Sound System Design for Cafeterias, Auditoriums and Small Churches
Thomas Mason, P.E.
course discusses the choices for design of music and voice sound systems for
cafeterias, auditoriums and small churches. Key principles are sound characteristics
and equipment characteristics. Sample designs along with warnings of common
design errors and installation errors are included. The reference list shows
sources for advanced theoretical analysis and the origin of specialized sound
This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this course, the student will:
A good sound system
improves the quality of all forms of public activity and in some cases provides
a life safety service. Most existing sound systems work satisfactorily, some
work well and many work so poorly that intelligibility is better with the system
turned off. With current advances in electronics and speaker design, the limiting
factor for sound systems is design and room acoustics. This course explains
the principles of sound system operation and principles of design for cafeterias,
auditoriums and small churches. Design for large commercial installations requires
the consultation of a trained acoustician and are not addressed by this course.
Sound systems are not presently considered life safety systems and are not regulated
by the government beyond NFPA 70, National Electric Code, wiring limits. (Note
that regulated life safety systems, such as fire alarm, must not be combined
with sound systems unless the entire system meets the Fire Alarm Code.) Design
of sound systems is done by sound system component sellers, installing contractors,
system vendors, and Professional Engineers. This course includes an acceptance
guide, since the system does not require governmental permitting or approval.
The course content is in a PDF file (496 KB) Sound System Design for Cafeterias, Auditoriums and Small Churches. You need to open or download this document to study this course.
This course covers the concepts and a little simulated field experience in sound system design. It introduces devices, plan drawings of device locations, riser diagrams and specifications to purchase materials and installation. Following successful review of the reference material and the associated examination, the student should be able to prepare a complete sound system design package under the supervision of a Professional Engineer.
For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:
Cool Edit, spectrum analyzer and more - www.syntrillium.com
Mouser Electronics - audio connectors and more - www.mouser.com
Switchcraft connectors - www.switchcraft.com
Shure, microphones and more - www.shure.com
Belden cable - www.belden.com
West Penn cable - www.westpenn-cdt.com
Assistive listening devices - www.alds.com
Musician's Friend, retail commercial audio equipment - www.musiciansfriend.com
Professional Sound and Lighting, retail commercial audio equipment - www.pssl.com
JBL Technical Handbook and Tech Notes - www.jblpro.com/pages/tech_lib.htm
Rane technical information - www.rane.com/library.html
ElectroVoice Catalog - www.electrovoice.com
Bose speakers - www.bose.com
Radio Shack - www.radioshack.com
Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.