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Bringing Bluetooth to the Stage

No roadie required.

Anyone who has set up a PA system for a performance, presentation or party knows just how complicated it can be. You’ve got heavy speakers and amplifiers, confusing cables, a mixing board, effects boxes, and of course the cases and bags for it all. Then you have to figure out how to plug in all the wires, instruments, microphones and music sources. However, with the new Yamaha STAGEPAS 400BT and 600BT, life just got a lot easier.

These systems are simplicity itself. Each consists of two lightweight speakers, a pair of color coded speaker cables, a power cable, and a detachable mixer (with onboard effects) that fits neatly into the back of one of the speakers — and that’s it! With so few pieces to set up, you can have a powerful PA up and running within just a few minutes, quickly turning any space into a stage.

                                          STAGEPAS 400BT components.

It’s easy enough to plug in guitars, amps, keyboards and microphones, but it’s wireless Bluetooth connectivity that makes the 400BT and 600BT truly special. For anybody who has had the unpleasant experience of trying to connect a smartphone or tablet to a mixer using complicated and confusing cabling, this is a dream come true. Instead of figuring out what wires you need, all you have to do is pair your device via Bluetooth and you’ve got instant audio streaming of backing tracks, break music, loops, even software instruments — all from up to 33 feet away, allowing you to place the device where it is most accessible and/or safest.

A single Bluetooth button/LED is used for easy pairing and also switches Bluetooth connectivity on or off. When the LED is off, Bluetooth is off; when lit steadily, it’s on. When flashing slowly, it’s waiting for a Bluetooth connection; when flashing fast, the STAGEPAS is paired with your device.

There are plenty of input channels, power and connection options on both models to cover most small- or medium-sized venue music or public speaking needs. The 600BT offers 680 watts of power and 10 mixer channels, including four mic inputs (two with phantom power); each of its speakers provide a 10″ woofer and a 1-1/4″ tweeter. The 400BT features 400 watts of power and eight mixer channels, again including four mic inputs, two with phantom power; each speaker is outfitted with an 8″ woofer and a 1″ tweeter. Each system also allows you to connect one or two onstage powered monitors such as a Yamaha DBR Series. If you need additional low end, you can also connect a powered subwoofer such as a Yamaha DXS Series to the dedicated Subwoofer Output jack. A Master Level control lets you determine the volume of the L/R speakers with a single knob, and there’s an equivalent Monitor Out control for the speaker(s) connected to the Monitor outputs.

Two pieces of PA equipment.For tonal adjustments, there’s an independent two- or three-band equalizer on each channel, with up to 15dB of boost or cut. (The 600BT offers High, Mid and Low bands, while the 400BT provides High and Low bands.) There’s also a simple one-knob Master EQ, which you can use to tailor the system for optimum Speech, Music or Bass Boost usage. Another welcome feature is feedback suppression, which helps target and reduce frequencies that might cause feedback before they can be heard (and before they cause the audience to go running for the exits!).

Need effects? The STAGEPAS 400BT and 600BT have you covered. An onboard professional quality SPX digital reverb (based on the famed standalone Yamaha SPX effects processors) gives you the option to choose from Hall, Plate, Room or Echo. Reverb can be added individually to channels 1 – 4 (at whatever amounts you desire), plus turning the Type/Time control to the right lengthens the time of the selected type. You can also use a footswitch to turn off all reverb — very useful when MC’ing a live event since it allows you to sing with reverb and talk between songs without it.

But it’s the small details that make these systems so flexible. For example, various inputs that accept stereo phone (1/4″), stereo-mini (1/8″) and/or RCA jacks. Or ST/MONO switches that allow you to assign the L and R signals to the equivalent left and right speaker outputs (when set to STEREO), or to mix them to both the left and right speakers (when set to MONO). In addition, a Hi-Z switch on channel 4 enables you to connect an instrument such as electric guitar, bass or keyboard directly without the need for a DI box — one less accessory to have to carry to your event and hook up.

With STAGEPAS BT, you can set up a fully functioning Bluetooth-capable PA system in no time at all. Lightweight, portable and powerful, these systems are ready to make your events shine!

 

Click here for more information about Yamaha STAGEPAS BT systems.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Tozzoli is a Grammy nominated producer/mixer/composer based in the New York area. His credits include work with artists such as Al DiMeola, Ace Frehley, Omar Hakim and Emerson Lake & Palmer. Rich's music has appeared in over 700 TV series in 36 countries, and he has written for such shows as Live PD, Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, Duck Dynasty and NBC Olympics. Tozzoli has also authored numerous articles on audio production and technology as well as a book on surround sound mixing.

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