Improve Your System: Microphones

There’s a couple of little sayings that if you spend any time with me (or you read my blog a lot) you’re going to start picking up. ‘You’re only as good as your weakest link’ and ‘poop in, poop out’. These two little phrases can often apply to the microphones we choose to use.

Microphones are the very starting point in the long chain from musician to the congregation’s ear. As such, it’s very important that the microphone you use is the right one for the job and is of as good a quality as possible. There are dozen of microphone manufacturers making 100’s if not 1000’s of different microphones. I’ve seen microphones for £20 and microphones for £5k plus. How do you navigate what seems to be a huge market and get the right microphone for you?

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The chances are that if you are doing AV in your church or in any other capacity you will find yourself in some kind of community – even if that community is yourself and the musicians you find yourself working with.  Hopefully at least you will find yourself in a community of people that are involved with Audio Visual (or even music technology).

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Improving Your System part 1: Reducing on-stage noise

So you’ve spent potentially thousands of pounds for a fantastic main PA speaker system that sounds amazing BUT… the sound still comes across as muddy.  If this is you then the chances are that your stage noise is preventing you from using the full capacity of the sound system.  It’s a fairly common problem and something that can continuously be improved upon.

There are a number of ways in which we can reduce the on stage sound.  Be it moving to smaller monitors, moving to electric instruments or even moving to in ear monitors; a number of different areas can substantially reduce the amount of on-stage noise.

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Improving the quality of the sound

What are the most common questions you get asked as sound engineer? I did a conference recently where all I got asked was about the songs the worship band were using and which CD’s they could buy that would have the songs on. How about the old classic of “does it have to be this loud?” It’s not one I come across that often (and I don’t answer it even if I do).
However, when I come across other sound engineers, the most common question I come across is ‘How can I improve the sound in our church?’

Probably without even thinking about it, they have managed to land at the million dollar question. The question that has plagued sound engineer’s from whence the first speaker cone came. How do you improve the quality of the sound you are producing?

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So hello! It’s been a while!
Due to excessive business and general laziness this blog has been somewhat sidelined over the last few months. Apologies for that – but hopefully should be back on track with a blog every 1-2 weeks very soon!

We’ll I’ve been upto a few bits and pieces that have distracted somewhat…

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Is the Future IP?

Unified Comms, IP, Multicast Protocol, even Wi-Fi or ‘digital multicore’. 10 years ago your average sound engineer would not have a clue as to how to approach networking in the sound environment. Pretty much all ethernet ports used to be used for was updating firmware – if the technology even had such a thing.

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DM1: Drum Machine iPad App

DM1 Drum Machine app

So I’ve recently done a review of a Drum machine app on the iPad App Storm review site.

The app will work fantastically either to add a little more rhythm into your worship sets or even replace a drum kit if you have the time to program the songs you want. Well worth running over to have a look.

Link to DM1 Review