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Author Topic: Speaker Placement Help  (Read 6926 times)

Alex Lusht

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Re: Speaker Placement Help
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 12:54:17 pm »

WOW MAC you really just don't read the posts do you.
The show is IN THE ROUND.  There is audience ALL AROUND THE ACTION. There is no relative direction of the sound.
Eddie,
Think outside the box!
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Brad Weber

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Re: Speaker Placement Help
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 12:55:56 pm »

Generally in a theater sound effect context it is important that the audience can tell where the sound is coming from, and it should be coming from where the motivation for the SFX is. If there is a radio playing on a table, the speaker should be placed so the sound seems to come from the radio, offstage right entrance doorbell, offstage right speaker etc.
So since this appears to be an "in the round" situation, some dodecs on stage?  :)

Seriously, part of 'selling' what is happening to the audience is the localization of the sound source but in some cases that addresses both the location and the frequency based pattern of both the natural source and the reproducing source.  For example, in reality a radio on the table would likely sound different to someone sitting in front of it compared to someone behind it, which might be relevant when the audience is all around the stage.  A typical speaker aimed to match the axis of the radio may somewhat naturally recreate that off-axis response.  However, some other sources you try to reproduce may be aimed in other directions or have very different polar responses, thus that same speaker may not work as well for them.

You can also get into wavefront synthesis to make sources appear to be coming from different locations including outside the physical confines of the theatre space.  It all comes down to what is practical for the application.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 01:37:59 pm by Brad Weber »
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Speaker Placement Help
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 01:15:30 pm »

WOW MAC you really just don't read the posts do you.
The show is IN THE ROUND.  There is audience ALL AROUND THE ACTION. There is no relative direction of the sound.
Eddie,
Think outside the box!

Wow, two threads and two swings with misses.

Why would being in the round eliminate the directionality of sound effects? If the action is not dead center of the circle, it appears in a direction to the audience. That direction might be a different relative position for each member, but it is still a direction.
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Jay Barracato

Alex Lusht

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Re: Speaker Placement Help
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 01:34:21 pm »

Sorry,
I didn't mean to get anyone upset.....My apologies to MAC....and anyone else I may have offended.

And, of course, "directionality" can be very important to the narrative.  I assumed... yup I know what that can do.... that the general goal here was to provide the audience with even coverage for this unique set up.  The previous attempt hadn't worked as well as perhaps a different set up might.  And, since space seems to be at a premium, when isn't it, the possibility of a "surround sound" set up with smaller monitors could create some real theater magic! 

So, what might be a cool approach is to use a kind of surround sound approach. Not knowing what the actual set looks like...... I suggest, it is possible, that one could set 4 "studio monitors" on the stage set somewhere, face them in the appropriate direction, and even dress them to blend in, and send each its own mix, like you would if they were "band monitors" using the aux sends on the board.  You could then send what ever signal you'd like to any of the speakers, creating some "real theater magic".

This has worked well for me, it might work for someone else as well.
 
And again, sorry to come in "swinging".  Just tryin to help my "brothers of the brush", if you will.  Many path lead us through this forest, I'd like to walk them with you, not against you!
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Speaker Placement Help
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 02:09:00 pm »

So since this appears to be an "in the round" situation, some dodecs on stage?  :)

Seriously, part of 'selling' what is happening to the audience is the localization of the sound source but in some cases that addresses both the location and the frequency based pattern of both the natural source and the reproducing source.  For example, in reality a radio on the table would likely sound different to someone sitting in front of it compared to someone behind it, which might be relevant when the audience is all around the stage.  A typical speaker aimed to match the axis of the radio may somewhat naturally recreate that off-axis response.  However, some other sources you try to reproduce may be aimed in other directions or have very different polar responses, thus that same speaker may not work as well for them.

You can also get into wavefront synthesis to make sources appear to be coming from different locations including outside the physical confines of the theatre space.  It all comes down to what is practical for the application.

I don't think being in the round changes how you use speaker placement for SFX localization. It may make it harder to hide speakers and their cables, but the localization still comes from the speaker. Using multispeaker "surround" mixing is not likely to be able to localize the sound for all of a surround audience the same.

Sometimes there are sound effects that do not need to have localization, certain background sounds come to mind, or music underscoring, but effects that have a narrative motivation, such as radios, door slams, telephone rings etc are best handled with localized speakers, in the round, on a thrust, or with traditional proscenium staging.

Any artistic decision in the theater eventually is given the thumbs up or down by the director, but in more that 35 years of creating and playing back sound effects for theater, ranging from college productions in 1970 to commercial theater in NY starting in 1972, through the last theater production I was involved with Passing Strange speaker localization has played an important part.

Mac
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Eddie Czubinski

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Re: Speaker Placement Help
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 10:23:29 pm »

I understand that the FX should be localized, but we have never done a play or musical where the FX were because even when we use are regular auditorium seating the PA is only mono. Why is it mono? Apparently a while back they sacrificed stereo for better speaker coverage.

Since we only have 4 speakers to work with and since this Sunday is our "tech Sunday" where we do a dry tech run followed by a dress rehearsal. So it is pretty much set in stone. Since our One Acts, which is what this is for, is mainly a show to raise money we keep all costs as low as possible so we can go bigger on the spring musical. So renting better equipment is out.   
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