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Author Topic: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions  (Read 4223 times)

Bill Harvey

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Greetings, and apologies in advance for the length...

Some Backstory:
My daughter helps run a small ministry in rural SE Oklahoma and has asked for help with a sound system that would support their services, occasional visiting performance groups, and festival-type occasions during the warmer months. Their venue is modest at this point - a permanently-installed event tent about 50' by 100' with a stage (about 10' x 20') on one of the long sides (so ~50' stage-to-FOH). Power is provided by a utility drop on a pole similar to those found on construction sites. Long (~50') heavy-duty extension cords bring it into the tent. The floor consists of compacted gravel with outdoor carpeting on top that is about to be redone along with the stage. So some renovation looms.

My daughter used to run a sound/video system in a pretty-large megachurch in South Carolina, so she's familiar with what functionality she'd like although not familiar with the nuts-and-bolts of the tech.

Requirements:
The bands are usually a keyboard and a couple guitars, maybe some drums if someone brings 'em. Add a few mics for the worship service. There's a performance group coming in a couple months that requires 10 XLRs for their wireless mic system, and the board was sized with that in mind. But usually a half-dozen mics at most, and the small band mentioned above. We're not looking at club-level chest-thumping bass here, just some reasonable sound support to get them through the next couple years.

Between us we came up the following: Main speakers at front left and right, Fills a ways back on either side (or maybe outside for the summer festival thingy), and a couple of wedges for the stage. She wants the board to be at front-of-house, so there's a snake to it. Amps will be up at the stage.

What We've Got (So okay, he was a *good* salesman, but his recommendations fit pretty well with what we'd already been looking at...):
Speakers: Four Peavey PR15s for the mains and fills, and a pair of Peavey PV12Ms wedges for the stage.
Stands: Proline LST2BK for the mains and fills.
Amps: Two Crown XLS1500s for main and fill, and an XLS1000 for the monitors.
Board: Mackie ProFX16
Mics: Four Sennheiser E835, and two AKG wireless: a handheld and a lapel.
Misc: Mic stands, cables, a handful of XLR-TRS adapters, and four DI boxes each with lift and pad. I'm sure I'll need more of this stuff -- this was just to get an initial hookup going.

As for me:
I have always been interested in sound/lighting systems and have a pretty good tech network and power background (I run a data center for the Federal government). I'm an electronics hobbyist and a "man-cave musician" with a rack of synths and effects, so I'm familiar with mixer signal paths, basic effects boxes, midi, networking, etc. So I'm going to be their "tech" guy... (This is undoubtedly going to be my downfall, here...  :)

Power:
Should be okay, but I suspect there'll be some issues. According to Crown, I can run all three amps at "normal 1/8 power" (barely clipping)  and draw just under 7a. So a 20a circuit should support them all. (Don't like it, but until I can get some more circuits...) A couple more 20a for general stage use. Another 20a at FOH for the board and a laptop, etc. Was thinking about trying to keep the amps and board on the same side of power, but I might be being too picky here. (Operating from ignorance is a real pain sometimes... :)  Was also thinking of running the amps at 240v instead of 120v. Anyway, since this is a small rather informal venue, I think we can get away nicely with a half-dozen or so circuits, especially since there's minimal lighting at this point.

General:
The system is probably a bit oversized and should be able to run easily. (At least that was my intent...) About the only effects we'd use would be a bit of reverb which the on-board would probably be able to handle. If not, I've got a small Yamaha digital reverb on my own keyboards that I can use for now. I'm looking at some EQ, and maybe some compression, but that might be a bit down the road. Don't plan on micing any drums for now, but will likely use some DIs on the guitars (probably) and the keyboard (almost certainly). We're starting really thin and hoping to beef it up bit by but as we go.

So now that everything's bought and awaiting setup and testing, I'm second-guessing everything. I googled up "sound reinforcement forums" (which I should have done in the first place) and here I am. Y'all are first on the list! Been reading threads and already learning: found out about the Crown power draw spec sheets from here. Also pouring over You Tube videos about sound reinforcement and learning more. But these boards are obviously full of folks that can learn me even more (we're in Oklahoma, after all), and I'd be interested in any thoughts...

Did we go too far wrong with this stuff?

EDIT: spelling
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 02:34:02 pm by Bill Harvey »
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Thomas Le

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2015, 02:38:55 pm »

How big is the audience size? Ever thought of using powered speakers?
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Bill Harvey

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2015, 02:41:55 pm »

How big is the audience size?

Sorry, duh. Probably in the 75 (usually) - to - 200 (rarely) range.

EDIT: And we did think of powered speakers, but I have a distrust of combined things: if either component breaks (amp or speaker), you'd be left with an unusable good component...
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2015, 02:45:20 pm »

Greetings, and apologies in advance for the length...

Some Backstory:
My daughter helps run a small ministry in rural SE Oklahoma and has asked for help with a sound system that would support their services, occasional visiting performance groups, and festival-type occasions during the warmer months. Their venue is modest at this point - a permanently-installed event tent about 50' by 100' with a stage (about 10' x 20') on one of the long sides (so ~50' stage-to-FOH). Power is provided by a utility drop on a pole similar to those found on construction sites. Long (~50') heavy-duty extension cords bring it into the tent. The floor consists of compacted gravel with outdoor carpeting on top that is about to be redone along with the stage. So some renovation looms.

My daughter used to run a sound/video system in a pretty-large megachurch in South Carolina, so she's familiar with what functionality she'd like although not familiar with the nuts-and-bolts of the tech.

Requirements:
The bands are usually a keyboard and a couple guitars, maybe some drums if someone brings 'em. Add a few mics for the worship service. There's a performance group coming in a couple months that requires 10 XLRs for their wireless mic system, and the board was sized with that in mind. But usually a half-dozen mics at most, and the small band mentioned above. We're not looking at club-level chest-thumping bass here, just some reasonable sound support to get them through the next couple years.

Between us we came up the following: Main speakers at front left and right, Fills a ways back on either side (or maybe outside for the summer festival thingy), and a couple of wedges for the stage. She wants the board to be at front-of-house, so there's a snake to it. Amps will be up at the stage.

What We've Got (So okay, he was a *good* salesman, but his recommendations fit pretty well with what we'd already been looking at...):
Speakers: Four Peavey PR15s for the mains and fills, and a pair of Peavey PV12Ms wedges for the stage.
Stands: Proline LST2BK for the mains and fills.
Amps: Two Crown XLS1500s for main and fill, and an XLS1000 for the monitors.
Board: Mackie ProFX16
Mics: Four Sennheiser E835, and two AKG wireless: a handheld and a lapel.
Misc: Mic stands, cables, a handful of XLR-TRS adapters, and four DI boxes each with lift and pad. I'm sure I'll need more of this stuff -- this was just to get an initial hookup going.

As for me:
I have always been interested in sound/lighting systems and have a pretty good tech network and power background (I run a data center for the Federal government). I'm an electronics hobbyist and a "man-cave musician" with a rack of synths and effects, so I'm familiar with mixer signal paths, basic effects boxes, midi, networking, etc. So I'm going to be their "tech" guy... (This is undoubtedly going to be my downfall, here...  :)

Power:
Should be okay, but I suspect there'll be some issues. According to Crown, I can run all three amps at "normal 1/8 power" (barely clipping)  and draw just under 7a. So a 20a circuit should support them all. (Don't like it, but until I can get some more circuits...) A couple more 20a for general stage use. Another 20a at FOH for the board and a laptop, etc. Was thinking about trying to keep the amps and board on the same side of power, but I might be being too picky here. (Operating from ignorance is a real pain sometimes... :)  Was also thinking of running the amps at 240v instead of 120v. Anyway, since this is a small rather informal venue, I think we can get away nicely with a half-dozen or so circuits, especially since there's minimal lighting at this point.

General:
The system is probably a bit oversized and should be able to run easily. (At least that was my intent...) About the only effects we'd use would be a bit of reverb which the on-board would probably be able to handle. If not, I've got a small Yamaha digital reverb on my own keyboards that I can use for now. I'm looking at some EQ, and maybe some compression, but that might be a bit down the road. Don't plan on micing any drums for now, but will likely use some DIs on the guitars (probably) and the keyboard (almost certainly). We're starting really thin and hoping to beef it up bit by but as we go.

So now that everything's bought and awaiting setup and testing, I'm second-guessing everything. I googled up "sound reinforcement forums" (which I should have done in the first place) and here I am. Y'all are first on the list! Been reading threads and already learning: found out about the Crown power draw spec sheets from here. Also pouring over You Tube videos about sound reinforcement and learning more. But these boards are obviously full of folks that can learn me even more (we're in Oklahoma, after all), and I'd be interested in any thoughts...

Did we go too far wrong with this stuff?

EDIT: spelling

First off don't be surprised when your post is moved.  This is the touring/national act "big boys" room.  This belongs in the HOW or lounge forum. 

I guess why are you asking after the fact?  Can you take it all back?  Did you just purchase it?  That's what I took.

I would also go to the power and safety forum and start reading up.  The extension cord is inefficient and could be dangerous.  You need to take the 220 to the stage and use a distribution box.  The amps will run cooler and more efficient on the higher voltage.

The board is a huge limiting factor, the snake, expensive, large the new crop of digital mixers run Cat 5 computer style wire to the stage.

An analog board is also not a great value proposition as the new intro level digital boards offer so much more functionality in terms of EQ and processing.  You really need outboard EQ, compressors and gates (if the board has comps my apologies). 

Also having four speakers for "fills" problamatic.   You don't have processing and delay so the speakers are interfering with each other.  Would probably sound better with two turned off.  More of the wrong speaker is never a solution.  With the money you spent on the amps and speakers you could have had a good percentage of a much nicer set of powered mains and subs.

The monitor count seems low, but I don't know your production values.

You didn't give us a target range for the level so it's really hard to comment.  If a drummer plays loud I would think he could get on top of the vocals from the Peavey's.

Sorry to start of on a downer note.

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Bill Harvey

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2015, 02:51:25 pm »

That's all okay. Gotta learn somehow. I guess what I was looking for (since the equipment is a done deal) is did anyone see any killer obstacles in using this. I know I need to talk with the electrician to get additional power installed (I don't want cords, either). The board only has two monitor channels, so I know we're starting out behind the eight-ball. Band reinforcement is not the primary purpose, merely an additional use.

But thanks very much for the info. (And I ead about digital snakes here...  Sigh...)
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2015, 04:03:13 pm »

That's all okay. Gotta learn somehow. I guess what I was looking for (since the equipment is a done deal) is did anyone see any killer obstacles in using this. I know I need to talk with the electrician to get additional power installed (I don't want cords, either). The board only has two monitor channels, so I know we're starting out behind the eight-ball. Band reinforcement is not the primary purpose, merely an additional use.

But thanks very much for the info. (And I ead about digital snakes here...  Sigh...)

The biggest obstacle, as was already mentioned, from a quality standpoint is the inability to delay your fill speakers.  This will cause BIG problems with intelligibility and coherence.
You will need to add some ability to properly delay the fill speakers.  You would be best off returning the XLS amps and getting the CDi or DSi series amps.  Very cost effective and they have a good selection of entry level EQ, delay, limiting and other functions that are simple to program from their faces or from a USB linked computer.

Lee
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Bill Harvey

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2015, 04:19:53 pm »

The biggest obstacle, as was already mentioned, from a quality standpoint is the inability to delay your fill speakers.  This will cause BIG problems with intelligibility and coherence.

Lee

Thanks very much. I didn't think the smallness of the venue would make that necessary. I'll look into it and see what our option are.

I probably should have looked around a bit more and posted this in LAB Lite...  Sorry...
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2015, 04:34:04 pm »

Thanks very much. I didn't think the smallness of the venue would make that necessary. I'll look into it and see what our option are.

I probably should have looked around a bit more and posted this in LAB Lite...  Sorry...

I'm going to recommend you ditch the "toy" mixer they stuck you with and get yourself a Qu-16 from Allen & Heath.  This will at least allow you the processing and control options you need to get the most out of the rest of the stuff they sold you. 

As it is, the NECESSARY gear they did not sell you will cost about half the Qu price when you add in the money wasted on that Mackie.

By the way:  you'd be MUCH better off sound-wise putting the stage on the short side rather than in the middle of the long side.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 04:46:47 pm by dick rees »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2015, 05:21:47 pm »


  The amps will run cooler and more efficient on the higher voltage.


I would disagree with that statement.

Do you have any evidence to back it up?

Assuming the amplifier has a universal supply, the big difference is that there will be a lower current draw from the higher voltage-but that does not mean they will run any cooler.

The fans on the inside will still be run off of the same voltage moving the same amount of air and the actual "amplifier section (not the power supply) will operate off of the same power supply (internal) voltages driving the same impedance loads.

Some amplifiers can also produce higher output voltages (which means more power into the same impedance load) when run off of a higher voltage.  This is due to the input current being lower and often circuits of a lower voltage are current limited.

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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2015, 07:22:12 pm »

Where in Southeast Oklahoma are you?
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Re: Sound Reinforcement System for Small Religious Venue Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2015, 07:22:12 pm »


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