughed at on professional stages.

    I'm still in the valve amp and pedals catogory because it's very flexible on stage and I play with an assortment of bands/situations. If you only play one style with one band I guess having presets (and a list beside you) works. My back doesn't thank me for my choices but my heart and ears do.

    I use my Helix with a single amp and a few pedals that I switch on/off for 90% of what I do, means I'm doing just what you do only my back is fine :)  Occasionally go back to a proper amp and am 100% convinced there are no benefits to my ears either 
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