Re: advice please ... since you asked

Subject: Re: advice please ... since you asked
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Fri Sep 10 2004 - 09:55:49 EDT

I've just built an 8-channel and a 10-channel system. The speakers
were purchased and the systems use 5.1 and 6.1 amps (2 each) -- total
cost of amplification, under $900 CAN, total power 2,200 watts. These
systems (with small mixers) also have subwoofers, a consideration not
met with most active speaker set-ups.

If the space you are working in is large, there are other
considerations. I recently spent an hour and a quarter listening to
Janet Cardiff's Forty Voice Motet in Toronto (Canada). An
"interesting" idea, in a terrible realization. The average stay of
people who walked into the gallery was 5 - 6 minutes; the piece is
almost twice as long. During this time, only one (other) person
stayed for more than one complete playthrough.

The technical misconceptions and the musical problems were all over
the place. The room was large and quite live. There was no
significant separation of voices unless the listener worked very hard
to do acoustical isolation; the singing was from reasonable to poor.
The musical realization had 2 and 3 (soprano) voices per part,
sometimes singing together and often in tune. When a singer wasn't
singing, the channel was turned off about 2 - 3 seconds after the
part was finished.

My suggestion is that if you know 'next to nothing' about the
technical aspects, that you find someone (or two) who really do(es)
know about these things. There are people around you who have studied
and worked in ea for years and they can bring their sonic, technical
and artistic expertise to your ideas and work.



At 14:00 +0100 2004/09/10, Charlotte White wrote:
>Dear all,
>I am currently putting together an Arts Council application for
>equipment for a sound installation I am working on, using Max/MSP.
>It will be a multi-channel work- hopefully as many as 24 speakers,
>using a Motu 24I/O soundcard which has 24 analogue outputs. I am
>hoping, therefore to get 12 sets of active speakers that will be
>able to be plugged straight into the Motu device, avoiding any need
>for daisy-chaining amps together.

>However, I know next to nothing about speakers and am finding it
>very difficult to work out what I need. They need to be fairly
>powerful as they will be in a (fairly) large gallery setting. If
>anybody could advise me of any speakers that might be appropriate,
>or even of any shops/ websites where I could find more information,
>I would be very grateful.
>Charlotte White

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