Recently went whole hog. Craigslisted the old PA and spent the proceeds and quite a bit more on an M20D, 2xL3m, 2xL2t, and 2xL3s.
A lot of good and some issues I'm still struggling with.
First, the speakers are fabulous. Gigged yesterday in a bar and tonight outside at a private event. For the outside gig we pumped some Rush Moving Pictures through the speakers to check them out during sound check. No where near maxed, loud as &^%$@# yet still clear and separate. I love the way that record is produced and it retained all that magic space and texture. Almost a religious experience. The people who say these speakers aren't loud enough...wtf?
I haven't tried a lot of the newer speakers, but compared to my old system with passive Peavey mains and Yamaha 18 subs, and a refrigerator full of rack gear....no comparison. My old system could get loud but never did it sound just so clear and amazing.
We played outside tonight and it only took us an hour to find out that the party hadn't gotten a permit for their block party...because the cops were getting noise complaints several blocks away. Slight volume adjustment and we made it another hour without getting arrested. Volume is no problem, take my word for it. We were no where near max.
We've had some problems with feedback that I've started to narrow down but would appreciate some help with. Our lead singer uses a pretty hot condenser mic and he doesn't sing terribly loud. He's a great singer, with a killer voice and range, he sounds loud and powerful, but the truth is he's actually singing pretty soft. Consequently we've been fighting feedback and some ringing/howling from the PA that's just short of feedback but certainly not desirable. At the same time I'm having trouble getting him loud enough in the mains
I know part of the problem is our stage volume is just too loud and tonight I made some progress by just lowering the monitors and really minimizing what I was sending to the monitor mixes (3 speakers and 1 in-ear mix). There's only so much I can do as a sound man to control drum volume on stage though, and that seems to set the floor for everyone else (a common lament I'm sure).
I also found that that there's a ton of bass coming off the sides of the subs that, depending on sub placement, can really raise your stage volume levels. Set up the subs much farther away from the band tonight and that seemed to make a difference.
My other mystery is recording. I've been able to record to an SD card but in two gigs I haven't been able to get a whole song. For some reason, I get the recording going and then it's just stopped for some reason. I have a 64g SD card, properly formatted, and have been able to record a couple of minutes for sound check purposes but when it comes time to record the set, the thing just turns off when my head is turned and I don't catch it until much later. Hoping there's a simple operator error that I haven't figured out yet.
Saved setups made night #2 WAY easier than the first night. Hoping that trend continues as the rest of the band figures out how the system works. I'm a musician, not a soundman, and I want to get back to solving more musical problems than technical ones. On that subject, actually used the quick tweak option a couple of times tonight with some good effect. More importantly it let me solve a problem and get back to playing without too much mental gymnastics.
So, 2 gigs down, a lot of lessons learned, but I'm pretty happy with our start. Still getting my arms around the M20d, but the speakers have way over-delivered.
Long post...sorry. Any comment appreciated.