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Author Topic: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring  (Read 7788 times)

Dick Rees

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2011, 02:15:41 pm »

I'd be more interested in how much weight/power/etc can be saved by simply running the shows 6dB quieter.......
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2011, 02:22:25 pm »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 13:07

Thanks for everyone's replies. The area that I'm looking at is mainly to do with the the reduction in footprint, and the effect that it has on the trucking of the show.
There was a study done about the carbon emissions of the UK music industry, and they found that 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions were produced annually from transporting the show.

The UK live industry is responsible for 75% of the overall emissions produced by the UK music industry, with audience travel being the source of the majority of this. I agree with what you're saying in that the amount of emissions produced by the weight of the audio equipment is, in the grand scheme of things, a minute amount. But from what I have seen so far, it is seemingly one of the only things, with regards to audio, that the production team can change to try and the reduce environmental impact.

My study is to investigate what impact the use of a digital system has on this, because of its reduced footprint and weight. If the difference between the two is marginal, that's fine because I've still investigated the area, but there may be a difference, and if there is it will be an interesting subject to look into.

Lee


Okay, I'll bite.  BTW, this will probably get moved to the Basement Forum...

A little background... the PSW forums have the vast majority of participation from the USA.  We have some participation from the UK, Scotland and Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, India, Singapore, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Spain, Estonia, Slovenia, Macedonia (and several I'm sure to have forgotten)... but mostly we're Yankees.

Our geography is very petro-dependent, and filling a tractor-trailer rig to 36,000 kilos (gross) and driving 10 hours to the next show is considered routine.

Also, touring comes on several levels here, from very large to "band in a van".  I suspect most of the impact of digital mixing comes at the lower end, but that any size/weight savings brought about by the technology will be offset by adding more lights to the show since it would be possible to pack them in the relinquished space.

It might be more productive to inquire of users in a more Euro-centric forum, like the Blue Room.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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Lee Storey

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2011, 02:22:52 pm »

I'm not just looking solely at the console, I'm also looking at the other components that the digital system replaces, such as a lightweight digital snake replacing the heavy multicore cable, the loss of the effects/dynamic processor racks because of the onboard software.

Using an example of a Midas XL8, the touring package (including the console, splitter boxes, IO boxes, and digital snake running from stage to FOH  - allowing 96 mic inputs) comes to a total of around 400KG (approx 880lbs), whereas just the Midas XL3 console comes to 350KG (770lbs), and that doesn't include the multicore, splitters, effects racks etc.

Lee
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Iain_Macdonald

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2011, 02:23:07 pm »

Hi,

I agree with Jeff and Art. This looks like you've been reading about the sustainable event standard BS8901, or following the lunatic stuff that has appeared in some of the trade press.

If you want to look at energy use in consoles. Go to the manufacturers web sites, and look at the console specs. That will give you most of the answer. Compare lighting's total power used throughout the day, to that of the sound system, and be prepared for a shock. Audio is very "green" compared to other aspects of concert production.

Iain.  
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Art Welter

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2011, 03:13:42 pm »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 12:22

I'm not just looking solely at the console, I'm also looking at the other components that the digital system replaces, such as a lightweight digital snake replacing the heavy multicore cable, the loss of the effects/dynamic processor racks because of the onboard software.

Using an example of a Midas XL8, the touring package (including the console, splitter boxes, IO boxes, and digital snake running from stage to FOH  - allowing 96 mic inputs) comes to a total of around 400KG (approx 880lbs), whereas just the Midas XL3 console comes to 350KG (770lbs), and that doesn't include the multicore, splitters, effects racks etc.

Lee

So, say you save 250 KG.
At the level of production using a $250,000 dollar FOH console, that would be perhaps a 1% size and weight savings.
If a musician decides they want to play a Hammond organ through a Leslie speaker instead of a digital keyboard, that is about the same weight and size  difference.
The weight and size savings of going from floor monitors to in ear monitors makes the differences between consoles look like nothing.

But as already been pointed out, any of those changes are marginal in the big picture, thousands of people driving in automobiles to see the video and light show hauled hundreds of miles by trucks make a few watts and kilograms of weight saved in some aspect of sound production inconsequential.

Art Welter
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Dick Rees

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2011, 03:16:10 pm »

I recommend staying home, turning out the lights and listening to the sound of your breath.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2011, 03:21:15 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 13:15

I'd be more interested in how much weight/power/etc can be saved by simply running the shows 6dB quieter.......
A lot, but isn't music all about who can destroy the audience's hearing the fastest?

TJ 100dbA is enough for me Cornish
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Kristian Johnsen

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2011, 03:47:30 pm »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 20:07

Thanks for everyone's replies. The area that I'm looking at is mainly to do with the the reduction in footprint, and the effect that it has on the trucking of the show.
Lee


I was hoping you would chime in and say something like this.  It does make sense at first glance at least.  Remember that digital mixer often means digital multicore these days.  Arguably this is a much greater savings than the electronics.

Although, do you really think a few hundered kilos saved on a semi truck makes a difference when considering all the fans travelling to see the show?

Please tell us what your findings turn out to be, I find this topic interesting.

Edit:  Many have touched on what I remarked already, I didn't read this through well enough at first.
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Kristian Johnsen

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2011, 03:51:15 pm »

Art Welter wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 21:13

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 12:22

I'm not just looking solely at the console, I'm also looking at the other components that the digital system replaces, such as a lightweight digital snake replacing the heavy multicore cable, the loss of the effects/dynamic processor racks because of the onboard software.

Using an example of a Midas XL8, the touring package (including the console, splitter boxes, IO boxes, and digital snake running from stage to FOH  - allowing 96 mic inputs) comes to a total of around 400KG (approx 880lbs), whereas just the Midas XL3 console comes to 350KG (770lbs), and that doesn't include the multicore, splitters, effects racks etc.

Lee

So, say you save 250 KG.
At the level of production using a $250,000 dollar FOH console, that would be perhaps a 1% size and weight savings.
If a musician decides they want to play a Hammond organ through a Leslie speaker instead of a digital keyboard, that is about the same weight and size  difference.
The weight and size savings of going from floor monitors to in ear monitors makes the differences between consoles look like nothing.

But as already been pointed out, any of those changes are marginal in the big picture, thousands of people driving in automobiles to see the video and light show hauled hundreds of miles by trucks make a few watts and kilograms of weight saved in some aspect of sound production inconsequential.

Art Welter


The savings have to start somewhere if we want the gear to be easier, cheaper safer and greener to deal with in the future.

These school projects can in a way be seen as "hypothetical research" that no real agencies have the time/budget to look into.  Where's the harm?


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Christian Tepfer

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2011, 04:21:21 pm »

Scott Helmke (Scodiddly) wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 19:09

Shorter soundchecks with digital might be worth something as well, not in terms of power (the PA will be left on either way) but perhaps something to do with labor and scheduling.

Sending show files ahead to local rental companies can further reduce cartage of FOH gear.

Yeah, but sending show files ahead requires at least 2 parties to turn their computers on.

So the energy needed to spread new firmware, install them on the consoles etc. has to be added.

Plus the energy the laptop uses while pre-programming the show and reading the manual to figure out some new features the new firmware brings to the table.

Plus the carbon footprint of driving to seminars and meetings to learn all the new technology.

Hard to say if there's really a gain.
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