Before a single microphone cable is run, it is helpful to look at the performance area and the room in order to best place speakers, monitors, equipment, snakes, etc. By taking a little time at the beginning, you can cut down on time spent tracking problems later.
One of the most important decisions, next to the type of speakers you purchase, is where to place your mains. Symmetry is desired because of the way sound waves move and interact from different sources. If you have one speaker that is 50 ft. from a position and another speaker that is 60 ft. from the same position, the sound waves from each will reach the listener at slightly different times. This can cause a noticeable delay effect by itself, which can be compounded by uneven reflections in the room, producing an even greater distortion of the sound.
Floor monitors should be placed so that the musician can hear their mix, but the audience cannot. They should also be positioned so that the monitor mix does not shoot directly into a microphone. This can cause major feedback issues. Typically placing them directly in front of the musician is best because the microphone is facing away from the monitor.
Bass frequencies are significantly less directional than higher frequencies. When placing a subwoofer cabinet it is not as important to be symmetrical, although you do not want to place the cabinet too far away from the main speakers, as you will experience some delay issues.
Front of House
The area where all the mixing occurs is referred to as the front of house. The front of house is where the audio engineer blends together all the signals from the stage and then sends the signal back to the main speakers and monitors. This area should be setup in an area far enough away from the stage and centered so that the engineer can hear an even signal from the speakers.
A snake cable connects all the components on stage to the components at the front of house. Instead of running long microphone and speaker cables, shorter cables can be plugged into the snake box. A single, wrapped bundle of cables connects the snake box to the other end. When it reaches the front of house, the snake expands into a fantail of connectors that correspond to the other side. Input signals from microphones go into the appropriate mixer channel. The output from the console, both main mix and monitor mixes, can be sent back, where you can either connect the signal to a powered speaker or an amplifier rack that powers passive speakers. Make sure that your snake is long enough to run from the stage to the front of house with some slack. It is better to have too much than too little.
If you have any questions about our products and how they can help you create a clean stage setup, give us an e-mail or call 901.363.6030.