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Author Topic: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?  (Read 9906 times)

Mike Van Brackle

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A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« on: February 02, 2013, 11:32:31 am »

Would it be somehow feasible to have a portable rig comprised of small, active line arrays flown over an active sub or two?

Similar in idea to a Bose L1, but horizontal and comprised of better-quality, separate pieces of gear.

Just curious and brainstorming here.

Thanks.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 11:33:46 am »

Would it be somehow feasible to have a portable rig comprised of small, active line arrays flown over an active sub or two?

Similar in idea to a Bose L1, but horizontal and comprised of better-quality, separate pieces of gear.

Just curious and brainstorming here.

Thanks.

 Based on the information you've given........no.
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Chuck Simon

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 12:05:35 pm »

It's not only feasible, it's pretty common.  The JBL VRX application guide shows one or two of their VRX "array" cabs on poles over a sub.  Whether or not that is the best solution is debatable. I've worked on such systems and felt I would have been better off with my SRX 722s.

http://www.jblpro.com/BackOffice/ProductAttachments/VRX.AppGuide.pdf
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 12:09:27 pm by Chuck Simon »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 01:54:26 pm »

Would it be somehow feasible to have a portable rig comprised of small, active line arrays flown over an active sub or two?

Similar in idea to a Bose L1, but horizontal and comprised of better-quality, separate pieces of gear.

Just curious and brainstorming here.

Thanks.
First you have to answer some questions (as usual)

What do you consider "portable"  A single box like you described?

Is a "line array" the best solution?  And why do you think so?  A short line does not behave anything like people think it does.

What is your budget?

What are you going to fly it from?

What sort of performance (SPL-coverage pattern etc) are you expecting?

As with anything-you FIRST have to accurately DEFINE THE TARGET-before you even begin to think of any approach.  Or else how will you know you hit it?


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Mike Van Brackle

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 04:35:12 pm »

First you have to answer some questions (as usual)

What do you consider "portable"  A single box like you described?

Is a "line array" the best solution?  And why do you think so?  A short line does not behave anything like people think it does.

What is your budget?

What are you going to fly it from?

What sort of performance (SPL-coverage pattern etc) are you expecting?

As with anything-you FIRST have to accurately DEFINE THE TARGET-before you even begin to think of any approach.  Or else how will you know you hit it?

I'm asking more for learning than seeking.  Wondered why they don't make relatively small "line array" boxes like half a Bose L1 or something that then goes on a pole over a traditional powered sub like an 18" incher?
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Luke Geis

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 04:35:44 pm »

Not likely...... A line array requires elements. Usually lots of them. The thing that makes a line array a line array, is it's length. The longer it is the more directional control over a larger range of frequencies you can acquire. Some modern boxes are getting very good low mid frequency control by using physical speaker location to cause cancellations on the sides and addition in the center plane. This is cheating a little to get better control over sound with less boxes. The general consensus is that it requires at least 4 boxes to really start to see the benefits of the line array phenomenon. It takes several more boxes than that to actually have total line array characteristics.

The new constant curvature array isn't really a line array. Well it is and it isn't. It is for higher frequencies and when deployed with the maximum number of boxes it sorta is for the lower frequencies. But they basically don't have line array characteristics in totality. I get annoyed when someone sticks two VRX tops on a set of subs and says I got a line array............. Sorry, not even close........

Can you get 4 boxes that are portable to sit on top of a sub and acquire line array characteristics? Well maybe and probably. But it won't be portable as in one man deploy-able and it will have limited control over frequencies due to it's lack of length. A 250hz sound wave is nearly 5' and it would require a line of speakers at least that tall to start acquiring directional control over frequencies that low. Most crossover points lay around 100-80hz. A 100hz sound wave is 10' and as you can imagine it would take a transmission line at least that long to start to really control those frequencies.

Keep in mind a line array box isn't a line array at all unless it is accompanied by several other similar boxes. Hence the term element used to describe a line array box. It is a line array element. With out all the elements, you cannot acquire line array control. A single box on it's own will work very much like your conventional box on a stick. The craze these days about line arrays is probably more about marketing hype than anything. It is a tool to get a job done and is not a perfect tool for every job.

I feel that point source horn loaded speakers are better when looking for pattern control when a small number of boxes are desired. A couple to few boxes per side of horn loaded boxes will give great pattern control, with great throw over distance. This may be more desirable than an obtrusive line array cluster eating up the vertical axis on each side of the stage?
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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2013, 04:39:17 pm »

I'm asking more for learning than seeking.  Wondered why they don't make relatively small "line array" boxes like half a Bose L1 or something that then goes on a pole over a traditional powered sub like an 18" incher?

1.  Learn what is and what isn't a "line array".

2.  If you're just curious, check out the K Array being marketed by Sennheiser.

3.  Don't expect too much out of these small setups.
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Fernando Lopez

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 04:46:13 pm »

Not in order of preference

- FBT Vertus

- K Array from Sennheiser

- RCF TT11

- Renkus Heinz Iconix

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Luke Geis

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 04:46:33 pm »

As an after thought the Bose L1 is a good idea and it what it says it is to a degree. The issue is that you cannot get an element like that to produce the level needed to do a full rock concert. They say 500 people and I would guess that to be true indoors for a jazz trio at best. The L1 doesn't even state what it's max SPL is? It certainly doesn't have enough snot to compare to even you typical sub and pa on a stick. There are several companies that do actually employ such a style box that is much beefier and will acquire much higher SPL levels. But these boxes are designed more for spoken word and are usually install only boxes. You probably won't see them at a rock show.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 04:52:03 pm by Luke Geis »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 04:56:50 pm »

I'm asking more for learning than seeking.  Wondered why they don't make relatively small "line array" boxes like half a Bose L1 or something that then goes on a pole over a traditional powered sub like an 18" incher?
Very often people say they they want a "line array".  The first question to them is "what do you think makes a line array better than another type of box"?

IF they have a response other than "everybody "knows" line arrays are better", it will usually be "A line array only drops at 3dB per doubling of distance and point sources drop at 6dB".

But if you ask " do you understand anything about how the length of the array affects this "3dB"?" you get blank stares.

When you try to explain that this "effect" changes with distance and that results in different sounds at different distances-they are usually just lost.

BEFORE you start to look for a particular solution-it helps to understand some of the basic facts about a particular "technology" and how it works-at least in general.

The current "Crop" of "small line arrays" is simply nothing but a marketing ploy-in my opinion to cash in on the "masses" that don't understand any of the fundamental basics behind the theory.

Yeah I may get in trouble for such statements-but the facts are the facts.
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Ivan Beaver
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: A portable, active line array plus active sub - feasible?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 04:56:50 pm »


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