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whats the difference between a speaker and monitor?

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  • whats the difference between a speaker and monitor?

    Are monitors just wedged shape speakers or are they eq differently?

  • #2
    Are monitors just wedged shape speakers or are they eq differently?


    There might be different qualities you'd prefer in a monitor vs a main speaker, but a monitor is a speaker. It's just pointed at a musician, instead of an audience member. It doesn't even have to have a wedge shape, you could just use a block of wood or a set it upright to aim it at the musician.

    Having said that, too much lowend on the stage is a bad thing. All speakers are only directional to a certain point on the frequency spectrum, and as the frequency gets lower the output becomes less directional. Which is why if you're standing behind a speaker it sounds muffled compared to infront.

    So if you have half a dozen wedges on stage all running the lead vocal, then there's a lot of the lows of that singer washing off the stage, and you have to get your mains pretty loud to get over that mush. So the eq for monitors often has a hipass, I like mine around 80 to 100hz.

    You also have different eq goals when appraching monitors vs mains. Mains you might want to EQ room nodes, or just tailor to make the speakers "sound better TM". But with monitors your focus is cutting through the din of drums and guitars, etc... and avoiding feedback.

    Does that answer your questions?
    - Nathan

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    • #3
      Monitors are made for close up work and are EQ'd for as much FB rejection as possible. FOH (speakers) are made for long throw and wide coverage. These can be switched but they are really made to do the job they were designed for. Some cabs offer both but they usually have a DSP switch that will change the internal electronics (active, of course) to be optimized for the job. Speakers (FOH) and monitors are different animals and are designed to do a specific job. You can set a nail using a screwdriver but a hammer will work better.

      Monitors should also have a separate EQ then FOH for the same reason. They do a different job than FOH.
      "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

      Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

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      • #4
        FOH (speakers) are made for long throw and wide coverage.


        You know there is no such thing as a "long throw" speaker. The only way you get more SPL at distance is to start out with more SPL. There is no speaker or horn that projects sound further than another without being louder at the source.

        Speakers (FOH) and monitors are different animals and are designed to do a specific job. You can set a nail using a screwdriver but a hammer will work better.


        There are many speakers that perform equally well as front of house or as monitors, the JBL SRX 712 is one that comes to mind as I use them for both. Many large acts use front-of-house type speaker stacks for side fill "monitors". I'm sure most of us have seen drummers with a complete, full-range PA system set up behind them as their "monitor". As nin4269 said, a monitor is of course a speaker, the only thing that defines it as a monitor is if you use it for that purpose.

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        • #5
          You know there is no such thing as a "long throw" speaker. The only way you get more SPL at distance is to start out with more SPL. There is no speaker or horn that projects sound further than another without being louder at the source.


          Comment


          • #6
            You know there is no such thing as a "long throw" speaker. The only way you get more SPL at distance is to start out with more SPL. There is no speaker or horn that projects sound further than another without being louder at the source.


            Kind of yes and no.
            Take your garden hose and set the end so it sprays in a wide pattern. Covers a large area but it doesn't "throw" far from the end of the hose. Now take the same end and adjust it so it puts out a straight stream. It throws the water a long way but doesn't "cover" a large area. Same amount of water is coming out. Just it is controled differently

            A horn driver may put out 110 dbs. Load it in a wide coverage horn and it will cover a wide area but the spl covers a large area so is lower in a given location. This limits its general "throw". Take the same driver and put it in a tight coverage horn and more energy is focused in a givin area. Controling where you want the sound to go so more spl is available to "throw" or reach a certain area.

            Of course the lower you go in freq the larger the horn needs to be. Again the driver is putting out the same spl. Just the area the spl is focused in determins the area and distance this spl can cover.
            Most think of horn loaded systems with tight horn patterns of say 60/40 or tighter as long throw speakers. The freq. stay controled or together longer so they can reach out farther. Just like the garden hose.

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            • #7
              It's called energy density... put the power in a smaller area and the density increases. On a point source radiator, the SPL RATIO will be the same for any give set of distances.

              Now for a true line array, where the length is significantly long, you can achieve a longer throw without at least some of the effects of a true point source radiator. The dispersion on one dimension is relatively constant while in the other dimension acts like a spherical radiator, the result approaches a conical section radiator.

              So, the answer is "it depends"
              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

              Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

              Comment


              • #8

                So, the answer is "it depends"


                Right! The mains & monitors I use in one of my systems are Radian RPX215 for mains and Radian MW-1152 for monitors. Interestingly enough these cabinets (which look nothing alike) use the same coax 15" driver for the mid/highs. The RPX adds a 15 for greater lowend, and MW uses a 16 Ohm diaphragm. But I could pull the 15 out of one, change the diaphragm and pop it into the other cabinet and it'd work. They have the same throw (a term I would not normally use) and dispersion and very similar phase response.

                But my monitors are designed to sit on the floor nicely out of the way, and not have so much low end. Otherwise they sound about the same as the mains w/o out EQ.

                A person could easily have all horn loaded mains (Think KF650 or Turbosound Flashlight) and 90* monitors, which would have very different characteristic.

                Oh, at the last large concert I attended I noticed the A list bands had 2 per side Vertec linearray cabinets for Stage fills! These were on top of large format cabs I couldn't identify and regular stage wedges. So I guess you can use anything for monitors if you want.
                - Nathan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Often, large stages are a lot bigger than the small venues discussed here.

                  I was on the Eagles stage a few years back doing some product support for some amps of ours they had out on tour and the dimensions were about 80' wide x 50' deep... that's 4000 square feet just for the stage. Sidefills need to be able to cover a 50-60' throw at high volumes.
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                  Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Kind of yes and no.
                    Take your garden hose and set the end so it sprays in a wide pattern. Covers a large area but it doesn't "throw" far from the end of the hose. Now take the same end and adjust it so it puts out a straight stream. It throws the water a long way but doesn't "cover" a large area. Same amount of water is coming out. Just it is controled differently

                    A horn driver may put out 110 dbs. Load it in a wide coverage horn and it will cover a wide area but the spl covers a large area so is lower in a given location. This limits its general "throw". Take the same driver and put it in a tight coverage horn and more energy is focused in a givin area. Controling where you want the sound to go so more spl is available to "throw" or reach a certain area.



                    Sorry, but that is a really bad analogy. The way sound travels has very little to do with water from a garden hose. The rate that SPL is diminished over distance is controled by the laws of physics, not the dispersion pattern of the horn. The "tight coverage" horn will produce more SPL at the source(all things equal), but the SPL will be dimished over distance at the same rate as a "wide coverage" horn. The only way to get more SPL at a distance is to create more SPL at the source.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With a garden hose, an additional countering force (gravity) along with mass and acceleration come into play (for you Newtonian folks).
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        The "tight coverage" horn will produce more SPL at the source(all things equal)

                        The only way to get more SPL at a distance is to create more SPL at the source.



                        Sigh...

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                        • #13
                          Sigh...


                          Amen
                          "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

                          Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sigh...


                            Please explain. Do you disagree with my statement or is it so obviously true that it bores you? Some may consider a post that consist of a sigh or "amen" to be rude as well as insufficiant.

                            I'm sure many of you understand this, but the myth of the "long throw" speaker is out there, so I will present a simple example.

                            If you have a 60 degree horn and a 120 degree horn each producing 110 dB at the source, they will both have an equal dB level at any given distance. One horn does not "project" sound further than the other.

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                            • #15
                              Sibyrnes;
                              Don't want to Hijack the thread so I'll try to keep it short.

                              When I was 10 years old or maybe younger my father went from a Console stereo to seperates. The console was given to me. I of course took the back off and marveled to the long horns and large woofers it had. I noticed they had some kind of gray , pencile big around things between the board and horns. I took them off and was amazed how much louder the horns went. After a few hours of running them like that I started to smell burning and the horns stopped working. This led me on a quest to find out what I did wrong. Jump starting my hobby in audio.
                              A few years later as a freshman in high school I took a toliet paper roll. Using my dads mulit meter I wound bell wire around the tube until I got 8 ohms dcr. Connected the tube to the center of a paper plate and made a wooden frame for it. Put a horse shoe magnet under it and connnect to my 9 transister radio it and it made some pretty good sound. Got an A for my science project.
                              Took this home and connected it to my dads tube amp. Named after an apple I believe.... I watched my speaker and dads amp go up in smoke. ( I don't think even Agedhorse could recone that mess...)
                              My father gave me 2 minutes time out. Of course back then Time Out was how long it took to "come too" after you were "Told" how things were....
                              All of this was more than 40 years ago so I have learned a little more.... End ramble.

                              """The only way you get more SPL at distance is to start out with more SPL. """"
                              I agree 100 percent.



                              '""There is no speaker or horn that projects sound further than another without being louder at the source."""
                              This I don't get. Maybe because its not explained enough.
                              When I think of source I think of the driver putting out a given spl. If you have a compression horn or woofer that will work in a front loaded box or horn loaded box/horn lens then the throw will change depending on the horn loaded box / horn lens pattern.

                              Thread a horn driver on 5 different types of horn lenses and you'll get different results as far as distance covered and area covered. The same driver putting out 110 dbs in one horn may give the desired spl at a distance but in a different lens it won't. Some horns will throw longer than others depending on what the pattern of the horn is.

                              I guess I'd like to know what you mean by "At the source"

                              Dookietwo

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