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Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

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mattrix

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Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostThu May 09, 2024 11:14 pm

Hi,

I have been involved and using VPO's for a long time, a life long simple hymn church musician and background out of necessity due to horrible pa's and setups making them sound better in conferences and evangelistic work/camps setups full weekend etc...

I'm really struggling to find a good sound and setup in my room. Its about 5m wide by 10-12m or so long - with opening into the main entrance passageway/hallway at 'rear end" and all the speakers at opposite end "front" on the short side. There is a walk way opening on the right side approx half way along into the dining living area all other walls are brick/plastered and no other openings.... i have the console on the left long wall about midway for waf and needing to keep an eye on things live with services zoom etc... I used to be sat on the right directly opposite near the opening but a room change around moved the console to the left...!!

Always using what I had around to keep costs down I put into my music room my yamaha dbr12 pa speakers being that it has 2 inputs one dedicated for the VPO and one for zoom pc output when not playing - and it sounds really good full wide sound lifelike etc. I wanted to up into mutichannel ages ago so i added to the 18i20 some bought presonus eris xt8 studio monitors and some behringer 8" 2031a that i had in my office... great so now have 3 stereo pairs up front plus subwoofer and some old 12" behringer pa speakers up the rear for rear perspective fill....

I have noticed just using the close perspective in Alessandria at first to get setup and figure out that anything that goes to the DBR12 sound amazing a full bodied clear sound, set the same stops or division to the presonus or behringers and it sounds thin and not as full bodied and no where near the volume from my seat 4-6db drop - I must add that all speakers have been spl and set to same output 1m 105db at -10 1khz tone. So you get quite a disparity amongst the divisions etc.... last night I played around and put the GO into all the different speaker pairs and of course they all sound different with the 2 studio pairs sounding the most similar - I have read and seen that most people go for studio monitors and have many of them 5, 10-20 or so pairs of the same speaker....

I guess my question is I also have been wanting to do this and get more of the presonus and just have them up front that way all the same sound etc.... but the sound isnt very good I find for projecting out into a decent sized room... studio monitors are designed to be sitting right in direct line to your ears 1-2m at most.... where as the yamaha dbr12 pa speakers sound warm non tubby and full sound and great volume with wide projection.

Last night I had the idea to swap the low stops 16' and 32 from only going to the sub to go to the yamahas and bring the sub onto the output of the yamahas that way all the sound is hearable from the stops but of course this just makes the yamahas being more prominent sound like a very strong pedal division. I left it last night with everything going to the yamahas close and presonus taking the front perspective - that gives better sound being all close perspective stops going into the yamaha pa and sound same not suddenly coloured or weak sound from the smaller studio monitors....

I don't know what to do... I have tried all sorts of arrangements - I have an extra pair of the behringer 12" pa speakers so my latest idea to try is take the existing 2 from rear and and the extra 2 so 4 up to the front in place of the studio monitors and see if better sound using just pa speakers up front and put the studio speakers up to rear and something else....! But a similiar issue being the behringers don't sound anywhere near as good as the yamahas and are usual tubby pa speakers with no bass etc.... but I suppose will give an indication of volume and general cohesion instead of mixing pa and studio.

Given my large room size I don't know what to try.... or lean towards doing.... yes ideally purchase at great cost (the studio monitors for eg are $900 a pair here) a bunch of them at least 3 or 4 pairs to be able to send go, pos and recit/swell to a separate pair or ?? How do you all setup subwoofer? In recent times i've been sending 8' to main speakers and just the 16 and 32 principal/bourdons to the sub and found sending the reeds 16 and 32 better to the main speakers as not much bass just noise and by sending to the sub only you miss out on all the upper sounds. My sub is a 12" purpose built horned ported very musical sub as opposed to johnny one note or HT sub using a reverse DI to get balanced from 18i20 (now dbr12's to rca input of the plate amp) -

Yamaha speakers are on tripods and up in the air as high will go - a bit higher than normal ceilings I think from memory around 2.4/2.5m from the normal room height of 2.1m? The smaller studios are on a shorter tripod stacked on top of each other next to just under the yamahas almost like 3 speaker stack either side.... When i only had the presonus as extra i had them on top of the yamahas.... Maybe I need to take a spl measurement from out in the room and that im sure will increase the vol of the smaller speakers to match the output of the yamahas? Rather than 1m directly in front between the driver and tweeter each speaker where it sits.... get more of a room spl matched sound a few meters out into the middle of the room....?

I regularly use in another setup a pair of presonus eris xt8 everything rammed down that in a much smaller room 4x5m? speakers on the long side at my cousins place and that sounds fine.... Friesach and 3ms tails...

How do you setup multichannel - what do you send where and why....??? Whole divisions or set stops if 3 speakers pairs one of each principal 8', 4' 2' to each speaker or all 3 to 1 pair and then flutes to another pair reeds to another etc.... what works best....? I did try the in built HW distribution but because of the differences in the speakers 1 note from this speaker and then next time from another was very distracting and great variance in sound....!
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mnailor

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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostFri May 10, 2024 1:38 am

I don't see how small studio monitors that are designed for nearfield applications can balance well mixed with PA speakers. The projecting distances and tonal characteristics are too different. There are (big) farfield studio monitors intended for the main monitors in a large studio, but they are much more expensive and still wouldn't sound similar to PA speakers.

It seems like you should pick one or the other -- two or three pairs of the same model of PA speakers, or more pairs of studio monitors, grouped by model. Your room isn't really too big for studio monitors if you had enough of them, but using PA speakers isn't as expensive since a smaller number will fill the room.

Increasing the gains on small studio monitors to try to match the volume of a PA speaker at a distance will likely result in distortion and eventually burn out the studio monitors' amplifiers.

One normally sends low pitched ranks to the main speakers and also sends a duplicate signal (a mixdown) to the subwoofer. No ranks should only route to a subwoofer because it damps out the overtones, turning everything it plays into a dull Bourdon. A subwoofer just reinforces low pitches that are below the range of the main speakers to add some bass; it isn't supposed to be the only speaker involved in producing a musical tone.
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magnaton

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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostSat May 11, 2024 8:15 am

There is some trail and error, as you are discovering, when adding disparate speaker types. As you have already discovered, you can't use the "HW Distribution" model (all speakers in one audio group). That only works when all speakers are identical.

Member mnailor's comment is spot on regarding the sub. It should be in a "mix down" configuration and have it's low pass cut off adjusted accordingly. I'm surprised that the studio monitors sounded "thin"? The 2031A are rated at 265 watts.

Since you like the sound of the big PA speakers, then maybe audition and allocate just one or two stops to be dedicated to the pairs of studio monitors. The most flexible multichannel design is having several pairs of active studio monitors as you've read about. Then you can get into the discussion of rank routing designs; what works best or you.

My usual advise for multichannel audio is to put the pedal division on their own channels, separate from the manual divisions if possible. When playing a low 16' stop in the pedal, the woofer of that speaker is working hard to produce that sound. That will transcendently effect the other ranks that are also routed to them. Putting the manuals in their own channels, they get full access to the woofer say when an 8' flue moves into the middle or tenor range for a much clearer tone.

Danny B.
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mattrix

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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostMon May 13, 2024 2:27 am

Thankyou!

I have made some good progress and found that the gain on the studio monitors was greatly down from unity - i have adjusted to ear and checked with crude spl meter in room sound and got them all sound same.... now they all sound surprisingly similar and i can send a signal down to all of them separately (focusrite allow for selecting all the ouputs separately discoverable in win) and they all sound same volume and pretty close in character with some minor adjustments.

I also have managed to pickup a couple more pairs of presonus 8" over the weekend on marketplace cheap so i have 4 studio monitors sets now in a group, plus the yamaha pa's and rear pa speakers....

I have put the 4 studio monitors into a group.... what's the best algorithm for them and/or sending what to each of the pairs?

I have sent the close pedal division only to the yamaha pa speakers and have the sub coming off that.... What do people normally do here? Do you have a modern sub or studio monitor sub that has balanced input and output so you can send the pedal division to the sub and then on to a couple of studio monitors...??? i see that presonus do a 10 sub... but hardly think that would be enough for organ 16's and 32's!!!???

If I get rid of the PA speakers i don't know how to get a 2.1 or 2.2 scenario going without getting a new sub or two... but vast majority of subs don't have balanced in and out.... what are people using here?

What do you do with the front perspective.... add that into the group as well same speaker that's play a certain division or note...? or separate stereo pair as not as important as the close perspective...? maybe i could send to the pa speakers 2.1 the front pedal and organ..... but i think that would undo the good work of separate speakers and add mud to it all? I'm noticing that Alessandria for eg only have the front on about 50%

Thanks...

Starting to have some fun and sounding much better....!!!
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magnaton

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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostMon May 13, 2024 8:13 am

mattrix wrote:I also have managed to pickup a couple more pairs of presonus 8" over the weekend on marketplace cheap so i have 4 studio monitors sets now in a group, plus the yamaha pa's and rear pa speakers....

I have put the 4 studio monitors into a group.... what's the best algorithm for them and/or sending what to each of the pairs?

The default algorithm "Ranks cycled, . ...." is the most efficient to keep notes played and ranks selected evenly divvied between the speakers in a group. With just 2 busses (2 stereo pairs) is not much concern. When you get to factor of 4 (4 mono channels or 8 stereo channels) is when other algorithms could be beneficial depending on the objective.
mattrix wrote:I have sent the close pedal division only to the yamaha pa speakers and have the sub coming off that.... What do people normally do here?

Hauptwerk has a set of Master Mixes. These are a 'mix down' design to where you'd want all ranks to be sent; headphones, recording bus, and subwoofer. This way the subwoofer is providing the lower frequencies of any rank, low 8' ranks, manual 16' ranks, and of course pedal 16's. With just one sub, in the Hauptwerk Subwoofer Master Mix you would assign it to a mono channel. I like to put that in the last port of your audio interface then all your manual channels are 'above' that.
Subs are chosen based on the size of the room and budget. I personally recommend Rythmik Audio subs as they are the most accurate in both the written specs and real world application.
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/
mattrix wrote:What do you do with the front perspective.... add that into the group as well same speaker that's play a certain division or note...? or separate stereo pair as not as important as the close perspective...? maybe i could send to the pa speakers 2.1 the front pedal and organ..... but i think that would undo the good work of separate speakers and add mud to it all? I'm noticing that Alessandria for eg only have the front on about 50%

Not sure of the question here. Alessendria is 3 perspectives: Close, Front and Rear. For a home surround sound, you would have speakers set up behind you (i.e. like a home theatre). Route all the Rear samples to those. Your physical front speakers would get both Close and Front. Alessendria, like most surround sets, has a sliders on the Setup tab so you can dial in the amount of Close (lots of pipe definition) or Front that you desire. There are folks here on the forum that have the actual speaker channels to accommodate the actual perspectives: Front are "front speakers", Close are flanked to the sides, maybe at the 45 degrees corners of the bench, and Rear is at the back. Finally, here is a video that might help with setting up your multichannel audio. The biggest take away for me was to rename the busses to your actual setup. If not being used, blank the names out!
https://www.drewworthen.com/post/hauptwerk-multi-channel-audio

Danny B.
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mattrix

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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostMon May 13, 2024 9:26 am

Thank you Danny,

Sorry if I wasn’t clear yes I now have 8 speakers in the group 4 stereo pairs plus the Yamaha pa for pedal and pa for rears

Re master mixes have now created a mix for sub and ticked the bus boxes to send the audio there as well. Great! Will try that tomorrow…. Running out of channels ha! 14 now in use - over 2 interfaces via Adat unfortunately can only have 14 with 96khz otherwise to utilise 4 more (2 stereo pairs) limited to 48khz oh well unless get a new interface that has more…. Or full 96 capable like the 3rd gen Focusrite 18i20

Front sample set perspective
I’ve read tonight as you have pointed out that close is sent to side that is completely new to me - I did do that once back in the early setups via the organ inbuilt speaker/amp but ever since then I’ve ran close at the front like a real pipe organ hence why I was wondering about where to send the front perspective of the sample set - I don’t have any speakers around me/console to try that other than the inbuilt organ which doesn’t get very loud in comparison to the rest of the setup ….

With a real pipe organ the close recordings are coming from the very front close to the pipes better for them to be coming from main speakers `I find the front recording to be too wallowy and reverb for precise playing….

I will try it though interesting! But doesn’t make sense to me in regard to how its recorded

Close front of pipes
Front 10 meters or so from pipes well into the building
Rear back of the building

If we put close in middle of room where console is that’s all wrong in my mind….!! Help! I get it from a close snappy clear idea for direct listening and playing but…..!!!
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mattrix

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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostTue May 14, 2024 11:46 pm

I've been reading and reading and tinkering.... my mind is blown....!!

Trying the various bus algorithms they aren't doing what I was expecting....
I've had a few speaker pairs before and I would always send HW to 1 pair SW to another pair and POS to another etc....

With obtaining more speakers I have now created a group containing 4 speaker stereo pairs so 8 speakers plus pedal going to a separate 2.1 bus and rear going to another separate stereo pair.

With selecting the close HW/SW/POS samples and front and rear off I have put them into this new 8 speaker group.... then tried out the various algorithms. I was expecting that they would divvy up all the stops to the various 4 stereo pairs but (playing full organ) it appears that the algorithm have only sent certain notes to each speaker with some speakers according to HW in the bus window not receiving any of the ranks.... ie none allocated. In reality turning off all other speakers there is something coming through the speakers that are listed as none but all of the speakers in that group are now only playing every stop selected but just a certain note in the octave... ??? I thought divisions and ranks would be spread across all 4 speakers indeed as Danny has said above.... but turning on each speak pair they are all playing the same full organ sound just a different note....

Presumably this is correct or have I not done something right? It doesn't make any sense to assist unloading the individual speaker from having to do all the stops selected albeit only 1 or 2 notes as played.... Am I wrong or missing something?

Is this by design? or indeed is this the best approach or am I better off not having a group and sitting there sending individual stops to various different stereo pairs so that each speaker is only looking after a few stops each.. albeit then the whole compass of that stop.....Or Is there a algorithm that would better divide up all the stops...?

Appreciate the help and guidance. The average user I don't think really knows about this side of HW as is evidenced by only a couple people commenting.... So I am very thankful for those of you who have gone down this path before me and through trial and error found best settings and practices.... Thankyou!
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Re: Speaker types and Multichannel arrangement

PostWed May 15, 2024 4:51 am

Hello Mattrix,

When a virtual rank is routed to a group (of primary mixer buses), the algorithm chosen determines which one of the group's buses (which speaker pair) any given virtual pipe (MIDI note number) within the rank will be routed to. Any given virtual pipe will only be routed to one of the group's buses (speaker pairs) -- not all of them simultaneously.

If, for example, a virtual rank is routed to a group of four buses (four speaker pairs) and the default algorithm ("Static: cyclic within octave, octaves cycled, ranks cycledt") is selected for that virtual rank then the rank's bottom C might go to the first bus in the group, C# to the second, D to the third, D# to the fourth, E to the first, F to the second, and so on. With that "ranks cycled" algorithm which of the four buses the bottom C goes to (i.e. where the rank 'starts' within the group) varies from rank to rank, so if you have two virtual ranks sounding through the same group, the two virtual pipes that sound in response to playing a particular MIDI key may or may not sound through the same speaker pair (depending on the internal rank IDs within the sample set).

You can influence which of the four buses the virtual ranks 'starts on' with the "Allocation algorithm note offset" setting. If doing so, you may find it more convenient to avoid the algorithms suffixed with "... ranks cycled" because the offset setting will then give a more predictable result (because the sample set's internal rank IDs won't affect it). For example, you could use the "Static: cyclic within octave, octaves cycled, ranks constant" algorithm and use the note offset setting to spread the ranks' starting points around within the group.

If in doubt, try experimenting with the groups and algorithms using the St. Anne's sample set (since it's small and non-surround), having just a single rank drawn at time so that you can hear easily which of the speaker pairs each virtual pipe is routed to. The green virtual signal LEDs on the mixer screen also allow you to see which buses are sounding at any given point in time.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.

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