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Gear for a small gig

vmalheirosvmalheiros Pro Posts: 105
Hi everybody! Before I start, I just want to say that I am completely new to singing gear and whatnot. Let's say I do a small gig, in which the bass player has his bass amp, the guitar player has his guitar amp, and I, the singer have my amplifier (a multi-purpose amplifier). Let's also say that I have a shure sm58. My question is, do I connect my microphone directly into that amp? And even if that works, will it sound good? Or do I have to have a mic pre-amplifier, to which I would connect my microphone, and then connect the pre-amp to the amplifier? Keep in mind that I'm not talking about recording, but singing live and sounding good. Thank you, and sorry for my ignorance.



  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    Most guitar amps are made to have a nice, slightly grungy sound for guitar, that breaks up with a little bit of soft or smooth distortion. That's not normally going to get you a good sound with a mic.

    Also, an SM58 is a low-impedance microphone, with an "XLR" connector to plug into the sound system. Most guitar amps don't accept that connector (although some may have that).

    You just want to be sure that your system that you plug a microphone into will sound clean and clear when you sing into it. So you may need to try something out in a store, singing and playing into it.

    If you get a clean system, like a powered P.A. speaker that accepts an XLR with a separate volume knob for your Mic and also another volume knob for your guitar, you may be able to rely on a small "stomp box" if you're wanting a grungy guitar sound. That way the clean amp/speaker combination will work well for your voice, and you can get whatever sound you are looking for from your guitar by getting an accessory stompbox for that effect.

    You'll also have to position the speaker where you can hear it without getting feedback, and where the audience can hear it, too.

    A lot of the powered speakers you can get for P.A. systems now have 2 inputs, each with a volume knob, and those often accept both straight 1/4" guitar connectors AND 3-pin XLR connectors. They may also have some tone controls to E.Q. the sound.
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,650
    edited June 2017
    Pretty much what bob says is good.

    I have an acoustic amp with two channels that are able to function as a line-in for jacks and microphone. It's a hybrid channel. The brand is Fishman. This is ideal for solo performances, but of course has many more functions.

    These amps are made to give the most clean and true sound. Unlike many tube amplifiers for electric guitar, which kind of modify the sound. Not in a bad way, but a more specific way. More so, i would always recommend tube amplifiers for electric guitar!

    For acoustic guitar and singing, you want the most true sound you can get. From there you can add some reverb/echo, but the sound is true.

    Of course, a decent P.A. is more than enough if it has an XLR port.

    Having your own amp near you is actually a nice thing, since you can mess around with the settings when you need to. Even if the amp is mic-ed into a larger P.A. system. It's good to have some control. Otherwise you are at the complete mercy of the sound engineer!

    All the best,

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,421
    edited May 2018
    I have recently picked up an awesome PA rig called the Fender Passport 500.
    It is perfect for coffee houses and other small gigs, and packs a solid 500 watt punch. The beauty of it comes in that it is modular and latches together into this cool 44lbs suitcase sized unit. (maybe a bit bigger, but not so wide you can't get it through a standard door)
    It has decent onboard reverb, and basic EQ controls for each channel. (XLR as well as 1/4" inputs)
    I can also have the control head close enough to adjust mixes on the fly B)

    I am using Sennheiser E945 microphones and a TC Helicon VoiceLive Play for processing.
    Overall, the unit is super-compact and easy to lug and set up, and of course has a really good sound as well! Perfect for the small venue performances I have been doing lately :smiley:
    @videoace , @bentk @highmtn @TommyM @Diego
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    These are nice, very portable units.

    You might want to see if you can use some earbuds along with this from the headphone output socket. You would need a headphone extension cord, but even some simple iphone earbuds would let you hear yourself well, and so you could set the speakers to a good level for the listeners and still hear everything you need to hear from your voice.
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,421
    Oh my... I didn't even think of the possibility of this providing in-ear-monitoring!!!
    I can't believe I didn't think of that LOL
    Thanks for being my ancillary brain :D
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    @Furious_Phil Nice. It's cool that it all goes together into one piece for transport. You'll have to let us know how it sounds.
    My PA consists of a 24 channel mixing board, and two 1000 watt powered speakers (actual wattage is about 450-500 per speaker) The downfall on the speakers is that they DO feature an EQ. Getting them to sound good in the beginning took a while, but now they are set, and left alone. The mixer I use for recording, and live sound.

    Peace, Tony

  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,650
    I really like the all-in-one systems like the Passport. Great choice. As Bob already said, try out the in-ear monitoring. I am planning to purchase in-ear monitoring myself soon!

    Please let us know how your experience is with it!

    I was planning on putting together my own PA set. 2 speakers, a sub and a small mixing panel. Hook it up with in-ear monitoring and ready to go.

    All the best,

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,421
    edited May 2018

    @videoace, that sounds like a heavier (better) system for sure!
    Mine has a very basic EQ, but has connections to add a much better one. The speakers aren't powered (I don't think) so the main brain/controls for it are on the head unit.
    It all Transforms into this large suitcase sort of affair.

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