• QuadraphonicQuad welcomes you and encourages your participation! Treat all members with respect. Please keep all discussions civil, even when you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.

    Do not offer for free, offer for sale, offer for trade, or request copies or files of copyrighted material - no matter how rare or unavailable to the public they might be. We do not condone the illegal sharing of music. There are many places on the internet where you can participate in such transactions, but QuadraphonicQuad is not one of them. We are here to encourage and support new multichannel releases from those companies that still provide them and as such the distribution of illegal copies of recordings is counter-productive to that effort. Any posts of this sort will be deleted without notification.

    Please try to avoid discussions that pit one format against another. Hint for new users: make liberal use of the search facilities here at QuadraphonicQuad. Our message base is an incredibly rich resource of detailed information on virtually all topics pertaining to surround-sound. You will be surprised at what you can find with a little digging!

Quad speaker setup for live performance

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Franck

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
USA
I’d like to purchase a quadriphonic sound system for live performance.
It needs to be relatively portable (fit in a car), powered speakers, be enough for a room with 200 people, and not outrageously expensive.
If I were to go to a place like Guitar Center what should I buy or look for? (just to refer to current supported equipment)

I saw Suzanne Ciani at the Mezannine and I think that was the best quad sound I heard. I think I need speakers with more than 90degrees sound field, in a big room, very few people are at the sweet spot, so the sound needs to overlap.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.
 

esimms86

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
646
Location
United States
I’d like to purchase a quadriphonic sound system for live performance.
It needs to be relatively portable (fit in a car), powered speakers, be enough for a room with 200 people, and not outrageously expensive.
If I were to go to a place like Guitar Center what should I buy or look for? (just to refer to current supported equipment)

I saw Suzanne Ciani at the Mezannine and I think that was the best quad sound I heard. I think I need speakers with more than 90degrees sound field, in a big room, very few people are at the sweet spot, so the sound needs to overlap.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.
I assume that you're talking about 4 powered (even wireless maybe unless you're good with long cable runs?) speakers on stands, and a mixer with a minimum of (but not necessarily limited to) 4 channels. And then you'd have to give a ballpark figure regarding a price point.
 

jimfisheye

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,337
"Quadraphonic sound system"...

Sound gear isn't sold like "Complete sound system in a box!" "Pick system A, B, or C!"

For powered speakers, QSC isn't a bad choice. Rule of thumb is more bang for the buck with separate amps/speakers but QSC combo powered speakers are pretty decent.

An X32 rack with an iPad would cover front of house. Probably most bang for the buck here.
A dedicated digital mixer with a built-in control surface or a computer and audio interface and your own control surface config starts at about double that.
Putting together an analog front of house for live surround would be monumentally expensive, cumbersome, and just stupid here in 2020.

An X32, iPad, and QSC powered speakers would be the absolute bottom low price to build a small surround PA and genuinely give you the front of house mixing control to mix surround with it. The X32 has 16 Midas mic pre inputs, 8 xlr balanced outputs, and another 8 1/4" balanced outputs. You'd be covered for a small/medium band setup and have outputs for the quad mains and a number of monitor channels for floor monitors and/or in-ears.
 

esimms86

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
646
Location
United States
"Quadraphonic sound system"...

Sound gear isn't sold like "Complete sound system in a box!" "Pick system A, B, or C!"

For powered speakers, QSC isn't a bad choice. Rule of thumb is more bang for the buck with separate amps/speakers but QSC combo powered speakers are pretty decent.

An X32 rack with an iPad would cover front of house. Probably most bang for the buck here.
A dedicated digital mixer with a built-in control surface or a computer and audio interface and your own control surface config starts at about double that.
Putting together an analog front of house for live surround would be monumentally expensive, cumbersome, and just stupid here in 2020.

An X32, iPad, and QSC powered speakers would be the absolute bottom low price to build a small surround PA and genuinely give you the front of house mixing control to mix surround with it. The X32 has 16 Midas mic pre inputs, 8 xlr balanced outputs, and another 8 1/4" balanced outputs. You'd be covered for a small/medium band setup and have outputs for the quad mains and a number of monitor channels for floor monitors and/or in-ears.
Great suggestions @jimfisheye. There's a variety of options in the QSC speaker line, and then it comes down to budget and, to some extent, the size of your vehicle(s) space.
 

Franck

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
USA
I assume that you're talking about 4 powered (even wireless maybe unless you're good with long cable runs?) speakers on stands, and a mixer with a minimum of (but not necessarily limited to) 4 channels. And then you'd have to give a ballpark figure regarding a price point.
I have a K-Mix, that I use for an open mic I help run. It has 6 outputs. This is great, 4 can be the quad and 2 can be the stereo down mix (for the streaming).
 

Franck

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
USA
"Quadraphonic sound system"...

Sound gear isn't sold like "Complete sound system in a box!" "Pick system A, B, or C!"

For powered speakers, QSC isn't a bad choice. Rule of thumb is more bang for the buck with separate amps/speakers but QSC combo powered speakers are pretty decent.

An X32 rack with an iPad would cover front of house. Probably most bang for the buck here.
A dedicated digital mixer with a built-in control surface or a computer and audio interface and your own control surface config starts at about double that.
Putting together an analog front of house for live surround would be monumentally expensive, cumbersome, and just stupid here in 2020.

An X32, iPad, and QSC powered speakers would be the absolute bottom low price to build a small surround PA and genuinely give you the front of house mixing control to mix surround with it. The X32 has 16 Midas mic pre inputs, 8 xlr balanced outputs, and another 8 1/4" balanced outputs. You'd be covered for a small/medium band setup and have outputs for the quad mains and a number of monitor channels for floor monitors and/or in-ears.
Thanks for the suggestions.
I had a look at QSC at guitar center ;), but also looking for specifications to be aware of when getting a quad system. I think the only one I know is my coverage pattern should be more than 90 degrees. Anything else?
 

jimfisheye

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,337
There would really be nothing much different from a mono or stereo PA system for the bullet points.

You need front of house control to balance the system in any room. That means a 31 band graphic eq on every amplified mix channel.
You need inputs and basic channel strip fx (eq, comp). A couple ambient fx channels with delay and verb.
A decent enough control surface (wired or wireless). (The OSC setup for the iPad with the X32 is really slick IMHO.)

The first part of any gig is balancing the system and making sure you can get full lead vocals happening on stage and in the room.
Balance the system with the graphics so you don't have howling and piercing feedback running away wildly when the volume isn't even half way where you need it yet.
Make sure your lead vocal mic has more lead vocals that cymbals screaming through it.

You need a system that lets you dial that kind of control up before you really even get started. If any of the above is out of control, the last thing on your mind would be some surround pans!

The digital boards with the built-in control surface...
You aren't going to find joysticks and the like out of the box there. A touch surface might not be ideal vs tactile hardware but it would let you control the joystick panning on some surround panner plugin. An iPad IS ideal for other aspects like the ability to roam freely. The stage is your home base now and you can roam anywhere in the venue.

I've been wanting an excuse to try a surround gig. Need the right kind of band. I don't do live sound all the time but when I do, I've been using the computer and DAW app for the last 11 years now. iPad and a couple small MIDI controllers over a wifi to USB hub for a wireless portable control surface. I use my Mac Pro or Macbook Pro. MOTU interfaces. 16 channels of Apogee AD. Reaper is the DAW app. Records simultaneous multitrack while running live sound.

Today... I might just buy an X32. I've used it a few times now. Kind of want one for a b-rig. Their OSC setup is really intuitive to mix with on a touch pad. (Kind of need to plagiarize a few ideas there for my remote control.)

Anyway...
Add the rear speakers. Make a 4 channel mains bus. Get a few plugins installed to facilitate panning and things.
That's the shortest path from point A to B I think. And legitimately possible to make a small/medium system like this now with these digital systems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GOS

Franck

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
USA
There would really be nothing much different from a mono or stereo PA system for the bullet points.

You need front of house control to balance the system in any room. That means a 31 band graphic eq on every amplified mix channel.
You need inputs and basic channel strip fx (eq, comp). A couple ambient fx channels with delay and verb.
A decent enough control surface (wired or wireless). (The OSC setup for the iPad with the X32 is really slick IMHO.)
...
Many thanks for the advice, may be I should have specified, I'm a one man band. I use a modular synthesizer which is quadraphonic, so it is a bit like if I was playing a quadraphonic recording through these speakers. There is a bit of fiddling I need to do with levels of each sound source, but this is done direct on my modular synthesizer. Needless to say, best if I'm at the center of these speakers... Also my setup just fit on one table. I have a quad setup home with 4 Yamaha HS7 and a subwoofer, but that's not powerful enough for live (and I don't want to have to move them), and mainly made for a sweet spot in my room.

The X32 looks cool, tho, I'm not keen to buy Behringer any time soon.

I think having EQ on the speakers or mixer to compensate for the room, sounds a very good point.

You may want to check this site, they have a good software for doing full surround on Live: Software — Envelop
 

jimfisheye

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,337
Many thanks for the advice, may be I should have specified, I'm a one man band. I use a modular synthesizer which is quadraphonic, so it is a bit like if I was playing a quadraphonic recording through these speakers. There is a bit of fiddling I need to do with levels of each sound source, but this is done direct on my modular synthesizer. Needless to say, best if I'm at the center of these speakers... Also my setup just fit on one table. I have a quad setup home with 4 Yamaha HS7 and a subwoofer, but that's not powerful enough for live (and I don't want to have to move them), and mainly made for a sweet spot in my room.

The X32 looks cool, tho, I'm not keen to buy Behringer any time soon.

I think having EQ on the speakers or mixer to compensate for the room, sounds a very good point.

You may want to check this site, they have a good software for doing full surround on Live: Software — Envelop
Yeah, you might be able to pull something off pretty smoothly then with a small setup.

Just a FYI on those B-word products. These are the anomalies that are Midas designed.
You could get an XR18. That's their watered down X32. Still 16 mic inputs. More than you need there and all but you need a mixing system of some kind and this would cover everything. Stage would always be home base. You could have a friend that can mix grab a 2nd iPad and go out in the room if/when that applied.

That may still be too much by what you mentioned there.
An old school Mackie with the busing coaxed into something useful might do it.
If you already had a trusted laptop. Get an interface with just enough ins and outs. iPad for remote control if desired.
The computer and DAW method is much more DIY. Obviously customizable though. That X32 or XR18 is just really slick. I said earlier that there isn't just a sound system in a box but this is actually kind of just that. USB to a laptop to record multitrack too. If you had any desire to expand to needing more of a mixing board to control mics and such, that would be the way to go.

Just a 4 channel quad output synth could be very simply connected to a speaker system, however.
 

esimms86

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
646
Location
United States
Franck, you have a serious bio and your website is very interesting. Suzanne Ciani would definitely approve. If you released music in quad, you would certainly find an audience here, as people on QQ have eclectic tastes which include electronica. For those interested in exploring:

 

Franck

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
27
Location
USA
Franck, you have a serious bio and your website is very interesting. Suzanne Ciani would definitely approve. If you released music in quad, you would certainly find an audience here, as people on QQ have eclectic tastes which include electronica. For those interested in exploring:

Many, Many, Thanks.

I have one or two ambiphonic videos on YouTube from quadraphonic recordings, but I just finished to master a DVD in 5.1 from quadraphonic recordings I did in October/November. Checking the DVD, and I will send it for duplication. I hope to have it in time for Synthplex 2020 and then it should be available on my Bandcamp just after.
 

MidiMagic

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
291
I did this about 20 years ago.

I had a Mackie SR 24.4 analog mixer, a Tandy Dolby Surround (4.1) decoder, 4 Mackie powered speakers, and a special encoder cable I put in the inserts of subs 3 and 4.

I have also done this with a Samson 2404 mixer and with a Behringer UB2442Fx.

Using the L and R mixing buses (or buses 1 and 2 for insert effects), I used the pan controls to pan to the front half of the house.

Using buses 3 and 4, I used the pan controls to pan to the back of the house.

Buses 1-4 were assigned to the L & R buses. Buses 1 and 3 were panned left, and 2 and 4 were panned right.

The normal surround delay on the Dolby Surround decoder made the sounds come from the correct panned location for most of the audience, even when the sounds were panned between the speakers on one side.

I also sometimes recorded the output. The result plays through QS or Dolby Surround.
 
Group builder
Top