Not much headroom on vocals when using L1 Pro 32 with Sub 1

Hi everyone. Just need some advice please. Have just purchased an L1 Pro 32 with Sub 1 and a Tonematch T4s mixer. I play in a duo with 2 vocals, 1 acoustic guitar and 1 bass guitar. We did our first gig with the new system on Saturday. I was very happy with the overall sound quality but found that there wasn't very much headroom on both mics before we started feeding back. We were using a Beta 58A and an Electrovoice ND76 mics. Both mic channels were set up with the Tonematch presets. I set up the trims correctly prior to the gig. We had the main volume on the mixer at 12 o'clock but feedback occurred when either of the individual channels got to about 11 o'clock. The speaker array was directlly behind us. The overall volume was only just loud enough. Bit worried about our next gig which is in a larger venue. How can we get more volume?

Aren't you going to get feedback anytime your speakers are pointed toward your mics?

I do agree but thought that one of the selling points of the Bose pa's is the fact that you are able to position the speaker behind you and hear exactly what the audience hears. 

Hello stevepaull,


The Bose L1 systems are designed so they can be positioned behind you, but there are definitely tips, tricks, and perceptions that come into play.


The L1 systems were designed with the intent of each performer having their own system.  Simple economics dictate that this is not practical and often impossible.  However, I've always heard that having two mics in one L1 system is not twice as prone to feedback, but four times as prone (the "inverse square law".  I've tested that with my systems and found it to be true.  Yes, you can still do it, but you just need to be extra aware of the possibility, and concentrate on mitigation techniques.


There's a great article on mic feedback while using the L1's in the Bose Professional Portable PA Encylopedia, at this page:  Feedback / Microphone.  My main takeaways from this page:


  • For best performance, you have to make sure to use "close mic technique", i.e., lips brushing the windscreen.  This helps in two ways:  You gain a boost in the vocal's "push", and your head helps shield the L1 from the mic.  (Even when not singing, keep your head between the mic and L1.)
  • Some have had success using the noise gate setting in the T4s.  That' also covered in the feedback article referenced above.
  • Remember also, the L1 has a great "throw", i.e., less volume drop-off over distance especially in the vocal range.  What seems loud on stage will also be fairly loud in the crowd.  You can usually turn down just a little and still have effective volume.

One other thing, while the Bose systems are great, they still have their limitations, dependent on many factors including music style, room and audience size, ambient acoustics, stage size, and proper setup -- but that's true of any manufacturer's system.


Does that help?

Thanks very much for this.  I'm playing at a quite large venue this weekend and I'll use some of these tips and see how it goes.  After my first outing with the Bose we had some excellent comments from the audience regarding our sound.  We also found 'pack down' and 'set up' really easy compared to our old PA.  



BOSE does advertise them as "rejecting feedback" but at rehearsal/stage volumes it's still an issue. For feedback in the rehearsal space I always make sure to have a slight gate on the vocal mics. The gate shuts the mics down before they can catch and start squealing. 


We played one show where the BOSE was nearly maxed out on the master (space was way too big but it did beautifully). The gates weren't enough so I moved the entire tower about 10 feet to the right of the the stage and angled it slightly towards us. Due to the 180 dispersion we were still able to hear it and the feedback was gone. I was even able to turn off the gate and run wide open.


The band before us however had their singer standing directly in front of the drummer who hit way too hard. There was no saving this even with the PA off to the side. The sheer volume of the cymbals overloaded the gate even at it's highest settings and I couldn't combat the feedback. I had to turn their vocals way down to where they could barely be heard. I told him to play quieter, he didn't listen 🙂


Good luck!!!