Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
- July 29, 2010 at 7:28 am #262164
Dion HickeyParticipantAs part of a 50 strong community choir, I have been given the task of researching the replacement of our ancient, very heavy speakers and amplifier which we only use when away from our home base (where we have a fixed electronic piano).Our excellent (travelling) keyboard is a Yamaha P-140 stage piano which has two built in 6W speakers and RCA pin plugs (Fixed Level) for connecting to external devices.We normally have one speaker facing the choir and the other facing the audience.The problems we have are many, the major ones being that nobody has a clue about audio electronics and we don’t even have the user manual for the amplifier. The kit (ROKK) must be at least twenty years old and is very heavy, the speakers require two people to lift them onto their poles. I don’t know what the wattage is but it must be more than we need as the optimum volume setting rarely needs to be moved above the minimum. And most importantly the amplified sound is not true to the Yamaha (of course this could be due to our lack of knowledge about set-up).Our venues are typically village halls and churches with an audience of up to 200.We might be able to raise £500 for this project but ideally, less than this.All recommendations for an idiot proof, lightweight system would be gratefully received.DionJuly 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm #262198
John HowellParticipantDion: I’ve been away from the amplification business for too long to make specific recommendations, but here’s the basics of what you need to know. And it sounds as if you need amplification ONLY for your piano, and not for your singers or for an announcer, correct?You definitely need a keyboard amplifier, NOT a guitar amplifier and not a full sound system, which it sounds as if you now have. A keyboard amplifier has the wide frequency response needed to cover the full range of a piano, while a guitar amp has a deliberately limited frequency range. And by “amplifier” I mean a single box which contains the pre-amp and controls, the amplifier itself, and one or more speakers, often with a pair of legs that allows it to sit on the floor in a tipped position.There has ALWAYS been a tradeoff between sound quality and weight. It takes a large (and heavy) magnet to drive the lowest notes through the speaker, although modern designs have reduced that tradeoff to some extent. And by the same token, it is ALWAYS best to use as little of an amplifier’s power as possible in order to keep the sound clean and avoid distortion, which you will get if you have to turn up to the limit of the amplifier’s power. Your present setup is just fine on both counts.And like Robert, I have to question why you are using two speakers. You want your keyboard to sound like a piano, right? And that means NOT feeding it though a house speaker, which only calls attention to it to the detriment of your choral sound. Unfortunately most speakers (and all the high quality ones) are directional, so in part this depends on where you usually place your keyboard. If it is to one side, a single amp can very easily be heard by both the chorus and the audience. If it is centered in front of the chorus, you might indeed need a second amp for the chorus. Here’s your “rule of thumb”: you are NOT a rock band, and you don’t need a rock sound setup!As to the sound being true to the Yamaha, what I read here is that it does not sound just like the Yamaha sounds through its internal speakers. But that it probably a GOOD thing, since 6-watt speakers (which actually means 6-watt internal amplifiers that feed small speakers designed to handle no more power than that) are simply not going to give you the kind of sound the keyboard may be capable of.The good news is that these days any number of manufacturers make and market a wide variety of amplifiers and speakers to serve many different needs, many of them as pretty simple self-contained systems. A couple of brand names I’ve seen used to good effect here in the U.S. are Peavey and ElectroVoice. I’m not familiar with the Behringer, but Robert’s recommendation sounds good to me. But if you’re just making a change for the convenience, perhaps you want to give it a second thought. 20-year old sound equipment, if it was good to begin with, should be just as good today if it has not been damaged. It’s entirely possible that the equipment you already have, perhaps used differently and NOT lifted onto stands but aimed to create an on-stage sound that pleases you and satisfies your audiences, is already in your hands. And with venues seating up to 200, you should need very little else.All the best,JohnJuly 31, 2010 at 10:38 am #262348
Dion HickeyParticipantRobert and John,Many thanks for your ideas. I hope you will forgive me for a follow up question:We normally have the piano to one side, between the choir and the audience. Bearing in mind that with 50 singers we are spread out across the stage (typically 4 rows of 12ish), if we placed a (single) speaker opposite and facing the piano, wouldn’t this mean that the altos, close to the speaker, would get the full blast and the sopranos and particularly the accompanist on the far side would not hear it so well?I suppost the ideal, if there is such a thing, would be a centred speaker which emits its sound in both directions, or is that the point of those small stands which allows the amp/speaker to be tipped at an angle?And yes John, the amplification is only required for the piano.With renewed thanks,DionAugust 1, 2010 at 12:09 am #262376
John HowellParticipantDion: Yes, a single speaker placed right at the piano might not carry well across a large stage. One solution might be to run a speaker cable to the opposite side of the stage for the main amp, but to leave the internal speakers on the keyboard on for the benefit of the singers closest to it. (If the plugging options on the keyboard allow that, of course. They might automatically cut out the internal speakers when the line out is used.)Unfortunately a bi-directional speaker doesn’t really exist, because the shaping and porting of the box around the speaker is part of the sound that it produces. But if you decide you still have to go with 2 speakers, I’d still suggest that they be aimed across the stage so that all the sound appears to come from the stage, and not from speakers directed out into the audience. Is your rehearsal hall such that you could experiment with this, perhaps using your present speakers?John
Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.