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Mar 31, 2019

Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

I understand the first rule of speaker placement is “just try it” but I would like to get some informed opinions on a unique situation I have on an upcoming show. I host a private house concert series. Our room is 13x30x 8, and we seat 40 people. Our sound is provided by a Bose L1 Model II / B2 Bass Module using a Soundcraft UI16 digital mixer. The venue is  https://olivestreethouseconcerts.com/

Our next show almost exceeds our capacity. It is five musicians on stage including upright bass, and the band wishes to use a single large condenser mic, so I’m looking at both a physical space and potential feedback questions. We normally place our PA to the right of our stage with just enough “turn in” so the performers can hear themselves. We  don’t have enough depth to place it behind the stage, and in this case I need the space where the PA normally goes for the musicians.  

We have an unusable corner (for seating) in the back of the listening room and for this show I’m contemplating placing the tower and sub there angling 45 degrees so the front grill is directed at center stage. I feel like this is my best shot of freeing maximum stage space, as well as having no sound behind the condenser mic to cause feedback. 

Even with its wide dispersion pattern and sound bouncing off the walls, I’m wondering if the sound coming from the back of the room will confuse listener’s ears? I’ve just started to experiment with this set-up using canned music but was hoping to hear other people’s thoughts.  

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Re: Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

The rear position strikes me as counter intuitive....since people's ears face forward.  I agree you have a difficult situation with a great opportunity.  The band (Smokey and the Mirror) is absolutely fantastic and this has the potential to be a fabulous show.  I didn't see any effective pictures of your performance room and the stage area itself on your website. This would really help.  The Bose Pros will be able to answer this.  Some pics would help. 

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Jul 19, 2018

Re: Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

Hi robpoole... I'm not a fan of placing the Bose L1 at the back of the room, I know a lot of wedding djs place speakers behind the audience for their wedding ceremonies, to me it sounds unnatural, but, they claim it does help with feedback of lapel and condenser mics etc... 

Without knowing more room specifics its hard to comment, but i might consider working the room with a few Bose S1 Pros out in front of the band / stage with a little turn in for monitoring. Their compact size would allow flexibility on placement, and should be more than enough sound for your small room. Possibly wall or celing mount??

Anyway, looks like a really cool venue, best of luck

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May 11, 2020

Re: Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

Hi robpoole,

The L1 Model II complete with B2 is only 26 inches wide give or take a few inches depending on where you put the B2.  I would keep the system up front.

robpoole posted:

I understand the first rule of speaker placement is “just try it” but I would like to get some informed opinions on a unique situation I have on an upcoming show. I host a private house concert series. Our room is 13x30x 8,

Is that 13 wide, 30 feet deep (from front to back) and 8 feet tall?

and we seat 40 people. Our sound is provided by a Bose L1 Model II / B2 Bass Module using a Soundcraft UI16 digital mixer. The venue is  https://olivestreethouseconcerts.com/

Our next show almost exceeds our capacity. It is five musicians on stage including upright bass, and the band wishes to use a single large condenser mic, so I’m looking at both a physical space and potential feedback questions. We normally place our PA to the right of our stage with just enough “turn in” so the performers can hear themselves.

This still sounds like the best position if you can get the musicians to shuffle over a couple of feet.



We  don’t have enough depth to place it behind the stage, and in this case I need the space where the PA normally goes for the musicians.  

We have an unusable corner (for seating) in the back of the listening room and for this show I’m contemplating placing the tower and sub there angling 45 degrees so the front grill is directed at center stage. I feel like this is my best shot of freeing maximum stage space, as well as having no sound behind the condenser mic to cause feedback. 

If the L1 is going to be 30 feet from the performers, they may hear an audible delay between what they play and the sound coming back to them from the room. When I do that (microphone 30 feet away from the L1) it's disconcerting. You won't detect this with pre-recorded music while you're testing. You have to use a microphone - and sing into it to get the full effect.  You'll hear yourself immediately and then again about 30 milliseconds later.



Even with its wide dispersion pattern and sound bouncing off the walls, I’m wondering if the sound coming from the back of the room will confuse listener’s ears? I’ve just started to experiment with this set-up using canned music but was hoping to hear other people’s thoughts.  

Five people huddled around a condenser microphone is tough.  Have you done shows like that before (multiple performers sharing a microphone)?

ST

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Re: Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

After running some test songs and mic tests this morning I've concluded this isn't a good solution. There is a minute delay as mentioned and the aural feeling is counter-intuitive to the brain. Thanks for the input to those of you who responded. 

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Re: Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

First, that's a rather small room so the Bose doesn't have to be cranked all that high, right?

Put it as far away from the musicians as you can - to one side of the stage.  If you can, let the band pick the side they prefer.

Have them crowd together as much as possible on the other half of the stage (it looks like what they do anyway) - then let them mix their own sound with the Bose up just enough to finish filling the room with their blend and for them to monitor their mix.

Angling the audience chairs to favor the side of the stage the band is on may help.

Acts that only use one microphone get pretty adept at mixing their sound -- that's why they use one mic (also it's a "Bluegrass thing" - 'Cause that's the way Bill Munroe did it in the radio studios in the 40s.). 

Alas, the worst news would be if they use a microphone set to an omnidirectional polar pattern, it may be VERY hard to control feedback.

From the video it sounds like the bass can almost fill your room by itself and they do the rest with the central microphone (had another mic on the banjo in the one video - interesting). 

It'll be great.  Good band!  Lovely vocals and that's probably what they feature.

Do you ever book Hawai'ian Acts... 🙂

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Re: Opinion on unconventional speaker placement

Hi Rob,

If this was a bar/restaurant/nightclub I would say, based on personal experience, forget about it. But, it's not. If it is a true listening room, and your audience is respectful and quiet, you can pull this off, at least I think you can.

Assuming the band uses the same positioning as shown in the picture, they are used to being in close proximity to one another. I would not ask or expect them to change what they normally do.

A big part of live music is the visual. That's why people pay big money to sit front and center. Even though the band might be more than you are used to, do what you can to preserve, or enhance what the audience is able to see.

I am assuming you set up on the 13 foot dimension. Get a helper and set the L1 up off of room center on the opposite side that the bass player will be on. If you divide the width of the room in thirds, I would hope it is at least one third of the width, 4 feet or so, (the length of your B2 cable) from the neareast wall. Allow room for the band to be behind an imaginary line that runs across the room at the back of the L1. Be mindful of the B2 position and its output level. It has the potential to cause issues. Probably the best place for it is against the side wall. You may have to tinker with the L1 position as well. Sometimes a few inches left, right, forward or back can be the difference in feedback or not.

With a large diaphragm condenser in place, behind that imaginary line, have your helper play an instrument, sing, or just clap their hands at a distance of a couple of feet from the mic while you bring the trim up to indicate good signal strength.

I would use the low cut filter on the mixer and, depending on room reflections, make some mid range cut as well. Slowly bring up channel and master volume to see where you can get while your helper continues to make some commotion on stage.

Hopefully the band will be on site early enough to do a sound check and you can test some limits so that the performance won't be a trial by fire.

This idea is based on the musicians not needing a lot of volume, and the audience, because they are quiet, not needing a lot of volume either. With the wide and deep dispersion capability of the L1, you should be able to get a sound level that is sufficient to make an enjoyable evening of "acoustic" music.

If the stage is on the long wall it becomes a little more problematic in my opinion, because to get the L1 in front of the band puts it too deep into the available space.

O..