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Author Topic: Outdoor PA at new skatepark-advice  (Read 1922 times)

Jim Layton

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Outdoor PA at new skatepark-advice
« on: October 27, 2020, 07:27:46 am »

I am part of a team that runs an outdoor skatepark. I have always provided the production for our competition events. This included multiple wireless mics, cabinets and subs. I also work with a company that provides an LED video screen, camera switching, etc. The board of the org opted to use a car stereo installer to design and install the zoned music system for the main building. They did a good job for a first time project like that. Now the org has asked them to design an outdoor PA for the park. I don't have a blueprint of the park to share at the moment. They're wanting to use three "speakers" on a pole in the center of the park. It is a large park. The spectators are all on the outer edges of the property. The participants are everywhere all the time. A big part of the entertainment of the events are the event judges narrating the action while music is playing. They'll be using wireless mics. Clarity and the ability to reach "everyone" is essential. Wireless coverage is another essential. When I use my PA, which consists of multiple SRX715s and 18" subs, it is a compromise of High SPL near the cabs but good coverage far away.

I am sure there is more "engineering" required than a couple of announcement speakers on poles. I'm thinking we should create a "must have" list of requirements for the project. Really defined performance objectives and not simply trust an installer to know what we need. I'm "hand-holding" the org members at the moment.

I recommending quotes from real sound installers to see what they recommend. For a project like this I know there are people who can do it correctly. But is it "normal" to have some kind of performance guarantee on an install? My concern is we'll end up with budget no-name wireless mics and and inadequate audio.

Thanks for suggestions.
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Jim Layton

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Re: Outdoor PA at new skatepark-advice
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 08:18:21 am »

Here is the lighting plot. I added the yellow triangle to show where the three speakers on a pole are proposed. If light is "like" sound, it seems obvious that the audio will need to be distributed in a similar fashion as the light fixtures.
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Jim Layton

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Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2020, 08:27:34 am »

I posted a similar message on the installed sound forum but I'm sure to receive some good info here also.

I am part of a team that runs an outdoor skatepark. I have always provided the production for our competition events. This included multiple wireless mics, cabinets and subs. I also work with a company that provides an LED video screen, camera switching, etc. The board of the org opted to use a car stereo installer to design and install the zoned music system for the main building. They did a good job for a first time project like that. Now the org has asked them to design an outdoor PA for the park.  They're wanting to use three "speakers" on a pole in the center of the park. I attached the lighting plot and added a yellow triangle where the "sound pole" is proposed.  It is a relatively large park. The spectators are all on the outer edges of the property. The participants are everywhere all the time. A big part of the entertainment of the events are the event judges narrating the action while music is playing. They'll be using wireless mics. Clarity and the ability to reach "everyone" is essential. Wireless coverage is another essential. When I use my PA, which consists of multiple SRX715s and 18" subs, it is a compromise of High SPL near the cabs but good coverage far away.

I am sure there is more "engineering" required than a couple of announcement speakers on poles. I'm thinking we should create a "must have" list of requirements for the project. Really defined performance objectives and not simply trust an installer to know what we need. I'm "hand-holding" the org members at the moment.

I recommending quotes from real sound installers to see what they recommend. For a project like this I know there are people who can do it correctly. But is it "normal" to have some kind of performance guarantee on an install? My concern is we'll end up with budget no-name wireless mics and and inadequate audio. Based on the lighting plot it would appear that the audio should also be distributed throughout the park for even coverage.
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MikeHarris

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Re: Outdoor PA at new skatepark-advice
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 10:44:12 am »

will this be outside yearround ?  Where iz you located?  What kind of environment you have ?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2020, 10:53:46 am »

Your concerns are certainly valid.

That appears to be a pretty large area, so some real proper sound design/modeling is needed.

The first question I would have (if I was asked to design it), would be: How tall is this "sound pole"?  and how large/ie how much weight can it support, including wind load.

My guess is that it will not be tall enough or strong enough to cover that area properly.

Getting roughly the same SPL everywhere will also probably run into a budget issue them.  So, the next question would be "What is your budget-including installation"?

My guess is that you are correct in what you will end up with. 

Any design MUST include putting some real numbers (such as expected SPL-including adequate headroom) on paper and seeing what it will take to achieve that.

THEN the reality of what can be done will need to be discussed.

Good luck, or maybe they need to learn how to do it the wrong way first.  That is the only way some people learn.  A sad reality

If the installer cannot provide a model of expected SPLs (with headroom), freq response coverage etc, then they should not be allowed to do the job.
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scottstephens

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Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2020, 12:16:15 pm »

Jim,

  Ivan nailed it (as he usually does). This is all about liability!!! That better be one hell of a pole!!!  Sure, some good Community speakers with proper amps can get the sound out there, but not full range,   not without subs. And Community subs are HUGE. Infact, lots of Community speakers are large. Take a look at some stadium installs.    If you have a HUGE Budget, Ohio Stadium in Columbus OH has a Meyer system( if memory serves) at on end of the stadium and it "throws" sound for hundreds and hundreds of feet with massive impact.  I think (again, it's been awhile ) it was over $400K to purchase and another $100K to install.  But it is NOT on a pole. It is built around a score board and such.

Scott 
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2020, 12:30:52 pm »

Jim,

  Ivan nailed it (as he usually does). This is all about liability!!! That better be one hell of a pole!!!  Sure, some good Community speakers with proper amps can get the sound out there, but not full range,   not without subs. And Community subs are HUGE. Infact, lots of Community speakers are large. Take a look at some stadium installs.    If you have a HUGE Budget, Ohio Stadium in Columbus OH has a Meyer system( if memory serves) at on end of the stadium and it "throws" sound for hundreds and hundreds of feet with massive impact.  I think (again, it's been awhile ) it was over $400K to purchase and another $100K to install.  But it is NOT on a pole. It is built around a score board and such.

Scott
The Ohio state system price was part of a "deal".  If anybody else went to purchase it, it would have been much higher.

Large stadium projects (audio only) are often closer to 1M.  Depending on many factors of course.  They are beyond the scale/capability of most installers.

On some of them, I have looked at the installs and thought "HOW much did that cost to do THAT!".
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
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PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Brian Jojade

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Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2020, 12:49:27 pm »

Yes, it's very normal to specify requirements for a project such as this.  Keep in mind, there are 3 things you are trying to get here. First is a defining the project requirements, then there is system design, and then there is installation.

Asking for combined bids on the project means you won't likely see the details of system design until the project is done, which limits the level of input you have in what gets installed.  If you trust the install vendor, then that may not be an issue.

Hiring professionals that know what questions to ask for the first step is not a horrible idea.  It shouldn't cost that much to create a proper RFP and then send that off to the installers.  This part is critical to get bids that are going to fit into a realistic budget.  Unless you have a bottomless pit of cash available for the project, that is.
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Brian Jojade

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2020, 03:29:59 pm »

Yes, it's very normal to specify requirements for a project such as this.  Keep in mind, there are 3 things you are trying to get here. First is a defining the project requirements, then there is system design, and then there is installation.

Asking for combined bids on the project means you won't likely see the details of system design until the project is done, which limits the level of input you have in what gets installed.  If you trust the install vendor, then that may not be an issue.

Hiring professionals that know what questions to ask for the first step is not a horrible idea.  It shouldn't cost that much to create a proper RFP and then send that off to the installers.  This part is critical to get bids that are going to fit into a realistic budget.  Unless you have a bottomless pit of cash available for the project, that is.
Some of the basic requirements of the system should be a specific SPL (with weighting and time) at the furthest location and the allowable SPL deviation from location to location.

Freq response (+/- xdB) would also not be a bad idea.

But these MUST be realistic.  Such as don't expect 15KHz at the furthest positions, depending on the actual size of the area (hard to tell from the provided map as to the actual distances), you might be lucky to get to 4 or 5Khz.

Those would be the MINIMUM I would specify.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 04:29:23 pm »

I'm not trying to create more issues, but what kind of an area is the park located in and are there any sound ordinances?  I've seen people spend many thousands of dollars on sound equipment that was used only until a government entity or a lawsuit shut it down in the first few weeks.  I suspect the participants want very loud music and for voice over, that will probably be even louder.  Just another item to add to you list.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Question on an outdoor install at skatepark
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 04:29:23 pm »


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