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Author Topic: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers  (Read 3667 times)

Jay Barracato

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Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« on: June 03, 2009, 10:33:26 am »

I don't have any real experience with dsp/system control units other than occasional use of the low end driveracks.

Here is the specific problem: I would like to get even coverage in a long rectangular room at maximum 90-100 db over the listening area. This is for acoustic music so I don't want to have to blast the front rows to get the sound levels in the rear of the room.

It seems to me that this could be accomplished by adding delayed fills for the rear of the room using my HPR 152's on stands. The question comes up for how to provide the delay.

In my searching, I did not any dedicated delay units that I thought were price effective especially if you are going to set up more than one zone. In looking at the system control/dsp units, I think that a 4 input/8 output unit would fit my needs perfectly, and the price on the units I was looking at was definitely less than trying to get crossovers/peq/delay for 8 channels.

I looked at the specs for dbx, sabine, ashly, among others. I think the Ashly Protea 4.24C fits these needs extremely well.

I would be interested in hearing comments about this specific application (either running zone delay for powered speakers or specifically the ashly unit or other comparable units).

Thanks

Jay

P.S. Other than Sam Ash online, my searching did not turn up any ashly dealers I recognize the name of. If anyone knows an ashley dealer I might talk too, let me know (If you are a ashly dealer I wouldn't mind a pm)
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Jay Barracato
Solomons MD

Mike Pyle

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 12:19:45 pm »

I'm an Ashly dealer, and more than once have considered the 4.24C as a system controller. What kills it for me is that the available delay is mostly stacked up on the input side vs the outputs, which is not what I want for delay cabinet processing.
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Mike Pyle
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Dick Rees

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 12:29:07 pm »

Jay Barracato wrote on Wed, 03 June 2009 09:33

I don't have any real experience with dsp/system control units other than occasional use of the low end driveracks.

Here is the specific problem: I would like to get even coverage in a long rectangular room at maximum 90-100 db over the listening area. This is for acoustic music so I don't want to have to blast the front rows to get the sound levels in the rear of the room.

It seems to me that this could be accomplished by adding delayed fills for the rear of the room using my HPR 152's on stands. The question comes up for how to provide the delay.

In my searching, I did not any dedicated delay units that I thought were price effective especially if you are going to set up more than one zone. In looking at the system control/dsp units, I think that a 4 input/8 output unit would fit my needs perfectly, and the price on the units I was looking at was definitely less than trying to get crossovers/peq/delay for 8 channels.

I looked at the specs for dbx, sabine, ashly, among others. I think the Ashly Protea 4.24C fits these needs extremely well.

I would be interested in hearing comments about this specific application (either running zone delay for powered speakers or specifically the ashly unit or other comparable units).

Thanks

Jay

P.S. Other than Sam Ash online, my searching did not turn up any ashly dealers I recognize the name of. If anyone knows an ashley dealer I might talk too, let me know (If you are a ashly dealer I wouldn't mind a pm)


What do you mean by "zones"?  If it is all in one room a triple-tap delay will give you 3 "zones".

I use Sabine GrphiQ units for delay/EQ quite a bit and find them easy to use, reliable and sonically good.  For complex delay setups I use a combination of single and triple-tap units.  But only if it is a major production with plenty of time for system deployment and tuning.

And I'm confused about just why you think you have to have 8 channels of delay.  You delay the mix, not the channels.
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Eric Wampner

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 06:12:06 pm »

I have been using Behringer DSP110 SHARK boxes. They are swiss army knife boxes with a bunch of different functions, one of which is a delay. The delay can be set in feet, meters, or msec. Read the instructions carefully, the booklet is pretty helpful.

Its not nearly the level of quality as the other items mentioned, and you _can_ go horribly wrong with all the knobs and buttons, but its much less expensive.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 10:30:49 pm »

IIRC the Shark has an appallingly long latency and some other charming features like failing mid-show.

My "Swiss Army" box is bigger but more flexible:  a Peavey Architectural Acoustics CEX4L.  I have a CEX5 that lives in a little "ballet in the park" rig, too.  Hardly state of the art but they can be programed from the front panel with relative ease. And they sound better than a B(*&$% Shark. Very Happy

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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Gabe Nahshon

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 12:34:40 am »

What's your budget?  For a couple grand you can get an 01v96 console.  Add an output card and you've got 8 busses each with delay and eq.  FWIW.

Gabe
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 10:39:30 am »

Following up on my post above regarding the 4.24C delay, I see that Ashly is introducing new models, the 4.8SP and 3.6SP, and has addressed my complaint by giving each of these units the same amount of delay on inputs & outputs (682.5 ms). They also added USB connectivity. Here's a link to the 4x8 unit:

http://www.ashly.com/protea48sp4x8spe.html

I'll have to ask about availability.
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Mike Pyle
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Cory Waters

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 10:57:41 am »

I was thinking like Gabe:  "Dude, why not just dial-in some delay on the output you're sending to the 'delay' amps?"  But then I'm mostly living in digi-mixer world these days.

As an OT aside, I had to search all over for an insert cable the other day when we were running two stages and one had the MixWiz at FOH.  Kinda funny when you think about it.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 12:12:21 pm »

Mike Pyle wrote on Wed, 03 June 2009 11:19

I'm an Ashly dealer, and more than once have considered the 4.24C as a system controller. What kills it for me is that the available delay is mostly stacked up on the input side vs the outputs, which is not what I want for delay cabinet processing.



Thanks Mike,
I went back to the manual and it specifically talks about using the input delays for zones and the output delays for aligning stacks which makes me think that the design was really more as a do everything crossover unit. It appears the input delay would be useful for things like matching the FOH speakers to a overloud backline etc. What I couldn't find in the manual was a convenient way to have the FOH pass thru the unit and split delayed stacks of of that. I think I agree that I want the delay on the output side.

Jay
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Jay Barracato
Solomons MD

Jay Barracato

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 12:35:25 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Wed, 03 June 2009 11:29



What do you mean by "zones"?  If it is all in one room a triple-tap delay will give you 3 "zones".

I use Sabine GrphiQ units for delay/EQ quite a bit and find them easy to use, reliable and sonically good.  For complex delay setups I use a combination of single and triple-tap units.  But only if it is a major production with plenty of time for system deployment and tuning.

And I'm confused about just why you think you have to have 8 channels of delay.  You delay the mix, not the channels.



Dick, Maybe I would have been clearer by saying fills, I simply mean additional speakers towards the rear of the room to increase the sound as the stage speakers drop off in volume.

I read the thread you started a couple of years ago and it seems we were asking about the same basic thing. I am still not sure what you mean by a triple tap delay (unless it is simply a 1 in 3 out delay unit). Could you give me a product name as an example I can look up?

I wasn't really considering having 8 channels of delay. It just seemed that the "all in one speaker controls" gave me more processing power at a cheaper price than buying stand alone units. I would like to have the capability in my rack of L/R at stage with good PeQ or GeQ, L/R delayed with eq, MON1 and MON2 with eq. I thought that the 4 x 8 of the ashly would do this, but Tom pointed out something quirky about when the delay is assigned and I am not sure I can easily just pass my L/R through for the stage.

Jay
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Jay Barracato
Solomons MD

Jeff Hague

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 12:38:47 pm »

Mike Pyle wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 10:39

Following up on my post above regarding the 4.24C delay, I see that Ashly is introducing new models, the 4.8SP and 3.6SP, and has addressed my complaint by giving each of these units the same amount of delay on inputs & outputs (682.5 ms). They also added USB connectivity. Here's a link to the 4x8 unit:

http://www.ashly.com/protea48sp4x8spe.html

I'll have to ask about availability.


Any idea on the street price for these 2?
Thanks!
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2009, 01:32:29 pm »

Jeff Hague wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 09:38

Mike Pyle wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 10:39

Following up on my post above regarding the 4.24C delay, I see that Ashly is introducing new models, the 4.8SP and 3.6SP, and has addressed my complaint by giving each of these units the same amount of delay on inputs & outputs (682.5 ms). They also added USB connectivity. Here's a link to the 4x8 unit:

http://www.ashly.com/protea48sp4x8spe.html

I'll have to ask about availability.


Any idea on the street price for these 2?
Thanks!



Same price as the old models.
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Mike Pyle
Audiopyle Sound
707-315-6204
Dealer: Yorkville, EV, QSC, RCF, KV2, FBT, EAW, Danley, SLS, Turbosound, dBTech
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Dick Rees

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2009, 02:44:53 pm »

Jay Barracato wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 11:35

Dick Rees wrote on Wed, 03 June 2009 11:29



What do you mean by "zones"?  If it is all in one room a triple-tap delay will give you 3 "zones".

I use Sabine GrphiQ units for delay/EQ quite a bit and find them easy to use, reliable and sonically good.  For complex delay setups I use a combination of single and triple-tap units.  But only if it is a major production with plenty of time for system deployment and tuning.

And I'm confused about just why you think you have to have 8 channels of delay.  You delay the mix, not the channels.



Dick, Maybe I would have been clearer by saying fills, I simply mean additional speakers towards the rear of the room to increase the sound as the stage speakers drop off in volume.

I read the thread you started a couple of years ago and it seems we were asking about the same basic thing. I am still not sure what you mean by a triple tap delay (unless it is simply a 1 in 3 out delay unit). Could you give me a product name as an example I can look up?

I wasn't really considering having 8 channels of delay. It just seemed that the "all in one speaker controls" gave me more processing power at a cheaper price than buying stand alone units. I would like to have the capability in my rack of L/R at stage with good PeQ or GeQ, L/R delayed with eq, MON1 and MON2 with eq. I thought that the 4 x 8 of the ashly would do this, but Tom pointed out something quirky about when the delay is assigned and I am not sure I can easily just pass my L/R through for the stage.

Jay


A triple tap delay has a single input, then 3 outputs, each with it's own delay capability.  I believe these are more common on installs which is where I picked mine from.  Given the room dimensions you gave I'd say one set of delays would do you OK.  Two if you want to go to the trouble, but then you've got a lot more wiring to do.

IMO powered speakers used for delay don't require DSP other than delay.  A little tweaking with the overall EQ on the feed(s), but not really necessary.  Why pay money for a lot of processing on everything when you don't really need it.  Powered speakers used in this situation have enough of that engineered into their bi-amped configuration in the first place.

You need a simple delay unit.  Rane makes a stereo delay (I forget the model) which I use, just split the signal into both sides (you aren't trying to mix the house in stereo, are you?) and go for it.   Besides, I like the idea of a "Rane delay" from my baseball days.

All you need for processing is PEQ and GEQ with the delay.  The Sabine GraphiQ is great for this.

Don't over think this and spend money for a lot of bells and whistles you don't need.  The Protea system and such like is just over-kill just to get a little delay.  
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 03:04:41 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 11:44


...Don't over think this and spend money for a lot of bells and whistles you don't need.  The Protea system and such like is just over-kill just to get a little delay.  




I disagree. For the price of 2 channels of dedicated Rane delay you can buy a 2x6 dsp that gives you much greater capability. I'd rather have all my system processing taken care of in one component than a bunch of units patched together.
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Mike Pyle
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Dick Rees

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Re: Zone Delay, dsp system control and powered speakers
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2009, 04:22:03 pm »

Mike Pyle wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 14:04

Dick Rees wrote on Thu, 04 June 2009 11:44


...Don't over think this and spend money for a lot of bells and whistles you don't need.  The Protea system and such like is just over-kill just to get a little delay.  




I disagree. For the price of 2 channels of dedicated Rane delay you can buy a 2x6 dsp that gives you much greater capability. I'd rather have all my system processing taken care of in one component than a bunch of units patched together.


Mike...

I would disagree, too....if the only thing I had cited was the Rane delay.  I gave it as an example of a stand-alone unit.  In all of my replies in this thread I believe my main recommendation has been the GraphiQ which provides the EQ'ing one needs and very useable delay on each channel.  We're talking a pair of delays for accoustic music programs using powered speakers.  Unless you need the excess capacity a 2x6 unit provides, I'd stick with the Sabine unit. With the powered speakers you don't need the cross-overs and such.  Sonic quality is good, operation is simple and user friendly and has what I assess the OP's needs to be without paying for a lot of other stuff.  I've had several of the DR units and found them to be difficult to read (tiny screen, heaven help you outdoors) and average EQ as far as functionality.

Sabine:  2 x 31 band graphic, variable Q on the filters (1/5 octave option)

2 x 12 Parametric/FBX filters (fixed filters one-click lock down)

Delay good for over 100' if you need it.

Compression/limiting if needed

"Clip-guard" protection

Save to memory or to disc.  I run mine from my laptop for the large screen and easier feature access.  The front panel controls are just fine.  I just like to have my stuff on-screen and use the blank, 1 rack space units to save space.

Another plus........no front panel controls means no kibitzers hassling you to put the "smile curve" on it.  If you have the unit w/front panel control, you can disable the controls, use your laptop for settings and put the "smile curve" on the faders witout screwing up your sound.  Joke on the puppies.



       
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