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Title: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Adam Foster on January 15, 2010, 10:45:47 am
Hello Everyone,

Our Pastor just informed me at the beginning of this week about complaints from a lot of saints about the loudness of our services. I measured one of our services and its about 96 in the sound room in the back and 108 on the front row.

The sanctuary seating area is 60' long and 45' wide. We can seat about 460 in our sanctuary. We have 2 JBL SRX715s on on either corner of the stage on pole mounts. And now the biggest issue, acoustics.  All four walls of our sanctuary are made of cinderblock. The back wall, closest to the sound room has some type of absorption padding on it from 15yrs ago. the side walls have 9 windows that are space 4 feet apart. The ceiling is an A-frame with drywall.

A few things I have considered. The first is getting a line array. I am looking at this option m,ore closely and I really do like it. It provides even sound levels throughout the building and is easy on the eyes.

Second, would be taking the current speakers and creating a center cluster. I do not like this option because we would have to drill into the boxes and this would virtually make them unsellable.

We are running MRX Dual 18 subs so I don't think our low-end is a problem. Even though I do like the idea of hanging the sub to create a more even low-end level throughout the building.

I am not sure where to go from here or what to do. I need to come up with some type of solution to increase clarity so I can lower the overall volume.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Brian Ehlers on January 15, 2010, 12:19:49 pm
I'm sure you'll get many helpful suggestions from this message board.  But first you must follow the rules and change your username to your real, full name.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Adam Foster on January 15, 2010, 12:30:21 pm
That's done. I think
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 15, 2010, 02:30:17 pm
A few thoughts.  Getting your speakers up, in a L/R config rather than center cluster would be my preference since I'm not a fan of comb filtering generated by adjacent horizontal speakers.  An LCR front setup with flown tops and front-fills may provide good even coverage without going to line arrays.  The problem with ground-stacked mains is getting them far enough from your front row that the inverse square law gives you broader distances of even volume levels.  You can either set them further back or further up to accomplish this.  LCR with front fills allows you to skip the front rows with the mains and use the fills to cover the front at moderate tolerable volumes.  In fact, with the mains up higher skipping a center speaker may be a possibility.
Another option would be delay speakers to cover the back of the room at better volumes.  My preference would probably be the front config without delays in a 60' deep room.  
A small line array with 2-3 modules to get the angular coverage you need along with power shading to provide the zoned volume levels you'd need is also a good option.

Acoustics are something that would be good to treat.  Many good options, the help of an acoustician is highly recommended.  There are good commercial and DIY options for treatment once you've identified actual needs.

Flying subs.  I'll just recommend not doing that.  Low frequency volumes are less problematic than higher frequencies for most listeners and you lose output by flying subs unless they're ceiling loaded.  If you do that, then you have rattles and everything from lighting and other equipment up there now that the ceiling is providing your boundary reinforcement.  They're also heavier and without flying hardware, not a good idea.  

Speaking of flying hardware.  From a safety and liability standpoint, I wouldn't recommend installing your own.  Professionally installed hardware typically has reinforced metal plates and is designed as part of the cabinet construction. It's much more robust than an eyebolt with a washer on either side of the cabinet.  If you're not a structural engineer and fully confident in what you're doing, don't.

Also, google "power alley" and all the reasons not to split subs.  With only 45' of width in your room it's not a good candidate for splitting them to provide even coverage on either side.  You need at least 50' of separation and even then it's not ideal.  Subs placed next to each other work better, next to a wall within 2' of a wall or further than 8' even better, and in a corner even better.  You need about 14' of wall surface for it to be effective as a wall or corner boundary.  Lower ceilings are not a problem, just talking about recesses and small sections of wall next to a stage.  If your subs are on either side of the stage next to the tops then they're causing problems for even coverage in your sanctuary.  Don't be afraid to point them at a wall to get the driver within that 2' boundary distance.  Added bonus is a slight absorption of harmonic distortion similar to a horn loaded sub cabinet, though not nearly as effective.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 15, 2010, 03:39:36 pm
If you've really measured the SPL with a reliable meter and are not guess-timating, I'd say 108 (dBA?) is just too loud.  And probably over OSHA specs.....

More information is needed, as usual, but just taking a shotgun approach I'd want to know what the SPL is in the front row without the mains on.  Most often the problem is that the onstage volume is such that the mains must be pushed into excess to allow enough headroom to get a full mix.

Start by turning down the band.  Then you can turn down the system.  "Make a joyful noise......but at a reasonable level."
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 15, 2010, 05:03:44 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Fri, 15 January 2010 15:39

If you've really measured the SPL with a reliable meter and are not guess-timating, I'd say 108 (dBA?) is just too loud.  And probably over OSHA specs.....

More information is needed, as usual, but just taking a shotgun approach I'd want to know what the SPL is in the front row without the mains on.  Most often the problem is that the onstage volume is such that the mains must be pushed into excess to allow enough headroom to get a full mix.

Start by turning down the band.  Then you can turn down the system.  "Make a joyful noise......but at a reasonable level."


+1 As well.  96db is probably a better volume to shoot for up front if you change nothing else.  That'll put you in the low-mid 80's back at the board.  You won't have quite as much impact back at the board as at 96db, but you can always bump the subs a touch to keep the bottom end happy.  Human ear sensitivity will want more in the bottom end anyway at a lower overall volume.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Frank DeWitt on January 15, 2010, 07:03:27 pm
Adam Foster wrote on Fri, 15 January 2010 10:45

Hello Everyone,

Our Pastor just informed me at the beginning of this week about complaints from a lot of saints about the loudness of our services. I measured one of our services and its about 96 in the sound room in the back and 108 on the front row.

And now the biggest issue, acoustics.  

I am not sure where to go from here or what to do. I need to come up with some type of solution to increase clarity so I can lower the overall volume.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks


I don't understand this.  If you don't have clarity you need that first.  That is.  Do not increase the volume beyond the point where the sound is clear.

People complain that a service is to loud for 3 reasons.
It is to loud
It is hard to understand
They don't like the music.

You will please a lot more people if you first get good sound and then go loud.

BTW  I like loud, and a bible search on the word loud will show that God likes it, but it needs to be done well.

I think first you need to bring the volume down until the music is clear and clean.  (BTW This will probably require that the stage volume comes down.)

Next you need to fix the room.  Sadly, that probably means hiring a trained professional.

You could experiment with moving the speakers and you might get lucky.  You could try L / R as has been suggested. raise the poles as high as they will go safely.  Place the speakers in from the walls about 1/4th the width of the room. Aim the speakers straight back and down at the heads of the last 3rd or forth of the church.

You could also try the center cluster with ONE speaker.  It will show if that position is clearer.  It could even be done for one Sunday with a scaffold

I only suggest these things because they are free.  I would not spend any money until you get a professional modeling of your room.

Frank

Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Tom Young on January 15, 2010, 08:42:07 pm
A few thoughts and ideas:

You need to clarify your SPL measurements. What is the weighting filter used (A, C, Flat) ? Is the SLM set for slow, fast or peak response ?  Finally: what brand and model SLM ?

You allude to "drilling into the speakers" (or words to that effect). You simply CAN NOT undertake (on your own) flying speakers that are not designed for suspension. The only way to do this right is if you have a qualified rigger/consultant design a steel "cage" that fits around each speaker. This often is simply not worth it, as far as the cost and appearance. But if you were to do this you must have the design of the cages approved by a licensed structural engineer, who must also inspect the building structure and rigging hardware to ensure you hang this stuff in a safe manner. The issue here is the safety of your clergy and congregation.

Should you get another speaker system and it is designed to be flown, you will still need to have the building structure inspected to determine where and how the cluster(s) are hung.

Note that in either case the final hang must also be inspected, followed by being given stamped documents stating that the installation is safe.

Of course the safety issues and their impact on cluster locations must also be coordinated with the aiming of the cluster(s) for the coverage that you need.

Again: the primary concern is life safety. There are no loopholes to get around this.

In the meantime, as others have advised, get the band level down so you can reduce the sound system level.

You can also try a cut (3-6dB) in the equalizers on the speaker system, centered between 3-4kHz and perhaps 2-3 octaves wide. This correlates to the increased sensitivity that humans have to this frequency range and especially at higher SPL's. The congregation will then perceive the sound as being less loud. However, this may impact the clarity and intelligibility of your sound as well, depending on the system and the room (acoustics).

Let's keep this dialogue going.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Sidney.Pilien on January 15, 2010, 11:17:31 pm
I've mixed in wall to wall concrete before and if I had a choice, I don't ever want to do it again. Room reverb was the biggest problem, especially on the bass guitar and drums.

You will be spending big bucks on line arrays, amps, cabling, contracting a rigger and end up with the same problem. Still too loud. Why?

Well, come to find out, the drummer was playing without discipline, the drum heads were not padded with moon gels, creating heavy overtones, especially the bass drum, the guitar amps were too loud, the monitor mix is too loud and spilling into the FOH mix (you can tell by turning off FOH speakers and on again), you should have tried to turn off the subs and run the bass amp only and see that it made a huge difference, the instruments were too loud and buried the vocals in the mix, the floor is not carpeted, etc.

You need to identify what and who is loud and tone it down and make adjustments on the mix. When I first started out mixing, my biggest problem was people complaining it's too loud when in my opinion it wasn't. Getting the right balance in this type of room acoustics, getting accustomed to quieter audio, and catering to the audience needs is a big challenge.

And one more thing, if you know of anyone who can RTA the room and identify the frequency problem areas, then go from there. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Bruce Burke on January 16, 2010, 11:58:39 am
First, you need that center cluster. Second, forget a line array. Third, if you have to drill the boxes, you have the wrong boxes for flying. Yes, this means a financial investment.

How high is the peak of your ceiling? If it is at least 20 feet, there is a single box solution, excluding subs.

-Bruce

Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 16, 2010, 12:57:45 pm
The more I think about it, the more it occurs to me that volume and an untreated room is 90% of your clarity problem.  Different speakers may help since I know my tops with very narrow vertical dispersion do better than most in gym environments and other highly reverberant rooms.  They reduce the audible reflections from floor and ceiling, and a batch of people in the space help even more.  Treating the room will help as much, or more, and you may not need to replace speakers.  Ideally though, you'll still want to get those speakers up for all the benefits I explain in my other post.

In terms of volume, stage volume will muddy up your bottom end, especially if it starts loud.  The suggestions given here are excellent.  Hot rods or the plastic variant may help some as well if you need to bring down the drum volume.  Damping the drums and shortening up the ring is critical in a space like yours.  You can gate them at the mixer, but you'll still have the acoustic tone as well.  For your room, untreated, you probably want an almost dead sound to start with since the room will add all the liveness you need.  Drum volume is typically your starting point.  Guitar amps and everything else comes up to that level by nature.  A drum shield may help, but it won't do miracles unless you enclose it and treat the space inside to help protect your drummer's ears.

Acoustically, in a very reverberant room, the louder things get, the worse your clarity gets.  Inverse square law will drop your volume 6db for each doubling of distance.  When things are softer they'll drop into inaudiility more quickly.  If it starts louder, it stays louder longer as the sound bounces around the room.  

On top of that you have the natural phenomenon where our ears change the properties of our hearing when subjected to loud volumes.  This will impact perception of clarity as well.  Think of how the world sounds muffled and closed in after attending a loud concert, that's what you'll have all the time among your congregation, and softer speaking portions will suffer even worse because of it.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Lee Buckalew on January 16, 2010, 01:59:26 pm
In a highly reverberant room the inverse square law will follow within it's limitations, but only to the point of critical distance being reached.
Critical distance being the point at which the reverberant sound field is equal to the direct sound filed in dB/SPL.
Also, their is not one inverse square law, there are a few.
The one that keeps being referenced on PSW here is a -20Log calculation.  It specify's that a point source (it must be a true spherical radiator, capable of completely even 360 degree coverage over the entire wanted frequency range, of which there are none) in an open space (of which there are none in live sound, this would mean not even a floor) will have a reduction of 6dB/SPL per doubling of distance from the source.
Also, since this is for a single source, in the area where multiple sources (ie. more than one speaker) begin to overlap, the inverse square law also now has to contend with acoustical addition of multiple sources.
The inverse square law is much more of an effective guideline for live sound than a hard and fast calculation that will provide precise results.  You must understand how it works and what other factors affect your ability to rely on that calculation in order to effectively use it.

His,
Lee Buckalew
Pro Sound Advice, Inc.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Adam Foster on January 16, 2010, 04:48:26 pm
Thank you everyone for your input.

I will let you know that the drums are already in a cage with padded treated. All of the muscians are using the Aviom system for personal mixes. The only monitors I have are the pulpit, for lead singer and music, and the praise team monitor hung above the pulpit for jus the praise team.

As far as the line array the more I think about it the more I don't like the idea of them in that building. However I do need to get the speakers in the air in a cluster as some of you stated. I just don't know what type of speakers to turn to.  Any suggestions on speakers would be great.

Thank you everyone

Adam Foster
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 16, 2010, 05:49:06 pm
Adam Foster wrote on Sat, 16 January 2010 16:48

Thank you everyone for your input.

I will let you know that the drums are already in a cage with padded treated.


That doesn't keep the sound from going out the top and ricocheting around the room, especially with the A-frame.

Quote:

 All of the muscians are using the Aviom system for personal mixes. The only monitors I have are the pulpit, for lead singer and music, and the praise team monitor hung above the pulpit for jus the praise team.


Yes, but how about amps???????

Quote:

As far as the line array the more I think about it the more I don't like the idea of them in that building. However I do need to get the speakers in the air in a cluster as some of you stated. I just don't know what type of speakers to turn to.  Any suggestions on speakers would be great.

Thank you everyone

Adam Foster


Still betting on the stage volume being excessive.  In ear monitors may make it even worse in that the players will be less aware of their amp volumes.  99 times out of 100 the problem will be the band level before the sound system itself IF you are running things properly, which I assume you are.  If you can't turn them down at the board, IT'S THEM.

Rule of thumb is that you need around 10dB of headroom over and above the ambient/stage sound to set up a proper mix.  It's easy to have the amps (and the reflected drum sound) hit between 90 and 100 dB at the front of the stage.  That's likely why you're up to the stated level to get a mix.

One thing that you CAN do:

Get the amps off stage in another room/space entirely.  Place them in shielded boxes and mic them into the PA from the remote location.  That will allow YOU to set their levels in the mix without having to deal with excessive stage volume.  As to the drummer.......counseling and an appeal to his/her sense of group spirit may be in order.

One last time:

If you can't turn the whole thing down with the mains faders, it's them, not you.

End of story.  
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Adam Foster on January 16, 2010, 07:17:42 pm
The drums are in a fully enclosed cage. Only a little bit of low end travels through the cage. As far as the muscians being too loud, I don't think that is the case. We doe not have any amps on the stage. I have an active direct box that the guitar and bass use. I do agree however that our pulpit monitors could be too loud and reflecting back in the sanctuary. We are currenly in a new building project so treating the current sanctuary for acoustics will be useless at this point. I was hoping maybe I could get a more directional approach with the speakers and then be able to turn it down because the sound is pointed at them instead of hearing off the walls. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 16, 2010, 07:24:25 pm
Edit:

Are you sure that the speaker type and deployment is the issue?

Of course it is best if the speaker output is directed as much as possible onto the listeners with few if any reflections from the boundaries.  But I would not think that that would be 100% of the problem.

It may be that the mix position is situated in an area which is predominantly reflected/reverberative sound and trying to get a clear mix from that point results in excessive volume.

Moving the mix position to the center of the room would alleviate this, but we all know that's not happening in your average sanctuary.  Otherwise, fine tuning the system and mixing with EQ rather than volume is where I'd start.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Brad Weber on January 17, 2010, 06:53:27 pm
Adam Foster wrote on Sat, 16 January 2010 19:17

The drums are in a fully enclosed cage. Only a little bit of low end travels through the cage. As far as the muscians being too loud, I don't think that is the case. We doe not have any amps on the stage. I have an active direct box that the guitar and bass use. I do agree however that our pulpit monitors could be too loud and reflecting back in the sanctuary. We are currenly in a new building project so treating the current sanctuary for acoustics will be useless at this point. I was hoping maybe I could get a more directional approach with the speakers and then be able to turn it down because the sound is pointed at them instead of hearing off the walls. Any suggestions?

So it sounds like stage levels are minimized, which begs going back to the questions regarding the 96-108dB levels, as in why those levels and what those levels really represent.  As Tom noted, what weighting and response were used for the measurements?  Where were the measurements taken and with what?  Are those peak or average values?  The Pastor has apparently received so many complaints that it is too loud that they said something to you, so as Frank mentioned, how did you determine the problem was something other than simply the levels?  And as Dick noted, how did you determine that new speakers would resolve the complaints?  Has anyone considered simply turning it down or was that rejected out of hand?  You may not have a space or congregation that is amenable to such high levels and since you do not seem interested in addressing the space because you will be moving, simply reducing the levels may be a viable and effective alternative.

That also brings up the question why you apparently believe that an investment in new speakers is warranted but don't feel that an investment in acoustical treatment is?  Your idea of getting the sound aimed at the listeners and away from the walls is valid, however a line array is not really appropriate for that room.  It would likely not be that beneficial for a 60' deep by 45' wide listener area and might also create several new issues.  But beyond that, if it makes no sense to invest in the room acoustics then it may also make sense to do what you can without investing more in the sound system, instead optimizing what you already have and doing what you can to get by until you are in your new facility.  I don't know what you may have already done as far as optimizing speaker locations and aiming, tuning the system, etc., but it seems to make sense to exhaust those options first.  And if the complaints really are about it being too loud and not the other issues Fran noted, then simply turning it down rather than a line array or anything like that may be the best solution.

There may be information that hasn't been shared or issues that are not clearly understood, however I simply can't get past that the 96-108dB levels noted, that there have been complaints regarding the levels being excessive and that you don't feel that treating the room is justified as you will be moving into a new facility don't seem to lead to a new speaker system, and especially a line array, being an effective solution.  It may be, but it is not obvious based solely on what has been presented.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 18, 2010, 11:21:21 am
Brad et al....

The more I think about it, the more I am concerned that the mix position is critical.  Certainly having the sound directed primarily onto the listeners is a salient feature.  But by the same token, having the mix position in the same area as the listeners is the key to a sympathetic mix.

Too often the mix position is considered to be an "obstruction" or intrusion into the seating/worship aesthetic.  Being in a recessed "closet", under a balcony, off to the side or up against a back wall will give a less than satisfactory aural image for the mix person.

Placing the mix person in the direct sound field and out of the reverberative field will be crucial.

DR
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Adam Foster on January 18, 2010, 11:52:00 am
Hello everyone.  I waited for this weekend to be over to give you guys a proper response in regards to measurements.

Our Sunday morning service ran at 93db on the front rown and 86db in the sound room. Our evening service which is a worship emphasis ran 97 on front row and 90 on the back row.  The measurement was measured with slow response and C weighting.

In regards to placement of mixing, that is something I really can't change unless I am going in a closet somewhere and I definitely will not be doing that. The sound room is in the back corner but in the open setting against the back wall. The mixing is set as close to the center as possible.

About speaker replacement, I am not really sure if we need to or not. My choice was wanting to have a center cluster to get the speakers away from the walls to try to increase clarity. Right now we do not have the right speaker enclosures to hang them in the center so we would have to get new speakers if we did that.

I do think the platform noise is at it's lowest that it's ever been since I took over the AV ministry. But during worship it is running about 96 on the platform.

I thought about asking if we could hang drapes on the sides of the windows which would not be that expensive and would look good. That would probably help acoustics a little.

I know that the best solution would be hire a professional an acoustically treat the whole room, but it doesn't seems feasible to spend $8,000 at this point when that building is getting ready to be renovated.

Again, I do appreciate everyone's input on this topic.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 18, 2010, 12:23:44 pm
Adam....

So the actual level is considerably lower than your original estimate......at least on the measurement day.  I usually take measurements A weighted/slow and that would read a tad less than the C scale.  I think you'll find that 86 dBA/slow will be acceptable to most folks in the front row.

Your mix position is not the best, but still not the worst if you're out in the open and not in a recessed space.  You can certainly try some treatment on the walls behind and to either side of you.  But as long as you're going into a renovation, why not just consider working the accoustic treatment into the job?

I'd also look at some smaller speakers and make sure that the pattern is narrow enought to keep the sound off the walls and ceiling.  There are angle tilters available for stand mounted speakers.  If you want to fly the speakers, please use a certified/bonded/insured install outfit.  DIY is just not an option here.  Also, if you use such an outfit they'll be a resource for recommending speaker type/configuration and install them at the proper angle for best coverage.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 18, 2010, 03:45:36 pm
Adam Foster wrote on Sat, 16 January 2010 16:48


As far as the line array the more I think about it the more I don't like the idea of them in that building. However I do need to get the speakers in the air in a cluster as some of you stated. I just don't know what type of speakers to turn to.  Any suggestions on speakers would be great.


Just because the cluster arrangement is the way it's often done doesn't mean that it's the best way to do things.  I've yet to hear a center cluster that provided as even, non-comb filtered, coverage as an LCR setup.  That's my preference at least.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 18, 2010, 03:57:26 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 18 January 2010 12:23

Adam....

So the actual level is considerably lower than your original estimate......at least on the measurement day.  I usually take measurements A weighted/slow and that would read a tad less than the C scale.  I think you'll find that 86 dBA/slow will be acceptable to most folks in the front row.

Your mix position is not the best, but still not the worst if you're out in the open and not in a recessed space.  You can certainly try some treatment on the walls behind and to either side of you.  But as long as you're going into a renovation, why not just consider working the accoustic treatment into the job?

I'd also look at some smaller speakers and make sure that the pattern is narrow enought to keep the sound off the walls and ceiling.  There are angle tilters available for stand mounted speakers.  If you want to fly the speakers, please use a certified/bonded/insured install outfit.  DIY is just not an option here.  Also, if you use such an outfit they'll be a resource for recommending speaker type/configuration and install them at the proper angle for best coverage.

Good luck.


+1  Depending on the low frequency content, he may be almost there.  A reading I took this weekend was about 96db C-weighted and 85db A-weighted.  I run a good even mix with 3 guitars, bass and electronic drums/percussion.  I like a good amount of oomph on the low-end.  My bassist and drummer like it too since the subs are closer to them than me. Twisted Evil

Adam, here's a thought.  What, if anything, has been done to EQ the mains?  The JBL SRX's are pretty good out of the box, but I've always found their default sound to favor the mids and lows over the high frequencies.  If you're notching things for feedback with an EQ, that may also be impacting clarity depending on the width of the notches.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Taylor Phillips on January 18, 2010, 06:13:11 pm
Reading all this, I have to ask does the room have accoustic panels on the walls?  You said you had cinderblock walls, but I don't recall a mention of accoustic panels.  Putting some in will help with clarity and should be cheaper and easier than reworking your system.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 18, 2010, 06:22:06 pm
Taylor Phillips wrote on Mon, 18 January 2010 18:13

Reading all this, I have to ask does the room have accoustic panels on the walls?  You said you had cinderblock walls, but I don't recall a mention of accoustic panels.  Putting some in will help with clarity and should be cheaper and easier than reworking your system.


There's no treatment.  I'm curious about EQ at the moment.  Up close at lower volumes he should have good clarity even without room treatment.  There are so many possibilities here.  I helped a church last week create a new system EQ.  No clue how they got the old one, but it was all jacked up and nowhere near flat or fletcher munson tweaked.  It was locked away in a cabinet where people couldn't get to it (supposedly).  Post EQ, we had much more even response and significantly better clarity, even with the feedback notching.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 18, 2010, 06:51:15 pm
George & friends.....

We also do not know what comprises the system other than the speakers.  We know that the mix position is at the rear wall, but not what is there for equipment.  It would help to know what is there to be used or what may need or provide adjustments.  
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Brad Weber on January 19, 2010, 12:15:30 am
George S Dougherty wrote on Mon, 18 January 2010 15:45

Adam Foster wrote on Sat, 16 January 2010 16:48


As far as the line array the more I think about it the more I don't like the idea of them in that building. However I do need to get the speakers in the air in a cluster as some of you stated. I just don't know what type of speakers to turn to.  Any suggestions on speakers would be great.


Just because the cluster arrangement is the way it's often done doesn't mean that it's the best way to do things.  I've yet to hear a center cluster that provided as even, non-comb filtered, coverage as an LCR setup.  That's my preference at least.

I am a big fan of LCR systems but I don't understand this.  LCR systems commonly consist of left, center and right arrays/clusters with each covering the entire listener area.  Thus the center component of an LCR system is often essentially the same as what you would provide for a mono center array/cluster.  In addition, typically many vocals would end up in the center array only.  So for many vocal sources or anything panned center, there doesn't seem to be much difference between a mono center cluster and an LCR system.   At the same time, the possibility of the same signal being sent to multiple arrays in an LCR system would seem to increase the likelihood of interaction and combfiltering between the multiple sources compared to a mono center cluster.  Perhaps you mean LCR in a different sense.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 19, 2010, 01:00:12 am
Brad Weber wrote on Tue, 19 January 2010 00:15

George S Dougherty wrote on Mon, 18 January 2010 15:45

Adam Foster wrote on Sat, 16 January 2010 16:48


As far as the line array the more I think about it the more I don't like the idea of them in that building. However I do need to get the speakers in the air in a cluster as some of you stated. I just don't know what type of speakers to turn to.  Any suggestions on speakers would be great.


Just because the cluster arrangement is the way it's often done doesn't mean that it's the best way to do things.  I've yet to hear a center cluster that provided as even, non-comb filtered, coverage as an LCR setup.  That's my preference at least.

I am a big fan of LCR systems but I don't understand this.  LCR systems commonly consist of left, center and right arrays/clusters with each covering the entire listener area.  Thus the center component of an LCR system is often essentially the same as what you would provide for a mono center array/cluster.  In addition, typically many vocals would end up in the center array only.  So for many vocal sources or anything panned center, there doesn't seem to be much difference between a mono center cluster and an LCR system.   At the same time, the possibility of the same signal being sent to multiple arrays in an LCR system would seem to increase the likelihood of interaction and combfiltering between the multiple sources compared to a mono center cluster.  Perhaps you mean LCR in a different sense.


I was talking more about a single box or small array per, rather than a trap cluster.  I can get away with it though since my mains have 120 degrees of horizontal dispersion.  Not all speakers would do well in that arrangement.  My sanctuary is wider than Adam's and with two mains hung from beams on the 1/3 and 2/3 points of the sanctuary I have even coverage from wall to wall and no noticable comb filtering effects.

You're right though, an LCR arrangement with trap clusters would probably only make things worse.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Brad Weber on January 19, 2010, 10:10:41 am
George S Dougherty wrote on Tue, 19 January 2010 01:00

I was talking more about a single box or small array per, rather than a trap cluster.  I can get away with it though since my mains have 120 degrees of horizontal dispersion.  Not all speakers would do well in that arrangement.  My sanctuary is wider than Adam's and with two mains hung from beams on the 1/3 and 2/3 points of the sanctuary I have even coverage from wall to wall and no noticable comb filtering effects.

You're right though, an LCR arrangement with trap clusters would probably only make things worse.

Thanks for the clarification.  Since both approaches require full coverage from the center element, if you use a single speaker as the center element in a well designed LCR system then you could probably use that same speaker as a mono center 'cluster'.  Or conversely, if a multi-box array is required for a mono center cluster then it is also likely required for the center element in an LCR system.

LCR systems are very nice when properly designed and implemented but people often overlook that in regards to the speaker system a properly designed LCR system is essentially combining a properly designed mono center cluster with a properly designed stereo (L/R) system.  It does not really change any single element, they each still require the same coverage, output, response, etc.
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: Dick Rees on January 19, 2010, 10:29:48 am
It's all well and good to discuss the merits of various delivery systems and configurations, but in the practical world of budgets I'd like to return to optimizing what the OP has.  Of course, I'd like more info on what he has besides speakers, but if I was going to recommend optimizing what he has I'd say to turn the speakers in and fire them across each other.  They're 75 degree boxes and in such a space I'd prefer 60 degree boxes at the widest.  As to any comb filtering inherent in crossing the patterns, I'll take that any day as the price for keeping the sound off the walls....... Smile
Title: Re: Complaints about the loudness
Post by: George S Dougherty on January 19, 2010, 10:50:50 am
Brad Weber wrote on Tue, 19 January 2010 10:10

George S Dougherty wrote on Tue, 19 January 2010 01:00

I was talking more about a single box or small array per, rather than a trap cluster.  I can get away with it though since my mains have 120 degrees of horizontal dispersion.  Not all speakers would do well in that arrangement.  My sanctuary is wider than Adam's and with two mains hung from beams on the 1/3 and 2/3 points of the sanctuary I have even coverage from wall to wall and no noticable comb filtering effects.

You're right though, an LCR arrangement with trap clusters would probably only make things worse.

Thanks for the clarification.  Since both approaches require full coverage from the center element, if you use a single speaker as the center element in a well designed LCR system then you could probably use that same speaker as a mono center 'cluster'.  Or conversely, if a multi-box array is required for a mono center cluster then it is also likely required for the center element in an LCR system.

LCR systems are very nice when properly designed and implemented but people often overlook that in regards to the speaker system a properly designed LCR system is essentially combining a properly designed mono center cluster with a properly designed stereo (L/R) system.  It does not really change any single element, they each still require the same coverage, output, response, etc.


Much agreed.  Too many people buy church sound systems with no clue what they're doing.  I've helped a number of churches with completely inappropriate gear purchased because "jbl's sound great" or "Mackie makes teh mostest awesomest of mixorz!".  My ministry is to try and help those churches with little to no budget and an unwillingness or inability to hire in a consultant to properly design a system for them.  Of course, I've also seen designed systems installed by people with little apparent idea of what they're doing.  They can hook up a mixer to an eq to an amp to a speaker and make adjustments, so they become a consultant and sell churches with the pockets the toys they wish they had without much regard for all the questions we've been over here.

Sounds like there are some good and knowledgeable people here doing good work for the Kingdom.  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy Smile