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Author Topic: Awkward Sub placement options  (Read 1950 times)

John Sheehan

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Awkward Sub placement options
« on: October 22, 2019, 05:54:19 am »

Hi all,

One big problem that I've recently  encountered while trying to avoid sub cancellation issues and the dreaded LR stereo sub power alley effect is that I don't really have any options to put a sub/sub array center front. All three venues that regularly require production have dancefloors right up to the stage, and its valuable real estate for the dancers... Is it detrimental to have a sub array (stacked or beside each other) to one side?

The stage for all venues is towards one corner of all three rooms, So I'm guessing if the sub array was installed to the side of the stage furthest from the room corner, I'd have better sub saturation?

Happy to listen to any problem solving advice you have to offer!
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 07:39:39 am »

What size rooms are we talking about with how many bodies? What type of music? How many of what type of subs are at your disposal?

Is it possible to have the subs on the stage itself? The "tomb of subs" around the DJ is a pretty popular look right now and would at least center the bass energy on the dancefloor at the detriment of pushing the DJ booth back a couple feet.

The other argument is to take it to the organizer/venue owner (or whoever it is handing you the check at the end of the night) and lay it out politely that not having the subs out front wouldn't give them their customers the impact that they might expect from a typical live club atmosphere. If they won't go all-in, find a middle ground. Even if you don't put all the subs front and center, just getting a pair up there would be better than nothing.

I can't speak much to creative placement, I'm mostly a fader jockey when I'm not assisting in set/strike so I only really know the basics in that regard.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 11:09:10 am »

Power alley is not "dreaded" except by those who ran out of other legitimate concerns to occupy their time.  Is it ideal?  No, but neither are the alternatives.  ALL subwoofer placements are a compromise unless flown next to the PA, and there are still trade-offs.

My advice is "get over it" and go do the show, cash the cheque and move on.
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John Sheehan

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 05:56:36 pm »

What size rooms are we talking about with how many bodies? 200-400+
What type of music? Live Band Keys Drums Bas Guitar/Vocals
How many of what type of subs are at your disposal? 2 x Mackie HD1801's with DXR10 tops

Okay, so I'll probably stick with my existing equipment and as it seems with general advice recieved, I'll address my sub placement based on the most practical and available options. Best option center stage to worst option stereo straight under the L & R top boxes
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Tim Hite

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2019, 06:32:48 pm »

The dance floor is exactly where you want your "power alley" to be located.

+1 for Tim's advice about getting over it. Everyone else at the gig will be concentrating on having a good time, not on where your power alley is located or any other arbitrary sound guy rules.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 05:22:02 pm by Tim Hite »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2019, 06:54:08 pm »

To actually try to answer the question “is it detrimental to have a sub array on one side or the other”, not really, but for the size and quantity of speakers you’re talking it’s so far down the list of concerns that I wouldn’t give it any thought.  Heck, I’m playing a job this Saturday at which nothing is going to be done right placement-wise, but it’s what I have to do to meet the needs of the event and the client.  I can say with full confidence that no one will notice or care - it’ll still sound fine. 

In your case, I’d worry more about things that matter like getting your tops up high enough, structuring your gain correctly, and similar things that will have much greater impact on your overall sound quality beyond inducing a “dreaded” power alley.  Good luck! 
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2019, 12:32:42 pm »

... and when you add in some room reflections, I'm not sure anyone will notice anyway.
If someone comes up to you and says "there's a really strong power alley here", but them a pint and they'll forget all about it.

Chris
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Mac Kerr

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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2019, 04:23:26 pm »

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Mark Norgren

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2020, 09:10:13 am »

I too have been thinking about the power alley issue.  I may just go with stacking two subs on each side of the stage, buy use aux fed subs to control them?  Would there be any advantage to point one sub from each stack a bit towards the center of the dance floor?

On another issue.  If using aux fed subs, I may place high pass and low pass filters on the mains and the subs.  Is there a need for this, is so, where should I set each of these?  I'm currently sending the kick, floor tom, keys, bass, tenor sax and trombone to the subs.

Am I missing anything?
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 11:49:16 am »

If the the room is at all reverberant (most "function" halls are) there will be no (as other have stated) significant power alley. The bass will evenly crawl around the perimeter walls. With what you have, I would vertically stack the 2 1801s and with a DXR10 on top using a short pole, then put the other DXR10 on a tripod at least 10 feet away.

With stacking, you will get the best coupling (coherence) of the bass cabs. It is important to spread the DXR coverage. Hint:  Unless they are directly in between the DXRs, an audience person should predominantly be hearing only one of the DXRs. Do not toe them in. Point them where they need coverage.

Use the D Contour "OFF' setting on the DXRs.

BTW, you don't "point" low frequency cabs, only the tops.

-Dennis
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 11:55:38 am by Dennis Wiggins »
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Re: Awkward Sub placement options
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 11:49:16 am »


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