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Author Topic: New speaker system  (Read 6163 times)

kevingreen

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New speaker system
« on: June 16, 2004, 12:32:13 pm »

I am a volunteer sound engineer at my church.  I have been involved in live sound for about 10 years now.  I have done a couple of installs over the years.  I got word from a staff member Sun. that we are going to try and budget in a new speaker system this year.  I wanted to get some opinions on what is working in your sanctuaries.

We are a small to mid-sized chruch with seating capacity for about 400 people.  We now have a blend of music styles.  Early service consists of about 80 people with a contemporary worship style with a full band.  Bass, 2 guitars, electric drums, keyboards, and a couple of back-up singers.  Second service is traditional with choir, piano, and organ.  We also use track music in both services.

The building is a fan shape with about a 150 degrees or so of fan from center stage.  Ceilings are about 30'.  Sanctuary depth is about 80'.  We currently have a center cluster of older EV's that were just thrown in by someone who did not care what they sold or how they installed it.  Our delay times are at about 3.5 seconds.  It is easy to spill from the choir monitors to the FOH.

I would think that something with well controlled patterns would be in order.  I am also wondering if a LCR configuration might work well for FOH and use several smaller speakers for choir coverage.

Any thoughts are welcome.  
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iJam

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2004, 03:45:32 pm »

Kevin,
I would recommend SLS loudspeakers.  They use a ribbon driver instead of a compression driver which results in far less distortion, greater intelligibility, and consequently less listener fatigue.  What is of equal importance is their dispersion characteristics.  The dispersion of the ribbon driver expands horizontally but very little vertically.  

Obviously I can't comment on how to set up your system without knowing more specifics. There are many ways to control stage volume from absorbtion to in-ear monitors to putting all music amps in a different room. Which one is right for you is (as LCR is), again dependent on several things that I don't know.

Where are you located?

If you wish to e-mail me chris@ijamusa.com, feel free to do so.

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kevingreen

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2004, 04:52:05 pm »

I am in North Alabama.

Side note:
What is the theory behind having the amps in a different room?
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iJam

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2004, 05:45:28 pm »

Kevin
The idea is to mic (or DI) all the music amps offstage where they are enclosed so that the sound engineer can control the stage volume better.  This prevents a bunch of bleed into other mics and it helps where musicians have too much pride and not enough common sense to turn their amps down so that you can give what they need through the monitor mix. This also helps with people on the front row who would otherwise have (inevitably) an amp pointing right at them.  

I'm in Indiana.  
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breese

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2004, 08:45:31 pm »

The idea with amps in a differnt room is interesting to me, but it hardly seems practical.

To get a handle on the stage sound you need to work with the musicians. For some, it's a matter of breaking bad habbits; for others, it may be they need some gentle education. I've worked with musicians who didn't think their amp was suposed to go through the PA. After some demonstration and explaining of why I wanted to bring them through the PA and that the PA can handle it, they changed their mindset. I'd try to work with the musicians and be diplomatic. I'm not sure the electric guitar player is going to want his/her amp in a seperate room.

Another thing is maybe you can work with the stage volume. Unless the instrument is forcing you to mix louder than you feel necessary, then work to blend the other instruments with it.

I don't think this is the issue you were alluding to though. It seems to me you were saying the choir can't hear the instruments they are trying to sing along with. There are lots of angles to attack such a problem from. You would need to look at a lot of different things, speaker placement, mic placement (if the monitors feed into the mics and make the sound muddy), instrumentalist placement, etc.

Some people have this goal of a completely silent stage, but I'm not so sure I'm a big fan of that, to me it seems it would sort of detract from the liveness of the music. (Now that's something that sounds different to everyone.) Lowering stage volumes can help the mix, but some take this to the extreme and I'm not too sure that's a good idea.

Brian
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kevingreen

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2004, 11:57:38 am »

chris,

I must have been asleep when I read your response the first time.  For some unknown reason I thought that your reference to amps was concerning the amps for the FOH and monitors.  That is why I was questioning the idea.  

The only two stage amps I have to deal with is a small drum reference amp and lead guitar.  I don't have to worry about the drum amp much.  I do end up kind of mixing around and blending with the lead amp.  

The biggest problem I feel like we have is the liveliness of the room.  I feel if we had more even and controlled patterns coming from our speakers it would help a lot.
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iJam

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2004, 03:59:30 pm »

kevin,
Pattern control is one important element as is speaker placement.   The idea is to give your audience as much direct sound and minimize the reflected sound. By choosing speakers that have great pattern control such as a SLS 8695 line array which has extremely tight vertical dispersion (+/-2degrees @5k)you keep the sound from bouncing all over and consequently minimize "room sound". The placement of the speakers is critical as well. Obviously if you point a speaker directly at a flat wall, the sound will bounce - or slap right back. If you take care with these elements you will minimize your need to absorb sound with acoustic treatments, and thus reduce your total install cost.  
In regards to the amps being placed offstage, there is a church in my area that does it that way and they are pleased with it. It is one solution out of many that may help in your situation. You might consider acoustic treatment for the stage area, although it is hard for me to say anything definitive without knowing more.  Is there a wall behind the stage or a curtain? Drop ceiling or drywall ceiling? Hardwood stage or is it carpeted? ....All of these things come into play.


chris@ijamusa.com
317 281-9402
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2004, 01:44:36 am »

I dare say that very few speakers have trouble with dispersion up that high (5k~). In reality you are worried about the whole frequency spectrum, and while there is no "single right way" to achieve almost-perfect directionality to your sound, there are many different tricks and methods used to give directionality to the system as a whole. Also, while you are correct in that the point is to keep as much direct sound on the audience as possible, just as important is to make sure that there is consistent direct sound, coming from as few drivers as possible to get the job done, and that the speakers are located in the proper position(s) to give a good "perceived origin" for the mind.

Karl P
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iJam

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2004, 08:59:56 am »

Karl,

The 8695's have the tightest vertical dispersion in the world and they operate as a true line array by virtue of their ribbon drivers which put out a planar wavefront as opposed to a spherical one. Compression drivers naturally put out a spherical wavefront which expands horizontally and vertically. The 8695 has the advantage of ribbon drivers and line array properties which is why their vertical dispersion is so tight.

Yes we are worried about the entire frequence spectrum but dispersion changes throughout the spectrum which is why the figure given was quoted at a particular frequency. If you look at the polar plots of many speakers you will find that at 5K the dispersion is generally dictated by the horn.  For example, the EAW mk 5164 has 60 by 42 at 5K and that continues to narrow up to its frequency limit. The difference here is that the vertical and horizontal dispersion continue to expand on the MK box while the 8695 box expands pretty much only horizontally at 5k and above.

Line-arrays act as a point source if they are designed properly so the amount of drivers is not an issue. Well designed clusters can also act as a point source. If it is his intention to go with a LCR system, pure intelligibility is not his only goal and if his LCR system is designed properly he will be able to pan all speaking parts...pastor's vocal and so forth...to C and get full coverage from one point source (cluster or array).

I certainly agree with having consistent direct sound and perceived origins for localization.

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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2004, 02:54:00 pm »

iJam wrote on Sun, 20 June 2004 08:59

Karl,

The 8695's have the tightest vertical dispersion in the world


While they may not be the tightest _in the world_ they are tight, and I am aware of that.

Quote:

 Compression drivers naturally put out a spherical wavefront which expands horizontally and vertically.


While this may be a true statement, that isn't to say that Compression drivers can't be worked to operate in different ways. Check out nexo.

Quote:

 The 8695 has the advantage of ribbon drivers and line array properties which is why their vertical dispersion is so tight.


While one could say that it does have "natural advantage" one could just as well say it does what it does because it was designed correctly to do it. You could achieve the same end result a variety of ways.

Quote:

 Yes we are worried about the entire frequence spectrum but dispersion changes throughout the spectrum which is why the figure given was quoted at a particular frequency.


And the same can be said about the SLS box, while I can't find multiple frequency specific directionality plots (whats up with that?) on the box, I would have to say that I doubt the SLS box is "perfectly directional 20~20".

Quote:

 If you look at the polar plots of many speakers you will find that at 5K the dispersion is generally dictated by the horn.  For example, the EAW mk 5164 has 60 by 42 at 5K and that continues to narrow up to its frequency limit.


This isn't a limitation of the design of the eaw boxes in so much as purely a function of physics (To my understanding). The SLS boxes has multiple HF drivers summing and doing different things to generate that narrow dispersion. Again I say you could accomplish this in other ways.

Quote:

 The difference here is that the vertical and horizontal dispersion continue to expand on the MK box while the 8695 box expands pretty much only horizontally at 5k and above.


Again, this isn't any fault of the products insomuch as a limitation of physics in what can be achieved with a single lf and single hf driver.

Quote:

 Line-arrays act as a point source if they are designed properly so the amount of drivers is not an issue. Well designed clusters can also act as a point source.


Agreed on both counts.

Quote:

 If it is his intention to go with a LCR system, pure intelligibility is not his only goal and if his LCR system is designed properly he will be able to pan all speaking parts...pastor's vocal and so forth...to C and get full coverage from one point source (cluster or array).


Agreed again, although I do not know what this really has to do with your previous statements.

Quote:

 I certainly agree with having consistent direct sound and perceived origins for localization.  


Naturally, who wouldn't?


Please don't misunderstand me, the SLS loudspeakers mini-linearray in a box system is quite good I understand and I am not saying that it is not a good system. But also understand it is far from "the only product" and also far from "the only right way to do it". It may be a way to do it, it may not. Neither of us can answer that question as of this point in time.

My original response to you was not to cut you down or make you look stupid. I also understand that you mentioned the SLS speaker because you were trying to illustrate a point, but it (the post) combined with your other post advocating SLS products came across to strong like you were pushing one product. We don't want to, nor can we do that, however right we could (or possibly wouldn't) be as we don't know what to recommend to him. Even with the limited amount we know, that box wouldn't work (or at least wouldn't be optimal) for him purely from horizontal dispersion requirements in the room. Thus, I was trying to follow up on what you said in a way that illustrated the importance of directionality, among other things, while being less specific about how he should achieve it. Because neither of us can answer that question with what we know currently.

Karl P
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iJam

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2004, 06:15:55 pm »

Karl,

He asked for opinions on what works and I gave him one with reasons to back up my choice for his application.  When rt times get to 3.5 or above certain speakers are better than others and hence my solution to his problem. It is my understanding that we can recommend product on this forum as long as we give reasons for the recommendation. I have done that and will continue to do so.

FYI I recently installed two MK boxes in a church, I own two sets of JBL monitors in my studio and have done live sound with many different boxes.  
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: New speaker system
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2004, 11:29:56 pm »

While its quite possible that these boxes could work for him, he would need at least 6 boxes, possibly twice as many. From my (current) pricing information, that equates to a minimum of 30'000$ in speaker equipment alone which doesn't even including amps, installation, processing, tuning, etc.

I am not saying that ways I, or anyone else, could come up with  would or could be any cheaper/more effective/better. I am trying to say that when talking these kind of numbers, or this kind of space, you, nor I, can recommend a product without seeing, listening to, and at least doing minimal measurements. No one short of God can.

Its fine to recommend a product if one can back up why it should be used, in this case I don't think it can be.

Karl P

Forgot to add: If I am wrong, then so be it. I do not believe that I am, or that I have given you reason to be upset in how I have responded. Nevertheless, I am more than happy to be wrong about such things, it doesn't scare me. If I am wrong, please get Tom Young, Dave, or any of the other respected members of this site to come and read this thread and tell me where I have gone wrong.
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