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Is a cardioid sub array worth considering for new venue? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 10th April 2019
  #1
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Is a cardioid sub array worth considering for new venue?

Hi, I'm working with a community project that is renovating an old post office, sorting yard, and depot. The depot is being used as a music venue and going really well, however one end of the warehouse has a building attached that contains a couple of flats. There is a real problem with bass frequencies rattling the flats.. The current occupants are more than happy with tickets and hospitality at events which is fortunate.

The warehouse/depot is a red brick shell, a couple of layers and extremely solid. It's roughly 24x14m, it's not quite square. The wall is roughly 5m high, with a large steel A frame and a new modern tin backed roof.
The renovation of the building is a rolling project, and we will be securing funding for sound treatment works.
At the moment the plan is to build two floating walls at the end with the flats attached. But I'm worried even this wont be enough.

We (or promotors) currently hire in PA's and have them at the opposite end to the flats. It is my job to start looking into an instal PA. I have been reading up on cardioid sub arrays, and was wondering what the consensus was on them? Would moving the stage to the end of the warehouse with the flats attached, and setting up a carioid array, be effective at reducing low frequency disturbance in the attached building?
The hall currently has a capacity of 440, and could soon go to over 550. We like some bass heavy things
Old 11th April 2019
  #2
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a cardioid sub array won't make any difference regarding your neighbours: you can get some pattern control/less energy behind the array (which is good for less bass spill onto the stage/to monitor world) but the overall output will be the same...
Old 11th April 2019
  #3
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You will have about 12 db less behind the subs in cardoid mode (depending on brand and how you place your subs).
That will most likely not be enough for your neighbors.
Old 11th April 2019
  #4
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
You will have about 12 db less behind the subs in cardoid mode (depending on brand and how you place your subs).
That will most likely not be enough for your neighbors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
a cardioid sub array won't make any difference regarding your neighbours: you can get some pattern control/less energy behind the array (which is good for less bass spill onto the stage/to monitor world) but the overall output will be the same...
Exactly. Sub arrays (re)direct the energy, the only overall reduction being the amount of cancellation required to form the pattern of the array. The amount of sound within the enclosed space remains essentially unchanged.
Old 12th April 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
You will have about 12 db less behind the subs in cardoid mode (depending on brand and how you place your subs).
That will most likely not be enough for your neighbors.
This is true when the subs are in free space, or placed on the ground.
Indoors, all that changes when you add in reflections from the room itself.

Chris
Old 12th April 2019
  #6
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Cardiod subs may be a inadequate solution.
To me the gorilla in the room is the tin roof. Sound can turn it into a very big speaker.
Old 16th April 2019
  #7
I once did a gig for a very high-end client in a historic space where low bass leakage to adjacent facilities was a concern, as was there concern that the vibration could cause damage to some of the architecture of the facility.

In this situation I ended up using the Waves MaxxBCL


Using this allowed me to reduce actual LF while still making it appear as though the low end was VERY full. Additionally, it provides some pattern control for the bass, as the frequencies used by Waves' process occur higher than the fundamental and can thus sometimes take advantage of the pattern control of the mains. It does affect the physical impact/punch depending on how aggressively you use it, but was an acceptable tradeoff, in this case while the event was loud, we didn't need it to be pant flapping and hit you in the chest bass so I used it very aggressively. The event was very successful and the MaxxBCL was a critical piece at that show. It's a highly useful box.

It might be worth renting one to see if it's useful in your application. Used less aggressively, you could use it to get rid of the low lows which are super hard to control acoustically, but leave some of the upper bass intact to maintain punch. You could also buy punchier subs that don't need to extend as low (ie no need for much output below 40Hz), and yet they will seem like they go much lower because of the MaxxBCL effect.

Trying to treat your space for LF is going to be big and expensive - ie cut down on your capacity. It's still worth taking steps there, but I would suggest a multi-faceted approach to managing LF.

Last edited by bambamboom; 16th April 2019 at 02:02 AM..
Old 16th April 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wotnwhy View Post
The depot is being used as a music venue and going really well, however one end of the warehouse has a building attached that contains a couple of flats. There is a real problem with bass frequencies rattling the flats.
...............
The hall currently has a capacity of 440, and could soon go to over 550. We like some bass heavy things
The real problem sounds like your venue is probably not well suited for live music, especially of the kind you describe, owing to the proximity to the pre-existing neighbours. I suspect a change of occupant in the flat may bring complaints which will really scupper you and, as the flats were there first, you have no defence.
I suspect that the only viable long term solution would be some serious acoustic treatment, which is likely to include structural changes, and won't be cheap.
What's your budget, where are you (I'm guessing UK), and is the local council on your side?
Old 16th April 2019
  #9
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Hate to chime in as the pessimist, but once the neighbors don't like their homes being rattled, it's basically either buy them out or pack up. Milk it while you can, but a cardioid sub array won't buy you much time. Might as well pound it legit until the lawyers shut it down. We all gotta die from something, can't speak for you but I'm not dying from compromises.
Old 16th April 2019
  #10
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2SPL View Post
Hate to chime in as the pessimist, but once the neighbors don't like their homes being rattled, it's basically either buy them out or pack up. Milk it while you can, but a cardioid sub array won't buy you much time. Might as well pound it legit until the lawyers shut it down. We all gotta die from something, can't speak for you but I'm not dying from compromises.
Yup, it's not about SPL. Ever been kept awake at night by a dripping faucet?
Old 16th April 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wotnwhy View Post
Hi, I'm working with a community project that is renovating an old post office, sorting yard, and depot. The depot is being used as a music venue and going really well, however one end of the warehouse has a building attached that contains a couple of flats. There is a real problem with bass frequencies rattling the flats.. The current occupants are more than happy with tickets and hospitality at events which is fortunate.

The warehouse/depot is a red brick shell, a couple of layers and extremely solid. It's roughly 24x14m, it's not quite square. The wall is roughly 5m high, with a large steel A frame and a new modern tin backed roof.
The renovation of the building is a rolling project, and we will be securing funding for sound treatment works.
At the moment the plan is to build two floating walls at the end with the flats attached. But I'm worried even this wont be enough.

We (or promotors) currently hire in PA's and have them at the opposite end to the flats. It is my job to start looking into an instal PA. I have been reading up on cardioid sub arrays, and was wondering what the consensus was on them? Would moving the stage to the end of the warehouse with the flats attached, and setting up a carioid array, be effective at reducing low frequency disturbance in the attached building?
The hall currently has a capacity of 440, and could soon go to over 550. We like some bass heavy things
Sounds like the problem is vibration, and the best solution to the problem is to physically decouple the source of the vibration from the building. One of the most effective but least expensive solutions is to use air springs under your subwoofers and stage especially since decoupling the entire floor might not be feasible.

I've used air springs as shown below in industrial, marine and music venue situations to effectively reduce direct and indirect vibration in buildings, on ships and even in open air situations. Even top flight venues like Ancienne Belgique in the center of Brussels use air springs under their ground stacked subs to control vibration.

Verify that the venue and the flats are not sitting on the same slab and/or foundation because another, or an additional solution would be to ether cut the slab between the two buildings and/or make the slab under the stage and subwoofers thicker giving it more mass. If under the venue floor is hollow you could also put jacks under the stage to reduce vibration too. All of these are just engineering solutions that are usually less expensive than moving to a new place, some may however not apply to your situation because of local laws and budget etc.

The air spring solution is relatively inexpensive and should be doable, and although I can't say for sure that this solution will fix your problem definitively, I'm pretty sure it will reduce it without compromising or negatively affecting the sound in the room.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
While cardiod subs can be effective outdoors in reality you are adding more sound to the room and the null ain’t where the complainers are.
Do not minimize the importance of decoupling. Proper decoupling has mitigated the problem in a few cases...ranging from 18th floor penthouse apartments..2 miles across the lake from one club..even from Coconut Grove to Key Biscayne. All solved by decoupling.
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