Eight-channel speaker placement ...

Subject: Eight-channel speaker placement ...
From: Kevin Austin (kevin.austin@videotron.ca)
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 20:03:12 EDT

There are two main types of 8-channel set-ups, formal and arbitrary.
Arbitrary ones will place speakers anywhere, often in a very site
specific fashion.

There are two main (formal) "flat" speaker placement configurations
shown briefly in the graphics after the signature. The main
difference being whether or not there is a center-front and a
center-back speaker.

There are many (other) matters to take into consideration here, but
first, comments on each of the three main forms.

In all of these situations, IME, one must consider that about 60-70%
of the seats in the hall will be poorly suited, so for an audience of
100, the hall should seat around 250 - 350, minimum.

The Shoebox is characteristic of many traditional halls that will
place the speakers along the sides of the hall. A quick examination
will show that there is no 'sweet spot' in this set-up; every seat in
the house has some deficiencies. Some halls are 'recital halls' which
are wider than they are deep and this has to handled in a
site-specific fashion as the side speakers are closer to more of the
audience than the front speakers.

The Oval corrects the "corners problem of the pure shoebox by tipping
in the front speakers and 'shortening' the distance to the back. This
set-up provides a wide range of 'good' seating positions.

The Circle, evenly spaced, looks good but reduces available seats and
produces few 'best seats'.

These three 'basic' patterns are easily adapted to the Double-diamond
configuration. Some of the same considerations apply.

All of these can have added sub-woofer channel(s) providing 8.1 (or
8.2) configurations.

For a concert that will use both Oval and Double-diamond, the easiest
(but not cheap) way to do this is to install 10 speakers, an Oval
with optional Center-front and Center-back speakers.

Numbering of the channels can be arbitrary, as long as it is clear and logical.

Issues of how to create, store, transport and present 8-channel
pieces are a continuation of this thread.



PS In September there will be a small symposium on this in Montreal.
A Call for participation and details to follow.

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