Safely playing outdoors for a large retirement community
We came back from an interesting gig this morning where we played for an active adult retirement community (55+) that is on lockdown due to the coronavirus. The challenge we encountered was how to do a music performance where all the residents are spread across multiple buildings that include both apartment style and single level duplex style homes. Furthermore, we couldn’t play inside with any sort of gathering like we normally would do.
After consulting with their entertainment coordinator, we came up with a strategy where we would play in four different locations throughout the complex over the course of a morning. So we had to quickly breakdown and setup with a system where we could be outside the various residences four times in four locations. Things were further complicated due to the fact that no power was available in any of the locations we identified.
Enter the S1 as a great solution. Our setup consisted of 2 S1s on speaker stands propped 5 feet high running on battery power, daisy chained together, and placed slightly in front of us. We could crank the volume up with no feedback issues since they were in front. In addition, we could position the S1s in different directions to maximize coverage. We used a battery powered Behringer 1200B mixer to plug in 2 mics and 2 guitars. To further reduce cabling clutter, we employed wireless connections using 2 Xvive U3s for the mics and 2 U2s for the guitars. We panned the two vocal channels hard right and the two guitar channels hard left. Then connected the R main out of the mixer to channel one of the master S1 with ToneMatch set to mic. Then took the main out L to channel 2 of the S1 and set the ToneMatch to guitar. This allowed us to fine tune EQ and reverb for the two different categories of instrumentation. With this combination and just two of us, we were able to breakdown and setup in a new location within 25-30 minutes and rotate through the various locations playing 30-40 minute sets. To be sure, it was a bit exhausting, but we did it and it was so worth it.
The performances were very well received as the residents got to hear live music safely, but it also brought them out to see their neighbors safely as well. Just for a moment at least, it gave a sense of normalcy which was very gratifying to be a part of that.
I put this out here, not for any sort of self promotion, but to give ideas on gigs that you might be able to do in your area with this sort of setup and for a group of folks who sorely need it.
I would be remiss if I also didn’t put out a big thank you to all the folks on this forum who have selflessly shared their gear usage and experiences as I wouldn’t have come up with this scenario without their advice. Thanks to you all and to Bose for creating such an wonderful platform as the S1.
Now get out there and gig! ??