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PA Systems & Live sound PA speakers, mics, monitors, power amps, mixers and lighting solutions

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Old 6th September 2008 , 04:08 PM
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I need to put on a DJ set soon, and I'm not a DJ. My band stores our equipment at my local church, so I said I would use the speakers from the PA system to put on the set for a function happening next week. Last year when I did this, I connected my laptop (through the phones output) through stereo cables, to a powered mixer, which played through to PA system speakers. It lead to some truly horrible sound. I canceled out a lot of the reverb, but the signal wasn't great.
This year I hope to deliver better, even though yet again I haven't much time.

I have a laptop (with no sound card), and a PA system (an Old powered mixer connected to 2 x Monitors and 2 x standing speakers). I have to use my MP3 collection.

Can someone suggest on the many ways I can proceed?

I was thinking I could use an external USB connected sound card, and connect that to the Mixer with stereo cables. Is this a cost-effective solution that will improve the sound quality? or I can find an old computer and install an (internal) sound card on that, an transfer my files over, if that will improve the sound quality. I also have a 60 W bass amp (for bass guitar), if the suggestion for the playback is 2.1 or 4.1, could this be connected?

Thanks for the help, I'll admit I don't know what I am doing
Rockylink85 is offline Offline
Last edited by Rockylink85; 6th September 2008 at 04:23 PM. . Reason: no sound card <
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Old 6th September 2008 , 07:10 PM
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Hi - it will help if you can give as much detail as possible about the gear you've got - make, model etc. as this will help in determining where your problem lies.

Certainly a USB connected sound card will be an improvement over the headphone output of the laptop, though it ought to be possible to get reasonable sound direct from it. You mentioned knocking off reverb - generally for playback of pre-recorded sound, you shouldn't be adding effects of any kind. Nor should you use any dynamics processing, apart from maybe a limiter, or compressor set at a high threshold, to protect your system.

Explain "truly horrible" - distorted, hum, too much bass/treble? - try and describe the problem in more detail.
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Old 8th September 2008 , 10:08 PM
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It sounded unbalanced, and there was not enough bass. I'm trying to reproduce a clear undistorted signal, I wont put any reverb on it.

I will pick up the specs for the PA system if I get them in time, thanks for the help, much appreciated.
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Old 8th September 2008 , 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockylink85 View Post
It sounded unbalanced, and there was not enough bass. I'm trying to reproduce a clear undistorted signal, I wont put any reverb on it.

I will pick up the specs for the PA system if I get them in time, thanks for the help, much appreciated.
Unusual problem - if the bass end was missing, that would obviously account for it sounding "unbalanced". What kind of lead were you using, and what were you plugging it into? (If for example, you used a 3.5mm stereo jack (laptop end) to 6.35mm stereo jack (better known as a 1/4" jack, but we need to keep our European friends happy!) to connect up, and you plugged into the balanced line input of a mixer channel, it would sound awful. All the bass would be gone, and most of anything else which was panned to the centre of the mix on the tracks you were playing would just about disappear. There would still be sound - it would just be thin and horrible).

If you could post etails of how you connected up as well as the details of your PA, it may be useful.

BTW - Forgot to say, if your PA speakers are half decent then don't try anything clever with the bass amp - stick to good old 2-channel playback.
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