Powered PA Mixer

There are several different setups available when considering PA systems and the exact combination of equipment depends on a wide array of factors ranging from one’s budget, to carry weight or available space for the actual set up. Thankfully, modern technology has made it possible to combine several crucial components of a PA system into one slightly bulkier package and this is exactly the case of the powered PA mixer.

What a powered PA mixer does is to merge the mixer and the amplifier into one single and simple package. These combo options benefit from the fact that they are easier to transport than two separate entities and of course it renders a non-powered or passive mixer useless because the included amplifier is used to drive or power passive speakers.

When you’re considering getting a powered PA mixer you need to look for two main factors: the number of channels the mixer offers and on the amplifier part, the wattage. There might be some other factors that could influence your choice like some additional mixing features such as effects or equalizers, but the number of channels and the wattage are the things of importance here.

The numbers of channels that the mixer has refers to the number of audio signals that it will be able to simultaneously mix and these themselves can be categorized by whether or not they are mono channels or stereo. This means that when you choose a powered PA mixer you need to know how many microphone signals and stereo signals you’ll need to handle at the same time. Ideally, you should get something that can deal with more channels than you foresee ever needing just in case some unexpected changes appear. The number of Aux sends is also very important because you’ll need one PRE fader send and one POST fader send for each monitor or unit you’ll want to use.

The wattage of the amplifier that will come with your powered PA mixer is very crucial because it will have to be suited to the speakers that will be connected to it. This is very important because if for instance the amp is rated higher than the speakers can handle, then this will surely cause a lot of damage. If the amp is rated too low and you crank it way up in order to accommodate some powerful speakers or a larger venue, then you will be damaging your amp.

When considering the wattage of a powered PA mixer it is important to know whether or not you will be using your PA system outside because that will require twice the wattage you would need inside a venue in order to achieve the same volume of sound. The type of sound that you will be amplifying is also important when choosing wattage because vocals and an acoustic guitar for instance have considerably lower wattage requirements than something that is extremely heavy on the bass; this is also where your speakers come into play because there are speakers specialized for each sound interval.

After you’ve settled on the number of channels that you’ll be needing and after you’ve calculated the amount of wattage that you’ll need in order to supply your speakers with the maximum amount of volume without damaging them or your powered PA mixer, it’s time to consider some of the other features that some powered mixers might come with.

Some powered PA mixers come with some very easy to use built-in effects. However, it has to be said that the effects from a stand-alone effects processor are considerably better. Granted you wouldn’t use these effects when recording, but they can be used when it comes to live sound.

This Powered PA Mixer Review is Written/Updated on Apr 22nd, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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