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Author Topic: Horrible Accoustics!! (mixing in a gym)  (Read 3182 times)

Zach Brady

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Horrible Accoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« on: November 10, 2004, 11:54:27 am »

Hello All this is Zach ,
i have recently been doing some upgrading of the sound system @ hendersonville christian school in hendersonville NC. I have got two large Community cabinets in there that are sitting in the old speaker mounts which are on the wall opposite the seeting. I know that probably isnt good placement so i am thinking about flying them  over that side of the gym to hit the opposite side of the floor and the bleachers can i use aircraft cable for that? right now ive got a SM58 on the main podium that rang out with my sampson eq that feeds the qsc amp sp i mean it does the job and doesnt sound to horrible but would speaker placement help me? The gym has a rubber floor. If that helps.
Thanks to all,
Zach Brady
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Brad Duryea

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Re: Horrible Accoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2004, 12:50:00 pm »

Zach,

Suspending loudspeakers is a serious matter. It simply should not be done by anyone who is not intimately familiar with the process. You need to hire a qualified contractor because it is not worth the risk of a speaker falling on someone and killing them.

It is possible, for example, that the structure from which you intend to hang the speaker will not properly support its weight. It is also possible that the speaker cabinet is not designed to be flown and will fall apart if suspended improperly. And your rigging could come apart if not designed properly. There are too many factors involved to risk doing it yourself.

Best regards,
Brad
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Brad Duryea (brad@dmgsystems.net)
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Tom Young

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Re: Horrible Accoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2004, 04:28:24 pm »

As Brad has warned you: you cannot suspend heavy objects above peoples' heads without the professional services of a contractor or a licensed engineer.  Aircraft cable, if it is used for suspension, must be rated for this specifc task and the hardware used must also be rated.
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Tom Young, Church Sound section moderator
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Stuie

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Re: Horrible Accoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2004, 09:14:49 pm »

Hi Zach

Have you look at a sound contractor at least giving some advice to the siuation. The hall you meet in seems to be highly reflective and is a nightmare to use sound in so you might look at some speakers with tighter placements  not 60x90 maybe 60x40degress.

Cheers
Stuie
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micguy

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Re: Horrible Accoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2004, 04:00:17 pm »

Mixing in a gym can be done effectively, but... you have to acoustically treat it somehow. We have walls that are physically hard fiberglass panels (non-reflective acoustically, and yet don't dent from a basketball hit), we hang huge, heavy floor to ceiling drapes (which also make a nice fan shaped layout), and the stage we drag out every week (oh, my aching back) is carpeted, which helps slow down things a little as well. Yes, it takes a lot of time each week to do this transformation, but it works.

The odd thing about the gym is that it's acoustically treated enough that basketball games soud "unnatural" - with 3 games going in the gym at the same time, you can actually tell which court a whistle is blown on.

Once the room is half decent, then you can think about loudpeakers with tighter coverage, etc., - if you leave it live, don't expect the gear to make up the difference. Acoustical problems are best treated with acoustical solutions. You don't fix bad brakes on your car by working on the engine; don't expect better speakers to fix your acoustics.

And yes, don't fly speakers if you don't know what you're doing. The life you save may be your own.
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Phil Ouellette

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Re: Horrible Acoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2005, 10:51:49 pm »

Hey Zach,

Short term, the best thing you can do to help is to keep the levels down.  With a highly reverberant space, there is a point at which turning up louder just makes the sound more of a jumbled mess.  You can get better results from using more speakers spread further apart and run them at lower levels.  The idea of trying to get any kind of long distance coverage in a lively room is not workable without some serious acoustic treatments.  Don't worry about getting stereo in this space, be glad if you can get acceptable quality mono coverage.

Until you get the room fixed the key point is to get the speakers closer to the people and turn them down.  If you need to cover lots of people, then get more speakers.  Whatever you do, don't try to get higher volume levels out of the system.

Start raising awareness in your church leadership of the need to hire a qualified consultant to design a system for your building.  A good designer will model your room in a sound cad program (like EASE) and will be able to show you what the coverage and intelligibility is going to be for every seat in the house before you install the system.  They will also provide plans for whatever acoustic treatments are required to get acceptable results.  

Whatever you do, don't let a sound system contractor sell you a sound system without a proper design.  It is easy to spend lots of money and end up no better off than you are right now.

You are lucky that one of the very best consultants in the business (Bill Thrasher) is based out of Atlanta and he works in the Upstate region regularly.  I would strongly recommend contacting him when it comes time to fix your system.

Phil
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Re: Horrible Acoustics!! (mixing in a gym)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2005, 10:51:49 pm »


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