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Speaker and Speaker-Array Tools VERY VERY important improvements

David Dauphin

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We use speaker and speaker-array tools every day with more than 100 users. We've got many restrictions with those 2 tools, mainly when using with symbols instead catalog mode. Symbols are really important to have correct geometry. Here are our problems with those tools :

  • Speaker-array tools is unworkable with symbols. When array is populated, then you can't easily move array, or do anything else, because it seems hat this tools draw new 2D geometry permanently. A solution will be to don't use 2D and use only 3D when speakers inside array are angled. Like Truss tools. You can have hundreds of truss angled and easy to move
  • Speaker array files are too much big. Here attached files example. One set with 4 configurations : Speaker-Array-Catalog no populated = 17,1Mo, catalog populated = 17,8Mo, speaker-array symbols no populated = 123,1Mo, symbols populated = 1,79Go (I can't upload it, too big) !!!!
  • We need to have our yoke, with correct geometry, and with real insert point. Now, the insert point is systematically at the center of the speaker, but that's not right in many real speakers. There is usually a Y/Z shift. Real yoke is very important to have corect geometry with scenography, decoration, ...
  • Same thing, we need to put our correct tripod with real geometry
  • sometimes we need to have specific shift between speakers in array
  • When a speaker is used with a yoke, the weight doesn't change. It will be very important for braceworks calculation when we will able to put our correct yoke with symbol
  • Speaker-Array tool is limiting global angle to 90°. We often use array with more than 90°
  • Many often we have a second bumper in line-array but not the same than the first. Actually the tool is limited to 1 sort of bumper. I have a tip, I duplicated all my bumper and modified them as speakers. So I can insert them between 2 speakers in array (but then limited to 2 sort of speakers instead of 3). We need to have more than one bumper sort in an array.
  • A tip to have correct yoke is to use speaker-array instead speaker for one speaker+yoke. But then when you angle the speaker, the alignment with the yoke is moving. So that tip isn't efficient.



Edited by David Dauphin
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  • 2 weeks later...

I use the speaker and speaker array tool quite a bit too. I share some of your frustrations, and here are a few of my own (and maybe re-stating your comments too)


- It would be great to have the accessory mode work like lighting fixtures. Clamps, yokes, stands, etc as objects that you can edit and add as needed (or can we at least have the option to have a yoke without the clamp?!?!)

- A speaker array should be a single item. Period. And the only way to move those items is (1) as a group or (2) by editing the array. You should not be able to move a single element of the array accidentally. 

- There is quite a bit of inconsistency in terms of symbols. Centers, rotation axis, units, etc. This has got better over the years, but still an issue. 

- To expand on you point about the big files. Sometimes I need super simple blocks/line drawings, and other times I need detailed models. Symbols allow you to show the level of detail, so maybe we could get the same functionality with speaker symbols? 

- When you have a speaker in top/plan view and aim it down, the geometry gets confusing. Maybe just an option to "Keep simplified 2d symbol"?

- I agree with you about the flybar and adapters, but this may open up a huge can of worms! I have to refer to the manual every time because L'Acoustics has so many options for plates, adapters, extension bars, etc... d&b is similar.


I saw Vectorworks posted a job for Audio Product Planner a few months back...Hopefully they will get somebody to head up this and bring the audio tools up to par with the lighting and truss tools. 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello David and Joshua: I am the new Audio Product Planner you mentioned!  I've spent my first few months here doing a deep audit of the Speaker and Speaker Array Tools, and the speaker symbol Content Libraries, and have cataloged and written up a lot of the issues mentioned here.  Improvements on the Speaker Tool and Content Libraries are already in the works, and the Speaker Array Tool is next up.


The one point I do want to respond directly to are the large file sizes David mentioned: those are indeed way too big!  When I looked at the files attached to the VE, I noticed that the symbols being used to construct the arrays were much more complicated than the speakers in the Content Library: we simplify the geometry of these symbols to reduce files sizes and increase performance.  When I simplified the submitted drawing to a single array, the file size was 120MB, which is far larger than it should be.  When I re-created that array with the Speaker Array Tool and symbols from the content library, the file size was 6MB, which is a big improvement.  And then I re-created the array with just speaker and bumper symbols, not using the tool at all, and that file is 2MB (though not a very useful array).  Which tells me that we have some serious work to do: the tool shouldn't increase the file size by 3x!


Please keep the feedback coming!


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