Time alignment is one of those things that you won’t notice when it’s done well, but it will always cause complaints if there are issues. Essentially, time aligning a sound system means that the audio from the main system will hit the ears of a listener at the same time as the audio from any delay or fill system. While this is critical for live sound, it also has a major role to play in installed solutions.
Getting your timing right
One good example of how important time aligning can be found at the Kadwa Patidar Centre in Harrow. This venue has a large main hall which is used for weddings and community events where we installed a powerful TW AUDiO Ella system as the main PA. But the audio experience for anyone visiting the Centre begins in the lobby directly in front of the main hall.
The lobby is the first space you enter in the building and is equipped with Yamaha ceiling speakers. As you enter the lobby you directly face the main hall so when the doors to the hall are opened and the system is turned on, the main PA will fire straight through into the space. If you don’t time align the ceiling speakers to the main PA people would hear interference and delays between the two systems.
Time alignment is important in venues like the Kadwa Patidar Centre because it can really detract from the actual quality of the experience if the sound is not arriving at you at the right time. If your very first experience when you walk through the door is a confused and jumbled sound then that is going to reflect very badly on the venue and the event that is taking place.
At Flipside AV, we believe that getting small things like this right is all part of the job.