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Author Topic: New speakers for small chapel  (Read 2825 times)

Dustin Corey

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New speakers for small chapel
« on: February 22, 2017, 12:15:29 am »

Hello,

I'm looking for some speaker recommendations for our small chapel (29ft deep/54ft wide/9ft ceilings).
The Youth Group is about to start using it for some lively contemporary worship which would include piano, drums (somehow muted I hope), bass, guitar, few praise singers. I'm going to pickup a QU-16 for the mixer as I already have some extra IO gear for it.

There are doors in each of the front corners, so the speakers would need to be at least 7 feet to the center. With the room being so wide, I was thinking something visual pleasing like the JBL CBT 50LA-1, but the closer I looked, they might not be powerful enough for live music. That left me with the 70J-1. In the 2-way scope I was also checking out the QSC K8's because of their wider coverage. I'm having a hard time finding how much speaker I need for the room. Balancing the shallow depth with possibility of loud drums. I would imagine we will end up with some acoustic treatment on the back wall as well.

Any help on the speakers type/placement is greatly appreciated, sorry all I could find tonight was an old realty photo. I'll take more tomorrow night.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 12:19:36 am by Dustin Corey »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 07:37:04 am »

Wide rooms can be difficult to cover with just a couple of speakers.

In your case-LONG before you even start to look at speakers, you need to answer the following questions.

1: Where is the band going to setup?  The stage looks to small for a band.  That will help determine possible speaker placements.

2: Where are the structures in the ceiling that can hold the weight of speakers?  You could be limited to those positions.

3: What is your budget for speakers-amps-processing?  Without that, any suggestion that is out of the budget is worthless.

4: Are you looking to cover the entire room? or just the middle section?

You MUST define your goal-BEFORE you start to look for solutions.

Just like buying a car-there are certain limitations/parameters you look for.  Unless all you want is a "red" car and don't care about if any other aspect meets your needs.

How many people does it need to carry?, Does acceleration matter?  What about gas mileage?  Do you need to haul things in it?  Budget? 
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 08:47:06 pm »

Hello,

I'm looking for some speaker recommendations for our small chapel (29ft deep/54ft wide/9ft ceilings).
The Youth Group is about to start using it for some lively contemporary worship which would include piano, drums (somehow muted I hope), bass, guitar, few praise singers. I'm going to pickup a QU-16 for the mixer as I already have some extra IO gear for it.

There are doors in each of the front corners, so the speakers would need to be at least 7 feet to the center. With the room being so wide, I was thinking something visual pleasing like the JBL CBT 50LA-1, but the closer I looked, they might not be powerful enough for live music. That left me with the 70J-1. In the 2-way scope I was also checking out the QSC K8's because of their wider coverage. I'm having a hard time finding how much speaker I need for the room. Balancing the shallow depth with possibility of loud drums. I would imagine we will end up with some acoustic treatment on the back wall as well.

Any help on the speakers type/placement is greatly appreciated, sorry all I could find tonight was an old realty photo. I'll take more tomorrow night.
Center cluster with the coverage you need would work also.
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Dustin Corey

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 10:00:21 pm »

1. The stage will be rebuilt to be wider and sit about 4 inches high. Most if not all the musicians and singers should fit on there. With the room being so shallow, they really blend into the audience side.

2. The first pew is at 11ft from the speaker wall. I was thinking the speakers will need to be on the wall, however there is plenty of evenly spaced beams above to hold anything we would need for this room.

3. Money isn't a big factor here, I'm planning to spend up to about $3k on speakers, subs, amps, processing. Again, not a hard budget limit.

4. I would like to cover all the pews, which makes up just about the whole room minus stage.

Hope this helps, here are a few more photos.

Wide rooms can be difficult to cover with just a couple of speakers.

In your case-LONG before you even start to look at speakers, you need to answer the following questions.

1: Where is the band going to setup?  The stage looks to small for a band.  That will help determine possible speaker placements.

2: Where are the structures in the ceiling that can hold the weight of speakers?  You could be limited to those positions.

3: What is your budget for speakers-amps-processing?  Without that, any suggestion that is out of the budget is worthless.

4: Are you looking to cover the entire room? or just the middle section?

You MUST define your goal-BEFORE you start to look for solutions.

Just like buying a car-there are certain limitations/parameters you look for.  Unless all you want is a "red" car and don't care about if any other aspect meets your needs.

How many people does it need to carry?, Does acceleration matter?  What about gas mileage?  Do you need to haul things in it?  Budget?
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Dustin Corey

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 10:01:53 pm »

Another photo
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2017, 10:34:18 pm »

Another photo


The drummer better be able to hit very soft because the loudest instrument will dictate how much PA you need to get the vocals on top of it.  An inexperienced sound person could make a royal mess out of this.  It would take real finesse to balance the stage and PA volume and make it sound decent without being too loud.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 11:43:07 pm »

Your going to need to re-think your $3000 or so budget! Is the Qu-16 part of that budget?
For any sort of "complete" system to do what you are envisioning it to do and sound like your budget will be way short.
By complete system I mean after all the fun stuff like mixers, amps and speakers are bought you still need mic cables, mics, stands, an equipment rack or two,stage monitoring, a couple DI boxes, mounting hardware for the speakers, installation labor, do you have power already ran to the right places to plug the equipment into, maybe a couple of floor boxes for mic jacks to keep the stage free of mic cables running all over the place, are you going to put the board in a sound booth at the back of the room or have it at the stage and control it with an iPad, if your going with the board in a sound booth you'll need a snake from the stage to the booth, someone to configure and optimize the system, a power sequencing system to properly power the system on and off in the correct order from a single location, equipment maintenance with a youth group even more so! That list could go on and on.

To add to Scott's post with, that if your band shows up with their guitar amps, keyboard amps, drum kit of almost any size and then factor in the stage monitors........unless they are VERY controlled with their stage volume it will turn ugly fast.
For the band I would suggest electronic drums, guitars and keys all going direct to the system and using in ear monitors. In ear monitors could be hardwired with headphone amps.

 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:02:49 am by Mike Caldwell »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 07:43:28 am »



2. The first pew is at 11ft from the speaker wall. I was thinking the speakers will need to be on the wall, however there is plenty of evenly spaced beams above to hold anything we would need for this room.

3. Money isn't a big factor here, I'm planning to spend up to about $3k on speakers, subs, amps, processing. Again, not a hard budget limit.


Remember that putting the speakers behind the mics is just asking for feedback trouble-and lots of "garbage" getting into the mics and making them muddy.

$3K is a pretty small amount for speakers/amps/processing for a Praise type of band.

You could easily spend that on a good single sub and no amp.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 08:01:33 am »

$3k budget doesn't jive with what you're expecting the system to do.  Who is going to design the system, ensure it covers well, install it, tune it?  Do you want it to look good, or some black boxes on tripods?   I just talked with a church last night that did the "couple cheap speakers" approach rather than a coherent system a few times - they now are tired of wasting money and need to do it right. 

The first thing you need is to involve a good church AV integrator.  Then set a realistic budget based on meeting with them, possibly a demo or two. 
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 08:09:31 am »

$3k budget doesn't jive with what you're expecting the system to do.  Who is going to design the system, ensure it covers well, install it, tune it?  Do you want it to look good, or some black boxes on tripods?   I just talked with a church last night that did the "couple cheap speakers" approach rather than a coherent system a few times - they now are tired of wasting money and need to do it right. 

The first thing you need is to involve a good church AV integrator.  Then set a realistic budget based on meeting with them, possibly a demo or two.
And in the end-they will spend the money to do it right PLUS wasted the money trying the DIY approach.

So the total expense to the Church is more than if they had done it right from the beginning.

The old saying "Many Churches buy 3 sound systems" is very often true.

But I know of several Churches that have bought a new sound system (because somebody in the Church thought it would be "cooler" and more "hip") only to downgrade from what they had with the old system.

BUT HEY-at least they think they are "cool" now.

What REALLY bothers me-is why does not the leadership force the installer or planner to make it better than before-or at least equal?

They are not held accountable for spending lots of money for lower performance than what they already had.

If it does not perform as well, then they need to pay for the removal and reinstallation of the old system.

But that never happens. 

I guess it is OK to waste other peoples money-as long as it makes them "feel better".

Or maybe I am missing something-----------
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 08:49:12 am »

Here is what you need to consider when planning on a system for that room "The Youth Group is about to start using it for some lively contemporary worship"

The key words being "youth group" and "lively" that will take some good equipment that can take abuse and live to see another day!

Thinking about what I posted earlier about being very controlled with stage volume and going with electronic drums and the instruments all going direct is probably not going to work in this case. Most youth groups are in a completely different mind set when they start playing out live, unfortunately many times those bad habits carry on through the rest of their lives.

David Allred

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 12:26:13 pm »

A true center cluster is out, unless the projector can moved to the side and has some serious image off-set adjustment.

8" coax ceiling mounts?  I like sound coming at me from the visual source, but it is an option.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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New chapel for PA speakers
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2017, 12:31:24 pm »

See above for the real solution.

Turning loose one of todays "praise bands" in a room that small will be brutal...as you probably suspect.
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: New chapel for PA speakers
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 01:19:13 pm »

See above for the real solution.

Turning loose one of todays "praise bands" in a room that small will be brutal...as you probably suspect.

So look at the quiter stage from Mike Sokol. 

http://www.prosoundweb.com/channels/live-sound/live_sound_advice_announces_free_seminars_with_mike_sokol/
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 01:42:29 pm »

My advice is to consider an all-acoustic ensemble.
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lindsay Dean

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2017, 02:25:37 pm »

is flipping the room longways an option ?
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Dustin Corey

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2017, 02:49:54 pm »

Wow,

I didn't expect that many replies. A big thanks to each of you for contributing!

I'll try to hit a few of the questions. I was thinking the 3k for really just the speakers/amps. The mixer, cables, instruments, snakes not in that estimate. And again, it's not a hard number. I don't think this room needs a 3k sub though. It's very small and could probably run on just a bass amp.

This group is much more concerned about having a move of God than the nuances of a sound system. Just take a look at the peavey speakers there now. If those looked better they would be 100% accepted. These aren't professional musicians and the audience isn't snobs about what they hear. I assure you, they will make more bad noises with playing and singing than a less than perfect sound system. And that's okay. At the end of the day it's a really small room and people don't expect it to sound like a "sanctuary".
Turning loose one of todays "praise bands" in a room that small will be brutal...as you probably suspect.
Yep! but they know that youth can come build a relationship with God even in a small room with awkward acoustics. I just want to give them something a little better than the portable system they are currently using in that room.

I will for sure talk to the youth leaders about electronic drums. I do see this as being the biggest issue in the whole setup. Acoustic drums would flood any bad mix.

I heard talks of doing more acoustic sets, so hopeful this will be the norm rather than the lively music.

I don't think turning the room long ways is an option, but good idea. I'll ask.

With the whole stage being remodeled, I bet the projector could be moved if a center cluster is the way to go.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 03:01:49 pm by Dustin Corey »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2017, 04:10:52 pm »

One persons "joyful noise" is another persons "infernal racket".

I prefer the "still, small voice".
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David Allred

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2017, 07:09:04 am »

One persons "joyful noise" is another persons "infernal racket".

I prefer the "still, small voice".
+1, but I also don't want to hear "How Great Thou Art" at the 4th of July celebration or school talent show.  That preference has nothing to do with church & state, just right song, right occasion.  Swerve.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2017, 09:32:23 pm »

First thing to keep in mind is that this room, by its shape and choice of surfaces, is acoustically compromised for worship. It looks like it would make a great classroom, not so much a worship space. Since you're starting out compromised, there's not a lot you can do to make it sound "great."

Not trying to discourage you; just trying to make sure your expectations are realistic.

A well designed overhead center cluster will probably provide the best sound. It usually does. The room is small enough that coverage shouldn't be a problem.

The cluster should be over the front edge of the stage if possible. Having speakers behind mics is a recipe for uncontrollable feedback. As it is, with the size of the room, your "talent" will need to stay pretty close to the mic to keep feedback at bay.

With the low ceiling, you will have to have a really low profile cluster. If you go with a cluster, you may have to move the projector & screen. Moving the projector & screen to one side will make it more difficult for half the room to see (unless you go with two screens or turn the screen inward slightly.

If you go with two sets of speakers, be aware that there will be comb filtering in the center of the room that will make it sound wonky. Don't try to do anything in stereo, because most of the room won't hear a proper stereo image.

Young folks can be pretty energetic (understatement of the year, there) and keeping volume levels low will take some strong discipline. The principles behind Mike Sokol's "semi-silent stage" will be important for keeping stage volume under control and, therefore, a clean mix and good coverage.
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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2017, 09:47:45 pm »

First thing to keep in mind is that this room, by its shape and choice of surfaces, is acoustically compromised for worship. It looks like it would make a great classroom, not so much a worship space.

I'll agree with this much.  Beyond that, all the well-meant and technically correct advice is still contradicted by the fact that the room is too small to be using amplification.  I stand by my previous suggestion of using acoustic music.

Intensity of feeling, emotional impact and an enveloping sense of one-ness is not "volume dependent".  Let the celebrants sing their hearts out and put the requisite amount of physical effort into it and it'll be fine.  There's little or no need to use amplification in such a confined space.  It will cause a host of problems, both technical and otherwise and distract from the worship and communion.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2017, 10:08:51 pm »


Young folks can be pretty energetic (understatement of the year, there) and keeping volume levels low will take some strong discipline. The principles behind Mike Sokol's "semi-silent stage" will be important for keeping stage volume under control and, therefore, a clean mix and good coverage.

That would give them some valuable lessons to carry on through their life's musical journey, in other words break their bad habits before it's too late!

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2017, 12:02:15 am »

I'll agree with this much.  Beyond that, all the well-meant and technically correct advice is still contradicted by the fact that the room is too small to be using amplification.  I stand by my previous suggestion of using acoustic music.

Intensity of feeling, emotional impact and an enveloping sense of one-ness is not "volume dependent".  Let the celebrants sing their hearts out and put the requisite amount of physical effort into it and it'll be fine.  There's little or no need to use amplification in such a confined space.  It will cause a host of problems, both technical and otherwise and distract from the worship and communion.

That was in the back of my mind, Ivan, and I think I'll have to recant and agree with you. Perhaps a small system for speech would still be in order -- even for that it may not be necessary, depending on who is talking.

A complete acoustic set creates a different vibe, almost more intimate. In a room that small, an amplified system can easily overwhelm the congregation, making each person feel less a part of the worship and more an audience for a performance. And that counters what corporate worship is really about.
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2017, 10:14:27 pm »

While I won't disagree with any of the technical points made by the others here who are for the most part far more competent than I, I'm going to go in a bit of a different direction.  While yes, an acoustic ensemble would be more practical in that space, is the youth group actually going to enjoy it?  "High energy" and "acoustic set" rarely seem to exist simultaneously.  (Personally, I rather dislike contemporary acoustic worship music - if I can't a loud band, bring the choir and pipe organ/orchestra back!) Rather, I think you should possibly go in the direction of some bar bands, or the youth bands I saw when I was a teen, which is to use the guitar and bass amplifiers along with the acoustic drums to fill the room and only rely on the house sound system for vocals.  Yes, it's a potential for disaster when dealing with undisciplined youth, but if the musicians are able to take just a bit of direction on how to control their volume and blend with each other, it can actually work quite well.  One key is to use smaller amps and smaller drum kits.  The other key is finding musicians who understand their purpose is to serve congregation they are playing for and not themselves.  If it can't be done, then yes, go acoustic.

As for electronic drums, my advice would be to avoid them in your case.  If you don't have a near-perfect sound system, they will simply sound bad no matter what setting, and unless you use in-ear monitors, you have the potential to create the same amount of stage volume as acoustic kit - only with the sound going in the wrong direction.  I ran sound for a church college & young professionals service a few years ago and the stage volume actually decreased and cleaned up a lot when we switched to acoustic drum kit thanks to it no longer being part of the monitor mix.  IMO, electronic drums are severely overrated.  If you need less volume use "cool-rods", brushes, or hand drums.
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