Our First Event Back
14 Aug 2021 - by Graham
It finally happened - we had our first event after meeting other people became legal again, and it was excellent!
On the 24th July we provided the sound infrastructure for the Herstmonceux Castle Tango Festival run by Tango Boot Camp. It was only two rooms, both of which had a simple PA system with no lighting, but after over a year of not being able to do anything like that even a small event was just about perfect.
Dance events like this hold different challenges to running PA for parties or discos, and if you approach them in the same way as you would a regular disco or concert you will undoubtedly miss the mark. The two rooms at this event were playing very different music and the PA requirements for them were very different. In the main room the DJ was playing mostly traditional tango music, largely recorded between 1920 and 1950, and almost all of it mono and with very restricted original bandwidth. In the second room the music was more modern, but despite being full-range in terms of audio bandwidth it lacked any obvious heavy beat.
These need to be handled differently, but in the case of a small festival like this what does 'differently' actually mean?
For the traditional room we provided a set of extremely balanced speakers that are good at full-range reproduction without any obvious colouring of the sound. There is no need to add a subwoofer as the music has no desired content in that frequency range anyway. The audience knows the tracks well and so any tonal imbalance will be spotted immediately. At previous events we have rigged a four-speaker system to keep the overall volume low whilst ensuring good coverage around the room, but this time being smaller we made do with just the two. But the goal is to ensure that the music can be heard clearly and accurately enough to be danced to, whilst keeping it quiet enough for conversation and socialisation.
In the modern room the music is different and benefits from a wider audio bandwidth in the PA. Previously we have used subwoofers in this room, but with a smaller audience this year we just used a set of speakers with slightly extended bass and that worked well. Neither room had any sort of thumping bass, so kicks and heavy subs would have been completely superfluous.
And that was our first event back. The audience loved it; the organiser loved it; so our job was done.
Now we are looking forward to the next one!
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