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Student Forum Another Project Idea

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  1. I do a lot of sound engineering and have always been intrested in the reproduction or amplification of sound, live or recorded, as well as acoustics. I was thinking an interesting topic would be a presentation on Line Array theory, seeing as we have a section on music in the environment and I imagine we won't be able to go into to much depth on speakers.

    If you go to any decent concert these days line array systems are used for the FOH, the theory behind it is quite nice (although I've never gone into any of the in-depth maths) and combines real world challenges and effects with an idealistic theory. It's basically a speaker system, normally hung from a ceiling, with speakers aligned in an array (column) to produce a much more efficient and even contrallable system (you can specifiy 'dead' zones for example where you don't want any sound). You could also look at subwoofers and patterns of the speakers (different microphones have different pickup patterns and speakers are basically reversed mics) and ways of amplifying and cancelling through speaker placement (e.g. to avoid subwoofers outputting a lot of bass onto a stage and only forwards). Or you could compare it to other style systems, such as point-source PAs (literally a speaker pointing at every point in the room, thats a big cluster of speakers!)

    Its a big topic, but could be quite interesting! Here's a little intro article


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  2. Nice idea for a topic! I remember reading that very article in SoS myself back in the day (I used to be a subscriber). You'd need to think about how to to structure a project and reports. An historical survey of how PA developed could be part of the report / presentation. What problems are line arrays supposed to solve? Simulating line arrays would be an interesting challenge. Could a "mini line array" be put together with e.g. headphone speakers, and tested?

  3. It would be interesting to try and build a small model line array, column speakers (that gave birth to modern line array) mostly for voice have been around for a long time and can use 5/6 inch speakers or even smaller. I wonder if you would need quite a few speakers to model and hear the effect live, you would want to show sound dissapating horizontally but not vertically. Maybe by flipping the cabinet over. You could use a test tone and do the maths for a certain frequency, making the speakers as small and practical as possible and to make it manoverable. It would be a good project, but could end up being quite a long speaker!

  4. This is exactly the project I was hoping to propose. I have already spoken with Warwick SU (I'm a technician there) and organised that the venue and PA could be used for testing when other events are not running. They are also having a company come in and do an acoustical analysis of the room to determine optimum speaker placement and set-up which we could sit in on to ask questions and hopefully gather professional data.

  5. Excellent - I'd certainly support these activities.


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