Reply To: NEWBIE ALERT: Hooking up a Signal Processor

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I think speaker management is always a good idea, providing you set it up properly. As with lots of things in audio, it’s entirely possible to go too far and butcher the sound if you set it up wrong.

The PA2 is an amalgamation of devices: a 3-way crossover, a peq, a sub-harmonic synthesizer, compressor/limiter and line delays among other things. IMO it’s good for what it is. An (appropriate) cheaper substitute would depend on what you wanted to use it for: eg if you only wanted to use it as a comp/limiter as a bit of protection for your speakers/peoples’ ears, then a standalone 2-channel compressor would probably be cheaper. If you only wanted a FOH eq, then a standalone 2-channel peq would probably be cheaper. You’d be hard pressed to find something cheaper will all of the above functions in 1RU though. It also has built in presets for your QSCs, which is handy.

I think it’s a good investment in that it’s protection for your speakers/the audience’s ears, if you later decide to add a sub to the FOH setup it can cope with that too, and that adding the opportunity to have FOH eqs and line delays that you wouldn’t otherwise have, all of which can improve the overall sound, providing you set it up properly. It’s also good in that it can save presets, so if you have a gig in one place you can dial in the eq for that room and save it. Next time you’re in that room you can simply recall the preset you previously saved.

One thing I will say is that IME auto feedback destroyers are really only useful for dry speech. IMO they are a combination of too slow and too drastic for music: they tend to make it sound worse. Also, re the unit’s AutoEq, while it will get you some of the way there, IME you almost always get better results if you tune by ear (or start with the auto eq then go back and manually adjust the resultant curve.) If you are going to use the AutoEq then you should probably invest in a measurement mic too. If you’ve got a wireless router and a smartphone/tablet you can adjust settings remotely too, which can be handy.