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How to use line array system right?

khachai44
Level 2
I'll open Pandoras box a smidge and try to give a ballanced answer (the point source vs line array question always seems to end up descending into a bunch of people simply arguing for whichever system was cool when they learned the job)

Basically, there are a whole bunch of considerations as to what an appropriate pa system for a room is, the variables include the size of the space, how even the coverage needs to be, the desired volume, the budget, specific challenges posed by the venue layout (balconies, partially separate bars, weird shaped corners and nooks),

Typically, a line array will actually function more or less as a line of independent point sources, coupling a bit, which helps smooth the response out over a large area. They also typically have a wide horizontal but tight vertical despersion, meaning the vertical coverage can be managed by adding or removing boxes, and changing the angle of splay between boxes. This can work very well for typical 'hall' or 'arena' type venues, where the even, predictable despersion can be used to fill a large space without the need for delays (thanks to gain shading, you can even accurately match the levels at the front and the back of the room. 

Almost every line array I have ever seen deployed, or deployed myself also makes use of a number of point source cabinets in order to fill in any gaps in coverage (for example, stage fills).

A conventional point source system can be easier to set up (less boxes with wider despersion, so that typically it is the horizontal rather than vertical plane that is split between multiple cabinets), the splay angles used with point spure boxes often means that comb filtering will occur in the audible range, and gains through coupling are reduced. http://amthanhthudo.com/loa-line-array

So far, it probably sounds like line arrays are the way forward right? Well not nessecarily, they do have some very real downsides too, first off is the price, a line array can quickly get expensive, as many boxes are required, compared to a point source system. Additionally, in order to get the coupling between drivers, line arrays have to have a very low spacing between driver centres, limiting their size, and there response to low/mid frequencies.

So what should you use? Either, both at the same time. If you simply consider a line array as a tool to be used where appropriate, same as you do with any other pa system, then you will be fine, look at the rion, figure out the coverage you need, see how much space you have in the truck, and go rent a system that will meet those needs rather than getting worked up on which physical model then calculations you are making derive from
1 REPLY 1

khachai44
Level 2
can you tell me more? thank you!