Little League games. Training classes. Trade shows. Auctions. Museum guided tours. Nature walks. Travel tours. Board meetings. These are some to the vents Iíve lent voice to, not my voice, someone elseís voice. Kintronicsí customersí voices. We receive numerous phone calls from people just like you who are in charge of happenings such as these, and they are looking for just the right PA system.
Portable address systems come in a wide spectrum, ranging from lightweight ones appropriate for the hushed voice of a docent leading a group of 8 Ė 10 people through an art museum, on up to dual speaker systems which will allow an announcer to compete with the exuberant cheers of a football crowd at the big game in the stadium.
Most customers coming to us for advice know something about decibels (the sound pressure level) If they donít I lead them on an audio tour, starting off at 0 decibels (dB), the threshold of hearing, tiptoeing through the rustling of leaves at 20dB, rushing past a food blender churning away at 90 dB on up to the hit-the-deck, cover your ears, I-canít-take-it-anymore, ear splitting pain of being within 100 feet of a jet plane (130 dB).
Others understand that wattage is the amount of electric power needed by an appliance and while a PA system needing 10 watts at peak performance might be suitable for a small group in a very quiet setting, it isnít going to do the jobĒ if youíre running a stock car race competing with a herd of modified dodge hems in which case, a minimum of 50 watt system would be required.
Yes most people have the big picture, but itís when we get to whatís right under their noses Ė the microphone - that they falter. The biggest misconception is that it is possible to use more than one microphone simultaneously. This is true if you are using wired mics. Some of our systems allow three wired mics without any need to add a mixer. But remember that is a wired mic.
If youíre looking for a wireless mic, you have to remember that this involves a transmitter communicating with a receiver (similar to a radio). Each microphone has its own transmitter and it is selfish, it needs a receiver Ė all to itself. One transmitter, one receiver. If you try to use two microphones (transmitters), they fight over the receiver, and you have interference Ė not easy on the ears. It is possible to use two mics, but only with a PA system that has dual receivers Ė one for each microphone. These are readily available.
Then thereís the matter of a microphone. What do you want to do with it? Hold it or wear it? If you want to hold it, thatís easy, your only choice is which hand to hold it in. Handheld mics are one piece, mic and transmitter all in one. But if you want to wear it, thereís a veritable wardrobe out there: Lapel mics that clip on to your lapel, over-the-ear mics, headband mics, collar mics, all transmitting through a body pack transmitter that clips to your belt.
Sometimes people know exactly what they want right down to the nitty gritty of the microphone head. I used to think you spoke into a mic, it broadcasted and that was that. But no, just like kids at a beach, you can always dig deeper. Microphones can be further sub-divided into omni directional, cardiod (directional), or supercardioid (very directional).
Itís easier than it sounds. Are you going to be part of a group or panel where people might be sharing a mic. Well you need an onmidirectional mic, which just like its name suggests, picks up sounds from all directions. Or maybe youíre broadcasting at a church fair where ambient noises compete with your voice, then youíll want to think about a cardioid mic which has a unidirectional pattern reducing all those competing sounds. And lastly if you really want to shut out the world, there is the supercardioid mic which has a very tight sound pattern.
So if youíre ever in the Market for a PA system, remember itís more than the speakers, and how loud they are. You can have the most sophisticated system in the world, but if it canít hear your voice no one will. Itís the little things that count, in this case, the one right in front of our face!
Need to hear more about our PA systems, just give us a call 1-800-431-1658 or 914-944-3425.