October 23, 2017, 03:44:14 AM

Author Topic: no sound from PA during open mike session  (Read 845 times)

Offline ashdale

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
no sound from PA during open mike session
« on: March 17, 2016, 04:21:20 PM »
  • Publish
  • This isn't exactly an "amp question" but I don't know where else to post it--sorry!

    My Martin has a passive pickup under the bridge (I guess) coming out to a socket in the side of the guitar. My Gibson-style archtop has two pickups coming out to a socket in the side of the guitar. Both guitars play fine through my amps.

    Twice recently, I've gone to different open mike sessions in a pub and when either guitar is plugged into the operator's PA, she's said (it was a girl each time) she couldn't get any level and I was forced to play acoustically through a microphone. Each time the girl was using a mixing-board type of PA from what I could see. But other people's guitars seemed to work.

    Yet I'm sure that when I played with my band (which has a "conventional PA", a large box with knobs) in the olden days before I got my guitar amps, I could plug into that PA and get heard (obviously I didn't get as nice a sound as what I can get from my own controllable amp).

    So what was happening at those open mike sessions? Were the mixing-board types of PA just not up to the job? I've just checked my guitars with my amps, the pickups are working fine.

    Offline John H

    • Admin
    • Administrator
    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 3016
    • Karma: +43/-0
      • View Profile
      • John's Music
    Re: no sound from PA during open mike session
    « Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 06:05:03 PM »
  • Publish
  • I'm assuming that you're using a 1/4" cable into a 1/4" input on the board? The 1/4" input on the board might be for a stereo or "insert" cable. If so, the lead needs to be only partially inserted. Your best bet is to get a cable that has a 1/4" male jack to fit the guitar, and a 3 pin male microphone type connector on the other end to plug into the snake or board. That should help remove any confusion.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power... the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

    https://soundcloud.com/sg-john

    Offline ashdale

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 3
    • Karma: +0/-0
      • View Profile
    Re: no sound from PA during open mike session
    « Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 06:05:12 PM »
  • Publish
  • No, I wasn't using my own cable, just the cable that in each case the girl handed to me. but I noticed that at each open -mike session, at least one other acoustic guitar (and perhaps all of the guitars!) had a slider on the body side, indicating a battery-powered pre-amp. Now this means those guitars will be producing a higher output signal than my own passive pickups. Most of my guitarist friends who gig independently have guitars with battery-powered pickups but I never had problems with my passive pickups in the past.

    Maybe I'm being naive to think one can just go plug into a mixing board type console (sorry, I don't know the technical term for this) and play. On the two sessions I went to, there was no advice "bring your own amp" or even "bring your own pre-amp if there isn't one on the guitar". I realise that open-mike sessions are very popular these days, taking place at venues all over the country and I suppose not many will have the Peavey type PA that we use in my band, as they're more cumbersome.

    Unfortunately I didn't note any details of the equipment used at those two sessions, just suffered the annoyance of waiting in front of an eager audience while the operator faffed around and then said lamely "is your pickup working?"

    So was it me, or the consoles?

    Offline John H

    • Admin
    • Administrator
    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 3016
    • Karma: +43/-0
      • View Profile
      • John's Music
    Re: no sound from PA during open mike session
    « Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 03:18:35 AM »
  • Publish
  • If your Martin works fine with your amp or a powered board, I would say you have a passive type pickup. They would need phantom power or an outboard pre-amp for your guitar. You could ask them if they have phantom power. It's usually used for condensor mics, but could also be used in some instrument applications.

    Unfortunately, I don't know very much about acoustic pickups. I'm just trying to offer some suggestions. Is there a shop near you where you could try plugging into a demo PA?
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power... the world will know peace." Jimi Hendrix

    https://soundcloud.com/sg-john

     

    Interest free Finance on guitars, guitar amps and musical instruments