Loudspeaker System Showcase Technical Details

Introduction

There will be a well-defined listening area within the arena, with each manufacturer provided with a booth space to serve as their "base." Loudspeakers will be located above (flown) and/or in the booths. A row of booths (and therefore the loudspeaker systems) will be located along each long "side" of the arena floor (oval), with a distance of approximately 145-150 feet between the two lines of booths. The region between the lines of booths will be the primary listening area, which will be carpeted. There will also be further "blanketing" via heavy drapes around the perimeter.

Demo Equipment

Each participating company will provide its own components (loudspeakers, amplifiers, processing, racks, cabling, flying hardware), staff, and collateral/support materials to hand out to attendees. With compact (larger) systems, manufacturers are strongly encouraged to fly the loudspeakers, and they can be accompanied by a subwoofer. All portable (smaller) loudspeakers must be located on the floor, at the front of the booth, and also can be accompanied by a subwoofer. All systems to be flown require convention center/exhibition services labor, with supervision by the demo tech staff and participating companies. Motors will be provided for those who wish to fly their system. Everything after the hook on the motor must be provided by the manufacturer (i.e., fly bars, span sets, shackles, etc.). Participants may include additional loudspeakers and related system elements in their booths; however, these cannot be flown.

Set Up & Tuning

Systems must be set up on the day prior to the first day of the showcase. This process will commence early in the morning. All participants must have their systems in place, operating, and "making noise" that day, and times for system tuning will be assigned for later in the day. Prior to each participant's tuning session, showcase tech staff will verify the input signal to each system. Manufacturers are offered an analog signal (mono) to their systems from the front of house console.

System Levels

Prior to each (and every) full showcase session, each (and every) system will be fed pink noise, with the appropriate level set and confirmed. This process will be directed and managed by Rational Acoustics working with showcase tech staff. Participants are required to be on hand for this process each and every time.

The process: SPL will be measured by Rational Acoustics via a calibrated handheld meter at a distance of approximately 70 feet (compact/larger systems) or approximately 50 feet (portable/smaller systems) directly in front of each system. This reading will be compared to the 10EaZy reading measured via the measurement mic in the center of the listening area. Target maximum SPL will be determined but is expected to be in the 100-105 dB range for compact systems and a bit less for compact systems. (Subject to the situation -- acoustics, crowd size, etc.) Rational Acoustics will indicate to each participant to increase/decrease level until the target SPL is attained.

After each system is level-verified for a demo session, participants are not allowed to touch any system racks, mixers, computers, etc. that may be in their booths. Also, no adjustment via tablets/phones with apps! This will be vigorously monitored and is intended to prevent any in-session adjustments that could compromise the consistency and integrity of the presentation.

Demo Source Material

Well in advance of the event, participating companies will be asked to nominate music tracks to be played at showcase sessions. These nominations will be compiled into an online voting system where manufacturers will be asked to vote on the tracks they want to be played. This selection process will be separate for compact and portable systems (different nominations and voting for each). The tracks receiving the most votes will be compiled on a list that will be provided to all participants prior to the event.

In addition, participants will be asked to provide at least one track to be played through their system only in each showcase session. (Each session will offer three identical tracks fed to all systems, followed by one track selected by each manufacturer fed to their system only.)

All tracks played for full sessions will be uncompressed wave (WAV) files. This includes the individual "select tracks." Tracks will be mastered to ensure uniformity and will be supplied to each system via the same digital playback machine and console. Tracks will be provided to each system in mono.

During individual demo sessions, manufacturers may play their systems louder than in the full demo sessions. However, we strongly request that these levels remain reasonable (not painful and potentially harmful), and this will be monitored by demo staff. Anyone playing at a level that demo staff deems excessive will be asked to turn their system down immediately to a reasonable level.

Manufacturers are free to make their presentations in their individual sessions in any manner they wish, play whatever tracks they prefer, and so on. A wireless microphone system will be available to all manufacturers for any spoken word portions of their presentations, or they are free to utilize their own microphone/wireless system locally.

Showcase Sessions

In all full sessions, each individual system will receive feeds of three identical tracks, followed by their own track selection, with each track playing for 35 or so seconds per system. Each full session will last approximately one hour. The order in which systems are played will be random and different for each session.

The emcee will introduce each manufacturer and system prior to it being played. Large video screens flown in the demo hall will identify each system being played, as well as provide key information and highlights of the product. And, lighting will spotlight each system as it is played.

Contact: Keith Clark, kclark@livesoundint.com, 269-687-8846