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What do you guys think of this system?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Anonymous067, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    System I've been working on building for a year or so. No parts bought yet whatsoever, fresh build.

    Board: Mackie Onyx 3280 (still considering)

    Cabinets: Mackie S215, sub: SWA1801z, swa1501, monitors EV force i monitor e and hot spots

    Amps: QSC RMX 1850HD

    Microphones: 10 Shure ULX wireless systems with 10 bps and 4 handhelds with beta 58 heads. bps either have WL183 (omnis) or inst. adapter cable

    Wired: Beta 58, SM 87a, SM94, SM57, Beta98,

    CD player will be a american audio MCD-810

    Mackie QUAD EQ

    Driverack PA

    3 power sequencers and one 60 amp distro
    headphones (mdr7506)
    DI's will be the BSS ones...

    all outboard will be in two 21 rack space rolly cabinets with plenty of drawers
    will build most cables by myself, with exception of a few rca cables, a few insert cables for 1/4",

    mic stands quik lok a346
    speaker stands on stage stands ss7770

    psm monitors psm 600 or 700 haven't decided (2 total)

    all wireless will have appropriate distros plus the back of one rack will have three main antenna outputs for remote antennas, diversity a&b and psm tranys out.

    misc:

    windscreens for all mics
    back rails
    sb lights


    i know theres obvious stuff i may not have listed, and please feel free to critique my list! this is really the first system i've designed.
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I can argue either way, but I'll play devil's advocate here: why not a digital board? Eliminates outboard and makes transitioning between acts much easier. I see no compressors, limiters, or gates on your list, and a digital board would eliminate these.

    With a Yamaha LS9-32, I can have double-tap access to any of the 16 sends, two-button access to any of 4 graphic EQs (flying faders allow me to touch any band instantly, and changing between bands changes the faders), and two-button access to any part of the fully parametric EQ on each channel. I also have built in effects processors and a matrix, plus immediate recall of all settings.

    The LS9-32 is a very compact console for its capabilities, and it has decent sound quality. It does have yamaha mic pres though, and some people don't like how yamaha mic pres sound, but that's an issue of personal taste. My main issue with it when running bands is the gain click issue, but if you set your gains well and the act knows how to sound check properly, you shouldn't have an issue with this during the show. If you have a digital console, the only thing you really need is a driverack to split things out to your speakers. Also, I don't see the point in buying a Driverack PA and a Mackie Quad EQ. Is the quad EQ for your monitor EQs?

    I'd personally recommend getting QSC HPR powered series speakers instead of Mackie powered speakers. I'd get the QSC powered boxes for everything: mains, monitors, and subs. The speakers will be heavier, but you won't have to worry about amp racks.

    Also, why go with an American Audio CD player? I'd at least go with Numark if you absolutely need a DJ style CD player, and if not, a Tascam CD01U. Just seems a shame to skimp here when the rest of the system is in the next teir in terms of gear quality.

    Also, Beta 52A and Beta 57 added to the mic list, IMO. And a Sennheiser E609 or two for guitar cabs and the like. They're also pretty good on horns, too.

    And I prefer Countryman Type 85 DIs, but that's just me...and if I'm on more of a budget, Whirlwind Director DIs. This is one of those personal taste things, I think.

    Oh, and now for the question that I should have asked waaaay back at the beginning, what's the target use of this system?
     
  3. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Target (i realized I forgot this)...small-med sized gigs for church (when we don't want to use the "dummy proof" system as I call it.
    Hired out events for small club bands etc.

    I have seriously considered a digital board, but just can't fit that into the budget.

    I hadn't put much thought into the CD player, but I do want dual CD player and liked the look of the aa one.

    QUAD eq is for mons OR for horrific singers or channels that need the big eq as opposed to the board.

    Could you argue the other way too? just for kicks and giggles?
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    You could pick up a DM1000 and 16 extra pre-amps for 6k, might be something worth looking into.
     
  5. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Forget wireless unless there is a real need for them. With that many channels, it could be a lot of work to keep things working rightly. (Plus the affordable ones I've heard don't sound very good.) Put the money you save toward a digital board.

    For monitors, EV Phoenix series or JBL MRX500 series.

    For mains: since you need amps for the monitors, you may as well go passive on the mains as well. I'd use the same cabs as the monitors, or Yorkville U15s. For subs, JTR Growlers.

    For vocals, forget the Shures. Senny 835, EV N/D767a, or Audix OM7. For instruments, go Audix D4.

    I've yet to use the Mackie Quad EQ or read a single comment from anyone who has. With a digital board, you won't need it.

    I doubt you'll be able to tie in, so a distro is likely to be a waste.

    7506s have terrible isolation and sound bad. Extreme Headphones is the ticket.

    IEMs: Go with the Sennheiser 300s. They sound better and are more frequency agile than the Shure's.

    I like Radial DIs, but the BSS are very well respected.
     
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Mic selection is really a matter of taste, along with DI selection. These should really be the what what you know works best for you products. If you know Shure and are happy with Shure, then go Shure. I honestly like Senn 835s, 604s, 609s, etc for most of my mics, but still will go with some Beta 57s for some things, a Beta 52A on kick (or a D6, it's really a tossup), and SM94 overheads and other pencil condenser situations, because I know that they work well for me. That's the important part. OM7s should really be reserved for people that need a mic that can take whatever kind of insane vocals they throw at it, not for normal workhorse vocal mics. That's for the SM/Beta 58 or Senn 835 or 935. I personally like to have a vocal condenser or two on hand as well, like a Sennheiser E865.

    As was just asked, what will the wireless be used for, and can you justify a full 10 channels? Might 6 channels be enough for your needs? Juggling a lot of wireless can send your gig to hell in a handbasket very quickly if you don't really know it well.

    I'm still a fan of powered speakers, because that's one less kind of cables that I have to carry around, the amps are matched to the speakers, and all that jazz.

    Also, get a Whirlwind PCDI and appropriate cables for the inevitable laptop computer connection.
     
  7. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    First of all, I'm going to respectfully toss out this post for consideration, simply because you probably have different tastes in audio equipment that I do. Shure ULX series is a very well respected series, costing around 900 dollars a channel. I do not use Sennheiser wireless. Most venues I work at (including my church), have 60 amp RV-style plugs available for me to tie directly into. Digital board is likely to be out of question. Thank you for your consideration and time.
     
  8. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Most of your reasons were also based on personal preference.
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Seeing as you seem set on analog, go ahead and give a real argument for it, besides the fact that you're comfortable with it. In the biz, it's very likely that you'll have to learn digital at some point in the near future.

    Let's break it down here:
    Mackie Onyx 3280: $4500
    Mackie Quad EQ: $1000
    Dynamics processing (you didn't factor this in yet): $1160
    Dynamics pricing includes an ACP88 and a 166XL, which gives you 10 channels of dynamics.
    Effects processors (something else you're missing): $550
    Effects pricing includes an MX200 and an M-ONE XL.
    I think that I was fairly conservative with both of my inputs (effects + dynamics).
    Combined case cost increase with all of the rack gear and a larger mixer case: ~$200
    Additional cabling required to hook it up: ~$100

    Total cost to you: $7510

    Hmm...I think that's right about the cost of an LS9!

    If you say "no, I don't need effects", I respond with the fact that many bands ask for a channel of verb or two and at least one other channel.

    And if you say "no, I don't need dynamics", I ask the question "well, are you just gonna not mic the drum kit then?"

    Then you have increased setup time to hook everything up, instead of simply recalling a scene that you made ahead of time, with all effects in the right place, EQs getting the proper sends, and dynamics selected (you get built in dynamics on every primary channel on a decent digital board).

    I can honestly say that I was fairly scared of working a digital board until I stepped up to an original 01V. Then learning the LS9 was a piece of cake.
     
  10. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I will second the suggestion to take a hard look at the LS9. Go to Yamaha's web site and download Studio Manager with the LS9 editor so you can play with the controls and understand the vast amount of flexibility that this console provides. You have dynamics and EQ on every input, mix, matrix and output bus, plus mixing and channel/fader linking options, scene snapshots, etc. If you can handle a modest amount of learning curve the flexibility compared with analog is pretty impressive. And for a fraction of the space and weight.

    Otherwise I have a few comments/questions:

    * If you are sticking with analog, why would you not consider the GL2800 instead of the
    Mackie console. For mid-level live audio A&H and Soundcraft seem to be the two staple brands ...

    * You are planning on self-powered subs ... why not self-powered mains? (SA1521)

    * For mic lavs, you might consider the Countyman B3 ... they are a bit more expensive but would likely be far more suitable for singing, and can be theatrically mounted (i.e. in the hairline or over the ear) very well.

    * On the CD player, and this is fairly important, determine what your viewing angle will be as the LCD display may be directional! I originally bought the American Audio dual CD only to find that the unit is meant to be installed in a DJ top-mount rack, and the viewing angle was BELOW the horizon . So when installed in my vertical rack I had to kneel down to below the unit's level in order to see the display! I swapped it out for the Stanton equivalent, which has the opposite viewing angle (i.e. above the horizon) and therefore more appropriate for vertical rack mount.

    -- John
     
  11. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Listen to us when we say go digital, the LS9 is a fantastic console, it's what I spec on my shows if an M7 is out of the question. I understand if you're set on analog, but I'm not a fan of the 4-bus Mackies. Look into finding a used Allen & Heath GL2200 or some form of Soundcraft (GB4, Series TWO). I second Soundlight's list of outboard that you'll need.

    As for mics, I would seriously hold off heavily investing in wireless right now until we know which way the pendulum swings at the FCC. Maybe get just one or two for now. I haven't used the ULX, but had 16 channels of SLX for a run of Music Man. They're decent systems, though I prefer the Sennheiser evolution stuff. ULX would work for you. As for vocals, look into either the Sennheiser e835 or e935. I love the sound of the 935 on vocals. Why go for the SM87? I've never seen them used (which isn't to say that they aren't). If you're deadset on Shure, look into getting the Beta87 instead.

    Instead of the SM94, take a look at the KSM109. Love the sound and reach on them. Get a few 57's of course, but you might want to look into adding a couple Senni e609's. They can be found relatively cheap (got mine for $70 on eBay, B-stock). Much better on guitar than a 57. If you have the money, go for two Senni MD421's. What do you plan on using for kick? Look into the D6 from Audix. I assume you're using the Beta98's as your drum mics.

    I'd steer away from the quad EQ. I heard from one person who used it that it's clunky. Staying in the cheeper end, look at dbx, either the 2231 or the 1231. Also look into a DriveRack 260 as a system controller, since I don't see one listed.

    I can't comment on the CD player; I use QLab or iTunes for playback, or MiniDisk. Don't forget to include mic stands in your budget; and don't forget the shorty booms.

    And everyone has different tastes in audio equipment. I prefer Sennheiser mics and digital consoles. I prefer a Cadac over a Midas. This whole business is based on peoples' (I think that's grammatically correct) taste. We're not telling you what to buy, only you can make that decision, and preferably after you try it first as a demo or at the store. We're simply giving you suggestions from people who've been there and done that.
     
  12. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'd run away from Mackie as fast as possible. Since the suits at Loud took over the quality has tanked and customer service and repair parts is almost non-existant.

    Electro Voice warrants consideration for your speaker needs and can be had active or passive.
     
  13. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Point taken, respectfully.
    I understand your argument, and this is why I posted this, to catch things I use daily, just missed on my list. Thanks!

    I do run digital boards occationally, so I do know something about them. Right now, I'd still like to stay analog, but have no problem looking into digital. Thanks for your input.
     
  14. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    None of this will be purchased until next summer. We've got some time.
     
  15. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    On the LS9, is there a way to expand? I don't see any Stereo channels, stereo returns, group sends, etc etc. How do I get this stuff? I guess ideally, I need 40 channels.
     
  16. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    There are no stereo channels, and really you should not want any. Stereo channel are something that is put on less expensive boards as a way to increase channel count without actually adding more control. Now, you can marry or "link" channels together to get a stereo channel.

    You can add up to 32 more channels to the console. Its a rather easy thing to do, all you need to buy is a preamp that has a lightpipe (or ADAT) output. You hook up that output to the console, along with the Word Clock, and you are set. Patch those inputs to the next layer and your good to go.

    SameDayMusic.com: PreSonus DigiMax D8 8-Channel Mic Preamp
     
  17. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Footer already explained how to double up the input count. I know people doing essentially the same thing with an 01V. Yamaha makes an external mic pre, the AD8HR, but if you'd like to go cheaper, there's the Behringer AD8000 (or something like that). A friend of mine is using the Yamaha pres to up the input count on a DM2000 for a production he's working on. I'm not sure if the head amp recall works with the LS9, but I see no reason it wouldn't be (the Behringer box doesn't have recallable gain). You'll also need expansion cards (the exact model number escapes me at present). Though you can find them on Yamaha's website on the LS9 page under the Accessories tab.

    As for the stereo channels, the LS9 has four stereo returns (total of 8). THey're on rotary encoders directly to the right of the output master fader and above the user defined keys. Default patching is the returns from the internal effects, but they should be able to be patched to a group of inputs (my copy of Studio Manager is on a different HD partition, so I can't confirm this). As footer said, you can group channels on the input faders. I had a DJ provide music during changeovers on a festival, and I simply grouped two channels together for him. Easy as pie. I used the stereo returns for my effects, since I used the on-board reverbs and delay.

    There aren't any group sends per-se. How do you plan on using them? A friend with more experience than I was explaining how to set up the custom fader layer to act as DCA's, but I forgot the specifics of it. You could use that if you plan on using the groups to mix (ie, drums, vox, guitar, bass, etc routed from groups to mains). If you're looking to use them as outputs, use the auxes or the matrix. Also, I'm working up a way to get a pseudo aux-fed subs system going with the matrix. I have it down in theory, but need to get on the desk to try it out. I can't really do it on an analog desk.

    If you only need 40 channels, you can get some more outputs than the 16 already on the console the same way you add inputs. They also sell cards that have physical output XLRs in them.

    If you're not purchasing until next summer, keep some of these ideas in mind, and just keep track of what each group that you work with requires. It'll give you a refined list of features you'll need, then use that to decide on what pieces of gear you need to buy. Or even consider renting FOH for your shows, and use more money to build better racks and stacks, and microphones.
     
  18. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Part 1: I disagree. I find that the OM7 sounds better than any of the Shures (with the possible exception of the Beta 87) and the Senny dynamics as well.

    Part 2: I agree, however: I've yet to find a good sounding mic (865, 965, VX10, KMS105, AE5400, PR22) that has sufficient wash rejection as to be very usable. I have a VX10, and in five years I've been able to use it only a couple of times.
     
  19. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    As I said, mics are really about taste.

    For expanding channel count on the LS9, you can use Ethersound with the new SB168ES, which means that you can put the box really far away (or mount it in your wireless rack and hardwire all of your wireless to it). Or if you're using the line-level out of your wireless, you can mount a Yamaha DME Satellite 8iC unit and hook that up hardwired for 8 channels of wireless on an ethernet cable. You'd hook these up using the appropriate expansion card: Ethersound or Cobranet (I like Cobranet better as a protocol, and I really don't know about the remote headamp capabilities of the protocols).

    The important thing about the LS9 and digital in general that you have to realize is that you can assign almost ANY physical input to almost ANY control channel and almost ANY output signal to almost ANY physical output.
     
  20. TOG

    TOG Member

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    So this is a For Hire system, not an install.
    There's many variations on rack and FOH equipment and there's been a lot of excellent recommendations made. My concern is more practical:

    Have you taken the Mouth-Breathing Drooler user interface into consideration?

    The more costly the microphone the worse the odds are that some yerk is going to drop it or knock it over onto a cement floor someplace. Or blow into it really hard. I use Shure SM and Beta (vocals, amps, brass/stringed instruments, snare/kick drums), Audix (amps, brass instruments, rack toms, percussion), and Sennheiser (horns, floor toms) because they are fairly idiot proof. (I have access to $$$ studio mics as well, but they only come out for very controlled conditions.)

    For floor monitors get something with a super heavy-duty grill. You'd be amazed at how many idiots think musicianship is to stand on the monitors, grind their tuned-down guitars and look pouty...

    Avoid carpeted racks and speakers if it's at all possible. And never put expensive one-of-a-kind processors you need for a for show in an SKB case.
     

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