Celestion announces the introduction of TF1530SL, the first of a new type of “reduced weight” ferrite magnet, pressed steel LF driver.
This 15” loudspeaker delivers 300Wrms power handling and 98dB sensitivity. It also boasts a significantly lower weight than many standard 15” ferrite magnet LF drivers currently available.
The design of TF1530SL uses sophisticated FEA (finite element analysis) techniques to make the most efficient use of the magnet assembly, resulting in a pole piece and end-plate that have a significantly lower mass than a standard ferrite device.
The advantages of this are not only a lighter weight but also a reduced inductive rise, leading to greater mid-range sensitivity, which is beneficial for many 15” driver applications.
TF1530SL additionally incorporates Celestion’s Dual Magnet Motor design, featuring a secondary magnet that is used to further increase overall motor force (Bl) without the need for any additional increase in magnet assembly size.
A second reduced weight model, the 12” diameter TF1230SL, will be available in Q2 of 2012.
JBL And Crown Up The Sonic Ante At The Gallery Nightclub
The Gallery is one of Las Vegas’ newest and most lavish nightclubs capable of accommodating up to 1,000 people as well as private parties and corporate and special events.
The Gallery was built from the bare walls up and includes an all-new JBL loudspeaker system with more than 90 AE Series and Control Contractor Series speakers, powered by Crown amplifiers.
R2W, Inc. of Las Vegas designed and installed the Gallery’s audio system. R2W owner Jeremy McConnico and account manager David Potts collaborated with David Starck, Director of Engineering on the project.
“For the Gallery, we had the opportunity to provide a system that was 100 percent new, which enabled us to create an integrated system with JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers and BSS processing, all working together and controllable via a simple user interface.” said Starck.
The audio system for the Gallery dance floor includes eight JBL AM7315/95 3-way, 15-inch loudspeakers, four ASB6128V extended response, dual-18-inch subwoofers, and four JBL custom dual-18-inch subwoofers which are similar to the ASB7128, but in a V-loaded enclosure configuration.
The Gallery Room fill speakers include 16 JBL AM7215/95 2-way, 15-inch high-power speakers, four AM7212/95 2-way, 12-inch models, two AC28/95 compact 2-way speakers, five ASB6115 15-inch subwoofers and 33 Control 47C/T ceiling speakers.
The Pussycat Dolls Lounge features nine JBL AM7212/95 loudspeakers and seven ASB6115 subwoofers, and the DJ booth is equipped with two AM7212/95 speakers and ASB6115 subwoofers.
“There were a number of acoustical challenges we faced in determining which models of loudspeakers to use, and where to place and aim them,” noted Starck. “The main room was all hard surfaces with very little absorption anywhere.”
“The only sound absorption is the thousand bodies that fill the room every night. On top of this, the owners wanted the people paying for their tables to be able to hold a conversation, but still have a powerful system for the dance floor. “
“This is typical for most clubs in Vegas now and it’s difficult to achieve this kind of acoustic balancing act as there is no physical division between the tables and the dance floor—just one large room.”
“To overcome this, we designed a very focused, very high-powered system over the dance floor,” continued Starck. “The main clusters are angled down at the floor so the bulk of the speakers’ output stays there when the dance floor is filled with people. We fill the rest of the room with sound by a ring of speakers that is aimed out and away from the floor. This also helps to keep everything time-aligned outwardly from the dance floor.”
“We went with an all-Harman system because of the proven reliability of the components, the vast array of options throughout the product lines and mostly, because of the ability to integrate the BSS Soundweb London digital audio signal processors and controllers, Crown amplifiers and Harman’s HiQnet System Architect communications protocol into a single user interface for the club sound technician and DJs.”
“They are able to easily adjust zone levels and also get real-time feedback from all of the amplifiers and signal processors to know if they are pushing the system too hard or if there is trouble in any of the components.”
“This appears to be working quite well,” Starck pointed out. “The club has been open for several months, and we haven’t had a single blown driver. We received a call once from the Gallery about thermal errors they were seeing in one amplifier. They were able to turn that channel off using System Architect. When we inspected the system the next day, we found that a single loose strand of copper in one of the speaker terminals had been shorting the amplifier. No damage was done and in fact the amplifier never shut down—it just kept on playing and reported the thermal error. That level of control and diagnostic feedback is remarkable in an audio system.”
“The Gallery installation turned out to be outstanding,” Starck concluded. “The owners have a couple of other clubs in Las Vegas and have told us that the Gallery sounds the best by far.”
Meyer Sound has announced the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element, a new self-powered loudspeaker defined by its sonic linearity in reproducing the operating range of 28 Hz to 100 Hz. The ultralow distortion, coupled with exceptional headroom and optimized rigging options, makes the 1100-LFC a flexible tool for low-end directional applications for large-scale tours and installations.
“As an industry, we are accustomed to subwoofers carrying a distinct harmonic tone. This ‘sound’ of any subwoofer becomes part of how a product is evaluated,” says John Meyer, CEO of Meyer Sound. “Linear loudspeakers lack this enhancement, and are measured by their ability to precisely reproduce the electronic signals without altering the sonic characteristics. Bringing Meyer Sound’s linear technology and our advances in loudspeaker headroom and peak level control to the low-frequency domain makes the 1100-LFC quite an exciting direction for us.
“Only when the signal that goes into a loudspeaker is identical to the output signal can you accurately predict, control, and measure the coverage pattern of a multi-element soundsystem,” continues Meyer.
In creating the 1100-LFC, Meyer Sound has pushed the engineering boundaries of low-frequency linearity with a number of advances. The high peak power output enables excellent transient reproduction and low-frequency clarity at extreme operating levels. The new 1100-LFC cabinet is designed to minimize turbulence noise, enabling the system to effortlessly reproduce any programming material with unprecedented clarity and stability in applications that range from large tours to installations in stadiums, arenas, concert halls, and more.
“For those who have worked to keep obtrusive low-frequency energy away from the stage, walls, and neighborhoods, MAPP Online Pro® [acoustical prediction program] has been great for us to virtually experiment different design concepts,” says Luke Jenks, Meyer Sound’s product manager, loudspeaker products. “The 1100-LFC completes this picture as a tool that allows us to control the low-end coverage pattern in a large-scale powerful and high-fidelity system like never before. With this technology and working closely with our customers, we can further our imagination in low-end directivity system design to ensure music is heard exactly as the artists intend.”
The 1100-LFC can integrate seamlessly in a MICA or MILO line array or a JM-1P arrayable loudspeaker system. RMS remote monitoring system provides comprehensive monitoring of system parameters. Weather protection and custom-color finishes are available.
Meyer Sound will begin shipping the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element in June, 2012.
Meyer Sound has been at the forefront of low-frequency pattern control technology, from the PSW-6 cardioid subwoofer and M3D-Sub directional subwoofer to the TM Array subwoofer configuration, as well as series of technical seminars that help professionals put low-frequency steering theories into practice.
At the ongoing Prolight+Sound 2012 show in Frankfurt, JBL Professional just announced the introduction of its STX800 Series portable loudspeakers, designed to bridge the gap between lighter-duty portable PA speakers and full-size tour sound systems.
The six STX800 passive loudspeaker models offer integration with Crown Audio VRack amplifier V5 level processing and JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software.
The JBL STX800 Series models include: the 12-inch, 2-way STX812M; the 15-inch, 2-way STX815M; the dual 15-inch, 2-way STX825; the dual 15-inch, slot-loaded 3-way STX835; the 18-inch STX818S subwoofer; and the dual 18-inch STX828S subwoofer.
JBL STX800 Series loudspeakers utilize proprietary JBL high-power-handling drivers that deliver extremely low distortion and precision waveguides for accurate pattern control.
STX800 Series enclosures are designed for easy handling, durability and are conveniently sized to be truck pack-friendly allowing for the maximum usage of cargo space which lowers transportation costs and reduces their carbon footprint.
“We know that “performance” encompasses much more than just specs. Total Performance is a design principle we embrace that embodies every characteristic of the product; spectral balance, ergonomics, practicality, extreme power handling, versatility and appearance are all factors that make a substantial difference in the real world of professional audio,” says Richard Ruse, senior director of global sales, JBL Professional.
“STX800 speakers are ideal as a simple, high density ground stack sound system and are perfect for regional sound and A/V Rental companies, touring bands and professional mobile DJs,” Ruse continues. “With their M10 suspension points they also function as a cost effective install speaker for night clubs, theaters and churches and are also an affordable, professional extension to a full-size tour sound system when used as side-fills and floor monitors.”
The STX812M and STX815M can be used either as a floor monitor, on a tri-pod stand or over a subwoofer. Both are outfitted with a 70 x 70 degree waveguide for precise, focused coverage.
With its wide frequency range and broad 90 x 50-degree coverage angle, the STX825 is ideal for bands or DJs as their primary PA, as a side-fill speaker on a concert stage or as an installed speaker in a dance club or performance venue.
JBL’s slot-loaded STX835 is intended for full-range use in standalone applications or in high-performance environments as a ground stack passive top box. The STX835 is designed to be placed over the STX828 subwoofer, and its horn-loaded mid and high-frequency 60 x 40-degree waveguides allow two STX835s to be splayed for wide-angle coverage over a large area. All STX800 loudspeakers can be operated either full-range or bi-amplified.
Though compact, the STX818S subwoofer can deliver 1,000 watts of continuous pink noise power handling and comes equipped with a top-mounted M20 pole mount. For applications requiring massive amounts of bass, the STX828S’s dual 18-inch drivers handle 2,000 watts of continuous pink noise, 4kW program and 8kW peak.
STX800 Series loudspeakers employ the company’s most advanced technologies, including JBL’s patented CMCD Cone Midrange Compression Driver that provides ultra-low midrange distortion, increased sensitivity, extended bandwidth and improved phase coherence.
High frequencies are handled by either a 2432H 3-inch or 2453H 4-inch titanium-diaphragm, neodymium-magnet compression driver, operating in conjunction with JBL’s patented Progressive Transition (PT) waveguides which offer constant directivity and smooth frequency response over a wide area.
STX800 Series woofers feature the latest evolution of JBL’s Vented Gap Cooling: Super Vented Gap Technology, which provides more efficient heat dissipation for higher power-handling capability with minimal dynamic compression.
JBL STX800 Series loudspeakers offer versatile installation options. All models (except the subwoofers) incorporate M10 suspension points. Optional wheel kits are available for the STX818S and STX828S subwoofers.
STX800 Series models are made from top-quality birch/poplar plywood covered in JBL’s resilient DuraFlex material, and have road-tough 14-gauge steel grilles lined with acoustically transparent cloth.
Mackie has introduced three different series of products—S500 Series passive loudspeakers, FRS Series power amplifiers and the SP260 2x6 loudspeaker processor—designed to meet a global demand for passive systems. All are on display (Halle 6.1, Stand C30) at the ongoing Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt.
S500 passive loudspeakers utilize high-output transducers housed within rugged enclosures covered in tough PVC vinyl and capped with protective edge bumpers. All models feature NL4 and 1/4-inch inputs and thru connections.
There are three full-range boxes in the series: the S512 2-way 12-inch, the S515 2-way 15-inch, and the S525 2-way dual 15-inch, joined by the 18-inch S518 subwoofer.
Available in two different high-powered configurations (FRS-1700 & FRS-2800), FRS Series power amplifiers utilize Mackie’s proprietary Fast Recovery technology for quicker transient response, keeping the sound clean and undistorted even when pushed hard.
High-current, switching power supplies maximize efficiency and minimize weight.
Offering sophisticated EQ, dynamics processing and system protection, the SP260 2x6 speaker processor provides complete system optimization for both passive and powered systems. The six outputs feature five different operating modes to cover a wide range of systems.
Each output offers dedicated level control, polarity invert, high/low-pass filters, 7-band parametric/shelving EQ, 600ms delay and limiting. Two input channels provide independent 600ms delay and a flexible 5-band parametric/shelving EQ. The front panel also includes 7-segment LED metering per channel.
The SP260 utilizes high-end 24-bit AKM AD/DA converters with 120 dB dynamic range for class-leading sound quality. With 24 user-definable presets and flexible I/O for simple routing and configuration, the SP260 is an ultra-flexible processor, ideal for a wide range of portable and permanent applications.
“Our customers have asked for an expanded portable PA line that delivers professional performance at amazing prices,” explains Greg Young, Mackie director of product management. “This new system does just that, with class-leading performance and unmatched affordability.”
All three series are scheduled for Q2, 2012 availability.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems announced the launch of several new products by NEXO France, making their debut at this year’s ProLight+Sound Expo in Frankfurt.
The new products cover all aspects of sound reinforcement, making innovative inroads into line arrays, networking, amplification, and system processing.
The STM Series loudspeaker cabinets are the first of its kind on the market. Developed for touring, festivals, and sound company rental, STM combines the best of NEXO Alpha functionality with the innovation of NEXO GEO waveguide designs to deliver a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use system.
The STM (Scale Through Modularity) concept enables line array systems to scale up or down depending on event audience size, from 1,000 to 100,000 people.
“We congratulate our NEXO partners for the innovative STM Series,” states Marc Lopez, marketing manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems. “With valuable input from end users, we are confident our customers will find the sound amazing, and the cost-per-box along with ease of rigging an enormous asset when deploying the new line array.”
STM systems can be configured from four discrete loudspeaker elements: M46 main, B112 bass, S118 subbass, and M28 “Omni” modules.
Configurations can comprise arrays of main cabinets only, or main plus bass, or bass plus main plus bass. The ability to add extra bass cabinets to the system in order to increase power and headroom without introducing unwanted phase anomalies makes STM unique, as it is the first vertical array system to offer scalable LF.
Deploying the dedicated subbass cabinets, either in the arrays or as ground-stacks, further increases the system’s options. The “Omni” fill speakers complete the coverage pattern, whatever the scale of the system.
The powerful bass cabinet has a frequency response of 63 Hz to 200 Hz, overlapping that of the sub and main modules, providing a valuable increase in LF headroom. The sub can achieve a similar SPL output to the NEXO CD18 unit using just one 18-inch driver. Two subs can be used back-to-back in cardioid mode, or side-by-side in omnidirectional mode.
The M46 main cabinet’s flat-membrane drivers insure complete, even, and full-range coverage over the entire 90-degree horizontal dispersion. HF frequency range remains completely linear using Kepton Polymer diaphragms that enhance tonal response and long throw.
The M46 incorporates 4 x 6.5 inch LF/MF drivers, 4 x HF compression drivers, has a 145 dB peak SPL, and a frequency response of 85 Hz - 20 kHz. Compact in size, the main cabinet measures 13.8 (h) x 22.6 (w) x 28.2 (d) inches, and weighs 121 pounds.
The B112 bass cabinet is outfitted with a neodymium high-excursion 3000-watt 12-inch bass driver with 4-inch voice coil and shares the same dimensions, weight, and gravity center as the M46. The hybrid horn-loaded design maximizes the efficiency of the driver, delivering 6 dB more than a standard front-loaded driver in this frequency range.
With a 1 x 3000-watt, +/- 3 cm excursion 12-inch LF driver, the bass has a 141 dB peak SPL and a frequency response of 63 Hz - 200 Hz. The B112 has the same dimensions and weight as the M46.
The S118 subbass cabinet has a neodymium high-excursion 3000-watt 18-inch driver. A bandpass load ensures SPL output equivalent to conventional dual 18-inch units. Peak SPL is 143 dB, and frequency response is 25 Hz - 85 Hz. The S118 measures 27.6 x 22.6 and 28.2 inches and weighs 187 pounds. The S118 can be flown in the array or ground-stacked in line and can run in omnidirectional or cardioid sub mode.
The M28 Omni cabinet is used for downfill and provides 120 degrees of horizontal dispersion and 0 to 15 degrees splaying angle between modules. The cabinet is loaded with 2 x 8 inch LF drivers, 4 x 4 inch MF drivers, 1 x HF compression driver, with a 140 dB peak SPL and frequency response of 60 Hz - 20 kHz. The Omni cabinet measures 9.2 x 22.6 and 28.2 and weighs 84 pounds. It can also be used independently from the M46 or B112.
The STM system has been designed to be ready for the road. The cabinets are injection-molded for maximum durability and weather-resistance.
Using a range of dolly and bumper accessories, the system can be prepped in the warehouse, loaded onto dollies for transport, and wheeled right into a venue. Proprietary PistonRig and REDLock rigging technology allows for one rigger to fly a 72-cabinet arena system very easily.
The STM cabinets are paired with the NEXO Universal Amp Rack (NUAR), which contains plug-and-play digital patches, real-time system monitoring and control network functionality in addition to two NXAMP4x4s, which together can power up to 12 STM loudspeakers, in groups of three.
NUAR includes a new dual-voltage version of the NXAMP and works in conjunction with the new Digital Meter Unit (DMU), an intelligent input patch panel providing digital communication with the NXAMP, and the new Digital Patch Unit (DPU), an intelligent output patch panel.
For inclusion in the rack, NEXO is offering a choice of network card solutions. Along with NEXO’s long-established NXES104 EtherSound network control, the company announces the new NXDT104 Dante audio plug-in card for the NXAMP enabling NEXO loudspeaker systems to explore the many benefits of a high-performance AVB-ready digital networking solution.
The NXDT104 will distribute digital audio plus integrated control data, automatically configuring its network interface and finding other Dante devices on the network. It can receive four audio streams (24 bits/48kHz) in Dante format, offers a dual port for redundancy and third port for additional remote control, and a direct connection to PC using the ASIO format.
In the near future, end users will be able to download from iTunes the first release of NeMo, an app for the iPad and iPhone that provides remote control over a NXAMP network from anywhere in the venue.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems will show the new NEXO STM System at the upcoming InfoComm 2012 show in Las Vegas. The system is targeted for late summer availability.
Audio Design Specialists of Madison, WI, recently deployed a new sound reinforcement system featuring Tannoy V series loudspeakers at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Franklin, Wisconsin.
The recently built church features a modern liturgical design pioneered by Excel Engineering. The design is based on the traditional cruciform plan and provides a traditional decor but with better viewing angles. The result is a shorter and wider nave, flanked by wider transepts, with a radial seating plan that flows from the nave through the transepts, and with a thrust platform at the center of the radial seating. Most surfaces remain hard to provide an acoustical environment suitable for organ, and the traditional look is retained via stained glass windows, exposed arches, ornate millwork, etc.
The challenge for the sound system designer is how to provide uniform coverage to the radial seating geometry that mimics that of a modern non-litergical church, but in a traditional aesthetic environment were there is no place to hide them.
Audio Design Specialists was up to the challenge at St. Paul’s. They designed a system that included 8 Tannoy V12s in an arc concentric about the thrust platform for sources on the platform, and a separate pair of V12s radiating from the rear right side, where the choir risers are located, to provide independent reinforcement of the choir. The narthex is covered by 4 Tannoy V6s that are time delayed relative to the precedence units in the arc.
Since there was no way to hide the 8 precedence units, Audio Design Specialists adopted the approach of making them an accent by mating them with a ring of rolled 2” x 4” steel tubing. The ring approach concealed all of the loudspeaker cable and avoided the cost and aesthetic problems of individual rigging. The reaction to the ring approach has been universally positive, not only by the congregation, but by other architects as well.
Previously, Palmer was national sales manager for the two brands on behalf of AM&S, where he was instrumental in their growth in the U.S. marketplace.
“The company is experiencing rapid and significant growth, in terms of both its customer base and innovative new products,” Palmer states. “I look forward to leading the sales team in the U.S. as we continue to build on this momentum and bring future and continued success to the brands.”
Based in Los Angeles, AM&S is a leading independent distributor of pro audio, music creation, and musical instrument products from numerous leading manufacturers.
Norwest Productions Becomes Largest L-Acoustics KUDO Provider
L-Acoustics Rental Network Agent and Certified Provider Norwest Productions has added 74 KUDO cabinets and 16 LA-RAK amplified controllers to its existing inventory, which already includes 118 KUDO boxes.
The equipment was delivered directly to Doha for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Pan Arabic Games, whose sound designer, Auditoria’s Scott Willsallen, extensively specifies KUDO for his projects due to its adjustable horizontal cue, which provides even coverage over a large space.
Norwest, which now owns the largest KUDO stock in the world, has vast experience of using KUDO on major sporting events, including the Delhi and Melbourne Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies, Doha Asian Games opening and closing ceremonies, Singapore National Day events, Sydney World Youth Day and Singapore Youth Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.
“Norwest was an early adopter of L-ACOUSTICS KUDO, purchasing the initial order in 2006 for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and many other events since,” says Chris Kennedy, Norwest’s group sales director. “Due to the strong demand for this product we have elected to purchase another 74 cabinets with LA-RAKs, taking our total KUDO inventory to 180. Our local demand for KUDO is such that we can no longer afford to send large quantities away for several months for a big event such as Arab Games - so more were needed.”
Two new high-frequency drivers and a “bullet” driver are the two latest additions to the growing FaitalPRO line of loudspeaker drivers with ferrite magnet structures. They will on display at the 2012 Prolight+Sound/Musikmesse show later this week in Frankfurt.
The new HF105 compression driver offers a 91 mm total diameter, a 37 mm voice coil, a Ketone Polymer ring diaphragm, and radial phase plug.
Despite the use of a ferrite magnet assembly, the HF105’s weight is just contained at 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg), while it has an elevated efficiency capable of an average 107 dB from 1.4 to 20 KHz. The minimum recommended crossover frequency is at 1.7 KHz, with a nominal power rating of 40 W and a maximum of 80W.
The HF105 is suited for medium and small sized 2-way enclosures and line arrays, coupled with a woofer not over 12 inches. The HF105 is the ferrite version of the HF104 neodymium driver already available, and it brings forth excellent mechanical and acoustic characteristics from the original version—while achieving a slightly different tonality through its optimized ferrite magnet assembly.
The new HF107 compression driver measures 120 mm in diameter and 44 mm voice coil. It is the “big brother” of the HF105, also offering a Ketone Polymer ring diaphragm structure coupled with an innovative single slot annular phase plug,
The average efficiency level of the HF107 is 109 dB from 800 Hz to 20 kHz, the recommended minimum crossover frequency is at 1 kHz, and the nominal power rating is 70 watts and maximum power rating is 140 watts.
The HF107 is recommended in 2-way applications of a certain “importance”, or powerful line arrays with a 12- /15-inch woofer, and weight is 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg). Great care was taken in the study of the single slot annular phase plug in order to help ensure consistency in the response on the whole bandwidth while keeping an excellent extension towards the high frequencies.
The new FD371 bullet driver, complete with aluminum horn with 40-degree conical dispersion, is ready to be used in sound enclosures right out of the box. Incorporating a ferrite magnet assembly, a 37 mm voice coil, and a Ketone Polymer ring diaphragm, it has an average efficiency of 107 dB on a frequency range from 2.5 to 20 kHz, with an impressive minimum crossover frequency at 2.5 kHz.
Nominal power rating is at 35 watts, with a maximum power at 70 watts. It offers a very extended response and controlled directly at the highest frequencies.
The FD371 can be employed in multiple way applications, even with very high crossovers (5, 6, 7 kHz), and it is optimal for medium-sized 2-way systems, given that it may be used down to very low frequencies
Weight is contained, regardless of the use of a ferrite magnet, to 2.6 pounds (1.2 Kg). The size of the frontal squared flange with rounded corners is 102 mm.
The horn and assembly have been purposely studied to perform an acoustic load that extends as much as possible towards the low frequencies, while maintaining good control of directivity towards the higher and uppermost frequencies.
Ken Berger and Jim Sides today announced the formation of VUE Audiotechnik, a new professional audio company launching with the goal of redefining high-output, low-distortion loudspeaker performance through road-tested design expertise, advanced technologies and global manufacturing.
“Today’s system designers are pushing the boundaries of performance at an exponential rate,” explains Ken Berger, CEO of VUE Audiotechnik, who is best-known in the industry as a founder of EAW. “At the same time, many loudspeaker companies are struggling to keep pace as they adapt to modern manufacturing or navigate the murky waters of buyouts and acquisitions. We’re launching VUE Audiotechnik to meet the growing demands of today’s market with innovative design, advanced technology, and responsive global manufacturing.
“But even more, VUE is about a return to long-term relationships and exceptional service. These are the values that launched our industry decades ago, and now is the time for a return to those principles.”
VUE Audiotechnik’s R&D effort is led by head of engineering Michael Adams, a skilled acoustic engineer whose design talents balance science with a practical, real-world approach honed from nearly four decades as a front of house/monitor engineer and system designer for one of America’s top touring and installation sound companies. His approach now forms the genesis of VUE Audiotechnik’s own design philosophy: tackle commonly accepted compromises with a perspective born from real world “know-how” and backed by the most advanced technologies and manufacturing resources available worldwide.
From its headquarters in San Diego, California, where design, sales, marketing and operations are based, VUE Audiotechnik launches with a global R&D and manufacturing infrastructure in place thanks to a founding partnership with Speaker Trade of Solingen Germany, and their wholly owned, 290,000-sq. foot production and R&D facility in Asia.
VUE Audiotechnik’s global network provides immediate access to purpose-designed transducers, world-class enclosures with precision-engineered transport and flying hardware, as well as an expanding range of digital and analog electronics—all manufactured in full compliance with the strictest ISO quality control standards.
Jim Sides, former CEO of Meyer Sound Germany and now VUE’s executive vice president adds, “I’m very excited about the resources and passionate team that have come together to make VUE Audiotechnik a reality. We all share a deep appreciation for the products and people that have forged our industry’s history. This passion fuels our commitment to the future, and VUE Audiotechnik is the vehicle we will use to get there. I can’t wait to show you what’s next.”
Loudspeaker Arrays: Ideas, Data & Solutions In Solving Horizontal Coverage Problems
Facts and myths regarding tight-pack and spherical arrays
A loudspeaker array is a collection of loudspeakers that is assembled to achieve a coverage pattern that cannot be achieved with a single device.
Arrays are most commonly implemented to achieve a wide horizontal coverage pattern from a position on or above the stage.
The “perfect” array would be a collection of loudspeakers whose radiation pattern was indistinguishable from a single (hypothetical) device that provided the needed pattern for the audience area.
Many attempts have been made to solve the horizontal coverage problem. These include:
• The “tight-pack” array a collection of loudspeakers packed tightly together to emulate a single loudspeaker (Figure 1).
• The “exploded” array technically not an array, but a group of devices that are separated by a sufficient physical distance large enough to reduce the acoustic coupling between the devices (Figure 2). Devices can be tilted at a downward angle.
• The “spherical” array a group of devices with a common mouth distance to a virtual point of origin, placing them on the surface of a virtual sphere (Figure 3).
Figure 1, 2 and 3. (click to enlarge)
All of these side-by-side array topologies have merits if implemented properly. Let’s take a look at some facts and myths regarding the tight-pack and spherical arrays, and (hopefully!) provoke some thought about the horizontal coverage problem.
The balloon plots in this article were generated using EASE. They represent the approximate response of an array generated using the manufacturer-supplied EASE loudspeaker data.
Figure 4: Idealized radiation pattern. (click to enlarge)
Since real-world loudspeakers are inherently more complex than the EASE data representation, the simulations are “best case.”
The best-case response of any horizontal array could be described with the balloon plot of Figure 4. The plot is of three 60-degree horizontal devices arrayed side-by-side to provide a 180-degree horizontal radiation pattern.
NEED AN ARRAY?
Because a horizontal array attempts to achieve a wider coverage pattern than can be achieved with a single device, it makes sense to consider what such a coverage pattern would be useful for.
If the array is radiating equal sound energy to all points within its horizontal pattern, then even coverage is achieved only if all listeners in the horizontal plane are at a similar distance from the array.
Figures 5-7 show the audience planes that can be covered evenly with a side-by-side array.
We will proceed with the assumption that the goal of the array is to evenly cover one of these audience area shapes.
Note that if the array were tilted (i.e. above the stage), the audience plane would need to have the same tilt.
Such an audience plane is unlikely, so the “exploded” array is normally used this application.
Figure 5, 6 and 7: Optimum audience planes for a side-by-side array. (click to enlarge)
Figure 8 shows the physical conflicts that occur when a tight-pack configuration is attempted.
Figure 8: Ideal versus physically realizable devices. (click to enlarge)
If the acoustic centers could be reconciled physically, then a coherent wavefront could be achieved without the requirement of the sum of the individual radiation patterns being 180 degrees (Figure 9). Unfortunately, such a localized acoustic center is not possible for much of the spectrum in practice due to the required physical size of transducers that can radiate significant acoustic power.
It is necessary to de-centralize the components to a degree that doesn’t require the devices to occupy the same position in space. This process also moves the acoustic centers, and our “ideal” array is no longer ideal (Figure 10).
Figure 9: In a dream world… Figure 10: The real world: our ideal array is no longer ideal. (click to enlarge)
The performance of a tight-packed array will depend on the degree to which the designer is able to reconcile the acoustic centers to a common point. Because a physical solution becomes more difficult with increasing frequency (shorter wave-lengths), the performance of tight-pack arrays will transition to that of a spherical array at some frequency.
Table 1: Maximum physical distance between acoustic centers of adjacent devices. (click to enlarge)
Table 1 shows the maximum physical distance bet-ween acoustic centers of adjacent devices that allow in-phase energy summation (less than one-quarter wavelength).
The spherical array moves the acoustic centers out from a common origin and uses a radiation pattern that minimizes the overlap bet-ween adjacent devices.
Figure 11 shows the ideal case, which would yield a “dead” zone in the overlap area. In practice, the opposite happens, since all loudspeakers spill some acoustic energy outside of their rated coverage patterns.
Figure 11: Spherical arrays move the acoustic centers out from a common origin. (click to enlarge)
The result is a “lobing” three-dimensional radiation pattern and an acoustic response riddled with comb filters at any single listener position.
It is interesting to note that the number of lobes in the radiation pattern is determined by the separation of the acoustic centers, not by the coverage angles of the devices that form the array.
Tighter patterns can reduce the level differences between the peaks and nulls, but they don’t reduce the number of peaks and nulls. Array performance is not judged by the absence of lobes, but by the relative level difference between the peaks and the nulls.
Figures 12 - 16 (below) show the 3-D directivity balloons for several “real world” array configurations for frequencies in the voice range.
The geometric origin is 1 meter for each array, a distance that is great enough to remove the physical conflicts between the devices.
Figure 12 shows an array of small sound columns that have the typical broad horizontal pattern and controlled vertical pattern. The lack of pattern control produces significant lobing at all but the highest frequency considered.
At this frequency, the lobing becomes so dense that the response actually becomes smoother. Dense interference is a common technique used by sound system designers. As the lobe density is reduced (lower frequencies) the coverage becomes more uneven.
Figure 13 shows the resultant radiation patterns when the column loudspeakers are replaced with medium-format horns having a 60-degree nominal horizontal coverage pattern in the 2 kHz octave band. The coverage is much more even than in the previous example.
As with the previous array, these devices are positioned on the surface of a sphere by using a common distance back to a “virtual” physical origin. This arraying technique produces physically appealing arrays, but unfortunately does not compensate for the fact that the acoustic centers are not reconciled.
As such, significant lobing is present in the radiation pattern at the lower octave centers where the radiated pattern is wider than the nominal coverage.
Figure 14 shows the same configuration, but with the center loudspeaker advanced physically by one foot. This makes the array non-spherical, which (ironically) produces an improvement in the evenness of coverage in the 500 Hz and 2 kHz balloons.
Figure 15 shows the same configuration, but with the center device delayed electronically in an attempt to “compensate” for the 1-foot advance. This demonstrates that the acoustic center of a device is a physical characteristic and cannot be moved electronically. While a delay can certainly alter the radiation pattern of the array, it is not a direct substitution for the repositioning of a device.
Figure 12: Low-Q arrayed on a sphere. Figure 13: Arrayed on a sphere. Figure 14: Center loudspeaker advanced by one foot. Figure 15: Center loudspeaker advanced one foot and delayed .88 milliseconds. Figure 16: Large-format horn array with coaxial high-frequency section. (click to enlarge)
Array performance can be improved by using devices whose directivity holds up to a lower frequency. This means a physically larger device.
Figure 16 shows the result of substituting large-format 60-degree horns for the medium format devices in the previous figures. The increased pattern control in the 1 kHz and 2 kHz balloons is apparent.
The bandwidths of these devices do not extend to 2 kHz, so the high frequency response was achieved with additional devices, coaxially mounted within the large-format horns.
Since using a larger format produces improved behavior, it is reasonable to expect that this improvement could be extended to lower frequencies if devices of sufficient physical size were used. Since the acoustic wavelength doubles when frequency is halved, the required size at 500 Hz would be twice that required at 1 kHz (8-foot mouth size!).
The wide horizontal coverage problem is one of the greatest challenges for the system designer. There currently exists no ideal solution, but there are certainly methods that work better than others.
Some conclusions of this and other studies are:
• Pattern control is essential if the goal of the array is to emulate a single device.
• Arrays of low-directivity devices should be avoided.
• Arrayability is frequency-dependent. What works at one frequency may not work at another.
• Spherical arrays are esthetically pleasing, but do not produce a common acoustic center.
• Misaligning devices (either physically or electronically) may yield a frequency-dependent improvement in response.
• Moving a loudspeaker produces a different result than delaying it.
• Different array techniques should be used at low frequencies than at high frequencies (i.e. vertical line arrays).
Because architects and their clients insist on building rooms that are too wide to be covered with a single loudspeaker, the wide horizontal coverage problem will be an ongoing one.
This article should alert the designer and buyer alike to the caveats of the horizontal array, and help them identify designs that provide an adequate level of performance for a given application.
Pat & Brenda Brown lead SynAudCon (Synergetic Audio Concepts), conducting audio seminars and workshops around the world, and the leader in audio education since 1973. With nearly 15,000 “graduates” worldwide, SynAudCon is dedicated to teaching the basics of audio and acoustics. For more information, go to www.synaudcon.com.
Laurent Vaissié Named General Manager Of L-Acoustics US
L-Acoustics US has named Laurent Vaissié to the post of general manager, with the announcement made by CEO Christian Heil, to whom he reports.
Based in Oxnard, CA, Vaissié is responsible for managing the L-Acoustics US subsidiary and developing business in both the domestic touring and fixed installation markets.
Prior to joining the company, Vaissié served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Laser Operations where he was responsible for global business development and led cross-functional teams through consolidation, M&A, and high growth phases. During his tenure there, Vaissié increased revenue growth and profitability by focusing on partnerships with industry-leading customers and implementing market-driven product and communication strategies.
Vaissié holds an Engineering degree from France’s Ecole Centrale Marseille, where his thesis work focused on modeling of wavefront propagation, as well as a Ph.D. in Optics from University of Central Florida/CREOL.
“We’re very pleased to have Laurent take up the reins of our US operations,” notes Heil. “Our business in the States has grown significantly in recent years requiring us to adapt our structure and procedures, and Laurent’s collective background, experience and attitude genuinely make him the right person to fill the role of general manager.
“Not only do his values and business ethics perfectly align with those of L-Acoustics, but his dual European/American background allows him to easily liaise with our corporate offices in France as well as instinctively understand and respond to our US customers’ needs and expectations. Their total satisfaction is our primary concern, and Laurent—along with the rest of the L-Acoustics US team—is committed to ensuring it.”
TSI Global Upgrades Historic St. Louis Peabody Opera House With JBL
In order to update the audio system at the historic Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, TSI Global of St. Charles, Missouri, installed a JBL VerTec line array system in the 3,100-seat theater.
The Opera House, originally opened in 1934, has hosted performances by prestigious artists including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. Today, it hosts a variety of events including concerts, comedies, theatricals, family and holiday shows, and more.
Paul Murdick, Vice President of TSI, stated that the install was a 3-year long process, with plans changing as technology advanced.
For the main PA system, 14 JBL VerTec VT4888 midsize line arrays were installed per side, accompanied by four VT4882 midsize arrayable subwoofers per side as well as three ASB7128 subwoofers per side. An additional six VT4886 subcompact line array elements per side provide outfill, with six more VT4886 loudspeakers for coverage on the stage lip and eight VT4886 loudspeakers for under-balcony coverage.
Crown I-Tech amplifiers power the system, with BSS London for system processing and control via Harman’s HiQnet System Architect.
Many challenges arose during the planning and installation phases of the project.
“With any renovation, especially a historical building, there is great emphasis on not ruining the architectural integrity of the original structure,” Murdick stated. “We wanted to ensure that all types of performances could be held at the theater, from a Broadway show to an intense rock concert.”
“With the high arc of the building, the VerTec’s worked perfectly as they met the weight limit of the rigging points, and provided a variety of uses by installing them on a swivel hang which could be rotated according to the needs of the performer.”
Since JBL is known as an industry leader with a prestigious reputation, Murdick felt confident that everyone who would be using the system would be happy.
“We had the support of JBL and the owner of the Opera House to ensure that everything went according to plan, and looked the best it could be while providing quality sound and coverage needed,” he said.
Murdick concluded, “I’m proud to be a part of the renovation to a historical venue and the architecture that is present in the Opera House. There is nothing built like it anymore, and to help improve and create more history in the Opera House was a pleasure to be a part of.”
New indie nightclub Skandal! has opened its doors in Istanbul with an L-Acoustics coaxial loudspeaker system supplied by Turkish distributor, Elit Light&Sound Technologies.
Run by leading Istanbul venue owners together with Metehan Çorumluoğlu, aka DJ Style-ist, Skandal! draws heavily on the twin late-70s cultures of New Wave and disco, bringing a new vibe to the Istanbul club scene.
A system of seven L-Acoustics 8XTi coaxial speakers from L-Acoustics’ Architectural Series for installers, with two 108P coaxials and two SB18i fixed installation subwoofers, driven by two LA4 amplifiers, has been installed into the venue.
“The L-Acoustics system is the strongest aspect of Skandal!” says Çorumluoğlu. “The DJs who’ve performed at the venue are so pleased with the sound of the new cabinets so far, and our clientele can also be heard talking about club’s sound quality with open admiration.”
Skandal! is already shaping up to be a major player on Istanbul’s nightlife scene, with weekend programs offering a range of local and international DJs to get clubbers up and dancing until the early hours of the morning.
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