Sound in glowing mono – or why we do the crazy shit we do !
“Stereo” is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to “public performance”. The integrity and effect of stereo is all but lost, both for outside spaces and in venues or halls. Worse, having 2 signals carrying a percentage of the same information causes filtering effects, as our brains process the tiny arrival time differences between the 2 signals.
The apparent advantage of having stereo, or even 2 speakers in mono, is the added volume and audience coverage. But, 2 speakers as against 1 will only add a relatively small amount of additional volume. So, why not just have 1 in the first place, even if it needs to be a little louder !. There’s no reason why not, and, doing that, it can also be of a special wide coverage angle design. This in itself means, that with a better spread of sound, and less “focus” than traditional “horn loaded” speakers, microphone feedback is drastically reduced.
Now, we can put a single, mono wide coverage speaker actually “on stage”, so everyone (even the musicians) can hear everything.
A better way to “add volume” to the overall system, is to add further speaker/s, but, dedicated to individual or small groups of performers. Now, every speaker involved carries it’s own unique signal, so won’t cause filtering effects with it’s neighbors,
Typically, we use a “System 11″ wide coverage speaker on stage (or among the performers) for vocals, and one or more additional speakers at stage front, low level, for rhythm section or solo instruments. Miles better than a failing stereo image, individual sounds coming from different positions adds real size to the sound overall.