If a joke is told and no one can hear it…is it funny? …no, no it is not! A chorus of crickets after a coworker’s punchline is a sickening sound for anyone to hear, especially the organizer of the event. We want to make sure you are the hero when your show is over and one of the simplest ways to make that happen is to have good sound. Because the truth is, no matter how amazing your show may be, if the audience can’t hear it…no one will be laughing. Here are some tips to help you make sure your show doesn’t fall down the rabbit hole of …what did he just say?
Determining if you need a sound system
The main factor to consider when considering this consideration is the approximate size of your audience. For an audience of less than 60, a sound system is probably something you can do without. Unless you are planning on having your event in a super echoey underground cave with 100ft vaulted ceilings and a wedding reception is tearing it up in the cave next door. If this is the case, we have bigger problems…and perhaps bats!
Planning on more than 60 people
Once you reach the 60 patrons mark, we recommend discussing a sound system. This includes the necessary speakers, mixer, two headset (or lapel) microphones and one wireless hand held microphone. Backup mics are always a fantastic idea.
Planning on more than 200 people
For audiences of more than 200, we recommend that you invest in a sound professional who can provide a system and will be present to operate it for the entirety of the show. Sometimes a sound system will need to be tweaked and adjusted throughout a show by an experienced hand. And when you have a show for over 200 people, it’s very important that the sound is perfect.
Beware of vaulted ceilings and concrete floors
I know setting up your party under a beautiful high ceiling is appealing but beware…sound can bounce. Your sound will travel up into the rafters and then bounce back down to the audience. Creating an echoing effect which may make words a bit garbled. The same is true in gymnasiums, grand cathedrals and anywhere that’s especially echo-tastic.
“Did he say sew those on my hag or come show me your nag?”
Therefore, the type of room that your event is in can greatly influence the quality of your sound and the quality of your show. It is so superbly, supremely, important to ask your venue contact how the room will handle sound before you book. Just remember…keep your ceiling low, your floors carpeted, your walls close and your audience even closer! And, when in doubt, give a couple of shouts. If the room shouts back…maybe another location would be a good idea!
See Setting up your room for more information about just how close your audience needs to be.