month we talked to Ken Jacob, the Director of the Live Music Technology Team for
Personalized Amplification System™ family of products. Ken spent 10 years
working with the Live Music Technology Team to develop this new approach and had
some interesting answers to the questions you’ve asked:
a guitar player, what does this system mean to me?
There are some
very wonderful and unique sounds that come from guitar amplifiers. The problem
is those sounds are usually only enjoyed by one person and that’s the guitar
player. People in the audience often suffer from being blasted by guitar sound,
and the other musicians have the same problem. If you’re off axis of the
amplifier you really don’t get anything close to what the guitarist thinks
is the right sound.
With the wide dispersion
pattern of our Personalized Amplification System products, everybody enjoys the
guitar sound. There’s no problem of blasting people who are on axis and
leaving everybody else out because the sound radiates at nearly 180 degrees. Our
ability to create authentic guitar tone with our approach also continues to get
better and better as we discover new methods—whereas many conventional guitar
amplifiers more or less stay the same as the years go on. So the gap continues
is one of the biggest misconceptions about this new approach?
is that you can mix multiple voices and instruments together with only one of
our new Cylindrical Radiator™ speakers—and expect to get all the benefits.
If it’s a one- or two-piece band that’s all you need, but I’m
talking about a five- or six-piece band. You do enjoy the radiation properties
even if you mix signals going into it, but you won’t get the benefit of
having the sound of voices and instruments coming from different directions unless
you use multiple speakers. The best case scenario is to have one speaker for each
does this system address the frustration of feedback?
Well, we're not
immune to feedback. At the same time we’ve noticed in our testing that we’re
much less likely to have feedback problems than with a conventional system.
There are a couple
reasons why we’re less susceptible. One is that there are fewer feedback
loops. We have one microphone connected to one speaker as opposed to conventional
systems with one microphone connected to multiple speakers.
The second big
reason is the Cylindrical Radiator speaker’s ability to reach the back of
the room with a level of sound similar to the front of the room. You don’t
need to be super loud in front to be heard in the back. That allows you to keep
your gain down onstage and translates to fewer problems with feedback.
the musician’s learning curve with this approach?
a big learning curve. In testing it really hasn’t taken musicians long to
get up and running, and be happy with the system. I do think, though, that musicians
should leave themselves some time to practice before a critical gig.