What is a P.A System, I’ll try to answer your question here, there are variations of what the p a system can be called also, portable pa, sound system, pa systems, pa speakers system, music studio sound system, desktop pa system, dj sound system equipment etc, so no matter what you call it, here is a brief explanation for you below.
A Public Address System or PA system for short is simply in laymen’s terms, an electronic sound amplification and distribution system that takes an input from a musical device or microphone, puts it through some kind of mixer desk that controls the different levels and sound of the input and then amplifies the sound electronically, the sound is then pushed through the speakers louder than the original sound.
The modern day P.A System comes in a multitude of sizes and also is used in many different situations, it depends on the situation and what you want the sound system to achieve for you when you make the decision of what brand, size, quality, price and type you use.
Whether you’re a Dj spinning tracks in a lounge room, studio producer recording bands or dub steppers, a busker with portable equipment, playing at Madison Square Garden, speaking at a wedding or belting out a few tunes on your violin at the local markets, if you want your sounds amplified so people can hear you, you will need a PA system.
The generic make up of the sound system starts with an input, the input comes from you and what you want amplified, this noise is processed then by a mixing desk which can morph the sound into whatever you want volume wise, tone wise (you can also add effects to the sound at this stage too or run your sound through gates or graphic equalizers) and also maybe mixed if you have multiple sound inputs at this stage, out of the mixing desk comes a finished sound, it is usually in mono or stereo at this stage so you may have a left and right outputs running to the amplifier, the amplifier which is connected to your speakers amplifies the sound out through the speakers.
This is just a very basic outline of what happens, as you get to bigger stages and setups obviously the rules change a little, you get different amplifiers for the different types of sound frequencies, for example a mad dub step Dj event will need a big bottom end moving and banging a frequency through your body all night, you’re not going to get this by using a simple p a system or your normal dubstep in the lounge equipment, you will generally have a multitude of amps driving that low end of the sound making your audience feel the vibe.
So there you go, kind of simple explanation for you of what is a P.A System, I have setup a fair few P.a’s over the years, big and small setups and still own around 3 (which includes 2 x Perreaux amplifiers, don’t tell the wife) amplifiers of different sizes, mixing board and also a set of speakers which I used to use when I played in bands, it’s enough for what I want to do at the moment.