Subwoofer Arrays

Recommended configurations for Subwoofer Arrays

1. Introduction

A subwoofer array is a set of two or more subwoofers placed each one close the other in order to improve the sub bass response of the system, i.e. adapt the directivity of the sound system to the acoustical requirements of the venue.
In the attached document we will show some basic subwoofer array configuration and other ones that are more elaborate. The target here is to make easy choosing a configuration once understood the requirements of the application. All the simulations shown here are theoretical (But we have confirmed the performance in in-field tests), many factors can change the configuration’s performance. For all the simulations we used an Amate Audio Xcellence X218WF.

The working principle of the subwoofer arrays is their complex summation. Placing the subwoofers in the correct position will result in a constructive interference in the areas we would like to have increased sound pressure level and destructive interference where we would like to have minimum sound pressure level.

Now we are going to introduce the basic configurations for subwoofer arrays. We recommend to download the attached document where we can find advanced array configurations in order to discover the true potential of our systems.

2. Three subwoofer configurations

2.1. Horizontal array (Omnidirectional)

This configuration is ideal in those applications where we simply need an increased sound pressure level we can’t get with a single subwoofer.

We can see in the simulation how indeed the three subwoofers directivity is omnidirectional.
Looking at the frequency distribution chart also we can see how when increasing frequency, the array is more directional but it won’t affect our system due the low pass filter of the LPF80 preset.

2.2. Horizontal array (Cardioid)

Here we are going to show our quickest set-up cardioid subwoofer array configuration. This configuration is similar to the previous one, but simply requires us to rotate the subwoofer in the middle like is shown in the diagram below. This straightforward solution is very interesting for live shows where subwoofers are placed in front of the stage.

Looking the coverage response we can see clearly how now that there is a valley of sound pressure level on the rear part (receiver #1), with an increased SPL in the near-field (receiver #2). This straightforward solution is very interesting for live shows where subwoofers are placed in front of the stage.

2.3. End-fire (Cardioid)

Another alternative we have for creating a subwoofer cardioid array is the end fire, which can be done placing subwoofers one in front of the other in a straight line with the separation shown in the diagram below. This confi guration has a narrower directivity that the previous cardioid configuration, with the counterpart of needing more length for doing so.

Notice that the end-fire is not a preset, so now we need to apply the corresponding delay in each subwoofer. Set the preset to the default one.

As shown the directivity increases but at the cost of having less front-back SPL reduction. As a cardioid line array the performance is a bit lower.


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