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Author Topic: Front Fill Delay  (Read 11693 times)

David Shriver

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Front Fill Delay
« on: September 30, 2013, 12:32:57 pm »

How do you set your front fill delay? 

Lets build a hypothetical system.  The time of arrival for sound to reach the first row is 35ms for the Mains, 15ms for the backline, and as little as 5ms for the front fills.  Where do you set them?  Do you time align them with the mains, the backline, or set them to have no delay?

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Jay Barracato

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 12:39:05 pm »

How do you set your front fill delay? 

Lets build a hypothetical system.  The time of arrival for sound to reach the first row is 35ms for the Mains, 15ms for the backline, and as little as 5ms for the front fills.  Where do you set them?  Do you time align them with the mains, the backline, or set them to have no delay?

Are they set on the sides or as a lip fill?

You really have about a difference of 30 ms (frequency dependent) where different arrivals are perceived as the same source with a broader impulse. Given you numbers, pushing them back another 20 ms would put them right in the middle of the other sources.
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Jay Barracato

Mac Kerr

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 12:46:25 pm »

How do you set your front fill delay? 

Lets build a hypothetical system.  The time of arrival for sound to reach the first row is 35ms for the Mains, 15ms for the backline, and as little as 5ms for the front fills.  Where do you set them?  Do you time align them with the mains, the backline, or set them to have no delay?

What is the audio you are putting in the FF, and what is the predominant audio in their area of coverage? I would not put the backline in the FF if it is loud off the stage, I would probably only have vocals and FX, and anything that was weak onstage in the FF, so in that case I would time them to the mains.

Mac
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David Shriver

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 01:04:13 pm »

In this case they are on the lip of the stage (3 boxes across the front).  They are on their own aux send so content up to the engineer.  Typically its just vocals.  On a loud stage I might also put acoustic guitar in them at a lower level.  Keyboard will also go there if there is no keyboard amp.

Are they set on the sides or as a lip fill?

You really have about a difference of 30 ms (frequency dependent) where different arrivals are perceived as the same source with a broader impulse. Given you numbers, pushing them back another 20 ms would put them right in the middle of the other sources.
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 01:43:33 pm »

How do you set your front fill delay? 

Lets build a hypothetical system.  The time of arrival for sound to reach the first row is 35ms for the Mains, 15ms for the backline, and as little as 5ms for the front fills.  Where do you set them?  Do you time align them with the mains, the backline, or set them to have no delay?

Typically I align the front fills with the main PA in the area where the coverage of both systems overlaps. Depending on the venue it's the 3rd or 4th row or maybe somewhere else.

If there's a band I'll push everything back to line up with the loudest source on stage, usually the drum kit.

Remember there's only ONE spot in the house where it will line up perfectly, the rest is a compromise.

Matt

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Thomas Dameron

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 03:04:41 pm »

Typically I align the front fills with the main PA in the area where the coverage of both systems overlaps. Depending on the venue it's the 3rd or 4th row or maybe somewhere else.

If there's a band I'll push everything back to line up with the loudest source on stage, usually the drum kit.

Remember there's only ONE spot in the house where it will line up perfectly, the rest is a compromise.

Matt

+1 

I do all of my zone alignment delays with the most severe coverage overlaps in mind.  If you can't hear what you're delaying it to then the delay was much less needed in the first place.  I find myself delaying my front fills 15-30ms depending on the space and system configuration.  If I am running 3-4 front fills I like to have separate sends for inside/outside fills.

When I'm setting up the system for a band guy, they typically just want a mono matrix of the LR mix, but the content of the mix isn't that relevant to me when setting up delay.  I might consider it more when setting eq and high pass. 

If the PA is delayed to the backline, then the same delay is added to front fills and other systems.

thomas d.
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David Shriver

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 04:32:34 pm »

My venue represents a rather odd challenge.  The PA is so far above the stage (and upstage of the front lip) that it arrives behind the backline.  I need to delay the backline to the PA!  The front row is only 3 feet from the lip of the stage, but the main PA doesn't hit the front 3-4 rows.  So I use front fills, on the lip, to cover the first 3-4 rows.  The backline sound is usually overpowering in that area so there's no need for it in the fills.  I've been time aligning the fills to the PA but it occurred to me yesterday that it might be more effective to align it to the backline.

If we take the center of row 3, its about 25 feet to the typical location for drums/backline, 45 feet to the PA and 12 feet to the fills. 

+1 

I do all of my zone alignment delays with the most severe coverage overlaps in mind.  If you can't hear what you're delaying it to then the delay was much less needed in the first place.  I find myself delaying my front fills 15-30ms depending on the space and system configuration.  If I am running 3-4 front fills I like to have separate sends for inside/outside fills.

When I'm setting up the system for a band guy, they typically just want a mono matrix of the LR mix, but the content of the mix isn't that relevant to me when setting up delay.  I might consider it more when setting eq and high pass. 

If the PA is delayed to the backline, then the same delay is added to front fills and other systems.

thomas d.
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Peter Morris

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 06:30:00 pm »

Typically I align the front fills with the main PA in the area where the coverage of both systems overlaps. Depending on the venue it's the 3rd or 4th row or maybe somewhere else.

If there's a band I'll push everything back to line up with the loudest source on stage, usually the drum kit.

Remember there's only ONE spot in the house where it will line up perfectly, the rest is a compromise.

Matt


Exactly  +2
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 08:58:09 pm »

My venue represents a rather odd challenge.  The PA is so far above the stage (and upstage of the front lip) that it arrives behind the backline.  I need to delay the backline to the PA!  The front row is only 3 feet from the lip of the stage, but the main PA doesn't hit the front 3-4 rows.  So I use front fills, on the lip, to cover the first 3-4 rows.  The backline sound is usually overpowering in that area so there's no need for it in the fills.  I've been time aligning the fills to the PA but it occurred to me yesterday that it might be more effective to align it to the backline.

If we take the center of row 3, its about 25 feet to the typical location for drums/backline, 45 feet to the PA and 12 feet to the fills.


In your case the area where the fills and PA overlap is probably row 5 or 6. If you have to run the fills loud to overcome stage sound then you might be able to hear them farther back. You want to get it the best for the areas that hear both systems, and good for the rows closer to the stage.

I've made the mistake of aligning the system at row 3 but then needing to run the fills hot enough to get over the stage volume. Back at row 8 or 10 it's a mess because the overlap has shifted because of the level increase.

It's ALWAYS a compromise.



realistic
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 09:16:03 pm »

Typically I align the front fills with the main PA in the area where the coverage of both systems overlaps. Depending on the venue it's the 3rd or 4th row or maybe somewhere else.

If there's a band I'll push everything back to line up with the loudest source on stage, usually the drum kit.

Remember there's only ONE spot in the house where it will line up perfectly, the rest is a compromise.

Matt
That is the way to do it.  People often make the mistake of aligning with the mic in the front row.

This is NOT a good idea-because if the mains were getting to the front row there would be no need for a fill----------

The only reason to delay is when you have multiple signals arriving at the same location-which would be further out into the audience.

now exactly where?  That depends on a lot of factors that will vary with different venues-such as actual areas of coverage-how loud the front fills are ran-freq response of both mains and fills in areas of overlap and so forth.

So as usual-there is no simple easy "one size fits all" answer.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

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Jason Raboin

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 07:58:09 am »

Sometimes I ask where artist guests are sitting and align everything to those seats.  If it's only going to be right for one spot, might as well make it the spot where the "bosses wife" will sit.
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Timo Beckman

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 11:30:45 am »

For me it means finding the ofax of your main system towards the stage (so where the mains loose about -6db in the high frequencies) . Then find the -6db point of your infill system and get that point to match with the main -6db point in the high frequencies . Phase align the whole thing at that point and you'll get a smooth transition between the mains and infill system .

Constant directivity on both systems is a "must" or at least desired when doing this .
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Aaron Johnson

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2013, 03:34:25 pm »

This is NOT a good idea-because if the mains were getting to the front row there would be no need for a fill----------

I would still use fills for imaging.  In fact, I prefer to try to cover as much of the front rows as possible with the mains/DF.  lip fills for anchoring the image to the stage front. 
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Aaron

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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2013, 04:22:43 pm »

I would still use fills for imaging.  In fact, I prefer to try to cover as much of the front rows as possible with the mains/DF.  lip fills for anchoring the image to the stage front.

I'll have to disagree...the main reasons to use fills is to expand the coverage of the main system in locations where it's not practical for one system to cover the entire space (for any number of reasons) and, in the case of front fills, to reduce the amount of energy being directed towards the stage. In other words you can put sound where you want it (within reason of course) and one of the side effects is the imaging toward the stage in the front improves, but at the expense of other areas where interactions makes it worse.

Hopefully if you have enough resources you can pick loudspeakers that suit the shape of the space appropriately and put audience right in the sweet spot...but since venues like to cover their operating costs and humans generally think the best seats are right up front (or in box seats) you're going to need fills. This is especially true if you're doing portable reinforcement where the inventory of speakers to choose from is limited. From a production company standpoint it's best to pick main PA systems that cover the majority of venues you do and add fills where necessary.



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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 03:17:35 pm »

I'll have to disagree...the main reasons to use fills is to expand the coverage of the main system in locations where it's not practical for one system to cover the entire space (for any number of reasons)

This isn't always the case. Particularly in theatres where imaging is very important.

Even in arenas, I always try and get the PA to cover the front rows if possible, but also use front fills, for two main reasons:
1) Imaging. Sometimes the bottom box of your main hang might be 10m off the ground. In that situation, you wan't to pull the image down, to make it fit in better with the visual, but also to gel it better with the off stage volume.
2) If you have subs stacked at the front of the stage, you often need something to lift the HF at the extreme front of the audience where the sub level builds up
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Palmer Johnston

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Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 01:48:34 pm »

Sometimes I ask where artist guests are sitting and align everything to those seats.  If it's only going to be right for one spot, might as well make it the spot where the "bosses wife" will sit.

This is how I delay on corporate shows as well.  Ask where the CEO/President, etc will be seated, and dial it in for that spot, worker bees be damned!
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Front Fill Delay
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 01:48:34 pm »


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