Performance With A PA System
There is a lot to learn about portable PA systems. If you want, you can always just buy a prepackaged deal and put together a basic portable PA system and set it with basic configurations. However, it is possible to experiment with the settings to try to accomplish different sounds and effectiveness. One such aspect which you can tinker with is sound mixing. There is an incredible amount to learn about how to properly utilise the sound mixing possibilities. The information you can learn can be put to work for live performances in particular. On a general level, the electronic signals that are projected from microphones and instruments need to be balanced, processed and mixed together. This must be done before they can be amplified and routed to the speakers of the portable PA system. As mentioned, public speakers can stop at that and deliver their speeches. Music stage crew, on the other hand, can’t stop there. They have to implement sound mixers in order to achieve the right sound. They also need to be able to choose and configure the right sound mixers. That is because the mixers can range from 4-channel units to larger consoles with hundreds of channels. An indoor setting may only need a 4-channel unit, especially if the room is small. An outdoor setting needs all the channels anyone can get. Thus, the larger consoles have to be wheeled out and configured with care. Of course, larger mixers enable more connections but that has its own drawbacks. Don’t let the cables trip people up.
Usually, channels are designed studio sound cards and line-level devices. These can include amplifiers, preamps, and signal processors. The sound mixer comes into play when you need to decide how many channels you need. This is because the audio signals are assigned to separate channels. Therefore, the more channels you have, the more instruments you can connect. A complete band with more than five people will need several channels just to connect the instruments. A single 4-channel unit cannot do the job. A general rule of thumb that can work is to have a sound mixer with ‘too many’ channels. That way, you won’t be left wanting in case an emergency instrument needs to be plugged in. If you are organised you will be able to make an inventory of the equipment so that this decision can be made easier.
An example you can use is a five-piece band. A shure microphones that must handle such a scenario needs a significant shure microphones at discount prices You may consider this setup: one lead for lead vocals and one for backup, one mic for the guitar amp, one for the bass, and one for the synthesisers. Those already total five channels. After that is the drum kit, which requires several channels on its own: two for cymbals, and one for each tom, snare, and bass drum. All on all, you already have over ten channels.