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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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  • 2 months later...
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Hello, So no "official" answer on that ???

I've also some questions ?

Is it possible as for lighting equipment too add stand as accessory  (and not just the tripod )


I'm saving my speaker in different configuration : vertical; horizontal wedge, front fill ... and it takes a long time to vectorworks to save the plugin ... (VW looks freezed but it is not it  works in background...)



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11 hours ago, Ben59 said:

I'm saving my speaker in different configuration : vertical; horizontal wedge, front fill ... and it takes a long time to vectorworks to save the plugin ... (VW looks freezed but it is not it  works in background...)


That was a bug in SP3 that's fixed in SP4.

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7 hours ago, Lunar Waneshaft said:


That was a bug in SP3 that's fixed in SP4.

I'm in SP4 and the "bug"(if we speak about the same stuff) is still here 😞

In order to win time , instead of using the flip button and set the tilt, I duplicate speaker and save it in 3 positions

Horizontal "front fill" 

horizontal "wedge"


but when editing the 3d component , rotate it, it rotate with its center as axe, so the rotated speaker isn't at Z0 .

So I put it at z=0 and exit the editing mode and at his time VW looks frozen ...



Edited by Ben59
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@Lunar Waneshaftthank's, yes it looks very similar ... So I'll seek info about that bug ... But are you sure about that resolved bug in sp4 ? i can't find anything about that ...

may it is in another release ? i can't find anything on the forum too (may I'm looking badly, so if you have a link about that, can you put it here ? )
thanks for your help


So what else about @David Dauphin post and about mine ?

21 hours ago, Ben59 said:

Is it possible as for lighting equipment too add stand as accessory  (and not just the tripod )


Edited by Ben59
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1 hour ago, Lunar Waneshaft said:

@Ben59 could you post a screen recording of what’s happening?

I think i become totally mad, I can't reproduce it ... 
It looks like the bug disappear, but I'm sure I was on sp4 more than 2 days ago (I did the update the day they was downloadable), may it was a problem with the french licence (i have a us version but a french licence and update are 1 month delayed in france compared with US )...

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Hey Keith, it's the record format (not the plugin object). I've posted about this elsewhere but the VW content team needs to correct the errors. Long story short, if you download content from the package manager:




... some of the bumpers and speakers don't have the correct unit markers entered in the record (either blank, feet or inches):




... so the fix is to manually enter "mm" after each value in the record.


I'm sure this bug has been reported countless times over the past decade but I'll submit it again, and follow up on it now.

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