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Thread: sound requirements for certain numbers...

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    sound requirements for certain numbers...

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    can someone please advise me on sound requirements for different numbers for live concerts/shows? i would categorize the numbers as follows:

    sound/setup requirements for 100 - 300 people
    sound/setup requirements for 300 - 500 people
    sound/setup requirements for 500 - 700 people
    sound/setup requirements for 700 - 1000 people
    etc.

    by the way...i'm doing hip hop concerts/shows. just wanted to know what would be required or ideal for great sound (mics, cabinets, monitors, snakes, DI's, mixers, etc.).

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    Really, the cubic feet of the venue as well as the substrates involve in it's structure, and target area spl has more to do with sound system requirements. Yeah, adding more people can change that, but not much really. You just need a bit more overhead in the high's cause that is mostly what the audience is going to absorb.

    Placement of the system can have a big effect too.

    Too many variables to answer with any kind of accuracy. I have done live sound professionally for over 15 years, from coffee houses to 50k plus festivals. I can say with certainty that unless I plan to possibly provide overkill on the sound system, I really need to see the venue.

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    i undertsand that, but is there no GENERAL guide anyone can give me at least. a starting point or something!!!!

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    Really, the room and how loud you expect it to be at a certain spot will dictate the sound system requirements.

    With just the general "specs" you gave, I would say you need at least 1000 watts per side. For venues that I have worked at in the 1000 person range, these systems were typically around 20k watts for front of house, and monitors depends on how many mixes you need. Call it at least 600 watts per mix, but to have a kick ass monitor mix, around 1000 watts per mix. Since the stage volume in your case is going to be quite low (no band), you could get away with maybe 300-400 watts per monitor mix.

    Since you are thinking of hiphop shows, your system requirements really shoot up because you NEED insane bass. To give the audience a great show, you need a lot of watts in the bass. TONS OF HEADROOM!!! So, really, I would say that you could start at your subs needing a minimum of 2000 watts themselves even for a small venue. Then the mid/high speakers need their wattage.

    It really isn't as simple as you think. Without knowing a target spl and the room dimensions, it it impossible to say what will make you happy for said amount of people, and again, the number of people really isn't what is going to change the equasion. The room size and target spl DOES though!

    For mics, I like Beta 58's for live work. Robust, and can handle some crap. Really, any mixer that covers your need will be fine. It IS just hiphop.

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    This is what event producers and techies do, and there is a reason they get paid good money to do a thing called sound design - because you aren't going to find an easy answer for free on the internet.
    Each situation is vastly different. Yes there are some general guidelines that might be set out, but big live shows are all about the details - hundreds of little things that all need to be in place.
    If you have to ask these questions, and you are actually setting up these shows, call a local professional.

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    Yeah, I'll have to agree with the other guys- there's no one-stop-shop for what PA to buy.

    However, for what you've described, here's a couple of tips:

    Hip-hop shows will usually require wireless mics, and those mics should (at least) be Shure SM58s. Do to the high-energy performance, there's a lot of heavy breathing, a lot of movement, a lot of everything that you really don't want to have. The 58 has good internal pop-filtering, and a wireless version will stop your artists tripping over themselves and destroying your cables. Of course, the 58 is a baseline, you can always experiment, but it IS the industry standard for a reason... You should be able to pick up a couple of UC (wireless) models- they usually suffice for the smaller gigs, and, whilst they don't have the greatest reliability, they are a bucketload cheaper than buying a new ULX or SLX system...

    Monitoring for these gigs is a synch- in-ears. There's so much crowd noise at some of these gigs that you're mad to go otherwise. Sure, you can chuck a wedge in front of the artist to give them a bit of "feeling" for the sound, but the isolation and clarity offered by in-ears is phenominal. HOWEVER in-ears require a really good monitor engineer (that's another point, if you're serious, and can afford one, get yourself a seperate monitor engineer). You will also find the artists much more willing to accept the in-ears if you put a "crowd" mic near the front of stage, then play that into the monitor mix at a lower lever; this maintains the "connection" to the audience that makes these gigs go off. Without the crowd response (which is lost due to the isolation of the in-ears) the artists feel uncomfortable, leading to a shit show.

    DIs. Well, any really. I know I shouldn't say that, but, at the end of the day, at a hip-hop gig, you're not going to notice a bit of transformer noise amidst the music and the lyrics.

    As for everything else you've asked for, like the others have said, it's very venue dependant. I once used a 50kW/side system on a crowd of about 600, then, the next week, used a 10kW/side system for 800 people. The only real way to learn what you need where is experience. Call you local tech(s). See if you can work in some local venues that do similar gigs to what you want to do. Ask people questions- check out people's gear. If you're at a venue, and it sounds crap, take note of what they've got, and what exactly sounded crap about it. If it sounds hot, then also take notes.

    But, most importantly, ask people questions. Sometimes they'll be reluctant, espically after a hard gig, but you don't know until you try. And these forums are a good place to catch people when they are most receptive.

    Hope this helped you, if you've got any more specific questions, please don't hesitate
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    For hip hop hire pros, they will spec out the gear needed. Alot of the guys I know will straight out say No and will not work with hip hop acts. They have really bad reps for destroying equipment. You need overkill everything when working with DJ's and hip-hop. What I would typically put in a large club for a heavey rock band is just a montior rig in a small club for hip hop....

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    yeah, hip-hop gigs are norotious gear wreckers, but with a bit of foresight, you can minimise that... in-ears save wedges from being trampled, the right PA and amps will make sure you don't destroy your speakers, so on and so forth. The habit of just throwing more power at a gig and hoping that it will work will not cut it, a good knowledge of your gear, and what you want to do will let you walk away unscathed...

    My motto is "It's just another gig"... just approach it logically, and it will all work out apples.
    www.shagtech.com
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    I spend my days getting paid to push around air.
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    Wireless is a good idea.

    Shure UC is more expensive than SLX or ULX, actually. It offers software/hardware control options not needed by most people. It is also extremely reliable.

    SLX will work fine, though the transmitter tends to overload. Just watch your gain structure. ULX is a step up, but in many ways, again, you won't need it as the pluses are things like being able to run twenty or so at one time.

    A monitor rig for many different acts is not the place for someone's first in-ear monitor experience. In-ears can be very dangerous, and unsettling, and can throw off someone not used to them. Besides that, you will need a set of earmolds or foam for every different performer for a given night, and a limiter for each channel is an absolute necessity. And will have to clean them every night as well. Get wedges.

    58s work great, I prefer something hypercardioid for hip-hop, they sound better and are more stable in the monitors when cupped.
    Last edited by easychair; 12-05-2005 at 17:27.
    Happy Holidays

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    ah, actaully you're right there.. the UC is more expensive than the SLX... how about that....
    I don't ever buy wireless mics, I jsut hire them.. the age and saturation of the UC series makes them cheaper to hire... well, out here that's true anyway...

    anyhoo, 62 hours in 5 days... need to sleep for 3 hours before I start for another 12 tomorrow...
    www.shagtech.com
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    I spend my days getting paid to push around air.
    That fact is both amazing and depressing.

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