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Old 18th February 2007, 20:20   #1
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Talking A small, ICE-like issue - need your advice

Hi

This is not a query for a car forum, but since we have so many knowledgeable ICE-men here I thought I might get a few good ideas on how to resolve my issue.

Background:

My son is part of a boyband (and BOY here means a REAL boy - 7-8-9 year olds) in the making. He plays the Keyboards and fools around on a keyboard like electronic acoustic guitar (Yamaha EZ-AG). His friends have some other toys like drum pads, a real guitar, and all of them have very loud voices.

The Issue:

I am tasked with buying the equipment for this boyband. I tried to keep them happy with a Karaoke player which is basically a monitor speaker with a built in amp, cd player (for the karaoke) and a couple of extra inputs.

This obviously will not do for these extremely finicky young gentlemen. So I'm stuck with this Karoke player, 2 mics and a whole bunch of cables.

The idea is that all of them should be able to play together and be heard through speakers. Being a total zero in sound, I tried doing a bit of research and found that:

1. My home amp wont do - it will only play one input at a time.

2. Karaoke player with its 2 mics and 2 inputs wont do because (1) all of them cant play together since it only has 2 inputs and (2) it isnt loud enough anyway.

Then I did some more research and found that I will need the following to meet their requirements:

1. Sound Mixer

2. Amplifier

3. Real big speakers

and anything else that might be a deficiency in this overall setup.

Now I found a very cheap (obviously - this is for kids!) Taiwanese sound mixer from my good friend who supplies a lot of my electronics. It is a POWERED mixer, allegedly containing an amp and therefore I wont require an amp.

Please take a look at this thing and tell me if this is the right equipment - it looks like an aircraft cockpit to me:

Welcome to Top Class Electronics Shop online

bigger picture here:

http://www.hiclasselectronics.com/im...6_DSC00308.JPG

Now obviously I will need speakers. I dont plan to spend a fortune on it, yet at the same time I do not want to burn out speakers or screw up the amp/mixer with the wrong set of speakers.

Can someone advice me on the following:

1. What rating of speakers do I need to go with this thing? It says 250 RMS at 4 ohms on the site, and the chap confirmed that you can connect 4 speakers to it (I dont plan to connect 4 - I just need 2 to keep the brats happy).

2. Take a look at the picture and let me know if I will need any sort of special cables to connect all their equipment to this mixer. The Line adapters look very unusual to me.

3. Is there anything else that will be required? Basically can I connect the different noise-sources to this mixer and then the mixer to 2 speakers and get a semblance of a band to work happily?

4. Is this setup idiot proof?

Guys - please dont go overboard ICE-ishtyle. All I need is to get about 6 kids to sing and play along together - loudly. No SQ or other sort of stuff involved.
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Old 19th February 2007, 15:12   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
1. What rating of speakers do I need to go with this thing? It says 250 RMS at 4 ohms on the site, and the chap confirmed that you can connect 4 speakers to it (I dont plan to connect 4 - I just need 2 to keep the brats happy).
When the guy says you can connect 4 speakers, he means 2 x 8 ohm speakers in parallel per side. So, if you connect 2 speakers, they can be as low as 4 ohms in impedance, not lower. Also, this thing wont be able to drive very large speakers. Get something 2-way with a 12" bass and a horn loaded HF driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
2. Take a look at the picture and let me know if I will need any sort of special cables to connect all their equipment to this mixer. The Line adapters look very unusual to me.
If using a microphone, you use the XLR connector, or you use the large headphone-like jack for line level inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
3. Is there anything else that will be required? Basically can I connect the different noise-sources to this mixer and then the mixer to 2 speakers and get a semblance of a band to work happily?
If you put all the budding rockers and their instruments together, are you within 8 different inputs for the mixer? If yes, then this will work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
4. Is this setup idiot proof?
Nope.
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Old 19th February 2007, 16:14   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
When the guy says you can connect 4 speakers, he means 2 x 8 ohm speakers in parallel per side. So, if you connect 2 speakers, they can be as low as 4 ohms in impedance, not lower.
Per side or both connected to one side?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
If using a microphone, you use the XLR connector, or you use the large headphone-like jack for line level inputs.
Do you have a picture of this thing, or do I just walk into a shop and ask for a microphone with an XLR connector?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
If you put all the budding rockers and their instruments together, are you within 8 different inputs for the mixer? If yes, then this will work.
Yes - thats why I went for this. Else there was a nice and compact 4-channel mixer that wasnt so complicated or bulky, except that it didnt have a built-in amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
Nope.
Sigh! Thats what I thought when I first saw it.
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Old 20th February 2007, 11:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Per side or both connected to one side?
2 speakers per side. i.e. 2 speakers connected to the left channel of the amp and 2 speakers connected to the right channel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Do you have a picture of this thing, or do I just walk into a shop and ask for a microphone with an XLR connector?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Sigh! Thats what I thought when I first saw it
I'm not worried about the mixer. Kids could go overboard and blow the speakers. You cant prevent that from happening with this sort of a setup.
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Old 20th February 2007, 12:06   #5
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Thanks B&T - that was very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass&Trouble View Post
I'm not worried about the mixer. Kids could go overboard and blow the speakers. You cant prevent that from happening with this sort of a setup.
They wont be in charge of the equipment - one of the pops will be present at all times. In any case they dont know much about these things (not that we do either!) - though they might be much faster on the uptake than any of us.

Just in case - is there any additional piece of equipment that can prevent them from blowing up the speakers?
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Old 20th February 2007, 12:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
My son is part of a boyband - 7-8-9 year olds. He plays the Keyboards and fools around on a keyboard like electronic acoustic guitar (Yamaha EZ-AG). His friends have some other toys like drum pads, a real guitar, and all of them have very loud voices.

1. Sound Mixer

2. Amplifier

3. Real big speakers

bigger picture here:

http://www.hiclasselectronics.com/im...6_DSC00308.JPG

Now obviously I will need speakers.
1. What rating of speakers do I need to go with this thing? It says 250 RMS at 4 ohms on the site, and the chap confirmed that you can connect 4 speakers to it (I dont plan to connect 4 - I just need 2 to keep the brats happy).

2. Take a look at the picture and let me know if I will need any sort of special cables to connect all their equipment to this mixer. The Line adapters look very unusual to me.

3. Is there anything else that will be required? Basically can I connect the different noise-sources to this mixer and then the mixer to 2 speakers and get a semblance of a band to work happily?

4. Is this setup idiot proof?

All I need is to get about 6 kids to sing and play along together - loudly.
I would get some PA speakers. I have seen some decent 12" fullrange drivers you can get a pair of them dump them into a cabinet and later if they need more highs add a horn tweeter. I would be expecting to spend about Rs. 4-5K per 12" fullrange but I have not bought a horn tweeter for a while so I am not up-to-date on prices. In my Boy band days (age 7-13) Arphi used to make a decent 10" and 12" fullranges with whizzer cones (they used the same in their Aquarius and Orpheus speakers) they managed about 50W rms each and a pair of these could get loud later I graduated to Celestion (a la Marshall), JBL/Urei and/Gauss. I am wating for the day my son asks me for a set of such speakers. BTW Philips also made a decent 7" fullrange at that time that managed about 25-30W rms and a line source of 4-8 of these could be just as loud as the Arphi drivers but I got the Arphi drivers for free - their factory was in the same building as my father's office.

Dont worry too much about the ratings. Given the antecedents of the mixer I doubt it will dump too much current. I would be more concened about having speakers with too low an impedance (not below 4 ohms) with this mixer.

1/4" can be used for all inputs. I have seen mics with 1/4" and XLR. Stick to XLR.

You would need atleast 4 inputs - drum pads, guitar, keyboard, vocals. If you have 8 you should be ok. Unless your kids are getting a regular drum kit (at that stage you might have bigger problems).

I would do what my father used to do. If he saw us getting together (which usually happened at about 6-7pm) to "perfrom" he'd take my mom out for a movie, drop by the local police station and leave a note for the cops to drop by our apt at about 10pm. By the time he got back he had a quiet house and 1 tired son.

This system can never be Idiot proof esp when you got 6 kids. They will blow up something. Expect that to happen. As kids we even set the kitchen on fire but that is another story. Good Luck.

PS
Teach your son and his friends the advantages of protecting their hearing. Some chemists will keep ear plugs. they will drop the levels down by about 20-25db. Kids often want to get loud only so that the nighbours can hear them. this way they can do both - irritate the neighbours and protect their hearing.
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Old 21st February 2007, 23:45   #7
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Steer, I seem to have missed this thread. Sorry.

The safest and most portable option for you, is to get active speakers. This will lower the chances of blowing up anything, less equipment to lug around and less things to connect.

Also, the number of active speakers you can connect is unlimited. AND it is slightly more idiot proof.

You can get a 10" active speaker which will do the job nicely. By 10" I mean a powered speaker (almost always made of fibreglass) which has a 10" woofer and a horn loaded tweeter.
The band industry standard, for portable and small gig applications is a speaker called the JBL EON10 G2. These can be used as monitors (floor mounted) or as pole mounted speakers.
However these are expensive.

You will also find similar products from brands like EAW, DAS, dB etc.

A mid level product, similar to this is made by Mackie/RCF. Both are now the same brand, sold in different countries under these names.
A cheap and decent option come from Behringer.

What I suggest is that you just buy them a pair of active speakers. Later if the need exists, a subwoofer can be added.

By buying actives, you will do away with the amplifier. The mixer connects straight to the speakers.

As B&T explained, microphones come with 2 kinds of connectors. One that looks like a large headphone jack, the other, well, he's posted a picture.
Most half decent mixers offer both options.
You also get a JBL EON musicians portable mixer, but again, these are generally used by professional musicians.
Again, a cheap and decent mixer would be Behringer. You can find a Behringer dealer in Dubai and buy a mixer and active speakers from him together. They have options in 8/12 and 16 channels, with panning, send/return and the options of multiple miking, mixed with Midi/backtracks and a monitor out for recording.

If that sounds complicated, don't worry, today's kids will figure it all out. Just sit back and watch.
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Old 22nd February 2007, 10:59   #8
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Thanks Sam, Navin and B&T

I bought the Taiwanese mixer yesterday, and I will probably connect it to one of my home entertainment systems for speakers and amp - probably to the HK 675 + Mission M35. All I need is some assurance that the setup will not blow my more expensive amp and those lovely speakers. I will be in charge of the setup (I dont know if that is worse than the kids being in charge, but at least I have access to TBHP's ICE MEN).

The mixer features two sets of outputs - one set of two outputs for connection to an external amp, and one set of 4 outputs for connection to speakers directly. I'm assuming that the latter outputs are connected to the built-in amps (the wiring diagram shows the amp connection terminating at these outputs while the a/v outs are BEFORE the power amps).

The speaker rating suggested in the manual is 250W @ 8 ohms and 150W @ 4 ohms (or is it the other way around?).

Out of interest (I do not want to do this, but its nice to know) - if I connect the Mixer's amp out to the amplifier, should I put a pre-amp in between ? I have a spare Yamaha C2 lying around which could be used for this purpose.

BTW the manual is hilarious - I'll take some pics and post some of the literal chinese-to-english translations. They're a riot - more than just light entertainment!
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Old 22nd February 2007, 13:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
I bought the Taiwanese mixer yesterday, and I will probably connect it to one of my home entertainment systems for speakers and amp - probably to the HK 675 + Mission M35. All I need is some assurance that the setup will not blow my more expensive amp and those lovely speakers. I will be in charge of the setup (I dont know if that is worse than the kids being in charge, but at least I have access to TBHP's ICE MEN).
Why do you want to use the 75x2 HK amp when the mixer has a built in amp which is more powerful, and SQ isn't really your concern? And even more importantly, why are you exposing a pair of Mission towers to a likely sonic tragedy?? Those speakers are farthest from 'designed to withstand any form of torture'. Like Sam mentioned, you need a pair of pro speakers. It's nearly a must.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
The speaker rating suggested in the manual is 250W @ 8 ohms and 150W @ 4 ohms (or is it the other way around?).
Its the speaker rating, or the power output of the amplifier? In any case,that sure is jumbled up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Out of interest (I do not want to do this, but its nice to know) - if I connect the Mixer's amp out to the amplifier, should I put a pre-amp in between ? I have a spare Yamaha C2 lying around which could be used for this purpose.
When the mixer has a pre-amp out, why do you want to connect the speaker level ouputs to another amp?
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Old 22nd February 2007, 13:18   #10
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Okay - I was hoping not to have to buy another pair of speakers. Storage space is a major concern. Guess I'll buy a pair of el-cheapo speakers (with ratings suggested by you) and connect them directly to the Mixer-amp.
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Old 25th February 2007, 13:45   #11
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Checked out the setup this weekend with a pair of old Sansui speakers (8 ohms, 150W each) and it worked great. The sound quality is actually rather nice and we didnt raise the master volume beyond 20% of its calibration - it was still pretty loud. Worked well with 3 microphones, one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar, one drumpad and one keyboard + 2 inputs for the karaoke player (one guitar removed). All in all a very satisfying experience.

Thanks everyone - mods you can close this thread.

Last edited by Steeroid : 25th February 2007 at 13:46.
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