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Author Topic: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations  (Read 1929 times)

Xandy Whitesel

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hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« on: June 04, 2018, 08:28:29 pm »

I have a european hockey arena type tour coming up in the fall and would love to hear from people about recent sub implementations that were successful.  On this tour the arenas are 6-11k capacity and will need 180 degree coverage that you imagine a typical arena show needs.

PA is d&b.  An initial recommendation I received is 18-ish B2 sub array and 6/side flown Jsub.  This is not set in stone yet and jiggle-able; i.e. I can probably add to this sub count.

I have mixed 3 arenas so far and was never satisfied with sub coverage.  All were a standard ground stacked delayed arc.  At the most recent one we started with 6 stacks of 2 B2 (omni) delayed and spaced across the front of the stage on the floor.  With the delay in, definition of transient low end was ridiculously terrible.  Taking all the delay out resulted in an increase in definition everywhere but it was still bad, and power alley city.  I presumed that omni mode subs means we're spewing LF into the 3rd of the arena behind the stage and with the relatively low arena ceiling it just wraps around and causes havoc and reckoned that a cardiod array would be better.

We had a little time and gumption that day and switched from the 6 stacks of 2 B2 in omni to 4 stacks of 3 B2 in CSA with 4' gaps and no delay.   That made a world of difference, presumably because we were keeping LF from rolling around the 3rd of the arena that is behind the stage and were also narrowing the array so presumably widening the horizontal coverage.  Coverage on the floor was presentable and the perceived RT of LF much lower.   Coverage in the side seating tier was not terrible but definitely not good, far from what I aim for and believe to be attainable.

As good as an omni sub arc seems to work in a shed, it has so far failed me in arenas.  I would like to hear about configurations that others have recently implemented and felt generally happy with in a 180 degree arena setting.  I've read up on dave rat's designs but I've never met or spoken with anyone that has implemented any of them.   They require quite a quite a few extra boxes which I'm not opposed to if that really gets us good coverage.   But I don't understand his theories quite enough to convert the design to B2/B22 and scale down to half the boxes.  D&B/EDS seems committed to only the basic omni or CSA sub array, so I need to be confident and knowledgeable if I'm to suggest and implement an alternative.

Anybody got a good story?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 01:32:54 pm by Xandy Whitesel »
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Xandy Whitesel
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Xandy Whitesel

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 01:35:59 pm »

No arena stories available, apparently.
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Xandy Whitesel
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Luke Geis

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 02:50:11 pm »

Arena's are not fun for that reason. You don't get to have your cake and eat it too with subs. You have enough subs that you could do a L/C/R with an endfire array on the L/R sides. I have seen L shaped arrays on the sides too in order to get coverage on the sides and provide some directional control. Depending on the stage type, a cardiod array in the center cluster could help with the build up in the rearward plane. I would see what it looks like in a prediction program to have an L/C/R systems with endfired subs on the sides with some outfill and a cardiod sub cluster in the center. With stacks of two you may only utilize 15 subs instead of 18? If you want to get more clever you could do a cardiod setup for the outfills and keep all 18 subs in use? I would play with the prediction software though. I like playing with sub arrays and I'm not afraid to deploy them. The hard part is breaking away form the norm. Get creative and see what you can come up with.
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Xandy Whitesel

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 05:18:15 pm »

Looking for comments from anyone that has ever implemented any of these.

I've been doing some modeling in arraycalc, specifically aiming for wide coverage and rear cancellation.  Rooms are going to be 60' stages, 6k-12k cap arenas, and 180 degree coverage, 2 to 3 levels (1 to 2 balconies).  Big.  It seems like all of the venues will have space on each side of the stage to pile stuff.  I'm hoping to have 24 B22's to play around with, plus a flown 6/side J sub, but I haven't wrapped my brain around that part yet.  What are they for and won't they just mess everything up further?

I've come up with the following designs for a 60' stage and 24 B22's.  Most of the rooms are regular oval shaped arenas, but Oslo Spektrum is super wide and shallower.  B22's have at least 3db of directionality built in to them, so I've modified the basic designs a little to compensate.

Basic D&B style cardiod spaced arc.  Good cancellation, coverage is smooth on axis but frequency response really gets jagged once you get off to the sides.  Really inefficient compared to the others - there's just a lot of canceled energy I guess.  I normally love this setup but it seems like it falls apart trying to be so big and wide.   It seems like the coverage is smoother with minimum spacing between stacks, but I didn't go less than 2' gaps, as recommended by D&B.  D&B doesn't want you to tight pack if you are in cardiod mode.  But I really wonder about the practical difference of keeping the line to 40' or going wider to say 60'.  60' definitely looks worse in arraycal.  And then there's the whole transient argument from the cardiod aspect.  24 boxes somehow seems like not enough.

D&B single high tall-side up cardiod tight packed line.  There is no option in arraycalc for putting them on their ends with no gaps, just a solid line of subs (the middle one of every 3rd reversed for CSA) across the front of the stage, but it is pictured as OK in the D&B sub document.  So I wonder about that.  But I have no model.

Sloped tall single wide 3 deep end-fire L/R.  (sloped up (in number of boxes) since B22's are somewhat directional already - front stack has 5, middle stack has 4, rear stack has 3)  I'm wondering if the slope actually steers the beam up, which would be good for balconies maybe.  Easy to implement, just 4' spacing and some delay.  5 tall stack seems like a PIA?  I'll bet this setup is punchy.  Reasonably compact.  Off axis frequency response seems jagged.  Seems like a heavy power alley, maybe coverage is too wide in the center.  Doesn't seem like you'd want more center coverage on this setup.

Forward and Sideways End fire L/R.  a row of 3x2 boxes facing sideways/offstage extending along the side of the stage, and then another similar row 3x2 4' offstage of that. Not too bad?  Seems really wide.  Probably nice and tall coverage too for high balconies since it's just 2 box high stacks.  Really wonder about this one.  Kind of a lot of space required but seems doable since it is along the side of the stage.

Dave rat vortex L/R.  Very wide...power alley but dispersed frequency wise and power wise.  hmm!  no crazy tricks to do it besides space and measuring and delay.  It looks crazy but seems like it is basically a 2 dimensional take on endfire.  If you turn it diagonally coverage can narrow a little.  Takes up some room.  Cancellation on stage looks very good.  I've never talked to anyone that's done it, though it is talked about on the internet quite a bit and there's even an AES paper that dives in a little.   Arraycalc even pretended to understand what would happen (and it matched my expectations.)  Has anyone besides Dave Rat ever implemented this setup?  It honestly this setup looks the most promising on paper of all of these.

None of these require  polarity reversal (which D&B amps are NOT capable of).

And then I have no idea what flying 6/side J-sub does to any of this.  I haven't been able to get arraycalc to tell me anything about how the flown subs will interact.

I'd love to hear any thoughts good, bad and ugly.
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Xandy Whitesel
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Xandy Whitesel

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 05:20:53 pm »

more pix.
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Xandy Whitesel
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Xandy Whitesel

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 05:22:39 pm »

and 1 last design that I kind of like the least.

Wide low steered end-fire L/R.  Seems actually really good but needs a ton of space, probably more than is available.  And I wonder how much transients take a dump with the steering delay action.
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Xandy Whitesel
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2018, 06:30:59 pm »

I cannot speak to the B22s specifically as we're all V-Subs and J-Infras in-house, but I will point out to those following along that they need to be looking at the polar plots for comparison, not necessarily the SPL maps as the frequencies being modeled in the SPL maps are not consistent between screen shots (some at 50 Hz, some at 63 Hz, some at 80 Hz, etc).

At this point I would be asking at what frequencies are the most important LF portions of your mix? Is your kick drum response at ~65 Hz the most important aspect or is it bass guitar/synthy stuff that falls below 50 Hz? In contrast, what frequencies are the folks on stage most bothered by? At what frequencies the majority of your low end mix lives should certainly take weight in your decision.

As you mentioned, consistency in the room and rejection on stage are your primary goals. That being said, at least according to these models, I personally feel the typical virtual arc of cardioid stacks across the front of the stage provides the most consistent seat-to-seat experience and the best rejection downstage center, presumably where your lead singer lives. You could play with the delay of the outer stacks to shift those L/R rear lobes a bit if you've got musicians down there that have issues with LF spill on stage.

This setup will likely narrow your vertical LF coverage, but ideally your flown subs are deployed in such a way they help mitigate this issue. I don't have a ton of experience with flown subs, but I've usually used them to make my mains sound "bigger" allowing me to rely less on the ground subs for "body" in the 60-100Hz region and more for "impact" below 60Hz.

The sloped endfire and vortex methods are intriguing, as they definitely improve response to the sides, but at the cost of some fairly drastic lobes on the floor through a good portion of the "money seats." I'd be looking to give the most consistent experience within sections of seats while understanding certain areas may suffer, comparatively, but at least I know that going in to the gig and can try to alter delay times to steer that toward poor selling sections, cheap seats, etc. These are hard compromises to make as I whole heartedly want everyone to have the best show experience possible, but often necessary in effort to minimize negative effects.

Dave Garoutte

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 11:31:58 pm »

I don't know if it's relevant, but a while ago, Merlyjn (sp) did an article on spacing subs a few inches apart.
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Helge A Bentsen

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2018, 05:17:13 am »

FWIW

I've never heard a flown sub array in Oslo Spektrum that works, but I've not been to many concerts there.
Someone might have done it.

The best sounding subwoofer coverage in that room seems to be groundstacked solutions if you can tolerate variable timing between your mains and your subs. I've only done one gig in there as a systech (JBL VTX/S28), ended up with all the subs on the floor in four end-fire arrays (60hz XO) and that was reasonable good for what we did in there.
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Uwe Riemer2

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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 03:18:07 am »

Aggreed on everything Steven said, but would like to add some random remarks:

Distributing sub energy 180 degrees ( Forward Aspect Ratio 1:1 and reduced energy to the rear ) is probably the most difficult task I can think of.

The line of subs in front of the stage:
The wider the line, the narrower the dispersion.
And then there is an upper frequency limit the line can reproduce: Length of the line divided by 8 gives the wavelength,
applying delay to create an virtual arc will lower this frequency limit.

Flown subs and groundstacked subs covering the same range:
I would place the groundstacked subs as close as possible to the flown ones and I would make sure, both arrays have similar impulse behavior and dispersion on their own,
otherwise I would try to highpass the flown ones and use them as low extension to the main array. d&b processing does not allow this option AFAIK.
Introducing an additional spectral crossover is not an easy task and comes with the penalty of increased group delay.

Directional subs:
These have a direction built in, so I point them where they should go, whenever space allows this.

Endfired arrays:
the first pulse of the sub closest to stage will have no cancelation to the rear until the next sub comes into play, so I think endfired should be at least 3 deep, better 4 or 5 deep.


Keep up the good work Xandy, have you thought about contacting d&b directly for assistance ?


Uwe

   
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Re: hockey arena sub configuration recommendations
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 03:18:07 am »


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