DJ Equipment

How to Set Up a PA System Outside


I like to set up multiple microphones during a live P.A. event. I have one microphone on the stand plus one for the dj booth.  I spread out the speakers as far as I could to cover more ground.  I do not put the speaker at full volume. I typically put it at 50 percent and max out at 75 percent.


More often than not there are different people who speak at different volume levels. Every time someone speaks, you may have to adjust the volume based on how loud they talk into the microphone and how close they have it to their mouth.


Also it is a good idea to tape down the cabling and wires. I always do a sound check before I tape anything down in case I have to use different cables or a different microphone.  It is good to have more than one extension cord in case one needs more cord to reach the power.


I use microphones that are always on, but I am able to turn them on or off from the mixer I use. It is good to turn them off when people are talking to each other before the ceremony not knowing it is on, because the audience can be able to hear them talk other business.


Also it is good to be aware of how hot it is. Certain speakers may have issues since it is really hot. It is good to keep speakers in a shaded area and if not some speakers have weather proof covers. It is good to take an extra speaker, since the elements may cause the speaker to overheat or get wet.  Heat can be an enemy, but also rain can be a party pooper. 


The Perfect P.A.  System: The Microphone and Cables Part 3


The industry standard is the Shure SM58. Everywhere any live events happen this microphone will be there. They range from 90 to 110 dollars new. They are built be rugged and used for outside or inside use. Some SM58 microphones do have an off on switch and one is always live so the volume can be adjusted with the mixer if the microphone needs to be off. 

Wireless Microphones are handy to have around too if one does not want to have the cable extend onto the floor. Shure does make a good wireless microphone. It is really easy to use. The user has to sync the microphone with the receiver and its good to go. Shure makes hand held microphones and lavalier which can be connected to the body incase the person does not want to hold to a microphone. Be ready to have new batteries handy incase they run out. Typically I have batteries handy and a wired microphone connected to the mixer just in case.


When it comes to cabling, the xlr microphone cables are the way to go. They came in different lengths and for some reason if the cabling is not long enough then they can be connected together so it can reach where it is supposed to go. I invested in short 3-foot cables, 6-foot cables, and 25-foot cables. The beauty of these cables is that they can be used for microphones and speaker cables. Xlr cables can be used to connect multiple speakers.


The Perfect P.A. System: The Monitors (Speakers) Part 1

The Perfect P.A. System: The speakers Part 1


When you purchase an item and use it then you start to realize it is all over the place. For example you purchase a Ford Flex, then all of a sudden you see them on the freeway or the parking lot. The exact same thing happened when it came to my P.A. system.


When I did the New Orleans Marathon, I noticed all the speakers by the stage were QSC powered speakers. QSC is known for the clarity of sound. The new K 12.2 monitors are the epitome of grade A equipment. The KW153 QSC 3- way speakers often pair up with the 12 inch monitors to perfect the sound. I stumbled upon the QSC discovery when I dropped off my JBL speakers to the shop. When I started doing music, I loved using my Mackie 450s, since they were flashy and sounded great, but I would blow them out. Next I went with the JBL brand, which were workhorses but eventually were blown out also. When I spoke with the speaker technician he said that QSC rarely came through his doors and is a fine speaker. When I looked into it, QSC offers a 6 year warranty on their speakers, so if any thing goes wrong QSC fixes it. Gone were the days of paying 200 dollars for a blown out speaker. The question was should I get subwoofers or a 3 way speaker. A sub would give you more punch in the bass. But say for example if the monitor (speaker) for some reason blows out then the sub would not work well since it would only have bass no mids or highs. The 3 way speaker would work  better with or without a monitor (speaker).