Powerful and accurate stage monitors play a crucial role during a live performance. PA monitor speakers come in various variants – active/passive, floor wedges, those that attach to the mic stand, and more. Good quality PA Speakers and Amplifiers are a must in order to produce great sound quality, be it for live performances or for DJing.
Powered (Active) or Unpowered (Passive) PA Speakers
Before active PA speakers exploded on the live scene, musicians and engineers had to carry huge equipment such as amps, speakers, cables to connect them, and so on. With Active speakers, the amps and speakers are combined in one unit to make it a more portable solution.
In active PA speakers, the power amplifier and crossover are housed in the same cabinet as the speakers. Just connect it to the sound source (mixer, music player, or your musical instrument) and you’re ready to go.
Another good thing about this, is that you do not have to worry about what amps to use with what speakers (saves lot of headache, avoids degraded sound quality, and avoids damage to the gear), the all-in-one design makes it easy to choose one, for your requirement.
However, when it comes to designing complex systems for permanent installation in large auditoriums and halls, sound engineers usually avoid using powered speakers, as they want more control over the placement of the various audio components.
An All-in-one PA Solution
You do get all-in-one PA solutions as well, that integrate active speakers, signal processing, and even effects into a simple, compact design (saves time, space & money as well). This is a perfect solution for most singers/songwriters, for coffeehouse gigs and small acoustic ensembles.
Should You Opt for Subwoofer?
Yes, for most live musical performances, a subwoofer is only going to enhance the sound further, making it sound rich and vibrant.
However, for speeches or cappella singing (without instrumental accompaniments), or when playing in very small rooms, subwoofer is not required (in fact it can make the sound worse in the small space).
Here’s a Video on How to Set Up PA Systems
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