Nick_williamso 2010-03-13 20:38:03
I’m hoping to do some small pub gigs on my own – just guitar + voice +
backing tracks – and I don’t know what kind or size of equipment would
be best suited to the job. I know I’ll need some kind of small PA
system but I don’t know the pros and cons of powered mixers as opposed
to separate mixer + amp, and so on. Likewise with the backing tracks,
I’m undecided about using a CD player or an MP3 player.
Recommendations about different makes and models of PA would be
appreciated too. Mike-wise, would I be as well with a Shure SM-58 as
The whole thing will be really low-key – I don’t need much volume at
all, it’s more that I want to mix and balance the overall sound.
Guitar-wise, I plan on plugging my Takamine acoustic straight in, and
taking the outputs from my Roland VG-8 straight into the desk as well
(not using a guitar amp).
Dom_cole 2010-03-13 20:38:06
the most important equipment is the public liability insurance,
Or you are likly to get sued!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jonathan j qui 2010-03-13 20:38:08
Don’t use backing tracks. If you can’t play it yourself, use real musicians
to provide the backing. Backing tracks are gradually killing live music, and
I have made them illegal.
Re the rest, a small powered mixer (200w+) and an SM58 should do fine for
solo gigs (that’s gigs where you play on your own without or live musicians
and don’t use backing tracks :-).
Email: jj at jjquick dot com
Nick_williamso 2010-03-13 20:38:51
Dom, I don’t understand the comment about insurance! I know my singing
isn’t the greatest, but surely… 🙂
JJ, Regarding backing tracks, I hear what you say but:
i. the pub in question is so small that you couldn’t physically fit a
band into the space allocated to performers. Me on my own is the only
option, and my guitar playing is a lot better than my singing, so I
want to play solos and improvise. The kind of music I want to play
will sound better if I have backing.
ii. the volume of a band – even a small band playing sensitively – is
far more than the pub would want. At least with a CD track, I can get
a band sound at low volume.
iii. I have tried, and failed, to find people in my locality who want
to play the same kind of stuff as I do and are available to do it. I’d
*rather* play with a band than solo, but I’ve not been able to find
iv. It’s not a pub that has a great music scene, so it’s not as if
there are hundreds of musicians all fighting to get a gig there. I’m
talking about a Monday night with 20-30 people in! As much as
anything, I’d be playing for the love of it.
Anyway, thanks for the comments so far – duly noted. I’m still looking
for other musicians so anyone in the Stockport / Manchester area –
feel free to drop me a line.
Rog bell 2010-03-13 20:38:56
I did That For years
My gear comprised:
Peavey 684 mixer amp 1 side running main pa the other running a 15″+horn
Celestion Road 15″+horn
fender strat straight into pa using adigitech rp6 multi eff pedal
I transfered all my backing tracks onto a sony mini disc
It all worked great 4 me good luck
William black 2010-03-13 20:39:04
I’m currently looking at the new Alesis 6fx which is about 90 for a mixer
and plugging that into my Samson SX20 powered speakers.
However I’m old and have a bad back and am really interested in the stuff
being easy to move around.
The Alesis has a built in effects chip which cuts down on the stuff to carry
with the same inputs as a Soundcraft mini pad (or whatever it’s called)
On time, on budget, or works;
Pick any two from three
Gary wright 2010-03-15 04:29:38
I have a musicguard policy, and it does cover public liability as well as
covering your gear.
I think what Dom may have been implying is that you only need some
inebriated idiot to trip over one of your speaker stands and he will be
straight along to the ambulance chasing ‘no win no fee’ lawyers.
I have played regularly in a place where you are almost ‘in’ the audience,
and I must say that having the insurance policy does make me feel rather
better about things of that kind.
As far as gear goes, I have a Yamaha powered mixer. Very nice, and does
basic effects as well as 3 band per channel EQ and a master EQ. The SM58
has always been fine, but I would ask a seperate ‘what mic do you recommend’
question on here and try a few out down the shops. I think we may all buy
SM58’s cos everyone uses them to good effect, but I’ll bet that there are
better sounding mics out there for the same (or less) money.
Good stable speaker stands are a worthwhile investment IMO. And a torch for
finding lost plectrums in a dark pub 😉 Yes, I am tight. And a stun gun
for the aforementioned drunk who suddenly believes that his singing career
is about to take off….
Jon boyes 2010-03-15 04:30:04
For smallest gigs (usually small restaurants) I use a Fender Passport System
which is a compact all in one 150W jobbie thats packs itself into a suitcase
(kind of, not including speaker stands). Also available in 250w, and the
latest models have a Bose-designed speaker cab which sounds great with
acoustic guitar. Um, well it does with nylon anyway. I’m very pleased with
it and a load of other guys on the flamenco forum use them too. The Peavey
Escort is another all in one solution although the speaker stands look like
bamboo poles. *Generally*, all in one solutions don’t sound as good as
seperates, so there is that trade off for portability.
For backing, I dump everything to minidisc and use a portable (shock proof)
MD player. In all, quite a compact system that gets me a good hi-fi sound –
the Passport has a stereo input on one of its channels. A friend of mine
uses an MP3 player for backing (The Apple Mac one) and he’s pleased with
that too. I’m sure there’s a good reason not to use a CD player, but I can’t
for the life of me remember what it is…
The thing to consider when buying though, is whether you will really just be
doing tiny pubs all the time – you may think that now, but what happens when
someone at the pub asks you to play their wedding? I’d think about going for
something bigger than you need so you have plenty of scope.
My second, larger rig, which I tend to use for pubs and clubs (and which I
actually bought first) is a Yamaha 400W powered mixer with 2 x 12 Yamaha
Pros of powered mixers: less to carry around
Cons: if it needs repairing, you lose your mixer AND your amp (which is why
a back-up system is handy..)
T n nurse 2010-03-15 04:30:19
Moving parts – easily broken. Burning Cds is a pain, downloading to
flash memory is fast and easy.
NP: GTA Vice City