cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Media4u2
Member
  • 0
  • 284
  • 0
Registered since

Jan 31, 2008

Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

Last night, I played a gig in a large room (a former railway center in Pittsburgh called The Grand Concourse). Because the seating for dinner was in the old railway seating arrangements long benches in some places, four-square installations facing outward to each side of the room, etc., it presented a difficult area to cover for the sound.

I decided to set up one L1 Compact on one side of the large staircase which descended down into the room, and I wanted to put the other one on the other side of the staircase, but there was no power there, so I moved the speaker another 20 feet away to the far side of the room. In all, the speakers were about 50 feet apart, I'm guessing.

I used the Phonic W5 wireless speaker system to use the second Compact over there, and I wired the first Compact directly to the ToneMatch. I fed audio out to the first Compact through the Master Out, and to the second Compact through the Aux Out. I had the Aux set at 50% for each channel, but after a sound check, I found that I had to reduce it to 35% for each channel to match the volume for the two speakers.

When I stood right in the middle between the two speakers, the sound was pretty well "clean." However, as I moved towards one speaker or the other, I noticed that the sound decay was enough to put the sound from the two speakers a split second out of sync, and that increased, of course, when the distance to one speaker was either reduced or increased proportionately.

I have read on this forum about the problems running mono sound to two speakers that are more than 20 feet apart, so I figured that was my problem. To solve that, I decided to split the signal. I sent the left channel through Channel 3 of the ToneMatch and out through the Aux Out to the wireless speaker, and the right channel through Channel 4 of the ToneMatch. That gave me stereo sound, and I figured (once again from reading the input on this forum) that would solve the problem.

Relative to the speakers, my location was actually outside of the "speaker coverage." (The area between the two speakers.) My table was just to the left of Compact #1. From there, even though it was stereo sound, there was still enough decay in the sound from the speaker to my far left over that distance to make the drum backbeats just a hair out of sync with the speaker to my immediate left. When I got between the speakers, it sounded MUCH better.

But now I'm wondering, what is the best way to set up speakers wirelessly when there is some distance between the main and the remote speakers? How do you avoid the decay of the sound? It seems to me (but what do I know?) that no matter what delays are built in as compensation, you still have the physical distance that cannot be factored out. If you're close to one speaker, the speakers further away will send a "delayed" sound. As you move towards the other speakers, you'll eventually hit a "sweet spot" where it all sounds good. But how do you avoid this problem altogether? Or can you?
8 REPLIES 8
ST - Pro
Professional Legend
  • 1430
  • 48121
  • 3
Registered since

May 11, 2020

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

Media4u2
Member
  • 0
  • 284
  • 0
Registered since

Jan 31, 2008

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

ST,

I read the article, but it doesn't apply to what I'm talking about.

From what I can see, the article set up this way.

1. It's a big venue with a long room, and an L1 Model II is set up at the "main" end of the room. The second speaker is placed, say, 2/3 of the way back. Both speakers are pointed in the same direction to cover the full room (the main speaker covers the first 2/3 of the room and the second speaker covers the last 1/3 of the room. The sound that is fed to the remote speaker is digitally delayed to allow the sound from the main speaker to "catch up" to the remote speaker, and the sound from the remote speaker then joins the delayed main speaker's sound, and that music then goes to the back of the room.

I get that.

But what I'm talking about is not having a straight line linear placement of speakers pointing in the same direction.

My question is whether it is possible to set up speakers at either side of a wide rectangular space, each one pointed at the opposite corner on the far side of the room (see attached diagram) without having the delay cause a problem.

The distance between the speakers is about 40-50 feet, I would guess.

The problem is exacerbated by the room layout. The tables marked are all large wooden installation of benches that were in the original train station, and the tables were actually set up along the rectangles and at the corners of the circular seating fixtures. The guests, then, were seated facing away from one another and in more or less compartmentalized areas in the room.

The ceiling height is an additional acoustic problem, perhaps 25-feet high.

That's why I decided to use the speaker layout in the diagram. I would be able to cover the room for the cocktail hour and dinner music, and then when the dancing started, the dance area would be enclosed by sound from each end.

Is there a way to position the speakers that would eliminate or compensate for the delay/decay of sound caused by the distance?
ST - Pro
Professional Legend
  • 1430
  • 48121
  • 3
Registered since

May 11, 2020

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

Hi Media4u2,

I have converted your file to an image so others can follow along.
ST - Pro
Professional Legend
  • 1430
  • 48121
  • 3
Registered since

May 11, 2020

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

Hi again Media4u2,

I think that I would have tried to place the Compacts closer together and aim them outward away from each other.

As for your more general question at the end of your first post, I think that as long as you have to two sound sources separated by a distance greater than 30-40 feet, if they are loud enough that they can both be heard from a distance on the outside of the area they share (basically, the middle), if it is a mono source, you are going to have audible delay.
ST - Pro
Professional Legend
  • 1430
  • 48121
  • 3
Registered since

May 11, 2020

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

Hi Media4u2,

After a night's sleep - I wondered - how many L1®s (Compacts or other) do you have available?

If the Compacts were 50 feet apart in your diagram - was the room about 75 x 60 feet?

I'm wondering about using more L1®s at lower volume placed in different positions in the room or using two full sized L1®s placed closer together and aimed outward to cover the room.
Media4u2
Member
  • 0
  • 284
  • 0
Registered since

Jan 31, 2008

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

quote:
Originally posted by ST:
Hi Media4u2,

After a night's sleep - I wondered - how many L1®s (Compacts or other) do you have available?

If the Compacts were 50 feet apart in your diagram - was the room about 75 x 60 feet?

I'm wondering about using more L1®s at lower volume placed in different positions in the room or using two full sized L1®s placed closer together and aimed outward to cover the room.


ST,

I have two L1 Compacts and one L1 Model II with two B1 units.

My original plan was to set up one Compact where the Main speaker is on the diagram, and to place the other one at the other side of the staircase. That would have been perfect, I think. The distance across the staircase was probably about 25 feet. I think that would have significantly reduced the lag, and using stereo would have reduced it even more overall.

But there was no power source by the staircase. The power source was further away, over by the table as indicated. Laying a power cord across the front of the staircase was out of the question. They were using the staircase as the main focus for the wedding ceremony, which was up the steps on the landing (not shown on the diagram). Black stage tape, even at the base of the staircase at floor level, just wasn't an option.

The guests entered down a corridor adjacent to the staircase on the opposite side of the staircase from my table, and it was a heavily traveled area that was not extremely wide (perhaps six to eight feet wide at most). Running the power cord across an open access area didn't seem like a good idea, as someone may have tripped over the cord even though it would have been taped to the floor.

So I felt as if the position of the speakers was pretty much dictated by the room itself more than where I would have wanted to have placed them.

Your guess at the dimensions of the room are probably pretty good, I guess.

I probably could have covered the room with one L1 Model II with the two B1s. There were only 80-100 guests, and I know from past experience that the Model II would have covered it with room to spare.

I just wanted to try out the idea of running two Compacts (one wirelessly) placed to make the sound coverage more even and more complete.

My idea was that in the future I could use the Compact in larger areas at the back of the room as a wirelessly controlled remote speaker to enhance the sound, especially for dinner music, in the far reaches of the room. For example, if that area were a "normal" hotel banquet room, and my setup was in that same location, I might want to put a Compact in each of the far corners to the right and left of the bridal table, pointed back to the middle of the room.

Each Compact would have a Sennheiser receiver at the top of the column, and both receivers would be tuned to the same frequency. I would make the sound from them much softer so that the sound from the Compacts wouldn't carry more than about a third of the way across the room. I could simply transmit the sound from the Master Out on the ToneMatch to the receivers, but I'm sure there would be a delay. I'm not sure how to deal with that.

In your opinion, ST, would I be wise to route the sound from the ToneMatch through Channel 3 and use the digital delay to match up the sound from the Model II to the Compacts. And if so, at what point would I try to match the sound? At the point where the two "sounds" meet, about 2/3 of the way across the room? Or at the back of the room where the Compacts would be placed?

I am guessing that the "best" solution would be to place the Compacts along the far walls about 2/3 of the way across the room and then match up the digital delay as instructed by the Wiki article you cited, but aesthetically, the speakers would look more balanced if they were placed along the back wall in the corners, and perhaps they would be more "out of the way" in terms of room traffic patterns, etc.

If I decided to use the "corner solution," what advice would you give me for setting up the speakers for optimum sound?

I'm sorry for all the questions, but you're giving me an unbelievable mentoring here, and I greatly appreciate it!

Les
edwitles
Member
  • 0
  • 357
  • 0
Registered since

Dec 4, 2005

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

We have someone here who would have used 5 compacts and three wireless receivers for them.

And use Duracell type battery packs to power them.

Kid you not...

In fact, his blog highlights EVERY venue he works on placement of said solutions...

In essence, he is selling the drill and hole at same time.
Media4u2
Member
  • 0
  • 284
  • 0
Registered since

Jan 31, 2008

Re: Running Speakers Wirelessly for the First Time

Ed,

I've found that the Duracell DP600 battery (which is the done I use) won't power the Compact long enough. The gig I did was six hours, and there is NO way the Duracell would have powered it that long. I can count on a "guaranteed" two and a half hours of performance from my Duracell and up to three and a half, but beyond that, it just won't go that long.

quote:
Originally posted by Ed Witles:
We have someone here who would have used 5 compacts and three wireless receivers for them.

And use Duracell type battery packs to power them.

Kid you not...

In fact, his blog highlights EVERY venue he works on placement of said solutions...

In essence, he is selling the drill and hole at same time.