Guide To Buying A P.A. System
twins "SHOUT OUT" about friends death.
Find out what Rachelle and Brittany Davies
from Glasgow are doing to honour their friends
Stewart Backs two of my singing students
Rock legend Rod stewrat
urged his twitter followers to buy the charity
single "Shout Out" by two of
my singing students twins Rachelle and Brittany
Davies. In his tweet he write " A pleasure
to see young talent giving something back. Purchase
Glasgow's @Rach_Britt's first single and support
P.A (public address) system is the most expensive
and important part of the professional singers equipment.
should be said at this stage that you can invest in
the best and most expensive equipment but if you don't
learn to sing properly you will have wasted your money.No
equipment in the world can compensate for someone
who has not had singing lessons and learned how to
we go any further it should be noted that a p.a. system
is only as good as the weakest link. What do I mean
by this statement?
Well, if you buy an expensive amplifier but connect
it to cheap speakers, the sound will only be as good
as the cheap speakers and vice versa.
same can be said for having an expensive p.a. system
and then using a cheap microphone, the sound quality
will only be as good as the the microphone can produce
and the same can be said for all parts of the system
including connection leads.
venues will have their own in-house p.a. system however
as a professional singer it is your responsibility
to supply a p.a. system adequate for the job.
The type of p.a. system depends on whether you are
self contained (working solo and using backing tracks)
or working with a band where the p.a. system may only
have to contend with the your vocals going through
are numerous makes and prices for p.a. systems and
the best way to be educated on what is required, is
to visit you local musical instrument shop for their
advice and it is always advisable to spend as much
as possible on the equipment.
To give you some knowledge so that you will have an
idea of what to look for, lets look at the different
parts of the p.a. system.
The amplifier is what amplifies the sound from the
mixer and sends it to the speakers so that the audience
can hear the music.
The amount of power which they can produce is measured
in 'amps',and most are stereo (they have both left
and right outputs).
The power output required depends on the size of the
room and the amount of people and what is being amplified
i.e.: vocals only, vocals and backing music or vocals
take a small venue which holds 100 people and it's
a self contained act (singer using backing tracks).
An amplifier with an output of 500W would be sufficient.
It is advisable to have the most powerful amplifier
available as this will allow for plenty of headroom
and be less likely to be overdriven and cause distortion.
The mixer is where we connect the equipment we want
to hear coming from the sound (PA) system and to balance
the volume, EQ (bass and treble) and any effects such
as reverb, echo etc. Mixers come with various amounts
of channels and controls depending on needs and price.
For a solo singer using backing tracks a four-channel
mixer would be sufficient. Channels one and two could
be used for the backing track player (panned left
and right to give a stereo sound), channel three would
be for the microphone, leaving channel four as a spare
Some mixers come with a built in amplifier thus lessening
the need for more cables.
The speakers used should be of as good a quality as
the rest of the equipment, should be sat on speaker
stands at height of at least 6ft 6in (2m).
The speakers total impedance should never be lower
than that of the minimum impedance of the amplifier
and should have a lesser output in amps than the amplifier.
I would recommend 15in speakers if they are being
used full range (not in conjunction with bass bins).
There are numerous microphones on the market and they
are all dependent on budget and preference but for
someone new to professional performing there is none
better to get you started than the shure sm58 microphone.
It is indusrty standard, still used by some of the
worlds top performers and is reasonably priced.
You should always have good quality leads which should
be wound up carefully at the end of the gig in order
that they don't get damaged.
They should also be taped to the floor where necessary,
to prevent anyone tripping and causing damage to either
themselves or the equipment.
Spare leads and microphone should always be carried
in case of breakdowns and a circuit protection plug
should be used to plug into the mains for safety.
information on P.A. systems and other singing tips
can be found in The SingingTutor