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How to Set Up Sound Equipment for a Band

Updated April 17, 2017

Playing music in a garage or from the comfort of your living room is one thing; however, playing live music in a venue requires a number of pieces of equipment. Depending on the instruments used and the size of the venue, band members may need amplifiers, microphones, a PA and speakers to go along with their instruments. Setting up the sound equipment for a band is not a complicated process, requiring only a few standard steps.

Find a location for your PA speakers. The speakers should be at least 5 feet in front of the stage microphones to avoid feedback. Place the speakers far enough apart so that sound is equally distributed throughout the venue. Plug the PA speakers into your PA system.

Set up all of the band's regular equipment. Plug any guitar or bass heads into a power source and connect them to their respective cab with a speaker cable. If there is more than one guitar to set up, position one guitar cab on stage right and one guitar cab on stage left for optimum sound. Set up the drum set to the drummer's liking.

Plug the vocal microphone(s) into the PA system. With the remaining microphone jacks on your PA system, plug in enough speaker microphones to mic the guitar and bass cabs and at least three drum microphones (one for the kick drum and two to hang over the rest of the set) to mic the drum set. Place the microphones in their respective stands.

Position the speaker microphones in front of the guitar and bass cabs. Position them so that the microphone is directly over one of the speakers inside the cab.

Position the kick drum microphone in front of the drum set's kick drum. Position the mic so that it is directly in front of the air hole in the front drum skin.

Position the remaining drum microphones so that they hang above the drum set. For optimum sound, position one just above the drum heads and one just above the cymbals.

Have the band plug in their instruments and sound check one instrument at a time. Adjust the levels on your PA system so that all of the instruments and the vocals can be heard.

Things You'll Need

  • PA speakers
  • PA system
  • Vocal microphone(s)
  • Microphone cords
  • Speaker microphones
  • Drum microphones
  • Microphone stands
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About the Author

Alexander Poirier began writing professionally in 2005. He worked as the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine "Calliope," garnering the magazine two APEX Awards for excellence in publication. Poirer graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in English.