Dorset Sound & Communications

Sound system design for the 21st Century

SoundTips
Simplified Control Sound Systems

Many groups may not need or want to be burdened with the duties of operation. In that case the system will be designed as simple as possible (set-and-forget or an automatic mixer) and one or two people will be taught how to turn it on. The DS&C phone number will be close by in case of emergency or malfunction.

Set-and-forget systems usually have less than eight inputs. Beyond that the burden of open microphone channels severely hinders amplification and feedback (howl) stability. The most cost effective s-and-f system is the integrated mixer / amplifier. An entire sound system could be set up with one of these, a couple of microphones and a speaker. It is ideal for a small church, chapel, social hall, school auditorium or a multipurpose room.

The big brother variation uses an automatic mixer. Auto mixers are very sophistocated logic or even computer controlled devices that turn mics on and off as they are used. They maintain stability and high amplification levels by automatically limiting the number of open microphones and compensating for the number of microphones that are in use. I have designed systems such as this with as many as forty inputs in large synagogues and churches. Auto mixers are often used in "congress" type situations where there are a great many participants who may speak.

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