Good Sounding P.A.
Specifically, What Do We Mean?
Before looking at how we can reproduce a consistent sound across a range of venues, we need to specify the criteria for what we consider to be a professional sounding P.A. system. While varying priorities within this definition will exist between different types of performer, here are the most agreed upon considerations;
- Suitable Level. Is the Sound Pressure Level (S.P.L) suitable for the type of event? How much variation is there from the closest, to the furthest listeners and does that matter in terms of clarity?
- Sufficient Intelligibility. Are words clear enough across a range of venue positions?
- Appropriate Frequency Response. For music, is the system full range? Is sound quality maintained when the system is driven to reach the level required by the event?
- No feedback; especially if the performer steps in front of the P.A.
- No Outages. All of the above would be undermined the system goes off.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, the five considerations are relevant in the majority of cases. And of course, there are really significant relationships between each of the above criteria.