Equipment Guide

An Introduction to the Design, Specifications and Use of PA Equipment

This section contains basic general information about the equipment that is commonly found in a live sound reinforcement system. If you need to know:

we hope you will find this section useful. It contains:

PA System Schematic

How everything in a PA system connects together.


The ins and outs of mixer controls and functions: switches, knobs, faders, routing options and more, as well as a subsection on digital mixers.


The main types of Microphone, and some of their differences and uses in live sound applications.

DI Boxes

What a DI box does, and when and where you might need to use one.

Sound Processors

An introduction to Equalisers, Compressors, Limiters, Noise Gates and Expanders, Crossovers and Controllers.

Effects Units

Effects, and some of their uses in live sound reinforcement.


Understanding the amplifier (the PA system's workhorse).


Full-range enclosures, Multi-enclosure loudspeaker systems, Line Arrays, Bass speakers and Monitors, plus a subsection on Loudspeaker Position.

For information about any particular make and model, the best source of information is almost always the manufacturer's website.

If you can't find what you need to know, please ask us. At worst, we don't know any more than you do. Also, any suggestions you make will be appreciated, although we cannot guarantee they will be used.

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