ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Complaints about the loudness  (Read 6273 times)

Adam Foster

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5
Complaints about the loudness
« on: January 15, 2010, 10:45:47 am »

Hello Everyone,

Our Pastor just informed me at the beginning of this week about complaints from a lot of saints about the loudness of our services. I measured one of our services and its about 96 in the sound room in the back and 108 on the front row.

The sanctuary seating area is 60' long and 45' wide. We can seat about 460 in our sanctuary. We have 2 JBL SRX715s on on either corner of the stage on pole mounts. And now the biggest issue, acoustics.  All four walls of our sanctuary are made of cinderblock. The back wall, closest to the sound room has some type of absorption padding on it from 15yrs ago. the side walls have 9 windows that are space 4 feet apart. The ceiling is an A-frame with drywall.

A few things I have considered. The first is getting a line array. I am looking at this option m,ore closely and I really do like it. It provides even sound levels throughout the building and is easy on the eyes.

Second, would be taking the current speakers and creating a center cluster. I do not like this option because we would have to drill into the boxes and this would virtually make them unsellable.

We are running MRX Dual 18 subs so I don't think our low-end is a problem. Even though I do like the idea of hanging the sub to create a more even low-end level throughout the building.

I am not sure where to go from here or what to do. I need to come up with some type of solution to increase clarity so I can lower the overall volume.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
Logged

Brian Ehlers

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 12:19:49 pm »

I'm sure you'll get many helpful suggestions from this message board.  But first you must follow the rules and change your username to your real, full name.  Thanks.
Logged
    -- Brian

Adam Foster

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 12:30:21 pm »

That's done. I think
Logged

George S Dougherty

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 317
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 02:30:17 pm »

A few thoughts.  Getting your speakers up, in a L/R config rather than center cluster would be my preference since I'm not a fan of comb filtering generated by adjacent horizontal speakers.  An LCR front setup with flown tops and front-fills may provide good even coverage without going to line arrays.  The problem with ground-stacked mains is getting them far enough from your front row that the inverse square law gives you broader distances of even volume levels.  You can either set them further back or further up to accomplish this.  LCR with front fills allows you to skip the front rows with the mains and use the fills to cover the front at moderate tolerable volumes.  In fact, with the mains up higher skipping a center speaker may be a possibility.
Another option would be delay speakers to cover the back of the room at better volumes.  My preference would probably be the front config without delays in a 60' deep room.  
A small line array with 2-3 modules to get the angular coverage you need along with power shading to provide the zoned volume levels you'd need is also a good option.

Acoustics are something that would be good to treat.  Many good options, the help of an acoustician is highly recommended.  There are good commercial and DIY options for treatment once you've identified actual needs.

Flying subs.  I'll just recommend not doing that.  Low frequency volumes are less problematic than higher frequencies for most listeners and you lose output by flying subs unless they're ceiling loaded.  If you do that, then you have rattles and everything from lighting and other equipment up there now that the ceiling is providing your boundary reinforcement.  They're also heavier and without flying hardware, not a good idea.  

Speaking of flying hardware.  From a safety and liability standpoint, I wouldn't recommend installing your own.  Professionally installed hardware typically has reinforced metal plates and is designed as part of the cabinet construction. It's much more robust than an eyebolt with a washer on either side of the cabinet.  If you're not a structural engineer and fully confident in what you're doing, don't.

Also, google "power alley" and all the reasons not to split subs.  With only 45' of width in your room it's not a good candidate for splitting them to provide even coverage on either side.  You need at least 50' of separation and even then it's not ideal.  Subs placed next to each other work better, next to a wall within 2' of a wall or further than 8' even better, and in a corner even better.  You need about 14' of wall surface for it to be effective as a wall or corner boundary.  Lower ceilings are not a problem, just talking about recesses and small sections of wall next to a stage.  If your subs are on either side of the stage next to the tops then they're causing problems for even coverage in your sanctuary.  Don't be afraid to point them at a wall to get the driver within that 2' boundary distance.  Added bonus is a slight absorption of harmonic distortion similar to a horn loaded sub cabinet, though not nearly as effective.
Logged

Dick Rees

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 452
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 03:39:36 pm »

If you've really measured the SPL with a reliable meter and are not guess-timating, I'd say 108 (dBA?) is just too loud.  And probably over OSHA specs.....

More information is needed, as usual, but just taking a shotgun approach I'd want to know what the SPL is in the front row without the mains on.  Most often the problem is that the onstage volume is such that the mains must be pushed into excess to allow enough headroom to get a full mix.

Start by turning down the band.  Then you can turn down the system.  "Make a joyful noise......but at a reasonable level."
Logged

George S Dougherty

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 317
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010, 05:03:44 pm »

Dick Rees wrote on Fri, 15 January 2010 15:39

If you've really measured the SPL with a reliable meter and are not guess-timating, I'd say 108 (dBA?) is just too loud.  And probably over OSHA specs.....

More information is needed, as usual, but just taking a shotgun approach I'd want to know what the SPL is in the front row without the mains on.  Most often the problem is that the onstage volume is such that the mains must be pushed into excess to allow enough headroom to get a full mix.

Start by turning down the band.  Then you can turn down the system.  "Make a joyful noise......but at a reasonable level."


+1 As well.  96db is probably a better volume to shoot for up front if you change nothing else.  That'll put you in the low-mid 80's back at the board.  You won't have quite as much impact back at the board as at 96db, but you can always bump the subs a touch to keep the bottom end happy.  Human ear sensitivity will want more in the bottom end anyway at a lower overall volume.
Logged

Frank DeWitt

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 136
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 07:03:27 pm »

Adam Foster wrote on Fri, 15 January 2010 10:45

Hello Everyone,

Our Pastor just informed me at the beginning of this week about complaints from a lot of saints about the loudness of our services. I measured one of our services and its about 96 in the sound room in the back and 108 on the front row.

And now the biggest issue, acoustics.  

I am not sure where to go from here or what to do. I need to come up with some type of solution to increase clarity so I can lower the overall volume.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks


I don't understand this.  If you don't have clarity you need that first.  That is.  Do not increase the volume beyond the point where the sound is clear.

People complain that a service is to loud for 3 reasons.
It is to loud
It is hard to understand
They don't like the music.

You will please a lot more people if you first get good sound and then go loud.

BTW  I like loud, and a bible search on the word loud will show that God likes it, but it needs to be done well.

I think first you need to bring the volume down until the music is clear and clean.  (BTW This will probably require that the stage volume comes down.)

Next you need to fix the room.  Sadly, that probably means hiring a trained professional.

You could experiment with moving the speakers and you might get lucky.  You could try L / R as has been suggested. raise the poles as high as they will go safely.  Place the speakers in from the walls about 1/4th the width of the room. Aim the speakers straight back and down at the heads of the last 3rd or forth of the church.

You could also try the center cluster with ONE speaker.  It will show if that position is clearer.  It could even be done for one Sunday with a scaffold

I only suggest these things because they are free.  I would not spend any money until you get a professional modeling of your room.

Frank

Tom Young

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1174
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 08:42:07 pm »

A few thoughts and ideas:

You need to clarify your SPL measurements. What is the weighting filter used (A, C, Flat) ? Is the SLM set for slow, fast or peak response ?  Finally: what brand and model SLM ?

You allude to "drilling into the speakers" (or words to that effect). You simply CAN NOT undertake (on your own) flying speakers that are not designed for suspension. The only way to do this right is if you have a qualified rigger/consultant design a steel "cage" that fits around each speaker. This often is simply not worth it, as far as the cost and appearance. But if you were to do this you must have the design of the cages approved by a licensed structural engineer, who must also inspect the building structure and rigging hardware to ensure you hang this stuff in a safe manner. The issue here is the safety of your clergy and congregation.

Should you get another speaker system and it is designed to be flown, you will still need to have the building structure inspected to determine where and how the cluster(s) are hung.

Note that in either case the final hang must also be inspected, followed by being given stamped documents stating that the installation is safe.

Of course the safety issues and their impact on cluster locations must also be coordinated with the aiming of the cluster(s) for the coverage that you need.

Again: the primary concern is life safety. There are no loopholes to get around this.

In the meantime, as others have advised, get the band level down so you can reduce the sound system level.

You can also try a cut (3-6dB) in the equalizers on the speaker system, centered between 3-4kHz and perhaps 2-3 octaves wide. This correlates to the increased sensitivity that humans have to this frequency range and especially at higher SPL's. The congregation will then perceive the sound as being less loud. However, this may impact the clarity and intelligibility of your sound as well, depending on the system and the room (acoustics).

Let's keep this dialogue going.
Logged
Tom Young, Church Sound section moderator
Electroacoustic Design Services
Oxford CT
Tel: 203.888.6217
Email: dbspl@earthlink.net
www.dbspl.com

Sidney.Pilien

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 122
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 11:17:31 pm »

I've mixed in wall to wall concrete before and if I had a choice, I don't ever want to do it again. Room reverb was the biggest problem, especially on the bass guitar and drums.

You will be spending big bucks on line arrays, amps, cabling, contracting a rigger and end up with the same problem. Still too loud. Why?

Well, come to find out, the drummer was playing without discipline, the drum heads were not padded with moon gels, creating heavy overtones, especially the bass drum, the guitar amps were too loud, the monitor mix is too loud and spilling into the FOH mix (you can tell by turning off FOH speakers and on again), you should have tried to turn off the subs and run the bass amp only and see that it made a huge difference, the instruments were too loud and buried the vocals in the mix, the floor is not carpeted, etc.

You need to identify what and who is loud and tone it down and make adjustments on the mix. When I first started out mixing, my biggest problem was people complaining it's too loud when in my opinion it wasn't. Getting the right balance in this type of room acoustics, getting accustomed to quieter audio, and catering to the audience needs is a big challenge.

And one more thing, if you know of anyone who can RTA the room and identify the frequency problem areas, then go from there. Hope this helps.
Logged
Sidney Pilien  
               
As Schultze would say "I know nutting!"

Bruce Burke

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 67
Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2010, 11:58:39 am »

First, you need that center cluster. Second, forget a line array. Third, if you have to drill the boxes, you have the wrong boxes for flying. Yes, this means a financial investment.

How high is the peak of your ceiling? If it is at least 20 feet, there is a single box solution, excluding subs.

-Bruce

Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Complaints about the loudness
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2010, 11:58:39 am »


Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.087 seconds with 23 queries.