A Typical Theatre Sound System


Active Member
In our theatre we have two peavey sp1 speakers, a crappy yamaha sound board and an amp. the speakers are out in the house and everything else is in the booth. That is what we currently have hooked up.

Up in our catwalks at teh front of our stage, there is a large speaker, and two loud speaker type things. I am assuming they are speakers. Horns probably. I'm not too sure though. But they aren't hooked up to anything. We also have another amp, an effects processor and a signal channel eq. This was all here when we got there and haven't touched them. O ya, we also have two community crx speakers backstage that aren't hooked up.

My question is that are all these apart of a typical sound system and how should they all be hooked up if they are? I don't know any makes or models of anything taht we have that i haven't mentioned, and i won't find out until at least april 4th. so don't ask me about that. Should I try to hook everything up and possibly get better sound than what we are getting now, or not bother?

For our shows we usually bring in our sound system from our choir since our choir teacher and tech theatre teacher is the same person we have no problem in doing that. And that is only a peavey board, two peavey sp2 speakers and a peavey amp and peavey monitors and a 100' 24 channel snake. We got everything cheap pretty much straight from peavey so it was a good deal. Please don't criticize the system. However; i will take suggestions about what i can do with the above equipment and make it better. Just don't tell me to go buy something or hire someone to do it for me. We don't have the money.


use what ya got...

If your equalizer has the right inputs I'd use it to help reduce feedback or hum if that is a problem for you. Hooking up more sets of speakers may not help your cause though. Just my $.02.


Active Member
Falcon what you describe would have been a typical system in an older venue. They still use newer versions of this setup today. It would be worth checking it out. You should be able to check the community speakers out fairly easily. The centre cluster maybe harder.

The centre cluster may have a limited frequency response if it was meant for only speech. But you may be lucky and find it was full range. If it is and you can get it working, you may need to replace drivers, you have a valuable asset. If the quality is good and depending on the throw it would be good to use as the main speakers for vocal. Then the side speakers just handle music.

As you say you are away until 4 April so once you are back there are a few things I would do.
1) get the equipment details posted here. Some of our older members may have installed similar equipment.

2) check and see if you can find and trace the old wiring to the speakers. Was the old amplifier just shoved in a cupboard or was it still in situ when you got there?

3) go to the person who holds plans for the school and see if there any old diagrams of the system.

4) Talk to teachers who have been there a while and see if they remember it when it was working. This may give you a subjective idea if it is worth saving.

This could be an interesting puzzle to solve.


Active Member
I can easily get to the centre cluster, but I have to find the wires, they may end up running down the wall into the the tracks under the theatre which is completely sealed or they run in the tracks in teh gallery, if they do run in the gallery it all should be easiy to hook up.

The community speakers are three way and the mids are blown. We have someone who is going to send those out and see if they are worth fixing.

All the equipment in the booth is all on the rack, but no cables going to any of those not in use. We do have alot of cables coming from the track under the theatre and no clue where they all go. I did manage to find one cable though, which was a dmx with only 3 cables connected.

For wiring diagrams, I know we tried to get some for a lighting system to no success, we also want to find out what is under our stage, if there is anything, looking for a mythological trap door at the moment.

Booth of the teachers who will know something about the system were there when these weren't hooked up, they were unhooked by the previous teachers for some reason and we don't know where they are and they left us with a huge dept load. Which we finally managed to pay off last year.

When I get back to school, I will write down everything I can about the equipment and post it, I will go everything from its brand to what type of inputs they have in.


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don't waste too much time looking for a way under the stage... All of the stage's in loudoun county schools have cement and sand underneath them. There is no storage area.... having that storage area there is very nice, but it also makes the stage much more costly to maintain in the long run.


Active Member
so all my 5 pin dmx cables only have 3 wires in it? i thought they would all have the 5 pins would have a cable on it so they can add stuff more easily


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Fight Leukemia
I cant tell you for sure,you would have to(with permission of course) remove the hood(covers connections) and look for yourself!

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