Tomorrow I am doing a show with at least ten different acts. We'll probably have four Classics, two Model IIs and maybe 14 B1s on the stage. The exact gear setup will depend on who brings what. I'll also be running a couple of Compacts as remotes.

I happened to mention this to Retro Verse in another discussion, and he wanted to know a little more so I thought I'd write about it here.

We are doing a fund raiser for a local musician who has a dire illness. He and I used to work as a duo and in a band about 17 years ago. I think just about everyone who has ever played with him since then will be crossing the stage tomorrow. That will solos, duos, and bands of various sizes.

The reason for so many L1®s is to accommodate all the possible combinations of performers and gear. It is actually simpler to have more L1®s on stage (rather than fewer) ready to go. I don't move them around. As each new act hits the stage I ask the performers to stand where they want to be playing. Then I wire 'em up to the closest L1®. Then I show them how to work the T1® in front of them (takes less than a 20 seconds typically) and we're ready to rock.



Tomorrow should be relatively easy as most of these folks have played with me with the L1®s on this stage before.

The Drum kit is well over to one side, with a Classic and 4 B1s. Beside that is another Classic with 4 B1s for the Bassist. The two Model IIs will be in the middle with one or two B1s each and then the last two Classics will be on the other side with one or two B1s. I'll probably have T1®s for each L1®.

I typically run a Classic into a remote location through a wireless connection. I'll be using a Compact this time around in a large room that is well away from the main performance space. I'll probably run a line out from that Compact and toss a wire through a window so I can run the second Compact for a large outside patio.

I'm planning to have ball as I have played with several of the performers over the years and we're going to be doing a lot of jamming in ad-hoc collaborations. In the old days a party like this would have lasted well into the next day. I can't help but wonder if we've all mellowed a bit or whether we'll take the opportunity to really let our hair down. At least this time round we'll all be able to hear one another.

Edit:

Here's the plan.

There will be lots of different instruments that are not shown here, but this should give you a rough idea.


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

Legend:
L1® Model I/Classic
L1® Model II
T1 ToneMatch® audio engine
L1® Compact

Green numbers are for general notes about the Sketch and connections to non-Bose gear.

Quoting ST from The Sketcher
quote:
ST Fund Raiser

one large condenser microphone connected to the one of the T1®s - routed to the Aux output to a wireless transmitter - sends the remote live feed to the
wireless receiver that will feed
Compact in a remote room, and use the line out to feed
Compact remote on the outside patio
Original Post
quote:
I can't help but wonder if we've all mellowed a bit or whether we'll take the opportunity to really let our hair down.

You guy's still have hair? Sounds like a great time and even a greater cause ST. I know all of us here on the forum wish we could be there. Have fun and raise lot's of money.
ST -

Ditto, what Roy said!

Question about the remote setup. Have you done this before? Is everything "captured" pretty well with the condensor mic, that it sounds half-way decent in the remote rooms? Was just wondering about this, or whether it sounds more like a remote speaker with lots of 'room noise'. Kind of hollow-sounding, in other words. I've never tried this before and was just wondering how well it works.

Have fun ST! I have an outside gig tomorrow evening with temps forecasted to be in the mid-40's F!! Burrrr....winter is coming to my neck of the woods! John
Hey Roy,

Thanks for your good wishes.

Yup - still got the hair - but not all of it is growing out of places that ... oh never mind.

quote:
Originally posted by Roy:
quote:
I can't help but wonder if we've all mellowed a bit or whether we'll take the opportunity to really let our hair down.

You guy's still have hair? Sounds like a great time and even a greater cause ST. I know all of us here on the forum wish we could be there. Have fun and raise lot's of money.


Back in the day, we used to set up a stage and have musicians' parties that would start at dusk and rock 'til dawn. Setup would start early on the day of, and we wouldn't be finished tearing down and cleaning up until midnight the following day. I guess that's a 36 hour event all told. I did most of the physical setup yesterday - in less than an hour. I'll do the wiring tomorrow in about the same time I expect. That's easily 10 hours less time than it took in the old days, and probably a thousand pounds less in gear and cables.

It used to take a van load and change to carry all the stuff. This time it'll probably end up being a couple or three leisurely trips in the car.
Hey John,
quote:
Originally posted by John:
Have fun ST!


Thanks! You'd better believe we will.

quote:
Originally posted by JohnNell:
ST -

Ditto, what Roy said!

Question about the remote setup. Have you done this before? Is everything "captured" pretty well with the condensor mic, that it sounds half-way decent in the remote rooms? Was just wondering about this, or whether it sounds more like a remote speaker with lots of 'room noise'. Kind of hollow-sounding, in other words. I've never tried this before and was just wondering how well it works.

Have fun ST! I have an outside gig tomorrow evening with temps forecasted to be in the mid-40's F!! Burrrr....winter is coming to my neck of the woods! John


I have done this before using a beat up old AKG C3000. I rolled off the low end a little. I set it up with the Cardioid pattern.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how well this worked. You get a nice sense of "live" but it doesn't sound hollow or ringy. I don't get a lot of room noise because I have the gain set fairly low. You don't hear very much until the L1®s are rockin'.


The first time I did this, it was an afterthought and I duct-taped the microphone to a microphone stand at the centre of the stage.... at knee level to avoid picking up the lead vocalist and being masked by his/her torso. It was ugly, but it worked.

Since then I have used the same approach but used a nicer looking microphone bracket or a spare microphone stand if there was one handy.



If I am not getting good coverage for the wide stage I may set up two of them spaced well apart or I may take an Aux line from each T1® and run it into a little line mixer and send that to the transmitter. But that's an awful lot of fiddling around for a simple repeater setup.

quote:
I may take an Aux line from each T1® and run it into a little line mixer and send that to the transmitter. But that's an awful lot of fiddling around for a simple repeater setup.

I would tend to think this might be a better sounding solution, but it involves much more work and cabling! Interesting concept with the condenser. I will have to give it try sometime, whenever I have the need for remote room coverage. Thanks for the tips on rolling-off the lows, and keeping the mic gain set lower.
Hi John,

Here's a little background behind why I am doing the remote room and remote patio setup.

Before the L1®, at events like this we used to have the volume so loud that no one could talk. That was just the norm.

Since bringing the L1®s into our musical community I have had a running 'discussion' with the other folks involved. We all want

  1. the audience to be able to hear the performers
  2. the audience to treat the performance like a concert
  3. people who want to have loud conversations to take those out of the performance / audience space


Points 2 and 3 are hard to manage or enforce so the prevailing argument is to turn up the volume so loud that people who want to talk will HAVE to leave. You can imagine how I feel about that.

Setting up the remote space allows us to do two things:

  1. We have a place for people to talk. Many of these folks will not have seen each other in a decade. Of course they want to talk. They can have their conversations in the remote room where they can still hear the show and they can talk without disrupting the performance.

  2. Outside, we have people who like to hang around the doors (so they can hear) and they talk and smoke. The conversations and the smoke waft into the performance space and this is not pleasant. With the outside remote we can close the doors.


In both cases the quality of the sound needs to be good, but not necessarily recording quality.

If I was trying to reproduce the live concert sound in the remote areas I would definitely run lines out from the T1®s and probably even do a stereo mix.

There is no particular reason to use the large diaphragm condenser condenser microphones for this application. I just used that AKG C3000 because it was handy at the time. I could probably have used just about anything half-decent with a cardioid polar pattern.
I just got a phone call about tomorrow. There are so many people dropping by wanting to play that we may just put up a big white board for players to sign-in as they arrive. Then they can put together their band-in-the-moment on the fly.

We'll work around the acts that I know are coming and slot in the rest wherever they fit. It is going to be a very long night.

We'll have some back-line amps mic'd up and ready to go because I won't have time to do a lot of explaining to folks about why this or that will work better.

In case anyone is wondering here are a few things that I am packing for this including things I'm taking just in case something unanticipated happens.


  • Sound Pressure Level Meter
  • A bunch of different vocal microphones
  • Six short microphone cables.
    3 to 5 feet seems to work well to go from a microphone on a boom stand to a T1® mounted on the main part of the microphone stand.
  • Line6 POD XT Live and Mesa Boogie V-Twin
  • Spares of every imaginable kind of cable
  • Fuses for the Classics
  • Several small diaphragm condenser microphones
    (AKG C451, Neumann KM140, etc.) - great for Guitars, Mandolins and Bouzoukis without pickups.
  • An AKG C401 contact transducer with phantom power supply for small stringed instruments without pickups
  • AKG C519 clip on microphones for horns or violins
  • AKG C1000s just because something may turn up and this will seem like the right microphone for the job.
  • 9 volt batteries
  • Microphone clips
  • Two strings of LED holiday lights to string along the edge of the stage.
  • R1 Remote and cable (backup)
  • Extra T1® Cable
  • Extra T1® Power Supply
  • Large signs that say "No Alcohol on Stage" & "No Beer Near My Gear"


Things I'm leaving behind that I used to take

  • DI boxes
  • Acoustic Guitar Preamps
  • Speaker cables


Can anybody think of anything I'm missing?
Hey Drumr Pete,

Well, I crawled in about 5:50 am. I lost track of how many different people crossed the stage last night between 6:00pm and around 4:00 am. Long night. I tore down the stage and packed everything before I left.


I've got a tonne of running around to do today (including the second car load of gear), and then a busy night - but here's a quick mental picture for you.

Part way into the evening one of the local players came and hauled me off the dance floor.

"You've got to see this!"

So we wind our way through the crowd and get to the remote room.

"What's wrong?", I said when I caught up to him.

"Listen!"

The sound coming out of the Compact was incredible.

There were four guys (three musicians and the owner of a local club) standing in a semi-circle about 6 feet back from the Compact, arms crossed, grinning at each other and then me, commenting on how great it sounded and congratulating me for doing a great job on "the sound".

I shot a look at my buddy, "You dragged me in here for this?"

"Listen! It's better in here than in there."

It was shockingly good.

You could hear everyone on the stage and although you could not enjoy the spacial separation and localization it was not as loud as being in the main space. It sounded very very good.

What he had really wanted me to see was that local club owner standing there critically enjoying the Compact. He is a very sceptical audience with a discerning ear and frequent furrowed brow when it comes to sound. Arms crossed, yes - but smiling as he shook his head at what he was hearing.

The setup was exactly as I described above...

A single AKG C3000 run into a spare channel on one of the T1®s. This was routed to Aux out, and from there to a wireless transmitter. The receiver was in a different room and connected to a Compact.

I decided not to run a second Compact outside. I later wished that I had because I had underestimated peoples' willingness to congregate out there even though it was chilly.

I had brought the second Compact in and put it on the main stage. It served very well for a couple of sets when I needed to put a microphone on a bouzouki and later a mandolin.

Gotta run.

More later.
Hello oh mighty El One!

It was an amazing night. When all the gear was set up and rockin' the stage had:

3 × Classics
2 × Model IIs
1 × Compact

5 × T1®s
5 × Vocal microphones
3 × Instrument microphones
5 × ¼ inch jack lines for instruments that could plug in
2 × Microphones on the Trap Kit (All hail the KickGate)
1 × Microphone on the stage for getting the sound out to the remote room (wireless to another Compact).

We raised some money for a good cause (we're very pleased with the result here).

We heard lots of great music.

It was a wonderful reunion for many of us who have played together in various groups over the years.

I was there to perform and to do the sound for the show. I had a great time doing my set, and the rest of the night I was appreciated for the great job I was doing doing sound. Seriously, all night. And all night I just pointed at the L1®s and the T1®s and said, "Thank the musicians. They are managing their own sound."

Considering how much work it was, I have to tell you that I KNOW that it would have been at least three times more work for not nearly the result if I had not been using the L1®s.

A bunch of us were reflecting on it a little earlier today. It went really well.

Thanks for the good wishes buddy.
Here is a revised Sketch of the stage layout. It turns out that we didn't need seven L1®s on stage so we went with six ( 3 Classics, 2 Model IIs and a couple of Compacts) like this.


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

Legend:
L1® Model I/Classic
L1® Model II
T1 ToneMatch® audio engine
L1® Compact

I had T1®s for every L1® except for the Compact (top left) that was great for announcements, occasional talkers in the audience and some light acoustic instruments without pickups. The Compact at the bottom right was in a remote room connected wirelessly.

We didn't have everything fired up all at once except for the classic rock band that played in the early hours of the morning. They didn't use the Compact though.

Having everything set up pretty much as it appears in the Sketch meant that I could move acts onto the stage very quickly. I didn't move microphone stands or L1®s all night. I just asked people to stand behind the microphone stand that felt most appropriate and then I dialed them in on the T1® on the microphone stand. All the T1®s were set up

  • Channel 1: Vocal Microphone with appropriate Preset for the microphone.

  • Channel 2: Acoustic Guitar (and I would change the Preset if required).
    I used bright red cables for Channel 2 inputs for each T1®. This made it super easy explain to performers.
    "Stand in front of a microphone stand. Plug in with the red cable. There's a tuner in the black box (T1®) in front of the microphone. I'll be there in a second to help you get set up."

  • Channel 3: Only used if someone wanted to his/her own preamp with an instrument
    -= or =-
    Channel 3: Microphone for acoustic instrument


Setting up for each new act:
I'd run down the line of microphone stands setting the trims as necessary.
Then I explained to each performer, "Channel 1 is your vocal microphone. Channel 2 is your instrument. You can mute the channels with this button or this button. This is the Master. Please turn this down before you leave the microphone."

This went VERY fast and worked well for almost all the acts.

a little feedback
The ONLY exception was one fellow in a classic rock band who had trouble remembering to mute the microphone when he stepped away from the microphone. This shouldn't have been an issue except that this band was playing VERY loud through their own backline amps, and he would crank the vocal channel while they were playing, and then step away from the microphone between songs. The microphone would feed back and I'd turn down the channel volume until the next song. In nearly nine hours of music this was the only time there was feedback.

I got one complaint all night. One person's vocals were buried by her accompanist on electric guitar who was playing through his own backline amp. I just had to ask her to sing a little louder directly into the microphone and that was fine. She had been holding back because she was unaccustomed to hearing herself so well. Once I assured her that she sounded great and that we just needed to hear more of her, she fixed the mix herself.

Good Times
Except that the stage looked a little cluttered at times I was pretty happy with the way things went. I had decided to keep the microphone stands and T1®s stationary on the stage and this made it really easy to move people across the stage all night. I was managing the stage solo and this was the easiest thing to do. If I had to do this again, I would do it the same way.

Almost everybody was there to play or to listen. It helped that we had a friendly audience made up of musicians, their friends, and well-wishers in the spirit of the fund raiser.

It was a wonderful event.


edit: updated Sketch
Here is a picture of the stage area just before the night began.




It's a pretty amazing thing to have all those L1®s lined up and just take just moments to get people setup and playing. It's just outrageous.


edit: repaired image

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