Did my first ever outdoor soundcheck for a wedding I'll be doing in a few months.

Input Minidisc
Channel 3 & 4, trim 6
Master volume.... 2

I was standing approx 40-50 feet out.

L1 drop-off was hardly noticable
B1 volume however dropped off halfway the distance of the L1.

No problems though, the music to be played won't be bass heavy. I just ran my audio check tracks.




I need more B1s...



I need more B1s...

hahahahaha Big Grin


Photos (1)
Original Post
I didn't bother bringing my RTA on that trip since it wasn't really a critical setup... but since I only have 2 single bass systems, I did try a single and a double bass setup on ONE system.

The bass does still drop off at half the distance of the L1. This is the first time I've ever really tried the L1 in an open field with full range music... it really feels weird hearing it from a distance.

The B1 however is another story... even with a double bass package, bass does drop off at about 50 feet... BUT... perceived bass frequency drop off isn't the same as high frequency drop off. There is a thread here somewhere regarding this..unfortunately, I'm not as savvy as ST with these things.

Again, I have to restate my impressions on the L1... it's not that the PAS has weak bass... it's just that we've gotten so used to muddy, overpowering bass from traditional systems. Traditional PA setups crank bass up so much so that they "balance" off at the point of reference, the techbooth... which usually means that bass is boomy and muddy in most other places EXCEPT the techbooth. (Which is usually anywhere from 30ft to 100ft away from the stage)

The PAS reshuffles things back to how they SHOULD'VE been to begin with... the BEST sound is CLOSER to the stage... not somewhere in between the front row and the back row.

So far, the best solution I've read on this forum for large venues (If you really want to use the PAS) and keep bass balance is to have PAS situated mid way in the audience using dealy relay systems.
I think Chris could give you a better explanation than me, but here's my take on it:

Since Bass waves are larger, they carry farther with traditional sound sources (non-line sources). So if you increase the source, you increase the "throw" (or a "hotter" bass wave will carry farther).

The tradeoff is that the stage volume may be bassier than you'd like. But with B1s, you can get away with a lot of bass without creating "mud" onstage.

I hope that was correct! Confused

holliwil, I'm not really sure if the B1s are capable of that kind of throw due to their small driver size.

AFAIK (someone correct me if I'm wrong) only larger subs can do this. The trade off for "long throw" subs is that you get really bad response time... hence the clarity of the B1s vs traditional systems.

One example of long throw subs are those used mainly in car audio... those really loud subs that seem to carry on and on and on... even down the block from one car. But all you hear is that low "Tooooooong... toooooong" type of bass. It kicks... it travels... but it isn't clear.
holliwil, I'm not really sure if the B1s are capable of that kind of throw due to their small driver size.

Agreed, John....that's why you have to add more modules to accomplish it. That's what I meant by "increasing the source" (using 1 Packlite for every 2 subs).

Even 6 B1s may not equal the reverberant wave produced by an 18" sub, but it stands to reason if the bass is louder, you will be able to hear it farther away.

Which goes back to your original conclusion "I need more B1s".
Has anyone been to a concert lately? Big name musician, Theatre type venue(not stadiums), 2000 seater or so. I've been to a few, Rundgren, Costello, Weird Al, and noticed the music they play before the bands come on.

It's at a low level, you hear deep bass and the snare drum grooving along...Occasionally a voice. Do you know what I mean, have you heard that?

I hear it at every concert when they are keeping the volume low enough for the audience to be able to talk prior to the show.

The Bose L1 in a similar case, small venue, playing program music, you will hear every single part in the song...all frequencies, not just bass and snare.

The bass will be weak, yes, in opposition to what you are used to hearing, but you will hear everything else, including the bass...only it's not all that loud, but it's proportional to the song.

To me, that is the difference.

Next concert listen for that. I'll bet all you hear when the soundguy is playing a CD is bass and snare...and room reverb.
Good example drumr - Just saw a concert recently that when the band came on the bass was so overpowering it wasn't enjoyable. I kept moving around the theatre which didn't help too much. So unfortunately the vocals and guitars, the things I wanted to hear, were compromised by far. I wanted to go to the soundboard and say something. It was a national touring act, so I just tried to enjoy watching the show. Frown

But on another note, I saw another touring act in a large arena and was up close. And it was fantastic. I could talk to the person next to me, hear every instrument and "feel" the music. I do believe alot of their stuff was direct and they put the time into running a sound for quality over volume.

If anyone wonders or cares, the bands were INXS and TSO
Hi folks,
L1 drop-off was hardly noticable
B1 volume however dropped off halfway the distance of the L1.

As many of you know first-hand, nearby direct sound from the L1 falls off with distance more slowly than most other speakers, including all bass speakers, and including B1s. We rarely notice this difference indoors, because room modes in the bass impose large changes from place to place that dominate over the different rates of fall-off of the direct sound waves from the L1 and B1.

But outdoors, there is nothing to prevent us from noticing that the bass falls off more rapidly with distance than the L1's sound does. This will happen no matter how many B1s we have, no matter what EQ or presets we use, and it will also happen if we use other subs, no matter how big they are. The only ways to fully prevent it would be to either give up the slow fall-off of the L1 Frown or make a line array of bass speakers at least 15 feet tall (wow!), but, aside from the expense, such a thing would be extremely dangerous. Eek So we have to find a way to optimize the effect because we can't make it go away.

Before I explain how to do that, I want to describe the effect in a different way that makes the solution more clear. Since the bass and mid-highs are falling at different rates with distance, there can be only one distance where the balance between bass and mid-highs is "perfect". To my ears, the L1 and B1 achieve this balance point outdoors somewhere in the 10-20 foot range, call it 15 feet. But how much closer or farther must I go to hear a small change in the balance? Human hearing is not very sensitive to small changes in bass level, so 3dB counts as a small change in this frequency region. If I go to either half the distance (7.5 feet) or double the distance (30 feet) I hear a small change of 3dB in the bass balance compared to the ideal. That's because the L1 changes by 3 dB per doubling or halving of distance, while the B1 changes 6 dB, so the difference between them changes 3 dB either way. So there is a large region of distance where the bass is very close to the ideal level and that region covers about a 4 to 1 distance range, in this case about 7.5 to 30 feet.

Now what if I boost the level of the bass by 3dB with a tone control? (A tone control isn't perfect compensation for this effect at all frequencies, but it's not bad.) Now the point of "perfect balance" moves out from about 15 feet to about 30 feet, and the range over which the balance is close to ideal becomes about 15-60 feet, still about a 4 to 1 range. If I boost the bass control even more, the range moves out further, but keeps the 4 to 1 ratio. So now you see how to optimize this effect. Simply apply modest bass boost until the tonal balance is not quite thin at the largest distance you want to cover. Then the balance will be very close to correct from that distance to about 1/4 of that distance. Inside that range, the bass will be modestly stronger than normal, but we all tolerate a little extra bass better than we tolerate too little. Smile

There is one thing to keep in mind when applying this outdoor optimization. You are asking for more bass from your B1s and they may not have more to give at the level you want to deliver. If you try to eliminate the thinness with a bass control and it doesn't increase the bass you hear, then your B1s are already giving all they've got and you will need more B1s (for this job) to get the bass control to have any effect. (Remember that more B1s will not replace the need to use the bass tone control here, because the PS1 keeps the tonal balance the same as you add more B1s.)

But before you invest in more B1s, make sure you are getting all the bass you are entitled to from the ones you have. For stereo music playback, you can get a little more bass by stacking your left and right B1s tight together. Outdoors, if there is a hard wall nearby, you can get a good deal more bass by placing all the B1s right at the wall. If you can't get right to the wall, then keep the B1s at least 7 feet away from the wall. If you place B1s outdoors anywhere from 2 to 7 feet from a hard wall, you will get a big hole in the bass response--bass notes will be very weak at some pitches while other pitches will be okay. The reduction in bass in that case will be significant. Try to avoid such placement if you can.

Overall, outdoor settings demand more from your sound system in the bass than indoor settings, because outdoors there is no bass reinforcement from a room. Also, people are often farther away outdoors. Both factors lead to your often needing more B1s outdoors than indoors. So John L is probably right in his first post--he may need more B1s, but please try these other ideas before getting out your wallet.
Hope this is helpful.
Thanks Chris,
Thank you for sharing that info.You have such knowledge of sound that i (I'am sure everyone else) always looks forward to every post you write.The placements of B1's outdoors..wow,never would of entered my mind. You are a true teacher & great soul for sharing.I rated that post a number 5.
thanks again..harry Smile
Thanks Chris... actually I continued this in the Packlite thread. My initial theory was to cut power to the L1 due to having only 1 B1 attached... basically a reverse of the intelligent bass detection you guys placed in the PS1 to detect B1s.

So my EQ for maxing out a single B1 is

This tries to effectively cut power to the L1 to a point when maximum volume will be running the B1 at 125watts, and the L1 at 125-150watts, or 1/4 it's capacity. Using the EQ is a crude way to do this, but since the L1 doesn't have a separate volume control from the B1, this was the only way I could think of to balance everything of outdoors at about 30 feet.
Originally posted by Chris-at-Bose:
Since the bass and mid-highs are falling at different rates with distance, there can be only one distance where the balance between bass and mid-highs is "perfect".

Would it eventually be feasible to place several B1 (e.g. Packlite Packages) over the distance and using an appropriate delay to reduce the falling rate of the bass modules?

Hi BlackForestMan,
Anyone close to B1s you might put on delay and farther out would hear too much bass. John L is right that the most effective use of any number of B1s is to keep them together on stage. If it sounds thin at a large distance, make sure your B1s are not at the wrong distance from any walls, then, if still thin, boost the bass "some". But there's no need to overdo the boost--just enough to stop seeming thin. Otherwise the folks close in may find the sound too heavy. Get the right bass, not the most bass.
Hope this helps.

Add Reply

Having trouble signing in?

We recently updated our sign-in procedure and if you have old sign-in data cached, this can create a problem. Please:

  1. Clear your browser cache and cookies
  2. Then close the browser (not just the window)
  3. Open the browser and try again
Thank you

Please make sure that your profile is up to date
Link copied to your clipboard.