Forums Music Sound Engineering The BOG STANDARD, BASIC Rig – for the rave planner (not the electrician)

This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar General Lighting January 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm.

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  • #1057782
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    Anonymous

    “I am not a robot”.

    Therefore, I find myself totally nonplussed reading the articles on how to make a soundsystem. And Ive spent a while reading the ‘stickies’, and theyre brilliantly written. But, on top of not being a robot:

    Im not an electrician either. Im not a sound engineer, and actually I have an enormous lack of interest in how to get the quasimodular shoehorn to perpendiculate at 8002 kvξ with a discombobulant rate of 41.6 ψω/φζ.

    I cant even set the nipples on a moose. Frankly Im not even sure if this is my computer.

    Basically I just like parties.

    I am an Events Management student, a Musician and rare music collector, and someone with an ambition to focus on recreating the Summer of Love free parties myself. But thats just me, Im sure it would be helpful to many people (and the scene itself) if information were more accessible on what we need to make a basic, simple, decent and Cheap rig for an outdoor rave.

    So, these are just my preferences, Im sure that excluding the sound and the attendance numbers, a standard rig, th most basic, will be absolutely fine. My emphasis has always been on the quality of the music.

    My own preferences though: allow me to start from NoName’s thoroughly fantastic article.

    Essential

    No requirement for multiple generators – Power requirements within reach of single phase generator.

    Portable and able to fit single wheel base van.

    Robustness.

    SIMPLE.

    Low level of spread – focus on a nearfield space for up to 400-500 people, but this number can be reduced by 100 or so in the interests of keeping residents around 500+ m from the party from involving you-know-who.

    SUB-BASS. Enormous Bass, and good accommodation of soaring atmospheric pads (trebble/mid), but mostly the deep bass, so you can physically feel low frequencies. The sort of thing that can keep the sub-bass on the verse of Grooverider’s ‘Imagination (Part 3)’ going for two bars at a volume that can be felt in the body.

    Desirable

    Plenty of bass reinforcement for outdoors.

    As rainproof as possible.

    Keeping required crew to a minimum.

    Easy servicing and troubleshooting.

    Adequate / good sound quality.

    Useful

    Quick to erect / un-erect.

    Sound intensity must be high enough for the great outdoors.
    In carryable units.

    Equipment already owned:

    Rien. Zip. Nowt. The square root, of Jack.

    So, although Ive put my preferences there, most important is that there actually IS a rig set up that I can work with. I dont know what you need and what you dont, but I want what I need, and I dont want what I dont. Anything that I dont need, I dont want. So we are talking about the most basic affordable, decently performing system. Plus big bass/sub-bass if possible.

    Basically I would like a list or a basic diagram or simple explanation – what hardware do I actually Need. The sound at a party is, afterall, about the Music, the rig is the delivery system for the Music.

    Do I need a compressor? If not, I dont want one. Do I need an equalizer, mixer, custom crossovers, limiter, 10 Unit racks, reinforcement things, horn things, scoop bins, ported radiator things, folded this or that, multiple amps, drivers, flightcases, keith chegwin, engineers mixer, 3-phase power, sound engineer, electrician…

    It all seems a bit much for a temporary, hedonistic rave party in a forest. Where people are more concerned with hugging eachother and drinking water than they are about compression ratios…

    For example, if someone asked me “how can I make the simplest possible sound system for a rock gig in a forest” I would say ‘get 1. someone with a musical ear to do the ballancing, 2. guitar amps (minimum 40 watt, should be more), bass amp (speaker), drum kit, mic, mic speaker’ – and that would be that. Yes, different models are different, and ballancing them would be difficult, but even that doesnt need a whole lot.

    POINT IS: Thats for a live band, with 5 seperate instruments. Which should be vastly more complicated than playing a record through some speakers. So I know theres an easy way to do all this, I just dont know what it is. And I want that easy way to be done correctly, in a way where specific equiptment costs can be identified and budgeted for.

    Of course, if we are setting up for Burning Man or Glastonbury or a nightclub, things might be different. What I am trying to find is the most simple, cheap, portable template for a repeatable 1-night outdoor free party for 400-500 people.

    Thank you very much in advance for your assistance.

    #1278263
    Avatar
    Anonymous
    Quote:
    No requirement for multiple generators – Power requirements within reach of single phase generator.

    Portable and able to fit single wheel base van.

    Robustness.

    SIMPLE.

    Low level of spread – focus on a nearfield space for up to 400-500 people, but this number can be reduced by 100 or so in the interests of keeping residents around 500+ m from the party from involving you-know-who.

    SUB-BASS. Enormous Bass, and good accommodation of soaring atmospheric pads (trebble/mid), but mostly the deep bass, so you can physically feel low frequencies. The sort of thing that can keep the sub-bass on the verse of Grooverider’s ‘Imagination (Part 3)’ going for two bars at a volume that can be felt in the body.

    Seriously, chap, my advice would be to stick to what you know best (management) and allow a decent sound engineer or hire company to sort out your sound for you…

    400-500 people…outside?

    To get “enormous” sub-bass for 400-500 people outdoors would require a very large system…probably *at least* 8 double 18″ bandpass cabinets.
    But you should ask yourself if you really want (or need) sub bass at all…sub(s) usually go below 50Hz…but bear in mind that most bass bins will go down to around 45Hz (at least) and anything lower than that requires huge amounts of power and that sub frequency sound is the stuff that travels over huge distances.

    Also most dance music (Techno, Trance, House, etc) rarely has much activity below 40-45Hz in any case…Dub/Reggae systems might need something lower, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
    In general, you want to concentrate on the “kick” and dynamics…a good system that performs well around 80-200Hz will always sound cleaner and punchier than one where all the power is concentrated in the below 50Hz range.

    Also you are unlikely to fit a rig for 500 people (especially a big one), plus a *big* generator (required for those big amps for driving all those big speakers) and all ancilliary equipemnt for a party in a single rear-wheel van (certainly not one with a 3.5t GVW limit…as that will only have a total payload of around 1700Kg, at best!).

    No equipment is fully rainproof…Ply built, horn loaded cabinets (where the drivers are either hidden or well recessed off the front baffle) will withstand a reasonable amount of water/weather abuse…But of course these are both bigger, heavier and more costly…they also mostly require more expertise to get the best from them.

    All the other stuff you are saying about compressors, etc just goes to show how little understanding you have of the requirements…
    All things being equal, a sound engineer with a decent soundsystem will manage to keep his sound fairly localised whereas you will be distributing your sound liberally around the neighbourhood…In other words, your party will attract more unwanted attention than another run by someone who knows his beans.

    Yes, it is possible to have a decent sound without compressors, enhancers, delays, etc…BUT you have to know your kit and how to set it up…You certainly will need a crossover of some sort and you may as well have an LMS which will include all that and even some basic eq…The space (and cost) is more or less the same…Again, though, you’ll have to learn to use it properly!

    Quote:
    Do I need a compressor? If not, I dont want one. Do I need an equalizer, mixer, custom crossovers, limiter, 10 Unit racks, reinforcement things, horn things, scoop bins, ported radiator things, folded this or that, multiple amps, drivers, flightcases, keith chegwin, engineers mixer, 3-phase power, sound engineer, electrician…

    It all seems a bit much for a temporary, hedonistic rave party in a forest. Where people are more concerned with hugging eachother and drinking water than they are about compression ratios…

    For example, if someone asked me “how can I make the simplest possible sound system for a rock gig in a forest” I would say ‘get 1. someone with a musical ear to do the ballancing, 2. guitar amps (minimum 40 watt, should be more), bass amp (speaker), drum kit, mic, mic speaker’ – and that would be that. Yes, different models are different, and ballancing them would be difficult, but even that doesnt need a whole lot.

    As a sound engineer I have to disagree…Firstly a rock band has a backline…mostly amplified and if you have just that plus a mic/speaker for the vocalist(s) then you are looking at covering, perhaps, 50 people….If you go to Glastonbury (for example) and to one of the smaller venues (say the Croisant Neuf tent) they have a full circa 5Kw system in there for about 500 capacity….And the only reason it isn’t bigger is that they run of solar/wind power so have to have batteries to drive the inverters…

    Your DJs will want a mixer and decks and/or turntables..you will need a stand that is rigid enough to be safe and secure (scaffolding or warehouse racking is good as it folds up)…You may want a limiter to stop over enthusiastic DJs from destroying your speakers first time out…a limiter/compressor is way cheaper than reconing 16 bass drivers and 4 compression units!
    Flightcases help to prevent your delicate kit getting destroyed in the van or by the mud while you are setting up…
    You will need some lighting, if not for the crowd, at least for the DJs and crew to be able to see what is going on….takes more power, remember.

    And you will become the sound engineer…believe me, it is a job all by itself at the party…you will also become genny mechanic/refueler, roadie, van packer and driver chief negotiator with landowners/police and many other things, too.

    So, as I said…if your forte is finding a venue and organising the party, why not let someone else do the sound? Someone whose forte is just that!

    If, though, you are determined, then start with your generator…The biggest practical easy to transport generator is aboout 5Kw…So you will be constarined by the power of that. Allow about 1kw for lights, mixer, decks, etc (with a little in reserve) and you then have about 4kw to work with…That equates to about 4 750w/ch amps. Say something such as QSC RMX2450s
    You will want perhaps one pair of mid-tops and 2 pairs of bass bins and one pair of monitors…I’d stick with something good, but simple.
    You haven’t specified a budget, but if you can find OHM TRS212/218s with a pair of TRS115 for monitors (and backup/supplemetary mid-tops) you would be doing fine. Easy to set up, reliable and decent sound. Probably cover around 250 people with that. As I said, you’ll need a crossover/LMS and a Behringer DCX2450 would be fine, cheap, mostly reliable and sounds good…
    Aim for around £4k for the cabinets, another £1200-1500 for the amps/LMS and another £1000 for decks, mixer and cables. Generator about £400ish, another £500-1000 for anciliieries (jerry cans, deck stands, LED lighting, etc) and you should be ready to go for about £8k not including transport.

    #1278264
    Avatar
    General Lighting
    Moderator

    Julz is a friend of mine from back in the day and definitely knows his stuff (I’ve heard his system in action many a time when I lived in SE England). TBH he knows a lot more than myself about big loudspeakers and sound systems; as when I worked on parties I’d be the other end of the building connecting up a safe and reliable electricity supply for the sound equipment.

    his advice is spot on and as this sounds like it would be a legal TENS event you will have plenty enough work dealing with licensing etc to keep you occupied. You do not need to become a sound engineer if you do not wish to; any more than you would have to become a bicycle mechanic if you wanted to cycle to work.

    Ironically today I get paid with the full blessing and approval of the NHS and Police to set up sound, light and AV systems for people who are full of controlled drugs – except they are aged 80-100+ 😉

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