Throwing a party with bands playing and a dj. Need sound advice.
December 20, 2008 3:23 PM   Subscribe

I am throwing a party for New Years in a large space that fits about 200 people comfortably (maybe 1000 sq ft). However, this place that I've rented has no sound system, so I'm in need of advice of what kind of equipment to rent.

So I'll have a couple bands playing (2 mics max, 4 instruments max), but other than that I'll just need some kind of interface to connect computers/ipods too. I just want to make sure I have the right stuff for the bands that are playing, as well as loud enough speakers to fill the room.
posted by senterstyle to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Rather than us recommending specific equipment, go to whatever PA rental place you like and describe the situation to them, since you'll be choosing from the equipment they have on hand. You'll probably be able to get away with one of the smallest systems they have on hand, and it should be a pretty cheap rental. One amp, two speakers (four if you want to get fancy), and tripods/cabling for each speaker.

By way of comparison, I've blanketed a roughly similar area outdoors with a 200-W PA, and never turned it above 5.
posted by adamrice at 5:40 PM on December 20, 2008

I hope you're basing your assumption that 200 people can be accommodated on capacity figures supplied by the venue and that either your square footage estimate is off or that you don't expect the 200 people to be present simultaneously.

200 people cannot fit "comfortably" in a 1000 sf room. That's only 5 square feet per person including space devoted to furniture, serving areas, special dance floor, stage, sound equipment, etc. As a thought exercise, picture yourself and all your friends standing in adjacent 2x2 foot boxes for an idea of how crowded that would be... and even that only sets a 200 sf (10x20) allowance for all of the above.

This event space capacity estimating guide recommends about 10 sf per person for cocktail receptions plus another 2 sf per person devoted to dancing.
posted by carmicha at 6:16 PM on December 20, 2008

Seconding carmicha on the square feet/number of people you are expecting. 1000 sq feet is just slightly larger than my small apartment, and having even just eight people in here feels cramped. 200 people sounds like a fire hazard! You really won't need to rent any major stadium-type speakers for such a small area. In my experience, the place from where you rent the sound equipment will be able to advise you on the type of speakers you need. Does the venue have a recommendation for what rental company to use?
posted by foxinthesnow at 10:57 PM on December 20, 2008

To give you an idea of what the PA rental company will have in stock, here are a couple of examples from Peavey and Yamaha.

And don't forget the cable to connect your iPod to the sound system.
posted by quidividi at 12:50 AM on December 21, 2008

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