Probably a strange place to start a website blog, but it brings up an important point that applies to AV whether you ask us to help you with your Production needs or your AV installation.

Physics Matters.

That is the main mantra from the Sound seminar that we teach. As a result, a LOT of time, effort, research, and expense has been invested into creating products that deal with various aspects of physics in order to provide the best and most transparent experience possible.

I recently visited a temporary venue with some rented gear, and my curiosity caused me to see what was being used. What I saw took me a minute to fully digest, but when I did, I was astonished! The two speakers sitting on top of the subwoofer are QSC KLA12 speakers. KLA12s are designed to be used as part of what is called a Curved Line Array. They are meant to have a very narrow vertical dispersion (15 degrees) and a very wide horizontal dispersion (between 90-120 degrees). However, this is only true when the speakers are in landscape orientation where the wide part of the speaker is sideways and the narrow part of the speaker is oriented vertically. The idea is that you tightly connect multiple speakers together in a vertical array with one speaker on top of the next to get the vertical coverage you need with minimal phasing issues. In the environment these were in, two speakers stacked on top of each other with the back of the botttom speaker raised up a bit so the bottom of the front of the lower speaker was aimed at the first row of people would have worked as designed and sounded amazing for a very wide audience.  In fact, KLA12s have down-angled pole mounts on their bottom (under where you see the silver logo in the picture) for this exact purpose.

But that is NOT how these speakers were set up. As these speakers were being used, the birds and the worms in a very narrow path heard very well (and a few people...almost). However, not only were these speakers standing on their sides, they also were not fastened to each other as they were designed to be.  This created a bunch of phasing issues-- you know, the issues the speakers were designed to mitigate!  The end result was a lack of clarity and some harshness and some other artifacts throughout most of the listening area.

Now, the reality is that most of the people there didn't seem to care. I suppose a little alcohol goes a long way toward mitigating bad sound!  Most didn't even know that it could have sounded much better with a few changes in how the system was deployed.  Frankly, a single high quality properly aimed point source speaker (such as a QSC KW153) on each side would have probably sounded better (and cost a lot less). Without an AB comparison, people probably wouldn't now how bad things were and how much better they could have been given the quality of the components provided. And when things are done like this in an installation, people eventually "get used" to bad sound (if they stick around long enough).

Ultimately, the point here is that it is not just how much you have spent on equipment, but rather how you use the equipment you have available. We would love to help you with your next project to ensure you have great equipment THAT IS USED PROPERLY to give you the best experience possible!