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Bose L1..On Stage..Problems

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Already In Use, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    Morning! We did a show last night in a large room, half full maybe 200 people. We set up on stage about 3 feet above the dance floor using a Bose L1 with one Bose sub and that Tone Engine thingy. The lead singer decided to place the two array sticks at one side of the stage with the sub right in front directing sound across the room at say ...a 45 degree angle.

    We're a trio, piano, acoustic/electric bass, acoustic electric guitar and vocal harmony. The sound was boomy and undefined. During rehearsal it sounded good with the Bose system dead center behind us. Looking for tips/advice.

    Our band model is soft, soothing music over dinner and wine/drinks, etc..

    Would we be better off with a traditional PA system utilizing mains and subs with a mixer? For example a 1200 watt powered mixer, 2 15 inch 2 way mains and 2 18 inch passive subs? Between us we have a lot of gear including 3 full PA systems.

    Thanks! Peace...:bassist:
  2. cbrophy


    Nov 11, 2009
    Central MA.
    Given the type of music you play...I would try to configure the Bose system to fit the room...maybe move the arrays to either side of the stage and adjust the tone engine position. If you go w/ the PA...Don't lug the extra 18" sub around...one should be enough.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Every room is different. They all have their own learning curve. Though using the sub center stage and the tops off to one side is kinda weird. Sort of point source bit not really approach. Best sound I've heard from that kind of setup is line arrays to the stage rear, sub-centered. I just hate the ear burning potential of that if you are going to get loud at some point...

    If it were me, I would leave the L1's at home and use conventional PA. No sub, just a good full range top box. QSC K12 or would work great. I've mixed a lot of 'electro-coustic' on those or K10's.
  4. The Bose concept is to have all the gizmos directly behind the band
  5. I own traditional pa(s).... L1 is what I'd use for your act ... Small nimble and easy to transport

    I'd not buy my l1 again - do use the heck out of it
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    JME... the Bose concept looks great on paper but I have found that in anything but extremely low-volume situations (i.e., a couple of "fools on stools" or an acoustic/keys/vocal combo), those systems just don't get it done.

    That being said... your instrumentation and venue sound exactly like what that system was designed for so I have to think the subpar sound had to do with how it was set up more than the gear per se.
  7. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    Thanks! We have a band meeting tomorrow. Your input is valued. Peace!
  8. We are a 5 member Classic Rock band and we use two Bose L1 with 3 subs. no stage amps for anyone everyone runs into the L1's which we place the L1's behind us always. Clean as a CD and never boomy no matter what room we have played in. One thing we are doing that you mentioned you are not is we run out to a mixing board so maybe that is what you need to do to clean up your sound

  9. What? really not our finding at all we are a kick a@@ rock band
    5 members out door show

  10. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I've used the Bose extensively in quiet to medium-loud situations with great results. That said, the way yours is being used, is a recipe for disaster.

    1. The column has a near 180-degree dispersion from the midbass up. It can be placed off to one side a bit, but it shouldn't be stuffed hard to one side, or you'll have problems with early reflections off the side wall.

    2. For bass or electronic piano in a gigging context, the minimum satisfactory configuration is two Bose subs. You can only expect so much from a pair of 6" drivers...

    3. The L1 crosses off from the sub to the column at a higher frequency than a normal PA system. This means that placement of the subs matters more than it would normally. IME, the system sounds tighter with the subs kept within a few feet of the column.

    4. I've found that monitoring multiple sources off a single L1 can be problematic. Two vocals and a guitar, maybe. Two guitars and two vocals, or piano/bass/vocal, not so good. It might sound decent out in the room, but the individual players can't hear themselves well at gigging volume.

    Last but not least, there's a myth going around that L1's are only for quiet music. However, you do have to give some thought to power levels and placement as the band gets louder.

    If you're at the acoustic end of the spectrum in terms of levels, you should have no problem filling a 200-250 seat venue with the Bose behind you, without blowing your own brains out. Placement will be relatively unimportant for monitoring purposes.

    However, if you're getting closer to rock band levels, a little extra care with placement is in order. If the stage is deep enough, it's good to get the column well behind you, so that you aren't blasting yourself in order to get good levels out on the dance floor.

    Also, the louder you play, the more important it is to use the system as it was designed. A 4-piece band with 4 columns, will be pushing roughly 25% out of each L1 system. That's pretty liveable for all concerned. If the same band is running everything off one L1, heaven help the poor sap who's standing closest to it...
  11. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    RTS -

    Glad it's working out for you. Can only go from my experience which is pretty limited, and as an audience vs. a band member.
  12. Dumb question.... (to the op)

    Have you guys watched the videos on youtube?

  13. No problem it has taking our show to a whole new level the clarity is just amazing to hear every note someone else in the band is playing is just part of the wow factor. I run my BDDI into the L1 and out to two subs on a amp stand as a monitor no stage amp used by any of us. When used correctly you can't beat it.
  14. Tuned


    Dec 6, 2007
    There is simply no way to project loud enough to a room filled with a loud chatty crowd (aka a good paying gig) with those Bose sticks unless the stage is well elevated and the vocals are very strong into the mics. Simply put, they fail most where good sound reinforcement is needed most. I've seen it many times, since I'm one of the people that gets called to try to fix it when people can't hear the band while the band is going deaf from feedback. The only way to fix it is to add a pair of standard PA speakers placed normally, turn the Bose crap down, and pipe the vocals through the added speakers using additional mixer/amp etc.

    Cardinal rule in sound reinforcement: anything done to make the easier gigs easier makes the harder gigs harder. If you think Bose sticks work in all situations you're going to find yourself bringing a knife to a gunfight, guaranteed.
  15. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    NO...Thats a good idea. The use of the Bose system came last minute for us via our lead singer.

    Thank you very much..A Doh! moment for me...ha!
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Never heard that saying before... but it does tend to hold true.
  17. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    Found two good tutorials on the Bose L1...send them to my bandmates..now to get the lead singer guitar player to adapt!
  18. Glad you found the videos
  19. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    You may be a kick ass rock band but the recording sounded like a transistor radio to me. I couldn't hear the bass drum at all.
  20. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    Here's a photo of the stage from this show...Thanks again. You can see the Bose system's location..which I now know was a big mistake! Peace!