May 15th, 2013
by Terry 42
A soundcheck before a public event in 1929: Now as then, this is an important part of preparing for any live event.
In this fourth and final part of our beginner’s guide to PA systems we cover setting up and soundchecking. You’ll learn about the different types of cables, and how to get all the levels right so everything sounds perfect on the night.
Don’t forget to go back if you’ve missed any of the others parts. The first of the four articles is here: Beginner’s Guide To PA Systems, Part 1.
April 30th, 2013
by Terry 42
The Yamaha Stagepas 300 is a small PA system with a powered mixer of the type discussed in this week’s article.
Now we’ve examined some PA system basics, it’s time to answer a few of the most common questions about PA systems, to help you make sense of the seemingly almost infinite choice out there. This should make it easier for you to choose a system when it comes to time to buy.
Once we’ve cleared up some of these common queries about amplifier options, power choices and mixers, we’ll move on in the next two parts to looking in more detail at speakers and amplifiers, and cables and soundchecking.
April 25th, 2013
by Terry 42
The Mackie Thump is a popular PA for DJs, with the speakers containing the amplifiers meaning there’s no need to carry separate amps. Here the speakers are pictured with a small PA mixer.
Stuck understanding PA systems? Need to rent or buy one for your shows? Scared about plugging into or playing on a PA? Want to know why you need one at all, when you could take your home stereo speakers to the party and use those instead? If so, trust me – you’re not alone. This guide is here to help.
I’ve helped lots of DJs like you, as well as many live acts, with getting the best from PA systems, and I’ve been doing it for a long time – even longer than the 15 years I’ve been DJing. In that time I have used lots of different PA systems, in places from small wedding venues right up to festivals with tens of thousands of people.
November 19th, 2012
Yamaha’s new DXR range offers various combinations of active mids/tops and subwoofers that can be assembled into a PA system for small to medium gigs.
So you’re looking at DJ PA systems. Maybe you read part one of this two-part series, Small PA System Vs Monitor Speakers For DJing. Or maybe you’ve been asked to play some parties, or got a paid-for DJ booking.
Whatever the reason, if you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your gear with a DJ PA system but you’re not sure where to start, in this article we’re going to arm you with all you need to make an informed choice.
July 15th, 2012
Keeping out of here is essential for great sound when DJing - but sometimes it's not quite that simple, as we find out today.
Digital DJ Tips reader Jeff in Florence, Italy, writes: “I’ve got myself a gig at this bar a couple nights a week. The problem is, last night while I showed them what I could do/tested my equipment on their system, I couldn’t get the volume to be quite what they wanted (their regular DJ could, even though in order to do so, he compromised the quality of the sound ie it was distorting the speakers).
“I think they really need a new amp/speakers, but they just want me to play louder. I’m using Traktor Pro 2, a Reloop Mixage (just like in your How To Digital DJ Fast video course) and a Dell Studio XP computer. I had the Reloop on full volume and for most of the songs (though it pained me to do so) also had them on full gain, and it still wouldn’t get as loud as the other guy’s stuff.
July 8th, 2012
The Mackie SRM450 PA speakers are a good workhorse, but consider a subwoofer and definitely budget for stands too.
Forum reader Ginger writes: “I’m new into the DJ world and I need to get a DJ PA system. I’ve asked around and everyone is saying something different. I’ve done hours of research and now I’m just confused and don’t know what to get.
“If I go to a store to listen to or buy the speakers, I don’t really trust the salesman, because I’m afraid he’s going to get me to buy something that doesn’t suit my needs.
April 15th, 2012
A sub can add considerable "thump" to your PA system, but at often considerable additional cost too. Is it essential, asks our reader today?
Reader Jon Baker writes: “I’m relatively new to the digital DJing scene, and as such haven’t got my own PA system yet, although I plan on investing in one shortly.
“I tend to play predominately music which is very bass-heavy, yet only have a budget of around £350 for a pair of preferably powered PA speakers (poor student times). I usually only play gigs in small to medium sized venues. As my music is so bass-heavy, would it really sound OK on such a budget system, ie one within my price range, or should I wait considerably longer and purchase a powered sub at the same time? Any views appreciated.”
July 30th, 2011
You just know that this Jamaican soundsystem rocked, don't you?
Reader DJ Malarky writes: “I was having a conversation with a couple of DJs regarding sound systems. We were at a mobile DJ jam night with several DJs mixing sets. Well I thought the best DJ was the one with what I thought was the best-sounding system, but not the best-looking: older, carpet-covered speakers and I couldn’t tell the brand or model.
“I wasn’t sure of his amps or processors, I just loved the clean, crisp sound with wonderful low end to complement his blend style of mixing wich was awesome as well. All of the other DJs had very nice looking LED facades with extremely clean speaker systems. I did see JBL and Mackie with one B-52 Matrix sound system but they just didn’t seem to sound as nice.
June 11th, 2011
This commandment concerns the loud stuff...
There’s some stuff that all DJs – digital, CDJ, and vinyl – really do need to know. And one of those subjects is the topic of today’s Commandment for Better Digital DJing.
Without this knowledge, you’re never really going to be confident when you’re playing, and if something unfortunate happens while you’re DJing, you’re going to be in a poor position to do what’s needed to put it right. You’re going to make yourself look bad – and no DJ wants that. Let’s look a little deeper…