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Microphone Month 3

Potential Acoustic Gain

A measure of the amount of gain before feedback that can be obtained with a sound reinforcement system that’s based on the number of open microphones and distances from source(s) to microphones and listener(s), as well as speaker distances from listener(s) and microphones. These parameters are basically plugged into an equation that involves the application of the inverse square law. A typical equation might look like:

PAG = 20 log (D1) – 20 log (D2) + 20 log (D3) – 20 log (D4) – 10 log (NOM)


PAG = Potential Acoustic Gain
D1 = Distance between microphone and loudspeaker
D2 = Distance between the loudspeaker and the furthest listener
D3 = Distance between the source and the furthest listener
D4 = Distance between the source and the microphone
NOM = Number of open microphones

There are a number of subtleties to the application of this formula (what you see here is somewhat simplified) that are beyond the scope of this writing, but when applied correctly it can yield a pretty accurate estimation of the performance of a system.

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