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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Choosing a PA System

9. Putting it all Together

Now let's look at it all in action, using a typical small band set up:

Here we have a band with four instruments - guitar, bass, keyboards and drums - and three vocalists. There is a mic for the guitar amp, four mics for the drums, and three mics for the singers. The keys are DI’d, using two channels for a stereo mix, and the bass is also DI’d, using a single channel. A twelve channel mixer with at least eight mic channels is required, leaving one spare. Note also that there are two foldback monitors taking a feed from an auxiliary output of the mixer.

Vocal monitoring

Like or not, the focus of the audience for much of the performance will be on the singer. And if singers can't hear themselves, they have little hope of doing the job expected of them. No matter how competent the rest of the band might be, a singer who is out of tune will ruin the whole performance, so it’s essential to get the monitoring for the singers right.

A good option these days is in-ear monitoring, which gives each user a high level of control over what they hear from the mix, without compromising the overall sound on stage. However, there is still a risk of damage to hearing if you monitor at too high a volume. For more information, read our Online Guide to In-Ear Monitoring.

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Choosing a PA System overview

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