5 Things You Need to Know Before Renting Sound Equipment

June 17, 2016

The audio visual aspects of an event can really make or break your guests’ experience. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing or annoying as bad audio and glitches or hiccups in service when you have a large gathering of people. Shopping around and getting a good grasp on what should be expected with sound equipment will help you in formulating a good plan. Here are 5 things you need to know before renting sound equipment.

1. Procedure

You may be a whiz at churning out an event at the last minute, as working under pressure is your drive. While this may work well for you and for your team, not everything is always available at the drop of a hat, and this includes services such as AV equipment. If you are planning an event, especially during peak times, give your audio visual company at least 48 hours notice. Chances are they will accommodate you, but for fancier requirements and customization, more time will be needed. Don’t underestimate the number of other people who are also in need of good equipment, so book your spot before it’s too late!

2. Deposit and Prices

Be careful and aware of the pricing strategy your rental company has in place. Many companies require a deposit prior to the day of the event, and often it can be around 50% of the fee. Pay attention to cancellation charges, time frames for cancellation, and whether the deposit is refundable. Also, it may be more cost effective to rent sound equipment for a longer period, perhaps a few days rather than just one. If you have multiple events coming up, planning in advance might help you save money.

3. Equipment

These days, sound equipment is quite expansive and complex, and doesn’t just include a good old PA system. Gear to take note of and ask about when renting are things like mixers, projectors, lights, turntables, microphones, karaoke systems, stands, power amps, mic receivers, DJ systems, cables & snakes, floor monitors, speakers, CD players, PA systems, and keyboards. Having a good background of what’s available on the market will help you make a more informed decision, and will help you know how to find a rental company that has exactly what you need.

4. House vs Independent

Depending on the scale of your event, it may work for you to use the house sound system installed in the banquet or conference hall that you book out. While these systems usually aren’t very sophisticated or modern, they can get basic work done. If you have a more upscale and complex idea in mind, going independent is your best bet. But take a look at the capabilities of the in-house system and see what you can work with! Ensure (either with independent or in-house equipment) that a proper run through and sound check is done prior to the start of the event.

5. Agreement and Responsibility

Naturally anything you rent will come with an agreement for you to sign. Insurance, damage, missing parts etc are all things to be aware about. Whether or not the machinery comes with an operator is also something to consider. Ensure you read through the papers carefully before signing, and understand what your responsibility as a renter is. Will you be responsible for returning the equipment back to the rental company or will someone pick it up? Will there be an operator on site at all times, and is their fee separate from the equipment cost? What happens in the event of damaged goods, missing parts, malfunctioning sound, etc? Keep all these questions in mind, and ensure you are aware of everything involved in the rental.

These 5 things you need to know before renting sound equipment will help you with your big event, and will have you making waves! (Sound waves that is). Contact us for more information and quotes.