3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

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binsley8112
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3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#1 Post by binsley8112 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:24 pm

Hi all,

Before I purchase any plans I'm just looking for some advice re: a new setup for our mains in a house of worship. Currently we have two wall-mounted EV Sx100+ speakers set about 50-60 feet apart on either side, so there is a huge gap in sound coverage, particularly front-row center. I don't have the exact dimensions of the room currently (working on that and can provide if needed), but the seating area is quite wide, though not very deep. Again, I don't have exact numbers but I would speculate the whole area seats approx. 150 people. There is also a balcony that is largely unused. To complement the mains we have a single JBL ASB6115 15" subwoofer.

I've been speaking with the leadership team about purchasing some new mains and flying them in a point-source cluster. My thought was three of them, one aimed directly down the center seating area and the other two off-axis towards either side. I had considered the JBL PRX400 series (specifically the PRX412M), as they come with mounting points for flying hardware, however the DR250s are quite appealing with the 120 degrees of dispersion (the JBLs are rated for 90 degrees). Unfortunately, I don't think it's in the budget to have someone come in and analyze the entire room with an RTA, so I'm poking around here to see if anyone has any recommendations. I have heard that the DRs aren't meant to be flown, but if there's a workaround for this I have full support from the leadership team to build them if it's feasible.

I do have some experience with BFM designs, as I've built a Tuba 24 and an Autotuba in the past. The DRs do look quite a bit more complicated to build, but I think we can muddle our way through it. :)

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#2 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:44 pm

Generally speaking that type of array results in high levels close to it, low levels further away, along with rampant comb filtering. Uniform levels are usually best realized with a distributed system, but I could make a more informed recommendation if I had an accurate floor plan. As for the JBL, they wouldn't work any better than what you have. Before I went with them I'd add two more of what you already have placed to fill in the dead spots.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#3 Post by binsley8112 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:04 pm

Thanks Bill!

I will get my hands on a floor layout and report back.

The more I look at the room the more I think point source might not be the way to go... With the way the ceiling trusses are laid out, one sits directly above the stage and one above the first few rows of seats. I'm wondering if a left and right J array might be better, since at least one of the speakers would need to be aimed practically straight down.

A distributed system would be ideal, but the width of the room makes mounting speakers tricky. Maybe two flown in the middle, one aimed at the first half of rows and the other at the second half, with some added side fill.

I realize I'm doing a lot of speculation with very little facts, so I'll just shut up and get that floor plan. :)

Thanks!

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#4 Post by binsley8112 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:34 pm

Ok, so I managed to dig up the architectural drawings for the building and mock up some measurements using the scale. Here's what I found:

- the room is approx. 53 feet wide. I say approximate because the walls are angled in a "stepping" pattern (see links to pictures). Sorry, I'm unfamiliar with the terminology for this type of wall.
- distance from the front of the stage to the front of the rear balcony is 58 feet, and to the very back wall is 70 feet
- the stage is 34 feet wide by 13 feet deep
- overall height of the room is 26'9" from the floor to the apex of the ceiling, 22 feet at the outer walls

For materials, the floor is fully carpeted. The outer walls to the left and right are brick. Everything else is mostly drywall, aside from the ceiling which is some sort of wood paneling, maybe pine or cedar, not sure. The room is pretty dead overall and doesn't have a lot of natural reverberation, except when it comes to the subwoofer. Low frequencies just seem to run rampant in the room. I'm sure some better sub placement would help with that. It's sitting on the floor to the lower left of the stage at the moment until we figure out what to do with it.

Here are some pictures of the room:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1C9_Py ... -zc4cEQ6TZ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ewodK ... O-R9pD_6Y2
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1DQz1U ... DyyCfSFYhI

Unfortunately, flying speakers is looking like less and less of a possibility. Insurance policies may force us to hire a professional company to come in to fly speakers rather than us do it ourselves, which will probably blow our budget. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing... I would rather this be done right and safe, but I think this is going to cost quite a bit more than the leadership team has budgeted for.

This got me on to researching column array speakers... A pair of those mounted on the wall could be a possibility. From what I've read their horizontal dispersion is great, and the vertical can usually be dialed in to limit reverberation off of hard surfaces. I know they wont get as loud as a point source system or line array, but loud isn't really what we're going for anyways.

Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated! :)

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#5 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:09 am

binsley8112 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:34 pm
This got me on to researching column array speakers... A pair of those mounted on the wall could be a possibility. From what I've read their horizontal dispersion is great, and the vertical can usually be dialed in to limit reverberation off of hard surfaces. I know they wont get as loud as a point source system or line array, but loud isn't really what we're going for anyways
Columns are line arrays, and they go louder than point sources. That's why they've driven point source arrays out of the pro-touring genre. You need four of them, wall mounted, a pair where your EVs are now, another pair just around the corners over the stage, angled inward to cross-fire towards the middle of the seating. For high levels use TLAH Pro, for moderate levels SLA Pro. It will take some experimentation to find the right height to place them at to cover both the front and rear of the room. The tight vertical dispersion helps there, with the right placement the high output close to them will go over the heads of the close seats to minimize hot spots.
Also, if you're at all serious about bass a single 15 inch direct radiator sub isn't going to do the job.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#6 Post by binsley8112 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:23 pm

Awesome, thanks Bill. I hadn't even considered the SLA or TLAH Pro... I honestly thought they were for HT use only. I need to open my eyes... :shock:
Bill Fitzmaurice wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:09 am
Also, if you're at all serious about bass a single 15 inch direct radiator sub isn't going to do the job.
Yeah, I'm starting to see that now. Not that we use a ton of bass in our mix, but the sub definitely reaches its limits quickly when you push the system. At the time we were flipping between a single 18" JBL and the 15" you see pictured. We ended up going with the 15" because of it's smaller footprint, plus it had JBL's differential drive transducer. I actually pushed for a pair of TItan's at the time, but they weren't comfortable with "custom." :roll:

Hypothetically, what would you recommend for subs in that room? A pair of Titan's? We typically just do live performances (mics on kick drum, bass plus keyboards) with a small amount of recorded material.

Thanks again for your advice!

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#7 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:52 pm

I'd say a pair of T39, either clustered or spread the full width of the room. You'd have to experiment to find the best placement. The same with the mains, put them on shelves so that the toe in can be adjusted to find the best result, then bolt them down.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#8 Post by binsley8112 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:47 pm

Ok sounds good. I think I've decided on 4x SLA Pros to get the job done. The TLAH Pros are tempting, but I think a bit overkill for the volume levels we typically operate at. I'm thinking we need to re-evaluate our amplifier section too. Someone went a little crazy when they went shopping south of the border. We have:

1 x Crown Xti 2000 (overkill)
1 x Crown Xti 4000 (way overkill)
1 x Behringer iNuke1000 DSP (stage monitors)
1 x Ashly CFT-1800 (stage monitors)

It's interesting to note that for the cost of ONE JBL CBT-70j series column speaker I can build 4x SLA Pros and still have room in the budget to replace that overworked JBL ASB6115 with two Titan 39s, AND replace our awful-sounding JRX floor monitors with Wedgehorns. Not to mention we can sell off a bunch of equipment to hopefully upgrade our analogue A & H GL2400 into something digital, like an x32.

Thanks again, Bill. I really appreciate the advice. Will post some build pics and results if/when we get the ball rolling on this.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#9 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:54 pm

If the four SLA Pro aren't enough you can always add more. The subs are going to be critical, as the SLA Pro need to be crossed over no lower than100Hz, so you need the subs to take over there, and one direct radiating 15 will never keep up with even four SLA Pro.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#10 Post by djamps » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:37 pm

I run FOH for small/medium size church (300-400 seats, maybe). Not sure how much money/energy should be spent on subs in a small/medium church unless an electric pipe organ is playing through them. We're fortunate to have a real pipe organ. We use a pair of older cerwin vega horns tucked away in the corners supporting a bi-amped 5 element center array with side fills, and the subs rarely need to do much. When the band is playing there's zero need for FOH bass reinforcement unless we want complaints afterwards (been there done that lol). They do a great job filling in the bottom end for videos and recorded music, and I'm guessing they never see more than 50-100 watts at most from a crown XLS-1502. Again, if I were to really push them, about the only thing it'd do in a worship or memorial setting is generate complaints from the older crowd. The mains are 90% of where I would focus time and energy if we were starting from scratch, in fact I plan on re-working the side fills soon.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#11 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:29 pm

Read the post above yours.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#12 Post by djamps » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:37 pm

Bill Fitzmaurice wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:29 pm
Read the post above yours.
The point of my post is that my church is "under subb'd" and it works at the SPL levels we're dealing with. 99% of the program will be >100hz and SPL never ear splitting in a worship setting. In a club or concert (or mega church), obviously subs play a more important role. Four SLA pro's in a small worship hall even at level 5 could cause ears to bleed... no point in budgeting for subs able to keep up with that.

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#13 Post by binsley8112 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:27 pm

djamps wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:37 pm
Bill Fitzmaurice wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:29 pm
Read the post above yours.
The point of my post is that my church is "under subb'd" and it works at the SPL levels we're dealing with. 99% of the program will be >100hz and SPL never ear splitting in a worship setting. In a club or concert (or mega church), obviously subs play a more important role. Four SLA pro's in a small worship hall even at level 5 could cause ears to bleed... no point in budgeting for subs able to keep up with that.
I think you're generalizing a little bit here. That may be true for your church, but if we're going by the demographic of age groups within the congregation, then you end up tailoring a system for a specific group of people that may or may not reflect the opinions of the majority. I mean, yeah... we have some older people in our congregation that get a little crotchety when the sub is turned up too high. I don't think we've had any actual complaints, but it's pretty easy to read the expressions on their faces. :lol: We do have quite a large number of 20 and 30-somethings that quite enjoy the louder, high-energy type of worship.

In terms of loudness, we're fine where we are now, but the problem with our system is coverage. From what I understand, Bill recommended the 4x SLA Pro for a broader horizontal coverage while minimizing hard surface reflections and comb filtering with the tighter vertical dispersion of the column array. We do have a fair bit of content under 100Hz, including kick drum, bass, keyboards and videos/recorded music, so a sub is essential for us. The JBL does a decent job in such a large room, but for the cost of two Delta-12LFAs, materials and the Titan 39 plans I'd still be ahead $800-1000 after selling the JBL and can put that money towards improving something else. Also, I'm an advocate of the old saying that it's better to have and not need than the other way around. :)

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#14 Post by binsley8112 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:37 pm

Bill, do you have an approximate vertical dispersion pattern in degrees on the SLA Pro in 4-tweeter array vs. 6-tweeter? Just wondering if the 4-tweeter setup might be better since I don't need a ton of throw... As I said it's only about 58 feet to the last row of seats. Also I don't think the added sensitivity of the 6-tweeter array is really necessary. Thoughts?

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Re: 3 x DR250, point-source/flown for worship centre?

#15 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:43 am

There's very little difference between the two, as the dispersion is determined by the overall height of the array, not the number of elements. I'd go six myself, as they're so inexpensive and better to have more than you need than not enough.

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