» Tagged 'mixing'

Making Room in the Mix

Excellence in the Arts - by - September 30, 2009 - 07:56 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

When mixing a large number of instruments and voices the overall sound can get heavy or dense, especially if there are not many parts in the orchestration and everyone is playing / singing the same thing.  This is a typical problem we face in churches with large worship teams on the platform and can contribute to the volume level feeling too loud, even when the SPL meter is right where we want it.  How can this be prevented?  What can be done to fix the mix and bring life back to the music? Full Story

Be Controlling (Managing Stage Volume, part 5)

Excellence in the Arts - by - September 18, 2009 - 10:55 Etc/GMT+5 - 1 Comment

“Turn it down!” is an easy concept to grasp, but the reality of lowering the volume is not always that easy.  To take steps to control the “sound makers” on the platform requires thinking through the larger picture. Ask  some questions: what is making sound? Where does that sound need to be? From what does that sound need to be kept away?  The answers to these questions can then help the team make adjustments that will help lower the stage volume level and help everyone hear what they need to hear. Full Story

The Soundcraft Guide to Mixing

Technology, videos - by - July 20, 2009 - 20:40 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

A video tutorial on mixing live sound for music performances, aimed at beginners in the art. (18 Videos)

This is the first video, click below for a link to the whole video series.  This is the basics, but there is a lot of good information in the series.  The videos are each fairly short so it goes quickly – I would recommend watching them no matter how long you have been mixing.


When is Church Too Loud?

Excellence in the Arts, Media - by - February 5, 2009 - 18:34 Etc/GMT+5 - Be first to Comment!

There is a chasm forming between “old timers” and the young folk in this Christianity business, and it happens – of all places- during worship. It’s not just generational lines, musical preference lines, or denominational lines.

Recently written in:
We have decided we need to attend church closer to home, instead of driving 45 minutes each way. Today, we go to a nearby one that seems very nice, is multi-ethnic, and is 3 minutes away from home. Perfect. Everything was fine before these two ladies got up to sing. Oh MY….the sound level was up SO HIGH that it nearly blew us out of the building. WHY do they do this? Of course the sound guy is like, 20. I’d like to have some hearing left in my old age, and for my children to still be able to hear when they grow up. I carry earplugs because of my last church in which they thought it was necessary to shake the walls or we weren’t “having church”. Thank God. I sure used them today.
To make it all the more frustrating, the Pastor was GREAT! Wonderful, dead-on, preaching/teaching that really encouraged focusing on the Lord and not ourselves.

Bob Kauflin at Worship Matters has a recent post on the subject: How Loud the Worship Team where he outlines 5 great points:
1. Cranking up the volume is just a cheap trick to add energy to a room.
2. When your intonation is not very good, turning it up only makes it hurt worse.
3. The speakers in most church PA systems cannot take that much energy.
4. Consider that you might be marginalizing older people.
5. Musicians—every one of them, including the singers—are accompanists to the congregation’s praise.

So what should a worshiper do when he or she believes that the sound is in fact too loud at a church? Feel free to talk to the Sound Guy or the Worship Leader. Most of them appreciate feedback- be sure to tell them when something sounds nice, too. Ask if he has a Sound Level Meter. This little black piece of equipment should be sitting on the sound board, pointing at the stage area. Ask him if you can help him collect data at different points in the room, to see if there really is in fact an actual physical sound problem. After you collect this data, if the sound levels are above 90-95dB (‘C’ weighted, slow response), then share these articles with the Worship Leader and Sound Guy (remember, the Sound Guy tends to be under the Worship Leader who has true control over how loud is the sound).

How Loud is Your Church?
Loud Church Music- A Medical Comment
Hearing is Priceless

Keep in mind that sometimes the sound level is not the problem, but it could be a musical problem (see #2 above) or a style issue (some styles of music just sound louder than others). The Sound Guy can’t control if a musician is going to squawk, so please accept those kinds of gaffes for what they are. Forgive and forget. Realize that chances are, the Sound Guy was not anticipating something hurting your ears, his ears hurt too, and he’s probably back there scrambling to fix what he can.