Sometime in the early 1990s, between the Internet’s public debut and the first Toy Story movie, listening at large scale events started getting easier. The modern line array had arrived and with it dramatic improvements to the reproduction of sound. Today, the software that accompanies a line array setup enables the technician to comprehensively simulate the complete performance of the system ahead of the show. While such planning and prediction is certainly a big step forward, d&b line array enhancement technology takes quality and flexibility just that bit further.
Created to further the d&b credo of democracy for listeners, ArrayProcessing helps deliver the same remarkable quality of sound to every member of the audience.
ArrayProcessing is an optional software function within the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software. It uses an optimization algorithm to determine tailored filters to help control the behavior of a d&b line array system across an entire listening area. Though this may sound a little complex, it is in fact a seamless step in the d&b Workflow. ArrayProcessing can be applied to all GSL-Series, J-Series, V-Series, Y-Series and T-Series line array systems in touring, installed or multidimensional spaces.
Switching ArrayProcessing on triggers an analysis process that examines the performance of an array at a large number of receiver points along all listening planes within its coverage. For every receiver point the sound of every loudspeaker is calculated across 249 individual frequency bands. The optimization process evaluates a predefined target frequency response, user-definable settings for level over distance, and processing emphasis. The result is a clever combination of FIR and IIR filters for each individual cabinet in the array to achieve the targeted performance, with an additional latency of only 5.9 ms: significantly improving the linearity of response over distance.
Because ArrayProcessing employs the same frequency response targets for all d&b line arrays in a project, it ensures all systems share a common tonality. This means that different arrays for main hang and outfill will generate the same spectral result at the listener, despite being different in length, splay setting or even system type.
ArrayProcessing also compensates for air absorption in its calculations, providing a precise and seamless correction for all relevant cabinets. This not only results in a more consistent sound balance over distance, but in applications where the system has sufficient headroom, its throw can be extended and the need for delay systems greatly reduced. Meanwhile, in reverberant spaces, ArrayProcessing can increase intelligibility by adapting and evening out vertical directivity for a more consistent direct to diffuse sound ratio.
Like all good things in life, a little effort goes a long way, and so it is with ArrayProcessing: ensure correct data and meaningful splay angles for optimum results. The good news is ArrayProcessing has proved to be about as straightforward a tool as one might expect of d&b and every bit as playful. But user beware; deciding which processing emphasis to use , between the aptly name Power or Glory, is nothing short of a test of character. While Power puts special focus on either maximum SPL and system headroom, Glory concentrates on achieving the best possible match to the target level distribution and frequency responses. While half way between the two usually provides a good balance between those parameters, up to ten different combinations of user parameter settings can be prepared and stored in the ‘AP slots’ of the d&b amplifiers, and switching between different slots is performed in near to real time.
- fully exploits the acoustic potential of the d&b GSL, J, V, Y and T-Series systems
- considerably improves the tonal balance within the vertical coverage angle to create a constant listening experience for the audience
- enables the level distribution in the target area to be more precisely controlled
- System Presets allow pre-defined configurations – or ‘AP slots’ - to be recalled as needed at the push of a button
- allows the dispersion pattern of the array to remain adaptable and optimizable even if the array has already been flown and can no longer be altered mechanically; this is especially beneficial for shows with varying scene requirements, or where there is a rapid change in atmospheric condition such as at open air events
ArrayProcessing is freely available to download as part of the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software.
How does ArrayProcessing work?
The ArrayProcessing function applies powerful filter algorithms to optimize the tonal (spectral) and level (spatial) performance of a line array column over the audience area defined by its mechanical vertical coverage angle. Within the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software, spectral and level performance targets over the listening areas can be defined while specific level drops or offsets can be applied to certain areas, to assign reduced level zones.
ArrayProcessing applies a combination of FIR and IIR filters to each individual cabinet in an array to achieve the targeted performance, with an additional latency of only 5.9 ms. This significantly improves the linearity of the response over distance as well as seamlessly correcting for air absorption. In addition, ArrayProcessing employs the same frequency response targets for all d&b line arrays, to ensure all systems share a common tonality. This provides consistent sonic results regardless of array length or splay settings.
The resulting coverage is enhanced with spectral consistency and defined level distribution, achieving more linear dispersion and total system directivity to cover longer distances or steep listening areas effectively.
ArrayProcessing is an optional feature of the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software that is available for free download.