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Author Topic: Line array help in a new install!  (Read 4718 times)

nialle.travnik

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Line array help in a new install!
« on: May 17, 2011, 12:10:17 am »

Hey folks, hoping for some guidance.

We're building soon, and want a solid system for an expandable sanctuary. It will seat 500 initially, and we really like the idea of a line array system, as opposed to messing with traditional speakers and front-fill stuff. We do contemporary praise, and like to be able to run a beefy SPL in the house. Money is not a huge issue. 

What do I need to know about line arrays in a small-ish room so I can educate the people who spend the money?

For example: I've been reading about how your stack height is relative to how you can properly control lower frequencies. Does that mean if I get a mini line array (say, 5 speakers a stack or something) I'll have to supplement with subs on the floor? This is the stuff I don't understand.

That issue or any others, let's hear it!
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 01:29:24 am »

What do I need to know about line arrays in a small-ish room so I can educate the people who spend the money?
How do you know a line array is the appropriate loudspeaker system for your venue?  You provide no evidence or reasoning behind your choice.  It's unfortunate, but they have been marketed as a panacea to all the problems in sound reinforcement.  They are not.

Having a consultant to determine what is the best solution for your situation is key, and I highly recommend getting one.  It'll save you the most money in the long run and would be even better if you can find one who has done work locally.  Then, you can arrange to see some of those venues, particularly if they are like your space.

As long as the person is reputable and has their act together (including the proper licensing, insurance, etc.) you will end up with a system that suits your needs now and in the future.

I'm sure others will comment on specifics.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 01:42:18 am by Jordan Wolf »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 09:09:51 am »

How do you know a line array is the appropriate loudspeaker system for your venue?  You provide no evidence or reasoning behind your choice.  It's unfortunate, but they have been marketed as a panacea to all the problems in sound reinforcement.  They are not.



Come on, Jordan.  We all know that line array is cool.  The only real consideration is what color the boxes should be.
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Andrew Welker

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 09:38:04 am »

Come on, Jordan.  We all know that line array is cool.  The only real consideration is what color the boxes should be.

They need to be the same color as the roof. That way they disappear against the ceiling and the little old ladies don't complain about being able to see a speaker.
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nialle.travnik

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 09:38:23 am »


Having a consultant to determine what is the best solution for your situation is key, and I highly recommend getting one.  It'll save you the most money in the long run and would be even better if you can find one who has done work locally.  Then, you can arrange to see some of those venues, particularly if they are like your space.

As long as the person is reputable and has their act together (including the proper licensing, insurance, etc.) you will end up with a system that suits your needs now and in the future.


Oh, I fully agree. I'm just educating myself prior to our consultant coming in. Not that i wish to supplant his skill, I just want to aqcuire some cursory knowledge so that when I open my mouth, I kind of know what direction I'm going in. We definitely are going the consultant route!

I'm just curious as to basic considerations of a line array setup. Like for example, is a mini-line array acceptable in a smaller room? Has it ever been done with success that members of this forum are familiar with?
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 09:51:54 am »


I'm just curious as to basic considerations of a line array setup. Like for example, is a mini-line array acceptable in a smaller room? Has it ever been done with success that members of this forum are familiar with?

The answer could be yes......and could be no.  There are many more considerations which a qualified consultant will be aware of and deal with.  Do yourself a favor and don't prejudice the process with preconceptions.  Have your needs clearly listed and let the consultant(s) provide solutions from which you can choose.  You'll want to get several proposals to compare and choose from.  One might be CLA, another might be trap boxes.

When choosing your consultants be sure to get a list of installs they have done and go and hear as many as possible.  Ask the other folks about their experiences and what, if anything, they would do differently now that they've had experience with their installs.

The final result will only be as good as the entire cooperative effort between your congregation and the designer/installer.  Your job is to clearly state your needs and desires.  Theirs is to provide the solution........regardless of the type and brand of technology applied.  Don't try to do their job for them.
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nialle.travnik

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 10:15:15 am »


I'm just curious as to basic considerations of a line array setup. Like for example, is a mini-line array acceptable in a smaller room? Has it ever been done with success that members of this forum are familiar with?

The answer could be yes......and could be no.  There are many more considerations which a qualified consultant will be aware of and deal with.  Do yourself a favor and don't prejudice the process with preconceptions.  Have your needs clearly listed and let the consultant(s) provide solutions from which you can choose.  You'll want to get several proposals to compare and choose from.  One might be CLA, another might be trap boxes.

When choosing your consultants be sure to get a list of installs they have done and go and hear as many as possible.  Ask the other folks about their experiences and what, if anything, they would do differently now that they've had experience with their installs.

The final result will only be as good as the entire cooperative effort between your congregation and the designer/installer.  Your job is to clearly state your needs and desires.  Theirs is to provide the solution........regardless of the type and brand of technology applied.  Don't try to do their job for them.

The builder is a turn-key contractor that works with a preferred sound consultant. Their design record is reputable. But when several people in the church have input into the process, I want to be as educated as reasonably possible.

For example, one person, with some weight and input said this the other day: "Problems with stage volume? Heck, I've seen a device that you can install into a tube amp that just takes the speaker right out of the equation! Then you can DI your amp with no stage volume at all!"

See my basic issue? I know we can iso the amps, which is what we're doing, but principally, on a whole I not only want a desired result, but to understand the ins and outs of how we got there... because I gotta live with the install.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 12:07:26 pm »


The builder is a turn-key contractor that works with a preferred sound consultant. Their design record is reputable. But when several people in the church have input into the process, I want to be as educated as reasonably possible.

For example, one person, with some weight and input said this the other day: "Problems with stage volume? Heck, I've seen a device that you can install into a tube amp that just takes the speaker right out of the equation! Then you can DI your amp with no stage volume at all!"

See my basic issue? I know we can iso the amps, which is what we're doing, but principally, on a whole I not only want a desired result, but to understand the ins and outs of how we got there... because I gotta live with the install.

Ask the person who's doing the job to explain it to you.  They'll have all the information needed to give you the answers you're looking for.  Trying to educate yourself on the Internet so as to be able to judge the contractors methods is fairly futile as you cannot possible post all the pertinent information for anyone here to make an accurate assessment.  About all you can expect is to address your opinions and either validate or negate them. We have only your scanty sketch of the issue.  To get us up to speed you'd need to write a few chapters, maybe a whole book.

As to what is appropriate for the space and use you can always contact the system manufacturers for information.  If you're looking at JBL, then by all means, contact JBL for what might be appropriate for the coverage you desire.  If it's another company, contact them.

There's more to it than you suspect........and in some cases less. Talk to the contractors and/or manufacturers.  To learn what you really need is not within the scope of Internet searches.  It takes years of experience to be able to adequately evaluate such situations, not a month or two of asking questions on a Forum.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 12:28:01 pm by dick rees »
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Brad Weber

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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 04:06:59 pm »

Oh, I fully agree. I'm just educating myself prior to our consultant coming in. Not that i wish to supplant his skill, I just want to aqcuire some cursory knowledge so that when I open my mouth, I kind of know what direction I'm going in. We definitely are going the consultant route!

I'm just curious as to basic considerations of a line array setup. Like for example, is a mini-line array acceptable in a smaller room? Has it ever been done with success that members of this forum are familiar with?
Providing very specific input regarding the products and approaches to be used while also expecting the system designer to be responsible for the system design and performance puts them in a very difficult situation, there is only so much liability one can take for the results if others control or direct your work.  My recommendation is to focus on defining the functional and practical considerations.  What do you need/want the system to do?  What don't you want?  What would you consider a success or failure in terms of the end result?  In general, work on defining where you are and where you want to go.  Be as general or specific as you want, but stay away from specific solutions or products unless they are really part of the goals.  Then when the Consultant comes in, and it sounds like that party may actually be a design-build Contractor that your builder is selecting and that will also be providing the products and system installation, they'll have a good idea of what you want the system to do and can work with you on assessing and developing potential solutions to support that vision, including explaining their reasoning and the logic behind their choices.
 
I'm not sure what led you to understand that line arrays would typically be a good solution for an expandable space or that they are simpler than other approaches or that they negate the need for front fills as none of those are necessarily valid.  Also be aware that many speaker products may be line array like, but aren't actually line arrays, that's not inherently a positive or negative, it's simply different tools for different applications.  And that is why it is best to define the problems and goals before discussing potential solutions.
 
This also goes to your question regarding the low frequency pattern control.  The lowest frequency for which an actual line array can provide any vertical pattern control is limited by the array height.  If you want pattern control at lower frequencies then you need a larger/longer array.  However, some line array type products aren't actually using the interaction of multiple boxes in the array to provide pattern control, they are really more just a vertical array than a line array.
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Re: Line array help in a new install!
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 04:06:59 pm »


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