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Thread: Buying A PA System (UPDATE!!!)

  1. #1
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    Buying A PA System (UPDATE!!!)

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    So I have to put on a live event once a month now with something that came up and I wanna do it right so my budget is about $1,100. I'm kinda new to all this but willing to learn. I don't know exactly all I need.


    I will need to have 4 MICs set up and would love to have 2 speakers. The first 2 MICs are for vocals (singing), one is for the acoustic guitar, and the last MIC is wireless. There will be a 88-key keyboard plugged into the mixer, the speakers, wireless MIC, and 3 other MICs. I believe that's it for now. There will be no drums or guitar amps or anything.

    This is what I have chosen at the moment.

    Mackie 1202VLZ4 (with this mixer can it add reverb, if so how?)
    Audio-Technica AT2020 (have 3 brand new in box already for $240, can return if needed)
    TONOR UHF

    As for the speakers I was kinda thinking on the Rockville Dual 12. I'm not sure if I need anything else for the speakers or if these would work or even work well.

    I guess apart from accessories for the MICs, the only other thing I need are the speakers. I'm not sure what to go with. It's not a HUGE event, like 50 people in a church sanctuary. But I would like to future-proof some.

    I don't quite understand power and non-powered mixers and speakers and what works with what, and I know the MICs have to have Phantom power which that mixer should provide the power for all 4 XLR slots for the MICs if I ever do get another XLR.

    Now after an hour of live singing I will need to play music via Bluetooth with my cell phone through the speakers also for the next hour. So it's an hour for live and hour for Bluetooth music playlist.

    Am I missing anything? This is pretty simple it seems but learning the technical stuff is harder. What would you do in my situation?
    Last edited by Broth3rz; 08-06-2019 at 11:39.

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    Some thoughts:

    The mixer is small, but will do the job. It's not a bad one to start with. However, if you want reverb you will need to buy an external reverb unit and patch it in using the Aux sends and returns.

    You've picked condensor mikes which I wouldn't recommend for live situations, specially if you new to this. They can be difficult to manage and you may be fighting with feedback. You can get cheap dynamic mikes that will be more stable in a live situation. Think Shure SM58. If they are too expensive, you can get cheap Behringer mikes that will do the job.

    I can't comment on the bluetooth mike.

    You've picked passive speakers . . . so you need an amplifier to drive them. You would connect mixer to amplifier, then amplifier to mixer.

    Alternatively, you can go for a pair of powered speakers and go straight from mixer to amplifier.

    Don't forget the leads and stands you will need.

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    Others will chime in, but........

    - The Mackie mixer does not have reverb or other effects, otherwise a good mixer.
    - Return the AT2020 mics. More suitable for live use would be dynamic mics such as Shure SM58's or similar for the vocalists.
    - Putting it bluntly the Tonor UHF mic would likely be junk.
    - The Rockville speakers are 'passive', they need a power amp or powered mixer to operate them. Two 'powered' PA speakers that have builtin amplification is what you would want if using a mixer like the Mackie. Some Powered speakers may have Bluetooth that could be used to play back music.
    - Does the acoustic guitar have electronics so is can be plugged in. Add a magnetic pickup possibly if it has no electronics. Micing a guitar on stage would present challenges.


    For inexpensive dynamic mics these are supposedly reported to be OK..... Behringer XM8500 Microphone
    I have no experience with them.
    Last edited by arcaxis; 08-04-2019 at 15:59.
    Mark.......

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    So find new speakers... and go with dynamic range MICs.

    The budget on 3 MICs are $300, so $100 each. So I could do the Shure SM58. Would they really be that much better then the AT2020?

    As for the wireless MIC, it has good reviews but I only need it for the first 30 minutes then maybe once in awhile to say something. If anything I could switch to the other main MICs and return the wireless, I wouldn't mind trying it though.

    What should I do speaker wise with my mixer? Do I no matter what have to have a amplifier? I use Amazon mostly, but I can use other sites. Link me up!

    As for the reverb, what is the actual name of a reverb unit? I just wanted some simple reverb, nothing crazy.

    The guitar will not be electric acoustic, though if possible I would rather use that and may plug into the mixer if I can, but as of now it's not electric.

    Thanks for the help!

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    For live work, yes, the 58s are better than the AT2020. The AT2020s are condensor mics which are much more prone to feedback. being new to sound reinforcement, you'll have a more difficult time trying to prevent that. If the 58s are too expensive, you can find alternates which will work just as good or better for a lower price.

    For the bluetooth thing, I have something called a Cicada. It is a bluetooth receiver which you can plug into your mixer. I'm sure there are similar devices on Amazon.

    I'm pretty sure Rockville sells powered PA speakers. With powered speakers, you don't need to think about a separate amp.

    Can you visit other churches to see what they are doing for music and PA systems?

    Also, be sure to scour the used market, you can get some really great deals.

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    This Rockville kits seems to have pretty much everything you need:

    https://www.rockvilleaudio.com/rpg2x10/

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    With live sound, you get accidents. SM58s hot the deck hard and keep running. The AT's won't! Too delicate. Unless you need absolutely no wires, avoid radio mics totally. The most expensive one is nearly as good as a $10 cable. I agree with the others - something simple, a reverb built in and active speakers will do for this job. The killer for PAs is when you get bigger and you need to make bass and drums louder. at that point the smaller systems roll over and die. yesterday at a pub there was a Madness band, using their small PA for just vocals, with keys, drums, bass and guitar on their own - sounded absolutely fine.

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    Go with this Mackie mixer: Mackie ProFX8v2 8-channel Mixer with USB and Effects | Sweetwater $220.00
    I agree with others in avoiding a wireless mic. A good one will cost you half your budget.

    3 SM58s - $300 You're going to need stands and cables. $150. You're already at $670 and no speakers yet. Can you not rent a system nearby? How soon do you need this? Yuocan buy used from Guitar Center and have them ship to your local store.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    Go with this Mackie mixer: Mackie ProFX8v2 8-channel Mixer with USB and Effects | Sweetwater $220.00
    I agree with others in avoiding a wireless mic. A good one will cost you half your budget.

    3 SM58s - $300 You're going to need stands and cables. $150. You're already at $670 and no speakers yet. Can you not rent a system nearby? How soon do you need this? Yuocan buy used from Guitar Center and have them ship to your local store.
    So I will return the 3 2020's and get 3 SM58s.

    Why did you chose the Mackie ProFX8v2? Since it has the effects on it? Other then that is it any better then the 1202?
    What would the external reverb device be called to plug into a mixer anyways?

    I need this in 1 month from now. So I really just need to get the speakers chosen and I guess I'm set apart from accessories. Then I can post my entire setup, which I can go to $1,100 if really needed.

    I want and need to use all my OWN gear so I'm no liable if anything breaks. Plus I don't wanna have to rely on people for this.

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    in this price range, there's not really huge amounts of differences to compare - the Mackie has a basic but useful spec and is cheap - 165 here in the UK typically. 4 mics, graphic and reverb thrown in. Add a pair of active speakers, maybe two stands and you are away. in fact - you'll probably pay over half the cost of the mixer for 4 mic stands! So it's pretty much a bargain mixer. Speaker wise, I heard a pair of these a couple off weeks back - Turbosound Milan M12's and thought they sounded rather nice. They're not the cheapest in the 12" active market, but rather useful products that can be used as floor monitors too. still doable within your budget.

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