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Author Topic: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?  (Read 2413 times)

Dave Batistig

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Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« on: July 11, 2018, 11:41:05 am »

I have been considering a couple single 18" flown subs at the top of my array (RCF HDL20, 8 hang per side), specifically for a couple amphitheater style venues where the top of the venue has a significant reduction in low end due to the subs being at ground level.

Does anyone have experience with the flown subs in general, or the RCF HDL-18AS in particular?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 11:49:05 am »

Depending of the space between the flown subs and ground stacked subs you can create vertical power alley and, using delay, steer the sub lobe up/down.

You will need roughly the same output levels (within 3 dB or so) in order to do this effectively but just putting a sub at the top of the array will 'raise' the sub coverage a bit.

Experiment with it, Dave, and let us know what you find... ;)
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Dave Batistig

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 11:55:53 am »

Depending of the space between the flown subs and ground stacked subs you can create vertical power alley and, using delay, steer the sub lobe up/down.

You will need roughly the same output levels (within 3 dB or so) in order to do this effectively but just putting a sub at the top of the array will 'raise' the sub coverage a bit.

Experiment with it, Dave, and let us know what you find... ;)

The flown sub (one per side) would be approx 19 ft off the ground, with the rest of the subs deployed on the ground across the front of the stage.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 12:24:33 pm »

The biggest advantage to flying the subs is you get more even coverage from front to back.

The distance to the rear does not change, so that level will stay the same.

But the distance to the front changes a good bit (in terms of dB), so it is quieter than when they are on the ground
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Luke Geis

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 07:24:33 pm »

The down sides to flown subs is floor bounce and a little loss of impact from the subs due to time of flight. The advantages have been pretty well explained. More even coverage and easier alignment to the mains are the two big advantages. I am not a fan of flown subs unless they are on a separate hang behind, or right next to the mains. If the subs are part of the same hang as the mains, it just doesn't have the same impact and effect to me.
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Al Rettich

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 10:08:58 pm »

Don't use it as a sub, but more of a low end extension to your array.
I have been considering a couple single 18" flown subs at the top of my array (RCF HDL20, 8 hang per side), specifically for a couple amphitheater style venues where the top of the venue has a significant reduction in low end due to the subs being at ground level.

Does anyone have experience with the flown subs in general, or the RCF HDL-18AS in particular?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 10:41:16 pm »

The down sides to flown subs is floor bounce and a little loss of impact from the subs due to time of flight. The advantages have been pretty well explained. More even coverage and easier alignment to the mains are the two big advantages. I am not a fan of flown subs unless they are on a separate hang behind, or right next to the mains. If the subs are part of the same hang as the mains, it just doesn't have the same impact and effect to me.

If you're used to subs on the ground and the "up close and personal" experience for the front rows (some may like, some may not), then yes there is a perceptual difference.  To deliver the same SPL in whole space loading requires more acoustic output from the subwoofer pass band so that's more weight in the air and in the truck but I think it's a deployment worthy of consideration (especially with some subs on the ground, too).

Time of flight?  When hung as part of (in sufficient numbers), adjacent to, or behind the main vertical array the subs have nearly the same time of flight - give or take a few, alignable ms - as the mains, to most every seat.  With subs exclusively on the ground the coincidence of arrival will be different at most every seat.  This is one of the reasons Ivan likes to fly subs up with the mains whenever possible. :)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 10:44:09 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Andy Gayler

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 07:30:53 am »

I have been considering a couple single 18" flown subs at the top of my array (RCF HDL20, 8 hang per side), specifically for a couple amphitheater style venues where the top of the venue has a significant reduction in low end due to the subs being at ground level.

Does anyone have experience with the flown subs in general, or the RCF HDL-18AS in particular?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Dave, I found with 2 d&b Q Subs on top of 6 Q1's (as a comparison) that at low levels it really added to the system (B2's on the deck) but at higher levels, you couldn't hear them (blind test muting them). So my suggestion is consider what level your running the system at as the 2 Subs may do nothing for the system if run hard.
 
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2018, 01:18:19 pm »

Dave, I found with 2 d&b Q Subs on top of 6 Q1's (as a comparison) that at low levels it really added to the system (B2's on the deck) but at higher levels, you couldn't hear them (blind test muting them). So my suggestion is consider what level your running the system at as the 2 Subs may do nothing for the system if run hard.

A couple of subs in full space (at the top of the array) will not 'keep up' with an equal or greater number of subs on the ground.  Basic physics.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Flown subs...pros/cons? worth the extra effort?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2018, 01:52:25 pm »

I don't think anyone has directly address the full space-ness of flown subs.
The same sub on the floor is half-space and 3db louder.
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