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Offline johnw

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Backyard PA system
« on: September 06, 2015, 04:17:10 PM »
I'm setting up a backyard theater system and trying to figure out what I want to do for sound. I've got an old receiver and speakers but was thinking of putting together a PA system for use instead. Is this a good idea? Just want stereo sound. It would be Apple TV>hdmi>projector>1/8" out. I've been looking at the fender passport series but not sure how well that would work
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Offline johnw

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 07:32:44 PM »
bump. Still thinking about getting a small PA. No experience with this. Any advice on a 300-600w PA system?
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 08:08:37 PM »
I don't think its a bad idea...but for budget gear - It's not always easy to translate watts>$$$

But - Fender Passport...is pretty bad...avoid.

Look at powered speakers by Behringer.

They have powered 10"s...

Add one of their powered 12" subs...or 2...

All pole/stand mountable.

Portable - tough.  More or less weather-proof.

Inexpensive - but fun.

Plus - if you or your friends play...you have a rig...

If you back over one...no big deal!
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Online voltronic

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2016, 08:19:44 PM »
Agreed that Fender Passport are not great, they just feel like they will break at any moment and don't have great output.

I can't speak to weather resistance, but the best portable powered PA speakers I have used are the QSC K10.  Sound quality is outstanding, they are small, but have enough power (1000W each) to do a neighborhood block party and then some.  Supposedly they sell a rain cover as an accessory.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 10:49:23 AM »
johnw, the two speaker brands mentioned would surely do a good job, the QSC's have good reputation. Self powered speakers are probably what you want to use for a backyard type projector set up as that eliminates the need for outboard amps.
I used to work for a company which designed home movie theaters back in the late 1990's and have two opinions for you which may or may not influence what you do.
1] the 1/8 inch output certainly reduces the quality of signal you will wind up with- I took a quick google trip around and noticed many projectors have no sound outputs, although I did see some Epson's which do. I also found that the Apple TV device puts out several types of audio including Dolby 5.1 and 7.1. If you wish to go with a center channel you may need an AV type pre-amp to interface from the projector/Apple TV device out to the amplified speakers. No brand rec's from me, others may have some.
2] I understand you want to keep it simple, but from my experience the center channel when playing movies is very important to the experience. Most movies are not mixed in 2 channel stereo and they have a dedicated center (mono) channel for the dialogue. The HDMI output from the Apple TV should contain center channel audio. I have not been in the field since the invention of Network streaming devices such as Apple TV and such, and probably am not the ideal person to recommend brands, but I am thinking you'll have a much better experience by finding an AV pre-amp which will output three channels and use three of whatever brand self powered speakers you choose.

I will add that my interest in this topic had me reading a bit about backyard theater set ups. You can surely do what you originally requested with just a two speaker set up, self powered ones become the obvious choice.

I found these two links which may help with ideas (this guy used Sony speakers): http://www.hightechdad.com/2009/09/08/how-to-set-up-an-inexpensive-outdoor-home-theater/
From this link: http://www.cnet.com/news/can-you-build-a-backyard-theater-on-the-cheap/     I found this paragraph which likes the aforementioned Behringer speakers:
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Now for the really tricky part. For movie audio, the aforementioned Open Air Cinema kit combined a Rolls MX122 MiniMix Pro sound mixer (available separately online for about $100) with a pair of Behringer Eurolive B208D speakers (about $180 apiece). If you've got room in the budget, I can't recommend this combo highly enough; the sound quality was phenomenal (and loud).
http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-EUROLIVE-B208D-220-Watt-Compression/dp/B002C4QWZO/
http://www.amazon.com/Rolls-MX122-MiniMix-Channel-Mixer/dp/B00102XVN0



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Offline kindms

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 12:25:07 PM »
I'm setting up a backyard theater system and trying to figure out what I want to do for sound. I've got an old receiver and speakers but was thinking of putting together a PA system for use instead. Is this a good idea? Just want stereo sound. It would be Apple TV>hdmi>projector>1/8" out. I've been looking at the fender passport series but not sure how well that would work

I would take the audio signal coming out of the source. So if its the TV that is the source material and it can feed a digital signal i would take that. So optical etc

usually a TV would take the place of the projector in this setup. Are you absolutely certain that the Apple TV has HDMI out ? I know my LCD TV only has HDMI in. Some sets can support audio in both directions but I am not so sure about video.
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Offline johnw

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 02:13:55 PM »
Wow - thanks for all the responses!

The Apple TV (Gen 2 and 3) had HDMI out as well as optical out. No analog out. The newest version has HDMI out only. I have one of each, but will likely use the 3rd generation with the projector.
The projector does have 1/8" out.
What I did last summer was use Airplay into an Airport Express that went into a Sonos Connect Amp powering 2 speakers. But the volume was too low, so I want something with a bit more power this time around.

The QSC are a bit more expensive than I'd like to spend. I'm going to try to keep the total audio under $1000.

So the Behringers might be the way to go.

I was also looking at the Mackie SRM350v3 speakers with a mixer and the Yamaha StagePSA400i system. I will avoid the Fender system.

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Offline dnsacks

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 04:28:54 PM »
you can use a cheap optical>2channel d>a on the appletv to get line level analog sound and then set appletv to only provide 2 channel audio --

Offline johnw

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 05:35:30 PM »
Thanks - Do you think that would be better than taking the 1/8" out from the projector?

I had also thought about getting a HDMI decoder that does 5.1. That would allow me to get a center channel. But I think for my purposes stereo would be ok.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 12:11:47 AM »
Assuming your neighbors don't care about the outdoor sound, you might look at Yamaha dbr powered speakers.  The ten inch version is $399 and has a 7 year warranty. They also accept rca inputs.  You might not even need a mixer.  Edit -you can use a 1\8 stereo to rca cable into one dbr and daisy chain it to another dbr via xlr cable.  There is a volume control on each speaker.  So a mixer should not be needed.

Most PA systems are still run in mono with just enough speakers to cover the audience. 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 08:45:57 AM by 2manyrocks »

Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 02:11:02 AM »
Wow - thanks for all the responses!

The Apple TV (Gen 2 and 3) had HDMI out as well as optical out. No analog out. The newest version has HDMI out only. I have one of each, but will likely use the 3rd generation with the projector.
The projector does have 1/8" out.
What I did last summer was use Airplay into an Airport Express that went into a Sonos Connect Amp powering 2 speakers. But the volume was too low, so I want something with a bit more power this time around.

The QSC are a bit more expensive than I'd like to spend. I'm going to try to keep the total audio under $1000.

So the Behringers might be the way to go.

I was also looking at the Mackie SRM350v3 speakers with a mixer and the Yamaha StagePSA400i system. I will avoid the Fender system.

FYI HDMI audio de-embedders are a thing.

prices ranging from 20ish on up.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1HE1FD1594&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC-_-pla-_-Home+Gadgets-_-9SIA1HE1FD1594&gclid=CjwKEAjwgPe4BRCB66GG8PO69QkSJAC4EhHhlGkcpv0MbkD6JL9XpP5xznP3agf0QkpLZuexpwPGMBoCD8Lw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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Offline johnw

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2016, 09:39:04 AM »
I had thought about an HDMI 5.1 decoder and using 3 powered speakers but I'm not sure about the build quality and functionality. Not a lot of reviews on these but they are pretty cheap.
Here's one on Newegg but they are pretty easy to find online
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA6V82NB3550&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC-_-pla-_-Audio%2FVideo+Splitters-_-9SIA6V82NB3550&gclid=CIGmvqC1rMwCFdgOgQodmvEIVw&gclsrc=aw.ds

I've been looking at the Yamaha DBR10. Didn't know that about the warranty. I think I'll pick up a mixer either way. 4 input mixers are pretty cheap and it might be fun to play with.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2016, 11:18:00 AM »
The dbrs have a nice sound and are light to carry. 

A bunch of guys at Gear Slutz like the mackie vlz4 for $99.  http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/402VLZ4?adpos=1o1&creative=55678035601&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CJz3lorJrMwCFU0vgQodwWcNOA

Or buy a Behringer XR12 for $249 and control it via a tablet if you want a bunch of effects and control over EQ. It can also be used to record a mix of whatever is run through the mixer onto 2 channels on a USB drive.  It's an interesting mixer with the ability to record, too. 

 


Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2016, 11:59:41 AM »
Nothing to add other than to say I've read this subject line multiple times and keep thinking it says BACKWARD PA system, even though I know otherwise. Brains are weird. Or at least mine is.  :crazy:

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2016, 08:27:40 AM »
Dropping back in to mention Musician's Friend is having a "Live Sound Event" and has bunch of stuff on sale.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/own-the-stage--live-sound-event?icid=210064

Also - I'd agree with the suggestion to check out the Behringer X Air Digital Mixers - I just got the XR18 - and it is the single coolest piece of technology I've ever owned!

So much bang for the buck...

Most of the XRs are basically a snake and mixer in one - you control it via wi-fi or ethernet/laptop...no physical mix surface.

You can download and take a look at the mixer apps here - if you're used to a traditional channel strip - it won't take long to wrap your head around it.

http://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Mixers/Digital-Mixers/XR18/p/P0BI8/downloads

The XR12 and XR16 record 2 track stereo to USB sticks - The X18 and XR18 work as multi-channel USB interfaces.

The odd ball - and probably the best bang for your buck feature wise is the X18 - this one is more of a traditional mixer form factor - with a tablet tray instead of knobs.
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