Gear / Technical Help => Ask The Tapers => Topic started by: Moke on February 01, 2018, 09:37:30 AM

Title: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Moke on February 01, 2018, 09:37:30 AM
I was at a show last friday, with a PA system (first in years).  There were a pair of speakers on either side of the stage, at the stage edge, that didn't fit the description of the typical black box PA system subwoofer, or, any PA speaker that I've seen.
They were used in conjunction with an overhead PA array of L/C/R speakers.  They also had matching front of stage in-fill cabinets that look like they were the same manufacturer.
Anyone have any idea of the manufacturer?
sorry for the crappy pic.

They look like some sort of horn design?!
again, sorry for the crappy pic.
Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Gutbucket on February 01, 2018, 11:34:21 AM
Dunno the manufacturer, but the symphony I attend locally uses some speaker systems which are at least superficially similar when amplification is involved - nicely constructed blond wooden cabinets with blondish tweed grills which looks similar to the classic AR speakers of the late 60's  / early 70's.

The large cabinets in your photo appear to be a transmission line or horn of some type based on what looks to be an inverted U shape of the cabinet in the photo.  The large cabinets our symphony uses for organ pieces and the like are massive boxes and may be similar internally, but do not hint at the internal structure in the same way. The two audience fills at the stage lip appear to be standard box cabinets.  Are the smaller boxes close to the larger cabinets speakers as well?  Could be caj√≥n or box-stools for musicians I suppose, especially since they appear to be mic'd.

Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Gutbucket on February 01, 2018, 11:35:16 AM
So, how'd it sound?
Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Moke on February 01, 2018, 11:41:13 AM
Again, sorry for the crappy photo. The venue had ushers that were hassling people about cellphones, and I didn't want to attract attention my way. So, quick point and hope pics.

The smaller things near the larger speakers were a pair of drums, one on either side of the stage. They pounded on those for about a minute, and thats it.

Sound? http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=185188.0
Really intense, but, I'm not used to PA power anymore.  They ran the bass at the edge of breaking something.
Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Gutbucket on February 01, 2018, 12:13:42 PM
Thanks for the link.  Very nice looking hall. Great music. Will give your recordings a listen for sure.

Wondering if they travel with that PA setup, if it belongs to the venue, or an outside sound contractor.
Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Moke on February 01, 2018, 01:02:47 PM
One odd thing that I realized, and don't think that I've ever experienced before with PA reinforcement,...
The sound guy rode the vocalist mic panning knob, and followed her as she moved about the stage. You can hear her vocal locations changing positions within a single song.  It took me a while to rectify in my head what I was hearing.
Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: Gutbucket on February 01, 2018, 03:18:50 PM
That's reportedly how Alan Blumlein originally described the potential usefulness of stereo (which he actually called binaural recording and reproduction even though it was intended for speaker playback) to his wife back in the early 1930's.  My paraphrasing- "When you go to the talkies (movies with sound), imagine the locations of the reproduced voices following the image of the actors as they move across the screen".

Perhaps ironically, once film sound did become stereo, this vocal following aspect he described didn't apply well to theatrical reproduction because it only worked for those sitting on or near the center-line of the theater.  The practical real-world compromise for stereo film sound was driven by the practicalities of theater and auditorium reproduction - music and effects in stereo but almost all dialog reproduced from a central monophonic 'dialog' speaker, except for rare occasional off-screen dialog which is more in the realm of effects.  In that way the voices stayed locked center-screen even for folks sitting way off to the sides.  There were a handful of films made with stereo dialog early in the history of stereo film sound, but not many.

Interesting that the sound guy used the vocal panning technique for this ensemble.  I'll listen for it on your binaural recording.  It should work correctly there due to your center recording position, but of course there is no visual reference to compare with.  I wonder how it translated for far off-center listening positions during the performance.  Did you chance to walk around and notice what happened with that panning when standing off to one side?  I can see it working for something less-literal and more-atmospheric such as this kind of musical performance - audience expectation is different for one thing.  Also I imagine far off-center listeners might not experience the vocal panning as being closely linked with the singer's stage position in the same way as centered listeners, but as long as the overall vocal energy and clarity remain sufficient even with far-opposite-side panning positions, it might still translate well as a sense of closer/further and increase spatial interest, even if not spatially accurate position-wise.
Title: Re: PA Speaker Question
Post by: splumer on February 02, 2018, 10:35:03 AM
Who was it? Sometimes Pro Sound News profiles a tour or show that had a unique or new sound setup.