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CTA Classroom - Set Auxes to Post

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

Last week, Chris Huff had a great post over at Behind the Mixer that explained the differences between pre- and post-fader aux mixes. He said, quite correctly, that you generally want monitor mixes to be pre-fader, and FX sends to be post-fader. I totally agree with that, and run my auxes that way almost all the time.

This post is going to be about when it makes sense to break those rules. Keep in mind that this is a compliment to, not a criticism of Chris's post. But first let's review. You generally want monitor mixes to be pre-fader because you don't want changes made to the house mix affecting the monitor mix; most of the time. Every once in a while, however, that's exactly what you want. Let's look at some examples.

Read more: CTA Classroom - Set Auxes to Post

 

Heil PR22UT - pro audio's best kept secret

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Quietly about a year ago, Heil Sound did something remarkable.  Not so much in a technical way, but in a practical way. 

The microphone business is tough.  Certain models have dominated the music scene for years, and it's darn hard for people to change their habits.  At the time, the Heil PR22 microphone was selling for $165, and was quickly increased to $182. 

When the world's most popular microphones sell for $99.95 (and there are 3-4 good ones right at that price point), I had to admit that I was disappointed.  $99.95 is a magic price point.  Pastors and tech directors don't need approval to spend $99.95, $99.95 seems like the "right" price for a mic, and the list goes on.  $99.95 just works in the same way that gasoline at $3.999 is somehow cheaper than gas at $4.00. 

So what did Heil Sound do?  The people there decided to package the PR22 without the fancy carrying case and without the extra black and extra gold windscreens and called it the PR22UT.

UT stands for utility.  It has a nickel colored windscreen and comes in a simple vinyl bag with a mic clip.  The price?

Read more: Heil PR22UT - pro audio's best kept secret

   

Environmental Projection

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

I was about to start this article off with the phrase, "A few weeks ago..." but then I realized it was actually a few months ago now. Anyway, a few months ago, we had the privilege of hosting Camron Ware at Coast Hills as he did a hands-on demonstration of Environmental Projection (EP). Camron is a great guy; very knowledgeable and very humble. He will say he didn't invent EP, but he certainly has been a driving force in helping churches all over the world get up and running with EP systems and media. 

When I was approached about hosting this event, I was a little concerned that our room would not be conducive to EP as the front of our auditorium is a mishmash of curtains, walls, screens, angles and the stage. It didn't take long to find I was wrong. The first thing Camron did was to set up three projectors. Two were supplied by a local vendor (a pair of Chrisite 5Ks). The other one arrive with Camron in a suitcase. No kidding. He walked in with a rolling suitcase in tow, and pulled out a projector the size of two pizza boxes. Made by Hitachi, it spits out 4000 lumens and costs about $2,000. I believe this is the one: Hitachi CP-X4021N LCD Video Projector

After connecting all three projectors to his MacBook Pro using a TripleHead2Go from Matrox, he threw up this very cool grid in Photoshop. He created this to help him create the mask he uses in ProPresenter to mask out the areas he doesn't want to project on. He spent about 10 minutes creating the mask, though he conceded that in a real installation or bigger show, he might spend quite a bit more time getting it dialed in perfectly.

Read more: Environmental Projection

   

The Final 10 Percent

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The first factor was that we’ve radically overhauled and upgraded our infrastructure since last year. This made set up and rehearsal go very smoothly. I also had a great team in place, which meant that I could really focus almost all my energy on being the audio director for the week. That, combined with our relatively new SD8 and virtual soundcheck system meant I could spend two entire mornings refining our mixes.

Normally, we don’t do a mid-week rehearsal for our weekend services. So even though we record one service a week in multi-track, it’s really more for training than anything else. But this week, we had a Tuesday night rehearsal for Easter, and a Thursday rehearsal for Good Friday. I tracked both rehearsals, then spent the morning after tweaking. I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

Now, it should be noted that the mixes didn’t get radically better as I tweaked.

Read more: The Final 10 Percent

   

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