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Author Topic: New sound system for new church  (Read 9112 times)

Pablo Sanfilippo

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New sound system for new church
« on: January 17, 2015, 02:07:52 pm »

Hi, i'm new to the forum, so, hi all. :)

Here is my situation.
I belong to a small church and we are moving. We are building a really great and big place with plans of being finished at the end of this year and we are looking for a new sound system. But, we are a relatively low budget church. I'm (sort of) the sound guy and i'm (kind of) in charge of getting the new sound system right. The reality is i'm no pro, i'm just a enthusiastic of sound, that's because i'm coming here.

The fact that i live in Argentina is a very important factor, because gear is really expensive here.
There are some renders and blueprints i made you can see to get to know the building here: http://imgur.com/a/1Gn74.
I made a lot of research, but i want opinions from people in the matter.

What's the power needed for the entire place?

I considered line arrays, but i have concerns regarding the dispersion. Will the sound get nice closer to the lateral walls, or i need to reinforce laterals with something more?

Is it better conventional speakers? I've been reading about Presonus PA, but i never heard them.

Another thing, due to the mark being from Argentina, i can get these for a rational amount of money. What do you think of them? http://www.stsproaudio.com/pdf/sistemas_t/58470_2xladoV10i+miniSUB-MDSP+ETH.pdf

As you can note, i'm pretty lost on this. So, any hint you could give it is really appreciated.

PS: sorry for my english.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 06:26:31 pm »

Welcome! The folks here will be asking you lots of questions, but the most important one will be, what is your worship style?

To be more specific, do you have a typical worship band (lead guitar, bass, drums, keys, vocals) or a more traditional piano/organ leading congregational singing, or something else?

What sound pressure level (SPL, measured in dB) are you expecting?

Also expect to be raked over the coals on any preconceived notions you present or equipment you ask about! They aren't trying to be mean, they just say it as they see it. If something you say doesn't make sense, it will be questioned heavily. And you'll get advice on more than you asked for, and the discussion might take unexpected turns. The folks here have a ton of experience, and they want you to avoid the same mistakes they've made, so they'll point out things you never even thought of.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 07:23:13 pm »

Hi, i'm new to the forum, so, hi all. :)

Here is my situation.
I belong to a small church and we are moving. We are building a really great and big place with plans of being finished at the end of this year and we are looking for a new sound system. But, we are a relatively low budget church. I'm (sort of) the sound guy and i'm (kind of) in charge of getting the new sound system right. The reality is i'm no pro, i'm just a enthusiastic of sound, that's because i'm coming here.

The fact that i live in Argentina is a very important factor, because gear is really expensive here.
There are some renders and blueprints i made you can see to get to know the building here: http://imgur.com/a/1Gn74.
I made a lot of research, but i want opinions from people in the matter.

What's the power needed for the entire place?

I considered line arrays, but i have concerns regarding the dispersion. Will the sound get nice closer to the lateral walls, or i need to reinforce laterals with something more?

Is it better conventional speakers? I've been reading about Presonus PA, but i never heard them.

Another thing, due to the mark being from Argentina, i can get these for a rational amount of money. What do you think of them? http://www.stsproaudio.com/pdf/sistemas_t/58470_2xladoV10i+miniSUB-MDSP+ETH.pdf

As you can note, i'm pretty lost on this. So, any hint you could give it is really appreciated.

PS: sorry for my english.
This is not a "line array" type room.  Also a line array is going to cost you more than a "point source" approach (unless you use really cheap line arrays), and then the results will be worse.

When you ask "how much power for the entire place" are you talking for the sound system or the whole building (including HVAC-lighting etc)?

I will assume you are talking about the "wattage" of the PA.  That is NOT the place to start-and it can vary quite a bit-depending on the particular system.

As Jonathan said, first we have to have an idea of how loud you want it to be.  There is a WIDE RANGE of SPLs at modern Church services.  The higher the SPL-the higher the price.

Where is the steel located in the ceiling?  That can change the type of approach that is used (particular pattern of speakers etc).

You DO NOT need to look at brands at this stage.  FIRST you determine the coverage needed by the type of speaker system used.

THEN you determine how loud it needs to be.

THEN you consider the budget (Just for the speakers/amps/processing/install-NOT the whole audio system).

THEN AND ONLY THEN do you start to look at products that meet all of the above. 
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Pablo Sanfilippo

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 08:06:30 pm »

This is not a "line array" type room.  Also a line array is going to cost you more than a "point source" approach (unless you use really cheap line arrays), and then the results will be worse.

When you ask "how much power for the entire place" are you talking for the sound system or the whole building (including HVAC-lighting etc)?

I will assume you are talking about the "wattage" of the PA.  That is NOT the place to start-and it can vary quite a bit-depending on the particular system.

As Jonathan said, first we have to have an idea of how loud you want it to be.  There is a WIDE RANGE of SPLs at modern Church services.  The higher the SPL-the higher the price.

Where is the steel located in the ceiling?  That can change the type of approach that is used (particular pattern of speakers etc).

You DO NOT need to look at brands at this stage.  FIRST you determine the coverage needed by the type of speaker system used.

THEN you determine how loud it needs to be.

THEN you consider the budget (Just for the speakers/amps/processing/install-NOT the whole audio system).

THEN AND ONLY THEN do you start to look at products that meet all of the above.

Hi, and thanks for the dedication!

I knew that asking about wattage of PA at this point was somewhat wrong, but i asked just in case.

About the SPL and the style of worship, it is nothing like organ-singer. It is more like a rock band; you know, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, lead singer and back singers. I'll find a way of metering the SPL we are reaching right now in a service in our current place, but i'll give you now a vague description if you want: It is pretty loud. I mean, not like a heavy metal concert, but, you know, loud. It is in our plans to host some rock bands, if that information helps you somewhat.

Regarding to steel ubication, i'm afraid that information is not available at this time (the construction of the ceiling is not defined yet). But assume we can do whatever is necessary to place it where they have to go.

I hope that information will be useful to you. I'll happily answer any question.

Thanks!
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 09:07:25 pm »

Hi, and thanks for the dedication!

I knew that asking about wattage of PA at this point was somewhat wrong, but i asked just in case.

About the SPL and the style of worship, it is nothing like organ-singer. It is more like a rock band; you know, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, lead singer and back singers. I'll find a way of metering the SPL we are reaching right now in a service in our current place, but i'll give you now a vague description if you want: It is pretty loud. I mean, not like a heavy metal concert, but, you know, loud. It is in our plans to host some rock bands, if that information helps you somewhat.

Regarding to steel ubication, i'm afraid that information is not available at this time (the construction of the ceiling is not defined yet). But assume we can do whatever is necessary to place it where they have to go.

I hope that information will be useful to you. I'll happily answer any question.

Thanks!
Having current SPL readings will help A LOT.  Be sure to tell us what weighting is used (A or C) and whether it is fast or slow response.  There can be a BIG difference.
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Ivan Beaver
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 01:10:20 am »

As Ivan said, a line array is not going to work well in this room. A point source -- typically an array of speakers mounted above the front center of the stage -- is going to provide a better quality of sound.

You probably do not want to run a stereo system here. Because the room is shallow and wide, only the very center would benefit from a stereo system; the sides would only hear the left or right channels. A split mono (a left and a right speaker array fed the same signal) could work, but it is a compromise.

When designing your sound system, start with the speakers. That is the most critical component, and if you get it wrong there is no amount of money or technology that will fix a bad speaker setup. An inadequate mixer will limit your flexibility but it won't affect your sound that much. The wrong speakers will never provide satisfactory sound. Don't underestimate the importance of proper speaker selection and placement.

When you hang your speakers, proper rigging is a must. You'll probably need to involve a professional rigger and possibly a structural engineer. When you have several hundred pounds of dead weight hanging above people's heads, that's not the place to cut corners.

The others who will chime in will be able to provide better advice on speaker selection and placement than I can, but don't expect anyone to tell you how to hang them. The risk and liability is too great.

(The second most critical part of the system is your microphone selection. Input and output transducers have the greatest effect on sound; other electronics, even inexpensive ones, are pretty good at passing clean signals these days. What more expensive electronics gets you is a little bit cleaner sound, better design, and better reliability.)
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Pablo Sanfilippo

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 10:45:36 am »

Having current SPL readings will help A LOT.  Be sure to tell us what weighting is used (A or C) and whether it is fast or slow response.  There can be a BIG difference.

I've measured the SPL this morning service and the level was 89-93 dB mostly. A-fast.
But talking about loudness, remember i said we plan to host some rock bands.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 03:09:10 pm »

I've measured the SPL this morning service and the level was 89-93 dB mostly. A-fast.
But talking about loudness, remember i said we plan to host some rock bands.
When you say "rock bands" that can cover a very wide range of levels.  How much louder do you "think" it will be with those bands?

Some "rock bands" are louder than others.

You need to plan your system based on the loudest you think it will need to be.

AND when doing calculations or models-remember that they are showing PEAK outputs, which typically are 10dB or more louder than what you would measure with a SPL meter.

So if you want to be able to do 100dB A, then the model needs to show AT LEAST 110dB.  115dB would be a better target SPL-assuming the 100dB "target". 

For a pretty loud rock rock band 105 dBA would be a better target-so the model needs to show 120dB-to be safe.

And as Jonathan said-forget stereo-you will not be able to achieve a stereo image in that room-unless you have a larger budget AND have somebody that properly understands cross matrixed PAs AND and operator who understands how to MIX a crosso matrixed system.

I would start with a single wide coverage speaker in the middle with some exploded side speakers and be done.

Subs of course are a different story-----------------
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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Pablo Sanfilippo

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 07:12:25 pm »

When you say "rock bands" that can cover a very wide range of levels.  How much louder do you "think" it will be with those bands?

Some "rock bands" are louder than others.

You need to plan your system based on the loudest you think it will need to be.

AND when doing calculations or models-remember that they are showing PEAK outputs, which typically are 10dB or more louder than what you would measure with a SPL meter.

So if you want to be able to do 100dB A, then the model needs to show AT LEAST 110dB.  115dB would be a better target SPL-assuming the 100dB "target". 

For a pretty loud rock rock band 105 dBA would be a better target-so the model needs to show 120dB-to be safe.

And as Jonathan said-forget stereo-you will not be able to achieve a stereo image in that room-unless you have a larger budget AND have somebody that properly understands cross matrixed PAs AND and operator who understands how to MIX a crosso matrixed system.

I would start with a single wide coverage speaker in the middle with some exploded side speakers and be done.

Subs of course are a different story-----------------

That's great information. Regarding rock bands, no, not that loud. I know "loud" is a wide word, so i'm sorry.

Look, i know that i can't get here and request you to design my room PA for free so i will not bother you longer. Unafortulately, we don't have the budget to afford professional consultants. And i know the "they will save you money at the end" but i almost sure that doesn't apply in my country. That kind of consulting is really expensive (and with no garantees). So, we depend on opinion and reads. Please, at least, recomend me with some resources i could read. I'm an engineering student so i'll have no trouble with physics concepts. I know i can't become a sound engineer with some book reading but at least get to know the field before buying anything. I got a copy of Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Will that be enough?

Greetings, and thanks for every word.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 07:52:55 pm »



Look, i know that i can't get here and request you to design my room PA for free so i will not bother you longer. Unafortulately, we don't have the budget to afford professional consultants.
It is not a "bother".

I am just trying to point out things to you (and other readers) some of what needs to be considered when looking at a new system.

We do free designs/modeling all the time.  We don't charge.  But the design is limited to loudspeaker choices and placement and amplifier/DSP requirements-NOT a complete system.  We expect the people using this service to be able to do the rest of it on their own.  We help where we can.

What we require are drawings (they can be hand drawings) as long as there are dimensions, what the SPL requirements/needs are, and what sort of limitations there are on loudspeaker placement.

Sometimes those limitation are visual, some times structural (nothing to hang from), and some idea of the budget for the loudspeakers/amps/DSP is.

We find that a lot of times somebody will have a budget number in mind, but when they start subtracting all the "other" sound equipment (mixer-mics-wireless-monitors-snake-turn on system-playback etc) they don't have very much left over for the speaker system. 

What we (as well as any loudspeaker system designer) need is just the part that can be spent on the loudspeaker system.  Sometimes some compromises can be made to meet the budget, but if the budget is available-a little bit better performance can often be had.

But without know the budget-there is no "target" to shoot for.

We do not get into the details that a regular consultant would.  For some people that is fine.  For other people-they need a lot more "hand holding" on the complete system.

There are many aspects of a sound system.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: New sound system for new church
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 07:52:55 pm »


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