PA HIRE IN & AROUND GLOUCESTERSHIRE

 

 +44 (0)1452 770042+44 (0)1452 770042 info@astralsound.com

PA System Selection Guide for Live Music Events

Choosing a PA System for a Band, Live Music Festival or Concert

With the exception of classical music (which is seldom amplified), almost any live music event will need a PA system for the music itself.

Because there are usually many variables to take into account, you may well need to speak to us before deciding what to hire and whether to hire it from us. However, our packaged systems are designed to get as close as we can to a one-size-fits-all solution, so we hope this section will help you get a good idea of what we can provide for your event.

The table below allows side-by-side comparison of the packaged systems we supply. Links lead to further information on the item in question (either further down the page, or on other pages, as appropriate). However, please do not hesitate to call us if you would like additional information or help.

System Comparison Chart

 

From £200.00 + VAT

(£240.00 inc. VAT)

From £400.00 + VAT

(£480.00 inc. VAT)

From £300.00 + VAT

(£360.00 inc. VAT)

From £450.00 + VAT

(£540.00 inc. VAT)

From £650.00 + VAT

(£780.00 inc. VAT)

 

Solo performers and folk/acoustic acts

Vocals where the back-line needs no additional amplification

Solo performers and folk/acoustic acts

Vocals where the back-line needs no additional amplification

Full bands (up to 16 channels)

All styles of music in venues up to a few hundred in capacity

Full bands (more than 16 channels)

All styles of music in venues up to a few hundred in capacity and outdoors

Full bands (more than 16 channels)

All styles of music in venues up to 1,000 in capacity and outdoors

 

4 x Shure SM58

4 x Shure Β58A

4 x Shure SM58

4 x Shure Β58A

4 x Shure Β58A

Alternative Microphones

2 x AKG C1000S

2 x Shure Β57A, 1 x AKG 3000, 4 x AKG C1000S

2 x Shure SM57, 2 x AKG C1000S

2 x Shure Β57A, 4 x AKG C1000S

2 x Shure Β57A, 1 x AKG 3000, 4 x AKG C1000S

Alternative Microphones

1 x Shure PG52, 3 x Shure PG56

1 x AKG D112, 4 x AKG C418

1 x AKG D112, 4 x AKG C418

Alternative Microphones

2

4

2

4

8

Complete Set

16 Sends

4 Returns

45 Metres

16 Sends

4 Returns

45 Metres

24 Sends

6 Returns

45 Metres

24 Sends

12 Returns

80 Metres

DVD/CD Player

Soundcraft EFX-12

Allen & Heath WZ3 16:2

Allen & Heath WZ3 16:2

Allen & Heath QU-24

Allen & Heath GLD-80

1 × dbx 231

3 × dbx 1231

1 × dbx 231

31-band GEQ and 4-band PEQ on all mixes

31-band GEQ and 4-band PEQ on all mixes

1 × dbx 266XL

1 × dbx 1046

3 × dbx 166

1 × dbx 266XL

Independent compression on all inputs and mixes, independent gating on all inputs

Independent compression on all inputs and mixes, independent gating on all inputs

1 × Lexicon MPX100

1 × Lexicon MPX100

1 × Lexicon MPX200

1 × Lexicon MPX100

4 stereo banks of digital effects

8 stereo banks of digital effects

1 × dbx Driverack PA

D12 amplifier has full DSP control

1 × dbx Driverack PA

1 × dbx Driverack PA

1 × dbx Driverack PA, D12 amplifier has full DSP control

1 × QSC PLX1804

1 × d&b D12

2 × QSC PLX1804

1 × QSC PLX1804

1 × QSC PLX3102

1 × d&b D12

1 × QSC PLX3102

2 × Martin Audio F10

2 × d&b E12

2 × Martin Audio F10

2 × Martin Audio S15

2 × Martin Audio F12

2 × Martin Audio S15

2 × d&b E12

4 × Martin Audio S15

2 × QSC PLX1804

2 × QSC PLX1804

2-3 × QSC PLX1804

4 × Martin Audio F10

4 × Martin Audio F10

4-6 × Martin Audio F10

Technician for Set-Up Only

Technician for Set-Up and Sound-Check Only

Full Production Crew

Full Production Crew

Full Production Crew

Technical Information

Mixer Channels

12 Mono

2 Stereo

16 Mono

16 Mono

24 Mono

24 Mono, expandable

Auxiliary Channels

1 Pre/Post

1 FX send

1-4 Pre/Post

5-6 Pre/Post

1-4 Pre/Post

5-6 Pre/Post

4 mono Pre/Post

Up to 5 stereo Pre/Post

Up to 18 Pre/Post

Peak SPL (Nominal, 1m)

128dB

137dB

133dB

133dB

140dB

Mix Position @ 110dB

8 Metres

22 Metres

14 Metres

14 Metres

31 Metres

Loudspeaker Power Rating (Continuous)

600W

600W

1.6kW

1.6kW

2.6kW

Loudspeaker Power Rating (Peak)

1.2kW

1.6kW

6.4kW

6.4kW

9.6kW

Power Requirements

230V, 6A

230V, 12A

230V, 12-20A

230V, 20A

230V, 32A

Item Details

Cost. The amount shown is the standard daily hire charge for each system, including delivery to an address within 15 miles of our postcode, set-up, production crew (if crew are provided with the system), and collection. Weekly hire charges for PA systems without crew are equal to three days’ hire. Charges for longer periods, or for multiple-days with crew, are negotiable. [Back to Table]

Options. Anything listed under Options can be supplied as a substitute for default equipment without any additional charge. Please note, however, that you need to tell us before placing an order if you would like us to provide alternative equipment. [Back to Table]

Extras. Anything listed under Extras can be supplied in addition to default equipment for a supplementary charge. Generally, supplementary charges will be equivalent to standard Dry Hire prices, less a 15% discount. [Back to Table]

Applications. Our Live Music PA systems are suitable for a wide range of musical styles, and are capable of reproducing source content accurately (i.e. without marked tonal changes or distortion) at high output levels. Our d&b audiotechnik and Martin Audio loudspeakers have an even frequency response both on- and off-axis, and provide excellent sound reinforcement systems for venues or outdoor arenas with an audience capacities from 50 to 1,000. [Back to Table]

Vocal Microphones. Each of these systems includes a default provision of four Shure vocal microphones. Those designated as instrument microphones can also be used (and in some cases may be preferred) for vocals. Depending on our own stock availability at the time we may be able to provide substitute or additional vocal microphones (please let us know what you need if you would like to check cost and availability). Charges for additional microphones will generally be equivalent to standard dry hire prices less 15% discount. [Back to Table]

Instrument Microphones. Each of these systems includes at least two AKG C1000S general-purpose condenser microphones, suitable for a wide spectrum of instruments. Systems suitable for amplification of the full back line also include Shure SM57 or Β57A microphones. We are usually able to provide substitute or additional instrument microphones (please ask us about cost and availability). Charges for additional microphones (including radio systems) will generally be equivalent to standard dry hire prices less 15% discount. [Back to Table]

Drum Microphones. Any of these systems suitable for amplifying an entire band includes a set of drum microphones, which may need to be supplemented (especially where more than a standard four- or five-piece drum kit needs amplification). Please let us know what you need when asking for a quotation. [Back to Table]

DI Boxes. You will generally need a DI box for any instrument that has a pickup, or for electronic instruments (which includes most keyboards). How many you need will depend on the combination of instruments: guitar-based bands without keyboards may not need any, while a folk duo with two acoustic instruments each might need four. All our packaged live music systems include at least two DI boxes (and most include four, which is usually enough), but we can supply more if you need them. Note that all our DI boxes are single-channel (mono), so that two will be required for any stereo source. [Back to Table]

Microphone and Multicore Cables. All our systems include a full set of cables to cover all inputs, outputs, loudspeakers, monitors and power for our own equipment. All inputs are assumed to be on XLR connectors, and each systems includes at least one 5-metre XLR cable per microphone or DI Box. You will need to check with us if jack-to-jack or other input cables that belong with backline equipment are required, although our engineers usually carry at least one of each common variety to cover emergencies. Also, please let us know about any on-stage power requirements.

It is usual (and preferable) for the front-of-house mix to be managed from the audience area, so all engineered systems (from the Small Concert System upwards) include a (minimum) 45-metre multicore cable, which will reach from the stage to the back row of most venues with an audience capacity of less than 1,000.

Please make sure we are advised of any specific cabling requirements that our default cable set may not cover. [Back to Table]

CD Player or Other Sound Source. A CD player is often useful to provide background or interval music at live events, as well as providing a sound source to assist setting up, so all our live systems include one. We can also provide - either as well or instead - a DVD, Minidisc, Cassette or MP3 player if you need one. [Back to Table]

Mixer. Our Vocal PA system is supplied with a Soundcaraft EFX-12 mixer, with 12 mono and two stereo channels. All our other live music systems use professional-standard Allen & Heath mixers, ranging from 16 to 32 channels. Generally, the bigger the production the more channels you will need, and the mixer supplied with each system is generally appropriate for the scale of production involved. However, we can provide alternatives, or a second mixer if the production involves a separate monitor engineer. [Back to Table]

Graphic Equalisers. All our analogue-mixer systems are supplied with dbx 231 (2U) or dbx 1231 (3U) 31-band equalisers, with enough channels to cover every mix output (i.e. main mix left and right and each monitor send). Our digital mixers have comprehensive processing facilities, including four-band fully parametric EQ on every channel and mix, and 28-band Graphic EQ on every mix. Prices for additional monitor mixes with analogue-mixer systems include a separate graphic equaliser channel for each mix, as well as amplifiers and loudspeakers.  [Back to Table]

Compressors Most PA systems are easier to use to their best advantage with the help of dynamic control, and all our analogue-mixer systems include compressor channels (two channels in the case of the Vocal and Small Concert Systems, and ten with the d&b Live Music System). The dbx 1046 (accounting for four of the compressor channels in the larger systems) does not have a gating function, but basic expander/gates are available on all other compressor channels. We can provide dedicated expanders or noise gates instead or as well if technical riders or touring engineers require more sophisticated expansion or gating.>/p>

Our Allen & Heath digital mixers include both noise gates and a choice of compression styles on all inputs and outputs. [Back to Table]

Effects. All our live music mixers have onboard effects, and systems with analogue mixers also include at least one external Lexicon effects unit. Our digital mixers have multiple digital effects engines, providing a minimum of four individually configurable effects. [Back to Table]

System Controllers. All our PA systems are processor-controlled. Martin Audio and hybrid systems use dbx Driverack PA controllers, which have a range of functions including loudspeaker-protection and feedback control, in addition to the programmable active crossover which is used in all our active loudspeaker systems. Fully-featured digital signal processing is an integral part of d&b audiotechnik amplifiers, so d&b systems do not require any additional control. [Back to Table]

Amplifiers. Our live PA systems and monitor subsystems are supplied with d&b audiotechnik and QSC PLX2 Series amplifiers, combining exceptional sonic performance with high undistorted power output. We can provide additional matching amplifiers - together with controllers where appropriate - for supplementary loudspeaker or monitor requirements. [Back to Table]

Loudspeakers. We only use d&b audiotechnik and Martin Audio loudspeakers, either of which are outstanding both in reputation and in performance. All systems that include bass speakers are bi-amplified, and we recommend that you do not use any other type of system for reinforcement of instruments with a substantial low-frequency component (notably, kick-drum and bass guitar). We can provide additional loudspeakers (either arrayed to increase overall output levels, or as satellite subsystems covering different areas), which may require extra amplifiers as well. Please ask us if you would like further information about this. [Back to Table]

Monitor Amplifiers. All our monitors are currently powered by QSC PLX1804 amplifiers. One amplifier channel is required for each separate monitor mix, so each amplifier can power up to two monitor mixes. [Back to Table]

Monitors. Up to eight monitors can be supplied with any of these systems (default numbers are as detailed). Analogue desks can be configured to provide a maximum of five (but by default only four) separate monitor mixes, while our Allen & Heath QU-24 can provide up to seven monitor mixes (including four stereo mixes for in-ear monitor systems if required). The GLD-80 has configuration options that allow up to 16 monitor mixes (18 if front-of-house mixes are not being used).  [Back to Table]

Delivery and Set-up. Delivery, set-up and collection within 15 miles are included in standard charges for any of these systems (additional charges may apply at greater distances). Any of these systems can also be hired without delivery or crew (a 15% discount generally applies), but most require at least a small van for transportation. [Back to Table]

Technician on site. A technician will be available to set up the Vocal and Small Concert systems (and can carry out a preliminary sound-check if musicians are available at set-up). Other systems include at least one technician who can remain with or near the equipment from delivery to collection. Generally - unless we know in advance that the performers will be providing an engineer themselves - the technician will be an experienced sound-engineer. If your event calls for a specific provision of technical crew, please let us know so that we can include it on our quotation. [Back to Table]