We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » One speaker or two ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
stuartmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Derby England (UK)
226 Posts

Profile of stuartmagic
I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. You see I always thought you should use 2 speakers to balance things out but I just wonder if I am using an extra speaker when I have no need to and can use just 1 instead.

I was doing a childrens party at the weekend when one of my speakers packed up mid performance. I had to continue on with just the one at the side of the room.

I use the Mackie SRM 150 and have them daisy chained together and of course one either side of the room where I am working. With one of them now packed up I had to continue on with just the working one.

Having looked at the speaker I can confirm that unfortunately it has now had it and it would be cheaper to buy a whole new unit and this is where I am after some knowledgeable advice.

First, let me just say that I do mainly full parties, that is the magic and the party games , party music, disco etc - yes you guessed it I am from the UK but please don't hold that against me Smile its just what we do. So I require the PA for microphone use and also to play music through. I believe, rightly or wrongly - you tell me, that you should have two speakers but I am sure that some entertainers use just the one. If so do you place the one speaker behind you or at the side of the room. If you are using just the one speaker isn't there a noticeable and significant distortion of sound as you would want to fill the room. My thinking is a bit like a theatre where they have the speakers on either side or is this insignificant when it comes down to your standard sized village hall.

Whilst I still have one good working Mackie SRM 150 I am thinking of getting a JBL EON 510 which is more powerful and maybe I would be better with that for sound quality, volume etc. I assume it has the same workings as the Mackie and so I could use it t not only have the microphone going through it but the music also. I also use music in the magic show part and so would require its use for that.

Here again, should I get two of these, one for either side to balance the sound quality out or could I get away with just one of them, but where should it be put, behind me or at the side. I don't want the sound to seem as if it is just coming from one side and not give a decent playback atmosphere if you see what I mean. The benefits of using just one speaker means that I wouldn't need to have a trailing wire from one to the other, not sure if you can daisy chain the JBL EON 510 plus quicker to set up, more space in the car, less to carry etc.

I would therefore appreciate it if anyone could help me out by saying if they use just one speaker or two and if there is any noticeable difference. Plus would I be better getting the JBL EON 510 or stick with the Mackie.

Thank you .
dashroom
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of dashroom
Unfortunately you do sort of need two speakers. It will all hook up with just one, but it will be a significant bodge, and very noticeable and unprofessional. If you pack out the hall then you really should have 4 speakers, L and R at the front, and then again half way down the hall so that the people at the back can hear without making it too loud at the front.
Probably not a good idea to have any speakers behind you due to feedback. When monitors are used professionally they are at an angle to avoid the mics, and have sound operators there on the night to control it, as well as big, expensive GEQs, and even then it often goes pear shaped.
Also, you will either need to buy more of the old speakers, or replace the still-working old speaker with matching new ones, as you really should have matching speakers.
Just my 2 cents,

George
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1799 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
I use one speaker in most circumstances without issue and I am very picky about my sound! In a larger performing venue, I use two speakers to add more coverage and depth to the sound. The key to using a single speaker is placing it closer to the center than you would if using two speakers. I don't mean directly center but, in my case, at smaller shows, I keep the speaker on one of my two suitcase tables that I am using. (I use a small Roland CM-30 Cube PA.) See the photo below (I put a yellow rectangle around the speaker for you to spot it easily.)

Image


For a larger venue, I use a full-size all in one PA system (Carvin StageMate.) The speaker is on a stand to the right or left of my performing area. It's still closer to center than it would be if I had both speakers set up but the exact position is based on the audience sight lines. The speaker is not facing directly forward but angled to the opposite diagonal corner of the room so that the sound isn't directed only to the side it is on.

Here's a photo with the larger Carvin speaker at an outdoor show. Since everyone is directly in front of me, I have the speaker on the stand very close to my table. (If I was in a theatre with more space, I would have it further out but, in this case, I'm trying to make sure it is under the canopy in case it started raining.) You can see that the speaker is angled slightly.

Image
Eldon
View Profile
Inner circle
Virden, IL
1134 Posts

Profile of Eldon
I'm with Michael on this. I've done large school assemblies for many years with one speaker and have never had a complaint about sound.
dashroom
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of dashroom
If music is being played for a disco, then you really can't get away with just one.

Village halls tent to have very wide stages (even if it isn't all used) and the audience tends to be very close to them, so two is a must.
One-speaker setups are usually best where you could just about get away without speakers (a good speaker can usually speak to at least 250 people without amplification), but the addition of a speaker makes the show much more professional, clear .etc From your first picture Michael, this seems to be the case, and your setup looks ideal.
Judging by the power of the speakers that Stuart said that he was looking at, it looks like the extra power is needed. For indoor use, just one of these is ludicrous, and if he does not need the power of two of these, then two smaller ones should be bought. Of course all this depends on the individual stage, although two smaller speakers can be placed next to each other at different angles to improve the angle of sound projection.

Outside is a different story, you almost always need bigger speakers outside, as being open and possibly windy changes the requirements. For just speaking to a small audience is all that it is needed for, your setup for outside is ideal.

I am obviously biased, as I am a techy, and only have magic/mentalism as a hobby, so I change stuff based on where I am, the theater shape, acoustics .etc as I have the knowledge to do that, and that when you are making a living of magic, and probably usually walk into the venue 20 mins before your show, you don't really have that luxury, however when music is being played, you really have no option. From the looks of your setups Michael, it looks spot on for speech :-D

Most school assemblies are done without any amplification, so it is not usually needed, but if it is (rowdy kids), then it is probably a very wide stage, so two will be a significant improvement if you think it's worth the time.


George
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1799 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
George, I have to disagree with you there. Yes, it is more ideal to use two speakers in a larger setting, but we are performing magicians and not bands. My StageMate will easily fill a gymnasium with clean sound (and I use plenty of music.) It won't give you the same depth as using two speakers in a gym but it still sounds very good. Since Stuart is doing disco for children's parties, I doubt that it would be a hall so large that a single speaker like the JBL EON 510 wouldn't work. I used to own a pair of JBL EON G2 10 speakers and one of them was plenty loud and full for most circumstances.

Now, if the room is huge and you need the floor to vibrate with heavy bass, then you'll probably need a pair of good-sized speakers.

Stuart, I have no doubt that an EON 510 would take care of your needs but you might want to see if you can rent one to test it out. Each individual has their own opinion on what is adequate sound. Since you've been using the SRM 150 for your performances, I think you'll find it a huge improvement. The Mackie SRM 150 doesn't reproduce music to my taste. It's plenty powerful but just doesn't have the full sound that the Roland CM-30 I use does, (I compared them side by side.) Neither of these come anywhere close to the sound that my JBL G2 10 speakers would produce. (The G2 10 was a predecessor to the EON 510 so I'm sure the 510 is at least as good.)
dashroom
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of dashroom
It appears that you have the wrong idea that I just walk into a building, and then put x speakers into said building until the floor vibrates sufficiently, say something along the lines of "cool sounds bro", and then leave. Unfortunately, there is much more to consider. If installing a system for a village hall, it takes more thought than just how loud it is, and there for how many of "the big speakers" need to be installed. The propagation of each sound wave needs to be considered, how they will affect the microphones, wave propagation delay for speakers at a distance, how high they need to be flown to create an even volume at a distance, how many rows need to be installed to get an even coverage to the back, what extra needs to go in for live music to create a different effect near the stage. Situations (eg nightclubs) where you actually want the floor to vibrate are much more complicated, as there are safety limits for human hearing, but it still needs to sound loud. The wave propagation in an area like a nightclub is very complicated, and requires much thought as to the placement of audio sources. Whilst little of this applies to doing a children's party, the basic principles (ie having two speakers rather than one) do.

I am suggesting that 2 smaller speakers (hifi size) will perform better than 1 PA speaker, and probably be cheaper, and definitely look better (your small speaker is really inconspicuous).

It's not just about power, as per the band argument. When you get the same volume of sound from half the number of speakers, they are working twice as hard, often reducing the life of the audio equipment.

Speakers are also designed to output sound at a specific angle (for stereo). At risk of going to in depth into technicalities of acoustics, defeating from this is bad. You create a significant difference in volume between the ears at close distances, which is subconsciously annoying, distracting, and possibly uncomfortable for some. With the same "perceived" volume mostly through one ear, then the sound amplitude at that ear is much louder than before. When speaking to people relatively close to you, it is not bad to use one speaker, as the sound would naturally come from one place, but for any music, regardless of whether the "floor vibrates", it is far superior to use two speakers.

People tend to think that it is just a case of more people = more speakers. Whilst to a certain extent this is true (festivals...), it is not a rule. In fact, for ambient sound (including disco music), an ideal setup would be 4 speakers arranged in a banana shape fanning outwards above the head of the dj booth, though this is not practical. These speakers would be smaller (again, think hifi size).

There are many more technical factors that I can't go into here (unless you want me to) that make it, generally, very bad to just use one speaker for music. It isn't just about wanting the floor to vibrate and using the formula more sound = more speakers. In general, the same number of speakers are used, just louder ones (until they don't get louder)

What may actually be best is to use the existing speaker for speaking, and then just run to CPC (or search ebay) and look for a decent hifi, they are very cheap, tend to have good sound output, and have the output split into two speakers, making for much better audio.

You can then speak through your existing gear, and play the disco music through the domestic system. Just make sure that you check the sound in a store before you buy, there is a lot of rubbish on the market.
People tend to think that you need PA gear is needed just because it is a professional situation, when in many cases it is not. If I was to do a children party with a disco, I would leave all my expensive PA gear, and just take my £150 ebay hifi. The whole lot is half the size of most PA speakers, has very nice audio, well distributed through multiple speakers, with volume almost as good as one PA speaker, but with a perceived volume higher than many PA speakers (annoy less neighbors, people in the kitchen .etc). It is lighter, quicker to setup, and very importantly, very inconspicuous.

George

btw, if you actually want the floor to vibrate, then using just "two big speakers" (full range) is a bad idea, you need dedicated subwoofers with crossover systems to prevent the bass from damaging the tops, and massively reducing their lifespan.
Michael Messing
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1799 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
George, I'm not going to derail this thread with back and forth but I think you have the wrong idea about my knowledge of running sound. I have worked with PA systems large and small for more than 30 years. I've run sound for small bands and worked with the sound man running a 24-channel mixer. I can assure you that, for my purposes, the two PA systems I use work well for me. They are convenient, sound good, and have worked well for many years. (The Carvin StageMate has been in use regularly for 11 years.)
dashroom
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of dashroom
I am not disputing your sound system, I am sure that it works very well for you.
I am merely trying to help somebody that has asked for it based on what I think will work best for him, based on what he has said, from what may be a unique perspective that mayor may not help provide a cheaper, or better solution.

At risk of starting a CV war, I, personally, find your comments insulting to the profession. I am sure that you run a car, probably given other people lifts, changed the oil, definitely refueled it, and might be friends with a mechanic who might have worked on x impressive car, but that does not make you yourself a mechanic, if you get the analogy; the two are very far apart. If it was the case that all performers were experts then techies would not exist.

I probably came off the wrong way (I often do). I am not making any comment about your sound system, as I am not qualified to do so, as you know exactly what it's requirements are and how it performs, and you didn't ask. I am merely suggesting what may be a cheaper solution, that may perform better, based on what I believe his requirements are, based on my experience, and acoustic science, and hopefully debunking some sound-system myths.


I hope that I did not come off the wrong way, or that you thought I was in any way making a negative comment about your sound systems, I was simply trying to give more general suggestions based on what Stuart said.


George
stuartmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Derby England (UK)
226 Posts

Profile of stuartmagic
Thanks for the feedback,

George, I can't think of any situation where I would need 4 speakers and if I did then I am sure the venue would have a suitable sound system that I could plug into.

Like Michael has said, I am a childrens entertainer and not a band or DJ and I don't do full blown disco only parties. The music I use is for at the start and end of a party mainly and is for young children to enjoy and have a bit of a dance about at their party as an add on. It certainly would not need to be that loud that the floor vibrates and the windows crack, the roof caves in and I can't hear myself think Smile I already use two speakers as indicated but when one packed up I carried on using just the one and wondered if I was in fact carrying too much stuff to a show when in fact I really only need one speaker anyway.

Occasionally I am in large halls and these are mainly in schools and I agree that in these situations two speakers are probably better than just the one its just that I wanted other entertainers to put their recommendations and what they actually use forward to help myself out and others who would read this thread. I don't want to go off topic or have it derailed with arguments back and forth.

I appreciate both George's and Michael's input and it would be nice to hear the thoughts of others who have used one or two speakers.

I certainly don't need to fill the room with loud music but enough to make it audible and of enough decent quality for the children to enjoy. The idea of turning a speaker at an angle I already do but Michael's placement of them when he uses one makes it less "obvious" than if you have your tables set out with the speaker tucked away in the corner of the room - certainl;y food for thought. When I use the two speakers they are as far to the side of the room in the corner as possible, maybe that is not the best place for them as the children stay more or less central to the room with the adults sitting at the sides. Afterall the sound system is there to benefit the children and not for the adults.

Stuart.
dashroom
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of dashroom
Sorry to keep posting, I think you misunderstood my suggestion
The 4 speaker thing was just about acoustic ideals. For music, a theoretical ideal is an infinite number of speakers, that are infinitely small. More smaller speakers as not to increase the volume, but to make the sound more even. The floor vibrating was an illustration of what was NOT the reason. 2 speakers should almost always be used, if it needs to be louder/quieter then just change the speakers, not the number of them.
Might I suggest http://ebay.eu/1hakSvU
It is tiny, dirt cheap, comes in one neat case that has 2 speakers, cables, stands, mixing desk, mic, and everything you need. It is smaller than one PA speaker, can easily fill any school hall or gym, and has wheels, making it really easy to transport. Set up in 2mins.
This is what I usually supply to children's entertainers. Alternatively you could use your existing speaker for speaking, and just buy a cheap used hifi for audio, or obviously ignore everything I say, all are perfectly valid. Personally I would use the linked speakers (I often do).

I will now leave you with this link, it is a good site, generally very accurate, and explains all the details (including why it is bad to use only one speaker, and why most sound engineers will just laugh when you suggest it).

http://www.digitaldjtips.com/2013/05/beg......peakers/

Sorry for derailing this thread, I just wanted to help explain why this is an acoustic taboo, and why it is needed, and that it is NOT just about how loud it is (it makes no difference), something which I have abjectly failed to do. I shall now go, hoping that this thread can recover from my destruction of it.

George
stuartmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Derby England (UK)
226 Posts

Profile of stuartmagic
Hello George,

I didn't directly mean you, I just meant in generai.

I wanted to keep it on topic of if one speaker was ok. or if general entertainers / magicians used two speakers. I realise that different people have different ideas on which speaker is best and some people swear by their system and won't advise the use of anything else. It's a bit like close up magicians that say you must use bicycle playing cards and no other. I had a similar conversation when I talked about the cards I used in my stage manipulation act and had many remarks saying that the cards I was using were totally the wrong type and I should change but hey I have always used the type I use, they suit me and my purpose and helped me to win many awards including the prestigious British Magical Champion Of Stage Manipulation 2007 in the UK - wow was that really 6 years ago ?

Thank you for your input George, I do appreciate it, and other ideas for speakers. Also thanks to Michael and his input of what he uses in his shows.

In the end I suppose you could say that if you have to turn the volume up that much on one speaker to make it audible and appreciated then the venues that you work in require two speakers. A bit like if you have to shout to be heard then really you should be using a mic, which in anycase you should no matter what the situation is but that's another topic alltogether.

Stuart.
Daveandrews
View Profile
Special user
London, UK
723 Posts

Profile of Daveandrews
Hi Stuart, just seen this, but have to go and do a party - will let you know my setup when I get back.
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

Winner of KIDabra International's 'People's Choice Award'
Winner IBM British Ring Dittia Shield for manipulation
dashroom
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of dashroom
If it was not directed at me, then it should have been - I did in a massive way destroy this post.
I might make another thread for the acoustics of this, as this is not the right please to post them.

George
Daveandrews
View Profile
Special user
London, UK
723 Posts

Profile of Daveandrews
Couldn't find the darned thread!
Ok, I used to use 2 x 500 watt active speakers, but boy were they heavy
I only used both if I was doing a school disco - for normal type birthday parties, one was more than sufficient for voice amplification and music. When using just the one, I would place it on the floor, under a small table, and never had any negative 'sound' issues.
I now have two Bose L Compacts, and use them in the same way.

If you want to know more, Stuart, by all means pm me.

Best wishes,

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

Winner of KIDabra International's 'People's Choice Award'
Winner IBM British Ring Dittia Shield for manipulation
garydunn
View Profile
Veteran user
Glasgow
303 Posts

Profile of garydunn
I highly recommend the Bose L1 Compact - a speaker with an almost 180 degree array, means you only need one, up to about 100 people. For bigger crowds, I use two.

http://www.bose.co.uk/GB/en/home-and-per......compact/
stuartmagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Derby England (UK)
226 Posts

Profile of stuartmagic
Thank you for your comments Dave and Gary.

Dave, 2 X 500 watt speakers ? now I know why you walk funny LOL. I think that would be way too much amplification for me, even with the parents talking away loudly at the back of the room as they sometimes ( always ) do.

I don't think really that I would need two speakers as I have managed with just one, especially when one packed up recently. I do wonder if the Bose L1 compact is the answer even if it looks like a submarine has just come up through the floor. The one I have seen is: http://www.valuebasket.com/en_GB/Bose-L1......od9RoApw which is the one I assume you mean. At £850 I would probably need to raid my second and third piggy bank, gulp ! but I am sure it's worth the money.

I know you both do magic and the games / music similar format to myself using this item, so I will have to look at it a bit more and see if it will meet my needs.

Thanks again,

Stuart.
aheads
View Profile
Regular user
Stockholm, Sweden
184 Posts

Profile of aheads
As PaulMcCartney said, "George Martin's going deaf. Now he only works in Mono".

My feelings on this are a mixed bag. I come from a background of live music performace and recording.

As far as quality is concerned, you only ever need one speaker for voice work (as you have just a mono input). More speakers distribute the sound better but add nothing to the sound. But as soon as you use any sound/song that was recorded in Stereo then you are not doing it justice by only using one speaker. It will sound fine and you'll get away with it without any complaints (as someone said earlier, we're not professional musicians).

However, if your system has a stereo output and you one speaker is plugged into, for example, the Left output channel, then you won't hear anything mixed to the Right side of the mix on your recording. Whole instruments, melodies, harmonies and effects just disappear.

If you are just running from a Mono output then most of the "feeling" and space in the music will be lost. Again, OK for kids parties and what not but if you want the audience to "feel" the music as part of your performance then stereo is the way to go. Ask Losander if he uses one speaker or two when floating his table on stage.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream
Darkness
View Profile
Inner circle
1456 Posts

Profile of Darkness
Michael do you ever get feedback from standing in front of your speakers at volume. If so how do you combat it? I think one speaker is plenty for a small to medium size crowd.
tophatevents
View Profile
New user
87 Posts

Profile of tophatevents
I agreewith gary, if you want just one speaker, the bose l1 compact is the way to go
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » One speaker or two ? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.34 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL