Live Sound

B&H Expert Video: Quick Tips

Looking for live sound communication for your next project?

Guide to Live Sound Equipment

It's simple to create a live sound system. To address a small gathering, a powered speaker and a microphone work perfectly. For a bigger audience, you'll need more components, such as mixers, power amps, and signal processors. You may also want to shop for accessories such as cables and stands to connect and support your live sound equipment.

How to Choose a PA System

Live sound speakers can either be powered (active) or unpowered (passive). Powered PA speakers have built-in amplifiers, crossovers, and signal processors, allowing you to connect them directly to your audio mixers. This makes the set up quick and easy, especially for portable PA systems.

Unpowered speakers don't have built-in amps, meaning you'll plug them into external ones. They're an excellent choice for permanent placement applications such as in schools, churches, and concert venues. For the correct placement, ensure you have reliable live sound speaker accessories such as speaker stands and mounts. Note that it's important to choose a speaker power amp that has adequate headroom. Headroom is the difference between the operating level of an amp and the highest level it can achieve without any power distortion. Additionally, make sure that the amperage is compatible, and can deliver enough power for your sound speakers.

Choosing the Right Microphone

Dynamic mics are better suited for live performances, as they come with a wider pickup range, and can handle higher sound pressure levels. This helps reduce distortion, which alters the sound output on live sound speakers. These microphones come in various types. Handheld mics are perfect for presentations, vocals, and speeches. Lavalier mics are clip-on mics with transmitters that allow you to have your hands free when on stage. They're suitable for lectures or even church sessions. Headset mics are ideal for anyone who's active on stage, including fitness instructors and dancing musicians.