|Posted on August 12, 2014 at 2:05 AM|
Although an audio system can be made up of dozens of pieces of equipment from elaborate digital mixers to 250 lbs dual 21 inch subwoofers, one of the most important items in an audio chain, besides microphones, are audio speakers. The reason why speakers and microphones are so important is that they convert physical energy into electrical energy and vice versa.
It’s misleading for a DJ to say that they have the best audio system in Albuquerque, and then follow it up by saying it boasts 6000 watts of power. This is a very tricky statement because most folks think that higher wattage is a sign of better quality sound. Higher wattage can indicate that the system, depending on the configuration, has headroom which is good for making sure that the Continuous Power Handling of the speaker itself can be met and exceeded. This cuts down on amplifier clipping, distortion, and power inefficiency.
But, why is it that audio systems using only 1000 watts can sound so much clearer, and punchier than one that is using 3000 watts? The trick is to not be fooled with large wattage readings; you must determine where that amplified signal is going.
Internally amplified top cabs have become the most effective way of incorporating improved sound into an audio system. In powered speakers such as these, the signal from the mixer or sound processing equipment is sent directly to the speaker’s input. In my particular speakers, the signal is then divided up by an active crossover which sends the high and upper-mid tones to the amplifier driving the tweeter, and the lower midrange and bass tones to the amplifier driving the woofer. This configuration can vary depending on the brand of manufacturer of the powered speaker. However, the above-mentioned configuration is the proper and most effective method of developing sound.
It used to be that to achieve the same or similar audio configuration, one would need to bi-amplify the speakers using separate audio amplifiers. This process is still used in professional audio systems such as those found at large concerts and festivals. However, most sound companies have converted over to powered line array systems based on essentially the same concept as powered speakers except in slightly different configurations designed to produce sound over a wider dispersion.
Subwoofers are a whole other ballgame. Subwoofers are meant to produce sub bass energy that rounds out the bottom end of the sound spectrum. They are specifically designed to take most of the pressure off the speakers producing the higher tones, so that those speakers don’t sound distorted or become overworked.
The subwoofers that I use are made for live concert sound. The design is such that I can be located 10 or 15 feet from the edge of the dance floor, and people are still able to hear and feel the bass. I always have to laugh when I hear a DJ say that they must be right next to the floor for it to sound good. We understand that due to the room configuration, close proximity may not be possible, so we’ve designed our system accordingly.
What does this mean to you, the client? Make sure at the very least that you find a DJ that has active top cabs, and at least one subwoofer. Also, try to have a DJ provide an audio equipment list to you at time of hiring espcially if you are using a company with multiple DJs. A DJ with a good system should be proud of it. You don’t want a DJ to show up at the event with the family’s home theater speakers.
At Red Sapphire DJ Entertainment we take our sound to the next level using specialized equipment that tailors the sound to a particular venue, so it doesn’t matter if the event is outdoors, at a theater, a banquet room, or bar. You will hear sound that is clear and pleasing to the ear, and doesn’t give off that raspy, crackly, and wonky sound. Just to put things into perspective. Mediocre audio systems can be purchased for around 1500 dollars; the audio system featured in our packages costs around 9000 dollars. But, our clients, venue managers, and audioheads understand the difference, capability, and versatility of quality components.
Contact me if you have any questions about our audio system. I’d be happy to meet up, and explain more about the differences involving audio systems.
Thanks for reading.
Categories: Why Speakers Matter