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Author Topic: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?  (Read 1423 times)

Jason Lucas

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Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« on: February 04, 2014, 03:58:49 pm »

Was just curious about something hypothetical, humor me if you would:

I've seen plenty of evidence to suggest that flying subs with the mains will produce the most even sub-bass coverage in a room.

I think a lot of people are of the opinion that ground-stacked subs allow you to "feel" the sub-bass more, although this obviously has a lot to do with number of cabs, locations, and a thousand other factors that I'm glazing over at the moment.

I've seen a few examples of where subs were both flown and under-stage. Is there any benefit to doing it this way? Having the subs under-stage to add some "impact" while still having the benefits of flown subs? Or could this be a "worst of both worlds" situation? What about running the flown subs full range and the under-stage subs off an AUX/Bus/Group?

As I said this is just hypothetical and merely to satisfy my own curiosity. Thank you for your indulgence.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 10:38:10 am »

Was just curious about something hypothetical, humor me if you would:

I've seen plenty of evidence to suggest that flying subs with the mains will produce the most even sub-bass coverage in a room.

I think a lot of people are of the opinion that ground-stacked subs allow you to "feel" the sub-bass more, although this obviously has a lot to do with number of cabs, locations, and a thousand other factors that I'm glazing over at the moment.

I've seen a few examples of where subs were both flown and under-stage. Is there any benefit to doing it this way? Having the subs under-stage to add some "impact" while still having the benefits of flown subs? Or could this be a "worst of both worlds" situation? What about running the flown subs full range and the under-stage subs off an AUX/Bus/Group?

As I said this is just hypothetical and merely to satisfy my own curiosity. Thank you for your indulgence.

Delaying the ground stack subs relative to the flown subs (or vice-versa) will allow you to steer the vertical lobe (created via this dipole arrangement) up or down.  Think of this as a vertical "power alley" like you'd have with horizontal L/R ground stack subs.
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Stefan Maerz

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 02:13:11 pm »

Delaying the ground stack subs relative to the flown subs (or vice-versa) will allow you to steer the vertical lobe (created via this dipole arrangement) up or down.  Think of this as a vertical "power alley" like you'd have with horizontal L/R ground stack subs.
Hmm. Never thought of it like that, but this makes sense.

On the topic of directional subwoofers -- I've never seen this done but I am curious -- does anyone use a cardiod array in both the horizontal and vertical plane? For instance -- 3x3 stack with the center element reversed.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 10:57:22 am »

Hmm. Never thought of it like that, but this makes sense.

On the topic of directional subwoofers -- I've never seen this done but I am curious -- does anyone use a cardiod array in both the horizontal and vertical plane? For instance -- 3x3 stack with the center element reversed.

In free space, such an array is already cardioid in both planes and by definition, cardioid is based on a spherical model.

The ground reflection of such an array placed on the floor will change things, but the fundamental radiation pattern starts out as spherical.

When you start stacking and get more distance from the floor you lose the half space gain as frequency increases, and that will affect your vertical pattern somewhat.  You might be able to model this in MAPP by stacking 700P...  Also in a block of 9, you'd need 3 reversed subs and I'd be inclined to make them the middle column.

Code: [Select]
F R F
F R F
F R F

Do a model and see if things change using different layouts.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 12:55:46 pm »



Do a model and see if things change using different layouts.
THIS is some VERY good advice.

There are all sorts of free modeling programs out there (with varying degrees of quality-flesxibility etc) that let you "play" with different setups.

A LOT can be learned (both from subs and full range behavior) by simply putting speakers into some positions-adjusting them-changing delay times-physical locations-different freq and so forth.

One can gain VERY VALUABLE insight into how loudspeakers behave by doing this.

Of course it takes time and energy-but the KNOWLEDGE gained is MUCH more than the time invested.

Learn how to TEACH YOURSELF and you will be much wiser than somebody who know only knows little tidbits of information they pickup on the web and such.
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Ivan Beaver
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 01:30:27 pm »

THIS is some VERY good advice.

There are all sorts of free modeling programs out there (with varying degrees of quality-flesxibility etc) that let you "play" with different setups.

A LOT can be learned (both from subs and full range behavior) by simply putting speakers into some positions-adjusting them-changing delay times-physical locations-different freq and so forth.

One can gain VERY VALUABLE insight into how loudspeakers behave by doing this.

Of course it takes time and energy-but the KNOWLEDGE gained is MUCH more than the time invested.

Learn how to TEACH YOURSELF and you will be much wiser than somebody who know only knows little tidbits of information they pickup on the web and such.

Oh, Ivan!  You silver-tongued devil! (/swoons)

I bring it up routinely... hook stuff up and listen to it, make changes and see if those changes do what you thought they would.  Now with computers and Really Smart PeopleŽ, we don't have to own a dozen subs or a place to set them up in order to get some insight into how a particular deployment will work.

The tools available today are incredible.  I remember observing a technician hand-tune filters while watching Lissajous patterns on a o-scope.  I remember when a 1/3 octave RTA meant you were In THE Club.  And the propeller beanie guys were talking about time/distance and to us it was a 4th dimension... until the lightbulb came on over our heads...

The modeling tools Meyer and Danley offer, the products from l'Acoustic, JBL, EAW and other manufacturers, EASE Focus2, etc take just a couple hours to learn the fundamentals of.  And for the most part, they're free.  When software like this first came out it was tremendously expensive and hard for non-engineers to use.  Now you download an installer and be learning in 20 minutes.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 05:45:44 pm »

Oh, Ivan!  You silver-tongued devil! (/swoons)

I bring it up routinely... hook stuff up and listen to it, make changes and see if those changes do what you thought they would.  Now with computers and Really Smart PeopleŽ, we don't have to own a dozen subs or a place to set them up in order to get some insight into how a particular deployment will work.

The tools available today are incredible.  I remember observing a technician hand-tune filters while watching Lissajous patterns on a o-scope.  I remember when a 1/3 octave RTA meant you were In THE Club.  And the propeller beanie guys were talking about time/distance and to us it was a 4th dimension... until the lightbulb came on over our heads...

The modeling tools Meyer and Danley offer, the products from l'Acoustic, JBL, EAW and other manufacturers, EASE Focus2, etc take just a couple hours to learn the fundamentals of.  And for the most part, they're free.  When software like this first came out it was tremendously expensive and hard for non-engineers to use.  Now you download an installer and be learning in 20 minutes.
And ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION!

Years ago I remember all sorts of "situations" that "odd" things were happening that I could not explain.

It wasn't until later when I took my first Syn Aud Con class that it all started coming together.

OH THAT explains what was happening at so and so, and DUH-I wish I had know that at club XYZ I could have fixed the issue real quick.

It is with EDUCATION (both on your own and classes) that it all starts to come together and make sense.

Yes the "propeller heads" get all geeked up over little things-BUT GUESS WHAT?  It is those little things that enable you to get that great impactful snare sound and the great punch of the kick drum or have that reverb that just trails off nicely.

Without all the little things that some of us get excited over-it would just be a bunch of noise.  And that is fine for some people-but others are looking for more.

The more you understand what is REALLY going on-the better the chances of you being able to get a good sound and find solutions to problems that crop up.

"Hey let me do a quick model of that sub layout and see what is happening".

The models do not tell you WHAT to do-they only show you the result of what you have done or put into the model.

So YOU have to have a base knowledge of what to put into the model.

And THAT comes from playing around with gear-models and so forth and QUESTIONING EVERYTHING!  WHY?  Can I make it better?  What happens when I do this? and so forth

It is truly sad that there is no "download" for knowledge=the best we can do is to pass on what we have learned over the years and hope that some of it falls on ears that are willing to learn-so they do not have the same long learning curve that us "old timers" had.

It was WAAAYYYYYYY harder decades ago.

The young guys have no idea how valuable forums like this are. :)
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Jason Lucas

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 09:07:08 pm »

Are there some good tutorials online for using products like EASE Focus?

I'd love to learn how to do models.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 10:38:02 pm »

Are there some good tutorials online for using products like EASE Focus?

I'd love to learn how to do models.

Here is a link to the Danley website and our modeling program DDT  There is a 3D and a2D version.

http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/danley-u/

There are also training videos and some PDFs to help guide you a bit.

Models-just like system alignment consist of 2 sets of knowledge.

The obvious one is knowing to use the particular software.  That is the easy part.

The hard part is knowing what the software is telling you or how to set it up.

With models-you can see the results. Like let's say directional sub arrays.  You can see the coverage/level in front and behind at different freq.

But if you don't know how to set up the array to begin with (spacing-delay times- polarity flip or not), then you will not get the results that others get.

This is where a lot of playing comes in-  Sometimes you have to massage the parameters and see what happens.

Another good example is to use a 3d (this can't be done in 2D) model and place a single speaker in the air (say 25').  Notice the coverage in the audience area-be sure to look at different freqs.

Now aim it up and down and look at the different coverages-again at different freq.  notice where the speaker is aimed each time.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
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PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Stefan Maerz

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Re: Flown subs, ground stacked, or both? Pros/cons?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 08:42:57 pm »

The young guys have no idea how valuable forums like this are. :)
You probably don't know how much I've learned from you in the past two years.

I once almost said "Because Ivan said so" once. lol



But as for the "theory" vs application thing -- I think back to when learned how to use a compressor. I'd twist knobs around and not notice much of a difference. Compression only made sense after I had been shown what each knob does. Of course the value of the person showing me how to use a compressor wasn't that I suddenly understood compression, rather that I learned how to learn compression.

Does that make sense?

Either way I'll go download a modeling program.
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