Surround system for live music

Haveblue

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Has anybody heard of a surround sound system for cinema that can be used as a PA for music or theater? I don’t even know if this is possible (I tend to think that it isn’t) but with my experience I can’t say for sure.
 

AVGuyAndy

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2005
Haveblue said:
Has anybody heard of a surround sound system for cinema that can be used as a PA for music or theater? I don’t even know if this is possible (I tend to think that it isn’t) but with my experience I can’t say for sure.
Sure it's possible. You would need standard PA speakers and amps, and then some kind of mixer with enough outputs for however many surround channels you want.
 

Haveblue

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
I am only thinking about the speaker system. Instead of having a surround system for cinema applications and one other system for music, I will use the surround system for both. I am wondering if anybody had experience with such a setup and if it woul be a good sounding solution.
 

soundman1024

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Denver
It certainly would be possible. I think the problem comes about with the fact that the surround speakers would add a lot of difficulty in fighting feedback. If speakers are pointed at the stage it makes it quite a bit easier. For this reason the surround speakers would have to be at a low volume, or they would only be able to handle things in the system direct. Also, if one were going for a 5.1 setup the center channel may not be the easiest to acquire unless it were flown quite high. Also one would probably have to make a pretty good mono mix to use for front fills it it were a venue requiring such. It would make the task of mixing a live event much more difficult in design and implementation.
 

cutlunch

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
In a live music situation the problems would probably outweigh any advantage. This is because the sound from the rear would combine with sound from the front and cause distortion to what the listeners hear. Also at a live music event the audience would expect the sound to come mainly from the front if the performers are at the front.

I believe trying to mix surround sound live would be nearly impossible to get right. The only time I would look at something like this is for use with sound effects.

If I wanted to be able do surround sound for cinema also use the same gear for livesound this is how I would probably do it:
A centre cluster as well as side-fills would be needed. For the rear speakers I would use monitor speakers and their amps. For live work the monitors are used as usual.
 
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