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38 votes
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In live performance, what is a "monitor"

In many live music contexts, musicians have the problem of hearing themselves clearly. Typically when playing loud, musicians are positioned behind the main speakers (heard by the audience) to avoid ...
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14 votes

PA System: What type of speaker for that "punchy" bass?

Well first, the amount of power inherent in the average festival rig or even an installed club system will dwarf what you can get out of any four speakers on the planet. That chest-thumping kick drum ...
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14 votes
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Can phantom power damage an unpowered microphone?

The existing answers are correct, but just to simplify a bit into a 'common rule'. If your mic was made any time in the past 50 years or so & you use standard XLR>XLR cables, there is no ...
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10 votes

In live performance, what is a "monitor"

As a sound technician for my church, one of the most important roles is making sure the musicians can hear themselves. This is done by controlling the levels in the monitors. Often, these sit on the ...
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  • 201
10 votes

Should I use PA speakers for a full band all the time?

I went down a similar path to eventually starting a full band to accompany me on stage in paying gigs vs playing just for fun. My band has bass, two guitars, drums and vocal mics for all four ...
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8 votes
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Acoustic guitar with humbucker pickup sounds like an electric guitar, not acoustic

So this guitar is quite a unique model, the John Lennon signature. Its pickup is not an acoustic-guitar pickup at all but, well, basically a standard high-impedance humbucker in small format. It's no ...
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8 votes

PA System: What type of speaker for that "punchy" bass?

Key factors (hometheatershack.com) are your woofers' combined surface area; their displacement, achievable low Hz factors and an amplifier capable of delivering the power needs of the speaker ...
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  • 249
8 votes

How can I prevent clipping when using a microphone with a tube amp into a PA?

As already said, mic-preamp clipping cannot possibly be an issue if you use any amp that's legal to operate without a strategic weapons license, and the sound guys know what they're doing. I would add ...
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7 votes

In live performance, what is a "monitor"

Another term for monitoring is 'foldback', which sums it up quite nicely. The sound is re-routed via speakers- on stage or in ear,in order to be useful to each muso. Care needs to be taken that the ...
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  • 174k
7 votes

How can I prevent clipping when using a microphone with a tube amp into a PA?

Get better sound guys. Clipping is an electronic phenomenon when the input signal is too hot for the circuitry, so the tops and bottoms of the waveform are getting shaved off. (This is bad because ...
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7 votes
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Why would I use the "high pass" option of a subwoofer?

Without precise time alignment, trying to provide bass from multiple sources could lead to interference patterns which would cause the low end sound to be way too loud in some parts of the room and ...
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7 votes

Can phantom power damage an unpowered microphone?

As long as you don’t have a ribbon microphone then it will not damage your other microphones.
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7 votes

Can phantom power damage an unpowered microphone?

It depends on how your microphone is wired. If your microphone is wired symmetrically the two +48V contacts will just sit on opposite sides and create a 0-potential. This is why it is called phantom ...
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6 votes

How can I prevent clipping when using a microphone with a tube amp into a PA?

Clipping in this situation could be caused by: 1) the microphone not being the most appropriate to the task at hand, and not being able to capture your audio without, well, clipping. Positioning the ...
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  • 4,186
5 votes

What are my options to incorporate a sub-woofer into a PA system for live music performance?

I agree that looking at the future configuration you want is a good idea becuase that way you're not spending money on something now and then spending more to replace it later. From that point of view,...
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4 votes

Electric guitar effects and amplification

Who told you you can't use you home PA? Sure enough, if you just plug the guitar right in a PA, it'll sound somewhat boring, but there's no reason you could not do it anyway. In fact, such a “...
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4 votes
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Should I buy an amp or a monitor (PA system)

Based on the scenario you described and the way you plan to use your system, I would recommend a Powered Speaker/Monitor/Portable PA. This Harbinger Vari V2212 600W 12-Inch Two-Way Class D ...
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3 votes

1 or 2 PA speakers?

I do plenty of 'little' gigs on one speaker. And it's often pointing at me more than at the audience. Also consider this point: Some gigs have the audience sat down in rows with everyone wanting to ...
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3 votes

1 or 2 PA speakers?

It depends. If you are outside then having two speakers will help in two ways: First, you need a lot more power outside than inside. The sound just goes and goes and never bounces off a back wall, so ...
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3 votes

Why do PA speakers driven with more power deliver clearer and better sound?

Leaving aside questions of build quality, component quality, etc.: The answer is actually very simple. All audio reproduction systems have what we call an "operational range." This is the softest ...
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  • 1,859
3 votes

Are there different standards for XLR cabling?

Are there different standards for XLR cabling? Yes. The XLR connectors has been used for a lot of different things. They were invented around 1950. In audio today it is mostly standardized, but ...
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  • 1,864
3 votes

Should I use PA speakers for a full band all the time?

Rockin Cowboy has comprehensively covered a lot of points! A couple more thoughts for you. Consider what sort and size venues the band may be gigging at. There's a fair difference between a bar that ...
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  • 174k
2 votes

Why do PA speakers driven with more power deliver clearer and better sound?

Several reasons: Size Matters Not: You write, "But I have observed that a 1000 watt speaker compared to a 500 watt speaker of the same size" (emphasis mine). It doesn't matter that the sizes are the ...
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2 votes
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Electric guitar effects and amplification

The guitar amps you have most likely have some "effects" on them already. Most guitar amps allow you to select either a clean signal or a distorted overdrive signal (at living room levels). Also, ...
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2 votes

How can I prevent clipping when using a microphone with a tube amp into a PA?

If your board has VU meters (input level meters), that would be a great way to determine if the mic is clipping your signal. If there is audible clipping before your meter indicates your signal is in ...
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  • 21
2 votes

How can I prevent clipping when using a microphone with a tube amp into a PA?

Two options not mentioned so far are: Run another amp and cab offstage and mic that one. This does require a signal splitter, so you can get the tone you want on stage, while doing something ...
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  • 36.3k
2 votes

Which way should I point subwoofers in a small-medium sized venue?

It's somewhat dependent on what the speakers are for. One assumes p.a., for vocals. That will mean there's no great need, in smaller venues, for sub-woofers anyway. If it's for the whole band, a disco ...
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  • 174k
2 votes
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Daisy Chaining Mixers

Plug the mixer straight into the powered mixer, using one channel (or two if stereo). Plug whatever you need into the mixer, which I guess is a powered mixer amp., leaving the eq. flat on the powered ...
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  • 174k
2 votes

Equalize on Mixer vs equalize on Instrument

I started writing a long answer about the different responsibilities of the performer (make the sound you want the audience to hear) and the engineer (convey that sound as accurately as possible, ...
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2 votes

Live set-up for electric guitar without any amp

'connect my guitar to the PA system'. We don't know what type of PA system it is. It might be a real PA, or it could be a glorified home stereo. So we're going to have to make an assumption that it's ...
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