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Hi Blue Room,


I work in a High school with a 140 seat Theatre, We have reecently had a bit of an overhaul with our lighting equipment, which has been in place for around 20 years or so, I think the same goes for our sound equipment, most of it is ok and does the job, but I want it to do the job better and give us more options for school events/shows. We currently dont have any way of talking to back stage, I have been reading up but am slightly confused as to what methods we could use to do this. We use 4 x UHF Wireless lapel Mics but I am having those replaced due to the sound quality, damage to them and the age, we get alot of buzzing with the microphones in, but thats another story.


We currently have in place an ancient powered mixer connected to a set of speakers, which I dont think are too bad, the sound is pretty decent, but these are an age old.


Are there any preferences as to using a powered or unpowered mixer? should we have a seperate amp? What method can we use for talking to back stage and back stage talking to the people on the lighting/sound? could our buzzing likely be our sound cables (from mixer to speakers)


Sorry for the long post,


Anything would help, im not too great at the technical specs of sound systems so sorry I cannot provide more information, I need to learn and im in charge, any websites with lots of sound related information would be good also.





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Check the FAQ at the top of the page for some links to useful pages. There are a lot of websites out there with info, and, dare I say it, good old books.

Sounds like the old school, "he knows about stuff with cables" job to me! There are a lot of school techs here. Check out the STSG website for more info.

As to sound. May I suggest that even with lots of knowledge you will still be hampered by inexperience. Why not get an external company to spec/sell you the stuff. You won't pay that much more in the short term and, two years down the line when you have some more experience, you will thank yourself for not trying to go it alone.

Hope that helps,


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I think you need to give us more idea of what you have. Some is a bit confusing. UHF radios usually mean not that old, and tere aren't very many that arereally awful, so the buzzing could be all sorts of things.


The mixer amp could be really bad, or rather nice - age isn't an absolute killer.


Talking back to stage has been covered in another recent thread- so I won't start the thing again have a look here


There are also lots of other comms threads.


So let us know what you have, where it is normally put and what you want to do!

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Here is a List of what we have;


Powered Mixer: InterM CA-6220 Stereo Powered Mixer

Speakers: TOA (unsure of wattage or anything no stickers or info on them.)

Microphones: http://mveducation.com/invt/19806/ They look liek this, not sure if its an exact model match but they are identical in looks, we must have had mics for 3-4 Years atleast.


Jack-Jack Speakers leads connecting Mixer to Speakers, not sure how old, length is probsbably around 15-20 meters.


Looking at it maybe what we have is sufficent for what we need it for, it plays it works, maybe I am expecting a little much, is slight buzzing common and should it be put up with or not?





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The radio mics aren't too bad - Audio Tecnica are pretty good for budget end products.


The first thing to do is to try and find the source of the buzz. Has it always buzzed or is this a new problem? Does the buzz get louder if the gain is increased, or doe it remain constant?


Remove the inputs from the mixer-amp. Does it buzz? If the buzz is there with no inpts connected - the mixer-amp is the source. If the buzzing stops, then plug back in the radio receivers, one at a time. Does the buzz start again. If so, then first thing is to try the receivers on something else - even a guitar amp will do. Are they buzz free? The most likely culprit is some kind of earth loop, but unlikley with A/T as they often use wall wart psus, and don't have an earth in the power cable. If the receiver is buzz free, try turning on the TX - with the mic disconnected. Does this buzz? If it does, then look at a TX problem, if it doesn't, connect the mic - does the buzz then start? If so suspect the mic capsule, or the wiring.


Bit by bit you should be able to go through the entire system. With this kind of problem, it's important to start with a clean system, then keep adding till you identify what you just did that starts the problem. This doesn't always mean the the new device is the fault, but points you in a useful direction.

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