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Public Address System... Tips for Schools, Churches, Marriage Celebrants, Funeral Directors... we have 40 years' experience with portable pa systems

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Summary
If you are considering a new PA system for your School, Marriage Celebrant, Funeral Directors, Church or any Commercial organization, here are some tips from a PA system expert that will help you achieve optimum results and save you a lot of time and money.  Firstly you need to decide what the main objective of your PA system will be for. The choice of components such as portable PA systems or fixed installations using mixer and amplifiers, loudspeakers or wireless microphones are just some of the starting options that you have. These products will vary according to your objectives.
 
Full Content
If you are considering a new PA system for your School, Marriage Celebrant, Funeral Directors Church or any organization that needs to amplify the spoken word or just amplify music, here are some tips that will help you achieve optimum results and save you a lot of time and hopefully this will equate to saving you lots of money.

First, you need to decide what the main objective of your PA system will be used for. The ideal choice of components such portable wireless PA systems, mixer-amplifiers, indoor/outdoor ceiling or wall passive speakers or active loudspeakers will vary according to your objectives. Some loudspeakers and PA-amps are suited to speech, while others are better suited to the typical frequency range of an entertainer’s i.e. bands or musical ensemble (choir).  If your PA system is primarily for entertainment, you will need to make sure that you have the right microphones, cord or wireless to cater to the vocal range(s) and styles of your performers and musicals. If the microphones are to be used in such places as Houses of Worship for Church ministers then the microphone requirements will dominantly need to be suitable for crystal clear intelligibility especially for the spoken word. These needs can be achieved by having a low profile headworn wireless microphone or the standard cord or hand held wireless mics or a traditional Lectern/Altar gooseneck microphone.

Consult a PA expert even before you start building your hall/venue or preparing the space, so that you know all the implications before you commence. They will be able to advise you on such things as acoustics, loudspeakers, microphone placement and wiring, so you can allow for them in advance. In particular, make sure the room or hall has the right acoustics. If the space is to be purpose built, consider the acoustic factor before you start building. If you leave it till after you build, you may have some serious acoustic issues to overcome, which will raise the cost of the project.

Make sure that you have accurate costing before you start. Consult reputable professionals and request quotes or tenders for every aspect of the project before you begin. Many organisations only begin their research after their hall is built and furnished. They then find that they do not have enough money remaining to pay for an adequate PA system.

Make sure all the audio components are compatible and there are no weak links or limiting factors in the overall design. For example if you purchase a strong amplifier and mixer but decide to skimp on the quality of speakers, the overall sound will be limited by the quality of the speakers. It is important to choose the best possible cord or wireless microphones because microphones are the first component in the audio chain of your PA system and each component needs to compliment the other to have a successful system.

Testing: After the PA system is installed, it is important to test every part of the space for dead spots or inconsistencies in sound quality as it needs to be crystal clear especially for the spoken word. The sound quality should not vary significantly no matter where you are sitting. If it does, it will need to be diagnosed and corrected. The poorer the acoustics of your space, the more work that is required to compensate. Also, make sure that you carry out this testing under the normal conditions of a typical event. When you test, make sure that the space has all the furnishings and is filled with the typical number of people.

You need to cater for the elderly and hearing impaired. This is an integral part of any audio system for the hearing impaired. The induction loop system needs to be installed into any new building very early in the building stage and failing to do this is a costly exercise. The Australian Building code is quite specific with this.
     
Training: There is no point in having the best PA system in the world if the people in your organization do not know how to operate it. Training is a very important part of the process. Make sure that the company that you choose to provide your PA system offers effective training as part of the overall package. The amount of training required will depend on the complexity of your PA system.