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Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

Speakers, amplifiers, headphones, multi-channel audio, reverb units, mixers, wiring, ...
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engrssc

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostWed Dec 20, 2017 9:16 pm

Image

Probably need at least 2.

Rgds,
Ed
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engrssc

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

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dw154515

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostSat Dec 23, 2017 3:55 pm

engrssc wrote:Image

Probably need at least 2.

Rgds,
Ed


If you're going to spend $1,500/ea., I would go a slightly different direction. I have often raved about the GoldenEar Triton II's that I have, and I love them. In a HOME setup, I cannot imagine anything better than that type of design - full range cabinet, powered subs, D’Appolito array.... Yes, they need to be approximately head-height, but in a tower, that's pretty easy to do.

There's so much to consider when making these kinds of decisions.
Drew A. Worthen
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Rimokatolik

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Sep 30, 2019 4:10 pm

Although this thread is almost 2 years old, seems to be ideal to ask my questions. Please keep in mind I am only talking about home environment.

I am evaluating which way to go: 2 as good as I am willing to pay for tower full range speakers, or many inexpensive ones (ie multi-channel). In my search I ended up in the Definitive Audio store and after short chat with person there he asked me if I have a minute and took me to their audio room. I did not know at that time that they are serving high end audio customers, when I saw equipment that I have never seen before. I was floored by clarity and quality of sound. Granted, those 2 speakers with 2 mono amplifiers and cabling cost over $200K (I think it was this one http://wilsonaudio.com/products/alexx/alexx). Btw, this company has organ recording too (http://wilsonaudio.com/wilson-audiophil ... 01-concert).

People who spend this kind of money on audio seem to listen to classical music. So when you listen to symphony orchestra I would expect the same issues that are described in that article to appear as if you listen organ music. Orchestras and organs are older then electricity and speakers, so the only way to increase volume was to add more instruments or stops to play basically the same thing. When you look at positioning, whole orchestra in performance hall is only on the one side, and also all organ pipes (except for some largest ones) are on the single place.

So considering this and all that was said in this thread (like hardness to properly position many speakers, dealing with many more components, compatibility, ...) wouldn't be easier and better for all but the most demanding Hautpwerk users to simply go with single as good as possible speaker pair route?
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magnaton

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Sep 30, 2019 8:11 pm

This topic has been discussed and debated on several threads. It usually winds up being personal preference, amount of monetary investment, available space, or aesthetics.

I'm a big proponent of multichannel audio having used to tower speakers for a couple of years and slowly added more channels via studio monitors. I was able to hear an immediate improvement (more clarity) after adding each additional pair. It is my belief that separating the work load of organ audio to more than a single pair of speakers makes better sense. Financially you'd be close too:

A pair of Def Tech BP940 tower speakers (built in active sub w/radiators) - $1,800
4 PreSonus Eris E8 Active studio monitors, plus 1 Rythmik Audio LV12F active sub - $1,640

Granted you'd need some sort of amplifier or maybe an existing AV deck for the Def Tech choice. I also assumed that an quality audio interface is performing the DA conversion.

Danny B.
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Sep 30, 2019 8:27 pm

Thank you, yes, I am reading through various old threads, as they contain busload of information. Having multiple channels invokes all kinds of things that take our precious time: choosing and buying speakers, positioning them, multi-channel audio interface, choosing HW algo to spread sounds on them, ... It will take me a while to go through all of them though.

Also, in your example, would I gain much if anything with 2 stereo pairs?

BTW, based on information I read on this forum, all benefits are related to use dry sets, if you use wet then it seems to not matter or even be detrimental.
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sonar11

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Sep 30, 2019 9:26 pm

Multichannel is the way to go. Many people who argue for a single 2 speaker system don't realize that the reason why 2 channels is coveted in other applications, is simply because the audio they're listening too is recorded/presented in 2 channels, so having 2 speakers represent 2 channels makes perfect sense.

With Hauptwerk, we're not limited to recordings that have only 2 channels. Hauptwerk allows us to "play recordings" that have 8, 20, or even 80 different channels, so why constrain yourself to only 2? There is no advantage to just 2 channels in Hauptwerk. You will read arguments refereing to "sound stage" but that's a red herring, nobody will be able to detect that a pipe moved 1 inch in the sound stage. Organs tend to present a rolling wall of sound anyway, at best most people can only pinpoint direction like "this pipe sounds to the left of the organ".

Every time you add another stereo pair, the quality of sound improves. There is diminishing returns of course, adding the 8'th stereo pair will not be as dramatic an improvement as the 2'nd stereo pair. But 80 speakers will still sound better than 40 (if your room is big enough!)

The one caveat I would add, is that you don't sacrifice on the quality of the speakers. You don't need to spend $2000 per speaker, but don't spend just $100 either.

For organ music, I find speakers with an AMT/ribbon tweeter to be the clearest and most non-fatiguing. Second best option would be "silk dome" tweeters. I would avoid anything with a metal tweeter, they tend to be harsher on organ music which can be a bad thing if you like bright baroque organ music (mixtures, 2', 1' etc).
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostMon Sep 30, 2019 9:56 pm

Then enter the discussion - 2 separate mono channels vs 1 stereo pair L and R on one channel? :roll:
My pref is more mono channels. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostTue Oct 01, 2019 8:56 am

engrssc wrote:Then enter the discussion - 2 separate mono channels vs 1 stereo pair L and R on one channel? :roll:
My pref is more mono channels. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed


If the sample is recorded in stereo, then you would need to have stereo pairs otherwise you lose half the sound; just like unplugging the right or left speaker in your home theatre system.
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostTue Oct 01, 2019 10:39 am

I would like to use HW built-in algorithm to spread the notes around to 10 speakers. It might reduce distortion. However, it also makes solo stops bounce around the room. Anyway to tell HW to leave solos alone?
I could stack all 10 speakers in one pile to solve this.
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostTue Oct 01, 2019 11:43 am

Just make two output groups.

A group of 8 channels for most of the stops.
And a group of 2 channels for the solo stops.

And position the speakers of this last group just wherever you like them.
Once I did this antiphonal: at the opposite side of the room.

Enjoy,
Jack.
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostTue Oct 01, 2019 12:03 pm

Interesting but can't any stop be a solo or have a solo exposure at some time in some music?
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TheOrganDoc

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostTue Oct 01, 2019 3:08 pm

From what I recall, (if you set all channels to mono, "Hauptwerk sums the stereo channels to mono, if set that way.) When I had all channels set to Stereo I made listening tests at each speaker, and I found the stereo output channels to be of "very poor quality" at least from my P-3/32, So, I set my system to Mono! Then set all Main Chamber ranks to my left chamber speakers, and then set all My Solo Chamber Ranks to My Right Speakers, as in most theaters ! I have 4, 2031A's, for Main speakers, and 4, 2031A's for my Solo speakers, also have a Peavey 18 inch, Sub Rider at 1200 watts RMS continuous, for Bass ! All in Mono. :D

sonar11 wrote:
engrssc wrote:Then enter the discussion - 2 separate mono channels vs 1 stereo pair L and R on one channel? :roll:
My pref is more mono channels. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed


If the sample is recorded in stereo, then you would need to have stereo pairs, otherwise you lose half the sound; just like unplugging the right or left speaker in your "home theatre system".
"NOT TRUE", TOD
Last edited by TheOrganDoc on Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostTue Oct 01, 2019 3:13 pm

Multichannel works best with some space between speakers but the additional space can create a problem with solo voices that bounce around, a bit like real pipe organs with a C/C# split. So it's a challenge to be sure. Keeping the stereo pairings helps minimize solos bouncing around in my opinion and provides a more open sound just as it does for mono vs. stereo recordings.

A more dynamic assignment of channels would be possible in theory and could intelligently handle solo voices and better allocate channels based on a real-time analysis of the voices/frequencies being played, but I suspect this would be an extremely difficult and resource hungry approach. Fun to think about in any case.
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magnaton

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Re: Thoughts on the use of large speaker arrays

PostWed Oct 02, 2019 3:15 pm

Rimokatolik wrote:Also, in your example, would I gain much if anything with 2 stereo pairs?

Yes. A couple of simple examples:
Using one of the HW algorithms to spread out the notes/ranks across 2 stereo pairs you'll gain some clarity as some notes will sound from 1 pair and others from the 2nd pair. Pull a single stop and play a minor 3rd, you'll hear the respective notes from each speaker.
If you separate by division or similar design, route a celeste rank in the opposite pair of its unison counterpart. The sound really comes alive as the undulation happens in air (like a pipe organ) and NOT in the drivers.

Rimokatolik wrote:BTW, based on information I read on this forum, all benefits are related to use dry sets, if you use wet then it seems to not matter or even be detrimental.

I disagree! Wet and dry samples both benefit from multichannel audio as I've described above. :D

Danny B.
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