Bose L1 limits in large venues

Peter, one of our regular backing track customers and a Bose L1 user is thinking of going back to using a conventional PA system…

Hi Kenny
Just been reading your reviews on the bose L1 system.
I bought a bose L1 model 2 system last year with the
tone match and im finding that it limits very easy in
bigger venues and I am considring going back to
conventional speakers. What do you think?

Hi Peter

Personally, I would never go back to a conventional PA system because the quality of sound from the Bose L1 is so far ahead of any conventional speaker that’s available today that going back to a conventional PA would be a step backwards.

You would, in effect, be giving your audience an inferior sound (no matter how good the conventional PA you change to is).

The issue with the new Bose L1 is volume/loudness.

It doesn’t look like Bose are going to address this problem (in fact, they don’t even admit the problem exists!) so to keep the quality of sound but achieve the desired volume in a large venue, the only option is to use more of the Bose systems.

I presently have two Bose L1’s (albeit the more powerful original versions giving out 750w each). They handle medium sized venues very well. They handle large venues relatively well, but can really struggle when the audience are in a party mood, talking or shouting loudly etc – that’s when you notice that the Bose struggles to get above the noise of the crowd AND fill the large venue with sound at the same time.

Robert, our resident singing expert who works on the team here at MP3 Backing Trax also has two Bose L1 systems and he reports exactly the same findings.

Fortunately whenever either of us has to play a very large venue, we can borrow each others L1’s giving us 4 systems (3,000w).

If you’ve got deep pockets, then buying another one or even two Bose L1’s is the best way to achieve that increase in volume while keeping that superb quality Bose sound.

However if expense is an issue (and at £2,000 a pop it has to be an issue for most of us gigging musicians) then you may have to just bite the bullet and settle for a lesser quality PA system but with the power you need. No matter how good quality the Bose system is, if the audience can’t hear you, then you do yourself, your audience, and your act no favours.

The most annoying thing about all this is that not one musician or singer I’ve spoke to was advised by the sales assistants when they were buying their Bose L1 about it’s volume limitations.

And as for Bose, well, I originally believed that they were just like Ostrichs burying their head in the sand trying to ignore the fact that this problem exists. But Robert offered to take the Bose rep to one of his gigs and let him actually hear the limiting. He declined.

If Bose don’t address this problem soon, they risk ending up looking more like sharks than ostrichs…



Do you use Hotmail?

I received yet another email yesterday from a customer with a Hotmail email address although I know the customer didn’t actually send it to me herself – it was a spam email which went out to everyone on her hotmail contact list.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve received this same spam email from Hotmail users (probably hundreds of times since the middle of last year)!

It seems to be happening more frequently now though, so if you are a Hotmail user, you should go check your Hotmail contact list/address book because this virus or hack or whatever it is has also been known to delete your contacts list after it has sent the email out (although it doesn’t always delete it – sometimes it just sends the email alone).

The good news is that because your Hotmail email account and contact list/address book is stored on the Hotmail server, then the breech is most probably there and not on your PC.

The bad news is that at the time of posting this, Hotmail don’t seem keen to admit that the problem may be stemming from their end. And because Hotmail won’t admit there’s anything wrong, they haven’t done anything about this problem for months (to my knowledge).

The Microsoft tech guy and others do appear to answer questions about it on forums, but they all seem to give the same standard reply – telling Hotmail users that they must have a virus on their PC or someone must have guessed their password so they should change it!

If you are a Hotmail user and you’ve come across this problem, it’s unlikely that your PC is infected – so far it looks very much like this could be a server-side webmail problem rather than a problem on your local PC (as I said, Hotmail email runs on Microsofts servers, not your local computer).

Just the same though, it’s always worthwhile updating your anti-virus program and running a full system scan, just to be on the safe side.

If your ant-virus scan doesn’t pick anything up, then that doesn’t necessarily mean your PC is clean…it could also be be malware or spyware which is a little different to a virus – many anti-virus softwares don’t pick up on these…

I’ve been using a free program for many years called Spybot which seems to be quite good at picking up on any spyware that anti-virus can miss:CLICK HERE

Just one more thing…it’s a good idea to put your OWN email address in your address book or contacts list.

That way, if your email does get compromised and a message goes out to everyone on your contacts list, you’ll receive it too. By doing this one simple thing, it may not stop you email security being breeched, but at least you’ll know about any problem immediately rather than having to wait for a friend or someone else to let you know about it…

Stay safe!


Buying backing tracks securely

Card security when buying ANYTHING on the internet is of the utmost importance.

When buying backing tracks this is even more important because of the downloadable nature of the products – after all, if someone got a hold of your card details they could run riot with your card by simply sitting in front of a computer and downloading tons of stuff…at your expense!

That’s why MP3 Backing Trax run the highest levels of security of any backing track company we know of.

Safety is our prime concern.

Unfortunately some backing track buyers put themselves at immense risk by buying from some of the cowboy companies out there who claim to offer “easier” payment and “simpler” download methods than us reputable backing track companies.

If you thought that the best backing track company to buy from is the one who asks for the minimal amount of information from you and lets you download as quickly as possible you’d be VERY wrong!

The easier it is to pay, and the easier it is to download your goods, the less secure the website is…

My article about backing tracks and card security explains more CLICK HERE

Backing tracks on a Dell laptop – a recipe for disaster!

Carol-Anne contacted me again about her new Dell laptop which she’s far from happy with…!

Hi Kenny
Yeah, it’s cheaply made [the Dell laptop]. The Packard Bell
old one I have is much better quality, so I’m going back
up to Tesco to try and get a better replacement. It’s duff
all round. I need to get a better one for when I’m singing
or I will be in trouble.
Cheers for now,

Hi Carol-Anne

If you’re using your laptop for singing, the most important thing to look for is the quality of the headphone jack on the laptop.

This is the first thing that is sure to break because they’re usally just cheap plastic and the constant plugging it in and unplugging it after each gig eventually wears it out.

Worse still, usually before it breaks completely it’ll give you a dozen gigs worth of headaches by buzzing and crackling and driving you (and the audience) mad!

For sure the headphone socket on a laptop will fall to bits long before you have any problems with any other parts of the laptop (unless you spill coca-cola on your keyboard or drop the screen on a stone floor that is – I’ve done both)!



More about backing track click tracks…

A follow up email came in from Aaron regarding using backing tracks with click tracks…

Hi Kenny
Thanks a lot for the detailed reply! I really appreciate
it! I just got back from the studio trying out our back
tracks, it worked!! Just one more question… by panning
click to one side and the music to the other, the music
becomes mono right? Is there anyway way to keep the
music (back track) in stereo?

Hi Aaron

Unfortunately if you’re working in stereo there’s no way to have stereo music output while still having a separate click track output.

This is because stereo is actually 2 track (i.e. left and right).

If you are using a stereo output, then you are already using one side (track) of the stereo for the click. So that only leaves one other side (track) for the music.

The only way to have stereo music AND a click track is to multi-track the backing track (in an 8 track hard disk recorder or a midi player for example).

With an 8 track hard disk recorder type of set up you could have, for example, track 1 as the click track and send it to your drummers headphones. Track 2 and track 3 could be your “left and right” stereo music which you would send this to your PA system. It could be taken one step further if you really wanted. Track 1 could be your click track, track 2 and 3 stereo keyboard synth sounds, track 4 and 5 stereo guitar, track 6 mono saxophone, and tracks 7 and 8 brass or strings etc.

Getting back to your present stereo setup though, one little thing I should have mentioned you should watch out for when you’re panning the click to one side and the music to the other is the “fullness” of the sound.

Because your music is only coming out of one channel (mono) it can sometimes sound a little thinner than it would if it was coming out of two channels (stereo).

If you’re only using the recorded music to augment your live band with a few extra sounds it’ll be fine. The fullness and energy from the instruments that are being played live by the live musicians will easily disguise any thinness there may be to the recorded music.

But if it’s the other way round, and most of your music is on the recording and only a little is being played live by the musicians, it could become more noticable – the whole end result won’t feel as punchy as it should…