Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hangin' wit the BigE's

The last couple of days about all I've accomplished is listen to the BigE WT8's., and a LilE 12" sub.  I rigged up a system using my Digmoda DDCSW1000, 500watts per top, 1000w to the sub.  Took quite a while to set up the dsp, because that's enough horsepower to fry about everything in the system.  Especially the tweeters and the sub.  I intended to biamp the tops, feed the tweets from a 4 channel Behringer I have.  For some reason the pass through on the Digmoda board isn't working.  I've never tried it before, I have a feeling it's user error.  I think there's something I need to set in the dsp, as they are labeled filtered output.

So I just dropped a couple of caps across the tweets and ran.  The tops are loaded with our proprietary drivers, a Faital tweeter, the sub with a 4ohm Lab 12 Eminence was kind enough to send me to try out.

The room they are running in is about 15x20.  A little small considering these are designed for flown line array use in arenas and installs.   The sound in stereo is interesting to say the least.  The astounding articulation I described in the previous post is still there.  The soundfield is huge.  HUGE.  Sound seems to float in front of the drivers.  Nothing directional to the speakers is identifiable, it's all out in space.  Another listener who's heard a BigE says it's almost like the sound appears in your head, and that's true.  Especially midrange stuff, like vocals. I was listening to what I thought was an instrumental track, and I literally jumped when the vocals started.

I was warned to be careful with the sub.  High excursion drivers can act funny with the vortex.  And the Lab did when pushed hard.  The bass was tight, defined and fabulous.  When I cranked it hard, (and I mean hard) the cone would go into an uncontrolled excursion, moving back and forth to it's limits and holding there for a second or so.  Drop the power a tad and it stopped.  Steven and Tom told me to reverse the driver mounting, motor out, high excursion drivers need a bigger space.  It helped a lot, still did it when I was reaching big power.  Of course I was running a 1k amp into a 500w driver too ;-).   Today I'm going to drop in a 3012lf and see how it goes.  It didn't help I only had one sub playing with 2 tops.  Poor thing was getting it's ass handed to it.  They guys tell me a 1-1 ratio is required, 2-1 for outside use. 

The tweaking starts today.  Time to quit having fun, get the biamp working and start playing with crossover points and slopes. With the Digmoda's I can tweak on the fly, from simple 6db slope up to 96db slope high order.   It will adjust for gain, phase, set limiters, compressors, do 6 kinds of filters, side chain processing, stuff I'm not sure what it is, the works.  A seriously great tool to do this with.  Right now I'm going to do it all by ear.  When I get my software here in the next week or two I'll finalize the crossover points and then do them in analog for the basic rig.  The self powered cabs will use Digmoda.  Pricey, but worth it. The market  these particular boxes are aimed at is the top end.  There are 2 new cabs coming aimed at the middle.  Not leaving anybody out here.  What I learn here will translate into the lower priced cabs. 

I have settled on ARTA for software.  The price is right, it does 90% of what I need.  I downloaded the manuals and started doing my homework.  This is going to take a while.  Learning new things is good for your brain when you're "middle aged"  like me.  But it sure is a bitch. 

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