Installation Sound Systems

by Andrew Bishop

Many factors come into play when installing a PA system into a venue because commercial audio installations are varied and the acoustic architect or venue owner has preconceived ideas. The five most important considerations for a sound installation are:

  1. Sound Quality v Sound Quantity?
  2. What does it look like?
  3. How much will it cost?
  4. How reliable is it and what is the warranty?
  5. Will my customers, fans or worshippers feel and enjoy the music so much that they cannot wait to tell friends and return.

Getting the sound right in a venue is an art. Delivering and installing a sound system that is clean and clear so that people enjoy the music. Choosing high fidelity audio products which utilise progressive, innovative British acoustic engineering means nightclubs and bars can realise an immersive sound experience without sacrificing quality.

Gone are the days where venue owners can ignore Environmental Health Officers and pummel peoples ears as untold damage to hearing could result in law suits if negligence is proven.

Noise levels are usually in decibels (dB). The scale that mirrors the sensitivity of human ears to different levels and pitches of sound. Long exposure to sounds over 80dB can damage your ears. dB meters applications are free on most mobile phones and many venues control "Red Line DJ's and bands" with volume limiters to protect ears and there licenses.

See Volume Limiter Noise Pollution Control System Sound Level Monitor – BishopSound



As a rule of thumb you should be able to talk to someone 2 metres away without having to shout over the background noise. If you go somewhere where the sound level is uncomfortable tell the manager and if you are ignored you should leave.

Considerations for Installing a PA System

The position of the speakers and their size is critical to getting a perfect sound and a full assessment of the venue needs to take place prior to installing a sound system. For example:

  • The dynamics of a speaker change +/- if they are placed in a corner.
  • Whilst sub bass is not directional throw is a consideration.
  • Where are the quiet areas and do the bar staff need to be able to hear orders or lip read?

Whatever the venue the first step is to send us some drawings, pictures or sketches and our engineers can give you the information you need, specific to your venue.

Do I need an active or passive PA system?

Touring bands and DJ's that are not using the in-house PA speakers inside travel with point source systems and position the speakers on the stage or on the floor to the left and right of the venue. This system can be passive (amplifiers next to the operator) or active (amplifiers built into the speakers).

For outside events passive systems are the most popular to avoid water getting into the speakers and damaging the amplifiers. Outside events demand more sub bass speakers (subwoofers) as there are no walls to hold in the bass frequencies.

Wedding sound system setup is simple and active speaker systems are ideal. Wedding music and sound means times devoted to background music, speeches and dancing. Congregations tend to prefer conversation so volume levels need not be high. For weddings its the choice of music that matters and a simple system deploying Orion speakers with built in Bluetooth are sufficient for up to 300 people. See  Search: 10 results found for "orion*" – BishopSound

How to Setup a PA Sound System

There are two fundamental PA sound system setups Passive and Active.

Here is a typical passive PA speaker sound system setup:

How to set up a Passive PA System 

Here is a typical active PA speakers sound system setup:

How to set up an Active PA System

These basic PA system setup diagrams cover the main systems but additions include monitors and other instruments but all this can be controlled by the mixer.

Every Sound System Setup or Installation is Unique

For detailed bespoke advice on precisely which speakers to use for your specific application call BishopSound because we can help you:

  1. Get the best nightclub sound system setup
  2. Create the perfect outdoor sound system
  3. Obtain the perfect ambient and aesthetically pleasing restaurant sound system installation
  4. Deliver the perfect live sound for your outside event
  5. Enhance worship with the perfect church sound system that touches the soul.

We are standing by to answer your questions by email or book a free audio consultation to help you understand terminology and save you time and money.