Alto Professional Black Series - Frequently Asked Questions

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alto black series main3Alto Professional's Black series is a full line of elite speaker systems, each designed to exacting standards with premium, purpose-matched components, wireless capability, and immense built-in power.  This article walks through a number of Frequently Asked Questions about the Alto Professional Black series speakers.


Getting Started - The Alto Professional Live Drive App

The free Live Drive app puts the power of the Black Series in your hands and adds immediate increased flexibility to your Alto Professional Black Series speakers.  Among the many benefits of the Live Drive app is the capability to adjust the mix and levels of your Black Series speaker wirelessly, as well as adding increased functionality and improved performance.  Alto Professional recommends downloading the Live Drive app to allow your speaker to perform at its optimum potential.


Frequently Asked Questions



Where can I obtain the Live Drive app?

The Live Drive iOS app is available from the Apple App Store:

Alto Professional recommends downloading the Live Drive app to allow your speaker to perform at its optimum potential.


How does the Live Drive iOS app connect to Black series loudspeakers?

The Live Drive app can be run from your iOS device so that you can wirelessly level-match, EQ, time-align, and more.  Alto Professional recommends downloading the Live Drive app for increased functionality and improved performance, allowing your speaker to perform at its optimum potential.

The Live Drive iOS app connects to Black series loudspeakers using Bluetooth. Simply press the Bluetooth button on your Alto Black Series speaker, go to your Bluetooth settings on your Bluetooth-capable device, and pair! This connection sends control data directly to the speaker's internal Digital Signal Processor (DSP).


How many speakers can connect to the Live Drive app simultaneously?

Bluetooth allows for up to three items to be connected to the same device simultaneously depending on the IOS device you are using.  The Live Drive app level meters will adjust accordingly - ie. if there are three speakers connected, you will automatically view three level meters, etc.


Can both the speakers and the subs be connected to the Live Drive app at the same time?

Yes.  Any combination of Black series speakers and subs can be connected to the Live Drive app.


Why is one speaker louder than the other when the volume knob is set to the same position?

Your speakers are exactly the same. The only difference is the plastic user-replaceable volume knob.  If one of your knobs goes past the 12 o'clock position and the other doesn't, the plastic user-replaceable knob can be easily changed and a new adhesive overlay  added with the correct level information. Contact Alto Professional technical support and they will be happy to send you a replacement knob and adhesive overlay.

Be sure to download the Live Drive app so that your speaker can perform at its optimum potential!


I lost my password for the Live Drive app. Can I reset it?

The password is actually stored in the DSP of the speaker itself. To reset the password, do a Factory Reset on the speaker. Press and hold the DSP button for 10 - 15 seconds until the lights above the button flash.  Your speaker and password are now reset.


Can I stream music via Bluetooth to my Black series loudspeakers?

The Bluetooth connection is exclusively intended for control and visual signal monitoring from within the Live Drive iOS App. Audio cannot be streamed via Bluetooth to the Black series loudspeakers.


What is the range of the Bluetooth signal?

The typical range is up to 80 feet (25 meters) indoors with a clear line of sight.  However, the range may vary depending upon your source device and the environment.


What happens if I go out of Bluetooth range with the Live Drive app running?

If you are running the Live Drive app to control your speakers and you go of the Bluetooth signal range, first the fader controlling the speaker that is now out of range will grey out. This means there is a data loss but the Bluetooth signal is still able to connect if you re-enter the signal range. To regain the signal, simply move back into range.  In most cases the speaker will automatically connect back up and you will regain control through the Live Drive app.

If you do not automatically regain control after entering back into the Bluetooth signal range, go to the Bluetooth settings on your device and choose to pair once again. You will now regain control of that speaker.


Can I reset the Bluetooth signal?

By pressing the Bluetooth pairing button once on the rear of the speaker, this will disconnect from your currently paired iOS device but will leave the Black Series speaker as a connectable Bluetooth device in the settings.  If you find that you need to reset the Bluetooth signal completely for any reason, hold down the Bluetooth paring button on the rear of the Black Series speaker for 10 - 15 seconds and the pairing light will begin to blink. The Bluetooth pairing record has now been wiped out from the DSP. To re-Pair, simply press the pairing button again and then go to the settings on your Bluetooth compatible iOS device and re-Pair to the speaker.


Can I reset all of the speaker settings to factory default?

You can initialize all of the settings in the speaker by pressing and holding the DSP button on the rear panel for 10-15 seconds. The lights above the DSP button will begin to flash, indicating the reset is taking place.


Where should I set the speaker volume controls?

 The Black series loudspeakers have been optimized for clear, undistorted sound at any volume level. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the advanced capabilities of these speakers:


  • The volume control is an attenuator
    • In most cases you will set the control to MAX (0 dB) and control your overall volume from your audio mixer.
    • If desired, you can attenuate the speakers, but the circuitry has been designed to have low noise and high dynamic range at the MAX position.

  • When connected to an audio mixer or other pro-audio gear (usually from 1/4" XLR stereo outputs):
    • Run the volume control at the full clock-wise or MAX (0 dB) position.
    • Set the LINE/MIC switch to LINE.

  • When connected to a mobile phone or consumer AV equipment (usually from 1/8" or RCA stereo outputs):
    • Turn the volume knob to the < mark shown on Input 1. If your speaker does not have the < mark, see the information here.
    • Set the LINE/MIC switch to MIC. Note, the LINE/MIC switch applies only to INPUT 1.


In Detail

The 0 dB setting for the volume control is at the full clock-wise (MAX) position. When connecting the Black series to the output of a mixer, signal processor, or other device with a line-level XLR or 1/4” output, the volume control on speakers' rear panel should be set to the 0 dB (MAX) position. If your mixer or signal processor has a +4 dBU /-10 dBV selector set that control to the +4 position.

Black series loudspeakers have been designed to have optimal gain structure to work with any +4 dBu signal source. Setting the input attenuator to 0 dB (MAX) will allow your mixer or signal processor to drive speakers to full output when your audio source's meters show output levels in the range of 0 to +10 dB, while maintaining 10 to 20 dB of dynamic headroom for clean undistorted playback.

To connect a signal source with -10 dBV outputs: Set the LINE/MIC switch to the MIC position, and turn the volume knob to the < mark shown on Input 1, which corresponds to between -20dB and -10dB. Typical -10 dBV output devices have 1/8” or RCA outputs. Examples include mobile phones, or consumer stereo and AV equipment. If your speaker does not have the < mark, see the information here.

If with the volume control at 0 dB, the SPL level from the Black speaker is too high, you can reduce the SPL level by turning the attenuator’s counter-clock-wise as needed.

The below graphic shows the attenuation scale for the volume control for XLR and 1/4" TRS sources with the LINE/MIC switch set to LINE. Setting the Switch to MIC adds 40 dB of gain to the attenuation values shown below:


alto black back artwork


Will setting the volume control to MAX or 0 dB cause any damage to my equipment?

No. When set as described above, MAX corresponds to 0 dB.  For line-level sound sources 0 dB is the intended normal position for the volume control.  The gain structure of Black series has been optimized to provide the best signal-to-noise and dynamic range when connected to a signal source with XLR or 1/4" TRS outputs with the volume control set to this position. Example line-level signal sources include audio mixers, DJ mixers, or rack mounted signal processors such as compressors and EQ's.


Is the input still 0 dBu when I switch the MIC/LEVEL button to MIC?

With the volume control knob set to MAX (or 0 dB), when you set the MIC/LINE selector to MIC, the input level becomes +40 dB.  Setting this switch to MIC will add 40 dB to any of the values shown here.  This is useful when connecting a dynamic microphone directly to INPUT 1.


Can I use the Black Series speakers outside?

The Alto Professional Black Series speakers are not weatherized for permanent outdoor installation.  While they can be used outdoors, we recommend to avoid exposing them to rain, snow, high winds, moisture or other potentially hazardous weather.


What type of EQ is available on the Black series speakers? How does it work?

Press the DSP button on the rear of the Alto Black series speaker to set the loudspeaker's internal DSP to any of the following settings:

  • Flat: No change to the audio.
  • Contour: Boosted bass and treble with a gradual cut of mid-range frequencies—a useful setting for most contemporary music.
  • 80Hz HP: Applies a high-pass filter. This is useful when using the Black loudspeaker as a crossover with a subwoofer that does not have a high-pass output. This setting is also useful for cutting all bass frequencies (e.g., for in speech-only applications, or when used as a delay or fill loudspeaker where the extra bass frequencies are not needed).
  • Ext LF: Extends the loudspeaker's low-frequency response, providing increased output of bass frequencies.
  • Custom: Applies your custom DSP mode, set in the Live Drive app.

Additional control of the DSP is also available using the Live Drive app.  


Further Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Alto Professional product, or if you have pre-sales or parts questions, the Alto Professional technical support team is available to help!

Each product has a dedicated support page on the website where you can find manuals, specifications, software updates, and troubleshooting guides:

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.



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