Jump to content

School Hall Sound System


Recommended Posts

I am working on a project that includes the provision of a sound system to a school hall. Due to time constraints I would like to know if there is an optimum position for location of speakers so as we can prepare the cable ways during phase 1 (i.e. very shortly) and procure the system during phase 2. Also are ceiling mounted speakers as an option any good?


Hall dimensions are: length 15m; width 10.5m; height 4.2m.


Any recommendations for providers/installers of sound systems would be appreciated. The system requirements are: 5 CD player; radio microphone receiver; 4 way mixer; 2 no. radio microphones; 4 wall mounted speakers. The client wants to wheel out the system from a store and plug it in at two alternative locations within the hall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With usual disclaimer:




Takes you through the basics as the link(S) imply. In your instance I would have thought spkrs up high on the side walls, pointed in and down. If you use radio mics on "stage" for any reason you might have to think about the position of the mics relative to the spkrs. IE the spkrs should be in front of the "stage" as it were. Especially as the customer wants the option to move the kit around. Sounds like an interesting project.


Perhaps you might come back whenever and let us know of any snags or tips. Always useful.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the primary use is going to be a couple of radio mics for assemblies then you are after more of a sound reinforcement system rather than amplification so 4 speakers is a good option with a 'stage' area at the front. If the budget allows then go for two amps so that each speaker is on its own channel, this way when it comes to a music concert you can turn down the rear speakers and have most of the sound coming from the front which sounds more natural. Or when they decide to use the hall from the opposite end or side the speakers can twist round and speaker levels adjusted to suit.


One question worth looking at is whether to have a front centre cluster or keep the speakers on the walls. Personally I'd go with speakers on the walls but 10m gives a very wide stereo field in an enclosed hall, a bit of panning can fix this though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stuart - there are two main issues in both your sound and lighting topics. If you have been asked to sort the solution, you perhaps aren't aware that the actual clients requirements are perhaps flawed. In these projects, and I have been involved with many good and bad ones, frequently the schools specify what they think they want - not what they actually need. Ignorance is probably the most common problem. Mention of a single lighting bar with 12 sockets and the location of speakers, suggests that the person who originated the request is a little er, challenged. For instance - the suggestion might work if the idea is to install something that will produce sound, and emit light. No mention about the quality of sound, the room acoustic treatment, the power requirements or if it's simply for speech or full range. No mention about what kind of radio mics they want. If it's for the head to make an announcement about sports day, then something unlicensed and not brilliant may well do, but I visit High Schools who may well have 16 radio mic channels in operation. Any school with music technology will tell you that mixer channels get eaten up at a rapid rate of knots. A CD player will need two channels for stereo! multi-CD players are rarely used because they either have very complex mechanics and don't last, or use cartridges that get lost! A CD player that simply has a slot on the front can produce music in seconds, a multiplay CD usually requires much longer to work out how many are in, and which one to play. If somebody wants sound effects, they are dreadful!


Lighting wise - for practical reasons, LED is becoming more popular, but needs a very different connection infrastructure with both dimmer power, permanently on hard power and control cabling. 12 way internally wired bars are really basic stuff now - and suggest they are considering tungsten source, power hungry, heat producing equipment - which do of course still have their place, but are not the only solution now.


There are plenty of people who will come to you, look at the space and produce a shopping list - but unless the people who will be using it explain exactly what they need, not what somebody thinks they need - then it is perhaps wasted time money and work!


Be aware that the requirements for the courses they run are currently being reviewed, so let's assume that a new qualification spec starts in 2012, how do you ensure your system will be suitable. I have deep suspicions that you really ought to consider some changes. As a 'for instance' - quite a few schools who do lighting as part of perf arts are looking at motorised lighting bars, because the specs require learners to focus lights, and if the school have a no ladder policy, then how do they do it? Maybe their course will require them to be able to set up a PA that has subs and tops - will your permanently installed system meet the requirements?


Do they even know that radio microphone systems are about to be radically changed when the digital switchover takes place in 2012?


As a third party you could easily get the blame when their hard earned funds need re-spending on extra kit next year - maybe?


To be fair, schools mess this up all the time, it's a very common problem. You really need to talk to somebody independent. The key is purpose. Find out what they hope to do, and what's it for - then you can spend their money with confidence.


I'll leave you with a common request from schools to hire companies. "We need to hire 8 moving lights for our show" - the hire firms then ask if the lighting bar can hold that weight? It's very easy to have a load of 200Kg or more. A bit of ali tube and a few clamps might be a little er, compromised?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.