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Author Topic: "Spread" center cluster?  (Read 1221 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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"Spread" center cluster?
« on: September 22, 2020, 12:59:50 PM »

A few years back we removed a center speaker array (2 horns and low box) that sounded and covered pretty good and replaced it with the 5 K12's arrayed as shown.  (I really had no input in the layout).  I think it sounds better than I expected, if the side fills are backed off a little-but pastor realizes that the arrangement muddies up the sound in places-we have pretty much gone to no sidefills for speaking portions of a service for better clarity-but the sidefills give better coverage on songs.

Pastor is now telling me he thinks he overkilled the room (several people have said that)-and the reality is we could use the extra K12's elsewhere.  He wants to rearrange things-perhaps bringing the sidefills in and changing center to one speaker.  My first off the cuff thought was to change wiring so that I can run either the 3 in the center, or the center and two relocated sidefills and do a comparison.

I've followed on here for a long time and I understand the point source point of view and adding speakers for coverage. I feel like using a "spread" center cluster might give better coverage and less overlap than 3 close together.  I know that doing software modeling is the best way-I also doubt the money/desire is available to do that.  Thoughts on how far apart before the speakers start acting separate vs together?  I know in theory, as soon as multiple transducers are used-but practically speaking?  This room has plenty of reverb-so getting really crisp sound isn't going to happen anyway.

Just looking for some constructive feedback :)  The attached pic wasn't taken for purposes of this post-but it does show the arrangement of the speakers and room-it is symetrical in the portion not shown.
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Steve Swaffer

Tim Weaver

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Re: "Spread" center cluster?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 05:39:37 PM »

Do you have some DSP for the speakers? Even if it's just seperate outputs from a digital console.

What you'll want is some delay, and probably EQ. I don't have a huge problem with doing it that way, but to get it right you'll want to have one speaker in the middle. This will be the "zero time" point. Then use appropriate delay to line up the out fills with the middle speaker. Make sure you have as little overlapping coverage as possible. And probably (especially for spoken word) cut out the low end of the outside speakers. Maybe up to (guessing) 300-400 hz. A shallow 6db highpass would suffice set to taste. Let the middle speaker provide the grunt, and the out fills to fill in the sides.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: "Spread" center cluster?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 12:24:31 PM »

Yes-speakers would be different outputs with both delay and available.  That makes sense.
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Steve Swaffer

Brian Jojade

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Re: "Spread" center cluster?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 12:51:25 PM »

When you start working with multiple sources, you have to start determining the tradeoffs of where it will sound good and where the speakers will interact and create mush.

If you spread out the speakers, it may sound fine in the front rows, but the back rows will have potential of weird interactions from multiple sources of sound.

The way you have the center cluster hung could be adjusted to eliminate the dead spots being filled by the side speakers.  the K12 is a 75 degree box, so 3 speakers would have an effective coverage area of 225 degrees with no overlap.

Point the 2 side boxes wider, creating your mush alley down the walkways.  Since the side boxes have a shorter throw distance before a reflective wall, you'll probably need to back their volume down a touch to keep things even.

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brian maddox

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Re: "Spread" center cluster?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 07:11:21 PM »

...

Point the 2 side boxes wider, creating your mush alley down the walkways.  Since the side boxes have a shorter throw distance before a reflective wall, you'll probably need to back their volume down a touch to keep things even.

This is great advice. It's always best to make it sound the worst in the aisles vs. the seats.

However, be aware that your leadership is likely to listen to the system standing directly in the aisle where it sounds lousy, so be prepared to steer them to where it sounds good.  :)
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: "Spread" center cluster?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2020, 12:43:25 PM »

I'm actually blessed to have leadership that understands that not every seat/location sounds the same-so they make it a point to sample various locations in the auditorium regularly with the goal to sound as good as possible in every seat.  We actually dropped the sidefills out of "spoken word" mics because they tend to muddy speech up just a little in certain seats in the side sections-whereas with music it helps to "fill" the room without killing people with volume.  Not so much a case of good/vs bad-but tweaking to taste.

I was actually picturing, that by spreading the speakers a little, the overlap areas would align better with our aisles. If I can find a way to splay the 3 in the center wider we could probably cover properly. Spreading would even out the distance from the speaker to the nearest seat and speaker to the farthest better though-the farthest seats being in the front corners. 
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Steve Swaffer

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: "Spread" center cluster?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2020, 12:43:25 PM »


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