Sound is the life of any event, whether it is a performing arts event or a corporate business event. Speakers make an event lively and bearable. Without a proper audio system and a sound system, the guests of the event will neither be able to enjoy themselves or learn something from it. Public announcements, fundraisers, concerts, art performances, and even wedding ceremonies or religious events need a reliable speaker and sound system to be successful.
Investing a huge sum in a set of speakers and audio systems does not automatically guarantee a good audio experience. Instead, another very important factor determines the quality of sound and audio experience in an event: speaker placement.
Different events are set in different conditions and situations, and therefore require different placement of speakers to have a good audio setup. The placement of speakers is a crucial decision, and careful attention needs to be taken to ensure an event goes on without a hiccup. In this article, we’ll discuss some important factors that determine speaker placement for events and will also give you some useful tips. Plus, if you are looking forward to throwing a party or are sponsoring a concert, choosing the right speakers will also be an important step for you. Read ahead to help decide what speakers match your needs the best, but for recommendations on good brands and speaker setups we recommend that you visit Outeraudio.com, there is also a lot of informative insights on other audio equipment that is extremely useful for new and experienced users alike.
Factors that determine speaker placement
There are some important determinant factors for speaker placement, let’s take a look:
1. Position of the performer
All sound experts can stress enough on the importance of the position of the performer. Whatever the size of the event, the speakers are always supposed to be placed in front and at the sides of the performer. By placing the speakers behind the performer, there will be huge levels of sound distortion and a greater possibility of the “screeching” mic sound that everyone hates. This effect is also referred to as “feedback” in technical terms. It’s the frequency bouncing back and forth of the sound that creates the effect. Therefore, always remember to check where the performer will be positioned, and always place your speaker on the sides or the front of the performance area.
2. Audience position or the ear height
An important and useful rule to live by when placing speakers for events is to always position them according to the height of the audience or the ear height. This basically refers to the height at which the listeners or the audience will be positioned. Your speakers should always be elevated or positioned higher than the audience. This helps to produce clearer, unmuzzled, and high-frequency sound. Use speaker mounts and sturdy stands to mount your speakers at a higher height.
3. The setting of the event
The setting of an event refers to whether it is indoors or outdoors. Indoor events will have a different speaker placement, compared to outdoor events. Outdoors events will need speakers to be placed at a much inward angle and position because there are greater chances of sound interruptions and distortion from the external noise.
4. Weather conditions
By weather conditions, we do not mean the chances of rain or snowfall. To some extent, yes, it is always good to have some weather forecasts if you are having an outdoor event. However, one particular aspect you should be considering is the wind direction. The wind direction will leave great distortion and poor audio experience if it is in the opposite, repelling the position of the speakers.
Tips for setting up your speakers perfectly for any event
Now that you have learned about some important considerations to make when determining speaker placement, it’s time for some tips and tricks to help you be sure about the placement.
1. Always do some pilot runs
Pilots tests or runs are crucial for ensuring a smooth and well-managed event. The importance of pilot runs cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to setting up speakers for an event. A pilot run will require you to set up the speakers in the position you have chosen, and run a small, brief performance to demonstrate how the sound experience will be in the final event. This can be an important step, especially for musicians and concert events. By doing this pilot run, you will be able to identify dead zones, potential problems, and predict unforeseen mishaps during the event. For example, without actually running the speakers and having a pilot performance, you might not be able to catch issues with the cable length of a microphone. Therefore, pilot runs are like lifesavers for any event.
2. Keep your hardware prepared
By hardware, we are referring to your cables, extra cables, microphones or input devices, keeping your equipment arranged and organized in one place is a must, one must also be familiar with all the equipment. Make sure that you are fully aware of the equipment being used, understand its functionality, and know what to do in all cases of emergencies and faults. This will help you in quickly setting them up without having to run around the venue and find them, and then also easily wrap them up without any loss of equipment at the end of the event.
3. Know the venue beforehand
Like we said that sound is the life of any event, the venue is also nothing less important. Without a venue, there’ll be no event at all. Therefore, to ensure a good sound system and experience, it is important to know your venue. Go there before the event, learn its various aspects and approaches, understand its locality, and even the weather conditions there. Moreover, spacing is another important factor that influences speaker placement. Therefore, visiting and learning about the venue beforehand is an important step, it would be wise to also keep in mind the other various components of the performance such as the projectors and lights, badly placed speakers could render these useless or take away from the whole experience.
4. Know the crowd and the performer
The sound system impacts the two most important parties involved in an event: the speaker/performer and the audience. To accurately decide and choose the best placement for your speakers, you need to know what kind of performance will be given and what kind of crowd will be there. If it’s a party or a school function, you are more likely to have a loud and energetic young crowd. For such crowds, you will need bigger and more powerful speakers and place them accordingly. If you are having a speech, a debate, or an event where the audience will be seated and the performer will only be giving a verbal performance, then the need for a large system might be necessary and you can get away with one portable PA system setup. In addition, the size of the crowd will also be important in this matter.
5. Always have a backup
Even the best-prepared event managers and planners are often unable to predict some mishaps and are caught off guard. The smart thing to do here is to have a reliable back up. Having a backup does not mean that you are not confident in your plan. It simply means that you are prepared for anything and everything!
How to choose the best audio system for your event?
If you have only started to plan your event and have already found yourself faced with important decisions such as the audio system for your event, then we have got your back. To choose the perfect, most suitable audio system and sound equipment for your event, you need to consider important factors such as portability, space consumption, and a reliable seller/vendor. If you are renting the equipment, make sure that the equipment is not old, has some kind of backup and is in good running condition. Moreover, in the case of renting the equipment, you can also look for vendors and tenants who are willing to be on-site with you so they can help with the equipment.
If you are buying the setup, make sure that the speakers you are choosing to buy are easy to use. They should at least have the essential functions and features that ensure a good audio experience. Moreover, warranty and technical support from the manufacturers are also important considerations.
To wrap it up, we can all agree that the perfect speaker placement only exists if you take the necessary steps to ensure perfection. Pilot tests and careful inspection of the venue are some important steps to take in order to place your sound equipment perfectly. A well-managed, well-designed sound system of an event ensures a great experience for the audience and ensures a powerful event. For this reason, great thought and care go into perfecting the art of sound design.