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SOUNDSYSTEM SOUND-OFF FEBRUARY 2012

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Fada Rebbs View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fada Rebbs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2012 at 7:49pm
Hence why I say PA system as in public address. Most "sounds" have a pre-amp with separate bass, mid, treble outputs not a 24 channel mixing desk. Granted the subs were nice but the "sound system" aspect was missing on another day that set would be used to mix a band situation and produce a clean sound for vocalists!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fada Rebbs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2012 at 7:53pm
Originally posted by slaz slaz wrote:

Originally posted by Fada Rebbs Fada Rebbs wrote:

I firmly say PA in the true sense of Jamaican sound system but is a PA not another word for sound system!!?


Whoa !!

Forgive me for "poking my nose in" here .... and I prolly really can't speak with any kind of authority here as a white English boy who's never been in Jamaica (but have spent time in the West Indies) ... Now I've spent time around Jamaican-style systems long time .... so here's my take on this ....

Differences between PA system and Jamaican-style sound system

A PA system is designed for a different kind of event really. The agenda includes running as a business to hopefully make a bit of money. The event generally assumes an audience standing or seated facing the stage, and you want to (as well as possible) "cover" the crowd. Also high on the agenda is practicalities of setup, storage, logistics - to be handled by as small a crew as possible. Also you generally need to be SEEN to be "professional" - in some scenarios you need "rider friendly" gear etc.
Generally you're aiming for a flat, controllable sound that adapts to varied types of music, venue, crowd.

A Jamaican sound system (I'm talking traditionally here) is a (usually local) COMMUNITY event. That means the sound system guys, the helpers, the artists, MCs, the promoters, the venue, and the crowd generally know each other well. Certainly in Jamaica back in the day - size, weight, transport, storage etc. are simply not an issue - e.g. if wardrobe-size boxes are/were what it takes to get the sound right - so be it. If that means you need extra muscle/whatever to move it, handle it - no problems - plenty of willing strong youths from the community for that. You not paying them a "wage" - it doesn't really affect the economics of the event.
The layout tends to be different. In this country at least, (again I'm talking traditionally - back in the day) the typical venue would be "community centre" style .... various rooms/areas ... all generations involved - old boys sitting around playing cards/dominoes drinking rum etc. :-) , food cooking somewhere around ..... other little rooms or alcoves for quieter times, talking. chatting up the gal etc. :-) ..... so the idea is - yeah - if you wanna catch the full force of the mid/top sound you hang by the speakers - otherwise you go hang elsewhere to drink/eat/smoke etc ..... the sound system is NOT trying to soak the whole area in sound.
And of course the overall sound is pretty much tailored to one kind of music (mebbe with sub-genres like dub etc.) - hence the use of "reggae pre-amps" with FX etc.

Of course in the 21st century, Jamaican-style systems have to compromise and live with the limiations of venues, economics of big systems, beauracracies .... and big up the younger guys who are trying to keep those traditions alive.

[End of essay] :-) .... my 2p worth anyway.



Hence why I say PA system as in public address. Most "sounds" have a pre-amp with separate bass, mid, treble outputs not a 24 channel mixing desk. Granted the subs were nice but the "sound system" aspect was missing example no pre-amp or siren! On another day that set would be used to mix a band situation and produce a clean sound for vocalists which in essence is what it's designed for.
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