New line array deployment

Posted: 17th June 2012 by John Mills in Audio, Technical Stuff
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Go ahead scratch your head a bit and go, is john crazy… If you know anything about hanging line arrays you might look at this and say that would never work, but trust me it’s kinda crazy the results we are getting out of it.

Last year we hung the main hang and subs right next to each other which would yield the best alignment of mains to subs. Making a very nice acoustic crossover region. Which translates to smooth punchy low end for you non-techies. This is true until you introduce the side hang. Which is impossible to get timed in with the subs at all horizontal positions around the room.

Also worth mentioning is with the subs forward next to the mains you always get a power alley effect. Meaning there is about 6db more bass in the middle of the room than on the sides.

With this years arrangement we put the subs upstage behind the mains, and pushed the side hangs a little “too close” to the mains according to proper math.

What I was going for here was to create a uniform wave front of low end throughout the venue. We do a little tricky delay stuff to the arrays and arrive at what is basically and acoustically accurate equilateral triangle. Meaning all 3 of the arrays are equally spaced and exist (acoustically) around a point that is steering the low end energy out away from center about 45 degrees. This means not only does the low end of the spectrum lock in and remain punchy all the way across the room horizontally, but also because of the 45 degree steering we have minimized the power alley. There is also a little vertical steering involved in the sub array which I’ll cover in another post.

I jokingly call it the JM array. :-) I’m no rocket surgeon, I just tend to kinda see sound and often ponder how to do things different. So this is something I’ve wanted to try for a while. I ran it by the big brains at EV and was met with a little skepticism, but after running some models one of the engineers and I agreed it was something worth trying.

I have to say after the last show (number 5) we are pretty impressed that the results are consist and and repeatable. I’m not convinced it would be as big of a result on smaller systems, but in theory this is something than any brand of array could take advantage of given the right parameters.

The EV guys and I are working on publishing a white paper about the setup. So I won’t bore you with the tech side of it here. I’ll post a link when we get something more presentable ready.

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