All quiet on the western front!

Here you can discuss details about instruments, equipment and all those other bits that non-musicians won't understand !

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Russ Gannicott
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All quiet on the western front!

Postby Russ Gannicott » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:16 pm

Hello? Any anoraks out there? It's all been a bit quiet recently, where are you all?
As far as I've been concerned things have been pretty busy. Ash's band The Blues Machine had their first commercial gig last week which found me in the role of roadie/sound engneer/transport manger and guitar techie....all of which I enjoyed greatly of course!
I've spent a fair amount of time in the studio trying to perfect the art of micing up percussion...well Congas to be precise and now consider myself a bit of an expert...well, at least I'm pleased with the result! I've also been building prototypes of my own range of 'usefull bits for live use' boxes. These are little boxes which convert something into something else when you dont have the right leads to do the job; four way inserts to send and returns, dual stereo to twin mono splitters, jack to XLR converter boxes, line splitter boxes to take feeds off to a monitor desk etc. All that sort of stuff! Next one I want to do is a trully isolated A/B selector box with a mute switch for silently changing between multiple instruments at gigs. Keep you posted on this one...could be useful. Also in the middle of designing a small but powerful PA rig for our local community events - something around 4/5K with a further 1k of foldback....the interesting bit is that I'm looking into building it as a miniature vertical array system based on the glut of cheap moulded ABS cabs that sre currently availabe from China. You'll be interested in this one Mike, I'm sure.....once again I'll post my results.
On the gig front I've played a couple and seen a few - highlights being the Jethro Tull 40th tour and Show Hands supported by Martin Simpson. This Saturday it's our dear friend Tristan Sueme playing at a cafe on the beach less than a mile from where i'm now sitting....oh it's a hard life!.
So, come on then, what you all been up to?
All the best,
Russ

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Mike Stranks
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Location: Cirencester, UK

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu May 01, 2008 4:45 pm

Hmm..... a self-build line-array eh? You interest me strangely young man! Tell me more - some photos would be good too!

My first thoughts are that weight could be a big issue and I'm not sure how the HF horns will work like that. But I can see that it could work and might well be a way of getting an array for sensible money!

I'm interested in your construction projects; all these are the sort of things that I use, but I tend to take the easy (and more expensive!) way and buy them off-the-shelf! I'm just accumulating a stock of balanced splitters as I'm doing some OB work for BBC Oxford - frequently a blend of mics I rig specifically for the purpose and feeds through the splitters from house mics. I prefer this approach when you don't know:
a) whether the house desk has inserts or pre-fade direct-outs - or nothing;
b) if the house desk is any good;
c) if the house operator is any good! (I'm mostly doing OBs from churches so you sometimes have willing volunteers who have little understanding, but do their best through mixing-by-numbers.)

So let me know how the line-array experiments workout. I shall be very interested. You might be able to get 'Live Sound and Performing Musician' interested too.

Best. Mike

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Russ Gannicott
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:28 pm

Postby Russ Gannicott » Thu May 01, 2008 8:39 pm

I first got the idea when I was in a small venue and used the low ceiling to bounce the HF to the people at the back! I also tried the same thing another time when using side fills and found I could saturate the stage if I mounted the cabs high enough and on their sides in pairs.
The basic idea is to horizontally mount three of four 250 watt full range cabs on their sides in a vertical stack with a means of adjusting the angles of each cabinet. At the moment a seriously cut down aluminium scaffold tower looks to be the best idea. I could then get bolt-on plates made that would pick up on the rigging points on each end of the cabs and attach to the towers. Ideally I want to end up with something that has a very small (.5sqM) footprint plus outriggers and can be height adjustable from about two to four metres.
What problems can you see from your end?
Russ

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Mike Stranks
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Location: Cirencester, UK

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri May 02, 2008 7:26 pm

Sounds interesting - and do-able!

For me the key thing would be to ensure that it works like an array - ie that the boxes are aligned correctly with each other physically, that they are aligned sonically so that you have a coherent waveform and that the weight distribution is OK so that the array will fly properly without putting undue strain on the rigging.

That said, you know what you're doing Russ, so there's no reason that I can see that it won't work with the right (adjsutable) mounting hardware.

What are you doing about impedances? Are you doing some series/parallel arrangements or something else?

My other thought is about speaker efficiency. If the boxes aren't reasonably efficient in their own right aren't you going to need a disproportionately hefty amplifier to get a decent volume?

Of course, things vary from venue to venue, but are you thinking that you'll need some bass extension from stage-mounted cabs or will the array handle sufficient bass on its own?

Keep us posted on the progress. I for one await the outcome with great interest!

Cheers. Mike

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Russ Gannicott
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:28 pm

Postby Russ Gannicott » Fri May 02, 2008 8:32 pm

Hi Mike,
Several answers here;
The cabs I'm looking at are pretty efficient and can deliver a fairly high SPL. The plan is to run a series/parrallel arrangement that will ultimately drop down to either a sum of 4 ohms per side for smaller venues or 2 x 4ohms for larger venues. And yes, I am still thinking of running a couple of subs (up to two per side) that will deliver up to 2K per side from 200Hz downwards. The idea is for the system to run at venues covering from around 100 to 800 people both indoor and outdoor with a focus on the 'rocky' end of the musical spectrum.
Anyway...I'll keep you posted!
Russ

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Mike Stranks
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:47 pm
Location: Cirencester, UK

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:44 pm

Hi Russ

So how's the line-array project going? Is it in action yet and, if so, how does it sound?

I was at PLASA a few weeks ago and saw several mini-arrays - often atop a hefty bass bin. I thought of your project then and wondered how it was going. So now I've finally got around to asking...!

All the best. Mike

fingerlock
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire

Postby fingerlock » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:55 pm

whatever happened to just playing the guitar :-)

Mlower
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex

Postby Mlower » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:44 pm

I'd be happy if I could just do that!
Martin.

fingerlock
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire

Postby fingerlock » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:17 pm

ha ha me too mate, damn hard thing to learn (i personally put it down to age rather than lack of ability, how long you been learning?)

Mlower
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex

Postby Mlower » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:35 pm

Tried originally in my teens but lost interest! Took it up again about three years ago (in my mid forties), and am enjoying it, but HUGELY frustrating!
Martin.

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AndrewD
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Postby AndrewD » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:14 pm

I have just started a new job so that has been keeping me busy. However, it has given me the financial means to get my less than perfect Fender La Brea acoustic looked at by a luthier. It is going to take some work to make it the best it can be (which isn't that brilliant) but at least the action will be lower (you could drive a bus under it) and that should save my fingertips. I continue to work on the Dodo (as ever - never tire of it: wonderful piece) and with my Fender repaired I should be able to make better progress on my learning of some of Gordon's pieces.


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