Dorset Sound & Communications

Sound system design for the 21st Century

SoundTips
Portable Sound Systems

A portable sound system is often a useful addition to the church ministry arsenal. It is also useful insurance when a church, chapel or social hall sound system fails. It can do double duty for picnics, grave side services, mission trips, revivals, tent meetings, nativity scenes and fellowship halls. Portable systems incorporate mixer, amplifier, signal processing and speakers into easily an transportable package. Depending on the intended use portable systems can be elaborate or very simple. A system intended for choir productions and mission trips may involve a full mixer, a package of signal processing electronics, amplifiers, microphones and main and monitor speakers. On a simpler order, a packaged mixer/amplifier, such as those made by Peavey, incorporating an internal equalizer along with a couple of speakers and microphones and stands can be handled by one man to produce high quality sound.

 Anchor, Mipro, Galaxy and Sound Projections products are self contained, simple, rugged, compact one piece units designed for one person to carry and set-up in minutes. rais it on a stand or table top, aim it toward the group plug in a microphone and speak. You can even have wireless microphone, CD player and battery power options to eliminate all the cables. Some of these can be incorporated into lecterns. Portable powered lectern systems with built-in sound are available from Anchor and Sound-Craft among others.

 Renkus-Heinz,  Mackie/Tapco and JBL also make more traditional powered speakers that contain amplifiers and mic preamps built into the speaker cabinet. While useable alone, they can be paired with a small mixer to make a two or three piece system that can handle larger programs. My son bought a couple of really nice Tapco powered speakers and a small Allen & heath mixer for his band. They use it for practice, and can take it to small clubs without much trouble. The next step up is a packaged PA system with a mixer and amplifier built into one transportable chassis. The "head" unit may be integrated by the manufacturer or may be built from selected components housed in a portable ATA style rack case. The roll-your-own variety, while larger, gives greater fexibility and is easier to repair. JBL, Mackie, and Peavey make integrated packaged PA systems. Packaged PA's are used with unpowered speakers. Again, you end up with a two or three piece system. Speaker stands, mic stands, speaker cables and mic cables may be extra depending on the configuration that meets your needs.

Anchor and Galaxy make several ultra-portables suitable for small groups, single rooms, classrooms or assisting folks with voice disabilities that make them difficult to be heard.

Give DS&C a call for help designing your church portable sound system and the training to use your sound system effectively. We can also set up preventive measures and scheduled maintenance visits for your permanent systems. Don't be caught unprepared. Enjoy effortless sound. Do it now!


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