On a hot & partly RAINY Saturday, we had a musically great, but lightly attended outdoor festival with four L1 Systems (many thanks to the Green Willow Folk Club of Delaware for the loan two L1+B1 Systems!
Because of the threat of (and actual!) rain, not all the performers came, and the audience was definitely limited by the weather, but those who DID come had a great time!
The photo below shows the initial setup of 4 L1 Systems. Last year we only used two Systems for this event, and the volume was adequate, but not real satisfying out "on the hillside". This year, not only did we have 4 Systems, but we also set them up at the front sides of the stage rather than behind the performers. We had two L1+B1, one L1+2B1, and one L1+4B1+A1.
We did some initial experiments with the EQ and the placement of the stacks of B1's while listening to 'tracks' through just the outer two Systems (2B1 & 4B1 Systems).
We started with the B1 stacks "in the stage" ... that is, not in front of the side walls.
With the EQ flat, we could get it loud, but at about 100' the bass got a bit thin. By turning the Bass EQ up (from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock), we got balanced sound out to nearly 250-300' (think American football field ... out to the small pavilion you'll see in a later photo).
We then moved the B1 stacks over in front of the side walls. It did make a difference!! We actually turned the Bass EQ back down (to about 1:30 o'clock) to keep a good balance ... it was too "rumbly". Not only that, the overall low-end response was smoother with the B1's against the wall. Our speculation is that the low stuff was rolling around in the stage area and causing non-uniform projection out in the listening area.
One other thing to note about these first two photos. ALL the equipment you see except the mixing board (the 4 L1 Systems with 8 B1's, 6 mic & music stands, the whole drumset, keyboard, 2 stools, extra power cords, etc.) all arrived in the back of a Toyota Sienna (with the seats out).
We had the initial setup and testing done in less than an hour!
This year we had a sound guy with a 24-channel Mackie board with 4 auxilary sends, which was ideal, because we could easily feed any combination inputs to any of the 4 L1 Systems.
My ideal would have been to have TWO lines to each L1 -- one for vocal mics and one for other instruments and instrument mics, but we didn't have enough cabling to attempt that -- that stage is >40' across! It still worked out o.k.: I had the inputs from the board to the L1's all using preset 14 (v2), because that worked best for the vocal mics we had. (The testing noted previously with tracks was done with preset 00.)
The really GREAT thing with this setup was that there was plenty of sound on the stage from the back-side of the L1's, so we didn't need monitors. A couple of the "louder" groups late in the day were a bit concerned about the lack of monitors initially, but -- except as noted along with a later photo below -- there were no severe problems with hearing on the stage.
This is one of the two dance groups. (The second dance group performed after some rain, and didn't want to chance slipping on the stage, so they performed on the ground in front of the stage!)This message has been edited. Last edited by: Dan Cornett,
The drummer & keyboardist could both hear well without monitors?
(oops, we must have been posting simultaneously)
I have yet to try putting the L1 in front of me.
I hear that you can still hear well.
Interesting bass response findings.
One of the "pre-rain" groups was this local bluegrass group, the Joe Hillman Band ... this was the middle of 3 gigs they had scheduled that day!
(This was the easiest, because they didn't have to set up any of their equipment -- just their instruments!)
They are good ... and the sound was great. Four performers, four vocals, four instruments, four L1 Systems -- what else could you want!?!?! We made sure the two mics/lines for each performer went to only one L1 System each. The bass player used his little tiny amp, but we took a direct out from it to the 4B1 System.
Between the last photo and the one below, we had a 20-person community choir sing. Unfortunately, it started to rain buckets during that performance, and they really couldn't be heard.
When the rain first started to sprinkle, we pulled the L1's back about a foot under the roofline -- the wind wasn't blowing. When it started raining harder, the L1's were pulled back another foot, and the B1 stacks were brought back under the stage roof, too.
The biggest problem was that the stage sloped a bit and had a slight slope from front to back, with no drainage between the (fake wood) boards, so the water started to run back onto the stage area. The sound guy ended up shutting off the power to everything so none of the cables/equipement would short out or cause a shock hazard!
After the community choir, while waiting to see what would happen with the rain, some folks got on the various hand drums available and had an impromptu "drum circle"!
Ahhh... modern technology ... the sound guy had his phone set up to be able to check weather radar maps, and we could see that the storm shouldn't last long!! So, we waited it out, with some acoustic guitar and Mexican folk songs with the audience, who were gathered up in the upper picnic pavilion (the brown roof in the distance in the photo below). We then used a piece of carpet to swish the water off the front of the stage, .... and gave thanks for the sealed design of the PS/1 base units!!! ... and everything came back on without any trouble!
I guess I really should have titled this topic "How Bose L1 Systems survived a rain storm!"
In the photo below you can see that the front of the stage area is still a little wet.
More importantly, you can see the distance from the stage to the picnic pavilion up the hill. That distance is nearly 300' -- and the sound was loud enough that you had to talk a little bit louder than normal to have a conversation!!!
While you can't see it well from this photo, there is a bathroom facility about 450' at 45 degrees from the stage (look up past the car in the photo) -- while the sound was, of course, much softer up there, you could still hear -- and understand -- the vocals quite clearly from that distance!
Here is a stage shot of the same group shown in the previous photo ... it was one of the larger "band" groups -- but they had plenty of room to move around!
You can see that the bass amp is mic'd; the electric guitar amp had a mic, too. The acoustic (and lead) guitarist had a collection of 3 little stomp boxes (which you can also see in the previous photo ... don't ask me what they were!) which was fed direct to the board and then to one L1. He had a little trouble getting sound at first, but it turned out to be the cable between the guitar and the first box!
The drums are also mic'd: kick, snare, and overhead.
You can note that the vocalists' mics are just behind the line of L1's; that's probably the place of least sound from the L1's, and I noticed that these singers tended to drift back on the stage so they could hear themselves better (more on this "monitoring" in a subsequent reply).
Not all the perfomers were groups! This young man played some really cool jazz on sax and flute, using CD tracks. We played the CD tracks through the outer two L1's, and the two mics for his instruments went to the two inner L1's.
A monster sound!
The second-to-last group of the evening was a group called The Turning Point. They were a bit skeptical about what I had told them on the phone regarding the equipment we were using (because it was new to them). However, when they arrived and walked into the park as other groups were playing & singing, you could see the skepticism change to wonder and amazement.
In this photo, one of the first songs they did, there was a bit of trouble with the vocalists being able to hear themselves, as well as a small bit of feedback trouble as the sound guy tried to turn up the vocals a bit. There turned out to be two aspects to "fixing" those problems. (See my next reply & photo.)
The first thing was to have the singers move forward to the front edge of the stage (as you can see in this last photo of the set). That helped the vocalists to hear themselves better. But the sound was still not what I expected out in front.
I went back to check the mixer board, and found that two of the vocal mics were being fed to more than one L1! Once that was "corrected", so that each vocal mic was only going one L1...
Wow! The vocals really became much clearer ... and there were no further problems with feedback.
The sound quality is different ... but still better -- and more widely dispersed! -- than conventional monitors.
The keyboardist had probably the "loudest" position on the stage for whatever was coming from the two L1's on that side.
However, that stage is "live" enough, and there was plenty of "back side" sound, that hearing even from the L1's on the opposite side was not a major issue for the performers, particularly at the back of the stage (where the drummers were) ... the only consistent "monitoring" problem was for those beside, rather than behind, the L1's. Moving forward or backward from that spot (at an angle of about 10 degrees back from the L1) would "fix" even that problem.
The interesting thing is that the groups which had to do the most "adjusting" to hear themselves were the groups with the loudest on-stage volume!! I'm pretty sure that if they had their own L1's to get used to, they would have been accoustomed to "quieter" stages and not have taken as long to adjust to the setup we used.
We were really cranking the volume out in front! I did not want to stay in the area within 15-20' of the L1's -- it was too loud for me (that was the road area anyway, so no one was sitting/standing there listening, either). However, it was good sound, and tolerable, because not a single dancer from the group which danced right in front of the stage made any comment about it being too loud (and they would have!).
(edit: typos).This message has been edited. Last edited by: Dan Cornett,
great pictures Dan...so how did the L1's & B1's do in the rain? Did you cover them when it was raining?DancingDogMuse
When if first sprinkled lightly, the PS/1's were positioned such that there were just a very few sprinkles hitting the front edge ... and there was virtually no wind, so I didn't worry about water hitting the speakers inside the B1's or L1's either.
When it started to rain more steadily, we pulled the L1's further back under the stage roof so no water would accumulate on the top of the PS/1. Then, as the rain persisted, we also pulled (slid) the B1 stacks back under the roof line.
Even when the water was starting to run back onto the stage area (because of the slight slope), I wasn't overly concerned about the PS/1's because I knew the water shouldn't seep into them due to the construction (you'll notice the screws are recessed up and the molding seam is midway up the outer edge -- I figured those are the only two ways water could come up through the bottom of the PS/1!)
I wasn't overly concerned about sprinkles on the B1's case -- no worse than just wiping off dust/dirt with a damp cloth ... but obviously did not want them soaked (even though there are no active electronics in them, you don't want to corrod any wiring or cause mildew on anything!)
The biggest water concern was the cabling ... particularly mic and power cables. We had phantom power on, and you don't want phantom power touching water and people! I read of one electrocution death when a person in water reached out to adjust a phantom-powered mic which had a faulty connection.
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