Tone versus stage volume - an epic battle, and an easy way to solve it
Delivering great tone at low volume.
One of our system designers is working on an article entitled "How Loud is Loud Enough?". It will be published in the next week or two.
We find, especially in smaller churches with contemporary worship, that the battle between what we'll call stage volume and overall volume in the house is often an issue. Instrumentalists need more volume in order to feel their instrument or to get the best tone from their amplifier. And there's truth to that. And that need for volume drives listening sound pressure levels higher than they need to be for worshippers. It's a very real conflict in smaller rooms.
In order to get that full tone, many musicians build or buy isolation boxes for their amps and/or place the amps in another room so that they can get the tone they want and to not overpower the house sound system. There's an easier way, and a less expensive way.
The Radial Headload is a combination load box and attenuator that handles up to 130 watts RMS of continuous power and peaks of 180 watts. To use the Headload, it gets placed between the amplifier head and the speaker cabinet, allowing the guitar amp to be driven hard while reducing the output level - thus quieting the stage.
The headload utilizes Radial's JDX Reactor direct box which captures the signal from the head plus the reactive load from the speaker cabinet for a more natural tone. The Headload is also equipped with a Radial Phazer – phase adjustment tool. This lets you time-align the JDX direct feed with the microphone to deliver natural tones, or when pushed to extreme, create over the top effects. The JDX direct output may also be tailored to suit with a 6 position voicing switch to select from various cabinet emulation presets and fine tuned using a 2-band EQ to tame overly bright amps.
The Radial Headload V8 (8 Ohm version available now) can be used with or without the guitar speaker cabinet to help you get the precise balance of tone and volume that you need. $899. It might just be the product that allows everyone to have what they need.
Sneak Peak - Bose F1 Flexible Array Loudspeaker
There's been a lot of buzz around portable PA the past few years, thanks mostly to power amplifiers becoming smaller and lighter. The idea behind portable is that you can take it anywhere, the downside of which is that all performance venues are not alike -- so the decision of what to buy has always been a question of what's the best fit for most situations.
The engineers at Bose have come up with a solution to speaker systems easy to understand (and even easier to implement) for smaller venues, or outdoor patios. Last week, we got to look at, and listen to, the new Bose F1 Flexible Line Array system which begins shipping September 1, and here's what we thought after our initial demo.
Four speakers in one box! With a simple push or pull to the top or bottom of the speaker array, it was easy to reconfigure the elements to cover a wide variety of rooms vertically. Take a look at the images below to see what we mean.
With the speaker position in J configuration we were immediately able to cover the front rows with the speakers above the listener's heads on a platform or stage. The effect was immediately noticeable as the elements were manipulated. The "C" configuration could cover a small hall or church with a stage and a balcony while the reverse "J" configuration nicely covers a room with no platform and a raked floor or balcony where some of the listeners ears are position higher than the speakers. Straight allows you to keep from bouncing sound off the ceilings when not needed. Pattern control is a beautiful thing.
Shure announces ULX-D Digital Wireless in 900MHz band
With the proliferation of wireless phones and connected tablets and computers, "wi-fi everywhere", and shifts in how the FCC allocates parts of the wireless spectrum, the predictable use of wireless microphones is tougher than it used to be.
With that, Shure is pleased to announce that the ULX-D Digital Wireless is now available in the 900 MHz ISM frequency band. This range of the wireless spectrum is reserved internationally for radio frequencies used by Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) industries, so it should remain unaffected by the issues that surround the use of the 500-800MHz portion of the radio frequency spectrum shared with broadcast video and/or wireless broadband devices.
The ULX-D Digital Wireless is targeted for use where traditional UHF "TV band" spectrum is limited or not ideal, and the ULX-D 900 MHz features components and accessories are optimized for use within regional variations of the 902-928 MHz spectrum. For more information about how we can help you to successfully integrate wireless into your facility, please call us anytime at 800-747-7301.
Shure is discontinuing more 600MHz wireless systems.
As we've been warning for over a year, it's time to stop buying 600MHz wireless microphone and personal monitoring systems, unless you have no other choice. Unfortunately, some of you have no other choice due to location, and other systems in use.
At some point in the future, the FCC will issue a statement that will give users 42 months to vacate systems operating in the 600MHz band (approximately 600-699MHz). And at this time, we have not received that notice, which could come next week or in the next few years.
Eeffective immediately, Shure is discontinuing the following from BLX® Wireless, UHF-R® Wireless and PSM®900 Personal Monitor Systems:
K12 and M15 frequency band SKUs in BLX Wireless Systems
K1 and L6 frequency band SKUs in PSM900 Personal Monitor Systems
L3 in UHF-R Wireless Systems
Shure knows what's coming (even if it doesn't know when), and we'd all be wise to follow their lead. Our opinion is that early discontinuations will keep Shure from having to pay large trade-in rebates like they did when the 700MHz range was similarly abandoned in 2010. Please contact us with any questions you have.
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What others say
By the way, the M-400 is stinkin' awesome! I always knew it could do this stuff, but I've never seen it in action. I set the loaner board up, stuck in my thumb drive, loaded my settings, and bam, there they were!
Every tweak, every name, every setting, all right there!
Just thought I'd share that with you!