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What Size Generator Do I Need For Live Music

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  • Generators, Portable Power, Music Equipment
  • Posted date:
  • 25-04-2022
What Size Generator Do I Need For Live Music

What size generator do I need for live music? Are you planning a live music event. This essential information will help you plan the correct power supply.

What Power Supply Do I Need For Live Music?

It can be challenging to assess how big of a generator you'll need for various jobs and tasks; you'll need to do plenty of research to make a well-informed decision. 

DJs need an ample and uninterruptible power supply to get through a set or multiple shows a week or month. Professionals recommend running a generator with a pure sine wave output of surge watts and ensuring you put any power-hungry lighting systems on separate generators; these can be oil or gas-powered or run entirely on electricity.

We highly encourage you to invest in a surge protector, especially useful for expensive devices such as your DJ equipment; it will be a fantastic benefit that will help divert the extra electricity. 

 The most significant draw for any of your audio equipment will be your amplifiers; these will require as much power source as possible as they are the most vital aspect of DJ equipment, as your crowd need to hear you at all times. Like your decks and mixers, other tools that you can plug in may not draw out as much energy compared to your amplifying speakers, etc.

You must bear in mind that audio amps tend not to be 100% efficient, as plenty of energy is lost in the heat, which is why it's better to invest in a solid, high-quality amplifier, as much older models are often only 30% efficient.  

 The spec of your amplifier will inform its overall power consumption; if you find that it's written in volts and amperes, we encourage that you multiply these numbers together to achieve its running wattage. Once you have done so, you can begin researching power generators with the same power watt consumption.

How to calculate kVA

Generator power is typically measured in units called Kilo-Volt-Ampere (kVA for short or in equations). To find the size of your desired generator, you'll want to begin by finding out the total watts of power consumption. 

Such includes all of the equipment you will be running during your live outdoor event; your decks, mixers, laptops, special effects devices, lights, amplifiers, etc. Significant touring artists and good companies tend to use around 80,000 to 400,000 rated wattage.

You'll have to convert these from KW (kilowatts) into kVA by multiplying kilowatts by the reciprocal of its power factor. 

We refer to the power factor as the power flow ratio to its load and apparent power output. Older loudspeakers and amplifier technology would usually have a power factor of around 0.3; however, some equipment has maximum power factors of around 0.8.

Here is a short example of the calculation you'll have to do to determine the kVA (kilo-voltage and ampere). Let's suppose we added up the total power consumption of all pieces of equipment within your sound system, which amounted to 5kw with a power factor of 0.8. 

You'll start by doing one ÷ the power factor and then multiply that by the starting watts: 1 ÷ 0.8 = 1.25 1.25 x 5 = 6.25 kVA

What Size Generator Do I Need For Live Music?

Buying A Generator For Live Music

Playing live sound at special occasions, gigs and festivals, you'll require generators that will allow you to power and perform with your electrical sources throughout the night, no matter if there are disruptions or power cuts. 

Your audience or guests likely won't appreciate it when there are many interruptions on stage due to weak power.

Most generators are suitable for all the items and DJ equipment that will allow the electric motors of your sound equipment to run for approximately 15-17 hours on a single refill; this is enough for live events, especially those held outside. You'll be able to get through the performance on one refill successfully.

The noise emitting from your generator should never compete with your sound systems. Your generator must operate quietly so that your crowd can hear your music and live sound system clearly without disruptions.

The operations must be noiseless, regardless of your industry or job role, to progress with jobs, performances or menial tasks freely and concentrate. 

Many significant live events can utilise high-quality generators for live sound to curate a seamless sound and overall performance.

Your portable generator won't be explicitly designed for live sound; however, it will power plenty more appliances than your decks and amplifiers, making it more useful during power cuts. You can carry around your generator from job to job, which is excellent for those with frequent bookings or touring DJs. 

Portable generators are great as you can drop them close to you and won't have to trail long cables and extension cords everywhere, especially in the home when small children or pets could locate them and get an electric shock. 

Generators can successfully power the electricity in various household appliances, making them excellent during an electrical blackout.  

 You can use some of the best generators for live sound for powering AC units, televisions, and smartphones during your leisure time. The wisest decision you can make in storm-prone areas is to invest in a generator and suitable batteries if it is within your budget.

They are efficient for the workplace or crucial event jobs; however, you can also buy generators for more recreational uses and scenarios.  

 You can purchase portable generators, and they often make a fantastic addition for any basic outdoor events, ventures, get-togethers or a party. 

When going on a family trip, these are fantastic for multi-use purposes; for example, the power inverter you have been using to power DJ decks, controls and equipment can also be used to power other devices, such as a mini-fridge.

They can also help host outdoor parties and barbeques, provide electrical energy and fuel for maintaining sound systems, your home and any screen projectors or monitors that you may use to display movies or slide shows. 

However, we highly suggest that you purchase a high-quality generator if you use your generator for multiple uses.

Power or electrical blackouts will always be your concern, no matter your job. They can stop us in our tracks and cause ruptures in our workload; however, having a powerful generator on deck will allow you to work or play your live shows with minimal disruptions.  

 With the assistance of an electrical generator, you'll never be able to tell when there is a sufficient blackout, as your generator will chime in and begin generating power immediately that you may use for your appliances and devices.  

DJ equipment setup requires an efficient generator and responds when you begin experiencing an emergency. Generators can be used for a multitude of industries; one of the most common fields that they are used in is hospitals. 

Many medical centres require urgent power for life-saving and sustaining equipment, alongside essential tools that allow them to continue necessary surgery in a power outbreak.

You may utilise generators at your events or workplace, and they will allow you to keep your machinery functioning smoothly. 

If you work as a DJ, you wouldn't want to disappoint guests or members of the crowd if your presentation or set stopped halfway through. A high-quality generator will allow you to continue the show by powering the adopter. 

Generators can be costly, especially the top-quality kind, and therefore, you're probably searching high and low for systems with immense durability to get your money's worth. 

When generators are durable, they can allow you power throughout numerous events, jobs, sites, and gigs, whether you're using them sporadically for odd tasks or consistently whilst on tour.

The best generators for live sound are one of the most vital investments you may make in your career as a sound tech or DJ, as some of the top brands and manufacturers ensure that they provide unlimited power for many days, weeks and years to come.

To ensure generators are made as durable as physically possible, professional engineers make them using high-quality materials that will enhance their usability. Its frame is often curated using rust-resistant products and materials; that way, it can successfully handle all forms of extreme weather and harsh conditions for outdoor jobs or events.

Professionals make many engines damage-free and resistant to corrosion, especially for those customers that desire fantastic, long-lasting service and stability. Many generator systems have an economy mode that switches the speed of your model to the necessary power rating you need.

Those using their generator more frequently or in outdoor scenarios may want to purchase an inverter generator. The inverter has cleaner power than other forms of generators. 

The casing of an inverter generator is constructed to be entirely UV-resistant; therefore, it's incredibly durable and hard to break. A generator of this calibre will be far more valuable and cost-effective than various others on the worldwide market, especially for your jobs.

Do you need an industrial generator?

If you are looking for a generator to power live music, call us today on 01172 541069 for help choosing the right generator for you. 

For the options and cost of generators, get in contact to find the right generator for you.

Alternatively, see our range of generators here;