L1® in Noisy Situations

From Bose Portable PA Encyclopedia FAQ & Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Can I use the L1 in Noisy Situations

The subject of sound sources competing for attention is called The Lombard Effect in psychoacoustics. Very loosely, it's the "turn up the TV, the dishwasher just came on" phenomenon.

In bars it works like this. Some patrons want to talk. Others want to listen to the band. If it's a little too quiet for the latter, they ask the band to turn up. If the band complies, the former talk louder. Oftentimes an escalation occurs until either the talkers or the amplification system can no longer be turned up any higher or complaints of excessive sound levels prevent further escalation.

To me, this is not a happy situation. It's a mixed social agenda and no one seems to win.

I know I haven't answered your question yet. I just wanted to restate my analysis of the situation at hand.

A triple system can be used in the right hands to continue to increase the level in the audience so that it is considerably higher than the sound levels on stage. This can be used as a tool to win the mixed-social-agenda wars in the audience area.

I claim, however, that this is a Pyrrhic victory -- a victory at unreasonable costs.

An all-L1 system can not do this: it will always be a little louder on stage than in the house and by the time it's very loud on stage it may not be loud enough to win the war in the audience.

The L1 system will always provide other benefits that have been shown to be profound.

In very noisy environments, the bandwidth of musical information is badly compromised for both approaches. Listening to music when noise and signal are about the same is like trying to appreciate a painting in pulsing disco lighting.

Finally, to answer your question. We developed the L1 system to make a profound difference in live music. We encourage its use in all kinds of settings, including noisy environments. To fully hear and appreciate what the technology can do for live music, good dynamic range is essential, and that includes a reasonable noise floor.

I have noted in other posts that the lower-SPL part of the dynamic range of music is one of the relatively uncharted territories of live amplified music. My experience in this rather virgin land is that there is gold up there in those hills. The other day, we turned off a few cyberlights in our auditorium and gained another 20 dB (estimated) dB of dynamic range on the lower part of the range, and it was simply unbelievable what it did to the sound of the voices and instruments. We felt we could hear the inner voices.

Source: Ken-at-Bose in the Bose® Pro Portable PA Community