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Driverack for 5.1 setup (with Center speaker)

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by jkowtko, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I am planning to get a measurement mic and enough EQ to cover the LRC and subs in my FOH setup ... was trying to figure out if it would be better for me to get a Driverack with matched mic, PEQ, crossover, etc.

    However the manual for the DBX Driverack PA doesn't mention a center speaker. Is there some hidden documentation somewhere on this or does the product not handle center speakers? And if not, are there any other suggestions for alternatives to measurement mic and manual EQ?

    Thanks. John

    PS: I am also considering the measurement mic and SIA SMAART. After sitting through a three-day Meyer Sound seminar and learning how SIM and Galileo work, I'm a bit spoiled with the thought have having a fully adjustable speaker system and frequency, phase and impulse response measurement tools. But without too many $$ to spend I'd like to find a first step to decent systems tuning.
     
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    I use the dbx DRPA. I haven't figured out a way to use more than two full range speakers. As far as I can tell, and I don't have the unit with me right now (it's 300 miles away :)), the other 4 outputs only work with their respective crossover filters. It can work in mono, which gives you independent control over the two full-range outs. But that still only gives you two channels to work with. I don't believe it was designed to handle a center speaker, but there are other processors that give you more than two ins. I've heard good things about the Sabine navigator. http://www.sabine.com/sabine-professional-audio/Navigator2_Main.htm However, the 3x8 Sabine is around $830, and the 4x8 is over $1200.

    As far as the measurement mic, I have one, but don't use it. If I had SMAART and knew how to use it properly, yes, I'd use the mic. Don't use the autoEQ on the DRPA. It tries to flatten the room, and I mean flatten. Some of the EQ boosts are ludicrous.

    Oh, just one more thing (in the words of Columbo), the DRPA doesn't have software for the computer. The Sabine units can be controlled by PC, as far as I can tell. Right now, I'm just using the DRPA as a glorified crossover and EQ, and even then, I still have a physical graphic in the rack that most of my adjustments are done on.

    Hope some of that helps.
     
  3. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    The DRPA will not support L/C/R and is actually very limited in the system configurations it does support. You will probably need at least a 3 input, and if you use aux fed subs 4 input, processor.

    DSP units like the DriveRacks can do much more than equalization, so if all you are looking for is EQ and not crossover, routing, limiting, delay, etc., then you may be better off with dedicated EQs. As far as alternative matrix DSP units to the DriveRack, there is Shure, Symetrix, BSS/London Architect, EV, Yamaha, Biamp, Ashly, Peavey/MediaMatrix, QSC and others.

    As far as something between Smaart and SIM, EASERA SysTune was shown at AES and is coming out soon, http://www.easerasystune.com/features.html. This is from the same company that produces EASE and EASERA. I'm a Beta tester and can tell you that this is a very nice program for system tuning and the development includes input from numerous system designers and users.
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    How much cash do you have to spend?
     
  5. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Budget? Probably in the $500 range.

    I was planning to buy a couple more DBX 231s at $120 or so each, (for a total of three in our rack), and then I thought if a driverack would give me a good RTA and delay, crossover and center speaker management, that would be better. It would also be great if the unit could project mono vocals into something that sounds good over LCR or 5.1 ... don't know if that's something that would commonly be done in theater. (Reverbs are usually stereo aren't they, but I don't know about the dry mix).

    I would also probably keep this unit myself to use if I help out at the local schools, etc, so it would end up being road gear used for a variety of venues.
     
  6. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    A driverack is of little or no use for a 5.1 setup. forget about all the toys, get the basics correct, , right placement, a good graphic eq.
    I understood you used Mackie srm 450's. An rta and mic is not going to fix room or speaker placement problems.

    Sharyn
     
  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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  8. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Hey, for that price I might as well get the Meyer Galileo ... 16 inputs matrix to 16 outputs with intermediate speaker grouping (for line arrays), "true-shaping" EQ filter, etc, etc, and it can be programmed from your laptop. We got to play some with the Galileo during the Meyer Line Array Design seminar last month, connecting wireless from our laptops. Pretty basic from a computer technology perspective, but pretty awesome for pro audio ... :)
     
  9. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    So back to reality --

    I am taking Sharon's suggestion and upping to 6 channels of DBX 231 ... the most basic of the "good" EQs out there, and will cover full range and subs for whatever shows we run at the theater.

    Through improved speaker placement and better mics and mic placement I have been able to all but resolve feedback issues, and with the EQs will hopefully be able to control the mid-bass. I've never heard echo in the theater, there is a very small delay problem that I don't think I should attempt to do anything about due to the shape of the theater, and very little ambient reverb. All in all I think I'm in good shape other than tightening down on the EQ.

    So a question still -- is there a use for a driverack either for working with this theater (to help RTA better), and/or for keeping in my personal rack to tote around to schools? Will the driverack satisfactorily replace two DBX 231s and assist with RTA when I work a show at a school with just two FOH speakers and accompanying subs? Or should I still just get a couple of DBX 231s and use the laptop for my RTA? Keep in mind that a Driverack is only 1U high vs 4U for the two EQ units, so for packaging reasons I would prefer to buy the driverack for my personal gear.

    Thanks. John
     

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