Laney AH200 Review and Usage Tips for Live Band & Recording

Recommended Live Band mixing tips for Laney AH200

The sound coming out of AH200 is loud and crystal clear. I would recommend the following settings for live audio mixing:

General Effect: Rev+Ch or Room Reverb (ON) (refer to manual for detailed operation on effects)

Bass (35%), Treble (60%) (note:100% is full knob maximum setting)
FX level: 40%

Acoustic or Electric Guitars
Bass (25%), Treble( 50%) or if mid range is too much, you can switch treble down to 35%
FX level: 55%

Bass guitar

Bass (95%), Treble(0%) or if bass is too much lower down to 85% or 70%.
FX level: 0% (no effects)

Drum Box/Cajon

Bass (75%), Treble (45%) or if bass is too weak increase to 100% or make sure the microphone on the cajon is correctly placed.
FX level: 0%

The gain settings varied a lot, I recommend that once the effect settings above are done, you will start balancing the volumes by using the gain knob for each channel. Let the band play and then tweak the gain until everything sounds balanced.

Applications of Laney AH200 for Recording

Other capabilities of Laney AH200 when used in home studio applications:

1.) Using the amplifier to record guitars and bass:
a.) How to Record overdrive distortion guitars using an amp
b.) Record Clean Guitar using DI or Amplifier Cabinet Method

2.) Using the amplifier when extending the bass of a nearfield monitor:
a.) Adding Subwoofer to M-audio Studiophile BX5a using Laney AH200 as Sub

3.) Additionally you can use Laney AH-200 as a powered karaoke recording system. All you have to is to:

a.) Connect your computer line output (soundcard/audio interface) to AH-200 CD-input.
b.) The music source(minus-one) will be controlled by a media player in your computer but the sound would come out in AH-200.
c.) Connect a dynamic microphone to XLR input and set desired effects (recommended effect is only Rev+Ch)
d.) Adjust the gain of the vocalist microphone until it sounds balance with the karaoke music.
e.) To record the karaoke performance, you can connect the output of Laney AH-200 (using Record Out or Main out feature of the amplifier) back to computer audio interface.
f.) Using a recording software (e.g. Audacity) you can record the karaoke performance easily and well-mixed.

Known limitations

1.) There is only one hi-z input. So if you are plugging a lot of high impedance musical instrument like guitars and bass, you need to pass it first with a DI box for best results.

2.) There is no built-in overdrive or distortion effects. Although a lot of quality effects are included including reverb, delay and chorus.

3.) EQ setting is only two-way through treble and bass, it would have been nice if there are three (bass, mid and treble).

4.) The XLR microphone input does not seem to have a built-in phantom power if you are using condenser microphones. You need to use an external phantom power supply unit before you can use condenser microphones with this amp.

Summary and Recommendations

Nevertheless, Laney AH-200 is an excellent PA system for home live band and recording use at an affordable budget. The price is around $499 in Amazon.

Laney AH200

With that valuable piece of PA system, you can:

1.) Play and rehearse with your band live (its very loud enough for at most 45 people listening to your gig).
2.) Take advantage of quality built-in effects like reverb.
3.) Record the sound of your guitars, bass and keyboards by placing a microphone on it and using your DAW (Digital audio workstation).
4.) Amplify the output of CD players, mp3 players,karaoke system etc by connecting them to AH200.

You can read the manual here to read more about the features.

Content last updated on July 24, 2012