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Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

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Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Craigslee » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 pm

Hi all from the land of OZ!

I currently run one Mackie HD1801 and one DXR10 per side for my stereo FOH system. I'm looking at changing to one QSC KS212C Cardioid sub and one QSC K12.2 top per side.

Our band plays mostly clubs and pubs with around 200-400 person capacity.

Question 1: is this a valid upgrade?
Question 2: would I be better off keeping the DXR10 tops and just upgrading the subs due to their cardioid benefit for stage sound control?
Question 3: Would the QSC K10.2 be a better choice for a KS212C sub system considering the venue application?

I really appreciate any constructive comments :)
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby funky54 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:40 pm

The biggest thing you can do to improve sound is to not set the equipment you already have up the way it sounds like you’re setting it up.

I know the manufacturer made subs as basses and puts your mains on poles above... Don’t do that. Your killing your sound. I know it looks symmetrical and all, but your canceling a good portion of the most desirable frequencies right down you “power alley”

Set your mains on poles, tripods. You can get them at guitar center or ebay for under $50.00

Next set your subs right in the middle of the two mains. Set them on the ground, not on a stage. Your sound will be so much better. I doubt you’ll even care about any upgrades. You may find that even 1 sub will sound so much better in the middle that you don’t need two unless the job is big.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Craigslee » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:28 am

Thanks funky54, I will give that a try!
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Craigslee » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:33 am

One big problem is that I don't really have any options to put it center front. All three venues we play at regularly have dancefloors right up to the stage, and its valuable real estate for the dancers... Is it detrimental to have a sub array (stacked or beside each other) to one side?

If so a stacked QSC KS212C arrangement?

The stage is towards one corner of all three rooms, So I'm guessing if the sub array was installed to the side of the stage furthest from the room corner, I'd have better sub saturation?

Happy to listen to your problem solving advice!
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby funky54 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:49 pm

Then I would do one of two things, either place the sub all the way center against the wall behind the stage.. still centered between the main left and right, but all the way behind the band or DJ table. It will actually be slightly louder against the wall but because it’s further from the dance floor it will be about the same volume.

The other option is all the way against a wall. Make sure the mains sitt 8’ from any wall and 8k from the sub if possible. Turn the mains into (at an angle) the center of the dance floor. Set their height at about 6 feet from the bottom of the cabs to the floor. You want to make sure the horns are way over the audiences heads.

Let me sum up this way... there is no worse place you can set the subs then under your main speakers. I have no idea why manufacturers make those sub cabs with inserts for poles. They know it, the industry knows it... and yet they keep doing it.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:21 pm

What is it that dissatisfies you about your current rig? The DXR10s* are capable speakers as are the Mackie subs.

* I have DXR10's and K12s (both mk 1 flavour). I like both and while the K12.2 would be an upgrade over the DXR10 I don't think you'd see a massive improvement.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby DanR » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:38 pm

funky54 wrote:Next set your subs right in the middle of the two mains. Set them on the ground, not on a stage.

I do this for my band when there is a stage high enough ie, venues with built in stages.
Most gigs though have no stage or a low one.
I understand that two centre placed subs are more effective but often the band area layout
makes this positioning unworkable.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Craigslee » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:50 pm

Okay, so I'll probably stick with my existing equipment - I do love my DXR10's, and as it seems with general advice, I'll address my sub placement based on the most practical and available options. Best option centre stage to worst option stereo straight under the L & R top boxes. :)
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby DanR » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:02 pm

Craigslee wrote:Hi all from the land of OZ!

I currently run one Mackie HD1801 and one DXR10 per side for my stereo FOH system. I'm looking at changing to one QSC KS212C Cardioid sub and one QSC K12.2 top per side.

Our band plays mostly clubs and pubs with around 200-400 person capacity.

Question 1: is this a valid upgrade?
Question 2: would I be better off keeping the DXR10 tops and just upgrading the subs due to their cardioid benefit for stage sound control?
Question 3: Would the QSC K10.2 be a better choice for a KS212C sub system considering the venue application?

I really appreciate any constructive comments :)

Hi
I have the DXR10s for keyboards and they are great speakers.
If you always use the subs on gigs then I don’t see much benefit in upgrading.
I chose 12” tops/15” subs for my band PA (RCF) as it’s more flexible.
No need for subs on smaller gigs as the 12” tops can handle a bit of kick and bass.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

Craigslee wrote:Okay, so I'll probably stick with my existing equipment - I do love my DXR10's, and as it seems with general advice, I'll address my sub placement based on the most practical and available options. Best option centre stage to worst option stereo straight under the L & R top boxes. :)

Subs work fine under the tops, which is not to say it's the best position which will vary from room to room. Mid front under the stage is a safe option but if there's time to experiment do so, otherwise pragmatism rules.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby funky54 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:26 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
Craigslee wrote:Okay, so I'll probably stick with my existing equipment - I do love my DXR10's, and as it seems with general advice, I'll address my sub placement based on the most practical and available options. Best option centre stage to worst option stereo straight under the L & R top boxes. :)

Subs work fine under the tops, which is not to say it's the best position which will vary from room to room. Mid front under the stage is a safe option but if there's time to experiment do so, otherwise pragmatism rules.
Hey Sam, no disrespect meant.. I’m asking, why do you feel that they work under the mains? Have you ever noticed the frequencies missing on the outsides of your tops? Or have you noticed the volume needed to push making directly infront center being uncomfortably loud? Probably far less detail as well. When the subs are centered or against a far L or R wall the detail of your system will be so much better. The dead spots go away and the volume right down the center is more even and balanced with the rest of the room.

I’ve read a few of your posts and value your opinion, so I don’t mean this in a snarky way. I am truly interested in why you said what you said. It doesn’t coincide with my experiences but that doesn’t mean my experience is anywhere near yours.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:27 pm

I agree with you that subs together (either centrally or wherever else they will fit) sound better but at many venues that is simply not possible. My only gripe with your suggestions is that subs under the tops are completely unworkable, sticking the subs under the tops may be the only possible position and the best you can do. The key point though is to listen and, if possible experiment with position. Wherever you place the subs in a small/medium room the bass will vary as you walk around the room, finding the best place for balance is the key.

* The little work I do is mostly smaller venues these days and sometimes one has to be pragmatic, though, TBF, I only have a single sub on my own rig which is all I use these days.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:00 pm

Frequently the problem with subs-under-tops isn't where they are relative to the tops, it's that the tops are really close to the walls...
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby funky54 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:39 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I agree with you that subs together (either centrally or wherever else they will fit) sound better but at many venues that is simply not possible. My only gripe with your suggestions is that subs under the tops are completely unworkable, sticking the subs under the tops may be the only possible position and the best you can do. The key point though is to listen and, if possible experiment with position. Wherever you place the subs in a small/medium room the bass will vary as you walk around the room, finding the best place for balance is the key.

* The little work I do is mostly smaller venues these days and sometimes one has to be pragmatic, though, TBF, I only have a single sub on my own rig which is all I use these days.
I’m down to one Bag End 15” sub myself. I use 12’ 2ways for everything else.

I should have suggested to the OP to try placing the subs on one side and both mains together on the other but turned or fanned out to cover the room. It goes against any visual aesthetic... but it usually sounds better than subs as bottoms.

I try to solve everything with speaker placement and then just ring out EQ fast and simple.
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby funky54 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:41 pm

blinddrew wrote:Frequently the problem with subs-under-tops isn't where they are relative to the tops, it's that the tops are really close to the walls...
That’s another problem for sure. I always shoot for a minimum of 8’ from walls if at all possible. Setting in a corner is a challenge...
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:44 pm

blinddrew wrote:Frequently the problem with subs-under-tops isn't where they are relative to the tops, it's that the tops are really close to the walls...

This^

funky54 wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I agree with you that subs together (either centrally or wherever else they will fit) sound better but at many venues that is simply not possible. My only gripe with your suggestions is that subs under the tops are completely unworkable, sticking the subs under the tops may be the only possible position and the best you can do. The key point though is to listen and, if possible experiment with position. Wherever you place the subs in a small/medium room the bass will vary as you walk around the room, finding the best place for balance is the key.

* The little work I do is mostly smaller venues these days and sometimes one has to be pragmatic, though, TBF, I only have a single sub on my own rig which is all I use these days.
I’m down to one Bag End 15” sub myself. I use 12’ 2ways for everything else.

I should have suggested to the OP to try placing the subs on one side and both mains together on the other but turned or fanned out to cover the room. It goes against any visual aesthetic... but it usually sounds better than subs as bottoms.

I try to solve everything with speaker placement and then just ring out EQ fast and simple.

And this^ (though fanning out the subs should be unnecessary, single driver subs are omnidirectional*.

*The OP was asking about a QSC cardioid sub as an option, no personal experience but I like the idea in principle (but even my single "old school" EV sBA750 15" sub seems to keep up with a pair of QSC K12s without difficulty).
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Craigslee » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:23 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I agree with you that subs together (either centrally or wherever else they will fit) sound better but at many venues that is simply not possible. My only gripe with your suggestions is that subs under the tops are completely unworkable, sticking the subs under the tops may be the only possible position and the best you can do. The key point though is to listen and, if possible experiment with position. Wherever you place the subs in a small/medium room the bass will vary as you walk around the room, finding the best place for balance is the key.

* The little work I do is mostly smaller venues these days and sometimes one has to be pragmatic, though, TBF, I only have a single sub on my own rig which is all I use these days.
So Sam, with your single sub, is it generallg placed to one side? I'm curious...

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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:18 pm

Almost always, 'cos there's rarely a stage (or at least not one high enough to put the sub front centre). Where you place the sub matters because if you pick the wrong place you'll get a very uneven bass sound throughout the room due to room nodes. There will be a point where the effect is least (and the bass most even around the room) if you can find it by moving the sub around. Bass is omnidirectional so it does not matter which direction the sub is pointing (as long as it is not one of these 'new fangled' cardioid arrays ;) ).
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby resistorman » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:14 pm

Not having used one, does a cardioid sub work in small and medium rooms?
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Re: Some advice please - Live sound system (upgrade?)

Postby Wonks » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:50 am

Its pattern is going to be similar to that of the tops, so yes, no reason for one not to in general.

If the space is quite rectangular and you are set up in the middle of the long side, with extra tops facing out to fill in the sides, then conventional subs would be better. But in a more standard arrangement, then the result should be a tighter low end with less primary bass reflections from behind the stage.
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