How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

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How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby BBox on Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:39 am

I am trying to figure out the best practical way to control my sound live when on stage. I don't like going through the house PA because sometimes you never know how it will sound or if the person controling the PA knows what they are doing.. they also control your overall volume.
Ive seen people going through a Bass or Keyboard amp.
Which is better? Any particular amps that sound best?
Any tips/advice would be helpful.

My set up is
EMX and Vocals :?:
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:14 am

If you're really worried about the FOH (Front Of House, i.e. the PA) sound, you ought to have your own soundman. It would be his job to make sure you sound like you think you should. That or haul your own system with you, if the club is small enough to allow it.

Either way, get to the club early enough to have a soundcheck - ASK for one. Run a program and go out front to hear how it sounds. POLITELY make recommendations if it's not what you want. It's always best to be nice to whomever is running the board, as they're the one who controls your fate, so to speak. Remember, it's their job to make the show sound good. The owner of the club wants people to come back, and if it sounds horrible, people will remember that more than if it sounded good.

If you really want an amp onstage, though, you should get yourself some sort of keyboard amp or a powered PA speaker (a bass amp will work, but is optimized for bass, not the full frequencies of your EMX). The thing to remember here is that you're controlling the sound you hear onstage and not what most of the club is going to hear. No matter how big your amp is, the main sound in the club will be the PA, unless you're playing basements (and that's another story altogether). Do NOT attempt to run your vocals through this amp, too: you'll only end up with a load of feedback.

This is just the bare minimum of what you need to know here. Other things I'd like to know inlcude the size of the places you're playing and how often you do play out? With a bit more information, we can come up with a plan to help you optimize what you need to do to sound your best.

Scott

P.S. - Full Disclosure: I was a partner in a company that provided live sound for many, many situations, from both bar band-size PAs to small stadiums (baseball) and large theatres. The largest we ever crowd we ever covered was about 15,000 people. I've also played out since I was young teen and I'm now in my mid-40's.
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby BBox on Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:53 am

Thanks Scott,
Ive been playing in small club/bar type places, sometimes house/loft parties.
Im doing shows every 6 weeks or so.
A friend of mine suggested getting 1 powered PA speaker. I have to try it out.
Do you recommend any particular brand of speaker or amp that would mesh well with the EMX?
Im figured its all a matter of taste and I should just try many different amps/speakers. Im originally a tone freak guitarist but Ive recently gotten more into electronic hardware. Ive done just a handful of shows with the new set up and have run into many problems when relying on a sound guy who isn't experienced or sometimes it just had to do with the PA itself not being of good quality. I figured getting a decent amp would solve this problem.. not into bringing in a whole PA. I like the bringing my own soundguy approach but isn't this offensive to the FOH working the board?
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:08 pm

Sounds like you could use your own system in many of the places you're playing, probably with no problems at all. Just talk to the owners/bookers ahead of time and see what they say. Granted, some places will have a contract to have their own system already, so those are the ones who you'll have to deal directly with the FOH guy working the board.

No, they shouldn't be offended. If they are, they're just not that experienced or they're being un-professional; either way you're going to have to deal with them anyway. Mind you, whomever you bring in is going to have to be as good as you can get, OK? Just be polite and courteous when you inform them you've got your own guy to mix - that's part of your show! Then ask the two of you should ask the FOH guy to give you a rundown of what he's got going on, paying attention and taking notes if you have to. That will put them at ease as well. If you have external effects to patch into the board, ask them about it and have your guy take care of that (practice together). It'll be much more professional and add to your performance and will result in you getting asked to come back.

How 'bout this: think of what you can do if you're mixing your stuff on stage (patterns, etc.) and then your PA guy starts doing stuff ala echo, reverb, etc., much like the dub mixers did back in the '70's and '80's (though I'm sure they do it now). It blew my mind the first time I heard that stuff go on in the middle of a band's set!

As far as what to use for a powered PA speaker, that kind of depends on your budget. I'm particular to JBL stuff, but there's plenty of others out there, too, including Mackie and Tapco (same design team) and Behringer even. Soooo ... what's your budget?

Scott
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby BBox on Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:25 pm

wouldn't want to spend more than a grand.. but I don't want to skimp out on quality,if its worth the investment.
Sounds like getting my own PA speakers are the way to go. Someone was saying that I could get 1 great quality speaker and it would do the job?? Would that work because your not getting left and right panning?
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:27 pm

No, you wouldn't get left/right with one speaker, if that's what you go with. For a grand you can get a pretty decent pair of powered speakers - look for the Mackie Thump 15 or the JBL EON series. Tapco are decent, too, and much, much cheaper. I'm sure the Behringer are in that same ballpark, price-wise.

Mind you, when you buy a powered speaker you're going to have a built-in mixer on each side, OK? You can always get another mixer to run your gear and mic into and then run out from that into the line ins on the speakers. That's the way I would do it, anyway.

What's the best? Well ... I don't know. That's really subjective, but I've always had good luck with JBL and Mackie. Never used the Tapco, other than their real old stuff, but everyone has told me they were happy with this new line. Behringer are hit and miss in my book - they're great bang for the buck, but their quality control is lacking. Some of their pieces are great and others (often the same product) just seem to fall apart. Try 'em but be wary, you know? My simple advice would be to make sure you get a 15" speaker to handle the low end, with as much wattage as you can afford.

Scott
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:31 pm

Here's the link to Sweetwater's Thump page: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Thump15/

Read the reviews!

No, I don't work for them, but my friend Jeffrey Green does. Yeah, I'm pimping him here! :lol: Either give them (him) a call or your favorite store and see what they recommend.

Scott
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby BBox on Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:05 pm

Great..
Im going to definitely test out some speakers. Liking the Mackies.
I've ordered from sweetwater a few times before. They have always been reliable.
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:45 am

Cool. Get back to us and let us know what you end up doing, OK?

Scott
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Re: How to get best live sound w/ Korg EMX w/out PA

Postby BBox on Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:20 pm

Awesome.. thanks.
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