Observations from "Foreigner Performs on Bose L1 Systems" video

As a live sound engineer who is new to the Bose approach I've been watching videos of bands using the L1 systems live to get some idea of different set up possibilities. 

On the Bose YouTube channel there is a video of Foreigner doing a gig in 2014 with four L1 systems. There is a good overall shot of the stage at this point in the video: https://youtu.be/sibKEEBlfWs?t=1m28s

I noticed a couple of things I'd like to ask about: 

1. The band has two L1s behind them and two L1s in front, the latter in the position where you would put a normal PA. What's the reason for this? Wouldn't this cause phase issues between the two pairs of L1s?

2. There are two L1 Compacts in front of the band in the collapsed position, tilted backwards in the exact same way as a conventional monitor speaker would be placed. Is this to provide additional direct sound?

I think it is very ironic that the band discuss the new approach throughout the video whilst their setup appears to follow the exact pattern of a traditional live sound system, albeit using the L1 products

Original Post

Hi Bruno,

Yes, some people use the L1s in a traditional layout of FOH and stage monitor. Yes, this defeats the purpose of the L1. But, multiple L1s are more versatile to have than the traditional FOH/SM setup.

I've used the L1s in almost all those configurations you mentioned. The reason for this is the same as all things audio related... it depends.

I've used 2 Compacts as rear, side, and front monitors. And L1M2 as regular FOH flanking the stage.

I've used 2 Compacts, and 2 L1M2 as rear arrays spread out (L1M2, L1C, L1C, L1M2) behind a rockband (the reason for the Compacts in the center is that they were beside the drummer and he found the L1M2s too loud right behind him.)

I've used a single L1M2 behind the whole band as their monitor and 2 Compacts out in the audience because they didn't need volume for the crowd.

I've used 2 Compacts as a rear band monitors and 1 L1M2 around the corner of an L-shaped venue.

I've used a single L1 Compact for a string quartet.

So yes, you can use the L1 family in many way, the beauty of the system is its versatility and compact nature. I can cram 4 L1M2 and 2 Compacts, along with all my mic stands, mixer, cables, etc. in a mid-sized SUV. That's enough for me to run sound for an open air concert for about 500 pax (1000 if Metallica volume levels aren't required)

Another convenience is that running the L1s in a regular FOH/SM configuration may not need a different mix. It may just be to minimize feedback if maxing out the larger Model IIs is called for. Keeping L1 Compacts as stage monitors does fill the front audience as well, allowing the Model IIs to be spread out further than regular FOH speakers would normally be.

JohnL posted:

 

Another convenience is that running the L1s in a regular FOH/SM configuration may not need a different mix. It may just be to minimize feedback if maxing out the larger Model IIs is called for. Keeping L1 Compacts as stage monitors does fill the front audience as well, allowing the Model IIs to be spread out further than regular FOH speakers would normally be.

Ah yes now THIS is something that I am looking forward to experimenting with - the idea that the monitors don't need a separate mix from the FOH and that you can tell the musicians with confidence that 'You're hearing the same thing I'm hearing'. My only concern is feedback at high levels because, line array or not, you can't change the laws of physics. 

Then you used the L1 compact for the string quartet did you have a mic on each player or one for the entire group?

Bruno 

Stereo miking for the group. They were arranged in a U around the mics. I've had better luck with feedback when the kids were low, almost on the floor facing up. The musicians were blocking the L1 and we're about 2 feet away from the mics. L1 compact was about 3 feet behind the group. If the gig is indoors, you can also rotate the L1 to face off to the side to spread the sound around the room, while further minimizing feedback potential then you can run a higher gain.

Close lapel miking also works but you'll need to add reverb and really position the mics well. If each member has their own mic already mounted then it's easier. I'm not fond of clipping mics to other musicians instruments. The AKG C411 is my fav close up mic for those purposes but requires sticking it to the instrument.

Hi Bruno,

I'm not sure if you can see, but in this setup, I was miking an a cappella group and I was using 4 mics. The two condensers in the middle and if you look closely, you'll see two boundary mics on the floor. Those were directed towards the side singers. The reason for this was that having the singers between the mic and the L1, eliminated any potential feedback issues. The stand mics did double duty for the back singers and any soloists that stood up and moved closer to the mics.

The beauty of this setup is that the group did NOT sound amplified. They sounded BIG. When you do close miking for small groups, the proximity to the mic makes voices or instruments sound amplified rather than just loud.

Doppler Audio A Cappella setup

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