Getting the Best Sound from Your PA

No matter whether you are engineering a live band, playing records to eager ears or even a DJ mixing music in real time, there is a good chance you are going to want to get the very best sound possible.

However, whilst the skills behind engineering and mixing are going to be integral in producing the best quality sound possible, they are not the only things that will affect the end result. Instead, from the acoustics of the room to the PA you use, there will be a whole range of different things that will change how the end product sounds.

For those who have a specific PA they use on a regular basis, be that one fixed in a certain location or one that accompanies an individual from venue to venue, knowing how to get the best sound of a PA will be vital. Not only might the presets on high end speakers make a huge difference to the quality of the sound produced, but even the hardware that you use and the audio cables connecting your speakers to your amps will affect whether or not you get the perfect timbre or something that sounds completely washed out.

If there are multiple presets on your speakers, play around with these in a room you are used to. This will help you see the difference between each. You may even find that when DJs are throwing out tons of bass you want to change the presets from those that you might use for a quiet Americana folk act.

For those who will be using a PA in many different spaces, one of the most useful tools available will be spectrum analyser, something that may once have cost a pretty penny but will now be available for free on pretty much any smart phone. This simple tool will help you see how one room differs from another and to see before you even start engineering which frequencies could potentially become a problem and in turn which parts of the mix you may need to look at boosting or cutting.

The majority of DJs and engineers will be well aware of the importance of scoping out a room before they get down to business, and will also be well aware that different speaker presets will make a big difference to the overall sound. However, one thing that many people overlook is the importance of high end audio cables.

Whilst such cables may not make all that much difference to those playing music in their bedroom, for those who are in the business of producing the perfect sound, especially on a larger scale, the right cables will be vital. Such cables are often bought in a bundle at a low price to limit the overheads associated with setting up a music venue, This is mostly due to the fact that those in charge are often unaware of just how much difference cables can make. As such, if you have been struggling to find the right sound when engineering, mixing or even simply playing a selection of records, it may well be that your cables should be the first things you change.

By talking to the right cable company, not only might you find a set of cables that is of far better quality, but you may also be able to find out which specific types of cable are right for your own unique set up.

About the Author – Adam Howes is a freelance writer who regularly engineers for national and international touring bands. He regularly contributes articles to companies such as The Cable Company.

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