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Author Topic: Live Sound Speaker Placement  (Read 17559 times)

matthewleeblair

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Live Sound Speaker Placement
« on: August 23, 2012, 07:01:19 pm »

Currently run, and would like to continue running, our mix in stereo. Mainly to spread the instruments out with panning. This has currently helped our situation some. Current instrumentation is V-Drums (stereo L & R), Bass (to FX pedal to PA, no amp), 2 electric guitars (to FX pedals to PA, no amps), acoustic guitar (to pedal, no amp), keyboard (mono to pa, no amp), piano (digital piano I put in acoustic shell to pa, no amp), 3 lead vocals, 5 BGV every other week, and we periodically have a cajon for an acoustic set. Also run peripherals through the PA (computer audio, iPod, etc.).

Currently using the Hearback monitoring system (waiting on the new Behringer Powerplay monitoring system to come in) for everyone except the BGVs. The BGVs have 2 15" wedge monitors (these are the only monitors on stage). Our FOH PA consists of 2 SoundBridge S3 15" 8 Ohms 350W continuous main speakers pushed by Peavey CS 800 S 1200 W (240W per channel @ 8 Ohms) and 1 JBL JRX 118S 18" 4 Ohms 350-750W continuous subwoofer pushed by QSC RMX 850 (830W bridge mono @ 4 Ohms). We have a Yamaha GA32 mixing console and use a DBX Driverack PA for EQ, Compression, Limiting of the mix.

I know that we are currently underpowering the mains, and I feel we need more low end as well. The diagram below shows where the speakers are currently placed. I want to know where I should move the speakers to and what speakers to buy to replace the mains and to supplement the sub.

The floors are carpet and the walls & ceiling are sheetrock. The chairs are padded interlocking church chairs. The stage is hardwood. The spoken word is very important to us for the preacher's message as well as others praying in the mic or leading worship music vocally. Our band plays modern worship music, and the sound is very important to us. I plan to use a local sound company to fly the speakers (so the speakers obviously need to be flyable).

What would be the best sounding speakers to cover this area at the best price? Can't afford something like EAW, but don't want to get something terrible like NADY. Where should I put the speakers?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
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Tom Young

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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 03:04:39 pm »

Currently run, and would like to continue running, our mix in stereo. Mainly to spread the instruments out with panning. This has currently helped our situation some. Current instrumentation is .....What would be the best sounding speakers to cover this area at the best price? Can't afford something like EAW, but don't want to get something terrible like NADY. Where should I put the speakers?

While you did a good job of providing information and details, you are asking (in effect) for a FOH ldspkr system design which is impossible to do via an internet forum such as this. That is not to say we don't have advice we can pass on.

The design of any loudspeaker system is rather complicated. But you ask for stereo. I suggest you begin your research by reading a widely cited paper by Jim Brown on the design basics for stereo/multichannel sound reinforcement systems:

http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/AES-StereoASGWeb.pdf

(see if any of his other well-written papers seem to be relevant)

Then, or in the meantime, maybe someone will get some dialog going.
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 01:15:07 am »

Currently run, and would like to continue running, our mix in stereo. Mainly to spread the instruments out with panning. This has currently helped our situation some. Current instrumentation is V-Drums (stereo L & R), Bass (to FX pedal to PA, no amp), 2 electric guitars (to FX pedals to PA, no amps), acoustic guitar (to pedal, no amp), keyboard (mono to pa, no amp), piano (digital piano I put in acoustic shell to pa, no amp), 3 lead vocals, 5 BGV every other week, and we periodically have a cajon for an acoustic set. Also run peripherals through the PA (computer audio, iPod, etc.).

Currently using the Hearback monitoring system (waiting on the new Behringer Powerplay monitoring system to come in) for everyone except the BGVs. The BGVs have 2 15" wedge monitors (these are the only monitors on stage). Our FOH PA consists of 2 SoundBridge S3 15" 8 Ohms 350W continuous main speakers pushed by Peavey CS 800 S 1200 W (240W per channel @ 8 Ohms) and 1 JBL JRX 118S 18" 4 Ohms 350-750W continuous subwoofer pushed by QSC RMX 850 (830W bridge mono @ 4 Ohms). We have a Yamaha GA32 mixing console and use a DBX Driverack PA for EQ, Compression, Limiting of the mix.

I know that we are currently underpowering the mains, and I feel we need more low end as well. The diagram below shows where the speakers are currently placed. I want to know where I should move the speakers to and what speakers to buy to replace the mains and to supplement the sub.

The floors are carpet and the walls & ceiling are sheetrock. The chairs are padded interlocking church chairs. The stage is hardwood. The spoken word is very important to us for the preacher's message as well as others praying in the mic or leading worship music vocally. Our band plays modern worship music, and the sound is very important to us. I plan to use a local sound company to fly the speakers (so the speakers obviously need to be flyable).

What would be the best sounding speakers to cover this area at the best price? Can't afford something like EAW, but don't want to get something terrible like NADY. Where should I put the speakers?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

 i would not advise a stereo mix in this room .
i would hang two Yorkville c15 each covering a 1/4 of the listening area at the front peak of the seating area and a second set at at halfway down room  at the peak on a delay these have a 60 x 40 coverage and sound great!
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Brad Weber

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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 08:09:09 am »

i would hang two Yorkville c15 each covering a 1/4 of the listening area at the front peak of the seating area and a second set at at halfway down room  at the peak on a delay these have a 60 x 40 coverage and sound great!
I'll get out of the way that you need to change your displayed name to be your full real name.
 
I can't find a Yorkville C15 model nor anything similar with a 60x40 pattern.  Did you you mean the Yorkville C15W that are a nominal 80x50 pattern?  Unfortunately, Yorkville does not provide any EASE/clf data, polars or even a chart to show any further information about the actual pattern, but the C15W cost seems to generally be around $800 a piece.  Or did you mean the Yorkville U15, for which EASE data is available and that has a nominal 60x60 pattern, but which apparently cost around $1,300 each?
 
The DriveRack might be able to provide delay for the rear pair if it is required and you could parallel the front two speakers off one channel of the existing amp and the rear two speakers off the other channel to avoid needing a second amplifier.  However, you still need to factor in how to mount or fly the speakers and how to get cabling to them along with that associated cost.  And you still have a single sub so the balance of sub to main would vary throughout the space.
 
Matthew, you may not have received much response to your post because identifying that budget is a factor but not identifying an actual budget makes everyone have to guess what you mean.  The EAW reference is not that helpful as you might think because EAW offers a range of products that cover a very wide spectrum of prices.  An EAW VR21 or VR51, if you can still find them, would cost less than either of the Yorkville's noted above while the newer VFR129 or VFR159 would be between the cost of the two Yorkville boxes, so I'm not sure if that means all of those would be outside the budget or not.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 10:04:04 am »

Currently run, and would like to continue running, our mix in stereo. Mainly to spread the instruments out with panning. This has currently helped our situation some. Current instrumentation is V-Drums (stereo L & R), Bass (to FX pedal to PA, no amp), 2 electric guitars (to FX pedals to PA, no amps), acoustic guitar (to pedal, no amp), keyboard (mono to pa, no amp), piano (digital piano I put in acoustic shell to pa, no amp), 3 lead vocals, 5 BGV every other week, and we periodically have a cajon for an acoustic set. Also run peripherals through the PA (computer audio, iPod, etc.).

Currently using the Hearback monitoring system (waiting on the new Behringer Powerplay monitoring system to come in) for everyone except the BGVs. The BGVs have 2 15" wedge monitors (these are the only monitors on stage). Our FOH PA consists of 2 SoundBridge S3 15" 8 Ohms 350W continuous main speakers pushed by Peavey CS 800 S 1200 W (240W per channel @ 8 Ohms) and 1 JBL JRX 118S 18" 4 Ohms 350-750W continuous subwoofer pushed by QSC RMX 850 (830W bridge mono @ 4 Ohms). We have a Yamaha GA32 mixing console and use a DBX Driverack PA for EQ, Compression, Limiting of the mix.

I know that we are currently underpowering the mains, and I feel we need more low end as well. The diagram below shows where the speakers are currently placed. I want to know where I should move the speakers to and what speakers to buy to replace the mains and to supplement the sub.

The floors are carpet and the walls & ceiling are sheetrock. The chairs are padded interlocking church chairs. The stage is hardwood. The spoken word is very important to us for the preacher's message as well as others praying in the mic or leading worship music vocally. Our band plays modern worship music, and the sound is very important to us. I plan to use a local sound company to fly the speakers (so the speakers obviously need to be flyable).

What would be the best sounding speakers to cover this area at the best price? Can't afford something like EAW, but don't want to get something terrible like NADY. Where should I put the speakers?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

The hesitation of the other posters to attempt a design of a new system is no doubt due to their wisdom and experience.

But, you asked for *any* help, so instead of a new design, I'll give you a critique.

Depending on what your SPL requirements are, you should be able to get what you have to work acceptably with some tuning, by adding a good subwoofer and maybe a little acoustic work. This presumes that your main speakers are decent, which is not sure as not a lot is online about them.

BTW, your description of them as being Soundbridge S3s is not a lot of help since there is no such thing. My best guess is that they are SB 3315HT which does not help that much since there is still little online about them, except maybe some critical comments about their design which their spec sheet sheds little light on. For example they don't say what the crossover frequency is that I can see.

The biggest problem I see is that your mains appear to lack the height necessary for anything like uniform sound levels over the seating area. One rule of thumb is that the distance from the speakers to the nearest listener and the farthest listener should be within a 2:1 range.  I expect that to be more like 4 to 1 or 6 to one in your current situation.

So, the people in the front are getting their ears roasted while the ones in the back want more level.  Check this out by making a scaled drawing from the side view and measuring the path lengths with a ruler.  Or get a long measuring tape and a step ladder! ;-)

I'd bet you've seen a lot of people who take speakers like yours and mount them closer together near the center, and worry that if you go that direction, your stereo separation will go away. Stereo is a lot more expendable than even coverage. Get your coverage evened out and then worry about stereo!

Secondly, there is probably a big bounce off the back wall especially the corners. You sit back there to run the system and I'll bet that what you hear in the media booth and what they hear in the middle of the room are vastly different. If you mix for what you hear, you're probably not doing well for most of your listeners.   Covering as much of the back wall as you can from about 4' up with about 4" of Dow Corning 705 or equivalent spaced about 4 inches from the wall would be a big help. Be sure that any grille cloth you use is fireproof. Guilford is your friend!

Between the free-space mounting of the mains and the fact that by bass guitar standards they are light, yes, you need a good subwoofer. If you read the paper referenced in an earlier post you see the need for time-aligning it to the mains.

As far as loudness goes, good sound sounds good, even at lower SPLs.  Lotsa people turn the SPL up when their problem is bad articulation due to questionable  speaker positioning and room acoustics.

Oh, and since any logical relocation of the mains puts them over people's heads, have a licensed structural engineer OK their new installation.

Hope this helps!
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Brad Weber

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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 12:58:33 pm »

Arnold offered some very good input but for me there are several factors to not offering a direct response:
 
  • There is no identification of any specific problems or concerns regarding the existing system other than "I know that we are currently underpowering the mains", which may or may not be true as you did not seem to say the existing system was not loud enough, and "I feel we need more low end as well."  Are there any specific problems that you are trying to address and/or any paticular improvements that you are hoping to obtain through any changes?
  • The comments "Currently run, and would like to continue running, our mix in stereo. Mainly to spread the instruments out with panning. This has currently helped our situation some." and "Our band plays modern worship music, and the sound is very important to us." may be somewhat at odds with the comment "The spoken word is very important to us for the preacher's message as well as others praying in the mic or leading worship music vocally."  I understand that both music and spoken word may be important but unless you have sufficient budget for a system that can properly address both, what are the relative priorities?  Is 'stereo' spread more important than intelligibility or vice versa?
  • "What would be the best sounding speakers to cover this area at the best price? Can't afford something like EAW, but don't want to get something terrible like NADY." seems to indicate that budget is a definite factor but does not provide much information on the budget.  And don't forget that changes to the speakers may require costs and effort beyond that directly related to the speakers themselves such as for changes in cabling, revising the DRPA configuration and settings and so on.
So there does not seem to yet be a clear basis for assessing any potential changes to the speaker system or products.  Without such information any specific recommendations would likely be based on numerous assumptions and/or personal preferences.
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 02:07:25 pm »

The hesitation of the other posters to attempt a design of a new system is no doubt due to their wisdom and experience.

But, you asked for *any* help, so instead of a new design, I'll give you a critique.

Depending on what your SPL requirements are, you should be able to get what you have to work acceptably with some tuning, by adding a good subwoofer and maybe a little acoustic work. This presumes that your main speakers are decent, which is not sure as not a lot is online about them.

BTW, your description of them as being Soundbridge S3s is not a lot of help since there is no such thing. My best guess is that they are SB 3315HT which does not help that much since there is still little online about them, except maybe some critical comments about their design which their spec sheet sheds little light on. For example they don't say what the crossover frequency is that I can see.

The biggest problem I see is that your mains appear to lack the height necessary for anything like uniform sound levels over the seating area. One rule of thumb is that the distance from the speakers to the nearest listener and the farthest listener should be within a 2:1 range.  I expect that to be more like 4 to 1 or 6 to one in your current situation.

So, the people in the front are getting their ears roasted while the ones in the back want more level.  Check this out by making a scaled drawing from the side view and measuring the path lengths with a ruler.  Or get a long measuring tape and a step ladder! ;-)

I'd bet you've seen a lot of people who take speakers like yours and mount them closer together near the center, and worry that if you go that direction, your stereo separation will go away. Stereo is a lot more expendable than even coverage. Get your coverage evened out and then worry about stereo!

Secondly, there is probably a big bounce off the back wall especially the corners. You sit back there to run the system and I'll bet that what you hear in the media booth and what they hear in the middle of the room are vastly different. If you mix for what you hear, you're probably not doing well for most of your listeners.   Covering as much of the back wall as you can from about 4' up with about 4" of Dow Corning 705 or equivalent spaced about 4 inches from the wall would be a big help. Be sure that any grille cloth you use is fireproof.
Between the free-space mounting of the mains and the fact that by bass guitar standards they are light, yes, you need a good subwoofer. If you read the paper referenced in an earlier post you see the need for time-aligning it to the mains.

As far as loudness goes, good sound sounds good, even at lower SPLs.  Lotsa people turn the SPL up when their problem is bad articulation due to questionable  speaker positioning and room acoustics.

Oh, and since any logical relocation of the mains puts them over people's heads, have a licensed structural engineer OK their new installation.

Hope this helps!
       
 YES the c15 w
the back set will have to be on a dealy
and the  subs will have to be on a delay also.
We use the cu 15s at my church they are over 10000 but well worth it But the c15ws will be good for your app.
 
 As far as the mix position it would be advisable to be al least in the feild of your speakers
   the present positon of the mains causes quite a spl drop in the back half of the room  so the front gets it louder, the back gets it lower,    in the config i suggested aiming the flown sets properly is crucial on the seating area.
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Re: Live Sound Speaker Placement
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 02:07:25 pm »


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