Help me improve my live sound quality!

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davdud101
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2018/01/18 22:09:08 (permalink)

Help me improve my live sound quality!

Years and years ago, my church built this sound system. We do a few musical performances every now and again, but our hall is quite small and isn’t very nice acoustically, nor is it designed for performance (as far as staging/seating). But we’re experiencing that FOR those performances, the quality of the audio is EXTREMELY subpar, especially when it comes to backing tracks and recorded audio. A LOT of hiss, and we can’t get the volume loud enough without distorting, and that’s a risk not worth taking. In a way, when you want to make things a bit special with some nice, rehearsed music, it's a real let-down when thesound quality is just too bad to listeners to enjoy what they're hearing.
 
Here are our components. I haven’t had a chance to tinker with any settings at all, but I’m thinking just from looking at these nice components that a lot can be done just with what we have to make big improvements before spending a dime.
 
 
2x Shure PGX2 wireless mics + recievers —>
Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer (Analog) —>
dbx ZonePRO 640 DSP —>
Two large signal amps - not sure what brand/model —>
Several (3 or 5 pairs) Atlas SM52T’s (5.25")
 
 
I reckon it’s the end of the chain - the Altas speakers - that’s translating all of the sound produced by these pretty reasonably high quality components from reputable brands into horrible, quickly distorted, non-dynamic, non-detailed and very shallow sound at the point where things need to sound their BEST. I mean, the stuff I own in my home studio costs a fraction of this and I get FAR better sound!
 
From my understanding, these speakers are of good quality but are designed for outdoors use where there’s no need for necessarily HIGH quality audio (I'm thinking a good balance of trebles/mids/lows, low noise, how high dB it can take before distorting), NOT for indoors or outdoors PERFORMANCE where sound quality IS the priority.
 
 I want to get the best sound possible BEFORE I pitch any ideas of spending money, and I feel like I could come pretty far but it seems like the speakers will be a hurdle. We have around $720 tucked away for that purchase, and if we sell off the speakers we have, we may be able to get another $300 or $400 on top of that. Our main "media guy" wants to go to a full-wireless setup - which mostly only applies to the mixer, for which I'm recommending we buy an Audiobox VSL system, but we're also open to other options there as well for some years down the road.
 
If anyone has any recommendations on how I should get started setting things up/tearing things down, I’m open to trying things. :)
 
Dave

 
Mics: MXL 990, 2 x MXL Tempo XLRs, Cobalt Co9, SM48, iSK Starlight
Gear: Cakewalk X3 Studio - PreSonus Firepod - Alesis Elevate 3 - Axiom 49
DAW: Win10, AMD FX-8300, 16GB DDR3
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    Cactus Music
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    Re: Help me improve my live sound quality! 2018/01/19 16:59:45 (permalink)
    What everyone use now is powered speakers. 
     
     
    12" speakers are all you need in smaller rooms so that saves you money.
    Not sure you would need the DBX unit, if improperly used that would also cause issues. It somehow seems an odd duck in your set up.
    Keep it simple and all you need is a mixer and a set of powered speakers. 
    And speaker placement is important. I used to trouble shoot church issue around here. Many had the speakers pointing straight at hard surface back walls which then results in people hearing the reflections out of time. This causes listening fatigue. Flying the speakers over the stage and pointing them into the seats solved this issue. 
     
    post edited by Cactus Music - 2018/01/22 00:09:22

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    davdud101
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    Re: Help me improve my live sound quality! 2018/01/24 18:47:18 (permalink)
    Cactus Music
    What everyone use now is powered speakers. 
     
     
    12" speakers are all you need in smaller rooms so that saves you money.
    Not sure you would need the DBX unit, if improperly used that would also cause issues. It somehow seems an odd duck in your set up.
    Keep it simple and all you need is a mixer and a set of powered speakers. 
    And speaker placement is important. I used to trouble shoot church issue around here. Many had the speakers pointing straight at hard surface back walls which then results in people hearing the reflections out of time. This causes listening fatigue. Flying the speakers over the stage and pointing them into the seats solved this issue. 
     



    Thanks for the quick reply Cactus - I meant to get back on this soon, but excuse the late reply!
     
    I'll give these tips a shot. Any recommendations on 12" speakers? like I said, I'll spend probably up to about $1000.
    I'm guessing the 5" were purchased because they take up less "visual space" / they cover less of the field of view since they're smaller, of course. Turns out we're using somewhere between 10 and 14 of these speakers - how can I guarantee the same volume (or more!) with a higher sound quality but using fewer speakers?
     
    I'll look into different models and hopefully I come to a good conclusion on what works best for our space.

     
    Mics: MXL 990, 2 x MXL Tempo XLRs, Cobalt Co9, SM48, iSK Starlight
    Gear: Cakewalk X3 Studio - PreSonus Firepod - Alesis Elevate 3 - Axiom 49
    DAW: Win10, AMD FX-8300, 16GB DDR3
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    batsbrew
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    Re: Help me improve my live sound quality! 2018/01/25 21:27:09 (permalink)

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