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Beginner help


ian elliott
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Hi All

 

I am newly registered here and I am a very fortunate amateur seeking professional advice. I apologise in advance if this is not the correct forum to seek assistance.

 

I own a party barn adjacent to my house. No neighbours for at least a mile in every direction.

 

It is a stone barn 7 metres long x 5 metres wide and double height, open all the way to the roof.

 

It has no doors or windows and will shortly have a concrete floor

 

The end of the barn is completely open bar a 400 mm stone return each side.

 

I have been trying to find impartial advice for a sound system capable of playing everything from Rock music to house/disco/reggae/dance/funk/punk pre recorded music for 1 operson (me!) up to 80/100 party people, but remaining very high quality

 

The reason I have come here is that I think I am falling between a very loud Hi Fi System and a PA system. The Hi fi kit would probably not cope being in a barn (although it would not be left permannetly installed ) and I think I need to fly the speakers to avoid accidents when full of revellers

 

I also think that the shape of the room, being all hard reflective surface and a completely open ended, means the sound whooshes straight out unless I fire the sound in to the space,w hich ahs yielded better results so far with an admittedly ratty old amp/speaker that I have lying around.

 

When visiting PA shops, I seem to have the same active type column speakers wheeled out and to be honest, I am not a fan of the sound, even at £3K for a pair of subs and tops

 

Trying to discuss anything else has elicited very poor responses, although we do live in the middle of no where and I appreciate demoing in a difficult room would be very hit and miss.

 

As a result I wondered if anyone might have the inclination to discuss the project for the sound part at leats ( I have a 3m truss circle with projection screen in the middle for AV and numerous DMX lights/effects for the non sound part )

 

I am absolutely loving the project. I am a huge music fan, this is as much for my benefit as any partygoers.

 

If anyone could chat with me it would be much appreciated and I can supply pictures!

 

If not, apologies for bothering you.

 

Kind regards

 

Ian

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Ian, welcome.

It is quite a small space and you wish to de-rig the PA after use which explains why active systems are being recommended. Some of the smaller active line arrays, the HK product range and a few of the better "boxes on sticks with sub" set-ups will work well enough. Getting 80-100 in will be a squeeze and I would aim the speakers toward the open end, because of phasing problems with sound reflecting onto and through cones, while remembering that the place will react entirely differently empty and full, winter and summer. (Believe it or not a few winter woollies changes things dramatically.)

 

We used to hang Persian style carpets as mock tapestries in the medieval barn of our old folk club. That cuts reflections and adds ambience. I would question whether the clarity and precision of a big Hi-fi set up would suit the wide range of music styles you want. The best big name PA systems are often the very worst at dub and bass heavy reggae. You need to narrow down possibilities by listening then try to hire in your chosen few systems for various events before choosing what works best in situ.

 

You may well not need a licence but it is worth having an informal discussion with your local licensing officer who is likely to be the very EHO that neighbours complain to about noise etc. I too love life in rural peace but the downside of that is that low ambient noise levels highlight music disproportionately.

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thank you so much for the reply. Your photo is strikingly similar to the layout of my barn, lalthough mine is totally open at one end . Ironically my space is both similar and about 50 yards from the Herefordshire border

 

I don't have a budget per se. I might need to work a bit harder and save a bit longer but more interested to have great sound

 

Much top think about

 

 

 

 

How bigs your budget?

6 optima 5's and 2 -15" subs a side were more than enough for this place

FIVD7040-e1513856816454.jpg

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I was blown away by the speed and quality of response. I half thought a moderator would tell me to shove off!

 

De Rigging

 

I thought maybe covering the speakers and leaving in situ an option ( the space is only used by me for music and parties) as they woukld be flown. The amp I would take out each time. With the DMX lights I leave the cables and power lines in place and remover the lighhts if there is ab extended gap between do's.

 

Great idea about hanging rugs, One wall may have a star cloth on it. I will be really inetrested to hear the difference between summer and the November halloween party, where daughter and friends will all be wearing skeleton onesies.

 

If the speakers are flown at one end, there will only be side walls to reflect off, but they will be pointing at the open end so I shoukd imagine minimal reflections

 

As for the ambient sound levels outside the barn, we have not had a problem due to the weird topography (one side and one end are below ground level and the walls are very, very thick with no openings). We cannot really hear it from the house50 feet away as teh open side points away from the house.

 

It is a great idea to consider it so I will go for a walk round the area when it is rigged up. The open end points to a bank with vegetation on it, behind that is another huge bank about a mile away , again with vegetation. We are in a valley, within a valley. There are no houses within eyesight at all. We are in our own little world here

 

Finally, thanks for the advice re hiring. It is an obvious one but I had been lost down a rabbit hole and now I have somewhere to start it is a great idea before committing. Really appreciated.

 

Best wishes

 

Ian

 

 

 

Hi Ian, welcome.

It is quite a small space and you wish to de-rig the PA after use which explains why active systems are being recommended. Some of the smaller active line arrays, the HK product range and a few of the better "boxes on sticks with sub" set-ups will work well enough. Getting 80-100 in will be a squeeze and I would aim the speakers toward the open end, because of phasing problems with sound reflecting onto and through cones, while remembering that the place will react entirely differently empty and full, winter and summer. (Believe it or not a few winter woollies changes things dramatically.)

 

We used to hang Persian style carpets as mock tapestries in the medieval barn of our old folk club. That cuts reflections and adds ambience. I would question whether the clarity and precision of a big Hi-fi set up would suit the wide range of music styles you want. The best big name PA systems are often the very worst at dub and bass heavy reggae. You need to narrow down possibilities by listening then try to hire in your chosen few systems for various events before choosing what works best in situ.

 

You may well not need a licence but it is worth having an informal discussion with your local licensing officer who is likely to be the very EHO that neighbours complain to about noise etc. I too love life in rural peace but the downside of that is that low ambient noise levels highlight music disproportionately.

 

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

I absolutely love this thread, sensible request for help and appreciated sensible replies.

 

Long live BR

 

Apologies for such a long delay between my original post and follow up. It isn't a professional application and I have been juggling a business, plus COVID along with the rest of the world and a major landscaping project at home before daughter's 21st Birthday.

 

 

I though I would update because such a lot has happened, even though the thread has been silent. I really, really apreciated the feedback.

 

I spoke at length with Chris at Inspired. He is a super chap and I now have a (big) budget for a top end system. The only thing between me and it are my other half and a worldwide shutdown. I will leave you to guess which is the bigger lobstacle in my way, to misquote a well known song.

 

In the meantime the 21st Birthday party for daughter was able to go ahead in August by the skin of it's teeth. We managed 30 of her friends for 2 days camping in covid appropriate fashion.

 

As covid managed to get in the way of me going on Chamsys courses and learning the MQ60 and the R8 artnet node programming, I blinked a week before the do and managed to find a super fella who came over for 3 days. he helped me set up and configure/prgram the assembled rig I had spent 4 years acquiring, but had, until that point had never ran in earnest.

 

We ended up with 49 fixtures and 3500 channels of DMX. I can name check him, but haven't yet as I am waiting for his permission.

 

It was really interesting to work with someone so experienced (He lectures on lighting design at a UK uni and is a free lance lighting engineer and has worked with many household names) He was used to BIG lights, lots of back gtround light from bars, emergency exits, emergency lighting. Our barn is in the middle of nowhere so he had to adjust his entire approach. I switched off all the lights one evening and in the total darkness he quickly understood the differences between commercial and this application.

 

. video of the starting set. Awsome just about covers it. Daughter still getting requests to do another one and still smiling over a month later, so job done

 

Soundwise, I used a small(ish) LD Dave G3 rig which lasted all weekend - 3 night hard partying. Great sound and aside from mishap at end, really coped with the DnB that the assembled younsgters preffered. Some of it was actually really good (probably 15 % ) All the feedback was that they attended festivals and nightclubs where the sound was not as good , although not this summer!! Interestingly enough we only had 1 farmer say he could hear it a mile away.

 

We are about 2 miles from Nozstock festival and are in the same valley. They are noisier than us this year but maybe not next.....!

 

That said, it lacked what I woud call the shock and awe factor. You know where the air round you seems to shimmer with sound, the foundations move and all is right with the world!

 

I have just picked up a really nice secondhand rig, in great condition, consisting of a pair of Nexo PS15 and LS1200 ' s with a nexo digital controller and 2 x Camco Vortex 6 amps. Coinfidence is high that will fix the issue but I am yet to hook it all up. I have to source the flying gear for the PS15's and am waiting for an unbalanced to balanced soniflex to arrive to sort the input side of things,

 

I can only reiterate that the replies gave me the confidence to carry on Thanks again. This is definietly more fun than working for a living!!!!

 

Next aim point is a summer solstice party next June. Then we might have to have a face off with Nozstock!!

 

To do is the video screen in the middle of the truss circle plus projector and media server,then roof and beams pixel mapped with LED tape, install the dance floor, bling the Pulpit and time code the whole show. can't think what the problem is....

 

Kind regards and thanks again

 

Ian

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If you can rival Nozstock for general filth, you are doing well. One upside to the lack of any festival season is not having to deal with the state of the kit after it's back from the Hidden Valley. Bleurgh.

 

 

Yes, we are on the same clay soil as them, just higher up the valley side. You'd think that would make us less muddy, but it doesn't. Even 30 people here when rainning is biblical for Mud and the water runs down the slopes in sheets as well. And I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

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