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Expert Opinion Needed... PA System in a Field


ATVRacer

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Wow, this is a very cool forum. I've learned alot in the last hour, and am going to keep on reading.

 

I do have a question though and would like some help deciding on equipment that I need.

 

We are a part of an ATV Racing team and will be holding our new race in November. The setting is a big field with dirt, sand and trees (think of a race track). I'll have an announcer with a mic, who will be talking and making announcements, and playing music from an MP3 player.

 

The area is roughly 3-4 acres and could be crammed with hundreds or thousands of people and running ATVs.

 

Now I may have jumped the gun a little because I went to Guitar Center and bought one Macie SRM450 and the Mackie DFX6 mixer. That is all I bought that day, because they only had one in speaker in stock.

 

My questions are...

 

Does anybody think having 2 Mackie SRM450 will do this job or should I use more than that?

 

Any suggestions on what I should use would be great. I am totally open on how to finish putting my system together. I do have a small budget so telling me to go by 10K in speakers will not be possible right now.

 

I did go with active monitors so I could chain them all together and never need more amps. Was that a good idea??

 

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance....

 

ATVRacer

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In my smallish home town they closed off a section of the downtown area for a bike race a few months back. It sounds like an area of similar size to what you are talking about. Same deal; announcers with music in between chatter.

 

They used slaved Mackie 450's placed every 50 ft or so. They probably had about 6 on each side of the street, but they didn't have to compete with engines. They used a local PA comapny to provide for the sound, which is what I would recommend you do as well. To adequately cover an area that large, where you're also competing with a ton of noise, you're going to need mucho speakers and power. Let some pros handle it the first time. Maybe you can evaluate after that to see if you can do it on your own, but it seems like a serious investment for a one-off or annual event.....

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Find a friend with a 10000 Watt PA installed in their car. Park it in the middle of the facility and have a wireless receiver feed the AUX input on their stereo.

No cables needed other than at the initial Mixer/Mic/transmitter setup. Put a tape border around the car because the sound pressure will be enough to kill those that try to get to close to it.

 

of course....jk

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I witnessed just a pair of SRM450s each up on a pole stand fill a city block (less than 3-4 acres)with hip hop dance music. There were about 300 people dancing . The speakers were driving at about 70% capacity and they filled the block loud and clear. You would need to put them up on poles.

 

If you are going to compete with the noise of race cars then I don't know.

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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if it's a first time for what will hopefully be an ongoing thing i'ld follow the advice above and get a rental system for the first time especially considering the noise from the atv's that sai if you dont do that you'll most likely need another 3-7 cabs to do it especially if you want any bass response on the music side of it...
"style is determined not by what you can play but what you cant...." dave brubeck
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Honestly, I don't know if Mackie is the best speaker out there or not, but I can say that this one SRM450 I have is crazy loud.

 

I put it in my backyard, last weekend and turned it up. We had 2 parties that day. Well, just for my own thrills, I wanted to see what it could do so I put on some Nickelback, and turned it way up. It was so freakin' loud standing there. My neighbor who lives about 200 yards away said he could hear the sound very clearly.

 

If one is that loud, wouldn't 5-7 of these things be a monster sytem?

 

I plan on doing it myself the first time. I am a hands-on guy. Renting is just wasting money and I can afford a few of these cabs. Just not 7 of them right now.

 

I think I'll go with 3 or 4 cabinets for right now, work my way up from there. If I need more, then I guess I can always add them.

 

Four of these things have to be loud! Right?

 

I plan on getting the subwoofer after my first event. We will be running one a month for 10 months a year.

 

Thank you to everybody who gave me input!!! I really do appreciate it very much!

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ATVRacer, make sure you get speaker stands (poles) to elevate the speakers in the air as mentioned by Jazz+. That is the critical element in any usage of these powered PA speakers for an event like this.

 

Yes, these guys are loud. It's really hard to get a read though on what your needs will be given the size and probable noise level of the environment. But as long as they're in the air and you have 3-4, you should have a fighting chance to get the job done. Don't forget though you'll need a lot of extension power cords and XLR cable to slave these things together over a large area. Best of luck!

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Two will not get the job done if you want a commanding PA that will get people's attention and be clearly heard. These are club speakers (very good ones... I was in a band that used six of them) and don't have the heavy drivers of pro cabinets. An important difference is in the high end compression driver, which is a 1" exit crossed over at 1500 Hz in the Mackies. A real pro level cab uses at the least a 2" exit driver that crosses over at half that, and you want as much sound going through the horn as possible, because the horn will throw the sound a lot farther than the paper cone driver will.

 

But my strongest suggestion is to not buy anything until you talk to some pros in the sound reinforcement field. Here's a forum where some hang out:

 

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=33

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Originally posted by ATVRacer:

Honestly, I don't know if Mackie is the best speaker out there or not, but I can say that this one SRM450 I have is crazy loud.

 

I put it in my backyard, last weekend and turned it up. We had 2 parties that day. Well, just for my own thrills, I wanted to see what it could do so I put on some Nickelback, and turned it way up. It was so freakin' loud standing there. My neighbor who lives about 200 yards away said he could hear the sound very clearly.

 

If one is that loud, wouldn't 5-7 of these things be a monster sytem?

 

I plan on doing it myself the first time. I am a hands-on guy. Renting is just wasting money and I can afford a few of these cabs. Just not 7 of them right now.

 

I think I'll go with 3 or 4 cabinets for right now, work my way up from there. If I need more, then I guess I can always add them.

 

Four of these things have to be loud! Right?

 

I plan on getting the subwoofer after my first event. We will be running one a month for 10 months a year.

 

Thank you to everybody who gave me input!!! I really do appreciate it very much!

I've done sound like this for 20yrs And you are going to get in over your head very quickly. I suggest you check out rec.audio.live-sound or Prosoundweb live audio groups and find the Yammaha Live sound reinforcement Handbook. For instance You need to add many more (6-10) of those Mackies in very specific orientations to get (significantly louder than 1) & loud enough for what you want over (likley 105dB )of ATV noise. Rent a system & hire a pro first time youll learn lots and not blow $ & stuff up which is where you may be heading now :(

 

Good luck

Kevin T

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I tend to agree with Kevin. With the noise level, you're going to need a lot of speakers to cover the area. Another consideration. That many ATVs are going to kick up a lot of dust. Plus there might be inclement weather. Not a good thing for most intermediate to pro level systems. You need something designed to withstand the elements. That's why most tracks have loudspeaker horns. The fidelity is not good, but they're tough, and for announcing a race, they do the job.

 

Call a company that specializes in this form of sound reinforcement. Let them take the risk of component damage. Better out of their pocket than yours.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Years ago, I set up a PA for an event that a congresswoman showed up to speak. I was using 2 Peavey powered mixers linked together and 8 SA300 speakers spread around a large area. If I remember, the powered mixers did not have enough power out to bring the volume up to good coverage over the area intended. A big problem with PAs that you spread out over a wide area is the cables becoming trip hazards. With the SRM450s you are also talking about having power sources available. You will need extension cords to reach each one or a generator stationed at each.

The joke I made about having some loud car broadcasting the sound was not too far off from what you need. A rental company could easily drive in a truck with the speakers on it with a generator not too far away, all being driven from a wireless transceiver/receiver system. That setup would minimize the setup and take down time for all.

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