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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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Offline 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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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2016, 09:59:03 AM »
The xr18 and x18 offer good value if someone needs that many channels or needs the capability to record 18 tracks.  a few years ago, just an 8 channel firewire interface was as much as the x18 is today. 

The price of the x18 is lower than the xr I suspect because most appear to be opting for the rack mount design of the xr18 instead of the desktop mixer design of the x18.  They have basically the same functionality.

The PC edit software is very much like using a daw program like Reaper.  The android software is different, but functional.  So there isn't a steep learning curve.

It might seem like a jump to spend $249 for the xr12: instead of $99 for the Mackie, but you are getting more inputs, wireless control, compression, gates, reverbs, eq and RTA functions not to mention 2 track recording direct to USB.  You can sit in your lawn chair and control the xr across the yard with your tablet.

Or make the further jump to the x18 if you want more tracks and multitrack recording to your PC or other computer.

Offline johnw

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Re: Backyard PA system
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2016, 06:29:05 PM »
Thanks for all the help. I ultimately went with a pair of the QSC K10 and the Behringer XR12.
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