PUBLIC ADDRESS (P.A.) SYSTEM – AVConcept and Design
Each PA system installation consists of a mixing board (mixer), sound processing equipment (microphones, stands, cables), power amplifiers, speakers, sub-woofers… And a sound operator. In situations where power fluctuations are possible, a generator is also added to the list.
The events at your school/college could be of any kind: a speech / musical show/drama/ dance or a mix of all. Based on factors like the venue (outdoor/indoor), audience strength, etc. and your event’s content helps the sound vendor decide on the list of equipment to bring and setup.
Microphones (mics) are a type of transducer – a device which converts acoustical energy (sound waves) into electrical energy (the audio signal). Different types of microphone have different ways of converting energy, but they all share one thing in common: The diaphragm.
Have relatively simple construction, and are therefore economical and rugged.
Our most commonly used for stage shows in schools and even music concerts.
They may or may not have an On/Off switch.
Are usually wired.
Ideal for vocals and drums.
Are based on an electrically-charged diaphragm/backplate assembly which forms a sound-sensitive capacitor (historically called a ‘condenser’).
Most commonly used in recording studios and controlled environments like concert halls. They provide higher sound quality than dynamic mics. Can also be kept suspended from the ceiling in plays/dramas to cover more area.
Can be wired or wireless too. Are a better choice for acoustic guitars.
Very sensitive to sound signals from quite a distance also. So these have to be turned off with the switch (if any), when not in use.
TYPICAL MIC TERMS TO KNOW
Each microphone captures sound signals from a distance source. So a guitar mic can capture the loud sounds of a drum being played near it.
Hence it is important to keep musical instruments (especially drums) in a particular style on stage to avoid “leakages” into another mic and avoid muffled audio.
Too many mics on stage should also be avoided being very close to each other.
This is the condition that occurs when an amplified sound enters a microphone and is re-amplified until a steady howl or whistle is heard.
So never go ahead of a speaker box with a mic in hand, or keep speakers too loud either.
Omni-directional microphones pick up sound with equal gain from all sides or directions of the microphone.
This means that whether a user speaks into the microphone from the front, back, left or right side, the mic will record the signals all with equal gain.
WEDGE (or Foldback) Stage Monitor
This “monitor” reproduces the sounds of the performance and directs them towards the onstage performers to help hear the instruments and vocals.
The audience listens to this same audio but from the PA speakers facing them.
Keep at least 3 wedges on stage – Left, Centre and Right corners. Usually, lead instrument players need one.
These monitors usually are balanced differently. But in school or college or low budget scenario, the balancing remains the same as the PA output.
The PA System for School Brisbane should ideally have a proper speaker distribution system for better sound. This is highly dependent on factors like the closed venue or open to sky amphitheatre, the size of the venue, audience strength. The decision is usually taken by the sound vendor. And again is budget dependent.
Instead of having a costly distributed system, a better and economical solution would be to get the PA in the correct position & preferably height.
- Ceiling speaker installation Brisbane: One of the nice things about sealing speakers is that they will deliver the desired, balanced sound while maintaining a low profile appearance. If you are going for multiple speaker setups, such as with a surround sound system.
- Digital Signage Brisbane: We drive our clients’ marketing objectives through innovation and personalization. Whether your business requires digital or static signage or a combination of the two, our ability ensures that we can tailor the right signage, with the right creative, to the right location for your needs.
DO’s and DON’Ts On-Stage
1. A microphone is neither an ice-cream cone nor a lollipop So do not hold it like one. Doing so makes your voice sound thin!
The ideal distance between mic and mouth: 3 to 6 inches.
2. Hold the mic (cordless or wired) from its middle portion.
Grasp it with all your fingers. But don’t squeeze it hard either.
Ideal angle while speaking: 45 degrees (rear-end towards the floor).
3. When there is a gap between the use of a cordless mic, keep its switch OFF.
4. Before an announcer speaks (or even comes) on stage, make sure the mic switch is kept ON.
Else it becomes embarrassing to fumble with the switch while on stage.
5. Do not cover a mic with your hand when talking to someone else on/off stage.
If you want to clear your throat or cough, do it by keeping your mouth away from the mic.
6. Adjusting the height of a microphone stand.
Based on the next act, keep the height of mic stands pre-adjusted if possible, as per the performer’s height.
Instead of the child adjusting the height of the stands, the volunteer(s) can quickly, but quietly (no shoes on), come on stage and do this. Some practice on how to do this during rehearsals helps.
7. For group (chorus) singing, position the children and mics as seen in this example and distances mentioned. The Mic angle and the stand height should also be properly set.
An ideal solution for group singing on stage is suspended mics– if it is possible to do so. Condenser ones are preferred to cover more area on stage.
If there are say, 6 children, keep three kids in front and three taller ones behind them. Keep 2 mics suspended 1 foot above their heads, 2 feet apart and hanging a little ahead of the first row. The children should stand a little behind these mics and sing at full voice. They should not look up towards the mic while singing. Extrapolate the number of mics for more children in the singing group.
8. For acoustic guitar miking, the safest place to point the mic is the area where the guitar’s neck and body meet at a distance of 3-4 inches. A condenser mic is recommended.
9. For miking a Djembe or any single drum instrument, keep it at a distance of 6-8 inches to avoid hands hitting the mic, and allowing free playing of the instrument.
10. For the Video camera setup: Get the audio output from the mixing board into the camera directly for best results. The videographer should not record the events with the camera mic as far as possible.
11. All wires and cables running across/near the stage, in the audience area (especially around the video setup), near the lights, etc. should be safely sealed with safety gear, or taped to the floor properly. This is to avoid any accidental tripping by performers as well as the audience.