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Author Topic: Meyer Constellation effectiveness  (Read 5511 times)

Lee Buckalew

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Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« on: August 28, 2015, 03:39:27 pm »

I have had limited experience with Constellation during one of the Star Wars in Concert stops.  That use was live, onstage only, for venue to venue consistency in the orchestra's sound-field.  The system worked very well for that application.

Do any of you have any experience with the system in a very live, very reflective space?
We have a client considering multiple new sound systems and one direction that they are wanting to consider is a Meyer system with Constellation to address some acoustical property needs.  I believe that it was Brad Weber who had indicated quite some time ago that he was not all that impressed with the potential output capability and with the after sale support from Meyer.  I would expect Meyer to dispute this since it is their system so I wanted informed 3rd party input both on system capability and after the sale support.

The room in question is a metal pre-fab type church layout, nearly square and about 180'x180' with exposed roof beam truss and little to no acoustic treatment.  There is not even carpeting on the floor, concrete only.  Seating is in the 2000 person range including a small (6 or so rows deep) balcony that wraps around 3 sides of the venue.

My feeling is that a very live and acoustically problematic space that routinely has A Weighted fast response SPL of 100-105 dB/SPL during portions of services would be better served by adding an equivalent dollar value in acoustic treatment when compared to Constellation.  This client is not looking for variable acoustics but for a consistently more acoustically pleasant and interactive experience for their audience.

Thoughts from those who have used/experienced Constellation?

PM me if you prefer.

Thanks,
Lee
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 04:19:07 pm »

Lee,
What exactly are they hoping to achieve with constellation? Are they/will they not be putting in any acoustic treatment? Before I spent a wad on constellation I would want to work on acoustics. That's why I'm curious as to what they think constellation will help or fix.

T
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 04:28:20 pm »

Lee,
What exactly are they hoping to achieve with constellation? Are they/will they not be putting in any acoustic treatment? Before I spent a wad on constellation I would want to work on acoustics. That's why I'm curious as to what they think constellation will help or fix.

T

They are wanting to use Constellation to achieve a more intimate experience for worshipers without adding acoustic treatment.  They expect more interactive singing from the congregation. 

This is why I am wanting to hear from folks who have experienced/used the system in a very live and problematic acoustical environment.  My experience with other systems has been that an acoustically well behaved space with a short RT60 will experience the greatest ability to affect change.  Trying to fight the acoustical problems is what concerns me the most.

Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 04:35:52 pm »



The room in question is a metal pre-fab type church layout, nearly square and about 180'x180' with exposed roof beam truss and little to no acoustic treatment.  There is not even carpeting on the floor, concrete only.  Seating is in the 2000 person range including a small (6 or so rows deep) balcony that wraps around 3 sides of the venue.

 This client is not looking for variable acoustics but for a consistently more acoustically pleasant ....

Kind of simple to point out the contradiction in this.  Two treatment options...deal with the RT-60 or use a D-9 Cat.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 04:41:38 pm »

Kind of simple to point out the contradiction in this.  Two treatment options...deal with the RT-60 or use a D-9 Cat.

That is also my thought Dick but I need to have someone who has had some ears on an installation of this system to say that there is not (or is, I could be surprised) a way to use it to change the acoustics in the space and reduce the unwanted interactions that are creating the problems in the first place.

I am of the very strong opinion that until the space is dealt with acoustically that Constellation would not create any enhancement.  It may be very effective after treatment but...

Thanks,
Lee
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 05:00:07 pm »

I have been involved in installation of several of these type systems and used to have the only portable VRAS (which is what the Constellation was called before Meyer bought it and put a new name on it) that we used to take around for demos.

For any of these type systems (there are several manufacturers who have this type of system-and each has advantages and disadvantages), the room has to be DEAD-NOT LIVE.

You CANNOT take away existing reflections (reverb).

You can only ADD IT.

Yes these type of systems can help congregational singing when the room is dead.

But putting them in a live room is a TOTAL waste of money.

All they can do is make a bad situation worse.

They REALLY need to be aware of this before making a large financial mistake.
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2015, 05:01:02 pm »

I've never heard one in a reflective space. Nor do I think I want to. IMHO (not having the experience in a highly reflective space) I think your just adding more crap and making it worse. Using electronics to mitigate poor acoustics doesn't work well unless your considering a dead room to have poor acoustics (which you are not) and are trying to engance with electronics. I don't see an enhancement in your situation.
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2015, 05:01:56 pm »

I have been involved in installation of several of these type systems and used to have the only portable VRAS (which is what the Constellation was called before Meyer bought it and put a new name on it) that we used to take around for demos.

For any of these type systems (there are several manufacturers who have this type of system-and each has advantages and disadvantages), the room has to be DEAD-NOT LIVE.

You CANNOT take away existing reflections (reverb).

You can only ADD IT.

Yes these type of systems can help congregational singing when the room is dead.

But putting them in a live room is a TOTAL waste of money.

All they can do is make a bad situation worse.

They REALLY need to be aware of this before making a large financial mistake.

Ivan beat me to it.
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2015, 05:37:50 pm »

The only cost effective thing that pops into mind is diffusers.  How much height is there?  I'd look to break up the space with some hangs and some columns around the periphery. 
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2015, 06:20:50 pm »

I have been involved in installation of several of these type systems and used to have the only portable VRAS (which is what the Constellation was called before Meyer bought it and put a new name on it) that we used to take around for demos.

For any of these type systems (there are several manufacturers who have this type of system-and each has advantages and disadvantages), the room has to be DEAD-NOT LIVE.

You CANNOT take away existing reflections (reverb).

You can only ADD IT.

Yes these type of systems can help congregational singing when the room is dead.

But putting them in a live room is a TOTAL waste of money.

All they can do is make a bad situation worse.

They REALLY need to be aware of this before making a large financial mistake.

Thank you Ivan.  I understand this but Needed to hear from a system user.

Thanks,
Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2015, 06:22:20 pm »

I've never heard one in a reflective space. Nor do I think I want to. IMHO (not having the experience in a highly reflective space) I think your just adding more crap and making it worse. Using electronics to mitigate poor acoustics doesn't work well unless your considering a dead room to have poor acoustics (which you are not) and are trying to engance with electronics. I don't see an enhancement in your situation.

Agreed and, so I am very clear, my opinion is that this is not the correct direction (at least not step 1) for this client. 

Thanks,
Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2015, 06:24:42 pm »

The only cost effective thing that pops into mind is diffusers.  How much height is there?  I'd look to break up the space with some hangs and some columns around the periphery.

Dick,
There are some very good acoustical options given the room layout.  Not much height to deal with once you take into account the sight lines from the balcony.

Thanks,
Lee
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 08:04:07 pm »

While we are on the topic, here is something that many people overlook when considering "enhancement" systems.

And if you think getting decent acoustic treatment is expensive-then read on.

One important factor is the NC of the room.  The Noise Criteria.

This is a curve-not an absolute value of the SPL of the noise in the room.  The lower freq are allowed to be louder (SPL wise) than the higher freq (that we can hear easier) to have the same point on the curve.

This is how loud the ambient noise in the room in.  The main offender is the HVAC system

HOWEVER in modern rooms there is often A LOT of noise in the ceiling WHERE THE MICS ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Things such as projector fans, moving light fans etc, can add up to quite a bit of noise.

I did a room a while back that had an NC of around 35 (fairly good but not up to the HVAC standard of 25 for a house of worship)  UNTIL the projectors and lights kicked on.  Then it went up to around 50.

I have seen modern room where 50-60 is "normal".

BTW the HVAC industry has a "standard" for a house of worship to be NC of 25.  That is pretty darn quiet.  REALLY quiet for a normal large space.

Of all the Churches I have worked in (well over 500), I have only been in ONE, that had and NC of 25.  And it was an OLD OLD building, but the guy in charge knew the importance of a quiet HVAC, especially in a live room.

It costs A LOT to get a quiet HVAC system in a large space.

But when you have a noisy system, that noise gets into the mics-that are then feed into the enhancement speakers, and the overall noise floor of the room goes up.

So with the noise floor higher, you need more PA gain before feedback for the main mics, and a higher capable enhancement system in order to get the system above the noise.

You HAVE to look at the TOTAL package-NOT just a couple of basics in order to get a system like this to work well/effectively.
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 09:25:13 pm »

I would be a little surprised if Meyer would even permit an install of a system without first dealing with the acoustics.

Ivan you mentioned "other systems" like the Constellation? Ive not heard of anything else sice VRAS was bought.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2015, 09:59:24 pm »

I would be a little surprised if Meyer would even permit an install of a system without first dealing with the acoustics.

Ivan you mentioned "other systems" like the Constellation? Ive not heard of anything else sice VRAS was bought.
LARES has the most number of "artifical systems" installed.

http://www.lares-lexicon.com/welcome.html

There are others, some with very limited capability.

For example the Yamaha system can only stretch the reverb out to twice the natural reverb of the room.  This is the "purest" approach, but is very limited as compared to the other systems.

I had my own little system that I installed in a couple of rooms.  We called it "BVERB".

I was not trying to fool European acousticians, just some "southern Baptists" :)

It actually worked VERY well and was much less expensive.

In the largest one I did, there was a 2500 seat sanctuary with a 400 seat choir loft.

The choir room was just like the choir loft-but a much smaller room.  So it sounded QUITE different when they sang in the different rooms.

So I used TEF and polar ETC and measured the reflections both in level-time and freq response, but also the azimuth and elevation.

We installed speakers to simulate the large room reflections and I programmed it so that it got better than I expected.

I was quite pleased with the results.

I also programmed a couple of "fun" settings for them to sing in highly reverberant rooms and so forth.
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2015, 10:49:21 am »

I would be a little surprised if Meyer would even permit an install of a system without first dealing with the acoustics.

Ivan you mentioned "other systems" like the Constellation? Ive not heard of anything else sice VRAS was bought.

There are a few major systems:

- Meyer Constellation
- ACS (http://www.acs.eu/)
- LARES (I believe that LARES has split - Steve Barbar is no longer with Lexicon and now calling his system E-coustic systems while Lexicon has recently teamed up with Wenger to continue that branch of the LARES system: http://www.wengercorp.com/transcend/)
- Yamaha
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Frederik Rosenkjśr

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2015, 02:37:25 pm »

Thank you Ivan.  I understand this but Needed to hear from a system user.


Why?

1. You don't necessarily need to have tried something to say it won't work.
2. It's going to be difficult to find someone who's tried it, if anyone will tell you right away that it won't work.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2015, 03:30:37 pm »

Why?

1. You don't necessarily need to have tried something to say it won't work.
2. It's going to be difficult to find someone who's tried it, if anyone will tell you right away that it won't work.

Answer to:
1)  Because the client has some ideas of their own that this would be a great thing for them and having first hand experience would go a long way toward getting them to rethink some priorities.

2) I already have a very good idea that it won't work and why but it's always good for me to hear from someone who has used something and see what they are saying.  I am seeing write ups with rave reviews of Constellation in high ambient noise restaurants and the positive enhancement that the system has provided in that atmosphere.  Sometimes I find that what I have "known" about a system or a technology changes over time with new technologies, etc.  Just wanted to confirm what I have experienced in the past is still the case here.

Thanks,
Lee
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2015, 05:30:01 pm »

Answer to:
1)  Because the client has some ideas of their own that this would be a great thing for them and having first hand experience would go a long way toward getting them to rethink some priorities.

2) I already have a very good idea that it won't work and why but it's always good for me to hear from someone who has used something and see what they are saying.  I am seeing write ups with rave reviews of Constellation in high ambient noise restaurants and the positive enhancement that the system has provided in that atmosphere.  Sometimes I find that what I have "known" about a system or a technology changes over time with new technologies, etc.  Just wanted to confirm what I have experienced in the past is still the case here.

Thanks,
Lee

Lee,
Are you a Meyer dealer? Have you spoke with them? If your getting good reviews about it working well in smaller spaces. With this product I'm pretty sure Meyer has their hand in most if not all of them.

T
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2015, 05:37:30 pm »


2) I already have a very good idea that it won't work and why but it's always good for me to hear from someone who has used something and see what they are saying.  I am seeing write ups with rave reviews of Constellation in high ambient noise restaurants and the positive enhancement that the system has provided in that atmosphere.  Sometimes I find that what I have "known" about a system or a technology changes over time with new technologies, etc.  Just wanted to confirm what I have experienced in the past is still the case here.

Thanks,
Lee

Constellation is used for a different purpose in the restaurants - there, it is essentially a fancy sound masking system. The idea is that if you make the restaurant totally dead acoustically it will be too quiet and a table will overhear conversation from the next table over. No acoustic treatment and the restaurant will get too loud very fast. Constellation allows you to start with a totally dead room and play around getting the exact amount of reverberation you want to make sound from the next table over unintelligible while setting a limit on how loud the space gets.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2015, 06:02:09 pm »

Constellation is used for a different purpose in the restaurants - there, it is essentially a fancy sound masking system. The idea is that if you make the restaurant totally dead acoustically it will be too quiet and a table will overhear conversation from the next table over. No acoustic treatment and the restaurant will get too loud very fast. Constellation allows you to start with a totally dead room and play around getting the exact amount of reverberation you want to make sound from the next table over unintelligible while setting a limit on how loud the space gets.

I understand this.  That's why I wanted to hear from someone with large(re) venue experience.

Thanks,
Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2015, 06:22:14 pm »

Lee,
Are you a Meyer dealer? Have you spoke with them? If your getting good reviews about it working well in smaller spaces. With this product I'm pretty sure Meyer has their hand in most if not all of them.

T

Yes we are but Constellation was brought up by the client as a secondary idea and they have not yet requested a design for it. 
I am seeking experienced users input because I wanted the opinions of users who have been utilizing Constellation on an ongoing basis. 
I personally have been very impressed with it in my limited exposure but believe that it will not perform the function that this client expects in their current space without significant sound treatment of the room first.  The replies from others with some experience with the system would seem to support this.

Thanks,
Lee
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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2015, 10:51:56 am »

I understand this.  That's why I wanted to hear from someone with large(re) venue experience.

Thanks,
Lee

We have designed a couple of them in performance spaces and Ivan is spot on - you need to start out with an unnaturally dead room otherwise you are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Meyer Constellation effectiveness
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2015, 11:16:04 am »

We have designed a couple of them in performance spaces and Ivan is spot on - you need to start out with an unnaturally dead room otherwise you are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Thank you.
This has been my experience in the distant past with LARES and others but I wanted to hear it from a current user installer.

Lee
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