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Author Topic: PA speaker placement  (Read 6273 times)

Barry Hans

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PA speaker placement
« on: June 27, 2012, 11:25:17 am »

Can anyone point me to a website site on proper speaker placement for presentations? I need some help explaining to co- workers why we do not want to place speakers in the corners of a room all facing the center of the room. This is how it had been done previously by past employees and I keep getting questions of why we can't do it this way any longer. I would like to get some type of documentation or site that helps with explaining why we should not place speakers this way. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: PA speaker placement
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 11:41:54 am »

Can anyone point me to a website site on proper speaker placement for presentations? I need some help explaining to co- workers why we do not want to place speakers in the corners of a room all facing the center of the room. This is how it had been done previously by past employees and I keep getting questions of why we can't do it this way any longer. I would like to get some type of documentation or site that helps with explaining why we should not place speakers this way. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I don't know of any site which will address your specific concern (and only your concern), but the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook (AKA "The Bible") contains much of the information you seek.

Or you could simply point out to them that only one position .........exactly in the center of the room with all speakers equi-distant from the listener.........will have simultaneous arrival of sound from the four sources.  All other seats will receive the different signals at different times and intelligibility will suffer to a greater or lesser degree depending on the listeners position.

If they then bring up even coverage, you can point them towards using the second set of speakers as delays, again pointing towards time-coherent arrival of the sound source.  This is also addressed in the Yamaha book.


On the other hand, if it works for them you can always go with the flow even if in theory it is all wrong.  The important point is their satisfaction and you don't want to debate that with them.  You will lose.  If problems show up that can be clearly and directly attributed to their "quad" speaker placement, then you'll have a legitimate (to them) reason for suggesting an alternative placement.

But as long as it works for them in the present configuration you are likely to seem to them as a "squeaky wheel" whether you are technically correct or not.  If they don't have a problem, you can't prove anything to them.

IOW, don't rock the boat......or rock it at your own risk.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 12:07:38 pm by dick rees »
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Barry Hans

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Re: PA speaker placement
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 12:20:24 pm »

Thanks for the help and insight. It is not a matter of rocking the boat but rather showing why we should place speakers all facing the same direction front to back from the podium vs. placing speakers around in a circle all facing in. Thanks again for the help-
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Re: PA speaker placement
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 12:24:38 pm »

Thanks for the help and insight. It is not a matter of rocking the boat but rather showing why we should place speakers all facing the same direction front to back from the podium vs. placing speakers around in a circle all facing in. Thanks again for the help-

Yes, I prefer to face the speakers all in the same direction.......as long as you have the ability to use delay to synch them up as much as possible.  But again, with the delays on the sides of the room you will never completely eliminate the phenomenon of varying position-dependent time arrivals.

I know you are not trying to rock the boat, but be careful of appearing to those who are in charge of having a "solution in search of a problem".   As I said, if it works for them, then there really is no problem.
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Brad Weber

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Re: PA speaker placement
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 01:59:50 pm »

Thanks for the help and insight. It is not a matter of rocking the boat but rather showing why we should place speakers all facing the same direction front to back from the podium vs. placing speakers around in a circle all facing in. Thanks again for the help-
That all seems tied to the space and what you are trying to do or achieve.  There are applications where speakers in the corners might be a desired or at least acceptable solution and other situations where that might be a rather inappropriate option.
 
Assuming you are addressing speech in a rectangular room that is longer then its width, there would typically be two reasons to avoid speakers in the corners.  One reason is the negative impact on intelligibility or the ability to understand what is said.  Many people do not consider that hearing what was said does not necessarily mean being able to understand it.  Sound coming from mutliple sources in different locations typically has a negative impact on intelligibility.
 
The second reason is localization.  There are often multiple benefits to correlating the perceived visual and aural location of a source, basically making where you perceive the sound coming from match the visual location of the related source.  If what your ears hear does not match what your eyes see then your brain can have a more difficult time correlating the two and processing the related information.  Constantly having to reconcile seeing a presenter located in front of you with hearing them coming from beside or behind you can be confusing and fatiguing.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: PA speaker placement
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 07:18:05 am »

  If what your ears hear does not match what your eyes see then your brain can have a more difficult time correlating the two and processing the related information.  Constantly having to reconcile seeing a presenter located in front of you with hearing them coming from beside or behind you can be confusing and fatiguing.

This is a very good point and one that is little understood by the average listener.
It's a hard sell as you can't really demonstrate it as " A is better than B".
And your brain is already fighting fatigue when in a room with the lighting below the "sleep now"threshold!

Correct time alignment in a multiple speaker configuration is much easier to demonstrate.
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Re: PA speaker placement
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 07:18:05 am »


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