Sign up for ProSoundWeb newsletters
Subscribe today!


Zoned, Summed & Line: A Discussion Of Array Structures & Performance
+- Print Email Share RSS RSS

I’m asked a lot of questions about sound.

Many of them focus on unraveling and understanding some particular function, feature or concept, while others are directed toward distilling my opinion on methods or industry trends.

A while ago. I was asked some questions that led me to some in-depth pondering.

The questions: Why are line arrays so popular? Are they a fad or here to stay? And what will be the “next big thing”?

The fact is that line array-type systems have taken the professional sound reinforcement industry by storm. Nearly every manufacturer offers several choices.

But just what is it about line arrays that have positioned them to completely dominate the industry? Is it just a gimmick or is there truly some aspect of the vertical configuration that offers an inherent advantage over other system types?

Stepping back and taking good long look, I found that there are several properties these thinner line systems possess that are readily apparent, plus one substantial advantage in particular that is not so obvious at first but perhaps most important of all.

Just to keep things interesting, and hopefully clear, I’m going to examine the basics of sound system design from a slightly different angle than perhaps is common.

In The Zone
A conventional and intuitively logical approach is to deal with a large acoustic space as a set of smaller zones. To cover the area, one constructs clusters of loudspeakers, each aimed at a particular region or zone. Each loudspeaker box in the cluster can then be optimized in terms of EQ and volume.

With this approach - which I will call “zonal coverage” - it’s advantageous to minimize the overlap between the box-to-box coverage patterns. The goal and challenge for the system designers and technicians setting up the system is to try to achieve smooth sonic transitions from zone to zone.

Electro-Voice X-Array on the big AC/DC world tour last year. (click to enlarge)

This system is constructed such that listeners are not exposed to sound emanating from boxes that are in close physical proximity to each other and at different distances. More simply put, sound from multiple sources arriving at the ear at differing times equals “not so good.”

When projecting sound over varying distances, some issues arise. The coverage area of each box increases in size with distance, meaning the angles between boxes pointed far away should be increased.

Yet volume naturally drops with distance, so to maintain volume at distance, the inclination is to decrease the angles between boxes in order to have more of them pointing at the far-away zone.

As a result, zonal coverage systems often employ longer throw, narrow dispersion loudspeakers to help solve the dilemma.

Electro-Voice X-Array, Nexo Alpha, and Turbosound Flashlight and Aspect loudspeaker systems are all excellent examples of zonal systems.


Source: Live Sound International

Discover the art of sound through insightful and in-depth coverage of the people, technologies and ideas that are transforming the professional live audio world.
Subscribe today!
Comments (9) Most recent displayed first | All comments in chronological order
Posted by Mickey habiby  on  12/09/11  at  01:11 AM
Great write-up,It gives very interesting information to us.. Must agree that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article

software live chat

Posted by randyman  on  12/04/11  at  06:42 AM
I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not that good.

search engine optimization methods |

Posted by Amir  on  12/01/11  at  12:17 AM
I found it really informational and useful.Thanks a lot foe sharing such an interesting and meaningful article. oracle free braindumps / dumps pk0-003 / pmi-001 latest dumps / pmi-002 latest dumps / free pmi dumps / latest pw0-104 dumps / redhat braindump / rhce dump /
Posted by discount louboutins  on  10/27/11  at  01:23 AM
A Now,let discount christian louboutin shoes Over The Knee Boots to make your christian louboutin online life is full of colors and surprises. What you need to do is pay more attention to cheap louboutin shoes the latest discount louboutins in the world. Then you can not hesitate to get the new fashion louboutin shoes sale to change your dress style. I am sure do that christian louboutin discount shoes will bring you many happiness.
Posted by louboutin shoes store  on  10/27/11  at  01:23 AM
With the arrival of louboutin shoes store cold weather, many stylish christian louboutin on sale with discount price are on hot selling. Various of christian louboutin uk sale attract many people’s attention. Including many louboutin pumps online celebrities. It seems that no one could resist the charm of discount christian louboutin shoes. Are you ready to buy cheap louboutins sale them? If yes,come on.

+ View all comments on this article

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.