Portability And Control In A PA System

Portable PA system

One important question to start within your search for a PA system is, “How portable do I need my system to be?”

The conventional PA systems are made up of separate pieces of equipment for each separate function: a standalone mixing board, outboard signal processors, dedicated power amp(s), and a number of individual PA and monitor speaker cabinets. These systems would need a considerable amount of space to transport, store, and set up onstage.

If you need to transport your PA system frequently to different venues that have modest amplification needs and crowded performance spaces, there are portable, compact PA systems that would most likely meet those needs. In fact, there are complete PA systems have all the important equipment within a single enclosure, and this is roughly the same size as a standard PA speaker.

For smaller groups or solo performers that play in small venues with basic simplification needs, there are a few excellent all-in-one products that will give you plenty of power. For example, the Yamaha STAGEPAS 400i will be able to handle just about anything that you will need, but in a package that will fit in the trunk of a small car.

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With that said, super compact systems also come with their own restrictions. They do not offer as much control, customizability, or sheer sound output as the conventional PA setup. Generally, they cannot give the kind of high-power performance that is needed for larger venues, and they do not also provide enough inputs for larger groups, especially those with milked drum kits.

If you have needs for a more advanced live sound, but you are looking for portable options, you can find powered mixing boards and powered speakers that have integrated power amps, making a standalone power amp redundant.

You should know that powered mixers can also have their own limitations, especially for bands that plan on expanding their PA equipment in the future.

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