Water Taxi Beach NYC
Taken from the Water Taxi blog:
Sound System part II
As we reported earlier in the season that we hired Gary Stewart Audio to build us a system that could play high fidelity music outside without impacting on our neighbors in Queens or Manhattan. The system sounded fantastic with amazing separation and clarity. The results were remarkable and beyond our expectation, the system was also affordable..
However, since Gary created a stereo image by sounding the tent with 32 separate speakers. That meant speakers and sound went off in all directions and we had to keep the volume lower than many of the DJs liked. It sounded great with 30 or 50 people in the tent. But, when a few hundred people where in there, the sound of their voices often seemed louder than the music.
With the The Beach Party approaching and the audience for Turntables On The Hudson growing we felt (mid June) we needed to do something quick to make things better. Of course, anything we would have tried would just be an expensive experiment.
Promoter Benny Soto who has been coming by this summer to help us taste test our now award winning hamburger made a suggestion that we create a wall of sound all facing the same direction.
Gary asked if we were a) willing to give up the great stereo image we had and b) if we were worried it might create too much sound all going in the same direction. We then consulted with Al Fierstein; Al designed the limits on the system so that we could avoid spilling out sound out into the community.
Al like Gary has been involved with the sound of night clubs for more than several decades. There were a lot of emails back and forth among our experts and with many of our DJs, promoters and friends.
In the end, Gary was right that the over all quality of the sound decreased, while at the same time, we were able to make more than a 10 db increase in the sound level on the dance floor.
Al explains, "The flush-mounted speaker wall provides the equivalent of one very large directional speaker array. In most systems, bass sound diffracts around the back of the cabinets and not only is wasted, but also goes in unwanted directions, such as toward the neighbors. With the flush-mounting arrangement, this "rear sound" is not lost and adds to the sound pressure in front of the wall.
Also, because the speaker wall is a long line, it acts like a "line source". As opposed to a point source, where the sound spreads out and quickly gets dissipated, a line source focuses sound to provide greater bass impact at longer distances. This increases the sweet spot area of the [tent] floor."
The end results was almost too good to believe, although we lost a lot of pure audiophile quality, we BOTH lowered the sonic impact with our neighbors while at the same time making over all system, including the bass sound much louder.