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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Choosing a PA System

11. Glossary

On this page you can find frequently asked Key Terms:

 


PA

Public Address system.

Foldback/Monitoring

System for delivering the mixed sound to the stage – there will often be separate mixes for each player or group of players such as the horn section.

In-ear

A monitor signal delivered through a small earphone, usually wirelessly – this gives a clearer sound and helps to keep volume levels down.

Handheld

Refers to microphones suitable for holding in the hand, as opposed to mounting on a stand.

Full-range

Speakers, or a speaker cabinet, designed to handle frequencies across the full audio spectrum.

Feedback

A situation which is normally undesirable in live amplification, where resonant frequencies in the system are manifested as loud sine waves as microphones pick them up from the speakers, being re-enforced on each trip around the system in a positive feedback loop. Also known as ‘howl-round’.

FoH

Front of House (as opposed to on stage) - often refers to the main mixer.

Rack

A case, usually 19" wide, designed to accommodate amps, effects modules and other devices.

Multicore

A large reel of cable containing multiple connections, usually used to carry signals from the stage to the front of house mixer.

Pre/post fade

Refers to auxiliary sends from a mixer. Pre-fade sends are not affected by the level of the fader and are therefore used mainly for foldback, as front of house changes do not affect the sound on stage. Post-fade sends are affected by the fader, and are therefore used mainly for sending to FX processors.

XLR

A standard type of three-pin connector for microphones and PA cabling. Plugs are designated male and female; the male is the output socket, the female is the input.

Jack

The standard type of plug and socket for instruments and effects, usually 6.3mm in diameter.

Speakon

Another type of connector, normally used for loudspeakers.

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Choosing a PA System overview

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