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Stagescape System Size Requirements

room size scaling

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#1 denniscooper


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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:13 AM

My wife is the Executive Director of National Oldtime Fiddlers, Inc, a 501c(3) corporation that presents a number of musical events throughout the year, including the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest & Festival in Weiser, Idaho. I have been assigned the task of purchasing new sound equipment for the corporation.


The stagescape series is my first choice due to the fact that our sound reinforcement is often handled by volunteers under the direction of myself and another sound engineer. 


My question concerns the required scaling of a system for our main event. This event is currently held in the local high school gymnasium and can have as many as 1,200 in attendance for our Saturday night finals. 


Details: (gymnasium)


All-acoustic, with the exception of electric bass & keyboards on occasion.


Stage will be located at one end of the room.


Monitor requirements are minimal. (no monitors used except for special acts.)


It is a very quiet audience since they are listening to the top fiddlers and accompanists in the nation.


My plan is to purchase two Stagescape-m20d mixers using one at the contest site and one in a local park during the  event. This way we have a backup in case of equipment failure or damage.


Can you give a recommendation concerning line6 speaker needs for front of house in the gymnasium? It's a quality over volume situation in this venue. I would like to cover front of house and the park in our first-round purchase if funding is available.


I'm fairly certain that the organization can't afford to purchase two complete front of house and monitor systems in the first year so I'm planning to use my own powered monitors in the park and as-needed at the gymnasium.


We will plan to go with all Line6 equipment by year two for front of house and monitors.


Best Regards,

Dennis M. Cooper





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#2 dboomer


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Posted 30 August 2013 - 12:18 PM

Hi Dennis

Just to follow up on our phone conversation ... You can contact me at dboomer@line6.com

#3 RonMarton


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Posted 30 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

Gosh Dennis...


I wish I had the time to fly over in order to hear some of that fantastic fiddling ...and congratulations on the excellent "brief" you've posted.


If only more users took the time required for the huge effort involved in setting out their requirements as clearly as you've just done.... :rolleyes:


To my mind, your "key" words (that seem to almost jump off the page) are "gymnasium" and "electric bass & keyboards on occasion"


"Gymnasium" = reverberation. Lots of it. (But you didn't need me to tell you that.)


Also probably known to you, but maybe less obvious to other readers, are the demands that "electric bass & keyboards" place on any reinforcement system with regard to the clarity required for all performers to be able to hear each other, ...without which it's impossible for them to properly become an ensemble, as distinct from a struggling collection of individuals.


Combine all of that and we are faced with the need to plan our speaker placement very carefully, so as to reduce the number of points from which our reinforced sound radiates to the absolute minimum, as every point of radiation we might add in seeking to "help" will only combine with the venue's unfriendly reverberation to further confuse our sonic image, ...a classic (if counter-intuitive) case of "less is more".


(Mind you, that sort of thinking is the closest thing to music when it comes to the ears of our "accounts department".)  :lol:


Given both your relegation of the "local park" to secondary status and its far more "friendly" acoustic profile, I'll concentrate mainly on your gymnasium rig, but in saying that, I heartily endorse your "backup philosophy" in respect of the possible purchase of a second M20d.


Speaking of "backup", it's worth bearing in mind that your consideration of a little extra expense for the "t" versions of StageScape speakers may actually yield savings by allowing you to re-think the need, the timing of and the configuration of extra purchases to fulfil those "park" and "backup" requirements, as you'll see from the "10-Input Connection Diagram" at the bottom of this page: http://line6.com/sta...e-l3t/resources.




Now, back to your gymnasium project.


Even given its 1,200 attendee scale, my feeling is that your gym system will probably require no more than ONE pair of L3 enclosures as its principal sources, the "secret for success" being the physical and electronic details of their combination with a further pair of L2 enclosures and a single L3s "sub", the "electronic details" of which would be an absolute nightmare in the absence of Line 6 linking, but instantly resolved with it.


Accordingly, it's the physical details that form the main substance of my recommendations, the first of which would be to get your main pair of L3 boxes as high as you can, to cut down on the clarity-destroying and feedback-inducing standing waves created by floor placement firing straight up to reflect from the roof of your gym back to its floor, then reflecting again from the floor back to the roof, then again from the roof to the floor, ...a truly vicious cycle, if not circle. 


I've had several pairs of these back-savers for some years now http://www.amazon.co...n stage ss8800B that I use for exactly that, and I'd heartily recommend one pair (of those or something similar) for your L3 enclosures, and another pair to elevate your "foldback" pair of L2 speakers.


Why have a "foldback pair" when you say that "monitor requirements are minimal" ...and why elevate them ?


Well, I honestly don't believe that our FOH pair by themselves will allow our performers enough sense of each other to properly interact and the classic "wedge at the feet" foldback placement simply will not work for this application.


Not only might we need up to half a dozen floor-bound speakers to cover the width of our ensemble, but the sound from them would arrive at the players' ears before also arriving from our main pair, in addition to suffering the standing wave problem I mentioned earlier.


The result ?


A jumbled, incoherent mess.


It's been my experience that the best solution when playing in these reverberant "boxes" is to locate our fully elevated main pair at a location that is NOT an exact quarter or half "gym length" downstage (towards our audience) from the wall behind our performers, (something like "three-eigths of a gym-length" is generally best) but also roughly "an eighth" of the width IN from those equally reflective side walls, with our foldback pair co-located immediately behind them, (maybe not elevated quite as much) but facing the opposite way, towards our performers.


That co-location of our foldback pair means that, in effect, all of our sound is radiating from the same points in space, granting a coherence that gives our performers a real sense of their overall balance, as well as automatically placing their foldback in "dead spots" in terms of the pick-up patterns of the microphones we're using for them.


Another benefit of that co-location is that the subsequent "time alignment" allows our main pair to do most of the work, whereby our foldback pair can be operated at surprisingly low levels, so that far fewer undesirable artefacts arise from our unfriendly "chamber".


(I generally set that level by playing a known recording to FOH and then slowly "easing" the foldback up to a point no louder than where it just "creates" the required "image" at the performance position.)


Why only one sub ?


Four reasons:

  1. Gymnasiums invariably "boom" in the bass region anyway, so the extra bass power definitely isn't needed;
  2. Experimentation will often reveal that corner or "centre stage" or "under stage" deployment works better than would be achieved by the placement that would be forced on us by long poles being used to elevate our mid-tops above a pair of subs;
  3. We are the ones that have to truck and lift the darned things ...and
  4. The expense.

Anyway, that's my "take" on "the required scaling of a system for our main event" ...and here's to many more of them !


All the very best from Down Under,



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#4 silverhead


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Posted 30 August 2013 - 04:11 PM

Ron, I often wish I could award more than one reputation point for your answers. Extremely knowledgeable and helpful, especially to a Live Sound relative novice like me who isn't faced with anything approaching the challenge that Dennis is.


I know you don't do this for points, but - man, you know your stuff! You are a very valuable asset to this forum.

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#5 RonMarton


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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:25 PM

Much appreciated, O Silver-Headed (and silver-tongued) Über Guru...


...But as you already know, I'm merely "repaying" the huge amount of help that I received back when I started in this crazy business, ...ya know, ...waaaay back, young whipper-snapper, ...when it was just me, that Faraday bloke and young Tommy Edison...


Oh, ...and by the way, Dennis...


I forgot, but should have included what I reckon would be a "priority list" or "schedule", in the event that the dreaded financial situation indeed forces the spreading-out of purchases, as you suggested it might:

  1. One StageScape M20d, that might drive hired speakers to get you started, but that MUST have its own protective road case, ...preferably this "lifetime" one http://www.sweetwate...l/GMix1818-6TSA, but at the very least, something like this http://www.bhphotovi..._Universal.html, ...then...
  2. One pair of StageSource L3 speakers, (my preference would be for both to be the mixer-equipped "t" versions) with their wind-up stands and these (to my mind) essential carry bags https://www.globalfu...ode=98-037-0001 ...then...
  3. One pair of StageSource L2 speakers, (preferably also the "t" versions, as I'd want all of my speakers to not only be interchangeable, but also instantly deployable for those short-notice, stand-alone gigs that seem to crop up) also with their own wind-up stands and these carry bags https://www.globalfu...ode=98-037-0002 ...and then...
  4. One L3s sub enclosure, with its own padded road cover https://www.globalfu...ode=98-037-0006 ...and finally...
  5. That second (suitably housed) M20d, as you originally suggested, along with (maybe, eventually) a few more rolling-bag-housed (but not necessarily wind-up stand-equipped) StageSource speakers. 

(Although they're all from reputable suppliers that I regularly use, the links I've included are solely for illustration, as I'm often at pains to point out that I have neither affiliation with, nor particular loyalty to, any manufacturer or supplier. That includes Line 6, even though it was they who assigned me their "expert" and "gear head" accolades.)


No matter how infrequent your deployment/s may be, long (and at times, bitter) experience has taught me that it's utter madness to "save" on road cases and/or rolling bags, as their cost will always be truly minimal in any comparison with the cost of equipment damage and/or personal injury caused by the mishandling that almost always seems to attend their absence.


I now invariably postpone the purchase rather than deploy equipment that lacks proper accommodation.

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#6 pierrebriend


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Posted 31 August 2013 - 11:57 PM

I would like to add a comment/question to Ron about his proposal.
First comment is that as it is underlined in Ron's Post, no matter the excellent sound system you could have, it is very important to place properly the sound sources, specially in difficult room as Gymnasium or other high reverbering rooms. the right idea is to place that as high as possible, o recomI would also recommand to orient them towards the audience, i.e. With a suitable vertical angle. Otherwise,
- the audience siting close to the stage, due to simple trigonometric rule, would not be hearing direct mixed sound. (OK they are close to the orchestra, they can hear acoustic sound...)
- second point is that, if the speaker are vertical, the sound will bell directed to the wall in front, this is a wrong way to limit the reverb effect
Then I would recommand to use a device to orient the L3with a suitable angle (Ron has the link to a supplie of such a device)
An alternative is to use Face speaker (L2, for instance)at a moderate sound volume, at a physical level close the audience. But, in that case, as it is described in the (excellent, as usual) Ron's post, the delay between two speakers at 4m from each other could be undesirable, unfortunately, the m20d,despite its nice LINE6LINK facility, can not compensate this 12ms delay...then, what is the good compromise? I don't know...there are so much parameters to take into account, that each situation has its own "best solution"
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#7 jaminjimlp



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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:20 AM

[LIST=1][*]One StageScape M20d, that might drive hired speakers to get you started, but that MUST have its own protective road case, ...preferably this "lifetime" one http://www.sweetwate...l/GMix1818-6TSA

I have this bag for the m20d and it is more than sufficient and very sturdy. https://www.globalfu...de=98-036-0001. I bought mine at the same time that I got the speakers and the fellow discounted to about 80 bucks. From the pictures it does not look very sturdy but in real life is similar to The road runner polycarbonate style guitar cases. I do want to get a set of cases for the speakers just seems a little high yes but I will probably eventually get those.
Also the pro coverage was not available on the M 20 D so I talked with my insurance carrier state farm and for a mere $60 a year I was able to cover the m20d and my 11 rack without any and term as long as I paid the 60 bucks a year even for accidental damage pretty good I think.

And as far as Mr. Ron he is much smarter than the average bear!!! And I appreciate his knowledge.
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May you be blessed and our Lord Jesus keep you!!!

#8 RonMarton


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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:35 PM

...second point is that, if the speaker are vertical, the sound will bell directed to the wall in front, this is a wrong way to limit the reverb effect
Then I would recommand to use a device to orient the L3with a suitable angle (Ron has the link to a supplie of such a device)...


It's great of you to take the time and trouble to post yet another really helpful reply, Pierre...


(Bien fait, mon brave !)


...and here's another link to one USA supplier of the speaker tilt adapter you mentioned http://www.bhphotovi..._Connector.html, ...but...(odd though it may seem at first) I do NOT think that such devices are likely to be viable for the needs of the gymnasium that Dennis has the task of facilitating.


The "killer", my friends, is my long experience of the raked or angled "bleacher" or "riser" seating (often "fold-out" or "stow-away") that is almost invariably deployed to "squeeze" those twelve hundred people around the floor-level "court" of such venues, ...with the inevitable result that somewhere between a quarter to a third of them often find themselves sitting half-way up the surrounding walls (although, sadly, not covering enough to significantly alter the overall reverberation).


Hence the my "flat facing" recommendations in terms of placing Dennis' pair of elevated L3 enclosures, that exactly match your dictum...


...each situation has its own "best solution".


Accordingly, corner "node" reflections at the shorter wall that forms the "far end" of the space, dispersion width requirements and the physical demands in respect of propagating coherent wave fronts also probably dictate NO "inward" angling of Dennis' "main FOH" pair, ...as distinct from his "foldback" pair of smaller L2 speakers that I've suggested he co-locate immediately behind them.


As we've also suggested, the "nearer to their target" (being the performers) location of that pair of elevated L2 systems means that they are indeed likely to benefit from some inward angling.


(Incidentally, in doing a myriad of such jobs over the years, I've repeatedly found such co-located secondary pairs to be amazingly efficient in terms of delivering "dual duty", in that they also cover the "mosh pit" section of the audience who are directly in front of the performers.)

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