If you are installing a public address (PA) system in your place of business, there are many things to consider. The physical installation of PA systems has been simplified over the years. However, there is still an art form to optimizing the system to best fit the building that it is in. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind during the installation process.
What is your PA system going to be used for – music, internal communications, public address, or a combination of these things? Make sure that your installation professional knows exactly what the function of your system will be. There are certain nuances that he can employ to better accommodate you if your specific needs are known.
If your PA system is especially complicated, you may be able to work with your installation professional to build a simple system to keep connections in order. These systems can be easily interpreted by a layman and usually consist of a number corresponding to an associated functionality. This is a great feature to install upfront to streamline the maintenance that will occur in the future.
Connecting the Components
“PA system” is an umbrella term that encompasses hookups of various scales. You may be connecting your amps to a distribution system that services a large area, or you may want to limit your reach to a few offices. The setup for each is different, although the components are similar.
The major components that you should be familiar with include the microphone, the crossover, the amplifier and the loudspeaker. Placement of each of these components is very important. If you have any questions during the installation process of these major components, ask your installation partner immediately. He should be able to quickly inform you of the relevant technical specifications. The final strategy is up to you.
Who should have the ability to control the PA system? In most cases, a PA system purposefully leaves more public facing controls than a consumer sound system. You may want your system to serve as a convenient landing pad for outsourced audio professionals, or you may have in house staff who require real time access to controls for quick fixes.
Work with your installation professional to ensure the appropriate amount of security even as you expose certain controls. There is a balance of security and access that you can achieve if you communicate throughout the process. Do not wait until the entire wire set has been put into the wall to express your concerns that the main controls are less convenient than they should be.
Keep the above things in mind when you are working with your PA installation professional. You may not understand all of the technical aspects of the installation, but you are definitely the authority on what works for you and what does not. As your professional installation partner translates your wishes into reality, keep functionality in mind for best results!