|pa system for high school gym is being discussed in the ControlBooth Sound, Music, and Intercom forum; hey guys, i don't usually do sound but a buddy of mine wanted me to provide him with a PA ...|
You mean you want to rent one, right?
How big is the gym?
At my school the rule for volume is,"If I can hear myself think, it's not loud enough."
audio, audiovisual and acoustical consultant
sorry that i was a bit short on details but here are the details. they are looking to rent a pa system its basically a dance in a high school gym. roughly the size of a basketball court, maybe 50 ft by 100 ft. they do not require moniters, just a suitable PA system for the DJ to blast music out of (prefferably active speakers). budget is roughly as low as it needs to be. And the people running it will be technicians from the company. and there will roughly be 400-500 people and the main music genre is going to be hip-hop.
thanks guys : )
This is really easy to screw up. People who do live sound are often at odds with DJs and prefer to stay away from such events. In my experience of attending such dances, a pair of EV Sx300s sound good, but aren't quite enough. A stack five tall of EV SH1502s was enough, but sounded like crap.
You'll really be hard-pressed to find a pro for cheap. Ask the DJs what equipment they're using before you hire them, then add up the horizontal coverage. Avoid those that are trying to do things like using two JBL JRX115s (both 90x40 degree boxes) per side- I find it's a sign that they don't know what they're doing.
My high school senior prom was totally ruined by a bad DJ. They had a pair of EV Zx4s- good enough, but then they decided to put a pair of Force 15s pointing in from the sides of the dance floor. I asked them to turn down the ear-splitting highs, and they laughed at me. I then asked principal not to hire them again. He trusted my opinion a bit more, and they won't be returning. I shouldn't walk out with my ears ringing.
Let's see if I understand. The performance is a DJ, no band. You would be renting the system and the company providing the system would be running it. Room is a typical gym and about 50' x 100', not sure if the DJ will be at an end or side of the room, and they'll be spinning hip-hop. The budget is "as low as it needs to be".
Does that budget description mean that if someone says it will take X dollars then you will come up with that amount regardless of what it is? Or does it mean that you want to keep it as low as possible but there is some amount that you can't exceed? Have you never had a dance there before that might provide some idea of what it takes or costs?
My first thought is that most DJs provide their own sound and lighting systems. Even if they have to rent them because it is a larger event for them that puts the control and responsibility for the overall show in their hands rather than splitting it between multiple parties if you have someone else provide the sound and lighting systems and operate them. It would not be unusual to have disagreements regarding the sound levels and quality, if I am providing the sound then I'm not going to risk damaging my equipment or my reputation for providing my perception of quality sound while the DJ may feel the same, yet the two perceptions of what is 'right' may be at odds with one another. For example, if the system is being run as hard as I am comfortable with, then I'm not going to turn it up regardless of what the DJ wants.
If you rent then what you are going to be able to rent is probably going to be limited to what is available from local providers and your budget. If we try to get into specific equipment then the chances of what would be recommend here actually being available locally or matching what a local provider proposes is small. It might be better to talk to a couple of possible vendors, explain the situation as thoroughly as possible and get their proposals, then we can comment on those if desired.
One specific thought, have you considered creating a dance area rather than trying to cover the entire space? I find that people sometimes like the idea of having some areas with lower levels where they can more easily talk or simply rest their ears a bit. Think about if you really think you need to cover the entire space with high levels or if it might be better to focus on a smaller area right in front of the DJ.
audio, audiovisual and acoustical consultant
What immediately comes to mind is a couple of full-range speakers like the SRM450 or JBL EONs, and a sub to accompany them. (all self-powered) If the crowd prefers ground-thumping rap music, then you'll have to beef up on the subs (i.e. two 18" subs instead of one 15 or 18" sub).
I agree with Brad's suggestion that the faculty and students both may like it better if the sound is directed at one half of the room so people can actually talk in the other half. In which case you could get four full-range speakers to "box out" a section of the room, all pointing in towards the center of that section. This will make it easy to immerse the dancers in what seems like loud music without actually having to play it all that loud. (but you'll still want sub support).
Local school and community theater
Redwood City, CA