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Title: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Åke Holmlund on February 06, 2013, 07:19:29 pm
Hello!

I'm involved in a total overhaul of the sound system in the conference/seminar/concert room of a local cafe. The room (see attachment) is a bit oddly shaped but overall it's about 10 by 12 meters. The stage area is about 5 meters wide and the ceiling height is about 3.3 meters. The capacity is about 150-ish people.

There are a lot of seminars with spoken word going on in the room. There are also concerts featuring about every type of music. Children's choir, jazz, pop, rock, soul, metal... You name it!

We have been thinking about going the Danley route using two SM96 and two TH112. We also want to (professionally) fly the speakers. One option would be to hang them according to the drawing. However I'm a bit concerned to have the subs directly above the stage.

Any opinions?
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Ivan Beaver on February 06, 2013, 08:33:49 pm
Hello!

I'm involved in a total overhaul of the sound system in the conference/seminar/concert room of a local cafe. The room (see attachment) is a bit oddly shaped but overall it's about 10 by 12 meters. The stage area is about 5 meters wide and the ceiling height is about 3.3 meters. The capacity is about 150-ish people.

There are a lot of seminars with spoken word going on in the room. There are also concerts featuring about every type of music. Children's choir, jazz, pop, rock, soul, metal... You name it!

We have been thinking about going the Danley route using two SM96 and two TH112. We also want to (professionally) fly the speakers. One option would be to hang them according to the drawing. However I'm a bit concerned to have the subs directly above the stage.

Any opinions?
A couple of suggestions.  I would choose a single TH118 over a pair of TH112's.  You will get more output at the expense of just a little bit of low freq extension.  It would also be less expensive.

The SM96's would cover the room fine.  I would be a little bit concerned when you try to do "metal" in a small room.   Depending on the band-the skill of the operator etc it can quickly get out of hand.  And the PA get pushed harder and harder to try and keep up with the stage level.

I would consider the SM80 instead.  I think the price is about the same (don't quote me on that)-and the SM80 will stand up to more "abuse".  The coverage patterns are "close enough".

But I would angle the cabinet more towards the rear a bit.

If the "metal" is more "under control"-then the SM96 would be just fine.

I would be concerned with flying the subs in the middle of the stage and lighting-depending on location of lights-stage height etc.

All the Danley products come with installed fly points-so the only issue is getting a suitable fly point in the ceiling.
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Åke Holmlund on February 07, 2013, 07:11:23 am
Thank You for your input!

A couple of suggestions.  I would choose a single TH118 over a pair of TH112's.  You will get more output at the expense of just a little bit of low freq extension.  It would also be less expensive.
Unfortunately I think the TH118 is to "thick". The ceiling is at about 3.3, maybe 3.4 meters and the stage is 50 cm high. With the TH118 that only leaves about 2.2 meters.

I have also been looking at a single TH212. It is a little bit "thinner" than the TH112 and would probably be a little bit easier to fit. Maybe also cheeper than 2xTH112 (haven't got any prices yet, we may be way out of our league here...). How does one TH212 compare to 2xTH112?

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The SM96's would cover the room fine.  I would be a little bit concerned when you try to do "metal" in a small room.   Depending on the band-the skill of the operator etc it can quickly get out of hand.  And the PA get pushed harder and harder to try and keep up with the stage level.
Tell me about it... When this place started, about 15 years ago, we had a lot of metal and hard core bands and it was a mess! To be honest, I think that when the stage level in this room gets too high, not even Danley speakers would be able so save the day ;-)

On the other hand we have a lot less of this kind of bands now. We just want to be prepared when it happens. Right now we have big problem when it comes to more acoustic material and speech which is much more common.

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I would consider the SM80 instead.  I think the price is about the same (don't quote me on that)-and the SM80 will stand up to more "abuse".  The coverage patterns are "close enough".
One important part of this project is to get the SPL down, especially the stage level. We will try to get closer to the government guidelines (100dB Leq, 110 dB peak)...

The current system is Community SLS918's over SBS22's and we don't need any more SPL than this. We do, however, need better sound quality!

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But I would angle the cabinet more towards the rear a bit.
Agreed!

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I would be concerned with flying the subs in the middle of the stage and lighting-depending on location of lights-stage height etc.
I think we can handle lights and video projector(s) with the TH112 or, even better, the TH212 but not with the TH118 but some more measuring is needed.

I was more concerned about feedback an maybe putting the performers in a "bass hotspot" just under the sub. By the way, the system will be configured so the engineer can choose to run LR or LRSub. In the seminar/conference setting the tops will be run full range.

Once again, Thank You for your input!
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Ivan Beaver on February 07, 2013, 07:54:14 am
Since height is an issue-then the TH212 would be the way to go.  Even thinner than the TH112.

A single Th212 would have greater output than a pair of TH112-but would not go as low as the TH112.  But should be plenty low for your application.   It would also be less expensive than a pair of TH112's.

One thing you can maybe do is to move the sub out into the room a little bit.  I know it seems weird-but in many cases it works well.  It helps to reduce the energy on the stage (which can also help keep the stage levels down) and gives a more even coverage in SPL in the room-because it is more even distance from everybody.

As long as you don't run the sub to high in freq (maybe low pass no higher than 70Hz), and have full range speakers that can go that low-you will not localize to the sub.

So for that reason we are back to your original SM96 idea-since they go a good bit lower than the SM80.  The SM80's big edge is the max SPL-but the SM96 would work great for you.

What sort of amplification do you now have?
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Frederik Rosenkjær on February 07, 2013, 09:12:48 am
Couple of questions:

What are your thoughts on the options of:

- subs on the floor, under the stage or as part of the front of the stage? The TH212 works great in this way and could maybe steal even less space if the stage is already raised off the floor level. It would look less intrusive than being right in the talent's face and with that ceiling height, it probably would be further from their heads/ears lying on the floor.

- Subs in the ceiling out to both sides right behind the full range cabinets? Maybe a pair of TH-MINIs if the cost prohibits more. While I like to avoid stereo sub if I can, there could be something to be said for the double boundary loading that could give you (walls and ceiling). Don't know about potential room mode problems, but in my experience it's rarely a problem even with rooms that small considering the amount of free gain you get.

Also, with the tops located on the side walls, what I like to with Synergy Horns is put them right up against the wall on a face intended for arraying. That way they array with their mirror image and this works very well.
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Ivan Beaver on February 07, 2013, 11:24:02 am
Couple of questions:

What are your thoughts on the options of:

- subs on the floor, under the stage or as part of the front of the stage? The TH212 works great in this way and could maybe steal even less space if the stage is already raised off the floor level. It would look less intrusive than being right in the talent's face and with that ceiling height, it probably would be further from their heads/ears lying on the floor.

- Subs in the ceiling out to both sides right behind the full range cabinets? Maybe a pair of TH-MINIs if the cost prohibits more. While I like to avoid stereo sub if I can, there could be something to be said for the double boundary loading that could give you (walls and ceiling). Don't know about potential room mode problems, but in my experience it's rarely a problem even with rooms that small considering the amount of free gain you get.

Also, with the tops located on the side walls, what I like to with Synergy Horns is put them right up against the wall on a face intended for arraying. That way they array with their mirror image and this works very well.
The TH minis may not go low enough in freq. But yes-you would get some good boundary loading.  Even better would be the subs on the ground (getting 2 boundaries and more free gain) against the wall.

I don't like putting subs behind the full range cabinets.  It is harder to align and the full range cabinet starts to be big enough at the upper sub freq to do some blocking and reflecting of the sound.

Part of the design of the TH212 is to be able to fit under a pretty low stage and provide a good bit of output.

I do like subs on the ground to help provide a bit more tactile sensory effect.  But flown (although his ceiling not really high enough for the effect) the SPL is typically more even.

With the room the way it is-I would not put any of the synergy horns tight against the wall.  He would miss coverage in the middle in front of the stage.

However if the rear were close to the wall and the cabinets angled in (like he shows) he would still get the benefit of the wall boundary and the horn would provide enough pattern control down low enough so that the 1st order reflection off of the wall would not be an issue-since the front of the cabinet would not be that far away from the wall.
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Åke Holmlund on February 07, 2013, 03:38:30 pm
Since height is an issue-then the TH212 would be the way to go.  Even thinner than the TH112.

A single Th212 would have greater output than a pair of TH112-but would not go as low as the TH112.  But should be plenty low for your application.   It would also be less expensive than a pair of TH112's.
More for less is always good! About the difference in the lows, I guess that very few people would notice the difference in a live situation?

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One thing you can maybe do is to move the sub out into the room a little bit.  I know it seems weird-but in many cases it works well.  It helps to reduce the energy on the stage (which can also help keep the stage levels down) and gives a more even coverage in SPL in the room-because it is more even distance from everybody.

As long as you don't run the sub to high in freq (maybe low pass no higher than 70Hz), and have full range speakers that can go that low-you will not localize to the sub.
Interesting idea! How far out into the room do You think would work? Would You delay the sub in such a configuration?

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So for that reason we are back to your original SM96 idea-since they go a good bit lower than the SM80.  The SM80's big edge is the max SPL-but the SM96 would work great for you.
Yes I think so, especially since we are trying to get the SPL down. We will work with acoustic experts to try to get it done.

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What sort of amplification do you now have?
At the moment we have one Crest CA9 (we used to have 2 but one channel went up in smoke) and one QSC PL340 for FOH. The plan is to use the CA9 for monitor (we need more channels and monitor speakers, SM-LPM????). If we go with the SM96 - TH212 combination we could use the PL340 for the SM96:es (slightly underpowered but I hope it will be ok) and maybe get a QSC PL325, bridged, for the TH212.
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Åke Holmlund on February 07, 2013, 04:06:13 pm
Couple of questions:

What are your thoughts on the options of:

- subs on the floor, under the stage or as part of the front of the stage? The TH212 works great in this way and could maybe steal even less space if the stage is already raised off the floor level. It would look less intrusive than being right in the talent's face and with that ceiling height, it probably would be further from their heads/ears lying on the floor.
If You look at the drawing, there are some "squares" at stage front. They are "boxes" used to extend the stage and can be removed for extra floor space. This makes it very difficult to place anything under the stage.

I also like the idea of flown subs to get a little bit more even SPL coverage. On the other hand I'm not sure it would make much difference in this particular room.

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- Subs in the ceiling out to both sides right behind the full range cabinets? Maybe a pair of TH-MINIs if the cost prohibits more. While I like to avoid stereo sub if I can, there could be something to be said for the double boundary loading that could give you (walls and ceiling). Don't know about potential room mode problems, but in my experience it's rarely a problem even with rooms that small considering the amount of free gain you get.

Also, with the tops located on the side walls, what I like to with Synergy Horns is put them right up against the wall on a face intended for arraying. That way they array with their mirror image and this works very well.
There are some "problems" with the ceiling. If You look closely there is a small square in the middle of the room. That's a pillar holding the roof. There is also a beam (the dotted lines) extending down about 28 cm from the ceiling. On the left side (not shown) are two air ducts (side by side) close to the wall. There is also an exit just behind of the drawn speaker to the left. To add insult to injury, we may have to hang a projection screen in that corner.

I think these thing combined makes it difficult to hang any more speakers in that corner. I would also like to go a bit lower than the TH-MINI. However, the TH-MINI is interesting for other duties in the cafe!
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Ivan Beaver on February 07, 2013, 08:57:51 pm
More for less is always good! About the difference in the lows, I guess that very few people would notice the difference in a live situation?
Interesting idea! How far out into the room do You think would work? Would You delay the sub in such a configuration?
Yes I think so, especially since we are trying to get the SPL down. We will work with acoustic experts to try to get it done.
At the moment we have one Crest CA9 (we used to have 2 but one channel went up in smoke) and one QSC PL340 for FOH. The plan is to use the CA9 for monitor (we need more channels and monitor speakers, SM-LPM????). If we go with the SM96 - TH212 combination we could use the PL340 for the SM96:es (slightly underpowered but I hope it will be ok) and maybe get a QSC PL325, bridged, for the TH212.
The needed low freq extension really depends on the material being played.  In some cases going lower will make all the difference in the world (ie a HUGE difference) and in other cases it will do very little-it just depends.

If you place the sub out into the room go somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 way towards the audience back wall.  DO NOT delay the sub.  This would seem like the natural thing to do-and it would be correct for the FOH position.  But think about it this way-on the stage side of the sub-the delay would just make it worse.

you will never get it "right".  But by crossing it over low enough and letting the mains go low enough-then sonically it will be fine.  No it is not textbook-but you cannot get textbook with a center sub and split mains anyway.

I have done this approach in a number of rooms and it works quite well.  HOWEVER-none with a ceiling as low as yours.  But no matter what you try to do with the sub(s) it is going to be louder in some places than others-especially with a low ceiling.

You amp plan is fine and should do well in the room.  Yes a dB or so underpowered.  But if you are pushing the system to where an extra dB or 2 will make all the difference-you need a larger system anyway.
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Åke Holmlund on March 10, 2013, 05:31:28 pm
If you place the sub out into the room go somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 way towards the audience back wall.  DO NOT delay the sub.  This would seem like the natural thing to do-and it would be correct for the FOH position.  But think about it this way-on the stage side of the sub-the delay would just make it worse.

you will never get it "right".  But by crossing it over low enough and letting the mains go low enough-then sonically it will be fine.  No it is not textbook-but you cannot get textbook with a center sub and split mains anyway.

OK, I get it. If you get it RIGHT in one point i will get WORSE in another point...

On the other hand, that's one of the things that makes live sound so interesting! There is ALWAYS more than one way to skin the cat!
Title: Re: Opinions on speakers and placement in a small venue
Post by: Ivan Beaver on March 10, 2013, 05:57:45 pm
OK, I get it. If you get it RIGHT in one point i will get WORSE in another point...

On the other hand, that's one of the things that makes live sound so interesting! There is ALWAYS more than one way to skin the cat!
There is "right" (which rarely happens in a room with more than a couple of people listening), and then there is "acceptable".

I would argue that 99.99999999% of all sound systems fall in the Acceptable or unacceptable categories.

Almost none are "right" or perfect for every seat.  So it is all a matter of compromise.

The "trick" is understanding how important the compromise is and what the consequence of the compromise is.