Most people entering the music-making scene have a rough idea about DJ setups. However, when it comes to PA setups, many seem to get it mixed up with a hi-fi system, which it is not. PA or public address is essentially a system that may be calibrated to provide the audience with a constant sound quality for a prolonged period of time.
In this post we shall see the different ways in which a PA can be applied to a DJ system since the DJ requirements vary from those of a band or vocal presentation for that matter. Regardless, any PA system may be broken down to three elemental blocks – a source, amplifier and sound output.
The Basic Setup
Here, the sound source could take the shape of a DJ mixer, DJ controller or any other DJ interface. The important aspect however is that this component forms the master output from your DJ sub-system that goes into the amplifier component of the PA system, which in turn feeds the speakers.
If you decide to go for active speakers, then you essentially achieve amplification and sound output in one step.
The Enhanced Setup
Simply put, this setup employs a PA mixer as the go-to between the sound source and amplification stage. While this might look over-complication, especially when using a DJ controller, it in fact has its own advantages.
For example, using a small PA mixer lets you set the controller’s equalizers to mid-point and master output at 50% and then proceed with the sound check from the PA mixer. This ways, you don’t have to fiddle with the PA mixer through the rest of the gig and control everything via the DJ controller without worrying about the sound quality.
The Mobile Setup
This is where the PA mixer really comes into its own. Because it can take in inputs from multiple sources, this means that you could connect your iPod, microphone, DJ controller and if need be a DVD player to a single interface.
This setup is especially conducive to the talkover function, where the music volume gets muffled for the period that the mic is active.