Discussions about the Bose S1 Pro system

Bose S1 Pro

Designed for musicians, DJs and general PA use, the S1 Pro is the ultimate all-in-one PA, floor monitor and practice amplifier that's ready to be your go-anywhere Bluetooth music system for nearly any occasion. 

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Comparing the S1 Pro and L1 Model II with T1 - male vocal

s1pro and L1

Just for fun, I recorded a comparison of the S1 Pro and L1 Model II.

Here are the details.

Microphone: ElectroVoice N/D767a

L1 Model II with T1 and 2xB1
Preset: Vocal Mics/Handheld Mics

S1 Pro
Preset: Mic

Recorded at 5 feet from the recording microphones to reduce room noise.

Recording setup:

CliffMicsRM1Recording Microphones: Two Cliff Mics RM1

Interface: T8S ToneMatch Mixer
USB to PC channel 1 Left, channel 2 Right
Microphones were side-by-side so you won't hear any stereo separation. I used two microphones so I wouldn't have to do anything to the raw recording except convert it to an mp3 (320kbps).

Software: Audacity (Windows)

No effects or post-processing
I did my best to get the sound levels the same to reduce volume related preferences without using compression or normalization.

Which do you like better; One or Two?

Why?

ST

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Audio (1)
Original Post

I saw this last night, but didn't want to get into a response that might take a while so I put it off.

Here goes.

There are actually three systems that we are listening to. The first is the most creative one. It starts at the abdominal diaphragm and ends at the lips of the singer. In this case, a voice I've heard before, in person, unamplified. This system is a complex one of air bladders and tubes, sound chambers, some fixed and some movable, a whole box of strings, a flapper, whistling and snorting devices, etc, etc.

The other systems begin at the mic diaphragm and ends at the speaker cone.

All of these involve the movement of air to make sound. The first creates, the other two reproduce.

Asking which I like better of the two sound samples is sort of like buying a new acoustic guitar. I research the company and the specs, decide on a price point, go to the dealer and try out three of the exact same model, they each sound similar but different, and after hours of messing with the salesman I finally make my choice based on the wood grain of the head stock overlay.

When I listen to the vocal samples I hear a recognizable voice first. I hear subtle differences but none that I can say with certainty is based on the sound system. Why?

The primary differences I hear are in the weakest portions of the vocal enunciation. I think both samples are reproduced with clarity and accuracy.

The first three words, younger, and the last word.

Let's say the first three. "When I was". Go ahead say them. Now just mouth them slowly without sound and notice what the mouth shape, lips, and tongue do while you go through the motion of just the "Whe" portion and The "Wa" portion. Then notice the tongue as the word ends with n and the other ends with s.

"Younger," two syllables, both with held vowels and only one hard consonant. In the recording there is something going on at this point that results in more bassy tones. It's most noticeable in the first #2 sample, but on my speakers it is there to some degree in all samples. I think the singer might have been moving his head in relation to the mic position.

And the the last word, "youth". The vowels are held and the voice quivers. Why? Because it's hard to hold softly sung vowels when you can't push a lot of air, and still keep the feeling and emotion in a song. We're not shouting here folks, we're singing, that's why we need a good sound system. It is the capture of the nuance that makes the difference, and it's not always easy to do. 

I would ask the singer which one he liked best. Did one make it easier for him? Did one sound more like he wants to sound. There is nothing wrong with using the sound system for additional creativity if one chooses, but if we want to sound natural, like our true voice, we need really good tools to reproduce that.

O.. 

corrected spelling 

 

 

As your actual vocal notes varies between the "takes", it's hard to tell which is "fuller", as you seem to be singing a lower, more from your stomach  (or closer/proximity effect) note.

First take, #1 appears cleaner, 2 is fuller, deeper.

Take three seemed just the opposite.

All in all, it averaged out, no real difference to me.

 

Would you not have to record an entire vocal line, then play it back thru L1/S1, to be a more consistent test?  I do realize though that the recording would be a generation down, but as it's digital, shouldn't matter too much.

Hi DrumrPete,

DrumrPete posted:

As your actual vocal notes varies between the "takes",

That's why I did several. Not being a trained, disciplined singer - there had to be variations.

it's hard to tell which is "fuller", as you seem to be singing a lower, more from your stomach  (or closer/proximity effect) note.

First take, #1 appears cleaner, 2 is fuller, deeper.

Take three seemed just the opposite.

All in all, it averaged out, no real difference to me.

This test suffers because it relies on the singer to be consistent throughout. 

Would you not have to record an entire vocal line, then play it back thru L1/S1, to be a more consistent test?  I do realize though that the recording would be a generation down, but as it's digital, shouldn't matter too much.

Good thought; and it would have been simpler and more consistent with respect to the singing, but I don't think it would have been a fair comparison of the vocal signal chain after the singer.

Using a recording, I would have bypassed the microphone to XLR inputs on the T1/L1 and S1 Pro. Since the test was for vocal quality, I wanted to compare the complete signal chain from microphone to output - the same vocal chain most of us would use.

I used one microphone with cable - the same one for the T1/L1 and S1 Pro recordings.

It would have been easier to use two identical microphones - one to the T1 and the other to the S1 Pro. This would have meant less moving around between takes. But It would have introduced more variables.

None of this is scientific of course. I hoped you folks would have fun with it.

ST

Hi Kingbiscuit,

Thanks for listening and thinking out loud about what you heard.

KingBiscuit posted:

Too close for my old ears to call.  That said, in if we were listening to this live, it might be a big difference, especially where you are standing in relation to the PA.

While the S1 had a fairly wide dispersion, I don't think it's anywhere near the L1 M2.

I put the microphones on-axis at only five feet away to minimize the effect of the room.   I was going for the sound as the performer would hear it because I was thinking about how we as performers experience things. Oldghm caught this.

Oldghm posted:
✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

I would ask the singer which one he liked best. Did one make it easier for him? Did one sound more like he wants to sound.

✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄

I'm sure we would have heard more difference if I had put the microphones farther away or wider apart. 

ST

Hi Oldghm,

Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful reply. The whole exercise was inspired by your post Vocal Sound Quality.

Oldghm posted:

I saw this last night, but didn't want to get into a response that might take a while so I put it off.

Here goes.

There are actually three systems that we are listening to. The first is the most creative one. It starts at the abdominal diaphragm and ends at the lips of the singer. In this case, a voice I've heard before, in person, unamplified. This system is a complex one of air bladders and tubes, sound chambers, some fixed and some movable, a whole box of strings, a flapper, whistling and snorting devices, etc, etc.

The other systems begin at the mic diaphragm and ends at the speaker cone.

All of these involve the movement of air to make sound. The first creates, the other two reproduce.

It was much tougher to be consistent with "the first creates" part. I knew that going in. The emphasis was on the "reproduce part", with the frailties of the human input. 

Asking which I like better of the two sound samples is sort of like buying a new acoustic guitar. I research the company and the specs, decide on a price point, go to the dealer and try out three of the exact same model, they each sound similar but different, and after hours of messing with the salesman I finally make my choice based on the wood grain of the head stock overlay.

Been there, done that.

When I listen to the vocal samples I hear a recognizable voice first. I hear subtle differences but none that I can say with certainty is based on the sound system. Why?

The primary differences I hear are in the weakest portions of the vocal enunciation. I think both samples are reproduced with clarity and accuracy.

The first three words, younger, and the last word.

Let's say the first three. "When I was". Go ahead say them. Now just mouth them slowly without sound and notice what the mouth shape, lips, and tongue do while you go through the motion of just the "Whe" portion and The "Wa" portion. Then notice the tongue as the word ends with n and the other ends with s.

"Younger," two syllables, both with held vowels and only one hard consonant. In the recording there is something going on at this point that results in more bassy tones. It's most noticeable in the first #2 sample, but on my speakers it is there to some degree in all samples. I think the singer might have been moving his head in relation to the mic position.

And the the last word, "youth". The vowels are held and the voice quivers. Why? Because it's hard to hold softly sung vowels when you can't push a lot of air, and still keep the feeling and emotion in a song. We're not shouting here folks, we're singing, that's why we need a good sound system. It is the capture of the nuance that makes the difference, and it's not always easy to do. 

You caught all the reasons why this phrase is so challenging to sing. I chose it because it's at the bottom of my vocal range, and in your Vocal Sound Quality  discussion you said,

I have a fairly wide vocal range and the clarity / nuance of soft vocal low tones is a great part of what makes the S1 superior to the others, in my opinion.

This was as close as I get to soft vocal low tones.

I would ask the singer which one he liked best. Did one make it easier for him? Did one sound more like he wants to sound.

I'll answer these questions when I do the grand reveal (which was which).

There is nothing wrong with using the sound system for additional creativity if one chooses, but if we want to sound natural, like our true voice, we need really good tools to reproduce that.

O..

ST

Hi B.R.

Thank you for joining the Bose Portable PA Community.  Welcome.

B.R. posted:

1 sounds fuller to me which makes me think it's the L1 Model II with T1 and 2xB1

2 sounds like an S1 Pro, just missing some of that oomph haha

But I could be completely wrong!

Which do you prefer?

Thanks,

ST

ST posted:

Hi B.R.

Thank you for joining the Bose Portable PA Community.  Welcome.

B.R. posted:

1 sounds fuller to me which makes me think it's the L1 Model II with T1 and 2xB1

2 sounds like an S1 Pro, just missing some of that oomph haha

But I could be completely wrong!

Which do you prefer?

Thanks,

ST

I like the fuller sound of #1 better in this recording... But obviously there are so many other variables that are unknown and dependent on application... But for this recording, I like #1.

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