How to Choose the Right PA System
If you're playing gigs at venues that don't have their own PA system in place, you may want to consider investing in one yourself. A PA system, when you find the right one and position it strategically, will help every part of your music be heard.
When you're playing in a small space, the drums and electric guitar may be drowning out your singer. A PA system will let you adjust your levels more to put extra emphasis on certain parts. It helps your music come out much more balanced.
If you're planning on getting a new PA system, there are lots of different types available. Finding the right PA system for your specific needs is key to getting the best sound at your live performances.
Below are some important things to considering before you begin shopping for your new PA system.
Every PA system will have different power capabilities, which affects how loud they can get. The amount of power you need depends on how you plan on using your PA system.
If you're performing in smaller bars or at house parties, you won't need as much power as you would at a bigger, more open venue. It's also important to take into account whether you'll be performing indoors or outdoors. When you perform in a smaller space inside, you don't need as much power — the sound will bounce around. But even if you're playing for the same size crowd, only outside, the sound won't act the same.
When you perform outside, there's nothing to stop the sound. Playing outdoors you may need more power to reach every person in the audience.
Where you use your PA system will also affect which system you should get. There are PA systems that are completely portable and include all the necessary components, including a power source. A battery-powered portable PA system is really convenient, especially if you're playing shows outside and don't have another power source nearby. PA systems made with portability in mind are convenient and still bring the power you need.
If you have a PA system that doesn't have its own power source, make sure you know exactly where one is that you can use during your gig. If you're performing outside, you may need to invest in a generator too.
The main parts of your PA system are the input device (microphone, etc.), an amplifier and the speaker. However, there's some other gear that you might need in order to get the best sound out of your PA system.
Here's some extra equipment you may need or want to add to your PA system:
- Cables: You'll need the right cables to connect everything in your system. Depending on the equipment you're connecting to the PA system, you may need different types of cables in different lengths.
- Mixer: If you have a complex setup, you may want to consider getting a sound mixer, too. You can plug in all the different parts of your setup and then adjust the levels for each part. A mixer gives you a lot more control. If a level doesn't sound right, you can quickly adjust it.
- Microphones: You'll obviously need a microphone for all the singers in your group, but you may also need to mic some instruments. If you have any acoustic instruments, you may need to give them a microphone to make sure they're heard over the other parts.
- Stands: Unless you want the speakers to sit on the ground, you'll need stands to mount them
When you're thinking of buying a new PA system, make sure you think about this other gear.
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