2 Key Mistakes To Avoid When Running Your Own Event Sound

Posted by | · · · | Audio · Events · Weddings

Handling your sound system in-house — AKA the do-it-yourself approach — can be tempting.

You’re planning for a major event or a big wedding, and think that configuring the PA system is a relatively straightforward task. Maybe you’re looking to save a few bucks, too.

But beware.

Getting the sound right is a complex task, and if something is not done right the result can range from bad to catastrophic (meaning no sound at all or damaged speakers).

LUXELIFE maintains a team of professional audio technicians who know how to set up perfect sound for any space, and we will always recommend them alongside one of our awesome Toronto DJs. Why? Because successfully arranging a professional-sounding speaker system with a DJ booth isn’t meant to be a DIY affair.

If you want to set up the sound yourself, you should be aware of some common mistakes that can be the difference between audio life and death.

Relying on in-house sound systems at your venue

Many venues — especially those regularly hosting weddings — will offer their own in-house sound system. Normally this looks like two speakers on stands at the front of the hall or main room. But this kind of system can vary in quality based on the age of the venue — older spots have older audio gear.

It can also mean that the audio interface is inappropriate for a DJ arriving with a modern setup (laptop plus mixer). The input/outputs may follow a different audio jack standard, for example.

Another concern: if something is not working with the venue sound system, you won’t know until the event day-of. This is nightmare scenario territory: your DJ arrives for a setup/sound check, plugs in her gear and — nothing. The speakers are broken, and you’re in big trouble. We’ve had the LUXELIFE sound team brought in for last-minute emergencies like this before to save the day, but it is not something you want to experience yourself.

Audio trouble is also not something you want to burden your DJ with, either before they are performing or even during their set if they have to rethink how they use their gear to get it working with your venue PA. This is why we always send a technical checklist to a client before the DJ arrives.

Inappropriate speaker placement

This means not enough speakers and subwoofers to provide appropriate sound coverage for the space you are occupying. If you’re having a wedding, for example, you want those sitting further back to hear the music and speeches as clearly as those seated closed up front.

Knowing how many speakers are needed for clear and balanced sound in your space requires some technical know-how. This includes accounting for sound factors like the “coupling effect” where bass is inadequate when speakers are mounted high-up, or areas where the highs are weak. And angling the speakers to reduce the risk of microphone feedback.

If you’re DIYing it you probably have two speakers, maybe rented or borrowed — but depending on the size of your venue that won’t be enough. And, again, you may not realize the speakers are too few or lack the amperage for proper sound until the day of your event. You can end up with sound that is tinny or echoes.

If you have an upcoming event and are curious about what difference a professional sound team will make for the specific space you’re renting, get in touch with us today. We pride ourselves on ensuring all our events have the best audio possible, while being clear about what option A versus option B can mean for the overall enjoyment of your event sound.

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