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Author Topic: Line Array Intelligibility Distance  (Read 2641 times)

Josh Dunaway

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Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« on: February 09, 2019, 06:15:44 am »

Is anyone aware of a tool or available data to reference to be able to determine a line array (or any speaker) appropriate intelligibility range prior to needing a delay?

I have a large event coming up and need to determine if the HDL-20s I'm planning on purchasing can handle the distance without a delay tower or if I may need to consider the cost of a delay tower vs upgrading to HDL30s?
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 06:41:18 am »

Is anyone aware of a tool or available data to reference to be able to determine a line array (or any speaker) appropriate intelligibility range prior to needing a delay?

I have a large event coming up and need to determine if the HDL-20s I'm planning on purchasing can handle the distance without a delay tower or if I may need to consider the cost of a delay tower vs upgrading to HDL30s?

Your best bet is going to be standard prediction software where you model the room as well as the speaker deployment.  Intelligibility at given distance is useless if it doesn’t take into consideration reflection and absorption from the walls and, ceiling, floor, and audience.
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Josh Dunaway

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 07:12:15 am »

Your best bet is going to be standard prediction software where you model the room as well as the speaker deployment.  Intelligibility at given distance is useless if it doesn’t take into consideration reflection and absorption from the walls and, ceiling, floor, and audience.

I have done the model, and for this particular setup (like most I do) will be outside, so the room characteristics mostly doesn't apply.
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Dave Guilford

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 09:47:57 am »

I have learned that if you’re unsure if you need a delay tower, then you probably need a delay tower
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Tim Tyler

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 12:03:12 pm »

I have learned that if you’re unsure if you need a delay tower, then you probably need a delay tower

+1
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 12:10:04 pm »

Is anyone aware of a tool or available data to reference to be able to determine a line array (or any speaker) appropriate intelligibility range prior to needing a delay?

I have a large event coming up and need to determine if the HDL-20s I'm planning on purchasing can handle the distance without a delay tower or if I may need to consider the cost of a delay tower vs upgrading to HDL30s?
Delays, no matter what type of loudspeaker, are not for intelligibility-per say-, but rather to try to keep the freq response and level (SPL) the same for the intended audience.

What you need to do when figuring out if a particular loudspeaker is suitable for a particular usage, is to determine the specific coverage needed and SPL needed-as a start.

HOWEVER-it is VERY important to note what the particular programs are using to plot the stat "nominal musiced SPL.

Some use peak, some use continuous, some use "nominal music" etc.

You can adjust the levels as needed, but remember that a "good starting point" for SPL that you would normally read on a normal SPL meter are "around" 15dB lower than the peak.

It is just part of understanding the tool you are using.  They are not all the same

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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

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Peter Morris

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 07:43:42 am »

Is anyone aware of a tool or available data to reference to be able to determine a line array (or any speaker) appropriate intelligibility range prior to needing a delay?

I have a large event coming up and need to determine if the HDL-20s I'm planning on purchasing can handle the distance without a delay tower or if I may need to consider the cost of a delay tower vs upgrading to HDL30s?

How many HDL20's were you planing to buy? How much distance do you need them to cover? What of what type music and SPL do you need?

FWIW In terms of intelligibilty the HDL30's are better than the HDL20's
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 11:52:29 am »

How many HDL20's were you planing to buy? How much distance do you need them to cover? What of what type music and SPL do you need?

FWIW In terms of intelligibilty the HDL30's are better than the HDL20's
Well, for those following along at home, this is the second "stab" at the Line Array world by Josh. You may remember this thread from October, 2016. At that time, after the obligatory mention of Danley (haha, sorry, Mike!) there was a discussion about a "line" versus a "dash" and the fact that a line array isn't something you can do as a Box of the Month process. Josh was looking at four HDL10s per side.

A week ago, Josh then posted this where it sounds like he's decided on 4bx per side of HDL28As. I think that's still his current plan, although he's trying to figure out how to ground stack them without stacking on subs, and apparently either can't or doesn't want to fly them. (But now he also sounds like he's back to the HDL20s, instead of the HDL28As, so I'm getting confuddled. lol)

Tim then gave one of his usual insightful replies, repeating many of the things that we'd talked about back in 2016. You just can't do a line array piecemeal-- assuming that this is "stepping to the next level," and not just looking for a small increase of quality or convenience for your own enjoyment, you have to invest big to get the right results. A poorly deployed (or insufficient sized) line array is going to reflect poorly on you and your customer base, and probably yield negative results.

Two years on from your initial post about this, though, Josh... how are things going? Let's play "What If." If you'd purchased the 8bx HDL10 rig back in 10-2016, were there enough opportunities (not only in new shows, but also getting existing shows to pony up more money, as well as cross-rental opportunities) that you could have paid for this new system? Did you turn away any potential clients because you don't have a line array?

I mentioned this before- unless you're renting this size of system at least a couple times a month, or you're turning away one to two clients a month for a lack of this system, then it's possibly better to rent one in as you need it. Once you buy into this rig, it's going to be a minimum 18 months before enough people know you have it to really get the business flowing. If you purchase using a lease (which is what we did) then you have to realise that the leasing company is gonna want their money every month regardless of whether or not you've made any money with it. So, your existing income streams need to be sufficient that you can cover these payments each and every month.

Swinging back to the delay tower option: You do want it voiced the same as your main PA. So, if you're using RCF line arrays for your mains, you'd really want the same for the delays. Otherwise, you might run into a challenge where the delay zone sounds different from the main zone, and touring A1s will notice that. (And now we circle back to the discussion of a poorly designed and deployed system is a bad mark on your reputation.) We had a show last year where (by virtue of needing to scrape together extra capability) we had delay hangs that were simply processed differently (I-Tech HDs running v5 presets for the mains, and conventional I-Techs running v4 presets for the delays) and the A1 noticed the difference. Booked the show again for this year, so it wasn't BAD (and I explained why I needed to send the rig like this), but it could have ended poorly.

-Ray
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 01:13:41 pm »

Pedantry:

"Per say" is not a valid expression.  It's "per se" in Latin, meaning "by itself".

As a Latin phrase it should be in Italics, too.

/pedantry, with a tip of the hat to Andy Peters
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Line Array Intelligibility Distance
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 01:27:56 pm »

Sigh.

The sound of history, repeating.  A Grace Jones moment, perhaps?
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut
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