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Line array with Cross-firing subs


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We recently played a gig in Puerto Rico, and were at the mercy of their sound guys. The stage was very tight and right on the edge of the stage in the front they had set up a line array of EV's. The array was no more than a couple feet away from the sides of the band. It was unbelievably loud up on stage even with earplugs, and the main problem was the 2 crossfiring subs on each side. The bass was so loud it was vibrating the stage and rattling our teeth. There is a good possibility we'll be going back to play there again soon, but I can't take that again. Would it have helped to have front-firing subs, or do we have to ask for the whole line to be moved? Any other thoughts on what we can do?

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Would it have helped to have front-firing subs,

 

 

Not that much because low frequencies are pretty much omnidirectional. A cardioid sub array could help keep low frequencies off of stage but depends on the crew having the knowledge to deploy one.

 

Are you sure your low frequency issue on stage is not coming from the line array rather than the subs?

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Are you sure that you aren't talking about the sidefills? That's typically why they have subs firing across the stage.

 

They're intended to get the effect you are talking about -- Earth-shattering low end on the stage. That's what many artists are looking for.

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Are you sure that you aren't talking about the sidefills? That's typically why they have subs firing across the stage.


They're intended to get the effect you are talking about -- Earth-shattering low end on the stage. That's what many artists are looking for.

 

 

I hadn't considered we were talking about monitors rather than FOH...it should be easy enough to get the monitor guy to turn it all down if you hablas espanol

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Not that much because low frequencies are pretty much omnidirectional. A cardioid sub array could help keep low frequencies off of stage but depends on the crew having the knowledge to deploy one.


Are you sure your low frequency issue on stage is not coming from the line array rather than the subs?

 

 

Agreed.

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The subs were on the bottom of the array. I believe the model they were using was the XS212, which are side-firing (not cross-firing my mistake) and they were definitely for FOH. There were also monitors onstage including side fill ones, but we talked to the sound guy several times asking to turn the volume down especially the bass until the overall monitor volume was pretty low. We finally realized the overwhelming bass was coming from the FOH system and thought it was the subs, and coudn't get him to turn it down any more. We typically do several gigs with sound crews every year, and some are better than others, but have never experienced this problem before. I don't have much experience with the larger venue systems. I realize that bass is more omnidirectional than the higher freuencies, but I can't imagine that big acts would put up with this kind of volume on stage as it was physically painful. Do most sound guys use those cardiroid subs? Or does the whole array need to be moved farther from the band?

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The subs were on the bottom of the array. I believe the model they were using was the XS212, which are side-firing (not cross-firing my mistake) and they were definitely for FOH. There were also monitors onstage including side fill ones, but we talked to the sound guy several times asking to turn the volume down especially the bass until the overall monitor volume was pretty low. We finally realized the overwhelming bass was coming from the FOH system and thought it was the subs, and coudn't get him to turn it down any more. We typically do several gigs with sound crews every year, and some are better than others, but have never experienced this problem before. I don't have much experience with the larger venue systems. I realize that bass is more omnidirectional than the higher freuencies, but I can't imagine that big acts would put up with this kind of volume on stage as it was physically painful. Do most sound guys use those cardiroid subs? Or does the whole array need to be moved farther from the band?

 

 

I am accustomed to ground stacked subs, subs flying inline at the top of a main array, an independent hang of subs beside the main array but I don't often see subs flying inline at the bottom of a main array. Having said that, EV, in their original press release, said the subs were mechanically designed to fly at the top OR the bottom of an array.

 

Cardioid subs are not a type of sub but rather a type of sub array created by placement, delay, and polarity. The correct measuring equipment is required to properly array and time the subs. Two flown, side firing subs per side could be a challenge to time as a cardioid array.

 

"Or does the whole array need to be moved farther from the band?" So now you are basically suggesting the sound system be redesigned. I will assume the local soundguys have covered the entire venue with sound. If they move the arrays, will it create inconsistencies in coverage? Are there safe rigging points in other suitable locations that the arrays could be moved to? Is the stage permanent or portable? If portable, will it have to be redesigned to accomodate new array locations? Will the local crew go along with any redesign ideas that you suggest? You are talking about opening a large can of worms.

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The array was stacked on the sides, not flying. It was outdoors, on a portable stage, if that helps. I don't know if the sound crew will go along with redesign or not, but something has to change. It was so bad one of the band members left the stage for a while because he couldn't take it. It's bad enough that if it doesn't change we'll have to turn down the gig. They have to be doing something incorrectly in their setup...

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The array was stacked on the sides, not flying. It was outdoors, on a portable stage, if that helps. I don't know if the sound crew will go along with redesign or not, but something has to change. It was so bad one of the band members left the stage for a while because he couldn't take it. It's bad enough that if it doesn't change we'll have to turn down the gig. They have to be doing something incorrectly in their setup...

 

 

Interesting. How large is the venue....how many people? How many line array boxes per side? With only a pair of dual 12 "side firing" subs per side in an outdoor venue, it could be there isn't enough rig for the gig and the rig is getting pushed hard. If the subs were placed on the floor it might help a bit but I'm sure the sound guys are stacking the line array boxes on top of the subs to achieve elevation. A compromise would be to stack the line array boxes on one sub per side instead of two, leaving you with a loose sub per side to position 3.5 to 4 feet in front of or behind the subs that are supporting the arrays on each side. Delay the forward subs to the rearward subs and you should get some cancellation behind them (on stage).

 

If the sound guys aren't savvy to this type of thinking they will probably make it worse rather than better. Also keep in mind there is no free lunch and any cardioid sub configuration will not have the same low frequency SPL as a standard sub configuration using the same number of boxes. By what you have described so far, the sound guys won't be happy giving up low end SPL.

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If you look at the polars for the box, 100Hz and under are essentially 360 deg. (omni), not unlike other subs give or take a few dB.

 

Perhaps he has poor placement relative to you, a desire or taste for excessive low end compared with what you feel is appropriate, etc. I run up against this kind of thing, sometimes folks come into my venue and want kick and bass to bury the vocals. Then they complain that the vocals are buried. You can't have it both ways. I prefer a system that is tuned flat plus about 3 or 4 dB boost relative to flat between about 40 and 70Hz (depending on the room). I sometiomes see folks with the LF boost on the order of 12-16dB which to me for MOST music types distracts from the performance. Sometimes I find that flat works better, sometimes +6dB of LF boost works better byt 12dB really doesn't work for me and fortunately MOST of my acts.

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