Ask Rob: PA Design 101
In this edition of “Ask Rob” we are going to explore some of the key questions we need to answer when beginning the process of designing a PA (Public Address) System. During our last round of Ideal Connected training last year we focused on this area. During the training, we established that with a few simple questions we can choose the correct products suited to our customer requirements.
Like other categories in a commercial project, for
run into issues at the critical stages of a project. If we quickly establish our client’s true requirements right from the start, we can ensure that we provide a suitable and satisfactory outcome. When we answer the questions below, we can narrow down to which PA product is going to be fit for purpose.
1: Speech Only? BGM (Background Music)? Foreground Music?
The reason we ask this question early on is to establish what the customer expectations are for the performance of the system and what their main use is going to be. If the system is purely for paging and voice announcement only, we can explore using traditional horn speakers. Perfect for public transport, schools, sports grounds, warehouses, factories etc. Generally, this type of system will be
If the customer requires BGM (Background Music) they are looking for something that they can playback music through with possible requirement of paging as well. The music playback is to create
When we mention a foreground system, we are talking about PA systems that are typically used in school halls, theatres, clubs/bars, churches etc. This type of system requires
2: Types and numbers of inputs?
In our day to day audio systems there are two types of inputs – mic level (balanced) and line level (unbalanced). The key difference here is a mic output has a lower signal level output than a line level. On a mixer or mixer
It is very important we know what type (mic or line) of input and how many are going into the system. This will help
3: Do we require Multizone or Single Zone Paging?
We ask this question to work out whether the client wants the ability to page into different zones independently. For example, if we had a supermarket that had four zones (main store, deli, backroom, offices) they may want to be able to page only into the backroom but not the other three zones. Or they may want to page into two zones simultaneously without disturbing the other two zones. This is what we call multizone paging.
A single zone paging system means that the page announcement would be broadcast to all areas simultaneously without the ability to segregate the announcement into different zones.
4: What is the size of the venue?
A simple question but a highly important one. We need to know the width, length
Now we have covered some of the key questions in Public Address System designs we can start piecing together the correct combination of audio sources, mixers or mixer amplifiers, amplifiers