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Discussion Starter #1
Newb here...

I'm curious how many, if there are any, folks have designed and built outdoor projection theater situations.

I'm pretty used to large format concert production and recording studio stuff, so I know I'm up for a real challenge.

The situation is that we have a decent sized firepit area, directly adjacent to our recording studio. I'd like to create a projection screen situation where we can project on the side of the building and either do a traditional stereo or possibly 5.1 system.

I know I'll need to be looking into waterproof enclosures and all kinds of stuff... but as far as appropriate gear, set-up, interconnect, etc... I'm gonna be on the downside of knowing much more than how to tie my shoes.

Any thoughts on how to get started down this minor path of insanity?

Thanx!
 

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One thing to keep in mind with doing this outside is that you will need more power and larger speakers to get the same effect that you will get in an enclosed room due to there being limited reflection points for the sound. You will also need a much brighter projector to light up the screen as I am assuming this is going to be done in a back yard situation where there will be a fair bit of ambient light from street lights and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
One thing to keep in mind with doing this outside is that you will need more power and larger speakers to get the same effect that you will get in an enclosed room due to there being limited reflection points for the sound. You will also need a much brighter projector to light up the screen as I am assuming this is going to be done in a back yard situation where there will be a fair bit of ambient light from street lights and such.
Quite understood about the audio aspect. (That's why I'm willing to live with stereo!)

Thankfully, we're pretty rural and there is only one sodium vapor lamp about 200 yards, through the woods, to my closest neighbor's house.

Otherwise, we're pretty much dark, dark here.

I'll try to get some measurements of the fire pit before too long and maybe get a pdf or jpg up to look at.

I know I'm not looking at something like a 15,000 lumen Eiki LC-XT-5, but I am going to presume there's a way to measuring the ambient light to get me in the ballpark?

At any rate, I have walked out of the studio on many an evening and not seen much of anything other than a general shape of a tree... so, it do get dark here.

Thanks!
 

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Ok that would work in your situation. Have you got a budget in mind?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No budget yet.... OOF!

I'm still not out of the woods with the studio, per se... what was supposed to a $40k budget turned into almost $200k. (OUCH!) :yikes:

I don't wanna cheap out, but I don't wanna' spend silly money, either. I'm a pretty decent DIY lunatic, so I can save a few sheckles here and there. (I've done about 80% of the studio build myself.)

To be honest, I think my budget should probably be in the $3k-$10k range... but I don't wanna hit that upper end unless it's such a night and day difference in gear... (sorry, no pun intended) that it's a no brainer to spend that much... or am I way off base and need to rethink what I'm getting into?

Now if you wanna talk acoustics and recording gear... I'm right there wid' ya... but this home theater stuff.... I'm pretty well a lost babe in the woods.

Thanx!
 

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Honestly, if your just thinking a two channel system for sound then maybe just getting something like this would do you for the audio side of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Tony,

No offense... seriously.

But I'm afraid any client who saw the Fender system, as compared to the rest of the facility and equipment... well... it just wouldn't quite be cricket, if you know what I mean.

Those little Fender systems are fine for what they are... but lets face it. After sitting in a session, or mixing on Focal Twin 6BE's, Auratone's, Klipsch and dual concentric's in a control room with virtually flat response... Let's just say that anyone would be slightly less than amused or impressed.

I would post a link to our equipment list, but I don't have a post count high enough to do so, yet... Hopefully this will help make a bit more sense of what this proposed system is being matched up against;

Studio Gear

Consoles
DigiDesign D-Command Icon with HD3
ProTools 7.4
MacPro Quad Core

(Control Room can be configured for:)
A&H GS3000
Yamaha O2R - 24 Ch

Recording Platforms:
ProTools 7.4 with HD3
2 - Aurora 16 A/D-D/A
3 - Digidesign 192 I/O
Plug-ins:
Anthology, WAVES Gold Bundle, API and SSL TDM and many others
Reaper - Running on Windows XP Pro - 3GHz Intel w/2Gb RAM

Network Infrastructure:
Gigabit network Backplane
ftp services
Secure server storage
Complimentary wired or wireless, high speed internet access and temporary email services are available
Outboard Devices:

Mic Pre’s:
8 - Brent Averill 1073 (Original Neve 1073 Reissue) Mic Preamps
2 - Quad 8 Channel Strips
1 - Great River MP-2MH Mic Preamp
1 - Langevin Dual Vocal Channel
and a host of other quality pre’s

Comps and Gates:
2 - Empirical Labs EL-8SX Distressor’s with Stereo and British Mods
1 - SSL Xlogic G Series Stereo Buss Compressor
1 - WAVES L2
1 - CBS Volummax 400
1 - dbx 160X
4 - dbx 160XT
2 - dbx 166 Compressor
1 - Drawmer DL251 Compressor
1 - Drawmer DS201 Gate
1 - Drawmer DS404 Quad Gate

Effects:
1 - Eventide H3000B
1 - Eventide Prime Time
1 - Eventide H949 Harmonizer/Effects
1 - Lexicon PCM91
1 - Lexicon PCM80
1 - Lexicon LXP w/midi remote
1 - Yamaha Rev7
1 - SDE 1000 Delay
1 - Symetrix 401 Dual Line Delay
1 - BBE 422a
2 - White Model 4400 Passive 1/3 Octave Equalizers
Two Track Mixdown:
1 - TASCAM CD-RW 5000
1 - TASCAM DA20-MkII
1 - TASCAM-32

Studio Monitoring:
Focal Twin6 BE
Alesis M1 Active Near Field
University 12″ Mid-field
Furman HDS-16 Mix System w/6 HRM-16 - (6 Mixes)

I'm not looking to stick a pair of Griffin's or necessarily EAW KF750's pushed by 5000 watts of Crown amp out there... but I do need to integrate a system with some actual performance spec's that are at least reasonably decent... maybe JBL (yish.... can you say 400Hz boxes?) or (gack) Bose (No high's, No low's, must be Bose) or some system components along those lines that are at least reasonably weatherproof.

Like I said, if nothing else, I'll limit the audio to two channels to get better quality audio. But where I'm short on experience and expertise is on the video/projection side of the equation.

I've done a bit of video in large format concert arena's, but nothing high end-ish on a small scale.

I definitely want to be able to feed a projector various video formats, from a number of different sources; Cable, DVD, BlueRay... S, Composite, RGB, HDMI, etc.

I'm not wanting to rule out feeding the audio from the ProTools HD rig to the system, nor from an Avid editing system, or on-demand video/audio/multimedia from my servers, or partner servers across the internot.

There will be professional video companies on sight as contractor's as well as audio professionals here. So, I at least need to provide something above consumer/SOHO grade entertainment.

Hopefully this clarifies things a bit, to help with my education process in really understanding the home theater systems and components.

Thanx again!
 

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Man, I think you should go for it! All the problems with the reflective sound in a small room ie; peaks and nulls vanish outside. I think a nearfield seating area would sound awsome with a 5.1 system outside. I would use a few Crown 5000w amps with some serious line array DIY speakers and a pair of killer dual 18" subs. I would like to do an outdoor theater also someday. Please, when you start post lots of pix.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Man, I think you should go for it! All the problems with the reflective sound in a small room ie; peaks and nulls vanish outside. I think a nearfield seating area would sound awsome with a 5.1 system outside. I would use a few Crown 5000w amps with some serious line array DIY speakers and a pair of killer dual 18" subs. I would like to do an outdoor theater also someday. Please, when you start post lots of pix.

Rick
HA!

I can see my neighbor's calling the authorities when they feel the earthquake from a stack of SB750's out there...

Seriously though, I'd like the system to not have a great deal of power, or long throw drivers so that I don't get the authorities called.

I would think a coupla' hundred watts of power would be more than fine... say a total of 500w for a 5.1... but the issue is finding weatherproof drivers and enclosures. Anyone got some suggestions?

I think a weatherproof enclosure for a projector will be a challenge, but doable.

The real kicker is how to address either a player/video source... should I be prepared to buy a 2nd system, or can anyone suggest a cabling system that would carry video of decent quality for 125-150 feet from a source, out of the building and up through conduit to the projector?

I guess I could make a rolling rack to go from the, lounge across the bridge, and to the fire pit. Then tie it all into a single clean power unit.

Any thoughts?
 

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Good quality speakers for outdoor use is a tough find. There is the Boston acoustics Voyager-7 7 There is also the Community R series I highly recommend them as I have used them for many years without issues. They are not the nicest looking speakers but preform very well outdoors.
Another option is the Tannoy Di series
 

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I actually found your thread and decided to register after viewing.. I think I have the solution for you... mine probably isn't the best example but it works for the effect i'm trying to use..





I sit outside, drink beers, smoke, and hang out with friends.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oggie,

Need to spend some time looking up your FM transmitter.... interesting idea....


hmmmmmmmmmm........
 
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