5 Key Points When Organising the PA For Your Live Music Event

So you have been given the job of organising a live music event and now have the job of finding a production company to provide the PA? Maybe it’s for a fundraiser, or a cultural event, or a concert so you might have a variety of performers both experienced and amateur, paid and voluntary! There will be lots of things to organise with the PA being one of them. Before you get to the technical stuff like speakers and microphones, here are 5 basic but very important things to consider and check out before engaging them.

Great tips from Shure for miking up choirs

School concerts and Christmas Carols events can pose some interesting challenges for sound engineers, not the least of which is how to mic up the choir. In his latest blog, James Wasem from Shure has some great tips on microphone placement and clearly explains the 3:1 principle which is a golden rule for miking up choirs. We hope you find it helpful!

Choir

If you are planning a concert or Christmas Carols event, now is a good time to think about locking in the sound system and audio engineering you will need. Things get pretty hectic towards the end of the year and we get quickly booked out. Give us a call or email and we'd be very happy to chat to you about your requirements.

SOUND AND SET-UP TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME SOLO PERFORMERS

Sound system set up is important for soloists

They can sing and play multiple instruments but sometimes have no idea about using a PA system which is in fact the other instrument they will use on the day. So with that in mind, if you are about to launch your solo career at a local venue it pays to really learn how to set up and sound check your sound system so it enhances your performance rather than detracts from it.

Whether you have a single speaker, or have 2 speakers and foldback with a mixer, it is important to take some time to learn how to get the most out of your PA. Learning about gain structure, EQ and effects, mic and line inputs will stand you in good stead. One key thing I would encourage any solo performer to learn about is gain structure. It is the first step in mixing and the one thing to get right, after that it’s a matter of how you want the system to sound. There are plenty of articles around on gain and I will touch on this in the next blog. Mixing can get technical so at first just get used to what the faders and knobs do.

Here are four basic preparation tips for the first-time solo performer:

1.       Visit the venue prior to the gig or performance to check the load in and parking, particularly if you are bumping in on your own or will be playing at a time when it will be busy with patrons

2.       Check where your performance area is located and where the power outlets are – you want to make sure your power leads are long enough so that they don’t pose a safety hazard

3.       Get yourself a trolley – believe me, you will need it! If you are bumping in on your own, you want to make minimal trips (preferably one!) so you don’t have to leave your gear unattended at any time

4.       Look after your leads and cables. Wind them up properly at the end of each gig and always carry spares.

In our next article, we’ll talk about gain structure and provide some easy tips on how to quickly set up your mix for your performance. If you are looking for a compact sound system for your solo performance, check out our performers and bands page or contact us if you’d like some help or friendly technical advice.

 

The restack is over but don't get caught out with wireless frequency blackspots.

Visit the wireless mic hub on the ACMA website for info on the frequency ranges

Visit the wireless mic hub on the ACMA website for info on the frequency ranges

All performers love to work with wireless mics. It’s just an automatic request these days, especially if they are a lead vocalist in a band who doesn’t play an instrument, or a performing artist.

We invested heavily, as with many other sound hire companies, in updating all of our wireless gear last year to ensure we were compliant with the new frequencies available in south-east Queensland after the Federal Government’s decision to sell off certain bandwidths. However, it’s important to note that there are still pockets where only the high-end wireless systems are guaranteed to be safe to use without potential interruption from other wireless users, and the Gold Coast is one of those areas.

The integrity of the sound system and quality of the level of service we provide is paramount to us and so we make sure that we get it right every time for our clients. Doing your research on wireless frequencies before an event is extremely important. 

There are other similar areas around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast which can cause issues for wireless users. Having worked in these areas we have found it vitally important to ensure we had the right wireless microphones available for the event. ACMA provide fact sheets on their site explaining the spectrums that are now available since the January 2015 change and also provide more detailed information at the suburb level for all capital cities including Brisbane in a downloadable spreadsheet here.

If you are planning an event of any kind and need a sound system, give us a call or email, we would be very happy to chat to you about your requirements and provide advice regarding the technical aspects you may need to consider.