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Mixing Crowd to FOH
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Mixing Crowd to FOH

Hi all! I’m working through a design that would support mixing in the crowd sounds (singing along) to the FOH... so feeding the crowd back to themselves.

I’m considering using a “wall of sound”, out of phase technique to avoid the issues. Anyone down something like this? Since I’d be picking up reflected sound a lot, would I get the right cancellations?

TIA!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

All about mic placement. Orient them so they’re rejecting the main PA , ring out a few freq before show , should be fine.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Can you please clarify what type of situation this is?

Permanent install, tear down mobile, house of worship?

The problem with your idea is that to get the mics in a good position to have a good picture of the crowd likely means a lot of distance between the mics and the crowd OR a huge number of mics closer up.

Close mic'ng crowds will save you from feedback issues but will also highlight people close up, if this includes non desirable sounds like drunk people, bad singing, etc then that's a problem.

If you insist on running crowd mics through the PA then please use brickwall limiters on the mics to avoid harmful feedback.

If you had a budget you could run the crowd mics out to separate speakers mounted above the crowd or in the corners pointing down that way the crowd support is coming from the crowd area and not the main PA.

Have a blessed day!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks y’all! Good points on all accounts, especially the limited. Yes, this is a church. I thought about two condensers toward the crowd, in series opposition and how that might be expanded on. I kept getting stuck there and wonders if anyone else has used that basic principe in this way. It may not be possible at all but it’s been fun to tackle it. It could change everything, especially for churches hehe!
Different speakers would be great. It would be permanent.
I’ve looked at just doing mics at the edge of the stage etc, but it doesn’t solves my ambition to mix it in live in the room.
Thanks again!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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I'm afraid I might be a bit of a curmudgeon here, and quite possibly making some baseless assumptions, but it seems really backwards to me to have to mic up the congregation in a church so they can hear themselves singing. Couldn't you just control the level of the praise band (or whatever) sufficiently so they could hear themselves? What are the sound levels like in the church, anyhow--and how many years of regular attendance would it take to cause hearing loss among the parishioners?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

You need to calculate the delay to see if it will work. If you can keep it under 6ms for the majority of the audience it might work. Greater than that and you'll start running into problems. This means you're going to want your mics set as close to the singers as possible. I'd start with hanging "choir mics" directly above the first few rows...depending on the overall depth of the sanctuary area. If your room is wide and shallow you're better off. Deep and narrow and all bets are off.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I've never tried this, but would expect it to be a hiding to nowhere.
Few mics vs many mics - the more open mics you have, the lower your gain before feedback.
Are you likely to get any noticable output? Whatever the level of the crowd, you're going to have to apply a reasonable amount of gain to hear them over the original SPL in the room - can you actually achieve that level of gain before feedback (and, even sooner) ringing?
What's the intended purpose of this? Could it really be as simple as hoping to encourage them to sing louder?
Are you sure you're not looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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I wanna buy the srx 828 subs please help which one to go for, passive or active??
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

In modern church designs made to play amplified music the room itself is VERY dead, often overly damped to the point of inanity. system installers who are NOT acousticians offer to do the acoustics and the result is often 80% of the walls covered in 3" thick acoustics panels.

The result is that there is no re-enforcement to encourage and support congregational signing, think "singing in the shower".
The OPs idea is legit, but not it's implementation. I believe Meyer constellation has mics on the whole crowd and separate speakers to support the singing.

OP, even if you could get enough gain before feeback and push it back through the main PA the crowd singing would not sound right coming from the main PA.
Congregational support is a local phenomenon. Each person should hear their own voice just a little bit more then the people next to them, and then a very loud diffuse crowd sound where minor imperfections in timing and tone don't stick out.

Mic'ing the crowd as you describe will remove the local phenomenon part.

Since this isn't the acoustics forum, I will brainstorm some crazy ideas to solve the problem with live gear.

A simple experiment would be to do 2 stage mics facing the crowd and 2 mics in the back facing the croud.

Then position some speakers to shoot up into the ceiling and bounce down Atmos style.

1. Are the walls covered in sound panels?
2. What is is the ceiling made out of?

Here is some info about Constellation.
https://www.mixonline.com/the-wire/m...-church-424585
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
We recently supplied a Shure ANI22-XLR and a pair of Audix SCX-1 C to a large church client for this purpose
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Our sound levels are around 97-93 with peaking at 98.even regular attendance wouldn’t do permanent damage. The idea is that although we can, and do, turn down the band to bring out the congregation, it’s a limited benefit in our space. Their voices don’t carry well because the room isn’t build well for that. Plus, it’s a mid sized congregation, not thousands that can break through. However this certainly isn’t a deal breaker issue. Just something extra to add to the experience, to give a smaller congregation the feeling of a larger group.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Yes, all the issues you’ve mentioned are the issues I’m troubleshooting. Just looking into new possible designs to overcome the old standard issues. It’s not a problem we have at all. It’s just something we want to ADD to the experience. In a congregation of thousands you can heard everyone right along with the band. Just looking to bring that home sometimes. But, it’s not major issue or problem to solve. Just a benefit!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownTheLine View Post
In modern church designs made to play amplified music the room itself is VERY dead, often overly damped to the point of inanity. system installers who are NOT acousticians offer to do the acoustics and the result is often 80% of the walls covered in 3" thick acoustics panels.

The result is that there is no re-enforcement to encourage and support congregational signing, think "singing in the shower".
The OPs idea is legit, but not it's implementation. I believe Meyer constellation has mics on the whole crowd and separate speakers to support the singing.

OP, even if you could get enough gain before feeback and push it back through the main PA the crowd singing would not sound right coming from the main PA.
Congregational support is a local phenomenon. Each person should hear their own voice just a little bit more then the people next to them, and then a very loud diffuse crowd sound where minor imperfections in timing and tone don't stick out.

Mic'ing the crowd as you describe will remove the local phenomenon part.

Since this isn't the acoustics forum, I will brainstorm some crazy ideas to solve the problem with live gear.

A simple experiment would be to do 2 stage mics facing the crowd and 2 mics in the back facing the croud.

Then position some speakers to shoot up into the ceiling and bounce down Atmos style.

1. Are the walls covered in sound panels?
2. What is is the ceiling made out of?

Here is some info about Constellation.
https://www.mixonline.com/the-wire/m...-church-424585
Thank you for your feedback! That is helpful, particularly your mention of the local phenomenon. I also liked the idea of using separate speakers. I will look at the Constellation too. Our room is has a lot of natural deadening, but not too much. It’s certainly not designed for good acoustics. But if it were full... I wouldn’t even be thinking about this puzzle. It would likely have a good crowd sound if it were full, and of actually singing people. I know all the standard issues that come with the idea, which is why I’m brainstorming new designs to achieve it. It’s
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
You need to calculate the delay to see if it will work. If you can keep it under 6ms for the majority of the audience it might work. Greater than that and you'll start running into problems. This means you're going to want your mics set as close to the singers as possible. I'd start with hanging "choir mics" directly above the first few rows...depending on the overall depth of the sanctuary area. If your room is wide and shallow you're better off. Deep and narrow and all bets are off.
This is our basic plan as it stands. We will of course use the mics for the streaming feed and recording first and foremost. But in hanging mics there it seems a fun task to overcome this barrier and use it in the house! Thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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And our walls are not covered. We have two walls that are cinderblock and two that are sheet rock and wood. The ceiling is a drop ceiling 16 ft high. We have carpet.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacks77874 View Post
And our walls are not covered. We have two walls that are cinderblock and two that are sheet rock and wood. The ceiling is a drop ceiling 16 ft high. We have carpet.
If the cinderblock are raw, don't ever paint them!

I've seen it ruin acoustics every time.

If people aren't singing it could be the SPL is too loud or too quiet.

I'm just thinking off the top of my head but it would be SUPer COOL to build exciter panels that are set up as the speakers on the walls and they send properly EQ'd sound back into the crowd while avoiding problems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKIye4RZ-5k

I am not sure about how to create a pattern that will bathe the crowd in sound but avoid any overhead choir mics you may use.

Maybe small line arrays on the sides would work?

Something like THIS

https://www.danleysoundlabs.com/prod...-speakers/sbh/

This Danley line array has a pattern of 140 by 10!

such a tight pattern would hopefully allow you throw the crowd sound back at the crowd and not into any choir mics overhead.

Or maybe 2 line arrays on each side wall and mics inbetween them on the walls pointing at the crowd. The mics/speaker combo would have to be designed to avoid feedback.

I'm not sure if you mentioned, but what are the dimensions of your space?

Bands use small line arrays on a stick/column line arrays behind open vocals mics and avoid feedback because of the nature of the line array.
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