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RafterGirl
12-10-2017, 09:27 AM
I've finally gotten up the nerve to join my praise band at church. They currently have one electric guitar player one acoustic guitar player, a piano player, and an additional 4-6 singers. I should be getting my first ukulele with a pickup within the next week (Loprinzi concert with MiSi pickup). I'm not sure what the amp situation is at church. I don't know if I'll be plugging into an existing system or needing to bring my own amp. I'm a total novice at this sort of thing, but they have been quite welcoming and they said that playing in front of the church congregation is a great way to begin playing in public.

I have a Blackstar Fly 3 combo. 6 watts total. If I need to provide my own amp, will this surfice, or should I invest in something bigger?

Medium sized sanctuary. 70-100 bodies in the pews on any given Sunday.

Advice (and prayers) welcome as I venture into playing in public. My uke group did play a 30 minute Christmas concert at an assisted living center yesterday and that was great fun. There were about 20 of us playing, so I was definitely just one of the herd. Playing at church will be more nerve wracking for me!

Nickie
12-10-2017, 09:41 AM
RafterGirl, While I really can't give you good advice about which amp to use, I would reckon that any decent guitar amp would work.
To help with the jitters, just make sure you rehearse with the members of your "praise band" at least twice before any performance. Our ALF band practices on the average of three times per performance, and at least once before open mic (much more casual, and a great way to learn). We make sure we can do each song perfectly 3 times, or we throw it out or save it for later. It entails about 4 - 6 hours of practice for a one hour performance.
We're doing a 30 minute Christmas show at my church, and will have two practices beforehand.

katysax
12-10-2017, 09:42 AM
Your black star is useless in that situation. They most likely have a PA system and you’ll plug into that. Otherwise you need to work with the church and other musicians to see what you need to fit in. Premature to recommend an amp with this info. There are a wide range of good acoustic amps and portable PA systems. How big is the room. How high is the ceiling. What is your role in the mix. What kind of amplification does the acoustic guitar player have.

RafterGirl
12-10-2017, 10:01 AM
Your black star is useless in that situation. They most likely have a PA system and you’ll plug into that. Otherwise you need to work with the church and other musicians to see what you need to fit in. Premature to recommend an amp with this info. There are a wide range of good acoustic amps and portable PA systems. How big is the room. How high is the ceiling. What is your role in the mix. What kind of amplification does the acoustic guitar player have.

Medium sized sanctuary with high ceilings. Will hold about 150+ people if every seat is filled. My guess is that I won't need my own amp and I figured my little Blackstar would be useless in that setting. I'm a total novice at this kind of thing, but I love to play, so I figured church was a good place to dive in. They practice during the week and again early Sunday morning before the service. I'm sure they will have to figure out how best to add my ukulele sound into the mix.

What's a good portable amp for smaller venues? Like playing for a small room of 20-40 people? Since I'm getting a uke with a pickup, I should be a decent medium sized amp at some point. The Blackstar is good for home practice.

Jim Hanks
12-10-2017, 10:39 AM
You need to talk to the sound guy/gal first. Katysax had good advice there. If there is any kind of PA system, you might want to consider a multi-effects unit instead of an amp. And talk to the other "guitar" players and see what they are doing. Start small, keep it simple, and have fun!

craig l robertson
12-10-2017, 12:20 PM
I'm assuming you also sing besides playing the ukulele. Fishman Loudbox Mini (Try this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LoudboxMini)

Strumdaddy
12-10-2017, 01:46 PM
Sounds like you would be able to use the church PA for this gig. See how you like it and if you like performing get an amp for all your future gigs. I've found that an amp designed for accoustic instruments works best. I use a Roland AC33. If you do get an amp and like the sound you are getting, you can send a line out of the amp into the PA and have the amp as your own little foldback box.

RafterGirl
12-10-2017, 02:25 PM
I'm assuming you also sing besides playing the ukulele. Fishman Loudbox Mini (Try this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LoudboxMini)
I'm not much of a singer, but maybe playing will help me improve with that.

RafterGirl
12-10-2017, 02:26 PM
Sounds like you would be able to use the church PA for this gig. See how you like it and if you like performing get an amp for all your future gigs. I've found that an amp designed for accoustic instruments works best. I use a Roland AC33. If you do get an amp and like the sound you are getting, you can send a line out of the amp into the PA and have the amp as your own little foldback box.
I saw that amp mentioned in a lot of threads about portable amps.

The church has a sound guy and a big sound board in the back of the sanctuary, so maybe I won't need an amp to start with. We'll see how is goes. I'll start by attending a practice session to see if I'm a good fit with the group. I think they are just happy to have people willing to participate.

I do have an iRig Acoustic. I believe I can plug my MiSi into the iRig to work as a pre-amp. I know I don't actually need a pre-amp with the MiSi, but I think the iRig would give me some volume & tone control. Again....I'm a total noobie to playing plugged in. Lots to learn.

katysax
12-10-2017, 03:56 PM
I have got more than a dozen amps. For most gigs I find that a plug is available and I have a $99 kustom pa that has a built in mixer and is very expandable. When I need a battery I use my Phil Jones db4 which is a bass amp but which works fine as an acoustic amp. I also sometimes use a lunch box sized Roland pa when indoors in a rec room. The Phillips loudbox mini is a good acoustic amp. I like the burgera ac60 as an alternative. For gigs I find that simpler is better. There is always background noise and all kind of distractions so the purest sound is not important. You need loud enough, adequate range and no noticeable distortion. The fewer extra cables and boxes and switches the better. The kustom pa50 is genius.

Skip the irig. I have lugged around preamps and pedals and in most cases have always gone back to as simple as possible. If I were a big-time musician with roadies that stuff might be cool. Fun to play with but I have to get on and off stage fast and there are crowds. Keep it simple.

photoshooter
12-10-2017, 05:06 PM
I have got more than a dozen amps. For most gigs I find that a plug is available and I have a $99 kustom pa that has a built in mixer and is very expandable.


I'm not very knowledgeable about playing in public venues but I was going to suggest for general situations the Custom PA50 is quite versatile and very reasonably priced. They retail for $99 and often go on sale for $80-$85. I'm looking to pick up a second one soon as they can be connected together.

Brad Bordessa
12-10-2017, 05:32 PM
Check out Booli's FAQ page for more info, but a preamp/DI box might do wonders into the PA (or they might have something for you). Especially up against an electric guitarist (notoriously hard to complete with, sonically) you want your sound as focused and trimmed as possible.

PS: Another vote for the Fishman Loudbox Mini. Review on my site if you need to be convinced.

katysax
12-10-2017, 06:42 PM
I'm not very knowledgeable about playing in public venues but I was going to suggest for general situations the Custom PA50 is quite versatile and very reasonably priced. They retail for $99 and often go on sale for $80-$85. I'm looking to pick up a second one soon as they can be connected together.

Any kustom pa50 can be connected to another with an xlr cable. They also make a matched subwoofer which I don’t have because I use a bass amp for my bass. I have seen some venues with multiples of the pa50 daisy chained together.

There is all kinds of more expensive equipment but the more you take it out the more you appreciate simplicity.

PTOEguy
12-11-2017, 06:21 AM
I play in a very similar situation (150 seat church with mult-instrumental band). Plugging into the PA can work, but you give up a lot of control to the people on the PA board, plus the PA system isn't necessarily designed to work with a plugged in uke. When I did my research, the one amp that was universally praised was the Fishman Loudbox Mini - it is plenty to make me heard in our church. I sing through the house sound system (they're used to dealing with vocalists), but control my own destiny with the ukulele.

katysax
12-11-2017, 07:02 AM
I play in a very similar situation (150 seat church with mult-instrumental band). Plugging into the PA can work, but you give up a lot of control to the people on the PA board, plus the PA system isn't necessarily designed to work with a plugged in uke. When I did my research, the one amp that was universally praised was the Fishman Loudbox Mini - it is plenty to make me heard in our church. I sing through the house sound system (they're used to dealing with vocalists), but control my own destiny with the ukulele.

This can work. I often use a bass amp for my bass and bypass the house system. But in most cases you need to work with the house. In most situations it’s not that good for a uke to be outside of the mix. This is a reason to use a preamp if going direct.

Brad Bordessa
12-11-2017, 01:33 PM
This can work. I often use a bass amp for my bass and bypass the house system. But in most cases you need to work with the house. In most situations it’s not that good for a uke to be outside of the mix. This is a reason to use a preamp if going direct.

Yeah. Good or bad, the soundguy is trying to balance the levels of the band. If you're only coming through your own amp (or its louder than what's coming out of the PA via the XLR output), there's not much he can do to make you fit in the mix. This is why mixing loud drummers and loud guitarists sucks!!!. If you can't turn them down then everything has to be louder to match.

PhilUSAFRet
12-11-2017, 02:28 PM
I got a steal on a Roland AC60. Based on your needs, would be perfect.

Booli
12-11-2017, 06:20 PM
Check out Booli's FAQ page for more info, but a preamp/DI box might do wonders into the PA (or they might have something for you). Especially up against an electric guitarist (notoriously hard to complete with, sonically) you want your sound as focused and trimmed as possible.

PS: Another vote for the Fishman Loudbox Mini. Review on my site if you need to be convinced.

Cheers Brother Brad! :) (link down below in my signature for said FAQ)


...I do have an iRig Acoustic. I believe I can plug my MiSi into the iRig to work as a pre-amp. I know I don't actually need a pre-amp with the MiSi, but I think the iRig would give me some volume & tone control. Again....I'm a total noobie to playing plugged in. Lots to learn.

Yes, output of MISI is going to be guitar/instrument level, PA system house mixer INPUT is likely to be MIC level, thus an impedance mismatch, and needing at least a DI box to go into house mixer. If the church has a sound guy, they likely have an 'audio snake' on the stage for all the cables to plug in.

Such a snake is usually using XLR connectors for BALANCED audio to cancel hum and RF interference due to cable runs to the mixer being much longer than a standard guitar cable.

Th iRig Acoustic Stage, as well as the LR Baggs Five.0 AND the MISI are all 1/4" (6.35mm) output and NOT XLR output, as well as UNBALANCED, so you need to go from the instrument into either a DI BOX or preamp/DI with an XLR output....

Something like the Behringer ADI-21 ($39 everywhere) does this handily and on the cheap. and gives you control over your sound in a foot pedal at the stage, otherwise you can spend for the LR Baggs DI/preamps ($149+) or the Fishman Aura or Zoom A3 ($299+) or a RADIAL PZ/DI ($399) or RADIAL TONEBONE ($349).

Others have suggested lots of good choices.

..but before going off and spending $300+ on a Fishman Loudbox Mini or Roland AC amp or any kind of preamp/DI box, I would attend at least a few rehearsals with the sound guy present and go with the flow, for if the house mixer out to the PA is done right, you might not need to buy anything....

Also if there is an acoustic guitar player, look at his setup, ask him questions and take some notes as to what he uses in his rig and out to the house PA system.

katysax
12-11-2017, 06:47 PM
Cheers Brother Brad! :)

..but before going off and spending $300+ on a Fishman Loudbox Mini or Roland AC amp or any kind of preamp/DI box, I would attend at least a few rehearsals with the sound guy present and go with the flow, for if the house mixer out to the PA is done right, you might not need to buy anything....

Also if there is an acoustic guitar player, look at his setup, ask him questions and take some notes as to what he uses in his rig and out to the house PA system.

Exactly. Well said. This is what I was trying to say. Lots of ways to address amplification. Easy to spend a lot that is unneeded.

buddhuu
12-11-2017, 11:50 PM
Mostly pretty much what Booli said.

Guitars, ukes etc are generally impedance mismatched with PAs. If you plug straight into a PA you often find your signal sounds weak and thin. That's especially true if your pickup is passive and the instrument has no preamp. (If you don't have to put a battery in or charge up your pickup in MISI style then your pickup is probably passive.)

Some instrument preamps have a kind of built-in DI box. In that case there will be a 3-pin XLR socket as well as the standard instrument jack. If the instrument doesn't have XLR then you plug into a DI box. A DI box matches the instrument impedance with what the PA likes to see and makes you sound a world better. The DI box I use most often is cheap (around 20 GBP) and requires no power, so they're much cheaper than amplifiers.

I get what people say about sacrificing control if you go direct into a PA. That said, when you start playing with other people in bands or at services then it is time to grow up and accept that it's not about you being in control any more. You're part of a whole. If you have an experienced sound guy at church then let him set levels and EQ - it'll sound much better and mean you have less to worry about.

When you have a bunch of players all with their own backline amps it can become a messy nightmare. The sound guy can't keep things together because everyone thinks he/she knows best how to twiddle the knobs. Also, set up and break down are much quicker and tidier when as many people as possible DI into the PA.

If you eventually find you do need an amp then the Fishman is pretty good. My favourite acoustic amp, however, is the Marshall AS50D.

I play in an "acoustic" band. As I own the PA I'm also sound guy! Everything except the bass goes into the PA without amps. That means guitars, 'ukulele, mandolin, bouzouki all work fine without amplifiers. Smaller footprint, less clutter, less to carry, less volume creep... Luxury.

RafterGirl
12-12-2017, 03:42 AM
Cheers Brother Brad! :) (link down below in my signature for said FAQ)



Yes, output of MISI is going to be guitar/instrument level, PA system house mixer INPUT is likely to be MIC level, thus an impedance mismatch, and needing at least a DI box to go into house mixer. If the church has a sound guy, they likely have an 'audio snake' on the stage for all the cables to plug in.

Such a snake is usually using XLR connectors for BALANCED audio to cancel hum and RF interference due to cable runs to the mixer being much longer than a standard guitar cable.

Th iRig Acoustic Stage, as well as the LR Baggs Five.0 AND the MISI are all 1/4" (6.35mm) output and NOT XLR output, as well as UNBALANCED, so you need to go from the instrument into either a DI BOX or preamp/DI with an XLR output....

Something like the Behringer ADI-21 ($39 everywhere) does this handily and on the cheap. and gives you control over your sound in a foot pedal at the stage, otherwise you can spend for the LR Baggs DI/preamps ($149+) or the Fishman Aura or Zoom A3 ($299+) or a RADIAL PZ/DI ($399) or RADIAL TONEBONE ($349).

Others have suggested lots of good choices.

..but before going off and spending $300+ on a Fishman Loudbox Mini or Roland AC amp or any kind of preamp/DI box, I would attend at least a few rehearsals with the sound guy present and go with the flow, for if the house mixer out to the PA is done right, you might not need to buy anything....

Also if there is an acoustic guitar player, look at his setup, ask him questions and take some notes as to what he uses in his rig and out to the house PA system.
Thanks Booli. I figured you'd pop up and give your input. I will definitely attend practices first to see if I fit in well with the group and what (if anything) I need. I would like to get a better amp at some point, so all the advice given above is very helpful. I'll report back on how things go at church.

Booli
12-12-2017, 07:36 AM
Exactly. Well said. This is what I was trying to say. Lots of ways to address amplification. Easy to spend a lot that is unneeded.

Thanks katysax! :)


Mostly pretty much what Booli said.

Thanks Rick! :)


...(If you don't have to put a battery in or charge up your pickup in MISI style then your pickup is probably passive.)

The MiSi pickup system has an active preamp built-in to the endpin jack and is powered by a super-capacitor instead of a battery which is rechargeable via the included adapter, or via a 9v battery (using a guitar cable).


...I get what people say about sacrificing control if you go direct into a PA. That said, when you start playing with other people in bands or at services then it is time to grow up and accept that it's not about you being in control any more. You're part of a whole. If you have an experienced sound guy at church then let him set levels and EQ - it'll sound much better and mean you have less to worry about.

When you have a bunch of players all with their own backline amps it can become a messy nightmare. The sound guy can't keep things together because everyone thinks he/she knows best how to twiddle the knobs. Also, set up and break down are much quicker and tidier when as many people as possible DI into the PA...

This is good advice, especially if you are new to performing. You already have to deal with performance anxiety, getting the songs right, as well as actively LISTENING to the rest of the band while playing, otherwise you are just part of a hot mess...

With experience, one can learn to multitask these better without stress, and then add more issues to worry about...while in the meantime surrendering the audio control to the expertise of the 'sound guy', who if responsive, and you ask nicely can tweak your sound for you so you can hear yourself better on stage.

Also, some gigs that I worked as a musician, OR as the 'sound guy', everything was done with Shure SM57 mics ON the amps for EACH performer as well as the drummer, and SM58 mics for all vocals. SOMETIMES, this is easier, and sometimes this just becomes a cacauphony of mindless noise since everyone on stage wants to turn it up to eleventy, which eventually punishes the audience with a muddy mix and once the volume reaches about 100 decibels, folks might leave because in a venue that holds 150 people, unless the crowd is talking all the time (like in a bar or pub) that volume level might not be necessary at all.

Also #2, lots of church sanctuaries are DESIGNED to be an efficient acoustic chamber, and a PA system is usually used with a mic at the podium, and only is loud enough for the folks in the back pews to hear the service and not at stadium concert volume.

Churches and other venues have existed long before PA systems and amps were born, and it is very possible to smother the audience with a wall of sound that either deafening and/or unintelligible noise.

I really like that artists like Brandie Carlisle did a world tour with just acoustic instruments, and ZERO PA system or amplification, and most of the performances were in small churches. Yes, she sang WITH the full band and could still be heard well, and everyone just played SOFTER. I did not get to see any of the shows, but what I read, the audience was mostly 100 seats and as such a very intimate setting.

Booli
12-12-2017, 07:54 AM
Thanks Booli. I figured you'd pop up and give your input. I will definitely attend practices first to see if I fit in well with the group and what (if anything) I need. I would like to get a better amp at some point, so all the advice given above is very helpful. I'll report back on how things go at church.

You're most welcome!

There's lots of good advice here on this thread for you (from everyone here).

After you scope out the scenario, please do report back here, as this is a well-worn path for many of us, and we can offer advice to help you based upon real-world experience with navigating lots of issues you may see, and in the end can help to prevent and/or defeat any potential frustrations or other problems for you.

I am excited for you that you are stepping up and stepping OUT on stage, even as part of a group. :music:

If you do enjoy it, this could be a launchpad for future public performance, either solo or as part of an ensemble. :)

RafterGirl
12-15-2017, 01:22 AM
So it turns out that this advice from Booli was spot on........

"but before going off and spending $300+ on a Fishman Loudbox Mini or Roland AC amp or any kind of preamp/DI box, I would attend at least a few rehearsals with the sound guy present and go with the flow, for if the house mixer out to the PA is done right, you might not need to buy anything"

I don't need to have anything extra. I went to practice last night and the leader/guitar player told me that I don't need anything other than a cable to plug into my uke pick-up. No pre-amp/DI needed. My new ukulele with a pick-up hasn't arrived yet, so for this Sunday I'll just have a mic set up. Worked fine for practice last night. The folks in the group were very welcoming and liked the sound that the ukulele added.

buddhuu
12-15-2017, 09:24 AM
So it turns out that this advice from Booli was spot on........

"but before going off and spending $300+ on a Fishman Loudbox Mini or Roland AC amp or any kind of preamp/DI box, I would attend at least a few rehearsals with the sound guy present and go with the flow, for if the house mixer out to the PA is done right, you might not need to buy anything"

I don't need to have anything extra. I went to practice last night and the leader/guitar player told me that I don't need anything other than a cable to plug into my uke pick-up. No pre-amp/DI needed. My new ukulele with a pick-up hasn't arrived yet, so for this Sunday I'll just have a mic set up. Worked fine for practice last night. The folks in the group were very welcoming and liked the sound that the ukulele added.

Sounds good. That's pretty much the ideal outcome. :)

RafterGirl
12-15-2017, 12:34 PM
Thanks. Is the cable one thing I could get away with buying at Guitar Center or is it best to order online?

Brad Bordessa
12-15-2017, 04:26 PM
Thanks. Is the cable one thing I could get away with buying at Guitar Center or is it best to order online?

A cable is a cable*. At this point, go to GC and get something that feels sturdy, appears well built, and the dudes recommend ($15-20) Get something with metal jacks that can unscrew - not a molded plastic ones (so you can fix it down the road). Fender, Planet Waves, ProCo, etc... It will suit you fine until you need/want something better. At which point you'll have experience listening to your plugged in uke and can appreciate the difference in the next level of cable.

* - But that said, a cable is NOT a cable. In my experience, comparing Mogami to Fender and Planet Waves like that post does is apples and oranges. Mogami is really in another class. I've had my own and heard other player's "good" Fender cables crackle and go silent - along with many other "good" cables. In all my years on stage, running sound, talking story with players and soundguys, I've never heard a single story or rumor about a Mogami giving up the ghost.

(Semi) Pro tip: Buy bulk cable (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GoldInst) and a couple Switchcraft jacks (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TSMCabConSw) and learn to solder. Save some serious bucks on a very quality cable and (bonus) you'll be able to repair almost any cable in the future!

RafterGirl
12-17-2017, 08:54 AM
Update.....It went great at church this morning. We had two practices sessions, and I practiced a lot at home. I especially had to practice standing up since 99% of the time at home, at uke workshops, and at jams I'm sitting. Standing to play was a new experience. I stayed focused on my music while we were playing during the service, and all went well. I had compliments from the other band members & members of the congregation on how they liked the ukulele sound.

I apologize for my total lack of appropriate technical terminology, but it looks like the sound system thing will be no big deal. The two guitar players plug into a large box thingie that sits on the floor behind the band/piano area. The electric guitar player does have a DI (?)with a pedal, but the acoustic guitar player plugged straight in. They told me that all I need once I have my uke with the MiSi pick up is a regular cable. The main guitar guy said he thinks he has an extra cable with the XLR end that I can use. He also has an extra XLR adapter I can use if he can't find the the other cable for me.

Brad Bordessa
12-17-2017, 02:18 PM
I apologize for my total lack of appropriate technical terminology, but it looks like the sound system thing will be no big deal. The two guitar players plug into a large box thingie that sits on the floor behind the band/piano area. The electric guitar player does have a DI (?)with a pedal, but the acoustic guitar player plugged straight in. They told me that all I need once I have my uke with the MiSi pick up is a regular cable. The main guitar guy said he thinks he has an extra cable with the XLR end that I can use. He also has an extra XLR adapter I can use if he can't find the the other cable for me.

Did the box thingie look like this: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/audio-snakes? If so, maybe Booli will chime in on running straight from 1/4" to XLR into the snake. I've never seen it done. I imagine that without the ground the cable suck is pretty huge, depending on how far away the board is. Not how I'd do it, but maybe it works. Now I'm curious...

Booli
12-17-2017, 04:25 PM
Did the box thingie look like this: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/audio-snakes? If so, maybe Booli will chime in on running straight from 1/4" to XLR into the snake. I've never seen it done. I imagine that without the ground the cable suck is pretty huge, depending on how far away the board is. Not how I'd do it, but maybe it works. Now I'm curious...

Aye. Likely they are using a 'stage snake box' similar to this:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71-oZmvKB1L._SX425_.jpg

Which has both XLR and 1/4" connectors, often referred to as 'XLR combo jacks', as shown in the closeup below, which can use either an XLR or a 1/4" plug without any adapters (that are fiddly and can cause volume/impedance issues due to 'insertion loss'):

http://www.newworldproaudio.com/assets/images/connectors-adaptors/neutrik-combo.jpg

Often these are mic-level impedance inputs (less than 1K Ohm) and if the mixer at the other end has a trim control to boost the gain or an impedance matching circuit, they will work well.

More expensive versions of these have an impedance-matching transformer within, for EACH input channel that is switched into the circuit when a 1/4" plug is inserted and will convert the typical 10k-100k Ohm 'guitar' or 'instrument' level impedance to the 1K Ohm impedance expected at the console, and if routed via 1/4" TRS (3-conductor tip-ring-sleeve) 'balanced' lines might also have additional internal wiring to convert the average 1/4" TS (2-conductor tip-sleeve) to TRS balanced with 2 ground wires instead of just one. Doing so helps to reject hum and EMI/RF interference, and then the only un-balanced line is from the instrument (or amp or pedals) to the stage snake box.

Having the in-line impedance-matching transformer also enables the stage snake to act as DI or 'direct box'.

So it seems that when the sound system was setup in the church, it was done with these considerations in mind, which makes it much easier for everyone involved, as opposed to each performer needing a proper preamp and/or DI box, which each is likely to output different signal levels unless all the exact same item, which is not often the best option in most cases.

RafterGirl - I am glad that you will have fewer obstacles to getting plugged in and playing with your ensemble. It seems like the sound guy at the church is running a good setup so far.

Please keep up posted on your further progress. :)

Brad Bordessa
12-17-2017, 05:39 PM
@Booli - So am I correct in thinking that a cheap snake without those transformers to match impedance (or running a TS 1/4" to XLR straight to the snake) is the same as an X feet long TS 1/4" to the board (where X is the length of the snake)? Or does the XLR part of the run somehow not loose tone and only the 1/4" adds to the problem? :confused:

Kekani
12-17-2017, 05:40 PM
Booli, I'm more with Brad, and little more statistically pessimistic view. What are the chances:
- church has a snake with a transformer.
- guitar player is plugging directly in the snake ("normal" snake with no transformer)with a 1/4" TS to xlr (either by design, or with an adapter), or a TRS 1/4" to XLR, in which case the R would be there for nothing given most pickup jacks.

If its the first, girl is set.
If its the 2nd, well, you've already gone through that scenario, many times.

Booli
12-17-2017, 06:13 PM
@ Brad & Kekani -

Hard to say without knowing exactly what is on the stage (make & model) and what they are using as a FOH (front of house) mixer board. There are many makers, many models and many options so lots of variables to account for.

For the sake of argument I will try and answer, but with many unknowns, I could be missing something and am also open to suggestions...

The photo of that snake box (which is a 19" rackmount unit) in my previous post is made by Seismic Audio and sells for $450 alone, and not sure if that model has the impedance-matching circuits inside (memory fuzzy now).

Some churches invest a lot of cash into their sound system and others are on a shoestring and can only afford the $99 24-channel XLR snake cables (that do not have a 'box' per se). These cheaper units are almost garbage and really should be avoided if possible. The use cheap connectors and cheap, poorly soldered cables, and will need repairs/replacing often.

(nothing quite like trying to use a soldering iron, at the foot of the stage while the band waits around to do their sound-check, asking every five seconds if you fixed it yet - AARRRGGGGHHHH - triple redundancy is the answer, 3 of everything - for EACH performer, otherwise there is NO BACKUP :))

I think that if no signal matching is done, the 'tone suck' is likely more due to the impedance problem, rather than running a 50+ ft TS cable.

Doing so, with say even 16 AWG conductor and a braided quad-shield ground, you are more likely to suffer signal loss in terms of lower volume at the output due to the RESISTANCE rather than the capacitance of such a long cable run.

However, if the 1/4" plug does not have the transformer, BUT does in fact 'normal' the 1/4" TS plug such that the 'R'(ring) of the TRS is bridged or shunted to the S (shield) in the snake box, it is like having a 'normalled' patch bay, and when routed out of the box via an XLR cable, that female connection on the snake box now has 2 'parallel' ground circuits (albeit usually twisted x-times per ft inside the XLR cable or on a quad-braided sheath) such that both the resistance and capacitance are reduced on account of now having twice the amount of ground wire for that signal's channel.

Both tone-suck and impedance-mismatch can be solved with other add-ons at the stage and flipping some switches (or turning some knobs) at the mixer console, but this is at the discretion of the sound engineer.

I think that the takeaway for RafterGirl would be if her ukulele with the MiSi pickup/preamp sounds weak (low volume) or thin or quacky (impedance) coming out of the PA, she will need to dialog with the sound guy about these issues, as this can be resolved as we have discussed before, but EQ is usually NOT the solution since this is an electrical issue and not an audio issue.

I still would say that trying the Behringer ADI-21 ($39) [1/4" input/ XLR balanced & impedance-matched output] would be the first step on her end with the least cost and if that does not work, then there are other issues at play.

RafterGirl
12-21-2017, 03:18 AM
One more question for Booli. If I'm using Misi pick-ups in my ukes going forward, is there any reason to keep the iRig? Not talking about the clip-on mic, but the control box itself. We discussed on another thread about it's practical usage with a passive pick-up. Would it have a practical use with the MiSi? I'm thinking as volume or tone control closer to the uke/me than making adjustments on an amp. I recall that the iRig video showed how to use the clip mic in additional to the instrument pick-up. I'm not necessarily talking about within the church PA scenerio, but at home or if just plugged in to an amp somewhere else. If it has no practical value with an active pick-up then I will sell it so someone else can use it.

PS - I will try to get a photo of the set-up at church when I'm at practice tonight.

RafterGirl
12-21-2017, 06:19 PM
Here's a picture of the large box that the guitar players hook up to directly with XLR cable (?) I hope this helps in identifying how things are set up. I don't think my new uke with the MiSi pickup will make it here by Sunday. Playing with a mic set up in front of me is working just fine for now.

RafterGirl
12-24-2017, 03:03 AM
Without asking for the guitarist's signal chain (which will probably not apply to you), I'd query "what are YOU plugging into?" and "what is your signal chain?"

On a side note, there are stickies in Tech that you may want to read.

Not sure what a signal chain is, but I'll look for the stickies in the Tech Forum and do some reading. In your earlier post you said that if the church had a snake & transformer I'd be set. Is that what's in the picture?