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Multiple Nearfield Monitors - Mix and Match Sizes?

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Multiple Nearfield Monitors - Mix and Match Sizes?

Postby George Langley » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:13 am

Hi all. Lots of good info here and have learned lots, thanks! But one question remains - is there an advantage to mixing different-sized speakers in a multi-speaker array?
This is for my home organ, shoved into a corner of a small room with my back against a wall. So am thinking nearfield monitors are best bet, as am not trying to fill out any room and will be sitting fairly close to the speakers. (Hopefully can hang them from the ceiling to gain a little distance from them rather than on top of the console!) Will do some critical listening to see which ones I like best (Yorkville, Yamaha, Mackie, PreSonus, etc.) and whether to go active (powered) or passive with an amp.
Based on my reading and space requirements, am thinking that I want to go four-channels, running one pair of speakers through a sub-woofer. But each speaker brand offers various sizes, for example PreSonus Eris 4.5", 5" and 8" and of course different sizes of subwoofers (Temblor 8" and 10").
Is there an advantage to mixing speaker sizes, if they will match the frequencies/lengths of pipes better, based on the "Output allocation algorithm within group setting" assignment? If I go with an 8" sub, should I go 5" and 4.5" up top? Or 8" sub and 5" all across the top? Or 8" for all five?
My initial suspicion is "all the same", but if I allocate Pedal and Main to 1 and 2 (through the Subwoofer) and the "Upperwork" (as described in the User Manual, page 164) to channels 3 and 4, maybe smaller is better for those?
Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
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Re: Multiple Nearfield Monitors - Mix and Match Sizes?

Postby magnaton » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:37 am

Hello George:

The answer would be a quick No to your question of "mixing speaker sizes in an array". The definition of an array in HW speak is multiple speakers in single Audio Group. Here HW will use one of 5 algorithms (of your choosing) to divvy the notes amongst the speakers. In simplest of terms some notes play in some speakers; other notes play the others. The more speakers you add to the array the wider the note distribution. Thus all speakers (monitors) need to be identical (make, model, volume, and EQ settings) for this to be successful.

If you want separate audio channels (non array) where some stops sound in some speakers and other stops sound from other speakers, I'd still recommend keeping all the speakers (monitors) identical. This gives you lots of flexibility for your design and allows you to move and change things around later if you wish to do so.

Regarding studio monitors, the market seems to have shifted from passive to active. You'll have a larger selection of active studio monitors to choose from. Plus the setup is a lot less complicated as you simply run a TRS or XLR cable from your audio interface to the active monitor. Of course each monitor will require an A/C plug for power, but that's easy to accommodate. Also the majority of active monitors are bi-amped with the tweeter and woofer having their own specifically designed amplifier. This in itself increases the clarity and realism of the sound.

As you've read in the past threads, the preferred sizes are generally the 5" or 8" models. There are other factors like listening environment, cost, availability, and sometimes just personal bias on which to use. Technically speaking the Sub should take over frequency wise where studio monitors stop (i.e. 50Hz, 45Hz, 34Hz, etc.) but with when it comes to sound and organs YMMV :-) Their published spec will tell you the frequency range. Most of the better Subwoofers offer a frequency adjustment so it only produces sound for notes that fall for example to 43Hz and below.

Finally regarding pedal stop allocation, since you are just starting with 4 speakers (2 stereo pairs) then you may want to configure the (2) channels for the Sub as an "Aux mix-down output". In this setup the sub does 'low frequency duty' for ALL stops regardless if from the Pedal or Manual divisions!

Danny B.
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Re: Multiple Nearfield Monitors - Mix and Match Sizes?

Postby George Langley » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:53 am

Thanks for the great reply, Danny.
Am trying to wrap my head around the concept of the Audio Groups and suspect I will have to get it set up and play with it to really understand the various options.
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Re: Multiple Nearfield Monitors - Mix and Match Sizes?

Postby magnaton » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:08 am

Hello George:

Here is another article that talks about setting up a HW muti-channel configuration:

http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/home/view_cat/cat/3/sort/17/order/last_modified/limit/6

Keep in mind, you have the ability to design your own multi-channel layout. If you are using a Surround set, then its best to dedicate a stereo pair placed behind you to simulate the reflections of the recordings. Some sample sets are 6 channels (Chancel, Nave, Reflections) so there goes 6 channels accordingly, that is if you want to take advantage of the complete captured sound.

The creation of an Audio Group allows you to identify what ranks go where in the "Load organ, adjusting rank and audio. . . " menu option. Again an Audio Group will have one or more stereo pairs (since most sample sets are recorded and sound best played back in stereo).

Finally with the design of the Hauptwerk Alt configs icons, you can have a multi-channel audio setup with one design (i.e. all channels in a single group) then a 2nd Alt Config with a different setup of the same organ. This allows you to audition and play with one design then compare the alternative design in an easy A/B manner.

Danny B.
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