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has anyone here done this before? essentially have the normal L+R mix, but also have a L+R in the rear. (of course subwoofers where appropriate too)

I imagine the easiest way to do this would be with a mixer with 4+ submix outputs -- one for each corner / speaker -- and route each channel where it should sit.

Or it could be done with a few Aux channels. i think this would be a bit tougher since I like the feel of faders. 8-)

and if so, how would you arrange things? it's fun to think about different styles of music and "where" you'd put the different instruments/vocals/effects/etc. !


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Boswell Wed, 09/05/2007 - 04:22

I'm not a fan of 4-corner speaker setups for PA use. However, when I've met them in venues I've had to work in, I either slave the rear corners to the normal L-R mix or use the 5.1 surround sound mode in my Yamaha 01V96. If you set it up right, you get full fader control, but it's quite a handful to manage a live sound mix in this way, and also of questionable sonic value other than for special effects.

moonbaby Wed, 09/05/2007 - 05:59

Why would anyone really want to do that? I mean, even STEREO is a handful to properly present in many venues. The audience is all spread out in the room and you have a different perspective in every seat.

Like Bos said, it might be good for special effects in the theater...MIGHT.
I was fortunate to see Pink Floyd on their Dark Side of the Moon tour in June 1973. They used a quad system to 'fly' the background sounds (laughing lunatics, zooming airplanes, etc.) around in the room. But in that case, the sounds were constantly being panned around, nothing static.
Given the right "herbal inebreation", it was quite a rush. But the basic band was still presented in a typical stereo least as well as I can recall!

moonbaby Wed, 09/05/2007 - 11:38

Well, in an outdoor event, that's even worse because you're dealing with much greater distances. Speakers are spread out so far apart, especially those remote towers that you see in the rear, that they have to use time delay processing to get the sound from becoming a trainwreck.
And it's great that you haven't had any issues with stereo mixing, but in larger venues enough folks have to have convinced mixer manufacturers to develop LCR panning. That "C" represents a THIRD ("Center") bus, where a central cluster is used to avoid "holes" in the typical stereo spread across a large stage, specifically when dealing with spoken word and/or vocals.

moonbaby Wed, 09/05/2007 - 12:55

Do what you want, Dave. It's just that most of what you've suggested has been tried before, many years ago. You want to put a player in the back of the field, and another up front, whatever, knock yourself out. Multi-channel effects have been used in theater and in concerts with very limited results. Live sound is a totally different ballgame than what can be done in a livingroom. The physics of the situation dictate this.
In the scheme of things, what does it matter what I think? You asked for feedback, you got it. You were entitled to propose an idea, and I was entitled to disagree with it. That's all. Maybe someone who has done what you've described and gotten great results will chime in...

sheet Wed, 09/05/2007 - 16:54

Things to consider:

The band. How are they going to like hearing a delayed mix hitting them in the face? It's going to be hard to keep time and stay focused with a 1 ms per foot delay.

I have done surround mixes live on Pro Tools. Herbie Hancock has done them as well. It works for effects for the people dead center in the room. Everyone else misses out, because of their relationship to the center.

Phase. If you do two identical mixes, you are going to have some phase issues.


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