Setting up PA-sound system
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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Setting up PA-sound system

    Hi guys. I have a few questions about setting up speakers, amplifiers and cables.

    First of. Can anyone explain, in detail, how to setup speakers for a gig? Lets say for example that Im going to setup to subwoofers and two treble speakers. Which XLR are going where?

    This is my guess - correct me if im wrong.

    You plug both speakers and subwoofers to power at first. Then you put an XLR from all the components to the amplifier (?) and then i connect my mixer (Numark Mixdeck Quad) with XLR from mixer and to the amplifier?

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisiiiiii View Post
    Hi guys. I have a few questions about setting up speakers, amplifiers and cables.

    First of. Can anyone explain, in detail, how to setup speakers for a gig? Lets say for example that Im going to setup to subwoofers and two treble speakers. Which XLR are going where?

    This is my guess - correct me if im wrong.

    You plug both speakers and subwoofers to power at first. Then you put an XLR from all the components to the amplifier (?) and then i connect my mixer (Numark Mixdeck Quad) with XLR from mixer and to the amplifier?
    I would actually get a crossover to split the bass and the hi/mids, unless the subwoofers have them built in. Different speakers have different inputs, so not all of them have XLR. You'd probably have to get XLR to 1/4" or speakon for the mixdeck into the amp. To setup them up, run the outputs of the mixdeck to the amplifier, then the output from the amp to speakers.
    15" Macbook Pro (2.0 GHz Core i7, 16 GB) Mac OS X 10.7 Ableton Suite 9. iPad (Liine Lemur).

  3. #3
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    I would suggest plugging everything from the DJ mixer to a decent mixing console first, which is the final step before the main Amp. Obviously a proper sound check is required so you don't find yourself with a rather large bill for blown speakers as opposed to actually getting paid (believe me) ...
    As the Dj you want to be confident that you can crank the levels at your end without blowing thousands of buck worth of gear, this is whee finding someone who knows their stuff can come in handy.
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  4. #4
    Tech Wizard DJTroyT's Avatar
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    I can give you an example with a simplified system:

    Laptop
    Traktor Kontrol (S2 or S4 makes no real difference for our purposes)
    Powered speakers & sub (in my case, JBL EON 515XL tops and 518 sub)

    The laptop is connected via USB to the Traktor Kontrol controller, which is also a USB "sound card." The Traktor Kontrol does not have XLR outputs, but it has balanced (i.e., 3-conductor) 1/4" output jacks which are electrically identical. You either need cables that have 1/4" jacks on one end and XLR male on the other, or a standard mic cable and some 1/4"-to-male XLR adapters. Using whichever you have, you plug the 1/4" plugs into the controller (both left and right channels), and plug the male XLRs into the single subwoofer. This particular sub is designed with two inputs and outputs and an internal crossover. To get sound to the tops, you plug in a pair of "mic cables" (i.e., XLR cables) from the two outputs on the sub to each of the tops.

    By default, this gives you a mono subwoofer and stereo tops, which is just fine. The crossover inside the sub splits the signal and sends the frequencies below 100 Hz to the sub, and anything above that to the sub's outputs, which are connected to the tops. That way, the tops aren't trying to reproduce the sub-bass, which they aren't able to do anyway.

    If you had 2 subwoofers, then you'd run a cable from the controller's Left or #1 output to the sub, and another from the sub to the top, and duplicate that on the Right or #2 side.

    Many powered speakers & subs have crossovers like this built in, but most passive speakers do not, so a separate crossover (and external amps) would be needed, along with different wiring.

    Oh, and power is the LAST thing you connect and the FIRST thing you disconnect. You should also power up all of your signal components FIRST and your amps LAST, and turn the off in reverse order: amps off first, and signal stuff last. Obviously, make sure the master on your mixer or controller is turned down before you power on your amp(s), so you don't accidentally blow your speakers.
    Last edited by DJTroyT; 10-30-2014 at 12:42 AM.

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