It’s important to have a quality PA system in a gymnasium. Why? Because you want the spectators to be able to clearly hear the audio it’s producing, but you don’t want that audio to be so loud that it’s annoying. Additionally, more often, entertainment is being provided during halftime, timeouts, etc. Furthermore, even before the game, the teams have hours of practice each day, and like to be able to jam to energetic music to help them keep up their pace during practice. These each require high fidelity that isn’t found in your parent’s old-school high school gymnasiums.
Modern gymnasium audio systems make use of what’s known as the distributed sound system concept. This basically means that instead of having one or several speakers originating sound from one location, you spread out the speakers throughout the space, making them closer to the people who are hearing them. Once their closer to the people listening, the sound pressure level doesn’t need to be as high. The sound is more direct and can be a lower level. The reason for this is because of physics and the way sound propagates through the air. A basic rule of thumb is that when distance doubles, sound pressure drops 6db. So the further away the speaker, the louder it has to be to reach the same location. We take high quality speakers, map out their best placement in CAD, and install them where they are most effective for listening. No more cluster of horns in the middle of the gym ceiling that’s a hundred feet away from the farthest person. Now we use multiple speakers throughout a gymnasium, closer to the audience.
Another difference in modern gymnasium audio systems is the quality of the sound being reproduced. It used to be that the only audio pushed through a gym PA was simply general announcements from a microphone. Now, facility staff want to play music and sometimes audio from video through their PA system. The four horns of the past won’t cut it. You need something with higher fidelity, more range, say, an actual speaker. We utilize the highest quality gear for such an application. Three-way speakers, beefy power amplifiers, signal processors to manage equalization and delay, etc. These can be some high tech systems when you start to add in the number of input sources that need to be auto mixed, multiple zones of audio, remote power on and off, etc.
ARTS would be happy to work with you on improving the quality of your gymnasium audio system, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.