How to Find the Right Audio System for Your Location

How to Find the Right Audio System for Your Location

When you need a new car you have to think about a lot of different factors: What sort of journeys am I going to use it for? How many people do I need to seat? What can I afford to spend? Do I need a large boot?

Sound systems are just the same – there’s no “one set-up for all events”. Depending on what type of sound you are intending to broadcast, the size and shape of the venue and, of course, how much you can afford to spend on sound system hire, you will require different equipment. Which is why it’s important to take professional advice as early as possible in your planning.

Clubs

Music in clubs is expected to be loud and percussive but balanced against this is the owner’s responsibilities to protect his staffs’ hearing, and to comply with planning requirements regarding noise pollution. It is important to direct speakers away from the bar area and to choose equipment that avoids distortion. Consider whether a zoned system, allowing different sound levels and music in different areas, is appropriate. You should also consider where speakers are placed to avoid damage – for example from spillages!

Live Music Venue

Such venues can range in size from a small concert chamber for perhaps 300 people to a theatre. The number and positioning of speakers need careful consideration to ensure that all attendees can hear clearly. Different genres of music require different speaker characteristics – for example, a subwoofer is essential for rock, metal, pop etc where the bass beat needs to punch through. A good mixing board is also essential to allow the sound processors to accurately shape the sound of each instrument.

Restaurants and Cafés

Easy to clean surfaces and lots of hard furniture can make the acoustics of dining spaces quite tricky to deal with, while plush furnishings can be equally trying. Music should be in the background – loud enough that one table can talk without intruding on the neighbor’s conversation but not so loud that conversing across the table is a chore. Some rooms may require lots of speakers to ensure good coverage and, ideally, all seats should be in the direct field of a speaker.

Bars and Pubs

Most of the points regarding bars and pubs have been covered in the previous three sections. Pubs where people meet to chat, and perhaps have lunch or dinner, often have requirements similar to restaurants whereas those that stay open later may want to mimic a more club-like atmosphere.

Retail Spaces

If you want to play music in your shop then, like in a restaurant, you are looking for good coverage from your speakers. Stereo is unnecessary – and will sound wrong unless shoppers are in exactly the right place! You should also consider if you require a PA system as well as music reproduction. Larger stores may find it useful to be able to “page” staff across the shop floor or stockroom and may want a zoned system to facilitate this.

Outdoors

Sound travels so the directional properties of your speakers will be particularly important – especially if you have planning restrictions on where your event can be heard from. Consider where your audience will be positioned – you may need extra speakers to ensure everyone can hear with no one being deafened! Discussion with your sound services provider is essential – a music festival or concert will require a more complex speaker set-up than a fete or sports event, however, the latter may require a larger number of actual speakers to ensure everyone can hear announcements.                                                                                                  

All in all, partnering with a company that has experience providing audio equipment for a wide range of industries is your best bet to get a better experience for anyone visiting your event or venue.

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