M8 Active Line Array Enclosure
A Line Array is a sound system where the coverage is controlled by the relative positioning of the speakers along a fixed line, although more recently the term Line Array has become the generic name for a large format sound system, whose speaker elements are arranged in one tall vertical column.
The M8 line array element is intended to be flown in groups of at least 6. This grouping of elements makes up the line array. Each M8 element is not itself a line array; rather, it is a matrix array enclosure, which can be used to give very wide horizontal dispersion when used singly or in pairs, albeit without the extra benefits of a full Line Array system.
Line arrays have a number of advantages
- A small footprint in the concert production, freeing much needed space for video screens, and improving the audience sight lines.
- Extremely simple rigging, where array is flown.
- If the array is tall enough, cleaner provision of sound to the audience in high-tiered seating.
- The rig consists of just two columns, so there is a tighter audio-imaging, since the waveforms do not suffer the usual 'big rig' interference.
Not all systems currently in use are able to deliver on all the benefits listed, and in fact introduce a number of additional problems. The main one being that of horizontal coverage, any audience member outside of a narrow 80 degree arc suffer a dramatic loss of clarity. Some systems try to deal with this by augmenting the Line Array with a conventional system to provide coverage where Line Array does not.
This, at best, removes the physical advantages of using a Line Array, and, at worst, causes a dramatic loss of sound quality where the two technologies are not compatible.
Another possible disadvantage with some Line Array Systems is that of providing the bass frequency performance required over the entire height of the column. Some systems resort to adding bass boxes alongside the mid / high Line Array, again compromising on the potential physical advantages.
The M8 fully delivers on all the potential advantages of a Line Array system
As in all the M-Series, the M8 fully exploits the performance of the PD-12 coaxial driver, with its seamless 5 octave mid-range and minimal thermal compression due to the advanced radial cooling.
In addition, with its 120 degree horizontal coverage, it is able to bring those advantages to virtually all of the audience. If some of the audience are outside of the 120 degree arc, in fill is possible with other speakers in the M series range with no loss of quality, due to identical technology being used through the entire range.
The M8 Line Array are genuinely full range providing a response down to 55Hz in a 6 box configuration, and 45Hz in a 12 box configuration.
Since each M8 contains its own studio quality multi channel amplifier, its possible, with mix-position processing, to fine tune a wide range of parameters such as dispersion, wavefront edge, equalisation, etc.
Flying and Setup
Proprietary 2-point flybar and speed-link system. Box to Box splay adjustable 0° - 10°, working load rated to 30 boxes.
Boxes can travel as individual units, the array being assembled by each box linking to the box above. Alternatively, boxes travel flat on dolly pre-rigged in blocks of 6, prewired to 1 signal multipin and 1 AC connector. At site, block is rolled/forked/craned into position. Motors are attached and block lifted. Any desired splay would normally be preset. However, splay can be adjusted at this point. As block is lifted, boxes automatically open out to any preset splay. 2nd block is positioned, 1st block is lowered, pinned, and lifted. System (especially wavefront edges) fine-tuned to suit venue using a suitable multi-out system processor with capacity to adjust level, EQ, delay etc. independently for inner and outer drivers in each M8.
|Frequency Response||±4 dB from 60 Hz to 18 kHz, -6 dB at 50 Hz and 19 kHz (40Hz 6 box)|
|Dispersion||80° - 120° hor. (line-driver controlled) x 60° vert.|
|SPL (single element)||143 dB peak @1m, (149dB crest factor 4)|
|SPL (6 element)||158 dB peak @1m|
|Output Power||2,500w continuous, 3,500w peak|
|Dimensions||48" x 14.75" x 24" (W x H x D)|
|Dimensions (3 box dolly)||48" x 54" x 24" (W x H x D)|
note: SPL calculated @ 1m, pink noise, 6dB crest factor 2