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Author Topic: Sound System Design Help  (Read 1894 times)

dick rees

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 09:05:15 pm »

Yeah.. loudest PA wins.  :-\

The problem here and probably the reason nobody has actually suggested any equipment yet is because the right system for a space like that in the video could look a lot like a full blown concert system.. hundreds of thousands of dollars in speakers flown and arrayed.. if you want all seats to hear the same thing that is. If it's just the judges you're appealing to then that's a whole different game.. a single ground stacked "cluster" would do the job.

Don't forget the "single 120 volt plug" limitation...
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Jason Porter

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 04:17:31 am »

Yeah.. loudest PA wins.  :-\

The problem here and probably the reason nobody has actually suggested any equipment yet is because the right system for a space like that in the video could look a lot like a full blown concert system.. hundreds of thousands of dollars in speakers flown and arrayed.. if you want all seats to hear the same thing that is. If it's just the judges you're appealing to then that's a whole different game.. a single ground stacked "cluster" would do the job.

I apologize for the confusion. Having been involved with the activity for quite some time, I tend to over look details that are important to anyone who is unfamiliar with the activity.

It is correct that it is the judges I'm trying to appeal to. If you look at the photo called "SeatingChart" that I've attached to this post you'll see the "target" area. Typically the "clusters" are setup near the edge of the competition floor and then aimed at the judges (who sit anywhere inside the pink box). Everyone in the blurred out areas get what they get as far as audio quality goes. Obviously by adjusting angles on the competition floor I can cover more audience area, but the place it has to sound the best is up where the judges are. The photo attached to this post called "setup" shows a typical setup for an ensemble during their performance. This was the best quality photo I could find but I think it serves it's purpose. I was just trying to find an example of a typical setup.

The system in the video I linked to in my original post consists of 2 15 inch woofer mains at the far L/R sides of the competition area and 2 18 inch subs that are splitting each half of the competition area. And as previously mentioned, I've seen everything from other setups similar to this, others using a single 18" sub and single 15" main on the L/R corners of the competition area, dual 15" main and dual 18" subs on the L/R corners of the competition area, dual 15" main on the L/R corners of the competition area with dual 18" sub centered on the front edge of the competition area, and one of the biggest setups I've seen had dual 15" mains and dual 18" subs setup on the corners of the competition area and then had 2 dual active 15" mains on the front of the competition area splitting the halves of the competition area. Just to give some idea of the various setups that are used.

So as Paul G. OBrien said, a single ground stacked "cluster" will work for my application.

Again I apologize for the confusion and lack of clarity in my posts. I hope this information helps clear up some of the missing details. Thanks everyone again for all of your input.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 07:31:12 am »

I apologize for the confusion. Having been involved with the activity for quite some time, I tend to over look details that are important to anyone who is unfamiliar with the activity.

It is correct that it is the judges I'm trying to appeal to. If you look at the photo called "SeatingChart" that I've attached to this post you'll see the "target" area. Typically the "clusters" are setup near the edge of the competition floor and then aimed at the judges (who sit anywhere inside the pink box). Everyone in the blurred out areas get what they get as far as audio quality goes.
Generally that is NOT the goal of a "sound system design".

Deliberately excluding the large majority of the people who come to see you and support you  is not good in my opinion.

I know you are there to "win" and probably everybody else is doing the same.

So if that is your goal-then here is a solution that will work very well.

Simply move the speaker right up close to the judges.  This way they will have a lot more of the direct sound of the speakers with much less "room", they will tighter punchier bass-clearer highs and so forth.

If THEY are the main concern-then that is how to do it-simple.
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Jason Porter

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 12:09:26 pm »

Generally that is NOT the goal of a "sound system design".

Deliberately excluding the large majority of the people who come to see you and support you  is not good in my opinion.

So if that is your goal-then here is a solution that will work very well.

Simply move the speaker right up close to the judges.  This way they will have a lot more of the direct sound of the speakers with much less "room", they will tighter punchier bass-clearer highs and so forth.

If THEY are the main concern-then that is how to do it-simple.

I definitely understand that this is not the general goal of a system design. But the people who come to the show to support the ensembles understand that they're not going to a concert where everything will be crystal clear no matter where you're sitting. It just comes with the territory of the activity. It's not something that the ensembles do intentionally, but a side effect of the application in which we have to use these systems.

Ensembles in competition get a given amount of time to setup, perform, and tear down. For the ensemble I'm designing this system, they get 9 minutes. That generally breaks down to 2 minutes to setup, 6 minutes to perform the show, 1 minute to get off. That time constraint is the deciding factor into most ensembles using the "clusters" at the L/R corners of the competition area. If you're sitting near the judges, then you'll hear everything nice and a it's intended. As you move away, well you get what you get.

The solution you suggested would be the most ideal, but there's a rule that stops us from doing that. There would be a major penalty given if we put anything up in the audience area that is part of the show. So unfortunately there's no way to avoid all of the "room."
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 02:38:19 pm »

Well it doesn't sound to me like you need anything earth shattering. Grab some better quality(JBL STX) cabs for better vocal clarity... maybe a dual 15 835 over a dual 18 828, some crown amps with built-in processing in a prewired rack with a patch panel on it so you just need 1 heavy gauge NL4 cable to each stack and a jumper from the subs to tops. Build/buy 2 caster boards for the stacks so they can just be rolled into place and connected. Done.
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Jason Porter

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2014, 03:08:26 pm »

Well it doesn't sound to me like you need anything earth shattering. Grab some better quality(JBL STX) cabs for better vocal clarity... maybe a dual 15 835 over a dual 18 828, some crown amps with built-in processing in a prewired rack with a patch panel on it so you just need 1 heavy gauge NL4 cable to each stack and a jumper from the subs to tops. Build/buy 2 caster boards for the stacks so they can just be rolled into place and connected. Done.

That setup sounds fantastic! Forgive me though, can you elaborate on how the NL4 cable works? I'm completely new to the NL4 connector. All I know about it is that you can send 2 signals down the one cable. So in my application, how would I prewire the rack patch panel to enable me to use a single cable to each stack?
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2014, 03:56:09 pm »

That setup sounds fantastic! Forgive me though, can you elaborate on how the NL4 cable works? I'm completely new to the NL4 connector. All I know about it is that you can send 2 signals down the one cable. So in my application, how would I prewire the rack patch panel to enable me to use a single cable to each stack?
Simple enough, the NL4 connector has 4 conductors so +/-1 get connected to the amp channel providing output to the mains and +/-2 go to the channel providing sub output. You need a minimum of 2 stereo amplifiers for this... 2 channels for each stack. At the speaker end you have to make sure that the sub is configured to use the +/-2 pair(switch on back) and that means the +/-1 pair are just passed through to the other NL4 connector where you connect the jumper to the tops.
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 04:01:15 pm »

As a 4-year veteran of indoor drumline competitions and PASIC semi-finalist I wish you the best of luck.

It's amazing seeing how the sport has evolved since then. We were cutting edge back in 2003 utilizing a pair of PA speakers on poles for a keyboard, and now competitors are using setups that would rival some people's B-rigs.
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Art Welter

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2014, 04:24:22 pm »

That setup sounds fantastic!
Jason,
For what you are doing, a pair of "old school" 2x15" with HF horns on a cart with the speakers already plugged in to your present amps would be more clear than two "stacks".

The cart could have a sound transparent scrim (with your logo or a set design)in front of the speakers, the cart behind the band. The band gets to hear what the audience (and you and the judges) hear, and with two 60 degree cabinets splayed out, and angled up, the coverage will be far more uniform and coherent than two stacks, as well as the low end gains 3 dB from mutual coupling, equivalent to doubling your amp power with no speaker power compression.

The JBL STX would be OK, but older EV (like the 2x15" Eliminator series) are more efficient.
Your amps can do 1100 watts mono at four ohms, more than enough for older, more efficient cabinets designed in an era when 600 watts was a lot.
If the usual 45-50 Hz low frequency response of 2x15"/HF horn is not enough, you could use one amp for the two top cabinets and the other amp for sub(s), but still keep the system on one cart for more "punch".

Convention usually dictates  separate L/R system deployment, but there is no reason for you to be tied to convention.
Your goal is loud, clear, efficient (one 20 amp circuit) and fast deployment, all of which scream single point deployment to me.

The few times I have had the opportunity to set up single point systems have been "ear openers".

Art
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound System Design Help
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 05:00:45 pm »


Convention usually dictates  separate L/R system deployment, but there is no reason for you to be tied to convention.
Your goal is loud, clear, efficient (one 20 amp circuit) and fast deployment, all of which scream single point deployment to me.

The few times I have had the opportunity to set up single point systems have been "ear openers".

Art
Which is EXACTLY why most of my designs start with a single center speaker(s) and work out from there.

If CLARITY and localization are important-this is the way to do it.
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Ivan Beaver
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