On Saturday night I was performing and doing sound for an event with about 15 acts. We started at 6:00 pm and wound up about 9 hours later. The area I were servicing as perhaps 2500 square feet in the main space, seating 150 people. There were another 100 in a remote area.

I had six L1®s on the stage
3 Classics
2 Model IIs
1 Compact

We started with several solo acts, then duos, another solo, then a five piece ensemble, a four-piece country/bluegrass band, then four more solo singer songwriters.

Near the end of the night we had a classic rock band on the stage. They were adamant about using their own backline amps.

I have worked with them before and they are LOUD. While they roll in their gear the volunteers remove the chairs and roll up the carpets. It's been a great concert and now it's time to partay!

The band is known for pushing the limits and this means running the L1®s pretty hot and much closer to the brink of feedback than I like. I show them how to use the T1®s to control their volume and to dial in effects ("It ain't classic rock without effects!"), the mute and FX mute buttons. We all agree that the band is now in control of the sound. I stepped back and let them have the stage.

About 90 seconds into the first song there is an incredible shrieking noise. It is nothing I had ever heard come out of an L1®. There is a moment (an eternity) where everyone but the lead vocalist / guitarist looks at me like - "Hey Sound Guy fix this!". I'm looking back at them "It's not my gear". The lead vocalist / guitarist is wailing away, oblivious.

I leap to the stage and I'm bobbing and weaving using my ear like a metal detector trying to find the warbling high-pitched scream. It is NOT the L1®s. It IS the Lead Guitarist's stack. I point that out to the Bassist (the leader of the band) and he shakes his head in disbelief.

I bend down to mime ("Hey - you can hear it right here!"). He bends down too and touches one of the controls on the amp. The shrieking gets louder and he jerks upright recoiling at the sound. As he's coming up he whacks me in the head with the headstock of his Bass.

As I'm reeling backwards from the blow the Bassist turns down the Guitarist's amp. Yup that was it. I'm hearing this little voice in my head, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye". The point of impact was ¼ inch from my left eye.

Later the Guitarist says, "Oh yeah, that happens when I'm running too loud with the flanger on."

Continuing on...
They fill the dance floor, but within half an hour the room is all but empty. They have pushed people into the remote room and outdoors. I wonder why they seem unaware that they are playing to an empty dance floor.

By this point I've been examined by a doctor who was in the house, and strangely, a lawyer too. I'll be fine but, "Yeah, that's going to leave a mark". A quarter inch to the right and it would have meant a trip to the hospital. I was lucky.

Later: Nursing my wound with an ice pack.
Out of curiosity, I put in my ear plugs and pull out my sound pressure level meter. I venture into the near-empty room. At 20 feet from the stage it is sitting steady at about 115 dB. (Joel - that's C weighted). The L1®s for vocals and 12 string guitar are keeping up with everything else just fine.

The next day my head is ringing. I'm not sure if it was the aural assault or the head bashing battery that was the cause.

Edit: point of impact.


Photos (1)
Original Post
Hey ST,

Sorry about the accident.
A black eye will usually heal just fine, but ears can be damaged for life with that ridiculous level of sound.

Thank God for earplugs when we need them and thank Bose for helping us not to need them most of the time.

Take care,

Hi Col. Andy,

I'm recovering nicely. Thanks!

Here's a picture from an event in this venue earlier this year.

You can read all the details in Lots of Acts: Lots of L1®s

The Compact is located at the far left of the picture.

Originally posted by Col. Andy:
Ouch! Hope you are all better.
I am curious to know if you use the Compact at the same time with the Classics and Model IIs? If so how does the sound hold up away from the stage?


I had set up the Compact just in case I needed more inputs than I had with the other (5) L1®s and T1®s on the stage. We didn't NEED it this time around. Last time we had an event like this I ended up using it for Mandolin and Bouzouki. It was fine and for those instruments the Compact projected clearly in this space and held up well against the big L1®s.

Compact for Spoken Word
This time we had several different Masters of Ceremony and other talkers so I set up an ancient Sennheiser microphone with the Compact and dedicated it to that specific task. The Sennheiser microphone had an on/off switch and this made things SO much simpler.

Here's a Sketch of how things were set up with notes about how we used the Compacts.

-- click image to make changes to the live version --

Thanks for asking. Cheers.
Hey Ken,

Originally posted by Ken-at-Bose:

The only thing good I can say is that we (here) live in a world where this horrible kind of thing happens less and less.



Setting aside the whack in the head and the volume issues, this was a fantastic night. It was another one of our fund raisers (Cancer Research), and we did well on that front.

This was also wonderful opportunity for lots of people (audience and performers) to experience the L1®s in the one-L1®-per-player mode. At least four of the acts had never played in front of L1®s before. It was for them, a revelation. There were lots of compliments about the quality of the sound. I'm sure that most of the people in the audience did not consciously understand how L1® approach to things was helping them to really hear the music. But they sure enjoyed it.

Super fast turnovers
It isn't great stage craft but I left all the microphone stands (with T1®s) on the stage for most of the night. The T1®s were set up:
Channel 1: Vocal Microphone
Channel 2: Bright red instrument cable for instruments
Channel 3: (on some) an additional microphone for acoustic instruments
Channel 4: (on one) PorchBoard

Switching acts was really easy. I turned down all the T1® Master Volumes. Then I just asked people to come up and stand in front of a microphone and grab the red cable for their instruments. Then I'd run down the line and change presets if necessary and then show the performer where to control volume/mute for each channel. If necessary I showed them how to use the Tuner and zEQ. After that, I just had to ask them to turn off the Master before leaving the stage. Done!

This room is so quiet ...
This is your queue to say "How quiet is it?"

During setup I thought I had lost it. I was sure that I was hearing a bird in the room. As I was setting up I had opened a window behind the stage area. While testing the microphones I accidentally left an AKC C535 EB condenser microphone pointed at that window. There was a talkative bird way out in the forested area behind the house. That is what I was hearing through the microphone and a Model II.

Ask Rick (rwj) how quiet the room is. He knows.

I was performing in another local venue on the next night. Perhaps a dozen people at that show had been at the fund raiser the night before. Everyone raved about "the sound". Too bad in one sense: I never wanted to be the "Sound Guy" (another story).
ST - Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Hope everything is healing nicely. I love reading your account of these *concerts* and how the stage is set, etc. It's always reinforcing to see everything in the diagrams, too.

Nowadays, I now know why I love unplugged, acoustic music! I still remember a concert by Grand Funk Railroad that I attended in the late 60's/early 70's where for hours after the concert I heard nothing but ringing in my ears. As I remember, I enjoyed that concert back then. Today, probably not so much.... I would have been one of those people outside the venue during the first song... I applaud your conviction to "live music".


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