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Author Topic: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way  (Read 2183 times)

Geert Friedhof

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 11:54:13 pm »

Looking at your picture i find it odd that the L and R volumes of the top XTI are very different, so there might be a problem there...

The sub XTI is in bridgemode?
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W. Mark Hellinger

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 11:03:03 pm »

Josh:  I'm involved in production work on a couple fronts: 

1)  As a sound & lighting contractor doing events in the area.
2)  I'm the "gear guy" and bass player in a local band.

There's generally not a lot of cross-over between the two.  For the band project, my focus with the gear choices and implementation is with the band's interest first in-mind.  My band mates (and myself for that matter) primary interest is in performing... cause that's what we're getting paid to do.  It all pays the same regardless of how much gear is involved... although admittedly the resulting quality of our performances is undoubtedly key to our continued success and growth.  But... schlepping gear and fooling with it doesn't float my bandmate's boat... they came to play.  So the band system is my best attempt at the most bang for the buck per my quality standards combined with the least amount of gear schlepping.  "Stairs" are commonly involved.  Power is commonly a problem.  Lousy venue acoustics are generally a problem.  Small or no-existent "stages" are commonly a problem.  Outdoor weather contingency is commonly a problem.  Tired musicians, especially at the end of a performance after a day of work at our day jobs is generally what it is... especially seeings as we're all in our 50's and 60's.  My ideal for set-up is that the rest of the band unloads, sets-up, and sound checks in about the time it takes our drummer to set-up and mic the drum kit... being typically 1/2 hour - 45 minutes.  Tear-down and load out is the same ideal: stage struck, everything properly packed and stowed ready for the next show and loaded in about the same amount of time as it takes the drummer to pack-up the drums and pack them to the van.  Attention to both the small and large aspects is key.
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Josh Larrimore

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 11:46:00 pm »

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to craft these responses. I've taken some time to go over what's been suggested and totally agree with what it seems everyone has been saying: active speakers and subwoofers and w00t to digital boards!

Hi Josh,  Iím not familiarity Bills horn subs, but I would urge you to look at some of the other options available to the DIY community. Art Welter Keystone subs have good performance and are relatively an easy build.  There are several good tapped horns including the th18, and the Othorn as well as various Cubo designs, but these are trickier to build.  There are some decent ported subs on the 18 sound website.  These may suit your need better, particularly if you want more deep bass.
I'm definitely going to at least scope out the DIY options, but from all of the feedback I've gotten so far it seems as though powered options are going to be our best bet (other than monitors). I still plan on doing my entire basement theater with DIY speakers.

I can appreciate the enthusiasm as well as what youíre doing with this gear and the limited budget.

That said, Iíd strongly urge you to follow the ďbuy once, cry onceĒ mantra and not invest any money in the temporary Yamaha digital board or another outboard effects unit, especially if youíre close to buying an X32.

The X32 will be money well spent ... get the JBL 2x18s or similar. go with some decent active speakers. Some Yamaha DXR12 would be a major step up, and would offer additional versatility.
I really look forward to working with the X32 again in the near future: I have worked a few gigs for another company and ran the X32 under another guy's guidance. It's totally awesome and slightly overwhelming, but it's logical so I don't see it taking too long to learn it.

The overwhelming advice to go to active speakers and subwoofers is deafening, and I'm talking to the band mates about future plans. Thanks for the suggestions!

Wise advice.  Anything that is temporary/band-aid is a fancy way of saying - waste of money. 
DIY anything now days, unless you have experience and really want to focus on the learning aspect - typically falls into this category, or easily can.

Subs - fewer, higher quality/output subs are better than more lower-end subs.  A single JTR Captivator 218 (for example) is worth considering over a pair of basic single 18" subs. If you need more - you add one more, rather than starting with 2 and then adding 6. 

What I would do - outline the real system you need, keeping your time in mind.  Likely X32, a great subwoofer, and a pair of good speakers.  Then find the most direct path to those and bypass the waste rabbit trails.
You nailed it. I can see I was trying to frog-hop the upgrade and going to what we really need is the way to go. I'll check out the stuff you suggested.

I'd also advise against both of these moves, if you're going spend money go straight to a digital board now even if that means a rack version like the X32R or even a XR18 or similar. You get so much processing with any of these digital mixers it's makes no sense at all to be buying outboard processing or another analog board ... consider powered cabs like the JBL SRX800 series. Here again you are looking at a quantum leap so to speak similar to what a digital mixer provides, there is so much going on inside these speakers you simply could not match the performance with the same money spent on passive speakers and outboard processing and amplification.
Yeah, I guess I wasn't really thinking about the built-in effects the X32 and XR18 provideóI shouldn't worry about getting the external effects upgraded if a digital mixer is on the horizon. I will check out the JBLs. Hopefully I can find most of the suggestions people have been making on the used market.
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Josh Larrimore

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 12:01:15 am »

I further support the advice given. Building your own speakers is very much a labor of love. Unless you are a pretty damn good physicist, pretty darn good with wood-working and don't mind spending nearly the same price for your " project " as you would a commercial unit, it is very much a fruitless endeavor.

These days, baby steps don't really pave the way as it may seem in other industries. If you can afford it, buying the best that you can buy gets you many steps ahead, both in terms of sales and ease of use ... The market has adjusted well and affordable digital mixers are extremely valuable to advancing your place in the sound world. If you can run an analog mixer at all, a digital one, while not fun to learn on while at show, is easy enough to grasp and learn quickly.

My final suggestion is to rely heavily on self-powered speakers. While they do cost a little bit more than a passive counterpart, they are cheaper in the long run and really do make your life easier. Most are getting so good that even a cheap unit is better than most of the best stuff you could buy 20 years ago.

To close this up. Buy Once Cry Once is a real thing in this industry.
It's pretty obvious that our next step is to budget which powered speakers we want to start saving for, and then the subwoofer(s). Effects handled by the X32 or XR18.

It's been said in all the above posts, but I'll throw this out there. Since you are a home speaker builder you'll get the gist of what I'm saying. Bill FitzM designs are the "bose" of the diy world. All hat and no cattle.

DIY is still a lot of fun if you are into it, but like everbody has mentioned, it doesn't save you money anymore. The name brand products are so cheap and so good that you can't build something better anymore. The Yamaha DSR112 is a wonder of product design.

Google these two names: Art Welter and Peter Morris. These guys design some serious, SERIOUS gear that you can build at home. Peter M's stuff isn't cheap to build, but what you end up with will blow away anything you might buy second hand from a soundco. Art has designed some reasonably priced subs and some more expensive stuff too. All of it will destroy what you have now.

Seriously, look into the X-air18 for your rig. It's cheap, will fit into your amp rack, and will offer comps and gates on every channel plus 4 FX units that are worlds better than what you are using now. It's exactly half of the X32.
I guess I haven't ventured too far outside of the home theater / dedicated stereo DIY forums because I didn't know the Fitzmaurice had that reputation, but I could see that. It's pretty popular some places but I haven't heard anything about uses as professional sound reinforcement. I'll check those guys out, and the XR18 is now on the list as I didn't know it existed before you suggested it.

Unless you are shooting for the stars, Peter Morris' PM 60 and PM 90 designs are definitely not entry level. The parts will probably cost $1500 per cabinet, and he uses an expensive processor, the Lake LM26, for each speaker to get the most out of it. And it requires 3 powered amp channels per speaker to run them 3-way.

Art Welter's Keystone sub, Josh Ricci's Othorn, and "xoc1" TH18 plans can all be found at diyaudio Subwoofer forum and would all cost less than $1000 per cabinet, but as mentioned only the Keystone is a relatively easy build. Having the correct speaker also goes a long way; the models that work best (like the B&C 18SW115) are often in the $500 apiece range. Throwing "any old speaker" in there won't yield the best results, and they have tested and simulated the models that work best.

I agree with other posters here that the new powered stuff is a no-brainer for most applications. The newer stuff like Yamaha's DSR series and JBL's SRX800p series uses Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters to correct for phase and EQ anomalies and make for a very intelligible and even response through the speaker's pattern which would be difficult to duplicate DIY, unless you want to spend thousands going the "Peter Morris" route. I also agree, cut directly to the chase, don't trade up sideways to get to your goal; an interim solution is more trouble than it's worth. Figure out what you really need and go figure a way to get it.
Yeahhh, those DIY designs are probably too expensive for what seems to be available as a ready to go powered unit. I have a full shop to do home-sized stuff (table saw, miter saw, router table, drill press, etc.) but the return on time invested for PA stuff seems slim, as you said. I'll check out the JBLs.

Looking at your picture i find it odd that the L and R volumes of the top XTI are very different, so there might be a problem there...

The sub XTI is in bridgemode?
Oh don't worry about that, they're not in operational state there. I had them turned to whatever my sleeve that brushed them set them to, haha. When we aren't out at a gig, I use the subwoofer amp to drive my DIY home theater subwoofer, an 18" Dayton PA460-8 in a slot-ported box tuned to 15 Hz. I just have the amp set to the build-in bridged subwoofer mode and it seems to work pretty good until I can get a proper amp with some DSP in my theater rack.

Josh:  I'm involved in production work on a couple fronts: 

1)  As a sound & lighting contractor doing events in the area.
2)  I'm the "gear guy" and bass player in a local band.

There's generally not a lot of cross-over between the two.  For the band project, my focus with the gear choices and implementation is with the band's interest first in-mind.  My band mates (and myself for that matter) primary interest is in performing... cause that's what we're getting paid to do.  It all pays the same regardless of how much gear is involved... although admittedly the resulting quality of our performances is undoubtedly key to our continued success and growth.  But... schlepping gear and fooling with it doesn't float my bandmate's boat... they came to play.  So the band system is my best attempt at the most bang for the buck per my quality standards combined with the least amount of gear schlepping.  "Stairs" are commonly involved.  Power is commonly a problem.  Lousy venue acoustics are generally a problem.  Small or no-existent "stages" are commonly a problem.  Outdoor weather contingency is commonly a problem.  Tired musicians, especially at the end of a performance after a day of work at our day jobs is generally what it is... especially seeings as we're all in our 50's and 60's.
Yup, you know me. We are one. The only different is that our band is still somewhat spry in our 30's and haven't thrown our back out just yet. Wait, I have a few bulging discs ... but either way, we all know that shlepping the gear is part of the deal. So that's nice. Especially for my back!
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Roland Clarke

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 08:41:50 am »

The problem with most diy audio, itís either too tweaky or just badly designed.  Iíve trolled through most of the diy forums and there are some clever guys on there, often they just miss the point.  Pros tend to design something with a performance goal in mind.  The cabs I suggested above all produce very good results and, depending how you go about it, can save you money.  They will take longer to make than you think, because you will hit snags, you also need to spend the money.  Getting cheaper drivers isnít an option, you need to work with what the cabinet was designed for.  Even professional companies have to change drive units because they suddenly find a great driver, has a weakness in a particular design.
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2019, 10:48:00 am »

If your looking at the X32R and the XR18.  I would take the X32R over the XR18 because the 32R has the expand to 32 with a S16.  Two is you can put the X32R in a good 6U rack with a 1U ups.  Put in two 1U vented pannels above and below the X32 to allow cooling.  Then setup a good Wireless access Point  Umbiquity makes a pro model that can take some weather, and heat 122 degrees max.   https://www.ui.com/unifi/unifi-ap-ac-pro/
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2019, 12:07:15 pm »

Just a quick FWIW, DIY speakers work for me. I designed my own cabs, built them, and then spent a lot of time with a measurement mic to get the results I wanted.

What I've ended up with is a system that's fairly compact, but puts out a lot of sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXuV-Cl0hmI

Now, it takes good drivers and quite a lot of power (£££) to get that sort of performance, but the benefits are there. The above video was 2x 15" subs and a 2x10"+HF top per side, and the entire thing was running on a single 240v 13A socket. 85dBC-slow at the camera, 103dBC peaks, at 280 feet away.
I can lift each cabinet with one hand, and I'm not a big guy.


So, I'm not convinced that going for all-active speakers is the only option. DIYing can be an option and under some circumstances will provide better performance for your money. Like anything else, though, pros and cons must be weighed up before a decision is made.

For me personally, it was a no-brainer: when I built my system, I had lots of tools, lots of time, experience designing speakers, and not a lot of money.

Chris
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Terry Martin

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2019, 01:10:01 pm »

Something else that I didnít see mentioned, is at the club level (which my band is), youíre really only getting paid for load in/out and travel expenses.   So the quicker you are, the more you (all) make per hour.  Performing you do for fun and to stay busy on a Friday/Saturday night. 

Our gigs are usually an 8 hour ďdayĒ.  2 hours in, 3 hour show, 1.5 hours in, 1.5 hours travel time on average.  Sometimes slightly more, sometimes slightly less.  5 people, 2 trucks with 2 tag enclosed trailers.  Full lighting and sound rig. 

Good luck and keep it as simple and error proof as you can.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Roland Clarke

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2019, 06:32:56 am »

Like Chris, Iíve more recently gone the DIY route.  On larger gigs, the system is either supplied, or Iím contracting a system.  Usual suspects D&B, LíAcoustic, Meyer, Martin, KV2 etc.  Problem is, the smaller stuff 200 - 1000 people rarely has the budget to pay for me to dry hire in and make more than day rate, so the last few years Iíve run a small rig for these jobs.  This was ok, but the rig as decent as it was, isnít really of the standard I required and without getting into becoming a full blown PA hire company I needed better without blowing £30-50k on FOH system.  My only option was to build. 
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Mark Norgren

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Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2019, 08:05:01 am »

I was in a similar boat a few years ago.  I ended up going with a Midas M32R, Midas DL32 Stage Box, four QSC KW181's, two QSC KW153's, and six powered monitors (2 QSC and four EV's).  The larger gigs my system can't handle usually have production provided for us.  I can always scale back a bit for smaller clubs.  I bought once, but still cry.  It's the nature of the beast!  Good luck!
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Hopefully I'm doing things the right way
¬ę Reply #19 on: May 21, 2019, 08:05:01 am ¬Ľ


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