Event sound systems are one of the most important aspects of any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a wedding, birthday party, or a corporate gathering, quality audio will make all the difference. This is why you should dedicate enough time to find the right audio equipment rental.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the steps of choosing a sound system for an event. Read on to learn practical tips and advice to avoid mistakes that many event planners did in the past.
Tips to choose your event sound system
Let’s be honest, not all of us have the technical knowledge about audio, let alone the equipment that comes with it. So if you need the best sound system for events, you need to consider the following:
1. Your Event Requirements
The main thing that you have to think about is what you need for your event. For example, if you need a sound system setup for a party, you’ll likely rent DJ equipment, large speakers, microphones, and so on.
Aside from that, you also have to consider your venue. Much of the acoustics are highly dependent on the layout of the place. This means that a large outdoor concert will need a very audio system than an indoor conference.
By considering this, you’ll have an idea about the equipment you need and how much it will need to set up.
2. Assess Your Audio Needs
Next, you have to think about your audio needs. Are you going to use the sound system equipment for speeches? Or maybe for live music? By identifying these needs, you and the sound technician can come up with a setup that matches your event’s goals.
Aside from that, you have to decide about smaller details on your audio. For example, you’ll need to choose between wired and wireless microphones or the brand you prefer. Always consider the nature of your event and your budget (more on this later) for this part.
3. Consider Acoustic Factors
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the venue is a big part of your full sound system for events. Its size, shape, and even construction material will impact how efficient the equipment will be.
For large venues with high ceilings, your major challenge is the echo or reverb. This is where you need the help of a professional audio rental company. Their sound engineers and technicians will create a custom setup to tackle this acoustic problem.
Aside from that, you should also consider the limitations that the venue implements. In some cases, there are venues that won’t allow third-party rental providers or they have strict rules about noise levels. All these will affect your choice of sound system.
4. Research Your Options
When it comes to sound systems for venues, you have a ton of options to choose from. These are the usual sound system gear event planners need:
- PA systems. You’ll usually need an event PA system for large venues where you need to amplify the sound on a large scale. For this system, you’ll need sets of speakers, mixers, amplifiers, microphones, and so on.
- Line arrays. Line arrays are special speaker systems for outdoor events and massive indoor applications. You’ll need this for excellent sound coverage over long distances, say a festival, concert, or conference.
- Surround sound systems. This is a very popular sound system setup for outdoor events since it gives an immersive and realistic listening experience. You may need this if you’re hosting a movie screening, gaming events, and the like. For this, you should expect to get front, rear, and center speakers together with subwoofers.
- Signal processors. You’ll need signal processes to fine-tune your event audio like for live performances, recording, and so on. It will let you tweak the delay, reverb, dynamics, and other sound elements in one gear.
- Soundproofing materials. While this isn’t technically an audio equipment, you may need it if your venue has noise problems. Some of the materials you may get are acoustic panels, soundproof curtains, foam insulation, etc.
- Playback devices. Make sure you also rent or prepare playback devices like computers, CD players, smartphones, and so on. This way, you can play any audio file on the go.
Take note that this isn’t an exhaustive list. Depending on your event, you may also need a full backline to pair with your sound system. But whatever standard or musical sound system you get, make sure that you also invest in a backup.
5. Budget Considerations
Many event planners pick their choice of sound system based on their budget. This can be a bit challenging if you’re working on limited funds since a setup for large venues can be pretty expensive.
But to save money, we always recommend renting instead of buying. By renting, you don’t have to worry about equipment maintenance, storage, upgrades, and setup. An AV company can provide everything for you together with complete technical support.
Overall, you should allocate a budget for your audio. If possible, you should identify your needs first and try to make it work by adjusting your total event budget. That way, you won’t be skimping on quality.
6. Test and Demo Options
Once you’ve found the right event speaker system and other equipment, make sure you request a demo. This is very important and something that you should never skip.
This way, you’ll know the quality of the equipment to see if it meets your expectations. It will also let you gauge if you need to make adjustments to your original sound system setup.
7. Consider Technical Support
Setting up and operating equipment for sound systems are serious business. Unless you have in-depth knowledge of sound engineering, you should consider hiring on-site technicians instead.
This way, you’ll be assured that your event will have a seamless audio experience. It will also let you focus on other areas of your event. And in case problems arise, you’ll have an expert team who can fix them immediately.
Moreover, a sound system for events has no one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll always need a custom setup, which is best done by experts.
8. Set Up and Sound Check
If you think you’ve found the best sound system for outdoor events, make sure that you sound check before the actual day. You should do the same even for indoor events, no matter how controlled the environment is.
After all, audio equipment is not invincible to damage and other issues. By sound checking, you and the AV provider can spot problems that could compromise your overall event experience.
During the sound check, you should pay attention to the clarity, sound level, and balance. This is crucial, especially if you’re hosting live performances where music is a main element.
9. Monitor and Adjust During the Event
The process doesn’t end once every piece of equipment is all set. You may still need to adjust and monitor your sound system throughout the program to ensure that there wouldn’t be any glitches.
This is where an on-site sound tech team comes in handy. They will be focusing on ensuring that your equipment is functioning as intended. After all, the last thing you want is failing speakers in the middle of a speech with no one to fix it.
Also, you have to know that the sound quality of your system will change once the crowd is already in the venue. This is why you’ll notice AV companies performing another sound check to fine-tune the setup. By doing this, they can adjust the audio based on external noise, crowd size, and speaker dynamics.
Lastly, be prepared to troubleshoot any technical problems that may occur. This is why we always emphasize the importance of having a backup, no matter how small your event is.
Your choice of event sound system can make a huge impact on your guests’ experience. Whether it’s for speeches, music, announcements, and whatnot, you should always invest in quality equipment.
Aside from the gear that you’ll need, you should also invest in the right people. You should consider hiring licensed technicians to set up, operate, and tear down the sound equipment for you. This way, you’ll have peace of mind throughout the event, much so for big and highly publicized ones.
Also, you should budget wisely and shop around for options. A good AV rental company will not hesitate to give you a free quote, some would even offer to match or beat the price of other providers. Be wise and pick the company that provides the best bang for the buck.
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