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Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

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Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby nazardo » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:13 am

For the virtual organ implementation I am designing, I have a set of Definitive Technology BP-9060 full range towers that I would like to place on the church's counter-facade.

Image

I was wondering if wall shelves made of wood would be a good solution for speakers placement. What do you think?

I am considering something like the design in the below picture, but I need your help to understand if the lengths of segments labelled A, B and C will affect the generated audio quality and what would be proper values.

Image

Thank you in advance for your help on this matter.
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby magnaton » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:54 pm

How many speakers are there total? At first glance distance "C" looks a bit too wide. If you are wanting to incorporate one of the Hauptwerk audio algorithms then the speakers should be closer together, say 10 to 12 cm. Otherwise it could sound a bit odd having notes 'leap' instead of move from one speaker to the next.

Something else to consider since you are placing on wood, sorbothane is great for reducing any vibrations. Here is an example:
https://www.amazon.com/Isolate-Sorbothane-Vibration-Isolation-Square/dp/B0042U78H2/ref=sr_1_6?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1539316144&sr=1-6&keywords=Sorbothane+Vibration+Isolation&dpID=415bSLtJw4L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Danny B.
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby nazardo » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:10 am

Thank you Danny.

There will be only 12 speakers: six stereo audio outputs in a single audio group. The church has a long natural reverb and the first sample set we will use is Caen dry.

This is the structure I had in mind before you told me about reducing the distance "C".
Image

By putting the speakers as close as 10-12 cm (3-5’’), won't the side woofers interfere with each other?

Also thank you for the advice about the vibration damper :wink:

Mauro
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby Romanos » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:36 am

My unscientific opinion would be that you would want more than just a few inches between them. If you are setting this up in a church and emulating a real pipe organ for worship, you will want the sound source to be equally broad as the windchests would be if it were real pipes. Organs typically take up whole west ends... As the sounds will be spread out across the wall, the whole effect, to my mind, must logically be broader as well.

I would, however, get them more than 5" away from the wall. Perhaps the backs of the speakers could be 12" or so? You want enough room, if you are using bipolars, for the sound at the back to spread out as well. If they are too close to the wall, you are going to have very little room for reflection of the sound. The sound bouncing off the wall should be dispersed which will also help with the effect of spreading the sound around.

I'll end with this tidbit: I've seen in the chambers of a $250,000 4 manual Walker digital installation. There were surprisingly few speakers, however, but the speakers that were there were spread around the chamber just like pipes would be. None of them, as I recall, were mounted to the back wall. Divisions were placed spatially, and the speakers were free floating in the chamber.

You should also google the M&O installation at Ave Maria University in Florida, USA. Theirs is an extensive setup of speakers that all sit 1-2' away from the wall. I've seen pictures of the speakers floating around the web. That would be another great thing to emulate as it is a very expensive and successful installation.

edit---
the last thing I'll mention is you'll want a mighty large sub. The walker's sub was humongous. I could have fit inside. You need the space to be able to move an appropriate volume of air to fill such a large space as a church. Because they did not skimp on this one thing, the pedal really undergirds the organ very well and it is very convincing, even with the 32's.
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby nazardo » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:59 am

Romanos wrote:I would, however, get them more than 5" away from the wall. Perhaps the backs of the speakers could be 12" or so? You want enough room, if you are using bipolars, for the sound at the back to spread out as well. If they are too close to the wall, you are going to have very little room for reflection of the sound. The sound bouncing off the wall should be dispersed which will also help with the effect of spreading the sound around.

Yes, the back of the speakers will be at about 14'' (35-36 cm) from the wall. Also speakers will be at a minimum distance of 31'' (80 cm) from each other, with the left most one being 23 ft (7 m) from the right most one.

Romanos wrote:I'll end with this tidbit: I've seen in the chambers of a $250,000 4 manual Walker digital installation. There were surprisingly few speakers, however, but the speakers that were there were spread around the chamber just like pipes would be. None of them, as I recall, were mounted to the back wall. Divisions were placed spatially, and the speakers were free floating in the chamber.

This layout is very interesting but at the moment we have no budget for building a chamber, so we will start with a simpler installation.

Romanos wrote:You should also google the M&O installation at Ave Maria University in Florida, USA. Theirs is an extensive setup of speakers that all sit 1-2' away from the wall. I've seen pictures of the speakers floating around the web. That would be another great thing to emulate as it is a very expensive and successful installation.

Thank you for mentioning this installation of M&O.

Romanos wrote:the last thing I'll mention is you'll want a mighty large sub. The walker's sub was humongous. I could have fit inside. You need the space to be able to move an appropriate volume of air to fill such a large space as a church. Because they did not skimp on this one thing, the pedal really undergirds the organ very well and it is very convincing, even with the 32's.

Yes, a proper sub woofer is still missing in my design. I would like to first hear the sound of the organ without it and then decide how much powerful we want it. At first I was considering one of the two biggest DT Supercube models, bug a "bigger" design (maybe custom made) could probably fill a space as large as a church better.
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby magnaton » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:23 am

nazardo wrote:This layout is very interesting but at the moment we have no budget for building a chamber, so we will start with a simpler installation.

For placing speakers against the back wall, consider turning them just a bit at an angle. Experiment with each side angled towards the respective wall to aide in the reflection or maybe individual speakers tuned either way. The idea is not have all organ sound firing straight forward. Since you have bi-polar speakers this may not be necessary however from my experience, listening from certain spots in the Sanctuary having a non-direct audio will sound more like a real organ being played vs listening to a recording of an organ being played back on speakers. This may take some time with trail & error and you may end up back with the speakers pointing straight out :shock:

I did a temporary install in choir a loft with powered speakers (10 channels). Sounded amazing. However after 4 hours my ears became 'educated' on the sound. Listening in the Sanctuary at various spots, I went back and angled the speakers outward about 20 degrees (5 one way, 5 the other way). This changed the character and it sounded more natural i.e. a real organ. As we've discussed where many times, getting a reflective sound since we are using speakers and not wind blown pipes, is key ingredient for a successful installation.

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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby Romanos » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:03 pm

nazardo wrote:This layout is very interesting but at the moment we have no budget for building a chamber, so we will start with a simpler installation.
...

Yes, a proper sub woofer is still missing in my design. I would like to first hear the sound of the organ without it and then decide how much powerful we want it. At first I was considering one of the two biggest DT Supercube models, bug a "bigger" design (maybe custom made) could probably fill a space as large as a church better.



Yes- I was not advocating that you build chambers, just that you glean some of the lessons from that install. Clearly they were spreading out the speakers to spread the sound around and to mimic point source just like divisions within a real organ.

I think the suggestion to angle out could be a very good one too. It will take tinkering to get it all right.

Regarding the sub, based on the photos you've shared, you are filling a HUGE space (and the sound has a way to go before it hits the listener). There is no doubt in my mind that you will need way more than the average sub. That was what I was intimating with the details on the walker sub. It was clearly custom built for the installation in a roughly 1,200 seat church. It most definitely was not an "off the shelf" product. I'd guess the volume of the cabinet was roughly the size of a refrigerator. I doubt that most commercially available subs (intended for home use) would come anywhere close to achieving the effect you are wanting. Things like the "house wrecker" are what you'll want to look into. Even subs built for movie theaters typically aren't rated for the low 16hz that we need for organs (or if they hit them they aren't with the precision we are desiring).
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby nazardo » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:17 am

Romanos wrote:Regarding the sub, based on the photos you've shared, you are filling a HUGE space (and the sound has a way to go before it hits the listener).


The church is not very huge. The nave is around 130 ft long by 50 ft wide with a vaulted ceiling about 45 ft height.

Romanos wrote:I doubt that most commercially available subs (intended for home use) would come anywhere close to achieving the effect you are wanting. Things like the "house wrecker" are what you'll want to look into.

You mean something like these right? HWK15, Dayton Audio 18 Ultimax.
I am afraid I do not have the skills to build something like that. A Definitive Technology SuperCube 8000 seems to me much more affordable. If the device is up to its specifications it may be enough, what to you think?

The original organ had only five 16' stops and no 32'.

Here is a picture of the nave taken before the pipe organ went destroyed.
Image
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby Romanos » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:06 am

Again, I’d argue that the space you are filling is “huge”. It may not be cathedral scale, but something like a supercube is designed for a house, not a church! These subs will be able to produce the tones you want, but likely without impact unless you are really close. (Hence the suggestion for something the size of a fridge.)


This is one of the custom build subs to consider. There are a few others as well.
http://www.decware.com/newsite/HWK15.html
Last edited by Romanos on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tower speakers placement on wall shelves

Postby Romanos » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:34 am

Here’s the M&O organ I mentioned. https://goo.gl/images/JunR8C

Note th “wall” of speakers. They are mostly bipolar and a foot or so away from the wall. There is also a very large sub floor level.
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