In the early days of playing I had to remind myself of things like "let the amp do the heavy lifting" (instead of my fingers), so over the past little while I've come up with a few points that seem to be helping with the System. I'd really appreciate your comments on these little maxims I try to remember when setting up and playing.
Perception of volume and hearing yourself.
About Volume, Ear-Fatigue & Volume Rising as the gig wears on.
Over the top? Do I need help?
Thanks for reading.
replaced references to PAS with System (observing trademarks)This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
Need to pick up one of thost sound pressure level meters!!!
Nice write up ST. I need to share this with my band members. Would like to read Bose's comments too!
Great post, ST. I'd add a couple of points:
1) If you center the PAS behind you and step away from the microphone (assuming you have one), you're going to get feedback. Funky mic orientation (off-axis by a bit, say 15 degrees) can help a whole lot here. And don't forget to tilt the mic up as Bose recommends...the point is that you don't want the mic pointing directly at the tower.
2) Regarding the use of the sound meter: It's important for everyone in the band to understand the dispersion characteristics of the system, preferably by experiencing it for themselves...send each band member out into the room with the PAS running (perhaps with recorded music) at a realistic volume. Then use the sound meter to PROVE to them that the levels on stage are amazingly low. Dispel any future doubts about whether or not the mix is loud enough by reminding band members of what they heard with their own ears.
Ask the audience if everyone can hear the band okay...especially those at the back of the room.
Don't forget that musicians often want the music to be louder than it needs to be. We're not in the business of punishing the audience. Volume alone is not impressive.
Too many bands are too flippin' loud*.... My criterion is that if everyone in the audience can carry on a conversation without having to shout at one another, it's about right. For the smallish venues where I play, this means about 90-95 db right in front of the stage.
3) I appreciate the bit about people walking between you and your PAS, but IMHO in the interests of peace on the stage it might be wise to not get too anal about that. If everyone understands that they shouldn't loiter right there, what's the big deal if they pass through the "hot zone"?
* Short story about excessive volume...I went to see the Dixie Dregs at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT several months ago. I was standing at the back of the room, right under the tower where the sound man sits. It was SO loud... (how loud was it?)... it was SO loud that my shirt sleeves were fluttering in the breeze, no lie...at the back of the room! It was so loud that half the time I couldn't even tell which tune they were playing, even though I know the music. I wanted to strangle the sound man!
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"Peripatetic players " - an Aristotelian alliteration, if ever I heard one! I'm intrigued by your description of "sound shadows" - I have yet to experience that, since I tend to be more of a sedentary six stringer and tend to play with the same. I almost want to have someone walk across the back of the stage so I can hear what you mean...
Great stuff, ST! I'll be referring lots of folks to this post, in the interest of ensemble enhancement...
I'm so glad to have this old F&W here with me under this rock.
Originally posted by ST:
Thanks for you reply....
--- it looks like I had to use the attachment method to get the images to display so I've resubmitted these separately a few posts down ---
[/edit]This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
I don't know why your diagrams didn't post (I should look that up in my F&W, Cyber Edition), but your descriptions are clear, even without 'em. Thanks...
Thanks for this
I mean it - thanks...
It's not so bad when someone is just "passing through", but it has been a problem when someone parks in the hot zone.
It seems that every occasion where a musician complains that s/he cannot hear her/himself through a PAS it has because someone else has parked her/himself in front of a PAS. This most often happens when I do open stage events, and space is tight.
Here's an extreme example:
(see picture below)
One night a bunch of us were thrown together on stage and the principal vocalist was playing keys.
In another tight stage setting I was playing guitar and singing
You are right Andrew. Peace on stage is important, and being over-the-top anal is not conducive to that.
If I diplomatically point out the consequences of lingering in these hot zones, to those players who do it, I can only hope that they will remember it during the passion of playing together.This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
I agree about the drum thing, ST. For our first few rehearsals and gigs, we had the standard rock set up with the drums in the center. We had 2 PAS' to the drummer's right and one to his left. The two PAS' that were together heard each other fine, but couldn't hear the one on the other side. Likewise, the PAS to the drummer's left had a real hard time hearing the guys on the other side of the stage.
We tried all kinds of drum quieting tricks, but the only thing that REALLY worked was getting the drums out of the middle. The minute we had the 3 PAS' together and uninterupted, everything just came together and sounded fantastic, and at a much more reasonable volume level.
Chuck, I'll try the images as attachments.
Thanks for you reply.
Some expanatory notes about the sound "shadows".
I've got only two PAS units, and frequently play in
The challenge has been that when stage area is at a premium (most of the time it is for us), we cannot get even close to the ideal arrangement. I think it is the most difficult when the stage area is shallow (front to back) and we are standing too close to the PAS units.
In the Owners Guide (Page 8) there are three diagrams showing "OK", "Better", "Best" placement recommendations. I just spent the last hour scouring the site looking for these pictures online, because I knew I had seen them someplace. Last place I looked was on paper.
Here's a quick rendering of the three setups (I've used guitars instead of the instruments shown in the manual)
Situation 1 - Best (3rd illustration below)
In this fairly ideal setup with 7-8' between the players, and 7-8' between the players and their PAS units, things are really nice.
Edit - a year later...
First a note from the Bose FAQs.
What happens if a musician is blocking the view of the L1 Cylindrical Radiator® loudspeaker? Doesn’t that block the sound?
Sound diffracts (bends) around objects. So long as the musician is not standing literally against the L1 Cylindrical Radiator® loudspeaker, the sound diffracts around the musician or other objects such as a keyboard or other musical instrument. This effect can easily be demonstrated by having someone hold their hand in front of their mouth with their arm straight (so that the hand is several feet in front of the mouth) and then talking. Although the hand visually blocks the mouth, the sound changes little or not at all. A highly discerning listener may hear subtle changes in sound corresponding to the bending of sound waves around objects, but these effects are described by even these highly trained listeners as subtle. Most don’t hear these changes at all.
The issues I went on to describe below do not conflict with this statement from Bose. Rather, I think they speak to what happens when someone or something is right up against the loudspeaker, or very close to the player.
Read on...This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
Situation 2 - Best with Shadows
If there are sound shadows the effect comes up when someone gets really close to a PAS unit.
I'm hoping this helps to describe it.
But in that best situation, it's really not too bad.This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
Situation 3 - OK setup with Shadows
Things get a little ugly when you are in the "OK" situation (about 3' between the players and their respective PAS units, and 3' between the players).
Counterpoint from the Bose Support Site (added 2005/02/10)
Sound diffracts (bends) around objects. So long as the musician is not standing literally against the L1 Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker, the sound diffracts around the musician or other objects such as a keyboard or other musical instrument. This effect can easily be demonstrated by having someone hold their hand in front of their mouth with their arm straight (so that the hand is several feet in front of the mouth) and then talking. Although the hand visually blocks the mouth, the sound changes little or not at all. A highly discerning listener may hear subtle changes in sound corresponding to the bending of sound waves around objects, but these effects are described by even these highly trained listeners as subtle. Most don’t hear these changes at all.
Reference - What happens if a musician is blocking the view of the L1 Cylindrical Radiator™ loudspeaker? Doesn’t that block the sound?
Point of clarification here: What I am describing in the orange zones is similar to placing your hand within an inch or two your mouth or over your ears.
edit - added counterpoint and comments.This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
Situation 4 - OK setup with loud sound source in close proximity
I've put the drummer between two players with their PASs. From the perspective of the player on the left
Situation 4 appears to bring out a fundamental problem. Musicians and audiences both are accustomed to seeing the drummer in the middle of the stage.
What, in your opinion, is the best way to deal with this?
I can see two possibilities:
1) Put the drummer all the way to one end.
2) Put the PASes BEHIND the drummer, and the drummer out front, with the guitarist/bassist back far enough to be able to hear the PASes.
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Strongly agree with you about this:
We had a gig last night and with the drummer at one side of the band instead of the middle, everyone (including the drummer) was happier and we were keep the volume appropriate for the house.
I could clearly see folks carrying on conversations, while others were dancing and having a good time.
We were loud enough to be heard, "conversationally" with people at the back of the house (I saw some friends and said "hi" between songs), without blasting out the dancers who awaited the next song. The clarity was stunning.This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
Hey everyone great topic!
As I have written on the forum before.
when you take the drums out of the middle
and put them on the outside of the band
say to the right of the lead singer it
keeps the drummer from over powering the
pas!Why? Because the drummer has to listen more for the sound and so has to play more quietly.
Plus by being more on the outside the sound of the drums does not mask or block the sound coming from the pas.AL
I thought I posted about this earlier today
but I have found that putting the drummer on the outside of the band say to the right or left of the singer helps the drummer to stay under control. I think this is because the dummer is hearing more of the room than the pas.
Also, with the drummer on the outside you don't have to turn up the pas so much. Plus the sound of the drums doesn't drown out the sound of the singer or singers PAS. AL.....
Here's a quick picture about mic setup on the stand. The goal here is to have the microphone angled upwards rather than pointing directly at the Cylindrical Radiator® (L1).
Also, you want to "point" it off axis from the System - as if you were trying to focus the microphone at an imaginary point above and a couple of feet to the left or right of the L1.This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
I have just a few days ago purchased 2 of the systems and used them on 2 shows last weekend.
I have been reading the messages from the forum and most of the questions etc relate to use of the PAS by bands.
I am a solo musical comedy entertainer, I normally work on a fairly small stage 8' deep and 12' wide. For the first 2 gigs I set up both systems at the back of the stage in the corners, and put myself and my keyboard center stage, at the front. Would I be better to set both systems directly behind me? I did expereince some bass feedback last Sat at the gig.
Just like to get some help about where to place
them, thanks. I am running an AKG wirelss mike through channel one and my keyboard through channel 2.
Hi Jimmy Keys,
If you are running into the PAS units in stereo, from your keyboard, and the stage is as narrow as you say, then I'd imagine you're getting great sound.
I imagine you could do this:
channel 1 - your vocal
channel 2 - Left output from the keys
channel 1 - Line Out goes to PAS 2
channel 1 - your vocal coming from PAS 1, Line Out
channel 2 - Right output from keys
To do the connection from PAS 1 to PAS 2
Take an ordinary microphone cable and run it
- from PAS 1 "Line Out" in the Channel 1 group
- to PAS 2, Channel 1
Much of the discussion debating the relative merits of stereo is probably most applicable to bands. Since there is only you... (no denigration implied here) it's probably fine. I am making some assumptions about the complexity of the sound you have coming out of the keyboard (fairly simple?) and the overall volume (not band level but a little lower?)
I also think one PAS on each side of the stage is okay - although my gut says to move them a little closer together. (7-8 feet apart seems right). I can't get scientific for you, but if the units are fairly close together, you are not as likely to run into issues with the precedence effect and people only hearing one PAS or the other as would likely be the case if they were wider apart.
There's probably no benefit to putting them directly behind you.
As far as the bass feedback, try aiming the B1s away from you. (outwards away from center stage). You will have room to do this if the PAS units are closer together.
I don't know if this makes sense, but picture a square 7-8' on each side.
The square is centered width-wise on the stage.
You and the keys are on the edge closest to the audience.
The PAS units are in the corners at the back of the square.
The B1 bass units are on the outside edges at the corners aiming slightly outwards.
How does that sound to you?This message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
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