I have a question regarding the best speaker placement for our venue. Unfortunately, the venue is about 2:1 width to length. It's quite small, about 30' long and 60' wide. The stage comes off the back wall about 9'6" and is approximately 25' wide. We have 4 speakers suspended at the front of the stage, fanned out in a slight arc around the front of the stage. Looking at the stage from the center of the room, you'd see a speaker slightly to your right and slightly to your left, each slightly fanned out from center, and one at each corner of the stage fanned more drastically towards the corners of the room.

This causes a noticeable amount of dropout between speakers due to how close they are to the audience, with the distance from the speakers to the back wall being only about 20'.

One professional suggestion I received was to ditch two speakers, and simply have one at either front corner of the stage pointed at the opposite corner so that their overlap converged in the middle of the room at a 45 degree angle, instead of having slight overlap from one to the next at a slight angle.

Any suggestions to support this idea, or give new ideas for where to put the speakers?

1 Answer 1


Pretty hard to say without accurately measuring the room & reinforcement - but unless your existing speaker 'pairs' are phase-aligned, your recent pro suggestion to remove the 'duplicates' sounds a fair guess to improve things quickly.

Simple rule...
more speakers == more complexity == more maths to get it to work.
Guesswork becomes less likely to achieve good results.

I'd try some empiricism but my gut feel would be to try setting them at ⅓ & ⅔ of the room width to start with... then just tweak the distance &/or angle til it works best - because you're going to get some difficult combing wherever you put them. Don't automatically exclude the possibility that both units pointing square 90° forwards might work as well as 45° [or any other angle].

Find a local band/DJ who wants some free practice time in the room & go for it, spend a day being a furniture-mover ;)

Late thought - test narrow stereo & mono mixes. Don't try to get it as 'wide' as you can, it's unlikely to be good for the audience.

  • I appreciate your input. Regarding your last comment, we don't do much in the way of stereo considering how close one half of the audience is to the left speakers and visa versa. A wide stereo mix basically means one side can't hear whatever is panned left and the other can't hear whatever is panned right. Aug 7, 2017 at 2:35
  • <p>I'm going to show my inexperience here (I'm mostly a volunteer with little formal training) -- how do you test for phase-alignment? Is it perceptual or can it be measured based on the angle of the speakers in relation to their coverage?</p><p>I don't know how likely it is to get the chance to play around with the setup, so for the short term, if I could show that the current setup is actively poor (like if the speakers are out of phase with each other), it may be easier to get some leeway to try changing things.</p> Aug 7, 2017 at 2:47

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