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Cobra Sound Processes Installations and Live Events with Sabine

Aug 16, 2007 8:00 AM


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Small and nimble, Cobra Sound designs and builds sound and AV systems for schools and churches in central Pennsylvania, as well as producing the audio for bluegrass festivals from Wellsboro through Williamsport.

Headed up by owner Jeffrey Knorr, who can expand his technical team up to six depending on the nature of the project, Cobra recently completed three church installations in the area.

The first, at the Berwick Christian Church in Berwick, Pa., involved an upgrade of the main sanctuary and DSP to provide better pattern control, gain before feedback and enhance intelligibility, all common problems with typical small church audio systems.

For optimum results, Cobra used a Sabine Graphi-Q single-channel processor as the slave, driving Yorkville NX350 loudspeakers, with a second output driving another set of loudspeakers with a digital delay and separate processing.

For the Mifflinville United Methodist Church in Mifflinville, Pa., Cobra provided a complete sound system installation with emphasis on high quality and high value, according to Knorr. System components included a Sabine Graphi-Q dual-channel system processor for left and right mains, Community XLT42E loudspeakers, a Crown CE2000 power amplifier, an Allen & Heath MixWizard2 16:2DX mixer, Shure Beta58A mics, and a Shure LX wireless system, along with Marantz CD player and tape decks.

Another high-quality installation focusing on vocal intelligibility and future expansion needs was recently accomplished for the 200-seat Jerseytown United Methodist Church in Jerseytown, Pa. Along with the Sabine Navigator NAV3600 for left/right mains and monitor send processing, the system included RCF passive and active loudspeakers for mains and monitoring, respectively, along with Audix microphones.

Asked about his choice of Sabine Navigators, Knorr says, “We use the Navigators for all house equalization, system limiting, feedback elimination and reduction, pretty much all of the features in the box.

“We were using another system processor before, but [we] switched to the Sabine 3X6 models so we could aux fed subs or left and right monitor sends. That one extra input gave us a lot more flexibility.

“I really like Sabine’s sound quality and ease of use, both from the standpoint of the computer software and the front-panel control scheme,” Knorr says. “So far, they’ve been perfectly reliable for us. The Feedback Eliminator feature is also very handy to have, especially with inexperienced operators. The Navigator has a very usable interface.”

More specifically, Navigator Remote Control software provides a heads-up display of all systems status and fast access to all parameters. Equally powerful is the front-panel control for users who need full access at the rack position. When integrating the Navigator as part of a larger system, either CobraNet or Ethernet can be chosen as the connection protocol. Serial and Ethernet-based touchscreen control is also possible with all Navigators.

Live Sound
For the live sound part of his business, producing audio for a variety of bluegrass festivals held in the great outdoors, Knorr faces very different challenges. “We never have time for maximum system optimization and setup, plus there are always speaker-placement issues,” he says.

Cobra’s live system includes Sabine and Ashly processing, Allen & Heath and Mackie mixing consoles, along with QSC and Yorkville power amps, and Danley loudspeakers.

“In these situations, we use two of the Navigator NAV3600s, one to handle monitor duties and the other to handle the left/right and aux fed subs. Again, we love the sound quality, parametric EQ, and feedback eliminator. We can control it via wireless laptops, which is also convenient.

A core technology for Sabine, the FBX Feedback Exterminator has set standards for innovation in feedback control, and the same intense research behind its development is applied to all Navigator DSP functions, including equalization, level control, delay, polarity, routing, multiple crossover selections, and gain management. Industry-standard Analog Devices SHARC processors handle the DSP processing.

“It’s definitely helped us get better audio performance for both the installs and the live sound applications. Our clients are thoroughly satisfied with the upgrades and installations we’ve done.

“For the church installations we’ve used the slave Graphi-Qs for all of the house processing, and in one church we’re using them for loudspeaker alignment. Depends on what we need—we’ll use one or the other based on the outputs and price points. That’s how we stay on top of things.”

For more information, visit www.cobrasound.com.



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