for the Bose® Personalized Amplification System™ family of products.
December 23, 2006
The Unofficial Bose® L1™ Wiki is the new site for the Unofficial Users' and Performers' Guides. The information in this thread may not be as current as in the new wiki, but I will leave it here for backup and historical interest.
Bose® L1™ Wiki is your new source for the latest Unofficial information.
If you will be using the Bose System for the first, second, or third time and are looking for quick-hit things you need to know you are in the right place. This is for you in the role of performer who may or may not actually own a System. See: The Unofficial Performers' Guide
What follows is the older version.
If you will be using the Bose System for the first, second, or third time and are looking for quick-hit things you need to know you are in the right place. This is for you in the role of performer who may or may not actually own a System. Initially, I will write this with the solo or duo act in mind. There may be another version later for larger ensembles later.
If you just got your new System then you will want to check out the Unofficial Users' Guide which covers things that System owners like to know.
Note: This document is under development. I'm planning to fill it in over the next couple of weeks so if there are bullet points without links that means that I'm working on the content. This is a collaborative effort so for now, the incomplete points are a part of a casual outline.
- Get Plugged In - March 2006 - There are several mini-videos on the Bose Website about setup, presets, gain and more. These are definitely worth watching. See Get Plugged In
- Interactive Tour of the I/O panel
- Quick Setup - Printable version (660k pdf file)
- Connections General Overview
- Connection Examples:
- Make sure the Speakon cables (blue) are really connected. Insert and turn clockwise. There should be an audible click. You should have to slide the silver lock and twist counterclockwise to remove the cable. If you can remove it without a twist, it is not really connected.
Presets are used to get the best possible sound from your inputs. They are not meant to make something sound like something else (like Guitar processor or instrument patches). The presets for vocal microphones are based on using close mic techniques.
- Gain Staging
If the stage is already set up, then it is time to talk about performing.
Hearing yourselfThis is a different approach to amplifying your sound. There is typically only one amplified version of your sound entering the room. That will be the Cylindrical Radiator®. Typically it will be set up behind you. Unlike conventional approaches, you will not be behind the main speakers going to the room.
- How does it sound? - It may seem unusual for a few minutes because you are hearing yourself in much the same way the audience is hearing you. This is a big difference because you will be hearing yourself in the context of the room instead of out of context in the monitor.
- Where do I stand? - Usually in front of the Cylindrical Radiator®. Sometimes beside it. If you are in front of it, an ideal would be approximately 7-10 feet. This is easy to work out if you have the standard 15 foot cable. Assuming you have the Remote mounted on your mic stand, the cable should be a straight run back to the Power Stand.
- Where is the monitor? - No monitor required. You will be hearing yourself through the same Cylindrical Radiator® that the audience is hearing.
- Where is the reverb? - This is typically not required because you will be hearing the natural reverb in the room not a monitor mix from a floor wedge.
- Hearing Yourself with the Bose...
Microphone Technique"Sing as loud as you're going to sing with your lips touching the windscreen and adjust the trim so that the LED just flickers RED. (You can do this with the channel and master volumes on the remote turned all the way down. Remember that when you want to be your loudest vocally, you're lips should be touching the windscreen. You can always "work" the mic by backing away from it to lower volume but always remember that when you need to be loudest, you're kissing that windscreen. This technique is true for ANY live amplification system, not just ours. Please stay in touch with us here and let us know how you, er, well, make out." -- Ken-at-Bose
You will probably find that you hear yourself better with this system than in other live music situations. If you are new to the experience, you may want to back off from the microphone. Try this instead. Get up closer to the mic. Relax and get used to hearing yourself. You will find it is easier to sing when you can hear.
- Feedback occurs when sound coming from the Cylindrical Radiator® is reintroduced into the System and amplified again. You typically hear either a high pitched squeal or a low pitched howl. The first usually comes from a vocal microphone and the second is more likely from an acoustic instrument like a Guitar.
- Squeal -
- Point the mic above the Cylindrical Radiator® and slightly to the left or right of it
- Practice close mic technique "eat the mic"
- Avoid leaving the mic pointed in the general direction of the Cylindrical Radiator® with nothing in between.
- Check the gain staging. If you have the input sensitivity set too high, it can be difficult to avoid feedback.
- Use the remote to turn down the highs a little bit.
- Try presets #03 or #04 (High Gain Bright, High Gain Normal)
- Instrument Feedback: The most likely candidate here is Acoustic Guitar and a low end howl.
- Change the angle of the B1. Just change the direction at which it is pointed. Avoid having it pointed directly at the body of an acoustic Guitar.
- Use the Remote to turn down the lows a little bit. This will tend to clean up the mix overall even if you are not experiencing feedback.
- Try preset #44 or #85 (Sound Hole Notch)
- Leaving the stage: Always turn down the Master Volume on the Remote.
- Why is volume control in front of me? Where is the sound-guy?
The Remote gives you the final say about how you will sound in performance. The System once set properly is very stable and does not require a lot of real time tweaking. It is there for you to use if you want, but it does not have to distract you from doing the show.
- What are all these knobs and what will they do for me?
- Find the Master Volume (ringed in red). This is your main control for all the sound coming out of the System. It is the control in the center near the bottom of the Remote.You will want to turn it down when you are not actively using the System.
- Use Channel 1 and 2 Level controls (just above the Master) to work out the balance between the two channels.
- Use the Tone controls. Start with all these straight up at 12 o'clock and adjust to suit you.
Important: There is a tiny delay between making an adjustment and hearing the difference. Make small adjustments and then listen for difference. Otherwise you may tend add too much EQ.
- Make sure that the Remote is visible and easily accessible to you as you are playing. Use the velcro to make it stationary so you can adjust the controls with one hand.
- Why is volume control in front of me? Where is the sound-guy?
Stage VolumeYou and your audience are going to be hearing your performance in a new way. It is counterintuitve but to be heard and understood you will probably run your stage at a lower volume than you have with other gear.
RehearsalWhen you are rehearsing, stand or sit in the same positions as you will when performing. You want to hear yourself in the same way in rehearsal and performance so that making the transition from one to the other is relatively easy. One of the features of the System is localization: being able to hear everyone in their relative positions on stage. It is good to get a sense of that before you get to the stage.
Practice Your Microphone TechniqueIf you are a vocalist, one of the single most important things you can do is practice your microphone technique. You get the best gain-before-feedback using close micing. The presets for vocal mics are designed for close micing.
2006/03/23 Links to Get Plugged In section on the main Bose Site
2006/02/21 Quick setup example: Duo (Printable pdf versionf)
2006/02/21 Quick setup example: Soloist (Printable pdf version)
2006/02/20 Quick Setup - Printable version
2005/12/30 Corrected Links (also links in from ST Blog)
2005/12/26 Presets section - emphasis on close mic technique
2005/12/24 Performing/Feedback/Remote notes - specifically Microphone Techniques
2005/12/23 Expanded explanations in the Performing Section
2005/12/22 First Version