Over the past few years, thanks to digital signal processing, audio designers have been able to develop arrays of loudspeakers. By grouping loudspeaker boxes with special signal processing the coverage area can be changed and controlled. This type of design can help minimize reflections off of walls at a concert or to direct sound to a specific point in a stadium for sporting events. The drawback is that these arrays are very large and do not easily fit into rooms smaller than 5000 seats or so. Recently, loudspeaker manufacturer EAW has released the new Digitally Steerable Array, or DSA™ Series designed for use in small to mid-sized permanent installation applications. The DSA Series permits the steering and aiming of a loudspeaker’s output and adapts it to applications where a column array loudspeaker design would be beneficial.
In a DSA Series loudspeaker, each driver enjoys its own individual amplification and digital signal processing (DSP) that is controlled using EAW’s DSA Pilot software program. Users can vary the vertical coverage pattern from 15 to 120 degrees wide as well as aim the coverage ±30 degrees. Each DSA loudspeaker delivers a fixed horizontal coverage pattern of 120 degrees. This wide-angled coverage allows for wide horizontal spacing between DSA modules in an installation.
In addition, the DSA loudspeaker has internal power amplification and 16 channels of complex digital signal processing that includes delay, equalization and limiting. Users only need to connect AC power, audio signal, and network communication cables. While it is not something we will use in every job, it is a product that definitely fills a niche when space is at an absolute premium.