A big part of any school production or event is to have a good PA System. Being louder than the crowd makes this much easier! Some great options are available with some great features regardless of your needs.
Portable PA System
Portable options for a school PA system are great. They can be brought out specifically for their use, and they can be used all over the school. Whether it’s for a big assembly or a school event like Sports Day.
With many coming with “all-in-one” style features, you can just use these systems on their own. With wireless capabilities as well as wired inputs there is a lot of flexibility. These systems often have SD card, USB and Aux inputs, as well as Bluetooth!
Though, most systems like this will have a limited number of input sources. If you need more than a couple of mics and a media player you can expand with a mixing desk. Though, this will have limited capabilities compared to something a bit more expansive. Something that is a great mid-point between a portable system and a larger one, is the HH Portable PA System.
Full PA Set-up
If you want something with a bit more oomph and flexibility, a traditional PA set-up may be best.
The bare minimum you’ll want for this is two speakers and a mixing desk. It used to be that you’d need a power amp to power the speakers, but active speakers are very prominent now. The mixing desk needs to have as many inputs as you’ll be wanting. So, for just spoken work requirements you shouldn’t need many inputs at all. However, if you are putting on school band performances for example, you will probably want at least 8 inputs.
So, speakers, speaker stands and a mixer – along with the right cables, can do you just fine here. If you want to add monitors for foldback, you will need additional speakers and cables attached to the monitor or auxiliary outputs of your mixing desk.
Flown Line Array PA System
For a permanently fixed solution, flown speakers attached at the front of a room, or surrounding a room, is ideal. Generally, this would require a bit more in-depth work. I would recommend a professional technician to do this work. Room acoustics and things like phase must be taken into account when doing this.
But if you have one room that requires a school PA system, then this can save the hassle of setting up and tearing down. As the speakers can connect to one main mixing desk for permanent use. Though, as previous mentioned, it might be best getting a sound design professional to help here!