About to get my first two PAS

We are an acoustic/plugged in Bluegrass Band (What would Bill say) and I also have done sound for years for acoustic show in Ohio/Ky/In.
I now produce a Bluegrass Show once a month in a 150 seat room with a local opener and a national headliner. I am wondering how the bands will take to just walking in and trying something new. If I do now get the PAS's in the next day or two, I will to do the Dec. show with the old 3-way
Original Post
Hi Ron:
I had to comment because it struck me that your situation is just the opposite of the norm. Usually, it's the band coming into a venue and trying to persuade the owner that they will use only the PAS and not the old, installed three-way! In your case, you'll be convincing the band!
Well, all I can say is, "Have no fear"! The bands may be little skittish at first, as they should be with all new equipment, but as soon as they plug in, set their own levels, hear themselves clearly on stage without fighting volume wars for possibly the first time and, most importantly, see the astonished looks on the faces of the audience, I think you'll have them - hook, line and sinker!
I totally agree with your last comment. When your patrons leave the show after the first night with the PAS systems, they'll be feeling good, knowing that they've just experienced something new, different and exciting. They'll be back!
I can say all the above as a result of my personal experiences with the PAS since I bought mine in August. What a difference it has made!
Congratulations on buying your PAS!

Best regards,
The Jester

I think it depends on the performers.

If they are used to trusting the soundman, you may have a little difficulty getting them to take the reins (control the remote).

If they are used to trusting *you* then things should go smoothly.

What you could do is be prepared for people who just want to walk in and play the old way... Have a conventional mixer wired up with mains out running to your two systems (channels 3/4). You might want to do this for line-level instruments anyway.

That's your backup plan. BUT

This is what I do with open stage situations with guest artists. It sounds like it would take awhile, but really we're talking just a couple of minutes.

I setup the Bose systems as though there was no mixer. That is:
- microphones into channels 1/2 on each system
- DI's to the remaining channels 3/4 open on each system.
- Remotes wired and attached to the mic stands

1. Introducing Performers to the System
But before getting into a lot of detail, I just get the gain staging setup in the conventional way. (all volume controls on the remote at zero). This is the time to set the presets for people who have brought their own mics. While I'm doing that I'll point out that all the sound is coming from the Bose systems and that there will be no need for monitors or a separate house mix. Everyone: The performers and the audience will be listening to the same sound source.

2. How does this thing work?
Time for a quick tutorial about feedback, covering mic angle, positioning and how resiliant the system to feedback as long as you don't leave an open mic pointing directly at the L1.

3. Bring on the sound (one unit at a time)
Turn up the master to just under 1/2 way and get the performers to turn up the individual channels. Encouragage them - this is *you* in control of *your* sound. Get them to try the other tone controls, and let them get used to the buffered response to the controls. Assure them that what they hear is what is being heard in the house.

If there are concerns - "it seems dry" reassure them that when we bring up the master volumes, they will hear all the natural reverb from the room as it responds to them at performance levels.

4. Bring on the feedback
With the master volumes at a relatively low level (under 1/2)
I warn the performers and then I'll actually induce some feedback by repositioning a microphone (pointing it at the L1). Then we make it go away by tipping the mic back to a better angle (typically upwards). I hand someone a mic and say "here, you try it." You can also show them that if they leave the system in feedback mode, the system will mute it in a few seconds.

Okay - we've tested the worst case scenario and know how to deal with it.

5. Bring up the volume
Okay: we've got the balance between the players and instruments sorted out, and the performers are comfortable with setting their individual levels in the mix. It's time to bring up the master volumes to suit the house.

Give the performers a chance to do their soundcheck song(s) and adjust as necessary.

6. On with the show!
If all went well up to this point - you're good to go.

7. Plan Backup
If someone just doesn't want to deal with it ("what are they paying *you* for?" (mister sound-guy)) then just plug the mics into the mixer, set the levels and go for it the slightly more conventional way).

It takes only a few minutes to go through the whole procedure and I've found that it's well worth it. But if you try to skip any of the steps, you could have an unhappy performer on your hands.

For anyone wanting to help refine this approach, please join me in a new discussion - Introducing Performers ... - thanks

Successful outcome report
I recently worked with a true road warrior who picked up on the system and how it worked in just a few minutes. He then did his performance without a hitch. read about it here...

You are plugged in, but what about your Headliner and other guest artists? Will some groups be using mics?

Live mics and moving pickers can cause problems when working in front of the L1's.

Will you set up with the L1's off to either side?

Whatever you choose to do, I would try to work it out in rehearsal with my own group before putting someone else in an untried/unproven situation.

I feel confident the systems will perform great for you, but suggest that you get comfortable using them before setting up for a national act that may have never seen or heard of them before.

The learning/comfort curve may not be as steep for you as it was for me, but it is there all the same. I believe if I had performed or rehearsed on a system set up by someone with more PAS experience than I, the curve would not have been so steep for me.

Prepare now to do the preset upgrade when your systems arrive. The new "Highgain" presets 03 and 04 might be a big advantage for systems with multiple mics.

Where are you? Tell us about your venue and show dates!

You are right Oldghm, we will need to get used to them before taking them to the "Shows". We are more or less a Bluegrass Band, but have been "way left of center" for a long time(we plugged in 20 years ago, in the days of NGR).
The shows I produce are held once a month in Wilmington, Ohio (2nd Saturday)at the Samuel Walker Building. All the buildings along Main St. have been restored to the 1900 look, the Murphy Theater (2 doors away) and Main St. were used in the filming of "Lost In Yonkers".
Yes, we will be using a lot of open mic's, 4 Voc. and 4 Inst. When I do start to use the PAS's, I plan on putting them one on eather side at the back of the stage. I will use my Mackie 1642 to mix and send the L-R path back to the stage.(Once I have the levels up, I do not plan on doing any mixing...it will just look that waySmile
I just found out I will not get my PAS's till the 17th. This will give me some time to use them at home and learn the ins & outs, before I take them to the Jan. 05 show.

PS Dec. 11 show: Special Consensus / The Pik Crew
Hey Ron,

Boy I've got to offer my two cents on this. I've found doing it this way (putting unfamiliar musicians in front of our system) to be a blessing or curse and not much in between.

For one thing, they will be hearing things differently, probably more clearly than ever before and they may not like that. There's no hiding with this approach.

If they are pros, they jump on board immediately, no worries. If they are not, it can be a situation where their fears feed on their playing and their playing feeds their fears. A downward spiral that spins faster with each passing flub.

I think ST's suggested path is great. Tell them what to expect and why this might be a better experience. Set expecatoins that the system will meet and prepare them for what's different.

"In order to be better, you have to be different" is a Bose mantra ... this will be different.

Originally posted by Steve-at-Bose:
Hey Ron,


<If they are pros, they jump on board immediately, no worries.
For the most part they are pros, and most that I know want to be in control.

<I think ST's suggested path is great. Tell them what to expect and why this might be a better <experience. Set expecatoins that the system will meet and prepare them for what's different.
This sounds good to me, but then again WE were one of the first Bands/Sound Co.'s that had and used Reverb-Harmonizers in an outdoor Bluegrass Festival setting in '79.
<"In order to be better, you have to be different" is a Bose mantra ... this will be different.

That must be why there is a sign over my desk at work that reads NON CONFORMING (I am a QS9000 auditor/supplier quality tech for GEP - think Hummer -) but this is Bluegrass...You Gotta have a day job.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ron:
We are an acoustic/plugged in Bluegrass Band (What would Bill say)<<<snip>>>

The best laid plans of .......you know the rest. But, I did get my first PAS / B1x2 today, at Guitar Center in Cincinnati. Andy in "Pro Sound and John Cole (before becoming a manager there, he was an agent for Bluegrass Acts, one of whitch was mine) were good to work with. I did have to change my plan a bit, and only get one unit for now. With any luck the next one or two units will soon be here. The past 5 hours have been spent in a learning the dos and don'nts, but all in all, I am a happy picker tonight. Thanks Bose
Well, we did our first show with the PAS on Jan. 8th. As I was doing setup, the featured act for the night came in (Jimmy Bowen & Santa Fe) and were impressed with the sound (so was I). But at this time I only had one or two mic's hot. The system is more than capable to handle the room, but with the addition of more open mic's (4 pc Bluegrass Band, ie 4 vocals / 4 instruments, with the Up-Right Bass being the only DI line into a Mackie 1604) things started to get out of hand. I had with me two full-range boxes & two biamped monitors just so they have some things around them that they were comfortable with.
As it worked out, I backed the PAS down a bit...( to get rid of the feedback of 7 open mics pointed at it) just turned up the full-range house a bit and only put the guitar (D-28) and banjo (Huber) in the monitor. From the Mackie, I used Sub 1-2 to feed the FoH full-range / Aux 1 to feed the guitar/banjo to the monitors & L-R sum to feed the PAS.
Next month our show will be on the 12th with my own band ( The Muddy River Band )playing along with "Honi Deaton & Dream". For this show I hope to have my 2nd PAS. I will still be short inputs, so I will still be using the Mackie, but I have read here on the forum that some people have moved the PAS up to the "front line". I will be trying this at home before I do the next show.

Ron Murphy
The Muddy River Band
M.R. Productions, Inc.
Well, by Friday we will be a 2 PAS group. We have a show to do the next night in an odd shape room (stage is set in an alcove) so I may bring a "full range" box to fill out the "out of the way" parts of the room. By adding the 2nd PAS I can leave home 4 bi-amped floor monitors and an amp rack. This is a good thing.
Thanks Bose

If you can play "The Burning Times" on the banjo, you just might be a pagan redneck.
Hi Ron,

Congratulations on getting the second system. Too bad the first time out is in such a peculiarly shaped room.

I think your idea in your January 16th post about moving the second system up to the front line should help with the coverage in the room.

Generally, if you can see the L1, then you can hear it. Does that make sense?
We had our 2nd outing with the PAS this past Sat. This time with 2 / L1&2B1 systems. I still had some "front fill" with me, but left the floor monitors and amp rack at home. My wife and I produce the shows and this time we played also. When our feature act got there, (Honi Deaton & Dream) I showed them the PAS and we did a few demo's. Their responce was to leave the "in-ear" system in the bus.
We only had a bit of feedback (I still have 8 open mic's pointed at 2 systems. This was fixed with mic positioning.
All in all, it was a good night and at the end, we loaded all the equipment into an Avalanche was able to hit a "drive-thru" on the way home (NO TRAILER this time)


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