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Author Topic: Cardioid or end-fire arrays in small rooms. Questions about space needed.  (Read 1669 times)

Gordon Brinton

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    • Raw Depth Sound, Harrisburg, PA

I regularly work for a high energy rock band that wants strong punchy kick and bass. When I split my subs, I get plenty of huge punch throughout power alley, but not in the nulls. As I move around the room, the low end power just seems to come and go due to the nulls. This bugs the hell out of me. I am considering snapping up a few more subs, (single 18's) so that I can experiment with end-fire and cardioid arrays.

We work mostly in bars, social clubs, and banquet rooms anywhere from 100 to 400 capacities. Our typical size room might be 30 x 60 feet with perhaps a 12 ft ceiling. Some of our stages are solid, but most are hollow wooden. Occasionally, we may see a smaller venue that has no stage at all.

A few times, I have tried center clustering subs, but the band has much more trouble hearing monitors and each other when I do so...even with IEM's. I realize that directional arrays are not a cure-all and may come with a new set of problems. But more even coverage for the audience is my big concern. Always striving for improvement.

My questions are mainly about spacing and room enough for sound wave development. (My most utilized/important frequency in the subs is probably 80Hz for the kick. I cross over at 120.)

1. Will reflections from walls and ceilings ruin the effect in rooms this small? Is it all worth the trouble, or should I just split my subs and shut up?

2. For a Cardioid stack or row, I understand that you cannot put the rear-facing sub up against a solid stage or wall. But how much open space do I really need behind the stack?

3. Does a wooden stage count as open space?

4. If center clustered, how far away should the array be from the front-person/singer to be effective for them?

5. If I place a Cardioid stack near or against a side wall, will that affect its performance?

6. Do end-fire arrays have a large dead zone immediately in front of the array? (My simulation/prediction software shows one up to 10 or 15 feet ahead.)

7. If I am unable to center cluster, should I build two cardioid arrays that are split or just have one array off to one side?
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John L Nobile

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Re: Cardioid or end-fire arrays in small rooms. Questions about space needed.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 11:04:47 am »



7. If I am unable to center cluster, should I build two cardioid arrays that are split or just have one array off to one side?

This was my issue a few years ago. I wound up running the left sub at normal level and turned up the right side just enough to fill in the bass that was lacking at the front on that side. Fortunately, I had twice the subs I needed for that small room and it worked quite well. Bass was even and full throughout the room.
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Re: Cardioid or end-fire arrays in small rooms. Questions about space needed.
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 11:04:47 am »


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