This past weekend, I mixed sound for 4 acoustic acts and 1 - 3-piece band at Sarnia Artwalk 2014. Under a 11ft x 8ft tent, I had a micro sound system with minimal gear and managed to make it work.
My sound system consisted of a Behringer XENYX 1204 mixer, a Peavey EU112 loudspeaker (just one), a Peavey CS-800 power amp, 2 - Shure SM58 mics on stands and nothing else. For the acoustic guitarists, I plugged them into the line inputs on 2 channels. No DI boxes required. (I mixed from right beside the tent). The sole Peavey speaker was placed at the back corner of the tent and directed the sound 45 degrees towards the performers.
The setup worked well for the acoustic only performers but, when the 3 piece band played, I was getting feedback from the closest vocal mic due to the higher level required to get over top of the band sound. A little frustrating to say the least. The mixer channels only have basic 3 band EQ and I did not have any outboard EQ on the main speaker.
My other issue was the lack of EFX on my Behringer mixer. All the acts asked for reverb and I did not have it. I actually tried to get an EFX processor from a musician friend but, could not because, he was using it for the same weekend.
I know what you are thinking. Why didn't I plan the setup better? Well, I was asked for a basic setup to provide basic sound without disrupting the other vendors at the Artwalk event right out on the street.
If I get to do the same event next year, I will bring a completely different system with all the essential tools I need available. More speakers, a larger mixer with better channel EQ and EFX and a separate outboard EQ for the mains outputs would be a better way to go next year.
I did not take any pictures this year of my setup and I am kind of glad about that. If I get the chance next year to do it again, I will make it much better for the performers. If you are curious, take a look at the picture below of my baby mixer. The Behringer XENYX 1204 USB:
That's all folks!
Ron "Sound Tech Guy"