How to Tune a PA System

If you would like to tune a public address system properly, you’re going to either need to call in a professional to try to it or buy some expensive equipment. But I’m going to show you ways to try to it adequately on a budget, using an iPad as a spectrum analyzer and a mobile to supply pink noise.

How to tune a pa system

Well, variety of things can affect the frequency response of a live sound system. a) the interaction between the loudspeakers b) the interaction between the loudspeakers and therefore the walls, surfaces and furniture within the room c) the positioning of the speakers relative to the congregation. d) the interaction of mics and monitor speakers e) gain structure found out and dynamic range of sound sources.

Setting up the system EQ will assist you to balance out the sound and obtain obviate some unwanted frequencies. a method of describing it’s tuning your PA to the environment . You shouldn’t confuse this with individual channel EQ on your mixing desk, but what we are talking about here is using an EQ unit for your entire system. What we would like to realize may be a flat frequency response from the system running sleep in the sanctuary or worship space to start with. Once you’ve got that, then you’ll adjust bass and treble response to your taste.

If all you’ve got at the instant may be a mixer, power amp and/ or passive speakers or powered speakers, you’re going to need some extra kit. If you’re building a system for your church, you ought to inspect my list of 15 Best Products for Church Sound Systems. Follow this link to read more.

What you’ll got to tune your church sound system

First you’ll need a stereo graphic EQ unit. A half decent graphic equalizer will have a minimum of 15 bands on each channel. I wouldn’t choose any but that but would recommend a 31 band graphic EQ unit if you’ll afford it. Also, most professional units come with a 19″ rack mount kit, but i might guess if you’ve got an influence amp and wireless mic receivers you’ll have already got them during a 19″ rack.

You will also need an additional few 1/4″ jack cables, long enough to succeed in from your mixing desk to your EQ unit. Some folks may need a compressor, which i might recommend fixing line before the mixer, during which case you’ll only need a few of short 1/4″ jack cables if your compressor is installed within the rack.
You will require a stereo mini jack to 1/4″ jack cable or stereo mini jack to phono cable to require the audio from your phone to the blending desk.

Speaker Tuning App

You will also need a few of iPads or one iPad and one iPhone. you’ll technically do that with two iPhones, but i feel it might be difficult to ascertain the frequency data on the screen. I haven’t tested this on Android as I only use Apple, but if an equivalent app isn’t available, there could also be some equivalents out there. If you are doing know the solution to the present , please let me know.

The app i exploit is named Spectrum Analyzer by ONYX Apps. you’ll download from the itunes app store or get here . it’s quite expensive for an app, but I even have found that this one works and on behalf of me is that the best speaker tuning app for iPad.
I have an excellent resource i feel you’ll find useful on 101 Ideas for Church Sound Systems. you’ll find it here.

PA Tuning – Setting it all up

To set this up, take the left and right main outputs from your desk and wire up to the L and R inputs on the EQ unit(adapt accordingly if using a compressor). Then connect up your power amp to the L and R outputs of the equalizer. If using powered speakers, then you only connect the L and R speaker cables to the outputs of the graphic equalizer unit.

When you install the app on your phone and iPad, it’ll invite permission to use the microphone. It’s important that you enable this. Plug the phone into a channel on the blending console and play some music to check that you simply are becoming audio through the system. you would like are fairly high volume for this to start out with. Now switch to the app and switch on pink noise and you should hear it coming through your live sound system. It are often a touch irritating initially but you’ll just got to hang with it until you’ve got completed the test.

What Happens once we Sing (or Play) Into a Mic

When a sound strikes a microphone (of whatever type) it generates an electrical signal that (theoretically at least) duplicates the characteristics of the sound.
(We’re talking pitch, amplitude, harmonics, phase, etc. – technical stuff here).

It never works 100% perfectly – that’s why different mics sound differently, and why a sound technician will choose different mics for various applications.
That electrical signal typically travels through some cabling to a channel preamp. From there, that signal (along with others) goes to an influence amplifier, which successively strengthens the signal and ships it bent some transducers (speakers) via cables again.

The speaker’s job is to bounce air molecules around in exactly the same way that they entered the mic but many times BIGGER and LOUDER.

The PA’s ready Up – Now What

Suppose you set your PA up somewhere quiet, outdoors, maybe within the desert, with nothing accessible to reflect or otherwise mess with the noise. Everything is about up flat on your mixer.

Crank the master gain up, and what comes out of the speakers is (supposedly) what the sound going into the mic was, only BIG.
(It’s not really the same, but the sole way you’ll sort it out would be by making measurements with expensive audio test gear.)
So, all you’ve got is your ears, and you think that it sounds “muddy,” or “shrill,” or “thin,” or “distorted,” etc.

So you “smiley-face” the EQ (boosting low and high end, and dropping some midrange frequencies) and use it sort of a tone control–and it works!

It sounds much better!

It works largely because the human ear doesn’t add a linear fashion and it hears soft sounds differently than loud ones.

How to Tune a PA System

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