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Basic PA System Setup

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If you are new to PA equipment, here's a terminology list and a basic indication of how to connect the necessary equipment:

Basic Terminology :-

Amplifier - The part of the system that amplifies the sound. May be purchased independently (with a separate mixer) or can be purchased as an integrated unit (a powered mixer).

Channels - 'Input' channels usually relate to those items coming into the amplifier/mixer (microphones, or other equipment which needs to be amplified or mixed). 'Output' channels usually relate to those items leaving the amplifier/mixer (speakers/monitors etc.).

Delay - An electronic circuit or effects unit - purpose being to delay the audio signal for a specific period of time.

Equaliser - Equipment used to alter specific frequencies of the sound, thus having a precise overall effect on the sound heard from the speakers. This equipment is commonly integrated into an amplifier or mixer, and is now seldom used as a stand-alone unit.

Fader - Another name for an audio level control. Usually refers to a straight-line slider rather than a rotary control.

Jack - Commonly used term to refer to an 'input/output' socket.

Level - Another word for signal voltage, (volume, strength or power).

Line-In (Input/Return) - This is where a signal enters the amplifier/mixer.

Line-Out (Output/Send) - This is where a signal leaves the amplifier/mixer.

Master Volume - Microphone volumes and backing track levels can be controlled independently via the input channels, however the master volume is used to increase or decrease the sound of the overall performance (microphone and instruments simultaneously).


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