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Author Topic: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events  (Read 1961 times)

Tom Ruth

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Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« on: January 02, 2022, 07:47:41 PM »

As title suggests we are looking for a PA system for events with 200 people over a large area.  We have used a Fender Passport for the last 5 years but it is time to upgrade/replace.  We play music throughout the events but when announcements are made we really like that the fender will turn down the music automatically while the speaker talks utilizing their Vocal Input Priority (VIP) feature.  We also like the portability of the system as we take it to multiple venues throughout the year.  Is there anything out there similar with those two key features that anyone would recommend?
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2022, 10:33:21 PM »

To step up from the Passport system I would be looking at a pair of powered speakers with good tripod stands and a small rack with a wireless mic, CD audio media player and rack mount
strip mixer.

Denon has a rack mount mixer without too many knobs and channel 1 on the mixer
will "duck" / turn down the other inputs when someone would use the mic connected
to channel 1.

When you say music I'm assuming audio playback in some form for background music.

The equipment rack could have a connection panel on the back for the audio and power
connections to the speakers.

What kind of budget are you looking at?

Are the same people setting up the system at each event or it is someone different each time?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 07:21:00 PM by Mike Caldwell »
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2022, 12:18:10 PM »

Look at Yamaha DXR or QSC K2.
They have on-board control for their multiple inputs.  No external mixer require for a simple playback / announce system.
They do not have ducking, however.
+1 on the tripods.  Getting speakers up high makes a world of difference.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2022, 02:44:16 PM »

What type of events, and what type of music?  A fender passport system outdoors with a crowd of 200 seems pretty undersized unless it's a relatively quiet event.

The passports are pretty awesome as all in one packages, with extremely simple controls. The were one of the first self contained packages of their type.  Today, you've got a variety of options to select from.

I've become a fan of the mini column array type speakers instead of the passport design, partly because they assemble together and then you don't need to carry speaker stands in your kit.

Something such as the JBL PRX one would outperform most passport systems. The onboard digital mixer gives you tons of flexibility, but the knobs onboard are minimalistic, making it not intimidating for everyone to be able to use.

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Brian Jojade

Tom Ruth

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2022, 08:55:49 PM »

The system is definitely underpowered for what we need at this point.  What started as small community gathering has grown and we look to continue to grow in the future.  The audio is played back via computer, iPad or when we get really stuck through an iPhone.  Music is just really background noise.  We still want people to be able to talk and converse.  The budget is not limitless but looking for various options in a low, mid, and high price point.   We will need to update our wireless mic system as well so thoughts on a good wireless mic for said system would be great too.  Yes same core group would be setting up each week.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2022, 12:49:34 AM »

Well, what you're going to find is that most of the self contained packages are going to struggle in larger outdoor areas.  To move up from what you've got will mean bigger and heavier stuff.

When it comes into designing your system, you'll need to decide what you want the system to do.  If you just put bigger speakers where you had the smaller ones, you can turn things up to get it loud enough far away, but then it's too loud near the speakers.  This is where things start to get tricky, balancing the effort needed to get even sound with the amount it costs and the labor to get such a system set up.

Budget to do this could be anywhere from a couple grand to tens of thousands in gear.

How often are you putting out a system?  If it's not extremely regular, you may be better off finding a service provider that has invested in gear and can rent you what you need for each event.  In the end, that generally provides better results than inexperienced volunteers trying to make things work.
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Brian Jojade

Mike Caldwell

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2022, 09:08:28 AM »

Well, what you're going to find is that most of the self contained packages are going to struggle in larger outdoor areas.  To move up from what you've got will mean bigger and heavier stuff.

When it comes into designing your system, you'll need to decide what you want the system to do.  If you just put bigger speakers where you had the smaller ones, you can turn things up to get it loud enough far away, but then it's too loud near the speakers.  This is where things start to get tricky, balancing the effort needed to get even sound with the amount it costs and the labor to get such a system set up.

Budget to do this could be anywhere from a couple grand to tens of thousands in gear.

How often are you putting out a system?  If it's not extremely regular, you may be better off finding a service provider that has invested in gear and can rent you what you need for each event.  In the end, that generally provides better results than inexperienced volunteers trying to make things work.

I was going to post about the same thing!


How many events do you do each year?

You mentioned your looking to continue to grow, so buying a package somewhat self contained system
today may not be what you need by this time next year.



John Lackner

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2022, 09:15:05 PM »

As title suggests we are looking for a PA system for events with 200 people over a large area.  We have used a Fender Passport for the last 5 years but it is time to upgrade/replace.  We play music throughout the events but when announcements are made we really like that the fender will turn down the music automatically while the speaker talks utilizing their Vocal Input Priority (VIP) feature.  We also like the portability of the system as we take it to multiple venues throughout the year.  Is there anything out there similar with those two key features that anyone would recommend?
If the mixer has a line level output you can plug it into some more beefier powered speakers like an EV ETX12 or equivalent.  You still get the VIP advantage without adding more complexity.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2022, 12:36:10 AM »

What type of events, and what type of music?  A fender passport system outdoors with a crowd of 200 seems pretty undersized unless it's a relatively quiet event.

The passports are pretty awesome as all in one packages, with extremely simple controls. The were one of the first self contained packages of their type.  Today, you've got a variety of options to select from.

I've become a fan of the mini column array type speakers instead of the passport design, partly because they assemble together and then you don't need to carry speaker stands in your kit.

Something such as the JBL PRX one would outperform most passport systems. The onboard digital mixer gives you tons of flexibility, but the knobs onboard are minimalistic, making it not intimidating for everyone to be able to use.

Along the same lines, I've had great results with the EV EVOLVE 50 line. The EVOLVE 50M will do what your asking and you can ad a regular EVOLVE 50 and double your coverage. I routinely use a pair for wedding reception dancing for 200 people.

The setup and durability have been fantastic for several years now. No tripod stands needed.
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Paul Johnson

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Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2022, 09:33:45 AM »

As soon as you move up from things like the passport, to louder and better quality gear, you lose the 'amateur' auto features, and move into the area where you need a person involved to baby sit them. If you start to add on mixers that can duck, then they need adjustment and a bit more understanding. Just how it is.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Looking for suggestions PA System for Outdoor Events
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2022, 09:33:45 AM »


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