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Author Topic: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring  (Read 7797 times)

frank kayser

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2011, 05:50:47 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 14:15

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


+6  Laughing
On that side of the pond, they have essentially captured those savings due to the Euro SPL laws.
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Kent Thompson

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 05:56:28 pm »

Christian Tepfer wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 15:21

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.


There is nothing wrong with finding out there is no environmental savings. Better to come to the proper conclusion than to force the facts into a false one.
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Art Welter

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 07:01:26 pm »

Kristian Johnsen wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 13:51

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?



No harm in looking at where energy is used, but when it comes to a sound system the power used is so little compared to lighting, heating or getting to a venue that those are the areas that should be looked at for energy savings.

The loudspeaker end of the chain is where the gross energy inefficiencies in a sound system are located.
Large horn loaded systems are more power efficient, but use more energy to haul and store, as well as more material to build, so for touring they may be less energy efficient.

As Dick Rees intimated, reducing the SPL by 6 dB could reduce the size, weight and power use of a system by 50%, but that is still a drop in the bucket compared to where most of the concert energy use is.

A handful of automobiles use more energy getting to the show than a concert sound system uses all day.

If Lee Storey or any other students are concerned about reducing the energy used in touring production, they should look at the big picture,  graph out what uses most of the energy, then concentrate on what can be done to reduce the big offenders.
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Lee Storey

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2011, 07:21:39 pm »

As I said earlier, and as many others have pointed out, the amount of emissions produced as a result of transporting and running audio equipment is very marginal compared to that of audience travel. But the emissions produced by audience travel isn't something that can be reduced by new audio technologies. Also, just because it accounts for a small amount of overall pollution doesn't mean that its not an area worth looking at.

I may not have made it clear earlier, but the main emission that I am intending to focus on is that produced from transporting the equipment. But there have been some good points made during this discussion, and I think I am going to expand my study to include other technologies such as IEM's as opposed to stage monitors, and also look into Class D amplifiers, instead of just the digital consoles/systems.

Also, the reason that I am not looking into the emissions produced by audience travel/lighting/venue heating is because I'm doing an audio course, therefore am sticking to audio equipment.

Thanks for everyone's input, its been helpful and insightful.

Lee

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John Neil

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2011, 07:28:09 pm »

TJ (Tom) Cornish wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 11:51

+1.  With 400A of lighting and 100A of audio running, saving a few hundred watts on the board is a drop in the ocean.  LED fixtures and discharge bulbs in movers compared to a zillion 1K PAR64s make a much bigger difference.


I was a local grunt this summer for a ~3-5,000 capacity shed tour that came through town.  This particular tour was very concerned with their energy impact so we arranged a local fuel company to fill their tanks with biodiesel during the show.  They also had a "no idle" policy for tour vehicles.  Rather than using cases of bottled water, the venue purchased (and has used since)  stinless water bottles.

I spent the day working for the lighting crew, and took that time to pick up some tech knowledge about the rather unusual fixtures they were carying.

Aside from LED wash fixtures, they were mostly using older Vari-Lite moving fixtures.  Apparently the selection of dimmable rather than discharge based moving lights realized only a small difference in peak show currents but a rather large difference over the course of a show day.  Focus was one lamp at a time rather than all discharge lamps glowing and shuttered.  Between songs their lighting load dropped to nearly zero.  

In their case, they felt understanding their energy consumption required a bigger perspective than required show current.

I ran across 3 shed/soft-seat tours this year carrying a 53' semi packing no PA but plenty of air.  The 53' was necessary for advertisement even if the payload would have fit in a 26' box truck.  In each case, tour crew took advantage of the space with flat packs, extra merch, dinosaur analogue consoles, and artist kayaks/bicycles.

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Dick Rees

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2011, 07:51:49 pm »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 18:21



....the main emission that I am intending to focus on is that produced from transporting the equipment. But there have been some good points made during this discussion, and I think I am going to expand my study to include other technologies such as IEM's as opposed to stage monitors, and also look into Class D amplifiers, instead of just the digital consoles/systems.




You can't focus specifically on individual pieces of gear within a system, even in transport.  As you have come to note, IEM's make a difference compared to floor monitors.  Efficiency of power amps, speaker systems and lighting certainly contribute to a greater or lesser extent, but what about the "green" aspect of where the digital gear is made and the larger question of green/ethical manufacturing and materials acquisition?  What good does a fancy piece of digital gear do you when it is manufactured in a country with little or no regard for the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes?

If the movement(s) for ecology teach us anything it is that nothing exists in and of itself but is connected in myriad ways with the "earth" and existence as a whole.  I could go on with this, but I think this gets the idea across.

DR  
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Scott Helmke (Scodiddly)

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2011, 08:51:03 pm »

You know... he doesn't have to prove that digital consoles are greener to get a decent grade.  He just has to do the work, crunch the numbers, and come to a logical conclusion supported by the evidence gathered.

James Feenstra

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2011, 12:21:17 am »

if you want to look at big tours with low energy consumption, check out radiohead

the last show of theirs that rolled through town used ~200a 3 phase for the entire rig- audio, lighting and video

compared to the average arena show that draws at least three times that, it's a pretty big impact

i believe the whole lighting rig was LED, with powered boxes for FOH, digital desks and IEMS

their truck count was one of the lowest i've seen in a long while, something like 4-6 for a large arena/shed show
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2011, 12:52:18 am »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 18:21

As I said earlier, and as many others have pointed out, the amount of emissions produced as a result of transporting and running audio equipment is very marginal compared to that of audience travel. But the emissions produced by audience travel isn't something that can be reduced by new audio technologies. Also, just because it accounts for a small amount of overall pollution doesn't mean that its not an area worth looking at.

I may not have made it clear earlier, but the main emission that I am intending to focus on is that produced from transporting the equipment. But there have been some good points made during this discussion, and I think I am going to expand my study to include other technologies such as IEM's as opposed to stage monitors, and also look into Class D amplifiers, instead of just the digital consoles/systems.

Also, the reason that I am not looking into the emissions produced by audience travel/lighting/venue heating is because I'm doing an audio course, therefore am sticking to audio equipment.

Thanks for everyone's input, its been helpful and insightful.

Lee





 As others have said, trying to compare the "green" savings of using a digital console and related gear is....a waste of time.

 Sorry to be so abrupt, but, any measurable savings is impossible to determine without a slew of measurement factors which can change from Venue to Venue and crew to crew, weather to weather, etc....

 Something as simple as Idling a truck, or a  fork truck could wipeout any transportation savings incurred by lessening the weight of a few pieces of gear.

 Find another subject that is easier to quantify.

  Hammer
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Kristian Johnsen

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2011, 09:55:40 am »

James Feenstra wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 06:21

if you want to look at big tours with low energy consumption, check out radiohead

the last show of theirs that rolled through town used ~200a 3 phase for the entire rig- audio, lighting and video

compared to the average arena show that draws at least three times that, it's a pretty big impact

i believe the whole lighting rig was LED, with powered boxes for FOH, digital desks and IEMS

their truck count was one of the lowest i've seen in a long while, something like 4-6 for a large arena/shed show


We have a saying here that translates to:  Many small creeks make up a big river.

One has to start somwhere and if every department follows through there will be savings.

I found your post to be encouraging.
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