Tips to Make Your Band Sound
Great Live

This article will focus on speaker placement when you are running your own sound.


Speaker placement is vital if you are running your own sound.  The most common PA speakers have 65° dispersion.  Use your imagination to draw lines to what part of the audience you will cover per speaker.  The space directly in front of the speaker will receive the majority of the volume with the ideal distance being 15 or more feet away.


If your speaker can “hear” your microphone, you will experience feedback (Fig.1).  If you keep your speakers in front of your microphones you will cut down on feedback drastically (Fig.2).  Mic placement is also important.  The most common microphone (ex. Shure SM58) is a cardioid microphone which means it doesn’t pick up sound from the backside of it.  That means that the back of the mic should be pointed directly at the front speaker to prevent feedback.

A speaker will not disperse much above the top of the cabinet so a professional speaker stand will get the sound off of the ground and into your audience.  A good rule of thumb, point the speaker at the audience’s ears. Quite often one speaker facing the audience will cover most of the room, this will leave the other speaker for a monitor for the band. Again, draw imaginary lines coming from the speaker and place it on the floor, lying on its side, so that the imaginary lines cover most of the band.