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Apr 22, 2019

Mobile DJ use - signal clipping and distorted bass

Hello Bose Community,

I'm a hobbyist mobile DJ, mostly playing at house parties, villas, sailing boats and afterparties of tech conferences around Amsterdam. The music is bass-heavy, e.g. techno, many kinds of house etc. I'm using Traktor Kontrol Z1 as my mixer interface, running audio from my laptop, mixed in Traktor Pro 3. My secondary interface is Traktor Audio 2.

I've been owning Bose S1 Pro system for almost 6 months now, and I enjoy using it for practice sessions at home and small parties. This is when my Master level at Z1 is far from high, e.g. set at 10 o'clock on Z1, channel indicator on S1 Pro is always green. However, when taken into outside setting of a party outdoors I've been repeatedly struggling to find a well sounding setup for S1 Pro with sufficient output volume.

The configuration options I tried so far are:

  • Traktor Kontrol Z1 -> 2x RCA to 3.5mm mini-jack cable (5m) -> S1 Pro Channel 3 (AUX)
  • Traktor Kontrol Z1 -> 2x RCA to XLR male cable (3m) -> S1 Pro Channel 1 (https://www.bax-shop.nl/xlr-rc...product-details.html)
  • Traktor Audio 2 -> 3.5mm mini-jack to 3.5mm mini-jack cable -> S1 Pro Channel 3 (AUX)

In all these configurations I would leave volume controls on S1 Pro at 12 o'clock and not touch any of the EQ or ToneMatch knobs. I also tried all 3 positions for S1 Pro (incl. speaker stand). I tried mostly battery-powered use, bcs. at home with power I can do with much lower volume. 

No matter what I do - I arrive at signal clipping (red blinking at corresponding Channel, variable frequency) and/or obviously distorted bass. I tried playing with input levels (bringing down the Master from Z1 and/or reducing Input Gain from tracks played by Traktor), but this inevitably leads to a lower volume (although no clipping). When I try to compensate for it (by raising Master in Traktor or turning Channel level at S1 Pro to 2 o'clock) - here comes clipping and distortion again.

I've also tried playing some of the tunes from iPhone into S1 Pro via Bluetooth - similar effect when iPhone volume is max and S1 Pro is 12 o'clock).

The hypothesis I have so far are:

  • A) I'm doing smth wrong with Gain-Master out-Channel level chain, although I'm not sure what (and I haven't had such problems when connecting to Rokit or Yamaha monitor speakers)
  • B) I'm using wrong cable, the only combo I haven't yet tried is 2x RCA to 6.3 mini jack (3m)
  • C) 2x RCA output at Z1 is no good for any inputs that S1 supports, e.g. "buy a real mixer" (but then 1 lose "no power socket" use case)
  • D) S1 Pro does it's best, but it's more tuned to guitar/vocal stuff and I'm expecting to much from it in terms of powering outdoor parties

Any advice would be highly appreciated. I can record videos demonstrating clipping/distortion if necessary

 

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Jul 19, 2018

Re: Mobile DJ use - signal clipping and distorted bass

Hi Dima Nova

I use a pair of S1 Pro's for my smallest DJ system, I will always use a single or pair of small 12" Subwoofers to provide the sound pressure I feel is needed for dj applications. If your playing techno - bass heavy music indoors or outdoors you could benifit from adding subwoofer support. I believe the S1 Pro only goes down to about 70 Hz, a subwoofer would add the lower frequencies you ears might be missing.

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Apr 22, 2019

Re: Mobile DJ use - signal clipping and distorted bass

Thanks Harry, appreciate your response a lot!

Could you maybe share a bit more about your setup with subwoofers? How do you connect them (given that Bose FAQ says one sort of can't), what is the sound source and/or mixer used? I'm also keen to learn how do you handle track gain and signal levels to prevent clipping/distortion - does S1 Pro receive lower bass levels somehow?

My challenge is that I often play w/o AC power, or with limited availability for it. E.g. beach parties, sailboat parties, etc. S1 Pro + laptop with Traktor bus-powered mixer interface are perfect for such use, and I don't expect a single Bose S1 Pro to give club-level bass punch in open-air conditions. But running on "above average level of multimedia bluetooth speaker" in open air conditions is smth I kinda hope is achievable. EQ'ing bass down (even on Bluetooth source) feels wrong here.

Also, what puzzles me is the fact that clipping and distortion seem to "come and go" in the same conditions sometimes (e.g. same room, same placement). I'll see if I can run a few experiments at home and play with Traktor's mixer options like Headroom, Limiter, Autogain etc

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Re: Mobile DJ use - signal clipping and distorted bass

The link below details connecting a Bose S1 Pro to a Behringer B1200d subwoofer. By using the high pass crossover on the sub you are limiting the low frequencies sent to the S1 Pro, that should help with clipping / overdriving you S1 Pro. The concepts outlined in the article should apply to most small subs.

https://toonz.ca/bose/wiki/ind...B1200D_Pro_Subwoofer

Lack of AC power... a small gas or propane inverter generator could provide you with the clean power needed to run your system. They are designed to run sensitive electronics safely. 

John Young at disk jockey news video demo of alto speakers + sub with a small ryobi propane generator, I have only used the Honda EU2000i myself...

https://youtu.be/1aZU9M0ZESM

https://www.ryobitools.com/out...e-inverter-generator

Also, many people use a marine battery with a high quality inverter to power a portable system

https://youtu.be/7SLMQP9Md0E

Hope some of this helps...