Single/Duo Act PA with KPA

  • This is aimed at you guys who play out as either a single or duo act with the KPA. Most of the gigs in my area of the country are for such acts - not so much for full bands. I'm trying to figure out the best option for a PA that would include vocals and the KPA together, but for small and medium sized venues. Around here, restaurants and coffee shops are the typical gig. What I'm thinking is that the powered monitors that sound best with a guitar/KPA are not necessarily the best for vocals too. Of course, the overall cost is a concern as well. I'm retired and these gigs pay squat. Comments?

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • I've been using the Bose L1 Model II System with the little mixer. The main thing lacking for me is I miss the stereo imaging I hear when practicing at home on my studio monitors. I could buy another one, but that is so much more to carry around. I think the vocals sound great through it along with the guitars (acoustic and electric). I wish the effects (reverb) was better but I guess you could add something externally. For me, it all depends on how much you want to set-up and carry, and how much you want to spend. If you could put a single FRFR behind you and not feedback the vocals, that may be fine for most of the gigs. I say do it and keep your life nice and simple so you continue to enjoy playing out as you get older. With two FRFR's on poles you won't hear the guitar unless you bring more monitors and once again more stuff. There are some Bose alternatives out there (i.e. no need for monitors type systems) but I'm not aware of any that are better. Does anyone else know? Pat Metheny filled his entire stage with the L1's and compacts when he did the Orchestrion tour and it sounded amazing. I really think that is a big endorsement for Bose. I know the distortion guys might disagree (and I'd probably agree with them for that application other FRFR's are better), but even the original KPA trials I saw used the Bose L1 system. Let's see what other opinions we get as I'd be interested too.

  • Thanks djazz. Your comments remind me that I have a little Fishman Loudbox Artist that might actually work for a coffee shop scenario. I haven't tried it out with the KPA and vocals with any volume, so I guess I really should. They don't look like much, but they've sounded pretty good when I've seen them used with acoustic acts. I've discounted it myself, since it's such a little fellow, but for a single or duo you're not doing the same type of music that a full group does, and certainly not dueling with a drummer ...

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Every FRFR monitor I've seen recommended for the KPA works well as a general-purpose monitor.


    If you don't have instruments that require a huge thump in the low end you can do the kind of gigs you describe with a couple powered 2-way 12" or 15" tops (no woofer), a small mixer with decent built-in effects and a couple small monitors (2way w/8" or 10" is fine). I personally would prefer a small digital mixer I could control from a tablet or larger touch-phone attached to my mic-stand. I also use IEMs when I have to mix from the stage cause that gives me the option of listening to the main mix.


    What I actually have in my rack for such gigs is:

    • Behringer X32Rack 16ch mixer
    • Behringer Di800 8-input DI-box for line in (keyboards etc) and 1/4" Hi-Z inputs for various acoustic instruments
    • Sennheiser IEM 300 G3

    Then I use Yamaha DXR8 and DXR10 for monitoring and a pair of Yamaha DSR112s as fullrange speakers. This works well for a crowd up to 100-150ppl with a vocal-group (2xguitar + 7 vocals) I play with. For bigger events and/or events with a full band I can scale up to 4xDSR112 w/HPF each side and ditto stack of subs (Yamaha DSR118W), as well as attach an extra 16ch digital stagebox to the X32 mixer. A hired soundman, when we have one, has full control via remote (wired ethernet) from his FOH-position.


    If you want light and compact and a minimum of cables:

    • Mackie DL806 ($600), or Behringer XR12 ($399) digital mixer
    • Stereo IEM transmitter and 2 receivers if both performers can live with the same mix (alternatively one or two 8" active monitors)
    • A pair of 12" active fullrange speakers w/stands.

    There are not many of these compact digital mixers on the 2nd-hand market yet, but the rest should be readily available. The latest generation of compact digital mixers from Behringer have actually not even left the factory yet, but resellers have started taking pre-orders. The XR12 is OTOH rack-mountable which helps you keep much of you rig pre-assembled in one unit (mix+IEM).


    For the smallest of events with only a couple microphones and guitars I just use a mono acoustic amplifier w/4 channels and a couple decent built-in effects (AER Domino 3).

  • Hi there,
    we often play small venues with our Bose L1 system - a little mixer (Allen&Heath) and ready to play.


    When I play smaller gigs on my own, I choose an acoustic amplifier for vocals and the signal from the KPA.
    Or direct in with the acoustic guitars depending on the venue:
    here I chose the Acus One-8 - best acoustic amp for my ears... lots of bass for guitars and a natural sounding mic...


    But to be honest... the Bose system is a really fine thing - plug and play... the tone match is not the cheapest, but it works fine!
    And the sound gets everywhere in the room without being loud.
    Best thing: you don´t need monitoring at all!


    Best regards, Mario

  • Dan, someone had posted sometime ago about an FRFR speaker that just connects to your mike stand and is FRFR.. I can't find the thread, but it looked pretty nifty and light weight. I have no experience with it, but the user who posted said it's pretty good IIRC.


    EDIT:
    This is the one: http://www.tc-helicon.com/products/voicesolo-fx150/

  • This is the one: tc-helicon.com/products/voicesolo-fx150/


    This is a decent monitor, super on a cramped stage, but I think OP also is looking for something that would work as mains for up to a medium sized venue. For that I would be reluctant to recommend speakers that have anything much smaller than a 12" in the bottom end.

  • This is a decent monitor, super on a cramped stage, but I think OP also is looking for something that would work as mains for up to a medium sized venue. For that I would be reluctant to recommend speakers that have anything much smaller than a 12" in the bottom end.


    From what I understood, these are Tannoy-designed speakers, similar to what's used in a studio monitor. 6.5" should be able to reproduce bass really well. Even my Dynaudio BM5as do the same, but they aren't as portable as this.

  • That's an interesting product, but I can't find any really convincing demos or reviews for using it as a small PA. I'm skeptical that it can hold up to even a small coffee shop venue scenario. Anyone actually try one of these with a KPA?

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • I've got 6" nearfields that perform well without a sub. That's not the issue. Throwing bass a few feet for monitoring, and 10-15m into an audience are very different tasks.


    Given that the system outputs 150-watts, far more than my Dynaudios, I think it would work well, especially as an FRFR solution. But alas, no further information available and I'm only recommending this as something that Dan should check out.

  • I'm surprised at how few reviews there are of these things, and I'm not willing to risk the expense of shipping fees just to try them out. Maybe one of you more adventuresome fellows will try them and let me know :whistling:

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • It's probably out of your price range, but I run everything into a CLR and its two channels. Set at head's height it can fill a room very well. With a stereo configuration you could do pretty much everything I guess :)

  • The DXR series will throw pretty far. We sidewash our amps, and my DXR10 is loud 10m away, and is only turned up to between 2 and 3.


    If you run across a good deal on a used Bose L1 with a subwoofer, one of those could be both your mains and monitor. The original version has four inputs - you don't need the multieffect mixer to use it. There are many singles and duos in my area using one for all their gigs. (That's why I originally got mine, too).

  • I have the TC Helicon Voice Solo FX150 and I really like it. I have used it on a few gigs and was able to monitor both my own vocals, the Kemper and another monitor mix from the rest of the band. It was loud enough for the gigs at hand and sounded very good. I know when our band was rehearsing the other guys couldn't get over how loud and clear it was. t can't comment however how it would carry as an only portable PA system. In a small coffee house scenario it probably would work out but get anything larger and you would probably want something bigger like the DXR Yamaha series or EV etc

  • I have the TC Helicon Voice Solo FX150 and I really like it. I have used it on a few gigs and was able to monitor both my own vocals, the Kemper and another monitor mix from the rest of the band. It was loud enough for the gigs at hand and sounded very good. I know when our band was rehearsing the other guys couldn't get over how loud and clear it was. t can't comment however how it would carry as an only portable PA system. In a small coffee house scenario it probably would work out but get anything larger and you would probably want something bigger like the DXR Yamaha series or EV etc


    Ha, I knew SOMEONE here on the forum must have one! How does it sound when you're playing your KPA through it at volume? Have you run it that way without the band?

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • The Kemper sounded quite good at volume through it. Does it compare with the others like the Yamaha's and EV's and the CLR for pure volume , no but I do like the tone and like it better than the K10 from QSC. There was something in the upper mids in that cab that was pretty grating. There again my opinions and YMMV


    Dan