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Old 11-16-2019, 06:26 AM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Default Amps vs no amps

I'm in a working (2 gigs a week) duo. I wrote in another thread aobut the continued failure of our on stage amps.

We talked about this some last night. To take it to the next level, sound wise, and dependability wise, would this make sense:

Our powered speakers of choice at QSC K8's. Perfect tone for us. We never have a sound man, we aren't playing big enough venues.

How about a quality mixer, right on stage. We both plug into that. 2 QSC's behind us, and then maybe a JBL 610 (which we own as a backup) as a monitor wedged in front. We aren't Tommy Emmanuel of course but he uses the PA for 99% of his sound it seems like. Any thoughts? thanks
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:36 AM
Irish Pennant Irish Pennant is offline
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I'm biased towards passive mixers and powered speakers. For me, by themselves, it's usually not a good enough sound and I augment the system with some kind of pedal board.

A word of caution, going with a mixer may be a slippery slope into the rabbit hole of chasing sound. I have a box full of pedals that will attest to it.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:45 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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A good plan. You could also use a single K8 high and behind. Where there is space 10 feet back is ideal. Higher for louder gigs (for your comfort). A few different guitars and powered speakers over the years, but always this same simple set up. In the last year I've also ditched the mixer and XLR-Y the two SM58s directly into the CP8. I use a TRS cable to connect the two guitars (their pedals) to the other CP8 channel via its 3.5mm input. Since we did not need the inputs, used our own effects via the pedals, and never used the mixer EQ, it was just a large collection of knobs to set right after being randomized in transit.

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Old 11-16-2019, 08:12 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Pennant View Post
I'm biased towards passive mixers and powered speakers. For me, by themselves, it's usually not a good enough sound and I augment the system with some kind of pedal board.



A word of caution, going with a mixer may be a slippery slope into the rabbit hole of chasing sound. I have a box full of pedals that will attest to it.

Just a note on word usage. In live sound lingo, a “powered mixer” has a power amp built in. An “unpowered mixer” uses a separate power amp. Both of these us AC or DC power however.

A “passive mixer” is a simple resistance mixer that uses no power beyond what is present in the input signals. These are rarely used in live audio.

You are using “passive mixer” when you mean “unpowered mixer”.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:21 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoryDavis View Post
I'm in a working (2 gigs a week) duo. I wrote in another thread aobut the continued failure of our on stage amps.

We talked about this some last night. To take it to the next level, sound wise, and dependability wise, would this make sense:

Our powered speakers of choice at QSC K8's. Perfect tone for us. We never have a sound man, we aren't playing big enough venues.

How about a quality mixer, right on stage. We both plug into that. 2 QSC's behind us, and then maybe a JBL 610 (which we own as a backup) as a monitor wedged in front. We aren't Tommy Emmanuel of course but he uses the PA for 99% of his sound it seems like. Any thoughts? thanks
First you did not state if you guys do vocals but assuming you do ?

For me being a singing Acou. Gtr player. I always used a PA type system for my gigs . Always liked having one system to do it all, rather than hauling a PA and an Amp.
With the QSC 8's for a good quality mixer ? me I would definitely consider a SoundCraft Signature series probably the 10 for straight PA live work. Or if I was serious about recording the live performances I would get the 12 MTK signature

The only limitation the 10 has compared to the 12 MTK deals only with recording as it only has 2 USB channels out. Which may be fine but you will be doing all the mixing on the 10 live and can only transfer the already mixed sound to a DAW.
With the 12 you can output up to 12 channels So you can output the two vocals and the two guitars each on their own channels for later mixing in the DAW
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:21 AM
DoryDavis DoryDavis is offline
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Thanks, these are all great replies. I should have specified, we are instrumental only.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:44 PM
Spook Spook is offline
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You could each have your own pedal board (assuming you each want control of your own sound) then feed the signals to a 2 channel DI then on to the QSC's.

Not a big fan of mixers. Features (e.g. EQ freq's) are not really designed for guitar and they are often driven to lowest possible price point.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:50 PM
Oregon Donor Oregon Donor is offline
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The added headroom of a mixer+speakers over an amp has been a tremendous step up for me. I bought a Soundcraft Notepad 12fx and a pair of EV ZXA1s and these have become my go-to for solo or duo gigs. Also just got a Soundcraft Signature 10 but I had issues with it when I used it last night for the first time (I like a high-gain vocal signal, but I had to set my Heil PR22’s gain at about 80% during PFL to get useable levels; no feedback through the night but this didn’t seem right.)
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:46 AM
guitarwebguy guitarwebguy is offline
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Since you are both instrumentalists, I’ll suggest a rather unorthodox idea. QSC 8’s are a great choice for powered speakers instead of going the mixer path what if each of you used a Grace Design Alix or Felix that you fed the outputs directly into the QSC’s? The QSC 8’s give you the power and the Felix/Alix’s give you the tweaking to make each of your instruments sound as you want them.
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:41 AM
larren larren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon Donor View Post
The added headroom of a mixer+speakers over an amp has been a tremendous step up for me. I bought a Soundcraft Notepad 12fx and a pair of EV ZXA1s and these have become my go-to for solo or duo gigs. Also just got a Soundcraft Signature 10 but I had issues with it when I used it last night for the first time (I like a high-gain vocal signal, but I had to set my Heil PR22’s gain at about 80% during PFL to get useable levels; no feedback through the night but this didn’t seem right.)
G'day Oregon Donor, the gain structure is different on Soundcraft mixers than most others. I have recently replaced my Yamaha mixers with Soundcraft, and have 2 Signature 16 and a Signature 12. You do have to push the gain more on these mixers, and it at first, I too was thinking there was an issue, but had a talk to a friend who is a professional FOH Engineer, and he assured me all was OK, and this is how these mixers work.

I've used Yamaha MG mixers for quite a few years, and was happy with them, but the newer models have different preamps, and they are quite harsh, and very toppy (I had to pull a heap of top end out of the preamps to get a similar EQ to the older models set flat). I bought a Soundcraft Signature 16 for the school I work at, and after finding out how nice the preamps are, I decided to replace my own Yamahas with them. Best live sound I've had for years!

I've attached a link to a video of a guy showing how to set the gain on a Signature 16.........I don't agree with everything he says, but the vid shows how the gain structure works on these mixers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV2-JHB0ckA
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