Mastering Sound for Your Event – Tips from the Pros

These days, big sounds can come from the smallest of packages. You could go, for example, to your local Walmart and pick up a “home studio” dock for your iPhone, and use it to entertain backyard guests.

We admit we’re excited about the way technology helps improve sound quality for folks looking to bring the noise at home or in their car.

But no matter how good technology is, don’t expect your run-of-the-mill sound equipment to handle big jobs like:

– Weddings
– Corporate Events
– Formal Celebrations

In fact, even if you rent top-notch sound equipment for your formal gathering, we’re willing to bet you (and your guests) will be let down by the sound produced.

That’s because unless you have a master puppeteer pulling the strings, so to speak, you’ll be left with nothing more than a pile of junk.

But we here at Planet DJ Productions want to help you breathe life into your event, which is why we’re offering up a few pro tips to make sure you and your guests aren’t left out in the dark when it comes to your sound quality.

Pro Tip: Sound equipment isn’t even the first thing you need to consider for your event

When we talk with clients who’ve attempted a do-it-yourself approach to their sound in the past, we typically learn that the first step these folks took was to check out all the possible sound equipment they’ll need.

But what if I asked you to go find equipment to prepare yourself for a camping trip? Would you know where to start?

Sure, you need a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear and more. But unless you know:

– How long you’ll be camping
– The potential temperatures and terrain of your camping site
– Who else you’ll be camping with
– And more

How could you possibly prepare yourself adequately?

The same goes for mastering the sound for your event. Sure, you know you need speakers, likely a computer, possibly a mixer, and more.

But unless you know a few other particulars of your event, you’ll either:

– Not get the right equipment
– Not get enough equipment
– Will get way more equipment than you’ll need

The thing is, your event isn’t likely to change. You know where it’ll be held. You know (roughly) how many people will attend. You know your budget.

While these elements are essentially set in stone, the equipment you’ll need to accommodate the event is adaptable.

Here are a few specifics about your event that could – and will – impact the type of equipment and setup you’ll need for your sound:

– The size of the event hall
– Does the space have good acoustics, or does loud sound bounce around and echo?
– What type of carpeting and concrete are found in the space?
– Do you have high or low ceilings?
– Will everyone in attendance be centralized in one location or will they be spread out?
– The number of attendees (a big room and a few people make for some challenges for your sound!)

These are just a few of the elements you must consider before investing in – and setting up – your sound equipment.

A case study: The conference that went awry

Here’s a dramatization of what could happen at your next event

Jeremy is in charge of his company’s yearly conference, where colleagues and clients from across the country meet to discuss the climate of business and to look ahead at what’s in store for the company.

The hall in which Jeremy’s conference will be held is in a large, open space with uncarpeted floors, high ceilings, and concrete walls.

The 200 people in attendance will be scattered throughout the room, but the speakers for the conference will be settled in at the front of the room where a small stage has been setup.

Knowing he wants to make sure folks in the way back can hear each presentation, Jeremy decides to rent two powerful speakers and poles, which he’ll set up beside the stage area, and point out to the open room.

How’d Jeremy do? Will his event go off without a hitch?

Well, sure, his event will be perfectly fine, so long as 10% of those in attendance don’t mind being shouted at and the remaining 90% have no issue with listening to presenters who sound a whole lot like the mumbling gibberish of the parents in a Peanuts Charlie Brown comic.

You see, where Jeremy wasn’t wrong is in thinking that bigger is better.

When it comes to mastering your sound for a wedding, corporate event or other gathering, this isn’t always the case. Particularly when the parameters of Jeremy’s conference space make it clear that reverb and echo will be a huge issue.

If he had hired a professional to handle his sound, Jeremy would’ve realized that he could, for example, set up small satellite speakers throughout the room. That way, each listener could clearly hear the presenters, without Jeremy having to blow out the front speakers.

Mastering sound is a skill –which is why folks go to school for it!

Because buying decent sound equipment is fairly straightforward, most folks think it takes little effort to turn an empty space into the perfect conference, event, or wedding.

Don’t be fooled!

Sound professionals go to school specifically to understand the complexities involved in using the right type of equipment to fill in spaces that range from tiny offices to huge stadiums.

It’s not as easy as it seems!

Remember back in school – long ago – when the teacher would put a movie on the TV at the front of the room? The kids in the back of the class would complain that they couldn’t hear the sound.

So, the teacher would crank up the volume as a solution. The only problem was, that made the sound bounce off the concrete walls of the room! Now no one could hear the movie.

It was funny as a student in school, but it sure isn’t funny when it’s a huge event in your life.

When it comes to mastering the sound for your event, let the pros handle it.

Contact us now to learn more.