View Full Version : Pa system setup tips?

March 8th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Anyone know of any idiot guides/online guides for setting up a pa system for a small bar gig.
Or has anyone got any sound engineering tips? I just ordered a new peavey messenger pa system (2x12" speakers, 2 bass bins, a power amp and cabling). We also have a Beheringer mixing desk and a bunch of Mics. Our drummer sings lead vocals so we're gonna try get him a monitor so he can hear his vocals clearly. I'm pretty inexperienced at this stuff so any tips would be most welcome.

March 8th, 2009, 03:52 PM
First a couple of questions. What are putting through the PA? Just vocals or are you miking drums and instruments? How big are your venues? Oh, and an idea of the PA's power rating would help.

Self-powered speakers are the way to go for monitors IMO. Oh and FOH too, you'd be amazed how much they simplify your setup. You just need a shed load of mic cables.

March 8th, 2009, 04:15 PM
This is a pretty tough subject to cover completely on a forum post. I suggest you just go talk to your local music store to see the proper way to get it all set up.

March 8th, 2009, 04:21 PM
So we have a power amp with 2 590 watt channels. We have 2 300w subwoofers and two 200 watt speakers. I assume that with the power amp we cannot exceed 590 on each channel, therefore 1 speaker and 1 bass bin each side would be 500w each. I guess that means that any monitors we add will need to be self powered as we'll be running low on available wattage from the power amp.

The venues will vary but all are medium/small pubs (nothing outdoors). We'll be sending 1 x lead vocal, 1 x backing vocal, 1 x bass drum, 1 x Mic from guitar amp, 1 x acoustic guitar to the PA.

March 8th, 2009, 04:24 PM
This is a pretty tough subject to cover completely on a forum post. I suggest you just go talk to your local music store to see the proper way to get it all set up.

Ok thanks, it's all pretty new to me so I thought I'd see what advice I could get here first.

March 8th, 2009, 04:36 PM
Well that sounds like enough power for that number of inputs. No headroom problems there so a good clean vocal sound should be no problem as long as you get the gains set properly on the desk. Run the gains up until they clip and then back off a notch. You may need to use the pad switch for the guitar amp mic if the gain pot doesn't have enough range. Set the level with the faders. Go!
The amp and speakers seem to be a good match. Remember that you may not get all of that 590w depending on the impedance the power amp "sees". I can't really give you any setup tips without seeing the rig. It's all come a long way from an HH MA100, two column speakers and a couple of mics :) With a PA of that size you should be able to let it do a lot of the "heavy lifting" and keep your onstage volume down. Better for everybody.

March 16th, 2009, 03:43 AM
In case anyone else is looking for information on this topic I eventually found some excellent guides here:


there's not alot of info out there for newbie PA users but these articles were about the best I could find. He's approaching from a DJ perspective but the same principles apply.