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Thread: portable sound system / PA questions




  1. #1
    Aya
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    portable sound system / PA questions

    Hi there,
    I am looking for a portable sound system or PA ta take with me for gigs as I would like to avoid any problems with music playing so low you can hear everyone comments or whatever can happen to the music in the middle of your set, well you know what I mean.
    Do you know how many watts I should get ? I cannot pay 1000$ for that... I would suppose very big venues have their own sound systems so it's more for the basic gig at someone's place or a community event. I'm also wondering about outdoors events.

    also do you charge more when you bring your own sound system ? I used to work with musicians in France who would ask a fee if they had to take and install theirs to perform.

    thank you !
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    Advanced BHUZzer jamielynn's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    I'm not terribly familiar with all the specifics of sound systems, but what I've done recently and it seems to work very well, is get one of the little MP3 Dock players (the one where you either set your Ipod in or plug in a regular MP3) and then where the ear phones would plug in on the Dock, I got a cable that plugs into a little amplifier and I get excellent sound. You need the Dock -it acts like a PA- and you can usually find decent little Amps at pawn shops.
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    Advanced BHUZzer CalgaryBibi's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    We recently used my Bose portable sound dock at a festival, and it was excellent. We were there for 8 hours. We didn't play it the whole time, as we had drummers there off and on, but we probably played it for 4 or 5 hours at a fairly high volume--higher than one would use inside, anyhow.

    The rechargeable battery is supposed to last at least 3 hours at full volume. I had a spare battery with me, but we did not need to use it. The original battery was still going strong at the end of the day.

    Because it's a Bose, the sound is very good for such a little machine.

    My instructor was so impressed with it, she wants to buy one now.

    They're pretty pricey, but Future Shop (in Canada) or Best Buy have them on sale periodically--sometimes as a bundle (called Bose "Music to Go"), with a spare battery and a carrying case, for a couple of hundred less than the regular price. I think they're worth it. I'm not one of those people who is a real sound geek, but even I could tell a real difference in sound between this machine and the other iPod docks/boom boxes I was considering.

    One downside to purchasing this is that it doesn't play CDs. It's built for iPods, but it also has an auxiliary jack if you have some other type of MP# player.


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    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryBibi View Post
    We recently used my Bose portable sound dock at a festival, and it was excellent. We were there for 8 hours. We didn't play it the whole time, as we had drummers there off and on, but we probably played it for 4 or 5 hours at a fairly high volume--higher than one would use inside, anyhow.
    I've also heard good things about the Bose portable sound dock.
    Samira Tu'Ala, Producer of the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive® & Festival


  5. #5
    I could get used to this! alia t's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    For small spaces and class, I use a Harmon Kardon Go + Play.

    For larger rooms, I use a Fender Passport.

    I have the PD-150 Plus and I bought it on ebay for cheap. It is enough sound for most of my needs, and weighs 10 lbs less than the 300 (which was a big consideration).

    It has a built in cd player, and a place to jack in my mp3 player/iPod, as well as a microphone and/or other instruments. It weighs 35 lbs, but is worth it. I might invest in a wheeled cart for it, though.

    It is awesome--highly portable, easy to set up, and provides spectacular sound. I love it.

    I don't charge for bringing my own sound, though I am thinking about it--but I'd rather have the good sound than have someone do it themselves to save a buck--you know it's going to be some raggedy little boom box--and I'm the one who suffers from bad sound.
    Last edited by alia t; 06-11-2011 at 06:10 PM.
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    Mega BHUZzer Lesedi's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Pyle-pro sells a nice portable PA system in several different wattages.

    The 200W is around $200 and the 500W is on sale from $400 down to $220 something on amazon. They both have ipod docs and microphones and roll. My friend has one and it's really nice for what you pay.


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    Aya
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    great info ladies thanks !


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    Aya
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by alia t View Post
    I don't charge for bringing my own sound, though I am thinking about it--but I'd rather have the good sound than have someone do it themselves to save a buck--you know it's going to be some raggedy little boom box--and I'm the one who suffers from bad sound.
    yes, that's what I tend to think


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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. jesennia's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    my island boys carry around this box thing..it's compatible with ipod i think it's called the block party or the tailgater party..i dont know let me ask hobart but it's pretty easy to carry around and the sound is phenomenal, when we have tail gate parties at Sandy's beach they are the way to go
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    Established BHUZzer harmoney76's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    I have a big "boom box" that I bring...It's got EXCELLENT sound and loud enough that I've used it at the studio when the sound system broke...and had no problem! I can't remember what it's called but it's made by Sony...If I have to bring it to a gig I just cover it with a veil.
    The dancer cannot be separated from the dance, she also cannot be separated from the history of dancing, from the line of dancers and teachers leading to her.


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    Mega BHUZzer Tatiana_MED's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    I used to use a large 3-piece boom box type of system and I did charge to bring it since I could not just carry it by a handle (too large, and it needed a cart, so 4 large pieces).

    I now use the Bose Sound Dock for home parties and smaller venues and the sound and volume are fantastic. Generally any venues that this cannot handle usually have a DJ with a full system. I don't charge to bring it since it has a nice little case that I can carry over my shoulder. Was pricey (~$400 CAD?) but worth it.


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    Official BHUZzer micamica's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    I second the Go and Play! I bought mine a couple of years ago because it was the only thing I could find that used batteries or an outlet, and it has been great. Meant for Ipods, but I use it with my Zune. You can use any MP3 player through the adaptor cord that connects in back (mine came with one) or a "universal Ipod dock converter". Good sound quality, and definitely better than relying on someone else's sound system. It is slightly louder if plugged in vs using batteries, but this can definitely shake the walls at a private party. I don't know how I would work private parties without it! I would probably want to charge customers extra if I wasn't allowed to bring it =)

    Reyvka


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    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    I just interviewed a sound engineer about portable PAs versus boomboxes. He talks about wattage needed, sound quality and potential problems.

    Belly Dance Brilliance Blog: Sound Advice for the Professionally Performing Belly Dancer Part II

    I bought a Yamaha Stagepas 300 and LOVE it. Sounds amazing, easy set up and plays my iPod. I had many boomboxes/ipod docks fail me because of all the driving and transportation I put them through. Portable PAs are way more sturdy and meant for being dragged around to gigs.
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    Advanced BHUZzer jewelbellydance's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by crystalllized View Post
    I just interviewed a sound engineer about portable PAs versus boomboxes. He talks about wattage needed, sound quality and potential problems.

    Belly Dance Brilliance Blog: Sound Advice for the Professionally Performing Belly Dancer Part II

    I bought a Yamaha Stagepas 300 and LOVE it. Sounds amazing, easy set up and plays my iPod. I had many boomboxes/ipod docks fail me because of all the driving and transportation I put them through. Portable PAs are way more sturdy and meant for being dragged around to gigs.
    Ditto to everything! I have a Yamaha Stagepas 300 also, and love the sound, plus I can run a mike through it - perfect for teaching. It has outlasted about 3 expensive iPod players, none of which are really designed for the harsh demands of portability.

    However, there are some things I don't like about using my PA - it doesn't have it's own wheels or handle, so I have it strapped to a separate trolley. It's subsequently heavy and somewhat cumbersome.

    It requires umpteen cords to connect the PA to sounddesk, iPod and microphone. I have them all bundled up at the back, but it's still not as neat as an all-in-one, and a client wouldn't know where to start if one accidentally fell out.

    Now that bigger all-in-one iPod player/PAs have finally hit the market, I'm keen to replace my PA with one. However, I have been underwhelmed with the sound volume off all that I've tried so far. Come on sound companies, keep up!


  15. #15
    Advanced BHUZzer jewelbellydance's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by crystalllized View Post
    I just interviewed a sound engineer about portable PAs versus boomboxes. He talks about wattage needed, sound quality and potential problems.

    Belly Dance Brilliance Blog: Sound Advice for the Professionally Performing Belly Dancer Part II

    I bought a Yamaha Stagepas 300 and LOVE it. Sounds amazing, easy set up and plays my iPod. I had many boomboxes/ipod docks fail me because of all the driving and transportation I put them through. Portable PAs are way more sturdy and meant for being dragged around to gigs.
    By the way, that's a great article, and was very helpful to me. I had a question for your sound guru, but can't post a comment in the blog as I don't have a profile. Here it is, I hope he can help!

    "Thanks for a great article. I use the Yamaha Stagepas 300(single speaker), and you've answered a lot of my questions. Here's one I have trouble with, though - feedback when using a head microphone to teach. I have my iPod plugged into my PA, as is my mike. I want to position the PA near me at the front of the room, so I can operate the iPod. But this causes dreadful feedback if I plug the mike into the alotted mike input. So now I plug the mike into a different socket, which doesn't removes feedback, as it doesn't amp the sound up so much. But this also limits the volume. Is there anything else I can do that still allows me to operate my own sound system?"


  16. #16
    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jewelbellydance View Post
    By the way, that's a great article, and was very helpful to me. I had a question for your sound guru, but can't post a comment in the blog as I don't have a profile. Here it is, I hope he can help!

    "Thanks for a great article. I use the Yamaha Stagepas 300(single speaker), and you've answered a lot of my questions. Here's one I have trouble with, though - feedback when using a head microphone to teach. I have my iPod plugged into my PA, as is my mike. I want to position the PA near me at the front of the room, so I can operate the iPod. But this causes dreadful feedback if I plug the mike into the alotted mike input. So now I plug the mike into a different socket, which doesn't removes feedback, as it doesn't amp the sound up so much. But this also limits the volume. Is there anything else I can do that still allows me to operate my own sound system?"
    Thanks :) that is weird, I'll check the settings. I didn't realize you had to have a profile to post. That is lame!

    I'll pass this along to him for an answer :)
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  17. #17
    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jewelbellydance View Post
    Ditto to everything! I have a Yamaha Stagepas 300 also, and love the sound, plus I can run a mike through it - perfect for teaching. It has outlasted about 3 expensive iPod players, none of which are really designed for the harsh demands of portability.

    However, there are some things I don't like about using my PA - it doesn't have it's own wheels or handle, so I have it strapped to a separate trolley. It's subsequently heavy and somewhat cumbersome.

    It requires umpteen cords to connect the PA to sounddesk, iPod and microphone. I have them all bundled up at the back, but it's still not as neat as an all-in-one, and a client wouldn't know where to start if one accidentally fell out.

    Now that bigger all-in-one iPod player/PAs have finally hit the market, I'm keen to replace my PA with one. However, I have been underwhelmed with the sound volume off all that I've tried so far. Come on sound companies, keep up!
    Yours doesn't have a handle?? Mine do and I use a strap to connect them and place the strap over my shoulders like a yoke.

    Yes, the cords are definitely a pain in the rear. I made labels (I love label-makers) to help out clients when they have to set it up in a surprise setting.
    Nyla Crystal - Belly Dance Brilliance www.nylacrystal.com
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  18. #18
    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jewelbellydance View Post
    By the way, that's a great article, and was very helpful to me. I had a question for your sound guru, but can't post a comment in the blog as I don't have a profile. Here it is, I hope he can help!

    "Thanks for a great article. I use the Yamaha Stagepas 300(single speaker), and you've answered a lot of my questions. Here's one I have trouble with, though - feedback when using a head microphone to teach. I have my iPod plugged into my PA, as is my mike. I want to position the PA near me at the front of the room, so I can operate the iPod. But this causes dreadful feedback if I plug the mike into the alotted mike input. So now I plug the mike into a different socket, which doesn't removes feedback, as it doesn't amp the sound up so much. But this also limits the volume. Is there anything else I can do that still allows me to operate my own sound system?"
    Here is his answer:

    Get a longer cable for your mic and ipod. They sell extensions. Also need to make sure your speakers are well in front of the position your teaching from. Review crystals speaker placement graphics
    Nyla Crystal - Belly Dance Brilliance www.nylacrystal.com
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  19. #19
    Advanced BHUZzer jewelbellydance's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by crystalllized View Post
    Here is his answer:

    Get a longer cable for your mic and ipod. They sell extensions. Also need to make sure your speakers are well in front of the position your teaching from. Review crystals speaker placement graphics
    Thanks for that. I think I could try this placement for large or noisy party workshops where I need more volume, and have more space for set-up. I use a wireless head mike, so it's only really the iPod cord that would need to be longer. I'm not sure there would be enough room to avoid getting too close to the speakers in a smaller classroom.

    I wish I knew what on earth 'crystals speaker placement graphics' meant!


  20. #20
    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jewelbellydance View Post
    I wish I knew what on earth 'crystals speaker placement graphics' meant!
    I think he is talking about the diagram where I am in the pick costume and the speakers are in front of me pointing at the happy face audience.
    Belly Dance Brilliance Blog: Sound Advice for the Professionally Performing Belly Dancer Part II
    Nyla Crystal - Belly Dance Brilliance www.nylacrystal.com
    Dangerous Beauties Belly Dance- www.Dangerous-Beauties.com


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Here's the cable extender he is talking about COMPUTER TO HOME STEREO CABLE 3.5 mm 1/8 DUAL RCA 50 Ft on eBay!
    Nyla Crystal - Belly Dance Brilliance www.nylacrystal.com
    Dangerous Beauties Belly Dance- www.Dangerous-Beauties.com


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    Advanced BHUZzer NancyAsiya's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by luluxiu View Post
    I have my iPod plugged into my dad, my Mike. I would like to place in front of the room close to my PA, so I can operate the iPod. However, this will lead to terrible feedback, if I insert Mike dispensed Mike input...
    I find this wildly hilarious as my dad's name is Mike. He'd be really upset if I plugged anything into him.


  23. #23
    Advanced BHUZzer crystalllized's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    Quote Originally Posted by NancyAsiya View Post
    I find this wildly hilarious as my dad's name is Mike. He'd be really upset if I plugged anything into him.
    haha yeah, that was a little strange. Spammer? The post is gone now...
    Nyla Crystal - Belly Dance Brilliance www.nylacrystal.com
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    Official BHUZzer Azraa's Avatar
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    Re: portable sound system / PA questions

    I love the pyle-pro that I got for Christmas. Here is my review of it The Kentuckiana Middle Eastern Dance Review: Things I like
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