Building administrators and educators can be up against a lot of factors in trying to get quality sound out of a gymnasium. Most school gyms house a myriad of events year-round for both the school and the community. Having a sound system that is easy to use and provides a quality, intelligible sound can, at times, feel like an impossible goal to meet. Clunky, out-of-date equipment along with bad acoustics and loud HVAC noises can turn a big event into a complete nightmare. Here we will explore how to overcome inadequate school gymnasium audio systems.

  1. Know who uses the space and how they use it. Since many school gymnasiums host a myriad of events year-round, it’s important to have a good grasp on who those groups are and how they use the facility. Sometimes school choirs, bands and ROTC groups use the sound system differently than a fall sports pep rally or community theater troupe. Some groups will need wireless mic capabilities while others will need PC and MP3 connection abilities. Knowing who all these groups are what kind of solutions they typically need will help in designing a system that fits the needs best.
  2. Tonal balance and speaker placement. Not having speakers set up correctly could mean at an event there is one group in the audience hearing clearly, one group being blasted with too much sound and the other not able to hear at all. This will only cause frustration and confusion and no one wants that. Getting the right balance, right decibel levels and making sure the space has even coverage should be a top goal for achieving the right sound.
  3. Background noise factors. Quality sound inside a school gymnasium isn’t just found in what is heard but also in what is not heard. Proper cancellation, reduction or absorption of HVAC, bleacher noise, etc…can be vital in creating a sound environment that is pleasant and intelligible.
  4. Have a key end-user. Having a main point-person (or a few key point people) can be the catalyst for having a great sound system. Having a key person on school staff who knows or can be trained over the ins-and-outs of the system can ensure that not only is the system being used to it’s greatest potential, but that it will continue to be properly maintained and put longevity into the investment.
  5. Emergency alert connection. No matter what the event or who is there to enjoy it, safety of those in the building is always top priority. In selecting a system that best fits your school’s needs, make sure the school’s gym sound equipment can be overridden so that alarms are clearly heard and instructions for safety aren’t missed.
  6. Ease of use priority. Too often, those who are frustrated with a bad gym sound system can chalk it up to having either a patch-worked system that is terribly out of date or an overly complicated system that is beyond the abilities of most people to operate. Having a system that is integrated and easy to use makes operating the system much more enjoyable. Also, with an easier to use system, educators can use the system as a training tool with students or sound tech classes to advance their education with hands-on equipment.

Whether it’s a graduation, basketball tournament or spring play, no one wants the big moments ruined or missed because of poor sound equipment or lack of knowledge with how to properly run it. If you’ve become frustrated in thinking that good sound quality isn’t achievable in your school gym, contact us to start a conversation and see how we can help.