Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Connecting to an arena PA system

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Connecting to an arena PA system

    Hello all, I'm hoping to get a little guidance from the hivemind here. Quick background - I have two kids that play travel hockey. Over the years, I've assumed the role of music guy/timekeeper/announcer for their teams, to the point where I've had other teams hire me to do their games

    ​Most rinks have hired someone to engineer a connectivity solution so that people can connect a laptop, iPad, iPhone, etc to the speaker system in the rink. For example, in my son's home rink, we have a home audio receiver running into a professional mixer and then on to a pro-sound amp(s) and speakers. I can use the headphone output from my iPad to connect and it works fine; my mic goes directly into the mixer (it has multiple XLR inputs).

    My trouble lies with my daughter's new home ice. The only connections at the scorers table are an XLR input for a microphone and a 1/4" input labeled "aux". I have no idea what gear is behind these inputs but connecting does get us sound over the overhead speakers so I am assuming we have an amp(s) somewhere in the building. Over the years, I've accumulated various adapters, cables, etc, so I had a handy 1/8" to 1/4" adapter which I used to connect the iPad headphone output to the "aux" input. Unfortunately, the sound quality was extremely murky and muffled.

    I am by no means an expert on how this *should* be bolted together, and no one at the rink has any idea (this is not at all unusual...). So, I'm hoping that someone out there can point me in the right direction....

    My first thought is that the output from the iPad is not strong/clear enough for the signal to be clear. Would a small microphone mixer address this issue? I've had to use them in other rinks with similar connectivity (set up provided by the rink), unfortunately I don't have the make/model but it was similar to the gizmo at the link - not as expensive though.

    Would using a mixer to bump the output a bit (possibly) address the issue? And perhaps more importantly, will I hurt anything by doing so? Obviously I don't want to break the rink's gear as I suspect they would not be happy about that Anything else I can try? I'm completely clueless on the whole balanced/unbalanced/connecting consumer gear to professional equipment stuff - is there a primer on it anywhere? I'd love to get smarter about this sort of thing...

    Many thanks!!!
    Buy Proslogan SX-4SD Professional 4-Channel Mixing Console with Monitor and Effect Processor: Unpowered - Amazon.com ✓ FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases

  • #2
    Does the score table xlr input work well with a mic? Is the aux input the fuzzy one? If there is a long cable between the aux input and the house mixer?

    XLR balanced cable runs can cover longer distances. Unbalanced aux cables not so good for long runs.

    Your small mixer suggestion may work....input your mic and tablet to the mixer, then use a balanced xlr out to the house mic jack. You may need to use a direct box to match the mixer line level output to the house mic level jack. PE Part # 248-730

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MichiganMan View Post
      The only connections at the scorers table are an XLR input for a microphone and a 1/4" input labeled "aux".
      I'd wager that AUX input is mono and if so connecting a stereo source there will produce very bizarre sound. The solution is to get yourself a little interface that will sum the signal to mono correctly, something like the Radial ProAV1. That is a premium brand DI but if you shop around you will find option at better price points.
      Paul O

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Paul O View Post
        I'd wager that AUX input is mono and if so connecting a stereo source there will produce very bizarre sound. The solution is to get yourself a little interface that will sum the signal to mono correctly, something like the Radial ProAV1. That is a premium brand DI but if you shop around you will find option at better price points.
        I agree. The AUX input is probably a balanced, mono input. If so, you're hearing only the difference between left and right signals coming out of your iPad. Although not ideal, the easiest solution is to use a mono 1/4" to 1/8" adapter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul O View Post
          I'd wager that AUX input is mono and if so connecting a stereo source there will produce very bizarre sound. The solution is to get yourself a little interface that will sum the signal to mono correctly, something like the Radial ProAV1. That is a premium brand DI but if you shop around you will find option at better price points.
          I agree with this solution. It's a "direct box" with the connections you'll need to interface consumer audio products into a pro PA system.

          Probably most of the pro-audio and semi-pro-audio brands like Horizon, Whirlwind, and ProCo will have similar devices, but Radial is a sort of industry standard. I'd look for one that includes built-in stereo-to-mono summing capability.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for all of the suggestions - I wanted to circle back and let you know what I've subsequently discovered. Apparently, the speaker system in this particular rink is known for being "blown" and for having horrible sound. My understanding is that it is "on the list" of things to be fixed, but has been on that list for 2+ years... when I connected in the other arena, everything worked just peachy. So, it appears there is some issue that is limited to one particular rink and I'm not holding my breath on getting it addressed, especially as this sheet of ice is typically used as a practice surface. Thanks for all the help!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MichiganMan View Post
              Thank you for all of the suggestions - I wanted to circle back and let you know what I've subsequently discovered. Apparently, the speaker system in this particular rink is known for being "blown" and for having horrible sound. My understanding is that it is "on the list" of things to be fixed, but has been on that list for 2+ years... when I connected in the other arena, everything worked just peachy. So, it appears there is some issue that is limited to one particular rink and I'm not holding my breath on getting it addressed, especially as this sheet of ice is typically used as a practice surface. Thanks for all the help!
              If your so inclined, powered, portable sound reinforcement systems that bands / DJs use. If you google it, you'll find a myriad of mfgs and products including ones with balanced mic and aux inputs tailored to iPads, mp3 players, etc. The onboard electronics will convert the stereo iPad signal to the single channel powered speaker. Some can be had for well under $200 (though an ice rink is a large venue and the smallest systems may well be under powered).

              Comment

              Working...
              X