What is a sound reinforcement system?

Generally, a sound reinforcement system is used to enhance and distribute live or pre recorded sound over a wide area. The key aim of sound reinforcement is to allow the sound to reach a larger or more distant audience while retaining or enhancing the quality of the existing audio, rather than just amplifying it.

Sound reinforcement systems can vary from complex setups comprising of many microphones, multiple arrays and complex mixing and signalling processing systems, to something as simple as a small public address system, consisting of a single microphone connected to an amplifier and loudspeaker.

Both of these kinds of system serve to reinforce sound, distributing it over a wider area while retaining or improving the quality of the audio.

The main requirements of any sound reinforcement system where speech is being amplified are that the programme material must be heard comfortably by all the audience or public present, and that the speech is easily intelligible. Naturalness is a desired quality and in instances where speech reinforcement is required, if everyone present can hear clearly without being aware that amplification is in use then the installation can be claimed as successful. It may not always be possible to achieve complete success in this direction especially in large gatherings; however the system should be as unobtrusive as possible but always second to providing intelligible reproduction.

Sound reinforcement example - In a church

Achieving clear, intelligible and natural sounding speech in a church is not a simple task. It requires a wide source of suitable products, careful selection, sympathetic installation and detailed setup. All of this is achievable with a system from PAS Sound.

For far too long people have associated sound systems in churches as PA Systems, whilst this assumption is in fact technically correct, it fails to describe adaquately the exact type of end result we like to achieve.

The correct end result is natural sound reinforcement of the spoken word which provides clear, intelligible speech reproduction. Hence SR systems have to operate under greater extremes than PA systems resulting in greater demands on design, product selection, installation and set-up. This is not the domain for amateurs, musicians and other experts!

The first step in acheiving these aims is to ensure that the best possible microphones are employed in order to capture the source of sound i.e. the person speaking which then allows us to process this signal with the electronics and loudspeakers in the next stages of the system.

Sound Reinforcement In a ChurchWithout good quality information at the start of the audio chain, we will never achieve a good result further along it.

The second most important element of a good system is the choice of loudspeakers and their placement in the building. We have numerous products available to us from across the globe which offer many options for buildings with difficult acoustics, architectural constraints and finishes. In the case of large and demanding schemes, we can call upon computer aided design programmes to assist us in developing a system which performs well in extreme conditions.

See examples of some of the seven hundred churches we've worked in here.

Sound reinforcement example - In a courtroom

With multiple speaking positions requiring reinforcement, courtrooms can be very difficult to manage sound in due to the number of potentially active microphones at any one time.

Some courts can have as many as fifteen or more locations requiring speech pickup which need to be carefully controlled. By utilising digitally controlled audio mixers and signal processing equipment, we have successfully supplied court audio systems which provide the necessary lift in level and the appropriate outputs for recording systems and infra red induction loops for the hard of hearing. See an example project in a court room here.

Sound Reinforcement In a Church

Sound reinforcement example - In a classroom

In recent years, studies have shown that children pay more attention and retain additional information when they can hear the teacher clearly. By utilising sound reinforcement in a classroom, schools can improve student performance and reduce teacher fatigue. Soundfield systems were developed to provide the necessary audio assistance in the classroom. Click here to find out more on Soundfield systems.

Soundfield Systems