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Author Topic: Need help with choosing speakers  (Read 4846 times)

Abel Duenas

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Need help with choosing speakers
« on: November 05, 2013, 12:03:40 pm »

Hi, I'm new to this forums and Id like to ask a few questions. Our church is going to change the sound system cause basically we have to wrong tool for the job. Right now we're using 3 Versarrays 112 per side and just one Versarray 218 centered. The sanctuary area not counting the stage is 60d x 45w x 20h. We're hanging the speakers so that the lowest one is about 9 feet from the ground. I now realize I made a mistake with those speakers and was thinking about replacing them with a center cluster of 2 or 3 Yorkville Unity U15p's or Ev Qrx 153 (if I can find those) with matching subs. Now here's my dilemma, here in my neck of the woods (Chattanooga TN) nobody carries those speakers so I can't listen to either of them. I've read a lot of opinions and they seem to be split in half regarding those brands.Now here's my other problem, we do events for 800-1000 indoors twice a year so I need a system that's both scalable and be intelligible with enough spl at around 110'. Our type of music is similar to rock so I was thinking about 4 subs and 4 tops (2 tops per side with the subs in the center in a cardiod patern) of the ones mentioned above. Any help will be greatly appreciated and I'm sorry if im not quite clear, English is not my primary language
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 07:59:19 pm »

Hi, I'm new to this forums and Id like to ask a few questions. Our church is going to change the sound system cause basically we have to wrong tool for the job. Right now we're using 3 Versarrays 112 per side and just one Versarray 218 centered. The sanctuary area not counting the stage is 60d x 45w x 20h. We're hanging the speakers so that the lowest one is about 9 feet from the ground. I now realize I made a mistake with those speakers and was thinking about replacing them with a center cluster of 2 or 3 Yorkville Unity U15p's or Ev Qrx 153 (if I can find those) with matching subs. Now here's my dilemma, here in my neck of the woods (Chattanooga TN) nobody carries those speakers so I can't listen to either of them. I've read a lot of opinions and they seem to be split in half regarding those brands.Now here's my other problem, we do events for 800-1000 indoors twice a year so I need a system that's both scalable and be intelligible with enough spl at around 110'. Our type of music is similar to rock so I was thinking about 4 subs and 4 tops (2 tops per side with the subs in the center in a cardiod patern) of the ones mentioned above. Any help will be greatly appreciated and I'm sorry if im not quite clear, English is not my primary language
The FIRST approach is to figure out what coverage is actually needed for the particular space.  This is more important than the "sound" of the speakers.  It does not matter how "good" a speaker sounds-if it does not cover the room properly.

This is done by providing an actual room layout to somebody who can do a model-to see how well the coverage will be at a wide range of freq-not just one.

What do you mean by "scalable"?  Are you planning on adding to the system for certain shows?  I would say that is generally a bad idea.  Or just having a system that is powerfull enough for the louder shows?  That is a much better approach.

What is the reason for wanting cardioid subs?  Does the possible placement require directional subs-or is this something you want-"just because".

In most cases a split system is not the best for intelligibility.  A central cluster (and possible fills) is best.

The fewer number of speakers the better-for sound quality.  With loudspeakers more is NOT better.  Less is always better sounding-assuming all other things are equal.
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Abel Duenas

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 11:15:04 pm »

The FIRST approach is to figure out what coverage is actually needed for the particular space.  This is more important than the "sound" of the speakers.  It does not matter how "good" a speaker sounds-if it does not cover the room properly.

This is done by providing an actual room layout to somebody who can do a model-to see how well the coverage will be at a wide range of freq-not just one.

What do you mean by "scalable"?  Are you planning on adding to the system for certain shows?  I would say that is generally a bad idea.  Or just having a system that is powerfull enough for the louder shows?  That is a much better approach.

What is the reason for wanting cardioid subs?  Does the possible placement require directional subs-or is this something you want-"just because".

In most cases a split system is not the best for intelligibility.  A central cluster (and possible fills) is best.

The fewer number of speakers the better-for sound quality.  With loudspeakers more is NOT better.  Less is always better sounding-assuming all other things are equal.

Hi, first of all thank you for taking the time to answer. Now you said modeling the room would be a great idea but unfortunately thats out of the question for now, we have a couple of construction projects going on and the funds are being used or them. I really have no idea how much would it cost to be honest with you. My major problem regarding sound is that the monitors sound really good, really clear and have really good definition but the FOH is another matter entirely, it sounds muddy when the music gets lively. I dont get even coverage even when pointing the speakers per Versarray own Ease Focus settings. The church is not accousticly treated that's why we tried to aim the speakers down as to not have a lot of wall reflections. I'm just trying to make things to sound good with the limited knowledge I have. Regarding the other question, yes I was thinking about adding more speakers per the size of the audience and room. Now you said its a bad idea and would you be so kind to explain me as to why? What I basically need is something that would work at church and the events that we have. Now about the cardiod subs, I've been doing some research on that topic and the general consesus is that center clustered subs give better coverage because they dont create a power alley, and besides I dont want to deafen the preacher or the lead singer. I have so much to learn and if I sound dumb with some of the questions or reasons I apologize
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 07:45:19 am »

Hi, first of all thank you for taking the time to answer. Now you said modeling the room would be a great idea but unfortunately thats out of the question for now, we have a couple of construction projects going on and the funds are being used or them. I really have no idea how much would it cost to be honest with you. My major problem regarding sound is that the monitors sound really good, really clear and have really good definition but the FOH is another matter entirely, it sounds muddy when the music gets lively. I dont get even coverage even when pointing the speakers per Versarray own Ease Focus settings. The church is not accousticly treated that's why we tried to aim the speakers down as to not have a lot of wall reflections. I'm just trying to make things to sound good with the limited knowledge I have. Regarding the other question, yes I was thinking about adding more speakers per the size of the audience and room. Now you said its a bad idea and would you be so kind to explain me as to why? What I basically need is something that would work at church and the events that we have. Now about the cardiod subs, I've been doing some research on that topic and the general consesus is that center clustered subs give better coverage because they dont create a power alley, and besides I dont want to deafen the preacher or the lead singer. I have so much to learn and if I sound dumb with some of the questions or reasons I apologize
Many manufacturers will model the room (basic direct coverage anyway) at no charge-so there is no expense to you-just a little bit of effort to get proper dimensions for them to use.

The issue starts when you try to compare different models of the same room-there are all sorts of "games" that can be played with the predictions to make one look better than another.  Some may be telling the truth-while others take a few "liberties" and try to cover up issues-to make the model look better.

So be sure you are comparing models with the parameters set the same.  I have actually seen a MAJOR manufacturer place a loudspeaker 15' ABOVE the roof of the building in order to get a better coverage map.  But after the product would be installed the final performance would not be anything like the prediction.

If you are aiming the speakers down to far (to reduce reflections) then that can result is poor coverage.  You are going to have to accept reflections-there is no way to hit a persons ears at the rear wall and not hit that wall above him.

I am not arguing center subs-that is my favorite location for most installs.  I was questions the use of cardioid alignment.  Many people simply don't understand what it really means-what it can do-how the sound changes and what the limitations are.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 10:30:05 am »

Hi, I'm new to this forums and Id like to ask a few questions. Our church is going to change the sound system cause basically we have to wrong tool for the job. Right now we're using 3 Versarrays 112 per side and just one Versarray 218 centered. The sanctuary area not counting the stage is 60d x 45w x 20h. We're hanging the speakers so that the lowest one is about 9 feet from the ground. I now realize I made a mistake with those speakers and was thinking about replacing them with a center cluster of 2 or 3 Yorkville Unity U15p's or Ev Qrx 153 (if I can find those) with matching subs.
Hi, first of all thank you for taking the time to answer. Now you said modeling the room would be a great idea but unfortunately thats out of the question for now, we have a couple of construction projects going on and the funds are being used or them. I really have no idea how much would it cost to be honest with you. My major problem regarding sound is that the monitors sound really good, really clear and have really good definition but the FOH is another matter entirely, it sounds muddy when the music gets lively. I dont get even coverage even when pointing the speakers per Versarray own Ease Focus settings.  The church is not accousticly treated that's why we tried to aim the speakers down as to not have a lot of wall reflections. I'm just trying to make things to sound good with the limited knowledge I have.
Sounds like a pretty common situation where the focus seems to be on purchasing equipment rather than obtaining a solution.  I'm always amazed at how many seem to feel they can't afford to do it right but then can apparently afford to do it over (and over and over).
 
You really need to look at the speaker system and room as one big, interactive, electroacoustical system.  Sometimes the most cost effective improvements to that overall system may involve addressing the room, sometimes the speaker system and many times both.
 
Your monitor system may sound great but may it be related to some of the "mud" in the house?  A major problem in many churches is stage sound interacting with the house sound.  What do you have on stage for instruments and monitors and have you done anything to specifically reduce or control the stage sound levels?  Are you also doing basic things such as using the mixer channels' high pass/low cut filters on all of the vocal mics?
 
Can you provide any pictures of the room?  Many times details such as the seating arrangement, ceiling construction, existing lights/projection screens/etc., ductwork, windows and so on may make certain speaker systems and locations seem likely or unlikely candidates.  I'm also curious to see how a 60' deep by 45' wide by 20' high room relates to needing coverage and intelligbility out to 110' for some events.
 
Do you plan on reusing any existing system processing or amplification and if so, what?
 
The issue starts when you try to compare different models of the same room-there are all sorts of "games" that can be played with the predictions to make one look better than another.  Some may be telling the truth-while others take a few "liberties" and try to cover up issues-to make the model look better.

So be sure you are comparing models with the parameters set the same.  I have actually seen a MAJOR manufacturer place a loudspeaker 15' ABOVE the roof of the building in order to get a better coverage map.  But after the product would be installed the final performance would not be anything like the prediction.
I've also seen rather misleading modeling predictions offered and not just from manufacturers.  Basically, when modeling one has to set various parameters to be used for the prediction results as well as choosing what results to show.  Any party trying to sell you on a specific solution can make those selections in a manner that they believe is most appropriate for the situation or they may do so in a manner to derive the most desired result for their proposed solution.  And in some cases you may get unintentionally misleading predictions from someone who simply doesn't understand the software or predicition in general sufficiently to make proper selections.  It's also quite common to see models showing the predicted coverage for the audience but to not show the predicted levels on stage, especially if that might show potential gain-before-feedback concerns.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 12:00:04 pm »


 
Your monitor system may sound great but may it be related to some of the "mud" in the house?  A major problem in many churches is stage sound interacting with the house sound.  What do you have on stage for instruments and monitors and have you done anything to specifically reduce or control the stage sound levels?  Are you also doing basic things such as using the mixer channels' high pass/low cut filters on all of the vocal mics?
 
Can you provide any pictures of the room?  Many times details such as the seating arrangement, ceiling construction, existing lights/projection screens/etc., ductwork, windows and so on may make certain speaker systems and locations seem likely or unlikely candidates.  I'm also curious to see how a 60' deep by 45' wide by 20' high room relates to needing coverage and intelligbility out to 110' for some events.
 
Do you plan on reusing any existing system processing or amplification and if so, what?
 I've also seen rather misleading modeling predictions offered and not just from manufacturers.  Basically, when modeling one has to set various parameters to be used for the prediction results as well as choosing what results to show.  Any party trying to sell you on a specific solution can make those selections in a manner that they believe is most appropriate for the situation or they may do so in a manner to derive the most desired result for their proposed solution.  And in some cases you may get unintentionally misleading predictions from someone who simply doesn't understand the software or predicition in general sufficiently to make proper selections.  It's also quite common to see models showing the predicted coverage for the audience but to not show the predicted levels on stage, especially if that might show potential gain-before-feedback concerns.
Exactly!

In many cases there is plenty of "volume" in the main part of the room-yet the PA is OFF.  The monitors are filling it up-but not clearly.

You HAVE to reduce that level first-if you want the PA to have a chance-at least at a level the audience will accept.

Agreed it is always a good idea to map to the stage-to see how much energy is getting there.  I bet most people would be surprised to see how much is actually getting there. Assuming the information for the particular loudspeaker has not been "cooked" to make it look better.  Yes they are out there-and VERY misleading.

It make a good reason for having pattern control down to a low freq.  Without it-you just get a lot of "mush" on the stage.  And then the musicians ask to turn up the monitors-which makes the house sound get "mushier" and so forth and so on.

It is almost always a good idea to have a lot of isolation between the different systems.  And systems that "spew" sound everywhere do not do this.
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Abel Duenas

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 07:37:23 pm »

Sounds like a pretty common situation where the focus seems to be on purchasing equipment rather than obtaining a solution.  I'm always amazed at how many seem to feel they can't afford to do it right but then can apparently afford to do it over (and over and over).
 
You really need to look at the speaker system and room as one big, interactive, electroacoustical system.  Sometimes the most cost effective improvements to that overall system may involve addressing the room, sometimes the speaker system and many times both.
 
Your monitor system may sound great but may it be related to some of the "mud" in the house?  A major problem in many churches is stage sound interacting with the house sound.  What do you have on stage for instruments and monitors and have you done anything to specifically reduce or control the stage sound levels?  Are you also doing basic things such as using the mixer channels' high pass/low cut filters on all of the vocal mics?
 
Can you provide any pictures of the room?  Many times details such as the seating arrangement, ceiling construction, existing lights/projection screens/etc., ductwork, windows and so on may make certain speaker systems and locations seem likely or unlikely candidates.  I'm also curious to see how a 60' deep by 45' wide by 20' high room relates to needing coverage and intelligbility out to 110' for some events.
 
Do you plan on reusing any existing system processing or amplification and if so, what?
 I've also seen rather misleading modeling predictions offered and not just from manufacturers.  Basically, when modeling one has to set various parameters to be used for the prediction results as well as choosing what results to show.  Any party trying to sell you on a specific solution can make those selections in a manner that they believe is most appropriate for the situation or they may do so in a manner to derive the most desired result for their proposed solution.  And in some cases you may get unintentionally misleading predictions from someone who simply doesn't understand the software or predicition in general sufficiently to make proper selections.  It's also quite common to see models showing the predicted coverage for the audience but to not show the predicted levels on stage, especially if that might show potential gain-before-feedback concerns.

Hi and thanks for answering again. I've measured the sound on stage and its on an average 95dB A Weighted. Right now the kids are rehearsing and I'm all the way up here in the sound room, which is 60' back, and the dB is 86 A weighted average. it is loud I guess what all of you said about the sound from the stage interfering with FOH is spot on. I've also measured when there's a service and the average FOH is 93dB.

Like you said when the musicians cant hear themselves they ask for more volume in the monitors and pretty soon we have a good ol' fashioned faders war.

I've attached a couple of pics from the sanctuary and the stage, on the stage we're running 6 monitors and the drums are enclosed. On one I'm standing where singers stand, the other one I took about the middle of the church.
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Abel Duenas

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 07:38:00 pm »

Hi and thanks for answering again. I've measured the sound on stage and its on an average 95dB A Weighted. Right now the kids are rehearsing and I'm all the way up here in the sound room, which is 60' back, and the dB is 86 A weighted average. it is loud I guess what all of you said about the sound from the stage interfering with FOH is spot on. I've also measured when there's a service and the average FOH is 93dB.

Like you said when the musicians cant hear themselves they ask for more volume in the monitors and pretty soon we have a good ol' fashioned faders war.

I've attached a couple of pics from the sanctuary and the stage, on the stage we're running 6 monitors and the drums are enclosed. On one I'm standing where singers stand, the other one I took about the middle of the church.

I'm trying to attach pics but it won't let me
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 07:59:15 pm »

I'm trying to attach pics but it won't let me

If you size them so the maximum dimension is 1000pxl they will fit the screen well and not be too big. Once you have the files, use the "Attachments and other options" button below the posting window to attach up to 5 pics per post.

Mac
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Ben Brunskill

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 02:52:17 am »

With stage levels like that, it seems to me that your church is in need of IEMs . . .
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chuck clark

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Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 04:57:38 am »

How much sound is being bounced off the back wall of the church?  Try using a "pullback" wire to increase the down angle of the array. If the space is highly reverberant you might need to use some wall hangings/curtains/sonex to help control all the wildly out of phase sound bouncing around the room ruining the clarity. Reverb is like chili pepper. The right amount -very good. Too much- very bad!
Also if you have 1/3 octave eqs try pulling out about 6db of energy between 100 and 1 K hz. That's where most of the resonant nodes are in rooms w/ lots of plaster/glass/hardwood/cement and other highly reflective building materials. Cheap fixes, I know, but they can be helpful in determining if new speakers will help or if the room really needs acoustic treatment. (Decent acoustics! Shock and dismay! H ow could I even conceive of such a thing!?) By spending 250 thousand big ones on gear and still sounding like crap in a space with bad acoustics. That's how. Have fun! Our years of experience and learning (sometimes the reeely hard way) is your gain!
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Need help with choosing speakers
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 04:57:38 am »


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