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How to set up multiple channel speaker system

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adri

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How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostFri Jun 23, 2017 4:18 am

Is this covered in any manual?

Does one need multiple amplifiers? Special sound card?

Etc.

I recently moved and will soon have a brand new console, and will need a brand new sound system as well.

My current sound card is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and I also have an Lexicon MX400 Dual Stereo/Surround Reverb Effects Processor for the dry sets (like Claviorgaum and Anloo).

Thanks.
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mdyde

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostFri Jun 23, 2017 5:46 am

Hello Adri,

I've moved the topic here, since this section of the forum covers multi-channel audio and speaker systems generally, and you'll find lots of other topics here discussing people's various preferences for those things. The 'Audio routing and multi-channel audio' section in the main Hauptwerk user guide (pages 164-168 in the current v4.2.1 version) covers how things can be configured from the Hauptwerk perspective (by way of some examples), but we (Milan Digital Audio) don't currently have any general guides discussing speakers, physical speaker layouts, etc. in general.

Since multi-channel audio is probably the most discussed topic on the forum, I expect you'll get lots of replies here, so I'll just give a few brief pointers:

- Using multiple speakers will need an audio interface that has at least one analogue output per speaker, so you would need to get a new audio interface. For example, some high-quality current audio interfaces that might be candidates could be:
- - RME Fireface UFX II: http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/fireface_ufx_2.php
- - MOTU 24Ao: http://motu.com/products/avb/24ai-24ao
- - MOTU 16A: http://motu.com/products/avb/16a
- - MOTU 828x: http://motu.com/products/motuaudio/828x

- Active speakers have built-in amplifiers, whereas non-active models need separate amplifiers (at least one amplifier channel per speakers).

- Active studio monitors are the most popular, such as the well-regarded Mackie HR824: http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/mackie-hr824-mk2-hr624-mk2

- For home use, the majority of people prefer to use multiple stereo pairs of speakers for stereo sample sets, so that the sample sets are still heard in stereo (as opposed to routing in mono).

- You could optionally also add a single sub-woofer too.

- When using surround sample sets you would probably want to have a single dedicated pair of speakers for the 'rear' ranks, then use the remaining speakers pairs (ideally all of the same make and model) for the 'front' ranks (and for non-surround sample sets).

- You could either configure the 'front' speakers as pairs within a group (or a small number of groups), so that Hauptwerk would distribute pipes amongst the speaker pairs within the group automatically (and fairly evenly), or your could route ranks to 'front' speaker pairs individually. The former is probably the most popular (and the one that I happen to prefer personally), but some people prefer the latter.

- Probably the most common arrangement is to have three stereo pairs of active studio monitors for the 'front' speakers, another single pair for the 'rear' speakers, plus a sub-woofer. That would require four pairs of speakers in total, plus a sub-woofer, plus an audio interface with at least nine analogue outputs (such as any of the interfaces I mentioned above, some of which also have headphones outputs, which can be useful too).

I hope that helps as an overview.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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organtechnology

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostFri Jun 23, 2017 8:59 am

Hi Martin,

I think you should make this a Sticky as it is as concise and clear an explanation as is available.

Best regards,

Thomas
Complete Hauptwerk™ systems using real wood consoles, PC Sound Engines, Dante Audio for Home or Church. info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com
Authorized Hauptwerk; Milan Digital Audio and Lavender Audio reseller.
USA and Canada shipments only.
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mdyde

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostSat Jun 24, 2017 3:21 am

Thanks, Thomas.

Done.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Owen Jones

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostSat Jun 24, 2017 7:16 am

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Rafael

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostWed May 08, 2024 4:24 pm

mdyde wrote:
- Probably the most common arrangement is to have three stereo pairs of active studio monitors for the 'front' speakers, another single pair for the 'rear' speakers, plus a sub-woofer. That would require four pairs of speakers in total, plus a sub-woofer, plus an audio interface with at least nine analogue outputs (such as any of the interfaces I mentioned above, some of which also have headphones outputs, which can be useful too).


Which would be the typical kind of room (or the optimum room area) for that common arrangement? It would work for a 40 persons attendance in a little church room on sundays?

Thanks and kind regards
Rafael
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mdyde

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostThu May 09, 2024 4:16 am

Hello Rafael,

I was mainly referring to home Hauptwerk installations (e.g. in medium-sized living rooms). I see no reason why it shouldn't be effective in a very small chapel/church, although I've never performed any church amplification installations myself, so wouldn't really be best-qualified to advise on that. Others on this forum have more first-hand experience in that area and might perhaps offer thoughts/suggestions. When installing in a reverberant/larger space (e.g. a church), a larger number of speaker pairs may be better (and they would need to be of ample power).
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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pwhodges

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostThu May 09, 2024 12:59 pm

I'm currently thinking about this another way.

I have been asked to provide a 2-manual organ in a college chapel (which has an organ - this is for a French mass that uses two organs). I have in mind to use Piotr Grabowski's Oloron-Sainte-Marie set, just loading the dry perspective. (This C-C organ has almost the same spec as the C-C orgue de chœur in St Sulpice)

I have available eight monitor speakers and amplification. Would people generally prefer in this situation to route the organ to a group of eight mono channels, to a group of four stereo channels, or to two groups of four mono channels for the two manuals (note, the pedals will probably not be used)?

Paul
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mnailor

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostThu May 09, 2024 1:46 pm

It depends on where you can place the speakers relative to the listeners. A good starting point may be one group of 8 mono speakers, since stereo pairs possibly won't converge for most of the seating. I'm not sure there's an advantage to two groups of 4, unless you can physically separate the two groups far enough apart to be heard as distinct source locations from most seats.
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pwhodges

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Re: How to set up multiple channel speaker system

PostMon Jul 22, 2024 6:39 am

As I don't have any PA speakers, I ended up using two groups of mono speakers (in the same place), one set being reasonably large boxes with an adequate bass response, and the other being smaller boxes with a more extended top and somewhat wider treble dispersion.

The audience were impressed; however I noted glaring inadequacies myself.

I was using "dry" (i.e. close but outside case) samples, and somewhat truncating the releases. I now feel that was a mistake. To my ear there was a considerable feeling of unrealism, essentially due to the lack of reverberation - and I believe that using more reverberant samples would have reduced that, in spite of the reverb not matching the building. The lack of "real" reverberation is down to the narrow HF dispersion of the speakers, meaning that the enclosing acoustic is not being excited in enough directions to add up sufficiently.

But even PA speakers have restricted HF dispersion; OK, it may be twice as wide as my domestic speakers (let alone my big ones which are old BBC LS5/9 monitor speakers), but it's still far from omnidirectional. Maybe what's needed is a load of HF-only speakers pointing in different directions, essentially the opposite of a sub!

Does anyone have any other ideas to address the HF dispersion problem?

If I'm asked to provide a similar setup again, I'll try more reverberant samples, and four stereo channels with the speakers spaced to get the (recorded) reverberation as spread out as possible.

Paul

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