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PA Systems - accurate recreation of on stage sound:


Dr. Ellwood

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At the festival I played on Saturday, I noticed some discrepencies on several different levels.

It was held an an outdoor amphitheater at a college (beautiful facility, except backstage- fairly non-existent). Being a 3 piece (vocals, drums, guitar- I'm waiting to audition a new guitarist so I can get back to bass), I knew that I had to thicken the sound some. I ran my ES335 (and later my Hamer Duotone, with an acoustic outto DI) into a Danelectro Fad OD, Tech 21 Comptortion, Yamaha REX50 on a slight noise gate; then stereo out straight to my Fender Bassman 10; other out through a Carvin Delay and Boss Chorus into my Roland Supercube; each amp was individually mic'ed. Being a big stage, I was able to open up the Bassman and play fairly loud, but with a lot of dynamics. Did I think it was loud? When I cranked the up and hit some OD/dist, maybe a bit loud; just in relation to the clean/acoustic signal. None of the other band members thought I was too loud.

Singer's husband commented that we as a whole were too loud out on the lawn; somewhat undistinct, I think was his phrase. Several others said we sounded fine. I recorded the set on my Tascam 4-track from an extra stereo out on the mains board. Listening to that, the vocals, drums and acoustic are at decent levels; the electric guitar is there but no where near the proportion it was on stage. Now, I know that the mains are to give an even mix to the audience; and if something is giving enough stage volume, it doesn't have to be that high in the mains. But it's still a good example of the differences in levels (real and/or perceived) on stage, in the audience, and in the mains.

Either way, kudos to the guys from Sol Sound for being great guys, and bringing a major PA system for a bunch of us local schlubs, and doing what they do oh so well!

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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Danzilla.. was the singers husband a musician? because thats a pretty subjective call for anyone..I guess I was talking more about overall tone as we hear it on stage as opposed to how the miked or direct signal in through direct boxes sounds through the mains...ya an there are so many variables to it..distance from the mains ..position between or off to the side of them..if the PA guys are using side wash mains out in the audience..all those things.. this is probably a pretty loose subject but I wanted to see how guys percieve it. SO lets talk about ONLY the reproduced tone of the amps..guitar ..bass ..the drum kit overall and keyboards if you are using them like my band does.. SO IF we where to sample the guitar signal the the guitar mike sees.. how different is the signal in characteristics heard out of the mains out in the venue? as far as stage volume ..I only need to hear my amp direct on stage ..OR through the instrumental monitor if it is used... I hope that all made sence.Ok update here I just reread your post.. you said you recorded your set ..ok the question then is this ... did your guitar sound like you wanted it to... and was it what you expected tone wise out of your rig..was it what you are used to hearing?
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Originally posted by ellwood:

ok the question then is this ... did your guitar sound like you wanted it to... and was it what you expected tone wise out of your rig..was it what you are used to hearing?

Excuse me for sounding obtuse but doesn't that depend a lot on the aesthetic sense of the guy doing the FOH mix? Also, the number of people present at the gig (assuming it's indoors) can make a big difference to the sound, so the FOH sound can change in the course of an evening.

 

Or am I missing the point here?

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Originally posted by Vince C.:

Originally posted by ellwood:

ok the question then is this ... did your guitar sound like you wanted it to... and was it what you expected tone wise out of your rig..was it what you are used to hearing?

Excuse me for sounding obtuse but doesn't that depend a lot on the aesthetic sense of the guy doing the FOH mix? Also, the number of people present at the gig (assuming it's indoors) can make a big difference to the sound, so the FOH sound can change in the course of an evening.

 

Or am I missing the point here?

I dont know? Im not sure if you are missing it... i guess the question is ..is your amp going to sound the same exactly comming out of the PA as it does at your amplifiers speaker cabinet? and if it doesnt ..why doesnt it? OR is it possiable to have NO coloration of your tone out of the mains?
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Originally posted by ellwood:

is your amp going to sound the same exactly comming out of the PA as it does at your amplifiers speaker cabinet? and if it doesnt ..why doesnt it? OR is it possiable to have NO coloration of your tone out of the mains?

I think the coloration issue is sort of academic.

 

The FOH mixer will probably want to (or have to) play a little with your sound in order to suit the mix to the room. The parametric EQing will probably be flat(tish) but a sound guy will often add reverb and so on.

 

What the guitar sounds like to the audience after that is anybody's guess.

 

Also, I'd guess that the speakers in the stack will probably have some bearing on the ultimate sound.

 

Is it worth thinking about? Whether the PA colours your sound or not doesn't matter too much because the room itself will colour it a lot more.

 

Uhmmm... I suppose.

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Ellwood: The singer's husband is not a musician per se (ok, he's taken a few guitar lessons, but I wouldn't call him a musician). The tape of the show did not have the tone of my amp as I was hearing it on stage. It's not bad, but not as up as I was hoping. Especially the Roland, which had the delay/chorus effects through it. And was it the sound I'm used to hearing? no, because I usually don't get to turn up the Bassman that loud; and as we all know when you can crank a tube amp, there are different tones from when it's at a lower volume. If I had a channel-for-channel mix on my tape that I could edit more, I might be able to compensate for that and re-mix; but I just got a stereo feed.

Does the PA colour the sound? Of course; until we're all psychically attuned and can just mentally project to everyone the sound EXACTLY as we "hear" it, we have to rely on equipment which has so many links in the chain, each of which colours in some way or another. The only other option would be for every memeber of the band to go wireless (hard for the drummer) and stand out in the room (field) and tell the soundman exactly what will give them "they're" sound, then go back up to the stage and argue over the monitor mix.

Vince sums that up rather well.

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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I understand, and that is exactly what I do with my band is go out with the wireless on and play and talk to the sound man and we come to some conclusions..of coarse it differes when its not OUR soundman and if there is enough time to do this. OK so there is some coloration, even when your individual channel from your guitar amp mike is set flat or nominal and dry! the interlinking of PA components STILL introduces its own character into YOUR guitar sound .out in the venue RIGHT!!!! and if this is true..IS it possiable to ever get your original tone out into the venue...or is it always a trade-off! thanks by the way for your input here ....it is much appreciated.
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Hmmm....

 

seriously guys, the PA system has been used like a fuzz box since about 1977. (I mean in the way of making you sound bigger and badder than you really are, and adding tones that you just don't have.)

 

Back when we started sticking reverbs, gates, sub-harmonic synths, etc into the chain, the chances of you sounding like you went away.

 

What really sucks about PA today is that the guys running them don't have any training in the natural sounds of instruments, and you'll never see one of these guys go up and listen to an instrument or an amp before he starts to dial in tones and effects. I get pretty frustrated, knowing the sounds that we had to try to coax out of limited resource PAs when I was on tour, and hearing the shit that spews from the speakers in todays concert halls with megabuck systems, which have the capabilities to sound absolutely wonderful.

 

Listen to your drummer's kick. Then go out and listen to the kick sound in the PA. Dude! Same hilds true for every other instrumentand voice. The problem is, with ALL of the instruments and voices set at Maximum Stun, the blend sounds like shit. Muddy, harsh shit. (Oh, and cymbals do NOT sound like someone hitting a bag of beer bottles with a baseball bat.)

 

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Ell - It's always going to be a tradeoff, in the same way playing a piano will always be a tradeoff from even the best sample. There are physical components of what you hear on stage that simply don't translate through a PA. And many times they shouldn't, to be part of the mix as the audience should hear it. (As a musician, you have aural needs that demand a mix other than what you'd expect to hear on playback.

 

That said, many times PA companies don't take time to listen for a sweet spot on an amp, drum or other instrument. They only change the mic position from its' arbitrarily decided position if there is a specific problem to combat, such as a drum that rings. I like to pull guitar mics as far as is reasonably possible from the amp, especially for multiple speaker enclosures, because the musician's perception is not that of their ear, up close to a single speaker in that enclosure. It's of the combined sound of all the speakers.

 

Plus, many guitarists aim their amps purely horizontal, at floor level. This forces them to add un-necessary treble to compensate for being off axis from the speaker(s). Try putting a mic on that and it already has a handicap. Cutting high end with a channel eq to compensate for the difference between the speaker output and the sound as it's perceived at the musician's ears.

 

I hope you don't take any of this as condescending. I only illustrate these points this thorougly because most musicians don't take the time to understand how what they do affects the PA. And they sit back and say, "The amp sounds fine to me" without realizing the only way the PA might hear what they hear is if the mic is mounted by their ear, or, at least, off axis. I'm sure you can imagine how that would cause other problems of bleed and/or feedback.

 

Case in point.

 

I mixed a show in Alabama over Labor Day weekend. The artist just found the money to carry his own FOH mixer. Monitors were handled by a member of the sound contractor's staff. I had little time to set up my area, let alone oversee mic'ing the instruments onstage. The result? I was able to make do very well with most of what they provided, but the kick mic could've used re-aiming and the lead guitar mic provided far more high end than I would've liked. I could've solved half the issues had I been able to play with the mic placement for even 2 minutes. Wasn't in the cards.

 

Everyone said it sounded great, from the artist to his management to the sound contractor to people in the audience, both strangers and friends of the artist.

 

Am I satisfied? No. Happy? Sure. Good gig, kudos, I was paid.. success. But things will be that much better on the next show in a few weeks.

 

In addition to all that, just as with mixing an album, sometimes you have to deliberately limit the timbre of each instrument in order to make the whole clear and full, with each instrument shining through in the mix.

 

But I commend you for listening for yourself and communicating to the mixer. That's the only gauge he/she has to know what you expect and desire from the FOH mix, and it's your band, not his/hers.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

...What really sucks about PA today is that the guys running them don't have any training in the natural sounds of instruments, and you'll never see one of these guys go up and listen to an instrument or an amp before he starts to dial in tones and effects...

 

Bill

Let's not get into absolutes.. because that's exactly what I do, Bill.

 

Funny story..

 

I moved to Nashville and 6 months later began mixing for Opry Star and comedian, Mike Snider. His show at Opryland USA was his band. Bluegrass. Banjo, mandolin, acoustic steel string guitar and bass with 3 vocals.

 

First day, the boys arrive and begin tuning. I had never mic'd a banjo or mandolin, so I asked Charlie if I could hear the banjo. He said that would be fine after they tuned. I had a listen to the banjo (an incredible, late '20's, early '30's Gibson Mastertone) as well as the vintage Gibson F-mandolin, guitar (A '52 Martin) and upright bass. A few minutes later I was set and ready to go.

 

The show went fine. Afterward, Snider invited me to dine with them. As we walked to the restaurant Charlie began laughing. Snider said, in his trademark, unique East Tennessee drawl "What's gotten into you, Cushman?"

 

Charlie replied, "Before the show Neil asked to hear the banjo. I never had an engineer ask to hear the banjo before!"

 

True story.

 

(OT - I just ran into Cushman at the Franklin, KY Bluegrass Festival. He was playing with his old friend, Marty Stuart, as one of the Fabulous Superlatives. He and Marty go back to the days of playing together with Lester Flatt. {Flatt & Scruggs})

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I recently picked up a Bose PAS, and have noticed how clean and clear everything sounds through this stack. Even got a chance to experiment with the direct outs, and they sounded decent. Not processed and pretty close to what I'd expect to hear. But the Bose speakers added clarity in a wide pattern to remote places in the room. Players looking for a more "processed" sound might have trouble with the clarity, but I liked to hear things clearly. I also experimented with the inserts, and could run effects through that point with not problem and use the mix function on the unit to keep it "fat" or not.

 

In this situation, I would be confident that most of what I heard on stage, would translate well to the FOH mix. I used two subs (I was playing bass) and was very happy with the thump and presence of the speakers.

 

If your goal is getting the FOH to sound like your onstage mix, the Bose just might do the trick.

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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Bill's comments reflect what got us here and perhaps what that perspective is now drawing us toward.

 

Those huge sound systems (recall the Carvin Super Concert 64 :eek: ) to sound anywhere near acceptable it needed to synthesize everything coming in and hold little resemblance to what was going on on stage. Everything dovetailed in the mix. Soup.

 

Oh my.. and when a system cut out and left just the stage amps running! :freak: what a contrast! Thin, raw and honestly empty.. but honest :thu:

 

The systems they're engineering today aim to reproduce the actual sound on stage to everyone in the audience and hold that live raw feel while delivering power and punch that's proportionate with the natural sound characteristics. Far less processing and more warmth.

 

Some of the better concert halls are fitted with these new systems that use the architectural characteristics to shape the sound.

 

It's an old science that's finding new ways to get louder with less modification through better efficiency.

 

Last concert I was at had well over $300,000 in EAWs hanging in the air and quite frankly... it didn't sound very good.

 

Taste... it's no mathmatical constant that's for sure.

 

..Randy jumped ahead of me there... The system he's mentioning is precisely the type of system I was speaking of.

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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Neil,here is a case where you are talking about PA systems,mixing mic placement and the dynamics of live sound reinforcement and control. I would never take you opinions or information on this subject as condecending! So I listen VERY closely! and learn! I started this thread because those of us who have too use reproduction of our native signals worry about (or at least I do) what and how the audience will hear us. The hundreds of hours spent in rehearsal and honing our individual sounds and techniques is all dependent on what and how the PA is used!!! its down to the people running the PA systems and support systems and again I listen to them and If I have anyting to say about anyting at a gig I make sure they have adequate TIME to do their work.
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Well.. sort of, Ell

 

Transparency is one method I employ, but often times, as was noted by bpark, the PA, like a recording mix, often has capabilities unavailable at the individual instrument level that are deliberately used to create an overall sound.

 

Sub frequency reproduction alone creates a kick sound that is all but impossible for most kick drums to approximate, even acoustically in a small, closed room. That's not to say it's better. Only that the thunderous kick is something many people like to differentiate live performance from recordings. Of course that also depends on the source material, and too often you get some green, wet-behind-the-ears mixer whose only frame of reference is aggressive rock and roll, and all of a sudden your jazz group sounds severely un-balanced.

 

Transparency is much better now than ever before, but as Vince pointed out, at some level even the best systems are limited by room acoustics. A Bluegrass band won't sound the same in an arena, no matter how you mix and what gear you choose. But that doesn't mean it has to sound bad. Just different.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Neil, I especially like the real life setup situations and stories you tell!! and I like the details :thu: I was wondering about how things have changed over the years with live performance gear and how you where able to get a good sound with the old equipment. Not that you where in the business during the big band era but do you have any insight into how they where set up. I am sure that PA systems of the time where minimal by comparison to today but other than the vocalist using a PA how did they handle the instrumental reproduction to the audience or was it not miked at all? For instance when I see old clips of say Bob Hope doing a USO tour was his backup group miked instrumentaly? in any way. Please just discuss those historical things you know about the old systems and how they worked out. oh and I have to add..im not sure who the sound guys are on here really..I think Bill is and Bpark so please add to this thread if you will.
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Ok im on a queston roll now..maybe you might know.. I used to do warm up work at a couple of large ball rooms here in Detroit eg. The Grandie Ball Room and the East Town Theatre. We would warm up groups like Mountain, Cream..J.Giles.. Velvet Underground.. Ten Years After.. Ted Nugent.. early Seger..Illusion..MC5 (burp) Iggy..etc.. anyway we where first or second warm up and then the headliners... these ball rooms had large PAs.. I didnt pay any attention to the equipment in those rooms but now Im wondering what they might have been? I know they where VERY loud and at the time I thought they sounded very good ..but so long ago I dunno. Any ideas from that era?
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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

...Let's not get into absolutes.. because that's exactly what I do, Bill.

 

As do I. But you have to realise that we are a dying breed.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by ellwood:

SO...then the goal is to be as transparent as possiable given the equipment available (PA) and subsystems correct? thansparency is the baseline you work for..no coloration at all..is that correct?

Depends upon the act, and your involvement with them.

 

For example, tonight I mixed the River City Brass Band at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. This is the local symphony room. The RCBB has just taken it as their home performance space. Formerly, they were at Carnegie Hall. Tonight's performance included elements supplied by the Pittsburgh Opera, the Civic Light Opera, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and students from our CAPA high school, as well as the guys from Forever Plaid. My job was to be invisible, yet get the soloists and singers above the brass, but NOT have it sound as if there was a PA in the hall.

 

In another thread I mentioned the recordings we were doing over the weekend... solo classical concert piano. Clean mics, good placement, no eq or compression or other effects, just the performer, sweating it out.

 

Jazz bands usually require minimal affects.

 

Rock bands always want to sound bigger than they really are. This is where all the bullshit usually comes into play. You know, double stacks of double stacked Marshalls and SVTs, cranked full in a 300 seat club, and the band whining "I can't hear the monitors!!!!" Chick singers with no self assurance, can't sing without tons of reverb, plus reverb in the monitors. Autotune, harmonizers, subharmonic synths, ... three bags full. Lots of drama. You'd think it was an opera.

 

My work runs the gamut from solo anything through musicals, plays, operas, ballets, jazz, rock of every genre, whatever... and I love it all. And I still get the most personal enjoyment (as a sound guy) from mixing a rock band in a sweaty club, kicking out some original music and cool grooves. I've gotten further and further from that as the reliance on fakery and trickery grows.

 

So when someone talks about what comes from the PA not sounding like the band, it makes me laugh.

 

It is also worth pointing out that if you are on stage, you have no idea what it sounds like up front.

 

Now, a lot of PA guys will give you a decent sound if you give them half a chance. But if you fill the room with sound and they are just trying to keep the vocals above the din, you get what you get. My complaints about sound have to do with the major tours in arenas and concert halls all over the US. I don't know if these guys are overwhelmed or just under trained, but I really hate the product that they put out.

 

And I'm not the only one. I was walking a hall with Don Pearson (those of you who know about PA, know who he is...) and we were checking out the sound of a new rig. The rig sounded great, but the operator (hired by the band) was killing the act. It sounded totally bad. We got back tot he board and understood why. He must have learned on a Yamaha 2404, because every channel was running fully red.

 

Another thing that I have noticed when taking a club engineer and putting him behind a big and real rig... when he doesn't hear the distortion that he is used to hearing from his club stuff, he seeks to create it by overloading the console channels and/or following gear.

 

I'll tell you this... given the current state of concert sound, there is absolutely NO reason for (large format concert) sound to ever suck, unless the operator sucks. These guys have everything at their disposal, in qualities and quantities that we could never have imagined, even only ten years ago.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Kwick Kwestion:

 

Are those "tube" PAs that Bose (? is it Bose?) is putting out and advertising in GP... are they any good at all?

 

Don't they generate a heap of feedback?

 

As I said, it's just a quick one, I dont' want to get off topic on this thread, which is really interesting.

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Tubes are a great marketing ploy. The best new tube stuff that I have used would be the A Designs MP2-R mic pre. This is an Old School tuvbe design. No distortion, just quality tube circuitry used to amplify the mics, adding a little bit of that round tube tone, but echewing the current use of tubes as distortion devices to "WARM UP" your sound. It was hard not to buy one after using it.

 

I have three small diaphragm tube mics from the 1960s that work under a similar design (like you see the Beatles using on the rooftops, or Paul using on "Hey Jude"), and I have their later solid state replacements. The difference that these old school tube mics pring to the sound is best described as 'rounder' without being overtly different.

 

There are a couple of new high end small format tube boards, but I haven't used them. They are also quite pricy.

 

I don't know what Bose might be selling in GP. I've never really liekd the sound of Bose speakers, so I kinda ignore the rest of what they do. Lee's positive experiences not withstanding, I'll need to be shown.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

Tubes are a great marketing ploy. The best new tube stuff that I have used would be the A Designs MP2-R mic pre.

Errr... uhmmm... no. Sorry.

 

I meant these SPEAKERS they're making these days... it looks as if Bose (?) has backed all their tiny little cones into a tall column shape.

 

There's usually an ad for them in GP. The idea seems to be to spread the sound better than mono directional speakers.

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Originally posted by Vince C.:

I meant these SPEAKERS they're making these days... it looks as if Bose (?) has backed all their tiny little cones into a tall column shape.

 

There's usually an ad for them in GP. The idea seems to be to spread the sound better than mono directional speakers.

Mono-directional speakers?

 

Anyway, yeh if you are talking about the personal PA ( or whatever they are calling it...) Lee has been using it for quite some time and is very happy with it. I find the concept (as explained to me here on the forum) to fly in the face of the inverse square law, and I generally find it hard to violate actual laws of physics. But her band has been using it and loving it. The idea of columns is an old and trusted design concept. But placing them behind the band is what is throwing me. As I said before, I'll have to experience them for myself.

 

 

I listened to Bose 901s, back in the early 1970s. Sounded bad to me, compared to the Ohms and other top flight speakers that I was listening to. I owned a couple of pair of Bose 802s for my acoustic act, just because it was the thing to own at the time. But I never really liked them. Now I listen to Dunlavys every day. I have Duns in the studio (along with Westlakes) and even a Dunlavy surround system with a Velodyne sub in my living room. I have Duns in the listening/recording/home mastering room of my apartment.

 

I guess that I get real particular about sound sometimes, but that is what I do. I listen to things, listen for details and stereo fields and width and depth. I was taught to do this by guys far better at it than I. But I do my best. I like to think that I have a good ear for detail. But I was doing a major broadcast TV show not so long ago, and the touring guy was asking me to check the phase of his rig. I'm out in the house balcony, and he is spining the phase on the processor 180 degrees, and I can't hear it change at all. ("duh...." I didn't have my finger up my nose, but I felt as if I did....) Meanwhile, guys like Bob Katz can hear the difference of the movement of a speaker cone by inches... (sigh....) So I try to make quality my metric, and I'm trying to get better. Cheap doesn't interest me if it isn't good. 'Just okay' is not what I strive for. So I apologise if I get a little intense about sound issues, but the gear is getting better and better, yet the sound coming out of it keeps getting worse and worse. It is really stupid.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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(Charlie Brown scream:) AAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

 

I posted a small epic reply at home that apparently didn't post! :mad:

 

Ell, to make a long story short, back in the hey day of theaters most orchestras had no amplification other than the guitarist and vocals. For outdoor festivals there were speakers, but mostly for vocals. Think about the Beatles vain attempts to be heard at Shea Stadium. That was the state of PA until the end of the 1960's Even then, mixers of that era had a few channels and fewer controls. If you had EQ you were lucky. Most were custom jobs.

 

To understand current speaker technology, I suggest reading http://www.prosoundweb.com/lsi/tech/la/la.php]this page at ProSoundWeb. It describes modern line arrays and why they provide clarity and more even coverage from near to far away from the speakers than clusters or other point-source type cabinets. It's line array technology that makes the Bose PAS work.

 

Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

...I find the concept (as explained to me here on the forum) to fly in the face of the inverse square law, and I generally find it hard to violate actual laws of physics. But her band has been using it and loving it. The idea of columns is an old and trusted design concept. But placing them behind the band is what is throwing me. As I said before, I'll have to experience them for myself...

 

Bill [/QB]

Read the link above. It explains how a line array creates a cylindrical wavefront that loses only 3dB per doubling of distance. There is a critical distance where this dissipates into a point source (spherical wavefront) again, and at that point the drop is 6dB per doubling of distance. (In a theoretical world, of course. Room acoustics will modify that, of course.)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I also have had a good experience with the Bose PAS speakers. And they are NOT tube amplified. I have not been using them the way Bose suggests, not everyone in the band are using them, but at the last gig I did, there were two arrays, one with bass, vocals and 1 keyboard (Ozonic keyboard running Garageband sounds) and another with vocals and piano and a DX7. We had an acoustic drummer who complained about not being able to hear (even though I tried to aim the stacks at him, but that was solved with I aimed one of my subs at him, then he was happy. (I purchased the package with 2 subs). While taking a break and playing some recorded musics (from Itunes) I walked around and my stack alone covered this room very nicely, without sounding loud and very clean and clear. And it sounded that way from where I stood on the platform too. The bass guitar sounded full and snappy and I had plenty of volume to work with. The vocals were unprocessed but sounded clean and clear with just the SM58 setting on the channel.

 

According to Bose, the best placement of the speakers are behind you and off to the side somewhat, and I almost achieved that on this small narrow stage. I was about 8 feet from the stack and encountered NO hint of feedback at what I considered to be adequate volume. Had some people talk on the mic (waving it around like most non-musicians do) and was able to increase the gain to compensate without ANY howling. I was impressed.

 

I have also used this speaker in a church setting, with the speakers well behind me, and the bass and drum machine rawked. It covered the room with clarity and power, but NOT loud. I've learned there is a difference. Will try it this weekend with the monitor vocal send in the stack and see how that works. I'm thinking it will be fine.

 

I was very skeptical of this system until I tried it, and now I am sold. It would probably not lend itself to a large venue, with using the direct outs it would cover most stages just fine, at least in my humble opinion.

 

Don't want this to be a commercial, but I do like the Bose PAS.

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Bill

Read the link above. [/QB]

 

I understand line array. (It isn't even a new idea, though the technology to make it work as well as it does, is.)

 

Where I have trouble with the Bose PAS is that the inverse square law basically says that you can't put a mic in front of a speaker and get more gain out of the speaker than what you are providing at the source/mic diaphragm. When the amplified sound becomes louder than the source, feedback ensues.

 

As for the PAS being a line array, if I cared enough (which I don't... sorry... :) ) I'd be willing to argue that a ground-stacked line array is no line array. It's just a pile of speakers. But that is okay... columns have pushed a lot fo sound over the years... even the Shea stadium concert you referenced. (Wanna bet that it was a 70 volt system? or maybe even 25...... :D )

 

But with no experience with the Bose, I really can't say one way or the other. Granted, my expectations are tainted by my past experiences with their products.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Back on track..

 

I know for a fact that accuracy is NOT what bands want when they get into the studio. For better or worse.

 

It has been a long time since I have seen anyone under 40 who is in a band or running a PA worry about sound accuracy, and getting the actual sound of the band to come out of the PA. This is probably the antithesis of what most rock bands want.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Yeah, I pretty much knew you were familiar with line arrays, but I hadn't seen a concise explanation of how they accomplish the 3dB vs. 6dB loss in comparison with typical, point source cabinets and arrays. They claim line arrays have been around for 50 years, but I'm pretty sure the theory goes back further.

 

I see your point about feedback. Don't know how they accomplish that, except to say the combination of the loss of only 3dB per double (which allows you to play the system quieter than a normal speaker place behind you) with your body obscuring the direct sound from hitting the mic allows for reasonably loud sound with less chance of feedback.

 

Let's not forget that the Grateful Dead's, Wall Of Sound that was heralded for many years was a large version of multiple PAS's in action. A column for each performer's rig, placed behind them, filling the stage and audience with sound. I don't know how they fought feedback with that system either.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Let's not forget that the Grateful Dead's, Wall Of Sound ...

I was working production for Pacific Presentations when that system was touring, and I worked the Dead in several venues with that system. It was a kind of nightmare, and in the long run they dropped the idea.

 

What really cracked me up was the use of supermarket door opener mats at each vocal mic, (Used as on/off switches for the mics) to try to get the mush out of the FOH, by turning off the vocal mics when not being used. What they forgot was that Garcia never moved away from the mic stand... he just stood there on the mat and played. So his mic was gated open all the time anyway. Nice try though.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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