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Sub Placement: Center Stage or Left / Right

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Zooberwerx, Apr 30, 2009.


  1. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Alright, what's it gonna be? I've read pros and cons on both and need to fabricate new cables. My cabs will accommodate topside posts and main cabs so L / R placement will have less of a "footprint" but I understand there are sonic considerations.

    Riis
     
  2. jtrow

    jtrow

    Mar 1, 2009
    Mid America
    Placing the subs in the center gives quite a bit more low end, but I know it's not always possible. Another thing to think about is if you center your subs' will your mains be high enough? Are you on a tall enough stage or do you have speaker stands? If none of that is an issue, I think you should center your subs whenever you can.

    My PA system has enough cables to place the subs L/R, and when possible clustered in the center. And we make sure the mains are high enough by using either speaker stands or spacer boxes.
     
  3. Our subs & amps are more than large enough so it's not an issue, but I'm going to try that some outdoor gig.

    One advantage of how we set up is the subs L & R is it helps protect the speaker tripods. Center placement might give better & more even sub levels, but a drunk taking out a top AND a guitarist will greatly reduce your sound quality.
     
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yeah, we use tripods for the mains. We also position the subs together center stage. Hmmm....maybe we had it right from the start.

    Riis
     
  5. Cluster in the center. L/R config results in noise cancellation and huge sonic holes in FOH.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    And if you cant cluster in the middle, you're better off to cluster them on one side only.
     
  7. Word.
     
  8. Hmmm . . .
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sounds like you're talking about "comb filtering". From what I've read, it fits your description to the mark. IIRC, if you walk across the venue / dance floor you'll encounter regions where the sound drops out almost entirely.

    Riis
     
  10. Exactly.
     
  11. Micky-D

    Micky-D

    Apr 7, 2009
    Townsville
    With all respect, that is dependant on how you position your woofers. Here's a trick if you have subs to spare. Place your woofers L/R in-line with the stage, then place another pair of identical woofers a quarter wavelength of your lowest usable frequency (35Hz is usually a good one) behind them. Delay the front pair to match the rear and bam, instant cardioid bass array. Well, semi-cardioid and you need to delay your fills to match but hey, better than low frequency stage wash.

    But still, an aux fed center cluster or stage front line works well.

    Cheers,
    Mick
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    hmmm, sounds like a PSW-type wandered over to talkbass! :D
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    All those with subs to spare, raise your wallets ;)

    That sounds like a lot of work, dude. I think it's easier and way more practical just to cluster them in the center or one side. Personal opinion. Sounds like fun if you have an expensive system, though.
     
  14. trailer

    trailer Thumper Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Guntersville, Al.
    I'm curious... when you guys talk about centering the subs it seems impractical to me. I mean how do you do it?
    Like put them on the floor in front of the stage? I'm not sure I'd want to do that since they'd end up with beer and puke and god knows what else all over them at the places we play.
    Put them front and center onstage with us? That seems weird.
    Center stage towards the back? Weirder..
    Somebody help me out here please.
     
  15. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    montana
    We sometimes center-cluster subs on the floor directly in front of the stage. This usually means that they are on the dance floor. I tape a piece of paper on top of them and write in big letters "NO DRINKS PLEASE". By the end of the night some drunken loser will still put his drink on the subs, usually right on my little no drinks sign.
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    that's it. you can't always do that, but when you can, the increased thump is fantastic.
     
  17. trailer

    trailer Thumper Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Guntersville, Al.
    K thanks fellas. Definitely somethin to think about.
    Cheers!
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's not impractical everywhere, but a lot of times it is. You put them on one side or the other in those cases. It's still better than putting them on both sides unless there's enough distance between them to not comb (I think it's like 28 ft. but I'm not sure about the exact distance).
     

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