The Importance of PA
Sound systems small and large include three core component groups…
One of them is most important. The speaker, (loudspeaker) system, (or PA). The speakers and the power to drive them are the investment part of your sound system and will make or break your “sound” no matter what console you have, what computer software you use or how sweet your mics are. It’s very difficult to make a bad PA sound good but even with a sub par mixing console and mics you can mix a pretty good show on a quality PA system design powered, positioned and tuned properly.
Although it’s important to use a quality mixer suited to your set up, nothing will achieve better sound if that mixer is connected to a questionable PA system. The more complicated your set up and numerous your inputs the more critical it is to have a serious sound system.
To a large degree our PA is our reputation...only our skills as engineers/operators complete the circle. On a live show production my company will spend most of the day unloading, positioning and tuning the PA system. No matter the application, the PA is a primary consideration. Permanent installations are no different and should be treated the same way.
It's true that new PA system designs come out year after year, but let’s face it.. It’s cost prohibitive to buy a new system each year. You’ll be spending most of your new sound system budget on the PA. A good PA should last 15- 20 years or more so be sure to consider investing in it first before you think about that next console or mic package.
Your PA is your “ship” to steer and you’ll be mixing on and listening to it for a while... make it a priority and be sure it does what you need it to.
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