“You have realized that you need an audio system! This is the easy part ...
With such a large variety of speakers, amplifiers, microphones and consoles available in the market, how can you make the right choice for your own needs?
Do you choose active or passive speakers?
How many channels should your console have?
How much power do you need to «fill» the space?
Trying to solve .. the puzzle about which product is best for each application can result in a complicated and tedious process. We will try to help you! We will answer your questions and what we think will help you!
Small rooms (cafes, small bars)
When using a sound system in a small rooms, such as a cafe, the goal is to keep the volume and sound low and clear. In most cases, live can be a handset without amplifying the sound. But when you want something more to give your music a noticeable presence, then a simple, small, PA system can help. The basics to consider when designing your own sound system are:
Small rooms do not offer much space for machinery installation. The best you can do is get as little equipment as possible. There are many PA systems on the market that are, in essence, ready to plug and play. Occupying less than half a square meter and mixed built-in JBL,RCF,EV,FBT,Mackie is a great choice for small spaces.
Active (self-amplifying) speakers - Another way to limit the amount of equipment you will need for audio coverage, in a small space, is active or self-amplifying speakers. This solution eliminates the need for amplifiers and their storage rack, which take up considerable space.
Quality - The fact that the sound system is smaller does not mean that there must be a compromise on quality. In smaller and simpler applications, poor quality is strongly felt. Look for solutions in active speakers with a built-in DSP and EQ processor for better control over complexity and performance.
Medium spaces (larger bars, clubs or restaurants)
If you have mid-sized venues like most bars, clubs and restaurants, you will find more options available for your PA equipment. In this case too, you should take the levels of intensity into account in order to avoid annoying customers (especially in restaurants) while having more things to think about as to the equipment to use:
Speakers - You can use either passively or actively for this application. A passive system will include speakers that require the use of an amplifier. Self-amplifying speakers may be an easier way. Usually, four base speakers - tripods, two or three monitor monitors and one or two subwoofers (optional), are good enough.
Amplifiers - If you choose to work with passive speakers, you will need to power them with amplifiers. The size, power and number of speakers will predetermine the type and number of amplifiers you should use.
Console - This type of system also requires a console. You should have a console or a "virtual" tablet mixer with enough inputs and channels to be able to route all voices and instruments.
Microphones - Dynamic microphones are a great solution for both voice and instrument amplifiers. An important factor to consider is the polar diagram, quality and durability!
Accessories – other devices to keep in mind are the DI boxes (direct input boxes), which can be used to attach an instrument, such as the acoustic guitar, directly to the console without having to place a microphone on the instrument or amplifier. . Also, if the console does not have an effects unit, you may have to consider some type of external audio / audio processing unit to add reverb to the vocals or acoustic guitars.
Large Spaces (event halls, Hall)
The difference between medium and large events is not necessarily large. Although, in this case, the sound system is in the spotlight and determines the energy, the quality and, by extension, the success of the event. Let's take a look at the system components:
Speakers - There is still a choice between active and passive speakers. Technology in the design of active speakers has made significant strides in recent years making it the ideal solution for flexible audio systems. For these big events you will need speakers that give you the control, power and clarity of sound you need.
Amplifiers - If you use passive speakers, you should still use the appropriate number of amplifiers depending on the power you need and the number of speakers.
Console - The choice of console is related to the size of the group you will be covering. A DJ will need a specification mixer, especially for use with a controller cd player (Pioneer has the most popular solutions), while a band will need a console with enough channels to connect all the microphones for instruments, voices. etc.
Microphones - As mentioned earlier, dynamic microphones are ideal for voice or instrument amplifiers and one of the key features to keep in mind is polar diagram, quality and durability.
Processing and control - When it comes to large scale events and large audio systems, control is the key word. The DBX offers a whole host of DriveRack series that feature a variety of useful functions such as AutoEQ and feedback elimination.
Many of the systems mentioned above can be adapted appropriately, depending on the use for which they are intended. There are hundreds of useful and necessary functions available for every unit of an audio system. It's very important to make clear what we want our system to do and what we want ... not to do..!