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PA Equipment Hire

Megasong PA and Associated Equipment



All our equipment is available for hire, with or without an operator.

Our equipment is professional standard and designed to keep working.

About our equipment;

Mixers

We have an assortment of mixers, a few are shown on this page. Some are only really suitable for pure DJ use but most are designed to cope with the rigours and requirements of vocal, band and production use as well as disco.

At the small end we use a Studiomaster which has a 600W RMS amplifier, graphic equaliser and effects built in, 8 microphone/line inputs and various additional inputs for music sources. It is ideally suited to smaller venues especially where set-up space is tight. If additional amplification is required we can add any of our power amps to bring the volume levels up. We often use a technique called bi-amping, adding a second set of amplification solely for the bass frequencies. To do this, as well as an extra amplifier & crossover, you have a second set of speakers, normally a pair of full range speakers for the Mid/Top and a pair of 'Subs' to reinforce the Bass frequencies.

We have other similar powered and unpowered mixers, including some tiny ones only suited to pure DJ use - most do not have built in effects or the versatility of the ones we use for Karaoke and Live Vocalists - these are however more than adequate for mixing recorded music and the occasional announcement by the DJ or speech by you or your guests.

In between these small basic mixers and our top line units we have mixers from Mackie, Yamaha and Behringer amongst others, these are normally only used for live performances or producing studio mixes.

One of our most popular mixers is a 24 track 8 bus Mackie.  These are perfect for live performances. They are the most successful in-line & recording consoles ever made, have tracked more platinum albums and major motion picture sound tracks than any other mixer in their class and are used by more artists, groups, composers, and production facilities than any other brand. Since its release the 8•Bus Series has consistently set the standard for both affordability and feature set. Ultra-quiet and flexible, the Mackie 8•Bus is the definitive 8•bus console, . Designed to eliminate the last barrier between you and your creativity, the 24•8 mixer offers results on par with £75,000+ consoles. They have never been equaled for sound quality and are legendary for their performance and reliability.

As well as the eight main buses these have six AUX buses, a pair of L/R Mix buses, a pair of MIX-B buses, and a pair of Solo buses so it is exceedingly unlikely you'll run into any limitations no matter how many options you need.

We supply this with the optional Meter Bridge which gives you an instant visual on all the levels.

Other popular mixers for live acts include the 24 channel Yamaha GF24/12 (4 Group + 6 Aux + Stereo Outputs) or at the cheaper end the Behringer Eurorack MX2642A (26 Input 4 Bus + Stereo).

If you want on board effects or are ultra budget conscious you might consider an 18 input Behringer 1832-FX (18-Input 3/2-Bus Mixer) which has an in built studio-grade 24-bit stereo FX processor with 100 presets including reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, pitch shifter and various multi-effects.

Going up in quality there are our Mackie CFX analog mixers with in built special effects, These have up to 16 inputs and 4 busses, a good selection of effects and an in built sub 75Hz output which may save you using a crossover to drive your subs. Both mixers have graphic equalisers along with their special effects and at least two completely separate effects/aux busses in addition to insert points on all input channels. They could be used in conjunction with external equipment such as a Behringer Virtualizer Pro, a Compressor Limiter and a Feedback Destroyer. This combination should give you superb sounding vocals & instruments with multiple concurrent effects if required, as well as preventing the feedback or howl that you sometimes hear with inexperienced vocalists - and occasionally professionals too.

At the top end we can go up to an 80 channel 8/16 Bus full digital mixer with real time and snapshot recall, TRS and ADAT as well as Analog and Digital Ins and Outs, compressors, limiters and gates on every channel and multiple digital effects, and that's just for starters.

We also offer 16 track digital recording. You can record your live performance, either using wet or dry channel feeds and mixdowns (or any combination) so you can take a multitrack recording for post processing (which we can also offer) for a professional final mix. You can also record the live mix so you can hear what you sounded like on the night.

Our most popular Digital Mixer/Recorder can record up to 16 concurrent uncompressed tracks at 16 or 24-bit resolution with 44.1 or 48kHz sampling rates. There is also a stereo master track to which you can mix down.

It is fully automated with 96 scene memories per recorded Song and full moving-fader dynamic automation which includes panning and EQ

This is perfect for use on it's own as a mixer if you need the digital facilities and automation but are not concerned with making a recording. With up to 44 mixing input channels, each with four-band parametric EQ and full dynamics facilities (compression/limiting etc.), eight groups, eight auxes, a stereo master bus, a stereo solo bus, and direct outputs from 32 of the mixer channels. Add to this two internal multi-effects units with upgraded processors giving similar performance to the Pro R3 which can be driven from Auxes 7 and 8 or inserted into specific channels and you can see why it's popular both as a mixer and a production tool!

Effects

We have multiple effects units, some have already been mentioned, which offer unparalleled control over how the vocals and instruments will sound, these can be used on single mixer channels or on specific effects busses, the choice is yours depending on how many different effects you need at the same time.

Many of our control boxes are multi- function giving you the opportunity to experiment or to recreate a special sound effect. We do not however have pedals etc. these are most often regarded as part of the instrument chain rather than a mixing component.

We can even offer TC Helicon Autotune to keep your vocalists in key or to simulate the effects heard on some pop tracks and Feedback Destroyers for those awkward venues where you can't get rid of the howl from your monitors or vocals.



Amplification & Control:

In addition to the powered mixers mentioned above, which of course have built in amplifiers, we own quite a selection of power amplifiers, some of which are shown on this page.

When choosing what amplification you'll need the first thing to understand is a bit about amplifiers in general and how they are rated. We have included this since very few people understand how to fulfil their needs effectively and we are frequently asked for more power when what is actually being sought is more and clearer volume. contrary to popular belief an amplifier's power has minimal bearing on the volume of sound being heard when you take a system as a whole. Furthermore the 'power' of an amplifier can be expressed in many ways and not a few are intended to mislead you.

Typically semi-professional equipment is rated in Peak or what we call WLS Watts (WLS standing for When Lightning Strikes). You may have seen terms such as PMPO (Peak Music Power Output) or Programme Power or even Instant Peak Power, quoted in conjunction with the power of an amplifier, but more often a figure is given without any information about how it was measured. You'll see the Amp quoted as '3000W' for example without any further details.



There are two generally accepted standards for measuring the power of audio equipment, RMS (short for root mean square) is likely to be the most meaningful for amplifier comparison, and AES (Audio Engineering Society) is gaining acceptance over RMS Watts for speaker measurement. If you really want to understand AES measurements you can go here http://www.doctorproaudio.com/doctor/temas/powerhandling.htm. For our purposes we currently stick with RMS as a level playing field.

PMPO Watts can be as much as 10 times the RMS watts, Programme Power is typically 2-4 times the RMS rating. Some suppliers are particularly guilty of this 'over-rating'. Just to take one example, a Gemini 3000W amplifier only has 400W RMS, so you may be thinking you're getting a high powered set-up but in reality this so called 3000W amp has less power than our smallest combined mixer amp, their 2000W amp has only 220W RMS.

There are many things that can seriously affect the way an amplifier performs, not just how much current and how many volts they can deliver, things like the slew rate and damping factor will also have an impact. We don't expect you to understand about these, that's our job, but these measurements are unlikely to be found in the specifications of many semi or low end professional equipment. We ensure our equipment will genuinely deliver rather than offer unsubstantiated promises, and as you may have noticed we quantify all our figures.

Our amplifiers are quality units, frequently found in Night Clubs and Entertainment venues and designed to keep working, this level or equipment is rarely available from mobile services.

With the exception of the powered mixers already mentioned, our amps are mostly made in either the UK or the US, almost all are capable of delivering a minimum 1200W RMS and some go up to 6KW RMS, they are high quality and robust units.

In addition to the pure amplifiers we have other specialist items to enhance your event.

For events where there are multiple rooms or zone, many weddings for example, it can be useful to have different material or volume levels in each zone and also to have announcements across all zones or just in specific zones. When zoning the ability to automatically reduce the volume of the main source when an announcement is made is almost essential, otherwise you'd find yourself having to set and reset the individual volumes every time and would probably never get every zone consistently right.

Our popular Cloud Z4II venue mixer neatly sorts this for you. It combines simple control of music with versatile microphone paging for up to four separate areas. They have six stereo line inputs and three microphone inputs, one of which is configured specifically for use with paging mics. The front panel provides separate controls for music source selection, music level and two mic levels in each zone. When Mic1 and/or Mic 2 are in use, music ducking can also be enabled on a per-zone basis; further, Mic 1 may be set to have priority over Mic 2 to prevent announcement clashes.

Compressors/Limiters:




These are used to level sound, reducing the dynamic range in a given set of circumstances. Two main uses are to cope with sound limiters in a venue and to reduce the dynamic range of a singer so you do not get deafened by the loud bits or lose the quiet passages, which in the case of amateur singers are often unintentional.

If you're stuck with a venue with sound limiting we have compressors that will allow you to run consistently right on the limit, massively increasing the apparent volume without actually exceeding the limiters.

This is similar to the effect you may have noticed during advert breaks on the telly. The volume seems to suddenly increase. It hasn't, a compressor has been used to raise the general level to that of the peaks, and to keep the peaks below the limit set - in that case by the broadcaster. We can achieve the same effect at you event if you go for this level of service.

Active Crossovers - and why?:

Multiway speaker systems are pretty much everywhere there days, you will rarely find a speaker cabinet which has a single speaker expected to cover the whole frequency spectrum. To split the frequencies between the speakers circuits know as crossovers are used. Many speakers have built in passive crossovers, these are not particularly effective, are operating at a fixed frequency and offer a most peculiar load to the amplifier leading to loss of control of the signal. (for the technical the damping factor with a passive crossover at certain frequencies can be as low as 7 - not a misprint but Seven, against the expected value normally in the hundreds)

Many speakers have these in-built crossovers, giving a fixed frequency cross over of about 12dB/Octave between the speakers. This in many cases is quite acceptable and it's the best you're going to get unless you throw more amps and cables at your solution. You'll never get the best sound though. Anyway, as you may know the human ear is much more sensitive to frequencies in the mid range, vocals for example. We are much less sensitive to low or bass frequencies and these need much more power to feel the same - see graph later. This presents a major problem if you are using a single amplifier to supply both the Bass / Subs and the Mid & Top range speakers. You only have one output at a given power to spread between the speakers. (It is rare to see anyone trying to use Tops, Mids and Subs separately from a single amp channel so I'm ignoring it.)

There are a number of ways round this, you can for example have 'powered' speakers, with their own in built amplifiers, then set these up individually to get the best sound balance, or use more sensitive or lower impedance speakers for the base frequencies.

Whilst this works to an extent you will know from experience that different tracks often need different settings and going to your speakers to adjust them on a track by track basis is not a realistic way of operating. To get total control you need to bring it all back to the control console.

Our solution, where we are bi-amping (or more) is to use passive speakers and employ active crossovers between separate outputs from the mixing console and the amplifiers. In some cases we will use fairly simple active crossovers just to separate the Bass from the Mid/Top but we can also split up to four ways (normally only three are used though). In some cases our crossovers have active speaker sensing to prevent overdriving.

More often we will supply crossovers that are fully configurable and have additional facilities:

  • Frequency Controls: These set the crossover frequencies between Low/Mid and Top in a three way configuration or Low and Mid/top in two way. They can be set individually for each speaker on each side.
  • Low Cut: This protects the Subs from extreme low frequencies.
  • Low and High Phase inverts: To reverse the polarities.
  • Delay: This is variable, not just the 180° swap often offered, to ensure that the signals are in phase in the speakers final location.
  • CD Horn: This is for use with constant directivity horns that require a different frequency correction.
  • Limiters: These are built in to our crossovers and will reduce the gain if the limit threshold is exceeded, protecting our equipment.

This gives us precise control over both the frequencies and power delivered to each speaker at our fingertips, a much more flexible set-up.

Speakers:

Speakers are your interface to the music. They are the last stage in bringing music to your ears.

There are many speaker suppliers and we mainly use Yamaha, HK, HZ, Wharfedale, Peavey and PAV for small to medium sized events, we've got a small pile of other speakers that we tried but did not measure up to our standards - any offers for KAM and CEL??? We also have some 1800W earth shaking Sub woofers we can employ when required, these weigh in at a staggering 85Kg each so they shouldn't be taken lightly (pun intended) and are mainly used for large venues with club music rather than the more common disco fare.

We do not possess and would advise against equipment from brands such as Gemini, Auna, RCL and Prosound to mention but a few.

Sound is highly subjective, the human ear - in its prime - can hear from about 20Hz up to 20,000Hz (or cycles per second), as we get older our ability to hear high notes is often dramatically reduced. Additionally some of the low frequencies are more felt than heard.

The human voice is generally accepted to fall into the range of 80hz to 880hz, and standard piano goes from 28hz to 3951hz but the ultra deep notes are rarely used. Modern music synthesisers can of course generate notes throughout the audible spectrum and beyond but none of this is any use if we can't hear it.

Human Hearing Curve

Most high specification Hi-fi systems, and by this we're talking systems costing in the thousands not the hundreds, can cope relatively well with frequencies from about 35hz to 20kHz, but the systems you or I are more likely to have probably won't respond much below 80Hz. Many claim to but when (if) you can find the true specifications you'll find that the sound reproduced at the ends of the spectrum are so faint as to be irrelevant.

In normal music listening any system that will go below 60Hz without losing much perceived volume is going to sound good at the bottom end, but there's the rub. If we look at the way our hearing works in this graph you'll see that in a loud disco type environment you'll need about 30dB more volume to hear a sound at 20hz as being at the same volume as a 1kHz sound, since 3dB corresponds to a doubling in power this realistically isn't going to happen since, as each 3dB increase doubles the power needed, a 30dB increase would need more than a 1,000 fold power increase.

For many recorded music events, or Karaoke, only one pair of good quality speakers is necessary, and our favourite general purpose speaker is the Yamaha S115V club series. This is a heavyweight performer, with each speaker handling 500W program and up to 1000W peak power, delivering outstanding full range sound with a Max SPL (Sound Pressure Level) in excess of 120dB and a -3db frequency response of 55 Hz to 16 kHz it not only sounds excellent, but is more than capable of giving a good account of itself in many Disco applications. Adding another amplifier, a crossover and a pair of subs brings this system up to comfortably coping with most small to medium sized venues.

For live acts we will work with them to ensure we deliver the sound you (and they) want. Remember also that with our top range mixers you could have many individual monitors each on their own bus or channel on stage as well as the main and control mixes.

Lighting:

Our lighting includes lasers and a plethora of club standard lighting and background effects. As well as the conventional sound to light effects we can also do full choreographed DMX displays with lots of effects linked and stage managed, using anything up to about 60 lights, this is normally used for large venues where there are bands as well as disco but we have been asked to do small sets for parts of special events to add drama to a first dance or an entrance.

There are videos showing some of the lasers and lights we use in action on the Lighting Effects page, we have several full colour and animation lasers as well as the more normal single and dual colour mobile disco types. Please note that if you want the top end laser and lighting display this will not be included in a basic quotation unless yours is a big event at a large venue, if you would like this level of show at a smaller event you will need to ask us to quote. Not all lasers can be used at all venues due to their power, unless we can be certain there is no risk to your guests or the venue we can not use high power lasers.

Video.

As well as handling sound and lighting we can also provide video. We have numerous proectors and screens and can create presentations as well as Video DJ.

We have equipment to handle Video distribution of up to 16 sources freely assignable any combination up to 16 screens or projectors. We can matrix video (using multiple displays so that each shows a part of the image but together they show the whole picture) giving us the ability to create displays up to 8M x 4.5M (That's about 26' x 15' in old money).

Anyway, if you've read this far you'll hopefully appreciate we take a lot of care over choosing our equipment and if you have any questions relating to what we would offer for your function please call us. We'll be happy to go as technical as you want or try to keep things in layman's terms, our main aim is to ensure you're happy with what we'll be offering and have a great party or event.

Remember though, things can go wrong.

With the best will in the world there's nothing anyone can do to prevent the occasional equipment failure. It's how we cope with these failures that makes the difference.

At Megasong we try to ensure there is nothing we are responsible for that will put an end to your event, we have done a risk analysis on our set-up and, short of a power failure, we should be up and running again within a few minutes whatever disaster strikes.

For larger and critical applications we carry spare amplifier(s), can cope if the mixer fails, and have spares and alternatives for most other equipment on board. The worst that's likely to happen is a short gap whilst we swap out a failed piece of kit, although in some cases, depending on the set up, there may already be a degree of redundancy allowing the show can go on without a break in the event of a failure. So saying it is extremely rare for anything to go wrong, all our equipment is regularly serviced and used well within it's limits.

When you're choosing who will provide your entertainment it's always worth asking them what they would do if - say - their amplifier blew up?

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