Technical Services

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? 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.

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.     

 

Tips for setting up a stage - keep it simple, neat and safe!

A neat and simple stage not only looks good but more importantly makes for an easier pack up at the end of the show and a safe workplace for performers and road crew. And of course, if you have any issues during the show or performance, it makes it much easier to track down and rectify the problem.

There's no right or wrong way, but here’s my 5 tips on how I tackle it:

  1. Firstly locate the power source and run the power cables safely. If you can run them under the stage, all the better.

  2. Where possible use dropboxes for connecting mic cables. These are a mini version of a front of house multicore that don't usually have return channels. I find having one left and right of the stage running to your main mix cuts down on having mic cables running across the stage in long runs. Also, all mic cables can then be accessed at central points on the stage.

  3. Always coil up excess mic leads at the microphone end to keep the dropbox or mixer end tidy.

  4. Of course leads should always be taped down but this is best left until after the sound check - nothing worse than having everything taped down neat and tidy and the drummer then wants his fold back wedge on the opposite side!

  5. I make up and use looms wherever possible where I have to run multiple leads to the same location such as micing up a drum kit, or using lighting trees. Much easier to have multiple leads permanently set up in a neat loom.

    Remember that if you have multiple power points available, use them. One 10amp power point is usually not enough to run a PA, backline and lighting. For example, if you've got a 2400W PA system, which is not huge, dividing this by 240V main power equals 10amps and you've now used up one power outlet - and you've still got backline and lights!

    Just remember if you've got all your leads run properly and you have a problem, you can easily find it! Call or email if you are staging an event and we will be happy to help with advice or provide an obligation free quote for providing your live sound production.  

 

Passive or Active Speakers??

It seems active or powered speakers are the popular choice when bumping in and out of venues night after night and with digital amplification well and truly tried and tested, the powered speaker is now a whole lot lighter.

So why would you want to use passive speakers??

In small rooms, a good powered mixer and two passive speakers is a very easy and uncomplicated set up. In addition, if I have to do a set up in a high pedestrian area such as a marquee or outdoor function with children running around, I always prefer to just run speaker leads as against running both power and signal cables to each speaker - much safer option! And if there is only one power source, setting up your mixer or amp close to the power is always a good option.

Also, most passive 2-way speakers are 8 ohm and running them in parallel at 4 ohm will draw extra power from your amp so running four 8 ohm speakers on a typical stereo amp (2 a side)will give you excellent coverage without over-driving the system.  There always remains a use for passive speakers.