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Introduction to PA System

November 22, 2022 8:17 AM
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Have you ever wondered what is a PA system? And how do PA systems work? Don’t worry, we got you covered. A public address system (PA system in short) is a set of electronic system consists of audio related equipment. This system can help enhance human voice or audio sound, allowing the sound to be heard by the audience in a wide/open area, such as halls, religion buildings, shopping malls, etc.

Now, let us bring you into the world of sound by starting with a brief introduction of the PA system. Through this article, you will be able to understand how PA system works and be a major help for you before making a purchase.

Before we start, let us look at the PA system flow chart.

As we can see, there are FIVE main components in the PA system and those are speakers, amplifiers, mixing consoles, audio sources, and audio cables. Let us hop in to understand more of them.

Speakers

There are two types of speakers, and those are active speakers and passive speakers. Active speakers (powered speakers) have a built-in amplifier for an easier setup; however, it is heavier than passive speakers and requires main power to operate. Passive speakers on the other hand, requires an external amplifier but does not need a main power, lighter as well. When purchasing for a speaker, there are two things to be considered, which is power rating and driver size. You should understand how much power rating (Watts, or W) you need for your location/area. 15W-30W is suitable for home speakers, while 50W-100W is best for a large gathering room. Speakers higher than 100W is for public address usage such as religion buildings and arenas. As for driver size, the driver is a circle part in the speaker that moves while producing sound. 8”-10” drivers are good for voice or guitar playing while 12”-15” drivers are best for a performing band, since bigger drivers can deliver sound more widely.

Amplifiers

The amplifier’s purpose is to take the low power audio signal and amplify it to become high power audio signals that suits driver speakers. When choosing passive speakers, make sure that the power rating matches or lower than the amplifier power rating or else it might burn your devices.

Mixing consoles

The mixers take different audio sources such as microphones, CD players, guitars, and laptop playbacks, mixes them up to become on channel that sends to the amplifier or active speaker. You can then use the on-board effects to mix out your desired sound effects before transferring to the amplifier or active speakers. A Mixer usually comes with 4, 8, 10, 12 channels or more to fulfil customer’s demands. Make sure you choose a mixer with the number of channels you need as each audio source takes up one channel slot.

Audio sources

Microphone, Laptop, MP3 player

As for audio sources, you can input audio signals into the PA system with human voices and audio playbacks. While human voices can be recorded through microphones, laptops and MP3 players can play audio playbacks.

Microphones

Microphones can be separated into two categories, which is wired and wireless. Wired microphones connect to the mixer using a cable. Some wired microphones are fixed with a cable. while some can detach its cable so that you can choose the length of your cable. Wireless microphones can plug in with a receiver that allows you free movement in a certain area, but it may be affected by radio interference. Lavalier and clip on microphones are another type of wireless microphones that allows you to equip the mic on your body without hold it.

Laptop and MP3 player

Connecting laptops and media players to the mixer is also possible since the mixer has docking stations for these devices. Just take a connecter and plug between them and you are good to go. Latest mixers come with a built-in mp3 player where you can connect memory cards and pendrives.

Audio cables

Last but not least, the audio cables. Audio cables are used to connect all the devices together to form a complete PA system. There are several types of cable connectors required. XLRM and XLRF connectors are used for wired microphones, mixers, and amplifiers. Wired microphones with fixed cables usually come with a 6.35mm TS connector, which can connect to the mixers too, just like the XLR connectors. Speakon connecter connects the amplifiers to the speakers. As for laptops and MP3 players, a 3.5mm TRS and RCA pairs are used.

Other accessories

Other than these five main components, there are some equipment that could support your PA system. For instance, a microphone stand can help you hold the microphone in place without you holding in your hand. Speaker stands can manage the speakers’ vibrations, reducing early reflections and ensuring the proper amount of treble.

For more inquiries, feel free to contact us to understand more. Vbizz will give you the best PA system service you ever had!