Includes two full-range models (DLM8, DLM12) along with a high-output compact subwoofer (DLM12S)
Mackie has introduced the DLM Series, a new line of ultra-compact, powered loudspeakers with 2,000 watts of onboard Class-D power, as well as proprietary Mackie TruSource technology and a full-featured integrated digital mixer/processor.
The series includes two full-range models (DLM8, DLM12) along with a high-output compact subwoofer (DLM12S).
“With DLM you are seeing Mackie’s commitment to delivering groundbreaking technology,” states John Boudreau, Mackie senior vice president. “Yes. It’s amazing that DLM speakers are a third smaller than anything in their class. But it’s the unmatched power, processing and fidelity that really sets DLM apart from everything else on the market.”
Mackie’s TruSource driver incorporates a high-output woofer and 1.75-inch compression driver into a compact common-magnet design, optimized with TruSource DSP to deliver clarity, consistent dispersion and high fidelity.
Both the DLM8 and DLM12 are outfitted with the Mackie DL2 integrated digital mixer, providing a dual-channel mixing solution for a wide array of possible connections with channel features like 3-band EQ and 16 effects.
In addition, system processing such as a multi-band feedback destroyer, six loudspeaker modes, and Smart Protect technology provide the tools needed for professional applications.
The ultra-compact form factor of the DLM8 and DLM12 includes a rugged PC-ABS cabinet, powder-coated grille and integrated kickstand for personal monitor use. Also included is an integrated pole-cup plus additional configuration options that include wall mounting and flying for professional installs.
Also, enter for a chance to win a pair of DLM12 12-inch powered loudspeakers by entering Mackie’s DLM: The New Shape of Sound Sweepstakes hosted on Mackie’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/mackie). The contest runs until September 27, 2012.
Mackie DLM Series loudspeakers will be available Q4, 2012. The DLM8 will have a U.S. MSRP of $879.99. The DLM12 will have a U.S. MSRP of $1059.99. The DLM12S will have a U.S. MSRP of $1249.99.
Defining Loudspeaker Damping And Its Effects On Performance
The main effect of damping in a loudspeaker is to reduce the SPL produced by the loudspeaker's diaphragm moving because of its own inertia after the signal stops.
The main effect of damping in a loudspeaker is to reduce the SPL produced by the loudspeaker’s diaphragm moving because of its own inertia after the signal stops.
The frequency of the sound it produces with this movement will be at the resonant frequency of the moving system.
A common term for this is “overhang”. In severe cases this can translate into “one note bass”.
Types Of Loudspeaker Damping
There are two types of loudspeaker damping: mechanical and electrical. The loudspeaker’s suspension and the air load on the diaphragm determines the amount of mechanical damping. This cannot be determined except by sophisticated measurements.
Electrical damping is determined by the resistance load on the loudspeaker, which is the sum of the loudspeaker cable resistance and the amplifier output impedance. This can be determined by a simple calculation.
Electrical damping or Damping Factor (DF) is calculated by dividing the loudspeaker’s voice coil DC resistance by the sum of the loudspeaker cable resistance and amplifier output impedance.
The amount of attenuation that electrical damping provides is:
DF10 = -20 dB, DF20 = -26 dB, DF50 = -33 dB.
This is added to the loudspeakers mechanical damping. Because of this addition, an electrical damping factor of 20 or more is considered adequate for live sound reinforcement systems.
With an electrical DF of 20 or more, the SPL produced by the loudspeaker moving on its own inertia will be essentially inaudible. The following chart shows the effect of electrical damping on the attenuation of the sound generated by the loudspeaker after the signal stops.
Figure 1: Attenuation for a range of damping factors.
The larger the driver the more import electrical damping is. Low frequency drivers and subwoofers have the most problems regarding damping. Their moving mass is quite high and their suspensions are comparatively weak compared to this mass.
Because of this, they have relatively poor mechanical damping and therefore electrical damping is important. High frequency drivers have much lighter mass and stiff suspensions compared to that mass. As a result electrical damping is relatively unimportant.
The table below shows the damping for various wire lengths and gauges for 8, 4 and 2 ohm loudspeakers.
It also shows the SPL loss for the audio signals from the power loses because of the cable resistance. It can be readily seen that the SPL loss is far less important than damping factor in choosing a loudspeaker cable.
For example, on a 4 ohm loudspeaker with 100 length of #14 cable will only reduce the SPL by a minimal 1 dB, but the damping factor is less than 1/2 of what is considered adequate.
Note: The calculations for the table are based on loudspeaker nominal impedances rather than DC resistances. Therefore the values listed in the table for DF and the SPL losses are quite useful but are only approximate values.
An amplifier with a rated damping factor of 1000 at 8 ohms was used for the calculations in the table below. The internal impedance of such an amplifier is 0.008 ohms. Even using an amplifier with a rated damping factor of 100 ohms, the DF numbers change surprising little.
The reason is the output impedance of such an amplifier is 0.08 Ohms, which is still small compared to the cable resistance in most cases. The SPL loss is unaffected by an amplifier’s output impedance.
If you wish to “plug in” some numbers other than those shown, here are the calculations used to make the table:
> Total Cable Resistance = (2 x Cable Length x Wire Resistance per 1000 Feet) / 1000
> SPL Loss = 20 x LOG (Speaker DC Resistance / (Speaker DC Resistance + Total Cable Resistance) [see note below table]
> Damping Factor (DF) = Speaker DC Resistance / (Amplifier Output Impedance + Total Cable Resistance)
Looking At The Table
For short cable lengths the damping factor of the amplifier will have some affect on the numbers, especially for 2-ohm loudspeakers. For cable lengths over 50 feet the cable resistance, rather than the amplifier’s specified DF, will determine the electrical damping factor. For runs over 50 feet (15 m) at 2 ohms, 100 feet (30 m) at 4 ohms, and 200 feet (60 m) at 8 ohms it is not practical to maintain a damping factor of 20 and still use a practical wire gauges.
Figure 2: Wire lengths and gauges for 8, 4 and 2 ohm loudspeakers and SPL loss for the audio signals from the power loses due to cable resistance.
Martin Audio Names Spennacchio Eastern Regional Sales Manager
Martin Audio has announced the appointment of Sam Spennacchio as Eastern Regional Sales Manager for North America.
Martin Audio has announced the appointment of Sam Spennacchio as Eastern Regional Sales Manager for North America.
An audio industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in sales and management, Spennacchio will be responsible for all Martin Audio sales east of the Mississippi. His responsibilities include managing the company’s independent rep force and developing strategic goals and opportunities to increase sales and market share.
Spennacchio has held sales management positions at SPL Integrated Solutions and the Sterling Sales Group. He has also represented manufacturers and distributors such as CT Audio Marketing, Klark-Teknik and Crest Audio.
Asked about Spennacchio’s appointment, Rob Hofkamp, Sales Director for Martin Audio North America said, “Sam’s expertise and impressive track record in pro audio is a major asset for our team. He has been successful at every stage of his career and we look forward to the contribution that his unmatched people skills, experience and knowledge of the technology will bring to Martin Audio’s expanding sales effort in North America.”
Spennacchio added, ““I am thrilled to be joining the team at Martin Audio. Besides an impressive history, the company’s recent innovations have enabled them to introduce new products with industry-leading advancements in loudspeaker technology. I am also glad to be working with Rob Hofkamp whom I have known and respected for a long time.”
Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Helps St. Joseph Parish Focus Message
The church leadership recently called in Boston, Light and Sound in nearby Boston, MA, to design and install a new sound system that would resolve the speech intelligibility issues once and for all. The company's recommendation was to replace the existing distributed system with two Iconyx digitally steerable column array loudspeakers from Renkus-Heinz.
St Joseph Parish has been a part of the Needham, MA community for more than 100 years. Beginning with a humble wooden church in 1894 and expanding its campus over the years to include a convent, elementary and middle schools, and a range of ministries. In 1966, having outgrown its existing sanctuary, the church completed construction of their current building.
Though there have always been sonic challenges, the space has served them well for more than four decades. The room’s architecture provides good acoustics for the traditional choir and organ arrangements, but the sanctuary’s spoken word intelligibility left a bit to be desired.
The church leadership recently called in Boston, Light and Sound in nearby Boston, MA, to design and install a new sound system that would resolve the speech intelligibility issues once and for all.
“It’s a rectangular space with a flat ceiling and lots of right angles,” explains Zeke Zola, Install Manager at Boston Light and Sound. “The walls are all brick and there’s minimal acoustical dampening other than carpeting in the aisles. So it’s a rather reverberant space, and they’ve always struggled with intelligibility and coverage.”
The company’s recommendation was to replace the existing distributed system with two Iconyx digitally steerable column array loudspeakers from Renkus-Heinz.
“There were no loudspeakers at the front of the room, but there were three or four along the side walls—but they were not time-aligned,” says Zola. “So church members in the pews were getting the sound from the front, mixed with the sounds from two or three different loudspeakers, depending on where you were sitting. The result was just kind of unnatural and echo-y, with no real directionality.”
Boston Sound and Light recommended a single Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC16-R-II column loudspeaker mounted on either side of the proscenium to covers the entire sanctuary.
“Using the Iconyx, we can control the beam for very narrow coverage, and minimize the amount of reflected sound from the ceiling and back wall,” Zola explains.
The choir is picked up by wired Clock Audio mics flown overhead, while Shure wired and RF microphones cover the podium and stage. The mics feed a Symetrix 780 Automixer, connected directly to the Iconyx systems.
“The Iconyx has made all the difference in the world in this sanctuary,” Zola concludes. “Coverage is even and intelligible across the entire room, and it even cuts through their very noisy HVAC system. It’s a great solution.”
Unique Linn technologies, superb style and build quality all combine to produce exceptional music performance – whatever the source and format.
World leading British audio company Linn has produced the Kiko music system. The systems combines the stylish Kiko DSM network music player – with built-in pre- and power amplification and a digital crossover – with the compact, fully active 2-way Kiko speakers.
Beautifully designed, sleek and compact, Kiko is small enough to find a place in any living room, kitchen or bedroom. Kiko is also available in a range of six bespoke colors – with all finishes created in-house – including white, light blue, black, silver, champagne and dark blue.
Build quality is also superb thanks to new techniques specially developed by Linn to allow both the Kiko network music player and speaker enclosures to be made as exceptionally precise single pieces of aluminum, thereby creating very rigid structures to further enhance audio playback quality.
Linn has also developed a range of free apps to guarantee that Kiko is incredibly easy to install and use, including a new setup wizard and control apps that allow any digital content to be accessed and controlled by smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Tannoy Qflex Provides Intelligibility For St. Barnabas On The Dessert
St. Barnabas on the Dessert Episcopal Church in Scottsdale, AZ recently renovated their sound system around a pair of Tannoy Qflex 40 steerable array loudspeakers.
St. Barnabas on the Dessert Episcopal Church in Scottsdale, AZ recently renovated their sound system around a pair of Tannoy Qflex 40 steerable array loudspeakers.
Built in 1960 under the direction of noted architectural firm of T.S. Montgomery, the 350-seat sanctuary features columns and arches, a high ceiling, and a raised circular altar with choir risers and a pipe organ located directly behind it.
CCS Presentation Systems, also located in Scottsdate, was tapped to design and install the new sound reinforcement system as well as significant lighting and video upgrades.
“The sanctuary was originally designed to have the acoustic principles and characteristics of larger cathedrals,” explains Rod Andrewson, who serves as chief engineer at CCS Presentation . “As a result, it’s a highly reverberant space that had been plagued with vocal intelligibility issues for decades. Over the years a number of acoustical treatments had been applied in an attempt to resolve the problem, with little to no success.”
The system project was part of a complete renovation of the sanctuary spurred by the donation of a new organ. As a result, church leadership wanted worship services to feature organ music, but they also wanted a system to deliver dramatically improved vocal intelligibility.
“After we viewed the church we were told that the sanctuary would be stripped of all acoustic treatments and I knew we had a real challenge on our hands,” Andrewson notes. “As a matter of fact I contemplated not having anything to do with the project at all. But before walking away, I wanted to do a little research.”
He had successfully implemented Tannoy Qflex digitally steerable arrays in other applications, and thought they might provide a solution in this application. The straightforward goal was focusing as much sonic energy on the audience as possible while keeping it off of reflective surfaces.
Qflex loudspeakers have an extremely slim profile, and the cabinets and grills can be painted, which was another plus for the project. The church wanted the new system to be as unobtrusive as possible. After the church leadership heard a demonstration of the Qflex arrays in the sanctuary they were extremely impressed.
“We showed them that we could very precisely divine and steer the acoustical imprint on the audience,” Andrewson explains. “When we demonstrated the Qflex loudspeakers and VNET software to our client, it was very clear that none of our competition had even considered doing the same. I think that demo was, hands down, what won us the job.”
The system design features two Qflex 40 self-powered loudspeakers mounted on left and right columns about 20 feet in front of the alter, the best option available to covering the majority of seats. Each loudspeaker, measuring 83 inches high by just seven inches wide, is loaded with eight 4-inch LF drivers, sixteen 3-inch LF drivers and sixteen 1-inch HF drivers. Every driver has its own discrete amplification channel.
A key part of the equation is VNET, Tannoy’s proprietary digital processing and network protocol, hosted on a PC located in the system’s rack room which can be found behind the back wall of the sanctuary. VNET is linked to the loudspeakers via a VNET USB and RS232 interface.
With VNET, both main loudspeakers are acoustically profiled and individually optimized, taking into account their exact positions within the venue relative to the room boundary and acoustic properties of the room.
A control panel allows VNET parameters to be viewed and adjusted, including overall system status as well as specific component performance parameters. while the control area provides access for adjustment of all loudspeaker DSP parameters including crossover/delay, EQ, gain and power.
While the Qflex/VNET tandem handle the vast majority of coverage needs, there are still a couple of regions requiring support.
Tannoy Di5 compact loudspeakers are discretely mounted left and right (and also painted to match) to provide coverage to the narthex in the very front area. Two more Di5s, also column mounted, are utilized to extend coverage to the choir, which is located behind the alter, with one more for the pulpit for “preview and confidence”.
“Designing a system for a reverberant space with no acoustic treatment allowed is outside the norm, but made possible with Qflex,” concludes Andrewson. “The church members and leadership are extremely pleased with the end result.”
QSC Audio Goes Downtown For New York’s LES Summer Streetball Contest
K Series loudspeakers cover Nike Basketball's Rivington Court
Nike Basketball has returned to New York City for another summer tournament that will feature games between the sneaker company’s handpicked squads and the top streetball players from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Harlem.
The tournament is taking place at a temporary location, dubbed Rivington Court, in a schoolyard on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which features a shellacked hardwood floor, two sets of bleachers plus courtside VIP seating, an electronic scoreboard, large LED screen and a QSC Audio K Series Loudspeaker System
Visual Word Systems, a rental and sales company that also stages corporate events, supplied and installed the audio-visual package for the summer tournament, including eight QSC K12 two-way, 12-inch active loudspeakers and a pair of QSC KSub dual 12-inch active subwoofers, with environmental covers to protect against the elements.
A PreSonus StudioLive digital audio console and a selection of Shure XL4D (UHF Diversity) microphones complete the audio system.
According to Ike Eckstein, president of Visual Word Systems, because Rivington Court is surrounded on three sides by apartment buildings, organizers set a sound pressure level limit of 60 dB maximum, and 80 dB on the court.
“We put four K12 speakers on each side. We used ratchet straps to attach speaker stands to the top of the bleachers, extended the stands for extra height, and angled the K12s down,” says Eckstein, who has been in business for 31 years.
The start of the summer-long tournament, which includes Team Nike I vs. Team Nike II, a Battle of the Boroughs and dunk contests, coincided with the launch of a new Nike Hyperdunk shoe that LeBron James will wear with Team USA at the London Olympics. The shoe houses sensors and an accelerometer with Bluetooth connectivity that allows users to download data into a smartphone and compare their jumping and running statistics against other players and the online community.
At the start of the tournament, Nike used the area for training and brought in local area retailers for sales training for the new sneaker, and additionally hosted a media day following the opening game in late June. “This was a challenging event, and the audio was the simplest part of the event to accomplish,” Eckstein comments.
Initially contacted for a price quote for a line array system by his client, Eckstein says that he insisted that the organizers hear the K Series system first - just as a test drive typically comes before a car purchase. “I think there’s a lot more involved than selling somebody equipment without them hearing it,” he says. “Specs are not the answer - hearing is believing – and that’s how the K Series Loudspeakers were chosen.”
Eckstein continues, “I own QSC K12 speakers in rental, so we borrowed two KSub subwoofers and put them in the center underneath the bleachers, and everything worked great. If they had gone with a line array it would have been a nightmare. They couldn’t have put the line arrays behind the bleachers – there was no room.”
According to Ira Friedland of John B. Anthony Co. (JBA), QSC’s local rep firm, “The teamwork and partnership between Nike, JBA and QSC allowed us to provide a high-performing audio system to achieve a successful event, with minimum outlay.”
GC Pro works closely with D.A.S. Audio to provide Metro South Church congregation robust sound.
As a non-denominational independent Christian church located in the southern suburbs of greater Detroit, Metro South Church is a vibrant, growing organization that caters to more than 1,500 people during their four Weekend Experiences.
Recognizing the importance of delivering their message in a clear and appealing manner, church management recently elected to install a new loudspeaker system featuring Aero Series 2 loudspeakers from D.A.S. Audio.
GC Pro was contracted to design and install Metro South Church’s new sound system. GC Pro Account Manager Paul Johnson, working in conjunction with Guitar Center Sales Associate Paul Long and D.A.S. Audio Regional Sales Manager Steve Trimble, oversaw the project.
Ultimately, the new sound system included a sizeable contingent of D.A.S. Aero 12A powered two-way, mid-high line array modules along with LX-215A and LX-218CA sub bass enclosures.
“Metro South Church is a very modern organization with a contemporary worship experience that really engages the congregation,” Johnson explained. “Music plays a vital role in their worship services because it’s a great way to be relevant to their congregants. They have a praise band—Alive—that reaches out to hundreds of high school students.
“The sanctuary is approximately 124 feet wide by 124 feet deep, has a 22 foot high ceiling, and seats roughly 850 people, so it’s not a small space. In order to deliver a high level of speech intelligibility and first-rate music reproduction capability, we determined that a line array system, augmented by multiple subwoofers, would be the most effective means of providing coverage.
“After coordinating three product demonstrations, the decision was made to go with the D.A.S. equipment.”
The house mains for Metro South Church’s new sound system consists of a left – center – right loudspeaker configuration. The system comprises fifteen D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A enclosures, with six elements each on the left and right hangs and a center fill cluster consisting of three modules.
Low frequency support is provided by a combination of two D.A.S. LX-215A powered band-pass subwoofers and eight LX-218CA high performance powered subwoofers.
“We stacked the subs on both sides of the stage, and this was done in a cardioid setup with some sub enclosures turned around in order to reduce standing bass on the stage,” Johnson said.
In discussing the challenges of the project, Johnson noted that D.A.S. Audio was competing against a number of prominent loudspeaker manufacturers and, that in the end, the decision came down to sound quality, design, and value.
“Our client was looking for a system that delivered incredible sound and presented a clean, unobstructed view of the stage area so as not to be distracting. Given the self-powered nature of the D.A.S. system, we were able to accomplish this at a very competitive price point.
“By going with a self-powered system, we eliminated the requirement of having to house a rack of power amps, and since the power is integral to the enclosures, it’s optimized for each loudspeaker model. As a result, each of the three loudspeaker clusters was able to run on a single 15-amp circuit, making this a very efficient setup.”
With any project of this nature, quality customer and technical support services are critical and, in this regard, Johnson gives D.A.S. Audio high marks.
“D.A.S. was very patient with what turned out to be a somewhat time-consuming project,” he said. “We actually started system demonstrations during the construction phase. In an unprecedented move, D.A.S. sent us the entire system and allowed us to keep it on site for three full demos during different stages of the build out.
“This was key to closing the sale. In the end, they flew in Ramon Franco, their systems specialist, and tuned the room so we could have the most accurate representation of the system. Both the client and all of us at GC Pro were very impressed.”
Metro South Church’s new D.A.S. sound system was installed between February and April 2012. Since being placed into service, the system has impressed the client.
“Church management is very happy with the new system. Everyone we’ve spoken with believes they now have one of the best sounding worship services in southeastern Michigan,” Johnson concludes. “They are very proud of their new D.A.S. system. Equally important, D.A.S. has become a valued business partner. I expect to be working with D.A.S. for many jobs to come. It was an overall pleasure, and I’m glad to have had the experience.”
CTS Audio And Crown Amplifiers Provide Powerful Presence For 2012 CHIC Youth Conference
CTS Audio recently deployed more than 50 of Crown I-Tech HD Series and XTi Series amplifiers to power a JBL VERTEC line array system for the for Covenant High in Christ (CHIC) youth conference earlier this summer at the University of Tennessee’s 25,000-seat Thompson-Boling Arena. The 5-day event featured numerous inspirational speakers and musical performers.
CTS Audio recently deployed more than 50 of Crown I-Tech HD Series and XTi Series amplifiers to power a JBL VerTec line array system for the for Covenant High in Christ (CHIC) youth conference earlier this summer at the University of Tennessee’s 25,000-seat Thompson-Boling Arena. The 5-day event featured numerous inspirational speakers and musical performers.
“We were given the opportunity to upgrade some of our inventory this past winter, and that included the purchase of more than 150 Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers,” noted Mike Taylor, Vice President at CTS Audio. “A few years ago when we purchased the original Crown I-Techs, we noticed a huge improvement in the way we could power our VerTec enclosures. With the leap to the new amplifiers that level of improvement has happened all over again.”
The system used at CHIC included 36 Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers and 16 XTi Series XTi 4001 amplifiers, connected to the front of house and monitor mix positions using an all-digital signal path. The JBL VerTec loudspeaker system consisted of 32 VT4888 midsize, 24 VT4887 compact and 12 VT4886 subcompact line array elements along with 16 VT4880 fullsize arrayable subwoofers and 16 VT4881ADP compact subs.
“The performance improvement provided by the IT-12000HD amps really contributed to the exceptional sound we were able to achieve in the Thompson-Boling Arena,” stated Taylor. “Aside from the amplifier’s sheer power capability and ‘grunt’ factor, the inclusion of the VerTec V5 DSP preset tunings made a big difference in enabling us to match and optimize the performance of the amps to the VerTec speakers.
“The frequency response and smoothness of the system is noticeably better, and we were able to achieve better pattern control from the line arrays and get more consistent sound coverage throughout the arena.”
Taylor also noted the solid reliability of the amplifiers. “We have experienced zero failures. Having equipment that simply works consistently is a piece of the tour sound puzzle that not many people talk about, but it’s not something to be taken for granted. We now have a system in place for our fall and winter tours that we can completely rely upon.”
“What the Crown I-Tech HD series amplifiers are capable of is astounding,” said Jon Schwarz, CTS Audio’s Lead System Designer. “This amplifier just does naturally what I have been trying to emulate in the field for the past few years. It really is a game-changer.”
The REAL question is not what is the power handling, but what is the OPTIMUM size power amplifier to use on a loudspeaker?
“So how many watts can this loudspeaker take?” The technical answer is that it depends on the thermal and mechanical limits of the drivers and crossover components.
The practical answer is that it depends on the program material played: its peak/average ratio or transient content and spectral (frequency) content.
The REAL question is not what is the power handling, but what is the OPTIMUM size power amplifier to use on a loudspeaker?
Rule of Thumb
For a rule of thumb the best answer is found using what is commonly called the loudspeaker’s RMS (root mean square) power rating. Use an amplifier that is twice the RMS rating. If you can’t find an amplifier with that exact rating, multiply this power rating by 0.8 and also by 1.25 to find a range of acceptable power.
Example: A loudspeaker has a 250-watt RMS rating. Twice this is 500 watts. Therefore the acceptable range for the power amplifier to use is from 400 watts (0.8 x 500) to 625 watts (1.25 x 500). Anything larger is potentially excessive power. Anything smaller can cause damage from the amplifier clipping. Remember that the power amplifier output you select must be rated for the nominal impedance of the loudspeaker (i.e., 16, 8, 4 or 2 Ohms).
The RMS rating represents the thermal power limit for the loudspeaker. It is also a good number to use for comparing products. Twice the RMS rating represents a realistic scenario for most actual audio signals. This is 3 dB more power than the RMS rating. An amplifier’s RMS rating is based on a sine wave measurement. The peak power in a sine wave is 3 dB more than the RMS power. Therefore using twice the RMS power rating for the loudspeaker provides 6 dB more power for short term power peaks.
A good loudspeaker can easily handle this. Why? The RMS rating for professional loudspeakers is almost always measured using pink noise for a test signal. The content of this test signal is an RMS level with peaks that are 6 dB above the RMS level. Thus testing a loudspeaker with pink noise requires an amplifier that can produce power peaks of 6 dB above RMS level of the input signal to the loudspeaker without clipping. The rule of thumb provides an amplifier with this capability.
Real World Audio Signals
Real audio signals usually have peaks at least 10 dB peaks their RMS level. Therefore, with a properly sized amplifier just below clipping on those peaks, the RMS value of typical audio signals will be at least 3 dB below or half of the loudspeaker’s RMS rating. This provides a margin of safety.
Still Possible to Damage a Loudspeaker
Having said this, it is entirely possible damage a loudspeaker with an amplifier that is in the “rule of thumb” power range. Why? Because power handling depends on the type of input signal and the user - not the manufacturer - controls the input signal in actual use.
For example, the RMS and peak levels can be about equal on compressed audio signals and for certain signals from instruments like synthesizers or highly processed electric guitars. This means any amplifier power capability above the loudspeaker’s RMS rating can damage it!
Also, no matter what size the amplifier is, clipped signals are death to loudspeakers, even if the clipping occurs in the mixer, equalizer or other signal processor.
There is not a perfect answer to the power handling question. This rule of thumb is a realistic guide for the optimum size power amplifier to use on a loudspeaker for MOST live audio signals. It allows the loudspeaker to be used to its maximum specified power rating.
Caveat About Distortion
Almost no loudspeakers are rated for their distortion at maximum power. For this reason there is nothing implied by the manufacturer in the maximum power rating that says a loudspeaker will still sound good at its maximum power rating. If you find that a loudspeaker “sounds bad” when run near its maximum rating, then the maximum distortion that you find tolerable will be the limiting factor rather than the maximum power rating.
Note: This applies to professional loudspeakers from reputable manufacturers, and includes drivers as well as complete loudspeaker systems.
QSC Audio Launches Player-Inspired K For Musicians Website
Offers multiple examples of how K Family loudspeakers can be used for musical instrument reproduction
QSC Audio announces the premiere of a new website for guitarists, keyboardists, drummers and other musicians to get further information about the company’s K Family of loudspeakers (K Series, KW Series).
The musicians were the genesis for the creation of KforMusicians.com, participating in online forum discussions touting the company’s active loudspeakers for live applications.
The K for Musicians website, available in English and Spanish, offers multiple examples of how K Family loudspeakers can be used for musical instrument reproduction in common live performance applications.
There are distinct and separate areas for electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, electronic drums and acoustic drums – as well as artist profiles, photos and interviews. The list of featured artists includes Dweezil Zappa, Tony Levin, Jonathan Cain, Salo Loyo, David Mathews, Omar Hakim, Dave Weckl, and many others.
“We are quite impressed with the number of guitarists not only using our products as amplifiers, but passionately endorsing them on the many guitar forums as well,” states Ray van Straten, QSC director of marketing communications. “So many electric and bass guitarists are now utilizing technology to recreate traditional amplifier sounds, whether it is from something like a Fractal Axe, a POD, a pedal, an iPad or even a laptop computer.
“A common instrument amplifier is going to wreak havoc on that sound as it’s already a complete signal. K Family loudspeakers let musicians play with all the expression and nuance they enjoy in the studio, and because each loudspeaker is outfitted with a 1000 watt power module, they also provide the energy and presence found on the most powerful stage amplifiers.”
When utilized in this application, K Family loudspeakers also offer distinct advantages over traditional amplifiers in terms of connectivity and flexibility. As all the K Series products have two mixable inputs, a musician can have, for example, his or her instrument in the first input and a monitor mix in the second input, while controlling the balance between the two.
And with parallel outputs, musicians can connect directly to the loudspeaker while at the same time sending a direct output to the house - no direct box needed.
Also of value when the stage performance is mixed from a house position, the K10, K12 and KW122 can be utilized in a stage monitor position, facing the musician, while providing greater stage-volume control to the house engineer. Pairing two loudspeakers offers musicians true stereo imaging at their performance position.
“Our core design philosophy of offering sound reinforcement customers a very neutral sonic palette works extraordinarily well in all kinds of musical applications,” adds van Straten. “As a musician myself, I really appreciate the ability to focus my energy on my performance – not wrestling with the gear in search of the true expression of my sound. That’s what K for Musicians is all about.”
The “Wall Of Sound” To Now - A PA Evolution Odyssey
The ideas behind the iconic PA approach deployed long ago for the Grateful Dead, and how it influenced his own system designs and thinking along the way
Back in 1974, the Grateful Dead put together what was easily the most unique, experimental and perhaps complex sound system ever configured for live sound reinforcement in that era.
This system was named the “Wall of Sound” and jt was a complete divergence from conventional sound reinforcement thinking.
There were two key concepts combined together resulting in a very interesting outcome:
1) Because PA systems of the day were stacked on either side of the stage and often blocked audience sight lines, they designed a sound system that was placed behind the band and acted as both the PA system, their instrument amps and as their monitor system (way for the band to hear themselves).
2) They found that when all the various instruments and vocals were mixed together into the PA speakers the sound was less clear than when each instrument was amplified separately.
To deal with this, they actually designed and used a separate sound system for each instrument and another sound system for the vocals totaling six PA systems!
While a giant step in forward thinking was made, it was not without issues. Having the sound system directly behind that band meant the speakers are pointed straight into the microphones.
Also, the sheer complexity and magnitude of the setup greatly limited the venues that it could be implemented and the fact that the sound system became the entire stage backdrop relegated it to become a niche concept that possibly could only be used by its creators and equally unique Grateful Dead.
Wall of Sound above, and below, the Stones PA behind the scrims (click to enlarge)
And as you can see in the top photo at right, it did not make for the cleanest stage set, while to provide some contrast, the photo below at right is a cool old picture of The Rolling Stones stage setup with the PA located behind the lips scrim.
Even with it’s awkwardness, the concept of the Wall of Sound was so intriguing that I had to try it and understand it.
I finally got that opportunity in 1986 while touring with Black Flag when, after some persuading, we talked the band into letting us set up the Rat PA in a mini Wall of Sound configuration.
Since I had designed and Rat Sound had built Black Flag’s guitar and bass cabinets exactly the same dimensions as the Rat PA, the system fit together really well. (That system is pictured directly below.)
Rat Sound’s Black Flag PA (click to enlarge)
On the upside the system was incredibly clear sounding while on the downside, it sounded a bit distant and the sound bleeding into the mics was cumbersome enough not to continue with that setup.
The most important thing is that I learned enough to set my sights on someday resolving the issues.
Twenty years later, through a roundabout way I have come full circle. My testing in designing the MicroWedge Series clarified my understanding and goals.
The evolution of sound systems from giant globs of speakers to finesse full narrow line-arrays created the opportunity to cover large venues with multiple systems utilizing minimal space.
The entire Wall of Sound was 26,000 watts, current systems run at ten times that power and are a fraction of the size.
Plus we now have the capability of effectively predicting the sonic coverage in a venue based on room dimensions.
What this means is that with today’s sound system technology, multiple sound systems can be hung conventionally to either side of the band rather than stacked behind them without blocking sight lines.
This creates an inconspicuous yet effective implementation of the concept. (The photo below shows the “dual-PA” system approach that Rat Sound has developed for The Red Hot Chili Peppers.)
Initially I considered proposing a triple system rather than the dual system the Peppers are currently touring with.
The PA for the Red Hot Chili Peppers tour a couple/few years ago, with dual line arrays flown to each side of the stage (click to enlarge)
The triple would have been three separate stereo sound systems, one for guitar, one for bass and one for vocals with drums interspersed into the three.
To test the concept, I purchased three small home hi-fi systems and roadie Ethan and I built a small simulator in my living room.
With a Pro Tools system and live Peppers multi track recordings from last tour, I was able to try out different combinations and test the effectiveness of the setup.
I found that the most noticeable improvement occurred when going from one system to two and adding the third was more subtle.
So here we are today, and I smile as long ago dreams have become real.
A refined and usable version of what the Grateful Dead had started, a grand scale application of what I learned from so many years.
Dave Rat is the co-founder and owner of Rat Sound, a leading sound reinforcement company based in California.
One Systems Appoints Native Media Sales As Representatives For South Central U.S.
Representative for the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana
One Systems has appointed Native Media of San Antonio, TX as its representative for the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Native Media will be responsible for sales of the full line of One Systems and On Point Audio branded products throughout the four states. Mike Torlone, One Systems sales and marketing manager, made the announcement.
Michael Austin, owner of Native Media, has spent more than 25 years representing various professional audio brands, and he has also served on many boards and representative councils for different companies.
“If you are looking for a weatherproof premium sound system for either outdoor or indoor applications, no products compare to One Systems,” says Austin. “We are very excited about the partnership between our two companies.”
Native Media works with contractors, consultants and retailers that cater to a variety of venues, from modest indoor venues to large outdoor stadiums and event arenas.
“We are excited that Native Media has joined the One Systems team,” says Torlone. “We value their expertise and are confident Native Media will provide significant growth and great support for One Systems dealers and customers in its territory.”
Tropicana’s Boogie Nights Club Features Complete Harman Audio System
Starlite Productions installed JBL Marquis Dance Club Series loudspeakers powered by Crown amplifiers and utilizing BSS audio processors in new Boogie Nights club at the Tropicana.
Providing Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino and Resort with a complete audio solution for its retro ‘70s and ‘80s Boogie Nights dance club, Moorestown, New Jersey-based Starlite Productions installed JBL Marquis Dance Club Series loudspeakers from Harman, making it a premier night club that boasts high-fidelity sound quality.
The Tropicana needed a solution after management renovated a section of its casino into the Boogie Nights club and approached Starlite to design the venue’s entire audio, video, control, and lighting system. “
The biggest challenge was ensuring our clients’ needs were met to the fullest degree, while keeping everyone involved on the same page throughout the process,” stated Brandon Powell, Systems Project Manager at Starlite.
Boogie Nights comprises a long space just off the casino floor with three sections including a club area, a bar and lounge. There is also a VIP area and a balcony area that performers and dancers can access.
The audio system in the club area is anchored by JBL’s new Marquis Dance Club Series loudspeakers, specifically designed for the dance club market.
There are four JBL MD49 loudspeakers and four MD7 dual 18-inch subwoofers suspended from the building structure, hung to cover the dance floor from all sides while providing stereo imaging from any dance area on the floor.
The loudspeakers are positioned around and inside the perimeter of a large circular truss roughly 30 feet in diameter that is suspended 20 feet above the dance floor. This allows people to step just beyond the dance area to converse without interference from the high-output levels of the loudspeakers.
Other overhead features include intelligent lighting, fog machines, bubble machines, video projectors, and the biggest disco ball on the Atlantic City strip.
There are also 10 MD55 loudspeakers throughout the bar and lounge, with two of them flown over the stage for the DJ or talent monitors.
All the speakers are powered by Crown amplifiers, which are located in the equipment racks next to the bar. There are two Crown Macro-Tech 12000i amplifiers, six Macro-Tech 5000i amplifiers, one CTS2000 amplifier and one CTS8200 amplifier.
The system also boasts two BSS audio processors: a BLU160 and a BLU320 handle audio routing, signal processing and speaker management throughout the space.
Starlite utilized an additional output to feed the casino floor area immediately outside Boogie Nights, so during open hours, what is being played inside will overflow into the gaming space, excluding microphone feeds.
When deciding on the best equipment for the job, Lenny DiGangi, AV Sales & Design for Starlite, mentioned, “We have a great relationship with Harman and knew the Marquis Dance Club Series would be perfect for this application. Everyone has their preferences and we chose the products and components that make us the most efficient installers and programmers, while keeping the project in the scope of what our client wants.”
“I was impressed with the MD49 loudspeakers as they are smooth right out of the box,” Powell said. “The Marquis Dance Club Series is set up for clubs. The super tweeters and the 4-way, quad-amplified configuration add great value and sound quality to these boxes, giving them exceptional clarity with loads of headroom.”
“The Macro-Tech amplifiers are workhorses,” Powell added. “The CTS amplifiers get the job done well—this is known industry-wide and is the reason we continue to use them.”
“Starlite did a fantastic job with the entire project, especially since the installation experience was very challenging,” said David Peña, Owner, Boogie Nights. “Since the club is a transformation of a huge open space, it was a difficult room to fill evenly with audio.
“The sound system is incredible! Customers constantly comment on how impressed they are and how clean it sounds. The lounge area has great energy while allowing patrons to still have a conversation due to the ability to direct sound.
“The loudspeakers definitely complete the Boogie Nights experience. Some of our other clubs have JBL and we’ve always had great experiences with their products. JBL is a name I feel comfortable with and I know their speakers are dance quality.”
Other members of Starlite Productions who helped with the design and implementation of the project include; David King, Senior Systems Manager who wrote the HARMAN HiQnet London Architect file and tuned the space using Smaart real-time sound analysis; Mark Pacitti, AV Integrator who wrote the program that manages system control and video routing; James Suit, Lighting Sales, who was in charge of lighting design; and Brandon Creel, Systems Project Manager who programmed the intelligent lighting and dance floor.
Meyer Sound Now Shipping New Steerable CAL Column Array Loudspeaker
Self-powered installation product that delivers vocal clarity in everberant environments
Meyer Sound has begun delivery of the new CAL column array loudspeaker.
Available in three models, CAL is a self-powered installation product that delivers vocal clarity in even the most reverberant environments.
The recipients of the first shipments include a collegiate stadium and an indoor auditorium in the U.S. as well as an Australian live performing arts center.
“CAL is a digitally steerable column array product in which all high-frequency and low-frequency drivers are tight-packed in a bi-amped configuration and are individually amplified and processed,” says John McMahon, executive director of operations and digital products at Meyer Sound. “These engineering details are essential in enabling the beam control needed for a human voice to cut through a highly reverberant acoustic space.”
CAL’s vertical beam can be angled up or down in one-degree increments up to 30 degrees to aim only at target coverage areas without exciting an entire architectural space.
Two of the CAL versions, CAL 64 and CAL 96, also include beam-splitting capabilities for applications where a balcony wall may cause undesired reflections.
This page has been viewed 22996230 times
Page rendered in 1.4461 seconds
Total Entries: 13537
Total Comments: 2238
Total Trackbacks: 0
Most Recent Entry: 12/09/2013 01:41 pm
Most Recent Comment on: 01/19/2012 08:30 am
Total Members: 4920
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 2
Total anonymous users: 0
Most Recent Visitor on: 02/10/2012 11:04 am
The most visitors ever was 774 on 02/08/2012 02:19 pm