Pat Metheny Group and the Bose L1 System

The legendary Pat Metheny Group played a number of dates this summer in Europe using, from what I've been told only L1 Model II and L1 Compact systems for stage amplification.

We were sent several photographs of the setup and have some technical details which I can share.

The photo shows drummer Antonio Sanchez, and bassist Steve Rodby.


Photos (4)
Original Post
Originally posted by Bobk88:
My questions are regarding Ken's post Pat Metheny Group and the Bose L1 System in the forum 'At the Gig and Rehearsal'.

Lyle Mays and Antonio Sanchez are said to be each using a pair of L1 Compacts.

1. The height of the speakers in their setups appears to be lower than the standard L1 Compact.

Are they using the L1 Compact with just a single extension? According to the manual, you must use BOTH extensions.

2. Can you provide any info about the mixes feeding Lyle and Antonio's systems, such as:

Were they stereo or mono?

Were they conventional monitor mixes rather than 'just drums' for Antonio and 'just piano/keys' for Lyle? (Since Lyle's L1-Cs appear to be aimed at his ears rather than placed at the back of the stage for the whole band to hear, it would appear he's using them as personal monitors.)

In either case, who did the monitor mixing? Did each musician have the means to create his own mix, were they fed monitor mixes from David Oakes at FOH, or a separate monitor engineer?

The photo of Lyle's setup includes a small mixer labeled 'drums'. Do you know if he had a split of the drum mics to make his own drum mix, and if so, how did that mix get to his L1-Cs?

There are also what appear to be two Furman HR-6s mounted on a mic stand. If that's correct, how were they using them?

The HR-6 is a remote mixer for headphones, fed by a base station (HDS-6) via Ethernet, most commonly used for recording. I'm wondering if they re-purposed that system for creating monitor mixes for the L1-C.

I'm curious about all this because I'm considering the purchase of an L1-C (or two).

I'd appreciate any additional info about the PMG setup you could provide.


Bob K
Oakland, CA
my web site
Hi Bobk:

Thanks for posting your questions about the Pat Metheny setup. I can answer some, but not all of the questions.

They are indeed using the L1 Compact with a single extension. This works fine. We balanced the EQ for either full height (both extensions) or none. But the unit sounds fine with one, and especially with a sound engineer who's been with Pat for 30 years (!!!) I'm sure he's tweaked it to his content.

I don't know much about the mixes but would doubt they're in stereo.

Pat takes David Oakes as his lead sound engineer and usually two stage/guitar techs. I'm pretty sure one of them does the monitor mixes.

I'm not sure about the baby "drums" mixer but I'm guessing that these guys are all grown ups and it's there so that Antonio can adjust his mix during the show.

Pat always talks about getting natural amplification -- where the sound comes from the instrument, so I'm thinking that much of the setup is for each instrument to be amplified and not to bring in a lot of the other instruments which really muddies things up. In the Orchestrion setup, where Pat was in complete control, he pretty much stuck to the idea of creating amplified versions of the instruments, where things came from where the instruments were on stage.

I'm sorry I don't know more about the specifics. Honestly, Pat's setup alone is incredibly complex, and it seems to me fairly closely held. Whenever I've had the good fortune to hang out in support of the L1 systems, there's never been enough time to fully decode the setup.

I don't mind asking David Oakes one or two of these questions. Is it possible that there's one or two you'd like me to "radio in" to him?

With best regards,

If I'm limited to two questions to David Oakes, they'd be:

1. Are Lyle and Antonio's mixes mono or stereo? (I realize you think they're probably mono, but I imagine Lyle would want stereo, given the mix of acoustic piano and synths...).

2. Are they individual instrument mixes or full-band mixes?

And if by chance there were room for a third question, it'd be 'how are they using the Furmans?'

(I chatted with David years ago after a PMG show, and he was very generous at answering questions.)

Thanks again, Ken!

Hi Bobk88,

Metheny's tour schedule is absolutely grueling right now.

(By the way, I believe he is one of those great class of artists who you should DETOUR to see when he tours hard because he and his group gets BETTER AND BETTER as they play every night.)

They'll be swinging through the Boston area in the first part of August and I'm going to try to attend one of the shows. If I do, I'll talk to David then and ask him your questions. If not, I'm going to wait till they come off the road.


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