When Getting the Sound Right Just Works


Posted on: 30 June 2016 by Diego Lopez

The very basic function of a PA system is to get sound over a wide area and make it audible to a large audience. A public address system would comprise of the speakers, the amplifier, the mixer and the microphone.

The Basics:  The very basic function of a PA system is to get sound over a wide area and make it audible to a large audience.  A public address system would comprise of the speakers, the amplifier, the mixer and the microphone.  Each part of a public address system has a role to play and cannot be substituted.  The primary function of a microphone is to convert the sound waves to electrical signals.  The electrical signal produced by the microphone does differ in quality with the type and kind of microphone used.    This signal is then fed into the mixer.  The mixer primarily combines or blends the separate sources to give a unified electrical signal source.  This single signal is boosted at the amplifier and sent to the speakers.  With the speakers converting the electrical signal into sound, the entire cycle is complete.  There are public address systems that vary with applications and uses.  From systems that are used at home to listen to music to the ex industrial loudspeakers that find use in industrial areas, there is one for every use. 

How Quality Counts:  The public address system is an area where quality tells on the end product, that is, the sound produced at the speakers.  With complex systems that cater to large gatherings to the home systems that are used to listen at residences or the PA systems for live music; there is bound to be one for each purpose.  Substantial research and testing would have gone into making of each system.  The requirements and operating areas of different systems are each separate and needs the use of specialized components to achieve quality sound rendition.  Most mixers have an inbuilt equalizer that helps balance out the sound produced by altering the electrical waves.  Most music systems have complex components that bring live effects directly to audiences.  Things like “faders”, “levelers”, etc all go together to give a complete performance. 

Where Brand Is Everything:  If you were to have a look at the equipment that go on to form good public address systems, it would be noticed that brands do have their value.  It is very tough to destabilize brand hierarchy and order in just a year or so.  Entrenched interests ensure that powers that stayed at the top of performances have not changed in the past thirty years or so. This makes it all the more important that investments made in marketing and promotion are given the right amount of nourishment to flourish.  As far as possible, it is advised to use trained personnel for any technical needs of the system.  The increasing costs of equipment and gear make tinkering by amateurs a costly affair in the long run.  With things like impedance, wattage, ampere etc that go to govern the systems, it is not an easy job to set up a performing system.  All the components of a public address system have to match and complement each other to have memorable performances.  The slightest mismatch causes jarring bad notes that would be picked up by one and all listening to the system. 

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Diego Lopez

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