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Author Topic: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.  (Read 7265 times)

Nathan Winslett

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Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« on: September 06, 2009, 09:58:10 am »

I have been asked to help with updating the sound system at our local high school stadium. The current setup just outright sux big time. Very inaudible speech through the speakers. I really do not even know what is currently there but I know it has two large horizontal/directional horns mounted at the corners of the press-box. I understand that is a ideal place for them. I am updating those with a pair of Atlas Sound large venue horns. I am kinda stumped on the amp/mixer... not real familiar with any that I find on Ebay. Seems Bogen is the main player in dedicated PA stand-alones. I have also came across some equipment made by Fanon... A Fanon Pro Power 150 mixer/amp and several Fanon Power Plus 120B dedicated external mono amps. I think we would prefer a all-in-one unit since the stadium is shared by our City and local County High Schools - so it needs to be as uncomplicated as possible.

Just asking for advice/guidance if anyone has any please.

Nate
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Randy Frierson

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 10:06:17 am »

contact a speaker manufacturer and get their help, this is a science and not anyone can do it..But you need a budget and some skilled help....this really is not the forum for this...Randy
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Nathan Winslett

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 10:14:03 am »

I understand in the real world the two school systems that share the field should foot the bill for a sound contractor to come in and set-up a $5k-10K system, but that ain't gonna happen in these economic times in our small po-dunk town. This is something that we parents want to pitch-in on so we and others to come can at least understand/enjoy the announcer at the games.

Sorry this is the wrong forum, just wanted some advice on amp manufactures and if anyone had experience with them.
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Randy Frierson

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 10:20:40 am »

try these folks

community or
renkus heinz

they can help and could point you in the right direction

Randy
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Gene Hardage

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2009, 10:29:31 am »

Maybe a moderator can move this thread over to the Installed Sound/Contracting section for you.  Here's a couple of threads about your subject...

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/46175/17444/


http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/420970/44038/0// /17444/#msg_420970


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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2009, 10:53:34 am »

This past spring I upgraded the system at our local football field. In that case locating the speakers on top of the score board worked well. That location gave a very central point to cover both the home the visitors bleachers on each side of the field. Assuming there is seating on both sides of the field and the press box is on top of one of those sides you'll want to look for something that is very directional aimed to cover the opposite side and two maybe three horns to cover the side the press box is on. What model Atlas horns/speakers your looking at, they make some decent full range outdoor speakers similar to the community R series. The EV CDP series horns are a decent sounding outdoor horn, not for long throw use though. At the installation I referred to I used the Community R1 and R2 series speakers powered with crown XTi 2000 and 4000 amps. For a mixer I used a simple Rane single space rack mount unit. Everything racked with security covers and a power sequencer for one button power up and down. While you budget may not allow a system like that you may want to look close at what is there. The horns maybe fine and just need re deployed, check the drivers for proper operation maybe they could be used as a starting point. As for power like any sound system having head room will make a huge difference in the sound quality, all too often you hear way underpowered 70 volt paging systems driving to clip ever time someone talks. Keep in what may work on a quiet day while testing the system will need to be heard over marching bands, people cheering, etc. Take some pictures of whats there and post them.

Nathan Winslett

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 11:09:20 am »

I def need to go look at what is on-hand at the field. I was looking at something affordable like some of the used large venue reflex horns by Atlas - they are the BIA-100 and CJ-46 with the PD60AT/ multi-tap 70v transformer compression drivers. Not sure what amp/mixer is up there but I am sure it has seen better days. Will go over there in a bit and write down what is there.

Thanks...
Nate
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Arthur Skudra

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 03:39:29 pm »

It's good to take inventory of what you have there, but more important you need to figure out what exactly is needed to achieve the coverage required of the venue.  Simply replacing what is already there may not be the right solution.
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Rain Jaudon

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2009, 01:14:39 am »

Typically the folks trying to operate ball field systems have very little (if any) knowledge on how to operate a sound system.
The ones who think they know how do the most damage and after the first few months it seems the system never operates consistently (game to game) ever again.  (cut to scene two where the school thinks the system is crap, bad mouths the install contractor, and throw more money away on a whole new system instead of sending the press box folks to a simple "audio basics" course at their local music store.

My latest systems for ball fields are R Series cabinets from Community and power amps from Crown, Biamp and Lab Gruppen (depending on speakers, required volume, and client's budget).
Community has some great .pdf files on their site showing speaker choices, throwing distance, power required, and mounting locations.  Check this out:
http://www.communitypro.com/files/literature/guides/R_SERIES _AP_GUIDE.pdf

For venues that have a qualified audio operator I will put in a small line mixer or a rack mounted 6-8 channel Soundcraft mixer.

Again, most do not have a clue what to do with a mixer and 9 times out of 10 it leads to feedback, signal clipping, and system damage.  

Most prefer the Biamp Nexia units I've been installing.  Once the install technician sets it up, the operator only has 2 buttons/knobs to adjust.  One is a selector (source selection) and the other is volume (of the selected source).  Essentially that's all they need control over.  - Volumes -

There are no external knobs or buttons on the Nexia.  No LCD screens to burn out or fail.  (although there is a new wall controller coming out this month that does have a LCD screen on it - Installing one next month if all goes as planned)  This ensures consistent performance and and simple operation of the sound system game after game no matter what level of experience the announcer has with PA systems.

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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Need advice on outdoor stadium PA setup please.
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2009, 08:52:48 am »

Rain Jaudon wrote on Mon, 07 September 2009 01:14



Again, most do not have a clue what to do with a mixer and 9 times out of 10 it leads to feedback, signal clipping, and system damage.  





I agree, systems that are to be used by the general public have to be as simple as possible on the surface ie. power and volume control regardless how complex it is under the surface. In addition to my live audio production business I work part time for a company that does a lot of school installations. So many times the designers spec a system that is so overly complex for a school stage that most of capabilities go unused. And for a last little rant.....there is an "engineering" design firm in the area who still spec cassette tape recorders for the school music room systems! That is always fun to explain when you are there explaining the system to new operators and they ask about why they can only record to cassette tape!
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