I'll be running sound for an event that includes a live band, and then later on an announcer (for award presentations). The venue is about 300 seated capacity, but it's a very long room with the stage at one end.

In previous years (at the same place) we've used a pair of active speakers either side of the stage, but the sound has been either too loud at the front, too quiet at the back, or both!

So what's the best way to set up a PA for a long room?

I've thought about hiring another pair of speakers and placing them halfway down the room on a delay line, but that might block the audience's view (benches are built into the side walls), and in any case we'd have to weigh the improvement in sound against the extra cost...


Can you suspend the loudspeakers either side of the stage? You can then angle them so that the difference between the front rows and further back is not so prominent.

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  • I'm not sure whether there's any way to suspend them but I'll look into it, thanks. If not, would simply raising them on the stands help? – just me Oct 1 '13 at 13:15
  • That would help as well. What make are the loudspeakers? Do you have lighting bars/supports further down the hall, and if so what is their loading limit? – user80 Oct 3 '13 at 8:17
  • We hire the speakers (mine are tied up as monitors) and have had a 15" active pair in the past (not sure what make or what else they have available). Looking at some photos there is a lighting bar in about the right place but would have to check about weight (and whether the venue would allow us to use it). While looking I also spotted the venue's own PA has some speakers on brackets about halfway down so could look into using those (although they don't look like the best quality I've ever seen), again if they will allow us. – just me Oct 3 '13 at 13:58

If money is no object, you'd use a full-range directional speaker such as a line array or something made by "danley sound labs" in both cases raised high above the audience tilted down towards them (usually hung from the ceiling).

If thats not an option, you put a second pair of speakers halfway down the hall and set them up as "delay speakers" to do this requires the addition of a processor to delay the sound going to the "delays" to give the illusion the sound is coming from the stage.

If you google "delay speakers" you'll find loads of advice and pictures

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  • Thanks for the answer - a set of delay speakers is good for the general case but unfortunately for this particular room there's nowhere to put them that doesn't get in the way of the audience's view. – just me Jan 28 '14 at 21:32
  • Might be worth looking at the Danley speakers then, if you can't hang them perhaps look at a wind-up stand with some kind of tilt device on it. – back_ache Jan 29 '14 at 12:23

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