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Author Topic: In Ceiling Speakers  (Read 4581 times)

Johnathan Chen

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In Ceiling Speakers
« on: May 27, 2011, 11:52:59 am »

Hi guys,

I've just introduced myself here: http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,2814.0.html
Please read it :)

I've searched on this forum quiet a bit, but couldn't really find what I was looking for.

Is it common that in-ceiling speakers are used as fill-in sound under balcony's?
We have a main FOH system consisting one JBL JRX100, one JBL JRX112MI and one JRX118S on each side of the stage.
It fills almost every part of the building, but lacks a bit of sound at the end of the building (under the balcony)
The ceiling under the balcony is about 2.7m height.
Can I use in-ceiling speakers under the balcony to fill that area?

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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 04:39:11 pm »

Hi guys,

I've just introduced myself here: http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,2814.0.html
Please read it :)

I've searched on this forum quiet a bit, but couldn't really find what I was looking for.

Is it common that in-ceiling speakers are used as fill-in sound under balcony's?
We have a main FOH system consisting one JBL JRX100, one JBL JRX112MI and one JRX118S on each side of the stage.
It fills almost every part of the building, but lacks a bit of sound at the end of the building (under the balcony)
The ceiling under the balcony is about 2.7m height.
Can I use in-ceiling speakers under the balcony to fill that area?

Jonathan....

Whatever speakers you use under the balcony should be time-aligned with the mains speakers with a digital delay such that the sound from the under-balcony fills arrives at more or less the same time as the sound from the mains.  Actually, it should be a tiny bit AFTER the mains sound so that the listeners will still associate the sound with the original source.

Are these speakers already in place or are you looking to add them in?
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Johnathan Chen

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 11:26:58 pm »

Hi Dick,

It's an option I'm thinking about. So no.. their not placed yet.
How will the configuration be then, when using a delay?
I had in mind to feed the in ceiling speakers with the output of the main mix; not through an aux send. For the main speaker output I use the L and R and for the in ceiling I can use subgroup 3 and 4.
what type of amplifier will be needed to feed the in ceiling?
I assume that I'll need 8 pairs of in ceiling.
can all 8 be managed by one amplifier? How must such a setup be configured?
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Brad Weber

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 07:50:34 am »

It's an option I'm thinking about. So no.. their not placed yet.
How will the configuration be then, when using a delay?
I had in mind to feed the in ceiling speakers with the output of the main mix; not through an aux send. For the main speaker output I use the L and R and for the in ceiling I can use subgroup 3 and 4.
what type of amplifier will be needed to feed the in ceiling?
I assume that I'll need 8 pairs of in ceiling.
can all 8 be managed by one amplifier? How must such a setup be configured?
While it is pretty common to use ceiling speakers for under balcony fills it is also common that:
 
  • They are usually truly fills and not trying to provide everything.  If you need extended low frequency response, high output, etc. you're going to be looking at what you might feel are rather expensive ceiling speakers.
  • 'Pairs' doesn't typically apply as such systems are generally mono.
  • Since this typically involves a number of speakers, constant voltage systems (70V, 100V, etc.) with transformers at the speakers are common.
  • Because they are some distance away but in a lower ceiling, are quite different speakers and are serving a different purpose, it is typical to provide dedicated processing, at least EQ and delay, for the ceiling speakers.
  • You may not want to use a Subgroup as once the relative level of the fills and mains is set you usually want the balcony fill level to track with the mains level.
Probably the most common way to address several of the items above is to run your main outputs into a matrix DSP that can not only provide the processing for your mains and subs, but also provide a summed mono output with dedicated processing for the balcony fills.  For 16 decent ceiling speakers (Atlas FAP-6T, JBL Control-26CT, Tannoy CVS6/CMS601, etc.), something like a dbx DriveRack260 processor and a QSC ISA300Ti amp along with the speaker cable, etc. you'd probably be looking at $3,000 to over $4,500, which is more than many people envision for such an arrangement.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 08:31:00 am »

Hi Dick,

It's an option I'm thinking about. So no.. their not placed yet.
How will the configuration be then, when using a delay?
I had in mind to feed the in ceiling speakers with the output of the main mix; not through an aux send. For the main speaker output I use the L and R and for the in ceiling I can use subgroup 3 and 4.
what type of amplifier will be needed to feed the in ceiling?
I assume that I'll need 8 pairs of in ceiling.
can all 8 be managed by one amplifier? How must such a setup be configured?

What Brad said.

You will need a different mix than the mains, so an aux feed is pretty much necessary.
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Tom Young

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2011, 11:30:25 am »

Hi guys,

I've just introduced myself here: http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,2814.0.html
Please read it :)

I've searched on this forum quiet a bit, but couldn't really find what I was looking for.

Is it common that in-ceiling speakers are used as fill-in sound under balcony's?
We have a main FOH system consisting one JBL JRX100, one JBL JRX112MI and one JRX118S on each side of the stage.
It fills almost every part of the building, but lacks a bit of sound at the end of the building (under the balcony)
The ceiling under the balcony is about 2.7m height.
Can I use in-ceiling speakers under the balcony to fill that area?

Greetings, Johnathan !

I agree with Dick and Brad but with two exceptions. First of all; it is easier to maintain localization to the source with surface-mounted (purpose-built)  underbalcony speakers simply because they are installed slightly forward of the seats that need additional coverage and they project their energy back towards the rear. This, along with alignment (with DSP) allows for more precise (realistic) localization and from front to back of the filled/covered area.

Having said that, ceiling speakers generally cost less, are lighter and easier to install and are less visible. Plus; precise localization is usually not a huge issue in churches. So ceiling speakers would be best for you.

Secondly, I have never done an underbalcony fill system that was given a different mix. Front fills: yes. More distant fills: no.

I would also further stress what Brad said: you need to align these speakers and also equalize them. Not only are they different speakers (from your primary speakers) ..... but underbalcony areas are almost always quite different in their acoustic characteristics from the rest of the space. You will also need a high-pass filter and level protection (limiter) for these speakers.

JBL has a handy-dandy ceiling speaker coverage calculator utility/ application at:

http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/general/technicallibrary.aspx?CatID=3&Run=1

Look for the CSC2.1 zip-file

You can use one of the JBL speakers with similar size and coverage pattern (from this ultility's speaker data base) for calculating what you will need with other brand ceiling speakers you want to look at or plan to use.

They also have  a well-written paper on designing ceiling speakers systems:

http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/support/getfile.aspx?docid=279&doctype=3

Hope this helps-
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 12:02:37 pm by Tom Young »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 01:24:54 pm »


Secondly, I have never done an underbalcony fill system that was given a different mix. Front fills: yes. More distant fills: no.



I wouldn't argue with your experience on this.  I would, however, make sure that independent mix and processing is available for the under-balcony fills.  It may be that the delay and a bit of EQ will handle it.  Depending on the dynamic content of the program material I would hesitate to go without the ability to regulate the speaking voice content in the delay area.  Not that it's necessary, but there is still a good possibility that the folks under the balcony will want the voice(s) a little hotter than out in the room.

Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.  I vote for an aux feed.

DR
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Johnathan Chen

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 08:20:21 pm »

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the replies.
I still have to read everything you guys said once more; It takes a bit of processing time for me to understand every single thing you guys mentioned :p

I'll run through it again an then I will certainly come up with other questions
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Johnathan Chen

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 12:30:35 pm »

Hi Guys,

I've read again and now I'm aware that i need a different approach to the solution i'm looking for.
No, not stepping away from the option to use in ceiling speakers, but how to get the in ceiling work properly.
an EQ was on my list, but no other DSP..
and what you guys are saying according the aux feed, makes sense after all.

I'll do some homework and I'll let you guys know if i come up with a configuration setup.

I'm still open for any other suggestions.
Soon I'll also give a complete list of the equipment we have and use in our church
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: In Ceiling Speakers
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 01:27:17 pm »

Hi Guys,

I've read again and now I'm aware that i need a different approach to the solution i'm looking for.
No, not stepping away from the option to use in ceiling speakers, but how to get the in ceiling work properly.
an EQ was on my list, but no other DSP..
and what you guys are saying according the aux feed, makes sense after all.

I'll do some homework and I'll let you guys know if i come up with a configuration setup.

I'm still open for any other suggestions.
Soon I'll also give a complete list of the equipment we have and use in our church

The ability to use delay to time-align the arrival of the sound from both far and near sources is absolutely necessary.  Without it it will make little difference in the speakers and mountings you use.  The same sound arriving at different times will just end up as mush.

You must use delay.
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