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Old 12th June 2010, 06:37 AM   #1
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Default Line array midrange MUSH!

As an avid concert goer I would like to pose a question. Why is it when I watch a band or event on a line array system and the system sounds very clean on vocals or mixed vocals and simple drum arrangement, does it all turn to sh*#! when the keyboardist or other mid-high frequency instruments kick in to accompany the vocals.I have been in many venues and open air concerts and expirenced this phenomenon 99% of the time.
Only time I didn't was when I took my daughter to see the Doodlebops in concert at Roy Thompson hall in Toronto.
I have also been to many where they employed point and shoot trap boxes and have not noticed this unless the system was severely overdriven( distortion throughout the entire range), maybe 10 % of the time by my so-so estimate. Is this blurring of vocals inherant to line array rigs?
Any theories?
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Last edited by Top Shelf; 12th June 2010 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 12th June 2010, 10:44 PM   #2
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I noticed this too. It could be anything in the audio chain, including our ears (there is that ringing again, let me just get that...). My experience, as a
supplier/installer/operator of such equipment, is that the engineer sits in the sweet spot. Rarely ventures away from the desk and does not realize the bad sound elswhere. The rush to set-up, voice and test, than tear-down for the next gig does not help, much.

As I do not fish someone, else can deal with this can of worms! E
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Old 13th June 2010, 08:17 AM   #3
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Old 13th June 2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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Top shelf,
I have a set of large line array speakers which I use to play music here at the house. This phenomenon you discuss is very prevalent on my setup as soon as multiple instruments are added to the mix. I have come to believe that line arrays, such as mine with 40 speakers, become confused and out of focus when subjected to tones over many frequency bands. When classical or vocal or piano solo is played through them there sound is as good as it gets. Very clean, coherent and exact. Hard rock is out of the question.
Some of the mush could be the out of phase mix up which plaques all systems when the speaker cone center to center space is out of phase with the music causing comb filtering. Another more plausible answer may be the direction the cones are facing and interference from signals radiating from other sources.
In any case I have heard this mush numerous times, not to nice of a sound, and come to believe very large venues need to be fed from small numbers of large horns and giant bass cones. Too many objects moving at one time leads to vibrations getting out of balance.
Tad
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Old 14th June 2010, 06:35 PM   #5
wg_ski is offline wg_ski  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tryonziess View Post
In any case I have heard this mush numerous times, not to nice of a sound, and come to believe very large venues need to be fed from small numbers of large horns and giant bass cones. Too many objects moving at one time leads to vibrations getting out of balance.
Tad

My feeling is that a smaller number of *efficient speakers* does better in terms of compression than today's huge arrays of power hungry, space-saving, lighter cabs. Run those arrays 10dB backed off and they sound fine. Half the time the opening acts sound decent. When the main act takes the stage all heck breaks loose. And too many times I've heard amps shutting down in the first (or second) encore - with lots of clipping going on. By then the voice coils are running steady at 200C and it's no wonder it sounds like crud.
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Old 16th June 2010, 04:10 AM   #6
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Yeah it is a cryin' shame, I miss the "old days" when most set-ups were ground stacked sub and trap boxes that were properly splayed. I went to alot of concerts where this set-up was used , and the sound was unbelieveably crystal clear. It's too bad most riders specify line arrays these days. I guess like everything else ,ground stacked will rotate back into favour again in a whileThanks guys.
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Old 17th June 2010, 05:25 AM   #7
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Also musicians these days do not know how to sing into a microphone. Most of them have it pointed up at them...

If you could get them to level it out, maybe even point it down a little, and get it a hair above lip line...

90% of the time I have no idea what the lyrics are because it sounds bad with the mic pointed up to begin with, barely understandable, throw in some other sounds and it is gone.
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