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Oct 13, 2003

Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

Hello Folks:

I am honored to debut here a video we've made with 19-Grammy Winner Pat Metheny.

I'm going to tell you the story of our work together over the past few years.

In order to do that, I'm going to close this discussion thread to comments so that I can lay out the story and edit it over the coming days.

In the meantime, you can enjoy the short video now.

Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 VIDEO

I've set up a separate discussion thread where you can comment and ask questions about the video and the work.

Discussion Area for Pat Metheny Bose L1 Project

I greatly look forward to that discussion.

With best regards,

Ken Jacob
Research and Development
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

This story begins at the 2006 Big Sur Users Conference.

We were blessed with a wonderful "house" drummer by the name of Neal Stone (at the time he went by the name of Aaron Stone).

Everybody fell in love with Neal's playing -- he was so sensitive to what other players were doing.

(You can see him here with Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band during one of the jams.)

He also had a wonderfully sparse, playful style that used lots of "hand" percussion.

It was several years later that Neal contacted me after he had attended a Pat Metheny concert in his home town.

More on that later...
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

Neal filled Pat in on his experiences with the L1 system, and that's the "frantic email" Pat refers to in the video.

We set up a demonstration for Pat at David Gage Stringed Instruments in New York City.

David is the owner of one of the most incredible music shops in the world -- ground zero for bass and cello. You can read a discussion thread on this forum of a fascinating visit to David Gage Stringed Instruments. We worked together on a number of ToneMatch presets for his pickup systems for bass.

Here's a shot of the room on the second floor where the demonstration and conversation took place. (David Gage is pictured).

I showed Pat the unique sound radiating properties of the L1 Model II by playing a solo sax track (the recently deceased monster player Michael Brecker) while Pat stood at the farthest end of the room from the L1, and then slowly approach the speaker until his ear touched the grill of the L1 system.

After that, Pat pretty much took the reins. He asked to have his hollow body jazz guitar plugged directly into the line input on the Model II power stand. We had a T1 with us of course, and I told him briefly about it, but he said he wanted to hear the speaker and nothing else.

After that, the conversation turned to matters of when, not if.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

At the time, Pat mentioned to me something about a solo project, but without details. We had a robust conversation about "mixing in the air, not in the wire" -- a theme we were to come back to again and again -- and which you'll hear him talk about in the video.

It's funny, but the impression I got from that first conversation about what I eventually learned was the Orchestrion Project, was wrong. I thought he wanted to create many channels from his guitar and have each sound come from a different speaker. (This was only partially correct.) I wrote back to him a few weeks later to describe a "jazz guitar pipe organ" but obviously he was way, way, past that.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

The first place L1 systems began to show up outside the rehearsal space was with the Pat Metheny Trio, with Antonio Sanchez and Christian McBride.

Pat used two L1 Model II systems for his acoustic guitars, and Christian McBride used a double-bass Model II system for his upright. All the trio gigs were configured this way.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

Last year, Christian McBride continued to use the L1 Model II with at T1 Tonematch audio engine for his work with the Five Peace Band, featuring Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade.

I was very lucky to catch their show at Lincoln Center in New York. For someone who "came of age" with Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever, this was one of the greatest nights of music for me.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

After the trio stopped touring, the Orchestrion Project started to heat up. I went to New York to meet with Pat and get an early demo of this extraordinary musical project. We were in his rehearsal studio which was packed with robotically-driven musical instruments.

When I heard the sound all coming from different directions my jaw literally dropped. The sonic complexity was astounding, but even more astounding was that you could hear everything. Right then and there, I pledged to everything I could to help get that sound on stage and eventually, out to the audience. I was completely and utterly blown away by what he was doing.

And that was before he added many of the instruments to the Orchestrion.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

In January of this year, we went to Brooklyn where Pat was rehearsing in advance of the historic Orchestrion Tour.

It is impossible to describe the immensity of this artistic and technical undertaking. It was and is simply breathtaking.

It was a bitterly cold winter morning and we were there to shoot an interview before the tour. (You can watch a short YouTube Video of us waiting outside the church freezing our derriere.)

It was early -- very early by musicians' time -- and there was Pat ambling up the street in a wool overcoat. He let us into the unused church he was renting to rehearse, took off his coat, strapped on his guitar, pushed a single button, and unleashed the entire Orchestrion. We all just stood there with our tongues hanging out of our mouths in amazement. It was an extraordinary experience.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

Pat and David Oakes spent the better part of the morning explaining to us how things worked, and how things were working.

Pat did a bunch of really cool demonstrations on the Orchestrion.
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Oct 13, 2003

Re: Pat Metheny On Tour with the Bose L1 System

Here's a picture of us outside the church around midday.