Sound Reinforcement Equipment Requirements for a Music Venue

Topics: Loudspeaker, Microphone, Sound Pages: 8 (2882 words) Published: October 15, 2012
Good sound is the foundation of any music venue. Poor sound can ruin the audience’s enjoyment of the concert. Good sound enhances a concert, creates interest, and commands attention. So I’ll make a review of the most important gear of the Live Sound Equipment and it’s different types. So let’s start with the mics as they are the first source to pick up an acoustic signal and transform it into electrical, which will be driven down via XLR cables to the mixing desk and back to the PA system and the audience’s ears. This is only a very brief version of the signal path which you will realise when I get to the end of my report. The Microphones by their specifications have been used for different sound sources and always with one purpose as transducers. Depending on the type of the instrument and it’s characteristics, this will vary. The most common type of microphone found in live music settings is the dynamic microphone. Commonly used because, in comparison to the condenser microphones (looking at the Financial Manager’s point of view) these are less expensive and also very efficient, which means that they can often handle very high sound pressure levels. Another reason for their wide use in the concert stages is because they are not sensitive to the environment factors. Dynamic microphones are highly dependable, strong and reliable. Because of their technology (moving-coil Fig.1), the dynamic microphone can be less sensitive to attack transients, and for that reason may not reproduce quite the high frequency detail, which other microphones can produce.

Figure 1

Dynamic microphones are commonly used on drums, electric guitars and bass guitars. Another main type of microphone used in the musical industry is the Condenser microphone. The Condenser microphone as I have already said are expensive compared to the dynamic ones and also very fragile, so they are not an appropriate choice for out-door and live venues. The most commonly used microphone is the hand-held one. The pattern of the hand-held microphones often is cardioid, also other patterns are available, but the cardioid is the most common one. Because of its nature of use, whatever the pick-up pattern or type of microphone, the capsule must be isolated from physical vibrations to avoid handling noise, and also protect from being dropped. The most standard features of the hand-held mics are rubber shock mounts and protective screens (Fig.2).

Figure 2

The Headset (Fig.3) is a very important attribute of the music venue crew, because it helps for better communication during the whole work process. Each headset is fitted with a microphone. The belt pack, which connects the headphones to the system, has a call-button that lights when any station is calling, an on-off switch for the microphone, and a volume control for station level. The microphone should be switched off at all stations unless it is being used. Any microphones left on amplify any spill, which competes with the person speaking and makes it difficult to hear, which, depending on the situation, can be crucial from a health & safety point of view.

Figure 3

Lapel microphones (Fig.4) are very small that are designed to pin directly to the clothing or hung around the neck. The first lapel microphones used to be dynamic ones, but in the present days lapel mics are most of the time condenser types. The most common pattern of the lapel mic is omnidirectional, which is very useful for these types of microphones. It doesn’t emphasize the voice vibration in the chest cavity, because it doesn’t have proximity effect. Also it can be clipped in different positions without its sound quality changing. But they must be mounted carefully to avoid noise from clothing.

Figure 4

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