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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Line Arrays vs Traditional Set Ups


This is kind of a touchy subject that has risen in the past few years. As line array systems are growing in popularity, there are still mixed opinions about them vs traditional sound systems. We would like to hear the experiences that you have had with line arrays, any likes or dislikes, and if you have any favorite manufacturer(s).
May 25, 2002 @09:07pm

Disregarding clubs… for large venues and/or outdoors the line array is a clear winner. Walk around & use your ears… it’s that simple.
Virtually every major touring company has gone the line array route now and with good reason… it works better! :D
With things spread out in the horizontal plane (especially with CD horns) there’s way too much overlap and polar patterns go out the window. Vertical arrays do a much better job of projecting the sound field.
As for manufacturers… there are a number of good ones now that we’re further along the learning curve… pick your favorite & it likely sounds good.
Personally, Showco’s Prism system comes to mind as a good one. :D
July 20, 2002 @09:09pm
Ed Belknap

Yeah, I'd almost bet that 5 years from now EVERYONE will be touring with a line array, and trapezoid boxes will be as much an anachronism as Yamaha DX-7's and Acoustic 360's.
I'm pretty fond of the (original) L'Acoustic VDOSC rig, as well as the dVDOSC. The McCauley and the EAW don't suck either! If you happen to catch Pat Metheny on the curent tour you'll hear the Middlehouse FRV (I think that's the model number), which I think has the potential to be one of the finest sounding live boxes out there (just needs a bit more refinement in the rigging options).
July 26, 2002 @01:37am

I dunno...we had Blues Traveler in a big gym last weekend, and V-Dosc didn't sound so hot. Maybe it was the way it was set up, but there were hot spots as I went up the bleachers on the sides of the room.
Not only that, but I HATE the high end on V-Dosc boxes. Maybe it's the FOH tech's mix, but everything north of 8k sounds like overdriven static. Why does this happen? Do the FOH guys think it's supposed to sound like this?
November 18, 2002 @06:40pm

I am a big fan of the V-DOSC rig. especially now that the new V-DOSC sub is out. The problem at the Blues Traveler show may have been many things though. 1) Has any show ever sounded good in there? 2) Were they able to rig the sytem where they wanted? 3) Were there abnormal time constraints? AS far as their FOH engineer, I worked with Blues Traveler a couple of months ago on a V-Dosc rig, outdoors however. Even at high altitude, the rig sounded great. Blues Traveler sounded alright. I was not overly impressed with their engineer, but it definately did not sound bad. Ther were 15 other bands on the bill over 3 days, and to be honest, some of the bands that sounded the best were mixed by the Sound Companies engineers and not the touring one. Also, this show was at very high altitude, that could also be a little difficult for the traveling engineers. I have heard the EAW and the EV and the JBL line arrays. In my opinion, they don't even come close to the V-DOSC boxes. I do however really like the Nexo and the McCauly arrays, and even the Adamson rig. I guess it is very hard to say though. You have to ask yourself, how much of what you hear that you don't like is the boxes, and how much is it poor engineering or system teching, or a horrible room etc...
November 19, 2002 @05:31pm