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Installs complete overhaul

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by rtbagby, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. rtbagby

    rtbagby New Member

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    I was recently put in charge of completely redoing the sound system at my church. I've redone systems before just no by myself. First of all any overall tips? Second i'm going to be replacing the speakers but the new placement is a problem so where? I'll try to get pictures of the place. I've had good experiences with JBL so that's what i've been focusing on, more particularly the JBL Eon305 or Eon315. Any experience with them?
  2. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Okay, you've told us nothing about the space or your services or your budget or what you have or how you use it or your goals and expectations. So providing that type of information would be a good start.

    Was your experience with similar applications? Just because something worked in one application does not necessarily make it a good choice for every application, so consider how similar the applications are before basing anything on the past use.

    Until we know a lot more about the specifics of the application, there's not really much assistance or input that can be offered. I general, I always recommend to first start with identifying the goals, expectations and limitations for the system, then developing solutions based on that rather than jumping right into equipment choices. In simple terms, figure out what you want to do before deciding how you are going to do it. The greatest equipment in the world is not a good choice if it doesn't actually fill the needs and solve the problems.
  3. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Very good advise. I would also suggest you have someone model the space.
  4. rtbagby

    rtbagby New Member

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    church.jpg
    This is a diagram of the church worshipping space. The ceiling in the back is about 10' high and over the altar its about 15'. From the back to the front its about 30' and from side to side its about 50' Right now we have three speakers hanging from the center, one pointing down the middle aisle and the other two pointing off to each side. The problem is that there isn't a uniform sound throughout the space based on where exactly the speakers are and where they are pointed. The goals of changing the speakers is to get a uniform sound throughout the space for both preaching and instumentals. Where would be the appropriate location for them to acual be? The pastor wants the speakers replaced i'm just not sure what size to use. Our budget for changing out the speaker is around $5,000. I'm also planning on getting new amps cause the ones we have are a random assortment of brands i've never heard of and i'm not impressed with them. Either get new amps or get powered speakers, either or.
  5. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Just a few thoughts...

    Don't try flying speakers yourself unless you have qualified and experienced people to do it. And don't try flying speakers that aren't designed to be flown.

    With new speakers and new amps, you might want to think about new system processing as well. And the setup and tuning of the system will have a significant bearing on the end result.

    Keep in mind that powered speakers require power, so if they are flown consider what it might cost to get power to them. It would also mean all new cabling, you could not easily reuse any of the existing speaker cabling to wire them. Similarly, consider what it might take to get any cabling to new locations.

    In budgeting, the above items (rigging hardware and installation, system processing and tuning, power and conduit, etc.) can eat significantly into your budget, so don't forget to include them.

    What do you run through the system? Do you run bass, kick drum and keys through it? If so, might you need subwoofers?

    Do you have any idea of the kind of sound levels you usually run or that you want to run?

    It looks like you may have a challenge in covering some parts of the seating and dealing with the band. For one thing, it will be difficult to cover the seating well and not have coverage hitting the band area. For another, some people are right by the band and will probably get a lot of direct sound. Basically, it will be difficult to have a single system that covers that part of the congregation for the pastor or anything like that and then still has a good balance for the band. One possible approach is to use one or two main speakers and then some fill speakers for the front sides, with the one on the band side perhaps even getting a separate mix that includes less of some of the band.

    Pictures would be great of you can get them! That might help greatly with identifying where it might be possible to hang or mount speakers, etc.
  6. rtbagby

    rtbagby New Member

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    We have a sub but the guy previously running sound didn't think we needed it so i can add that in too. I've been told by him and my directors at school three completely different places to put a sub, what's your take? The band usually runs two guitars, a bass guitar, piano, an electric drum set and five vocals. I'm going to try to get acual pictures posted tonight.
  7. RichMoore

    RichMoore Member

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    If you would like to have the sound very clean and clear with even coverage so the people sitting up close do not have to be hard of hearing just to sit there, check out the Bose MA-12 speaker. I have installed 12 of them into the performing arts center that I work and they are fabulous. I have them stacked 2 high, which makes each stack 2 meters tall, with 2 stacks per level, of which there are 3...main stage and two balconies. My main stage stacks are on tripods, so I can position them wherever I choose, depending on what type of act I have on the stage. The upper level units are secured to columns and all but disappear. What I really love about them is that they also act as monitors, although some musicians don't like the idea of the monitor sound coming from behind them, until they try it. With these units, you have no need to fly them. As long as the listener's ears are on the same plane as the speakers, they are receiving direct sound. With a projection angle of 160+ degrees, you get an amazingly wide wedge of sound, with no up or down projection to bounce around in the ceiling beams or off of the floor. You don't say how deep your room is or how wide, but if you had 2 stacks that were 2 high, mounted on tripods and against your upstage wall about 12' apart you would get the most amazing sound coverage that you can imagine. If I remember correctly, the units run about $800.00 per, so for a little over $3K, you would have an excellent and flexible set of speakers. If all of the seats are on the same level, you could get by with 1 speaker per stack. Check them out with some serious research and ask your local dealer to come and give you a free demo.

    My $.02,

    Rich
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  8. rtbagby

    rtbagby New Member

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    Here are the pictures of the acual space DSC03437.JPG

    DSC03436.JPG

    DSC03438.JPG

    DSC03441.JPG

    DSC03442.JPG
  9. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    There's a bit more to sound system design than so-many Bose stacks on sticks. We need more information to make useful suggestions. Room acoustics are part of the thing too.

    (and me hates Bose too, but that's beside the point)
  10. tomed101

    tomed101 Member

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    BOSE - Buy Other Sound Equipment

    [/post]
  11. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    The MA12 can be a very good option for the right application, but I believe that it is also one that needs to be properly applied or it can provide less than desirable results. I'm glad it works for you but it cannot be assumed that everyone else would have the same results. I say this first as my comments below might come across as harsh, but they are intended to help others, including the OP, be aware of some of the potential issues involved and are not intended as criticism.

    I don't quite understand this, you usually locate speakers based on the listener area and the stage rather than specific to each act. Does the audience area also vary based on the type of act?

    With the speakers being closer to open mics than to the audience, feedback would seem almost inevitable.

    That seems to assume there is no interference like someone taller sitting in front of you, one factor that flying can help address. Also, any time all the listeners have the same vertical relationship to the speaker or source you are going to get significant losses through the depth of the room. You can't count on the 'the losses are reduced because it is a line array' argument with the MA12 as an issue common to all compact 'line arrays' is that the line array behavior is limited to higher frequencies and thus some frequencies still have the same loss over distance as traditional 'point source' speakers. The result is that the losses due to the distance from the source vary with frequency and thus it can be more difficult to get the same response throughout the listening area.

    However, at 160 degrees horizontal, you may experience sound bouncing off walls and getting into mics. And please read all the 'fine print' in the Bose MA12 data sheet as according to Bose's own notes the 160 degree horizontal pattern noted and shown in their diagram is an average between 1kHz and 4kHz. They also note that the vertical line array behavior shown in that same diagram and mentioned above only applies above 2kHz. So you may get the 160 degree horizontal and linear vertical coverage stated and as shown in the MA12 data sheet diagram, but according th Bose's own comments, that apparently applies only between 2kHz and 4kHz. Check out the polars for the MA12 and you will actually find significant variations in the vertical and horizontal patterns over the full operating range and at some higher frequencies there is noticeable lobing in the vertical pattern including back lobes at some frequencies. With the pitched roof noted for this application and the pictures showing that to be a reflective surface, upward lobes could be problematic.

    The MA12 is not a 'steerable' array like the Renkus-Heinz iConyx/IC Live or the Duran Audio Intellivox or the Tannoy QFlex or the EAW DSA. So while the 'line array' behavior can be extended to lower frequencies by stacking multiple units, the pattern cannot be steered and thus this increases the vertical height over which the sound emanates, in some applications ending up with much of the sound hitting the audience in the knees or going over their heads.

    That information was provided earlier:

    A good example of the type of issues you can encounter was an audio workshop many years ago where one speaker, we were testing several speakers using the same locations, which ironically was also a Bose, exhibited lobing that with the speaker and microphone locations virtually randomly selected resulted in the direct sound being several dB lower in level than the first reflection, which was off a side wall. This dramatically reduced the intelligibility. It is not that it was a bad speaker, it was just a very poor choice for that particular application.
  12. hsaunier

    hsaunier Active Member

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    While Brad, and others are giving great advice, one issue I have not yet seen discussed is the accustic characteristics of the room. In your photo I see lots and lots of hard flat surface in the room. A budget for accustic treatment may go a long way toward eliminating sound system problems, no matter which type of product you choose to install.
  13. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    We did a simular worship space. It was 50' deep and 80' wide.

    Here is a model we created using a center cluster of three EV FRi 152+/64
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  14. rtbagby

    rtbagby New Member

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    What gauge speaker wire should i run from the amp to the speaker if they are say 25 feet apart? 50? 75? 100?
  15. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    That depends on a few things. First, you need to decide if you are going with powered speakers or not as they require different cable. Then, if you really wanted to calculate what is required you'd need to know things like the length of the run, the number of speakers on each line, the impedance of each speaker and the power being transferred.

    Without knowing all that, for non-powered speakers I might just run something like 12AWG, unshielded, twisted pair. It might be overkill for some applications where 14AWG conductors might work fine for many uses and you might want 10AWG for some high power, especially subwoofer, applications, but I have found 12AWG to be a pretty safe default for most mains applications.
  16. rtbagby

    rtbagby New Member

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    If i go with the speakers i'm looking at then the impedance is 8ohms and the wattage of 250watt continuous, 500watt program, and 1000watt peak. I would run two sets of two speakers in parallel meaning the total impedance for each channel is 4ohms. So the first thing what wattage amp should i consider using? And then giving the power output of that amp and a distance of about 75 feet what gauge would i be looking at then? Also what's the difference between the three wattages the manufactures spec sheet gives me?
  17. 3dB

    3dB Member

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    General:

    Hello, rtbagby. My, my, my - don't you have a challenging little setup... As long as only the instrumentalists are in the band area and the vocalists are up front (altar area) there is hope. If vocalists are on the side (or if a number of vocalists are actually singing instrumentalists) then a solution becomes more of a challenge.

    If stand-alone vocalists are in the band area, it would be beneficial to move (at least) them to the altar area. If you have singing instrumentalists, it would be beneficial to move the entire lot of musicians to the altar area.

    As long as the vocalists are in the altar area, you can install a traditional speaker system which is optimized for the congregational seating area. Any vocal spill-over into the band area would be generally nondestructive (as long as your instruments are DI rather than miked acoustic) and at worst might provide more vocals to the band area than they would prefer. This would be a very workable scenario.

    It would be helpful if the ceiling height up front were higher - but it is what it is. Speaking in (very) general terms, a main speaker system flown as high as practical over and slightly in front of the altar platform area (as others have suggested) would serve you well and could be configured to provide acceptably even levels from front to back (especially if the front-to-back distance is really only 30'). It would be good to measure and get close to the "exact" room dimensions before finalizing a decision on speaker system design. Could you do this?

    Speaker/Amplifier Question:

    Ahhhhh... the old speaker/amp terms struggle. In an industry in which these terms are not well standardized (sometimes not at all) and in which one manufacturer often uses the same term as another, but with altered meaning - its difficult for anyone to decipher at times.

    Generally speaking, the "continuous" rating describes how well the speaker can withstand long term average demands often measured by playing steady sine waves or some sort of weighted noise input. This type of signal, even at lower power ratings, causes the speaker to do "continuous" hard work and thus, this power handling figure is the lowest of the three.

    "Program" is typically based on a test signal that simulates "real world" music conditions - such as - perhaps - your band and vocal group. Obviously, this type of sporadic (both in amplitude and frequency) signal does not require the speaker components to work as hard as a steady-state signal (of similar wattage) and thus the increased allowable "program" wattage figure.

    "Peak" is usually based on an instantaneous spike of signal (usually no more than 1/10 of a second), and is a signal that the manufacturer is indicating should not be exceeded without expecting damage to the speaker (just as in the previous examples). Thus the power handling capability is higher - but only for that brief "instance of time".

    In a nutshell, the terms/ratings described above are merely ways of expressing how much power input the loudspeaker can withstand as it experiences different forms of amplified signal input.

    Though there is no absolutely "right" amout of power - a reasonable rule of thumb for powering a loudspeaker is to provide amplifier power that has a power rating of 1.5-2.5X the speaker's continuous rating. More is possible with care and with proper utilization of peak limiting.

    Though you could just go with 12 guage and jettison any concerns (as I probably would...), 14 gauge wire would be fine for the cable lengths you are expecting - with quality cable you should lose less than 0.5dB from amp to (passive) speaker.

    I wish you the best on your project.

    Regards,
    Mark
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  18. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    It's great that you are considering such details, but this is quickly becoming a 'how to design a sound system' topic and that is simply too encompassing a topic to handle in a forum format, especially as there are so many "it depends" factors. Since you do seem to care about getting it right, you might want to consider getting a good consultant or design/build contractor to help you.

    As far as a center cluster, it can be a good solution. As the model Bill provided shows, with the proper speakers it could provide good coverage. The downside is that a cluster of multipel speakers can also result in lobing at lower frequencies, when you model with interference turned on in the software then you can often see this lobing. If you have a mic under the array, which is very common, this can sometimes be a problem.
  19. RichMoore

    RichMoore Member

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    Brad, I do not find your comments to be harsh and my old skin is too thick for your comments to bother me. I would like to respond to your points however.

    Firstly, my room has almost perfect acoustics so my use of amplification and speakers is primarily for enhancement and the intelligibility of the spoken word. I am not in a venue where high volume is a factor. Very seldom does the sound level ever go above 85 or 90 db. My goal is clarity and even coverage on all three levels in my room and the MA12 units give me just exactly what I require.

    Is the same not true of all speakers?

    The audience area does not vary.
    If I have someone addressing the audience, I place the speakers along the upstage wall, 15' off the center line.
    If I have a small jazz ensemble, I place the speakers upstage and just inboard of the width of the setup, so the musicians can monitor themselves, as can their vocalists.
    If I have an acapella group on stage, I place the speakers upstage and directly behind them so they can monitor themselves.
    If I have a symphony orchestra on stage, and I need to amplify someone who addresses the audience, I place the speakers on the downstage corners. I like that I have the flexibility to place them where ever I like.

    Yes, it would seem inevitable, but I can walk up to an MA12 with an open mic pointed directly at the speaker and not get any feedback until I am between 12 and18 inches away.
    I can take a db meter measurement 1 meter in front of the speaker and at the back of the room, which is 80' away, I have a loss of 3 db. If the listener can see the speaker and their ear is between the top of the speaker and the bottom of the speaker, they are receiving direct sound.

    I was under the impression that we were trying to solve the young man's issue with some semblance of economy.
    As far as I knew, those were the dimensions for the altar area.

    Perhaps that was just an example of poor choice in speaker location.

    Bose, love 'em or hate 'em....me, I love 'em.

    If you are ever in South Texas, stop in and listen to my system....you just might be impressed.

    Peace, Rich
  20. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Um .. that doesn't sound right to me. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to see how that's the most brilliant way to do it, but it doesn't sound right to me. But that's just me.

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