The standard amplification setup for live performance has been around for decades. You know the drill: the soundman mics you up and runs you through a PA system, then you fight a losing battle trying to hear yourself without cranking your amp loud enough to provoke a riot. And stage monitors? If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the house mix-the singer, bass and kick drum. If you want to hear what the audience hears, you have to go stand in the audience.
The Bose Personalized Amplification system is designed to change all that.
It’s a new approach to an old problem, and it could point the way to the future of live amplification.
A standard PA is divided into two main audio streams: the house mix, which the audience hears, and the monitor, or stage, mix, which is provided to the band. In a professional setting, each player has a monitor mix. In most club situations, however, one or two monitor mixes are available.
By their nature, stage and house mixes compete with the sound of amps and drums, which are typically the loudest things onstage and therefore seldom miked. Consequently, neither mix represents a true balance of the instruments. Listen to a typical gig tape and you’ll hear why: electric guitars are usually left out of the mix because the amplifiers are so loud onstage. And why are the guitar amps so loud? It’s because the guitarist, who hears only bass, kick and vocals in the monitors, turns up. It’s a vicious cycle.
The Bose Personalized Amplification System is designed to eliminate the house-monitor-amp triangle. It provides each musician with what amounts to a personal PA that both feeds the audience and provides a monitor mix to the band members. The system sits onstage, but the sound that each musician sets is what the audience hears. To achieve this, Bose has designed a complete package that includes a mixer/power unit and speakers that disperse sound in a different way than conventional loudspeakers do.