In recent years, line arrays have garnered considerable attention for their ability to provide the most adaptable form of loudspeaker coverage for a variety of sound reinforcement applications. While there are many benefits to large line array clusters, thanks to their ability to be splayed to adapt to the requirements of a particular environment, there has been less focus on smaller systems. In the worship market, for example, line-of-sight considerations are critically important. Many worship organizations simply don’t want a large, hulking loudspeaker system to detract from the aesthetics of the worship space. This is an application suited for a compact, all-in-one loudspeaker system such as the WorxAudio XL3 line array.
While multiple point-source loudspeakers help minimize the visibility of loudspeaker enclosures, the tradeoff frequently is uneven coverage throughout the space, resulting in audible dropouts that severely compromise speech intelligibility. If the congregation can’t clearly hear and understand the worship leader, it is not fully engaged and the message is lost. A centrally positioned, compact, “all-in-one” design like the WorxAudio XL3 line array addresses these concerns, and the XL3’s throw capabilities mark a dramatic departure from conventional loudspeaker systems of this size and class.
Available in biamped and active designs, the XL3 line array system incorporates three modules, each with a large-format compression driver with a 3-inch diaphragm and 1.4-inch exit (150 W RMS), coupled to a stabilized, proprietary “FlatWave Former” (waveshaping device) that delivers high frequencies over a predictable and controlled coverage area. These high-performance compression drivers are paired with dual 8-inch cone transducers (1,500 W RMS), coupled to the Acoustic Integrating Module (A.I.M.) to minimize cone filtering and provide a fully balanced sound with a 55 Hz to 20 kHz (-3 dB) frequency range.
Combined, the three XL3 modules create a 30-degree vertical system with an unusually broad horizontal dispersion of 160 degrees. When centrally positioned over the front edge of the stage/pulpit area, this loudspeaker system provides considerable throw while the system’s broad horizontal dispersion provides even coverage to the sides. The loudspeaker system was designed to provide a high level of clarity for speech while also delivering natural reproduction of music. The result is sound that makes the service far more engaging.
While the components that constitute a loudspeaker system are certainly a crucial part of the overall package, the enclosure is equally important. The XL3’s cabinet is made of sturdy, multi-ply, Baltic birch, heavily braced for cabinet rigidity, which aids in both accurate sound reproduction and the loudspeaker system’s ability to focus the sound where it is needed. Protecting each enclosure is a multi-layered, two-part, polyurea ProTex finish, available in black or white to best meet the aesthetics of the space and designed for the most demanding applications. A 14-gauge, perforated, cloth-backed, powder-coated steel grille with a high transmission ratio protects the transducer complement without compromising audio quality. The XL3 also is available unfinished so that the enclosure can be finished to blend in with the overall appearance of the space without disturbing those all-important line-of-sight considerations.
WorxAudio’s TrueLine X-series, including the XL3, is now enhanced with PreSonus Active Integration technology and Dante connectivity to create networkable systems with powerful DSP. These systems can be managed over a standard LAN using PreSonus’ SL Room Control speaker management and remote control/monitoring application for Windows, Mac OS X and iPad, enabling you to configure the system without external speaker-management processors. SL Room Control features a network setup wizard that scans for all available loudspeakers; easy-to-use drag-and-drop speaker-group creation; and control of each AI-enhanced loudspeaker’s onboard 8-band parametric EQ, eight notch filters, 800 ms alignment delay, fully variable limiter and compressor.
The AI-enhanced WorxAudio XL3 can be configured for Dante networking and control, providing users with audio networking capability without sacrificing SL Room Control remote-control. Dante’s no-hassle, self-configuring, plug-and-play networking is a total solution for transporting low-latency, uncompressed audio over standard IP Ethernet networks with sample-accurate synchronization, automatic device and channel discovery, and easy-to-use signal routing. This technology enables remote control of audio feeds and allows users to create a complete audio system simply by running Cat 5, rather than audio cables, throughout a venue.
Rigging is, of course, another vital consideration for any truly professional loudspeaker system. With the WorxAudio XL3, rigging can be accomplished using standard 3/8-inch I-bolts bolted into integrated rigging brackets. For permanent installations where visual aesthetics are likely to be a more important consideration, the WorxAudio Minibeam, mounted to the top of the XL3 enclosure, is an excellent choice. This system uses a single Schedule 40 pipe for the array’s suspension. The pipe coupler has an exit point through which the array’s wiring can pass. By running the wire through the pipe and exiting via the coupler, the line array’s audio and power lines are hidden from view and are visible only at the back of the system, creating a clean, uncluttered appearance free from the distractions of visible cable.
In closing, the WorxAudio XL3 provides the benefits typically associated with line array loudspeaker systems—solid, controlled throw augmented by broad horizontal dispersion—yet accomplishes this in a surprisingly compact form factor without disrupting line-of-sight considerations. State-of-the-art transducers and system electronics result in first rate audio performance, all of which makes the XL3 a versatile sound reinforcement solution capable of fitting just about anywhere.
Hugh Sarvis is managing director, loudspeaker division, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc./WorxAudio Technologies.