Question about a live sound suggestion

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by TheGoodTexan, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    A friend of mine has been leading worship at an old country church for a few years. They didn't own the building, and it got to the point where the owners did not want to spend the money to keep the building maintained... because it was not feasible anyway.

    So they just now found a new place to meet... in the middle of their town... in an old church building that was built before sound system installs were a concern. It's only used for weddings now. They're signing a lease and such now. They will be required to "leave it how you found it" after each use, of course.

    I have been in the building. Its like a miniature version of the Ryman, here in Nashville... in that, the room is designed like a horn-loaded speaker. And it sounds BEAUTIFUL as is... with no sound system. I heard my friend play and sing his acoustic guitar from the stage, with no amplification of guitar or voice, and it was beautiful. Here's a pic.

    IMG_2454.png

    BUT... they just had their first meeting in there tonight. And there were about 30 people signing along. The sound from the audience position is still amazing, but my friend said that he could no longer hear his guitar or his own voice because of everyone signing back at him. He occasionally has a friend accompany him on acoustic guitar, and he occasionally plays the acoustic piano. The room holds 180, and of course they are hoping to experience some growth in attendance.

    They have money to spend on sound equipment - they're not trying to get out with the cheapest thing made. But they do have to set up/tear down for every service.

    They came to me for help with amplification. I said, "As little as you can get away with." I also told them to avoid using speakers on poles on the right and left sides of the stage... as it would likely ruin the natural acoustics of the room.. introducing a "source" of sound that was not directly center stage, and volume could very quickly get away from them. I said to just put something small and manageable on stage with them.

    Then I remembered those Bose L1 pole things. I'm not a Bose fan in the least... but I have heard the L1 system used at solo or very minimal acoustic gigs... and I was blown away. I've seen them positioned behind the solo singer/player so that it offers him/her monitoring, but distributes music for the whole room.

    What do you guys think about my advice to them at this point? Are other reputable companies making similarly designed setup these days? I'm an anti-Bose bias from way back... and even despite hearing the L1 system in person, I'd still like to steer them in a different direction.

    My challenge is that... they are in another state... and I will not be there to help. But they will take my word for it, and go buy whatever I say. Its a really small rural area, and they're not going to get anyone to come out and see the place and offer advice. They'll just do whatever I tell them... so I want to make sure I at least get them in the ball park.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

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    That's a sweet ole building it's good to see the flock coming back to the shepherd.

    I'm definitely no sound expert although I know a few that might be willing to help, but I wonder if he could get by with in ear monitors until you can get a "sound" guy there?
     
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  3. Rob77

    Rob77 Tele-Meister

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    As someone who had experience with these sorts of buildings, honestly have to say it is a nightmare to sound mix. Foldbacks can make things worse, I know its costly but I highly recommend in ear monitors.
     
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  4. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmm....

    Old church. Designed for human voice and spoken word intelligibility.

    If that's how you want to keep it, I would limit the amount of electronic gear
    on that stage. Meaning in part, no amplified guitars basses, keys etc.

    That would give the the integrity of the room design it's proper showcase.

    You could then double up on certain instruments that would get lost
    in that environment. More vocals, extra acoustic guitar....

    Now, if they are serious to consider amplifying anything,
    I would tailor it to just the vocals for now and get a feel for
    how the room reacts to that. People have a tendency to
    start adding every darn thing into the mix just because they can.
    It usually sounds like junk and a Bose system just might exasperate that scenario
    in the wrong hands.

    One of those portable JBL or EV or EAW amplified things on wheels might suffice,
    but nothing over a 12 inch speaker to start.

    More later, wife is calling to watch Homeland.
     
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  5. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Tele-Meister

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    I think the Bose idea is probably fine for this situation even an S1 which is small and light - if there’s anyone they could borrow or rent one of those from to try it out that would be best route.
     
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  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    What about a small monitor system, or acoustic amp for just the singer/player?
    Maybe even a Roland Cube Street.
    It might be all he needs.
    Keep it off axis from his mic and guitar so it won’t/can’t feed back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  7. stonetone7

    stonetone7 Tele-Meister

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    In that room I see players all in a semi-circle singing and playing into a single mic.

    Any half decent powered PA speaker will have two channels of inputs and a basic EQ built right in. Just put that sucker where it sounds best behind the group and keep it quiet as possible.
     
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  8. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like a place where less amplification is more, just use the absolute minimum, let the people be closer and let the leader manage volumes of both crowd and band.
     
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  9. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Bose L1 Model 2. Works as stage monitors and will gently amplify through the venue.
     
  10. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I've read all of your replies. THANK YOU!

    The in-ears is a good suggestion, BUT... they do need some form of basic sound system, as they want to play recorded background music before and after services, and they want to record the sermon too, direct from a microphone. They also play a video with sound from time to time. Yes, it needs to be a "less is more" sort of thing, but simply solving the singer/guitarist's problems won't be a complete solution for them.
     
  11. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I love the idea of renting something to try it out first. They're about an hour from any real music store. I just talked to my friend on the phone and walked him through some solutions. I suggested that they rent a Bose L1 system for a week or two.. or something similarly designed... and just see if it suits their needs. Renting something to try it out will be money well spent for them right now, since they don't own the building and there will be no "installing" of anything.

    My friend loved the idea of the Bose system having the little bags and carrying cases, since they are going to have to set up and tear down all the time.
     
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  12. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    It does not have to be Bose to go behind you. I use one or two speakers behind me (to avoid monitors) at many of my medium volume gigs. That’s my setup now in my studio during remodeling.
    9ED51993-0DA1-400D-8212-BA1850D1BC7D.jpeg
     
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  13. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Understood.

    But the advantage of a design like that Bose setup is that it is way less directional. Several smaller speakers in an array of some type, off-axis with one another, is much less prone to feedback than a single point-source like a regular monitor, especially when positioning it behind the microphone.
     
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  14. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    see if this helps

    try a pair of Bose L1 type speakers
    or a fishman SA220
    see the pics

    these give a beautiful sound with 180 sound dispersal and are used by a lot churches (at least here in Canada )
    I would recomment the fishman for 2 reasons , 1) cost 2) support if the unit goes down

    a good used fishman unit goes for about 4-500.00 ( 1400 retail new) its light weight and can pack up into a gig bag that weighs less than 30 lbs and has wheels come with stand, gigbag and has a place to carry a mic stand as well the unit is 2 chanels with feedback buster , incredable sounding and 4 different reverbs built in

    I repaired one of these 2 months ago and fishman were outstanding in their support and parts during the repair

    the bose L1 developes power supply issues over time and boses attitude is buy a new one ( although these sound great as well

    fishman-sa220-solo-performance-326434.jpg

    bose L1 series 1


    bose-l1-model-i-586400.jpg
     
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  15. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    the feed back buster on the Fishman unit is pin point accurrate , and doesnot eq out the signal source at the feedback range these speakers have a 180 degree sound dispersal I used the repair unit extensively and was blown away at the sound and standing directly infront of the speaker had no issues with feedback , I ran my godin nylon string through it , my electric strat , shure 58 no issues at all.220 watts and a full patch bay to hook up to a full PA or recording if needed.

    close up of the patchbay front and back

    soloamp_panel.jpg
     
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  16. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Get one of those linear arrays, whether Bose or some other brand. They sound fantastic, and pack up into portable kit. I can't quite believe myself the amount of sound that comes out of something so small.
     
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  17. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

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    I use a Bose L1 Compact for PA applications for my solo/duo act. One unit is quite sufficient for most rooms, with the unit compacted (where the speaker head is not elevated by extension tubes) enough for a bunch of applications. If the room is larger, extend the speaker head for wider dispersion of the sound. For outdoor gigs, we use two. At 29 lb each, they are highly portable, provide a 178 degree dispersion, are easy to hook a mixer to, and, with the subwoofer built into the base unit, cover the frequency spectrum extremely well.
     
  18. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    In this case the Bose wide dispersion is a disadvantage. The desire is to provide some focused monitoring sound energy to the performers and avoid missing up the great acoustic properties of the Church. It can’t be very loud, so feedback is not large in the calculation.

    In Ear Monitoring definitely fits the ticket.

    Some mic stand mounted monitors could work.

    I have played acoustic gig and sang with just a single monitor in front of me, aimed at me. Back to a wall. At about double the volume of the acoustic played hard.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  19. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Got the floor done and practiced with the speakers behind me. Works good, except had to put it fairly loud to get vocal clarity. Switched monitors to in front. Better monitoring at lower volume (no surprise). I think that’s it for this church scenario. So I think the on stand monitors will work well and be easy setup. They have a mixer built in. I seen one with 3 mic inputs. So monitor, mics and stands new under $700.
     
  20. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    Since the acoustics going OUT are fine, and the only problem you're solving for is monitors, my suggestion would be just one or two (depending if he's solo or being accompanied) well placed microphones into a small PA/headphone amp. And performer(s) using in-ear monitors. If there's concern with not hearing the room, just keep one IEM in and one out. Doesn't even need to be wireless IEM in that setup.
    No feedback issues or messing with the natural sound, just simply giving the performers a better way to hear themselves.
     
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