Two keys to sound systems that behave well.
Two keys to sound systems that behave well
When designing a sound system, physics still applies, no matter how hard I might wish that it wouldn't. Many venues that we work in have low ceilings and comparatively far distances to the last row of the seating area. Think of the typical 1970's Nazarene church -- long and low, and it could be built inexpensively with standard wood trusses and asphalt shingles. 60' from front to back, 10' side wall height, 14' roof peak.
The Inverse Square Law says that sound pressure level (SPL) or acoustic volume drops 6 decibels (dB) every time you double the distance from the sound source. If we measure 94dB at four meters from the speaker, the SPL will be 88dB at eight meters, 82dB at 16 meters, 76 dB at 32 meters, etc.
When designing systems, if we're asked, what we hope to find is a room that's about twice as deep as the ceiling is high. In that type of space we can keep the SPL difference to about 3-4dB over the seating area with conventional speakers. Note that in the example above, there's a 12dB difference for the person sitting 13.2' from the speaker and the person sitting 52.8' away. That's why the 1970's Nazarene church style building is a tough place to install a sound system, and to do it well (not to mention inexpensively). That difference is 12dB represents more than a 50% apparent reduction in acoustical volume.
That halving of volume is not a big deal, if you want people to be able to sit in relative audio comfort at the back of the room, but more often than not, the audio technician (who typically sits in a corner in the very back of the room) adjusts the SPL to his taste making the acoustic volume much louder (read as "too loud") up nearer the platform or stage.
Unfortunately, system performance is close to the last thing that many churches and other performance venues discuss prior to design and eventual construction.
How to stop your tech volunteers from quitting!
The grind of weekly set-up and tear-down will consume your volunteers, unless you give them the tools they need. It's that simple.
Virtually all churches we work with, especially those that are mobile, struggle with the same issues. Whether it's developing skilled sound and video operators before their families "want them back", having the time and resources to develop skilled people at all, or just the drain of getting started at 5:30AM for the 8:00 service and striking it all after lunch, keeping weekend production teams going forward is a tough job.
Let's make it easier!
What's the most thankless job on the weekend services production crew? Cable taper - hands down. Especially if your church sets up and tears down every week, your crew spends a lot of time on its hands and knees with rolls of gaffer's tape (that's often the wrong width) measuring out a couple arm's lengths and ripping it with their teeth, while trying to keep the lines straight.
And we ask why our volunteers don't stick around.
What if we could help you make taping cables the job that people wanted to do?
Happy tapers stick around to learn other tasks, feel more productive and spend less time crawling around on the floor. And really, who wants to crawl around on the floor?
The GaffGun from Gafftech might well be your best-ever investment in volunteer retention and growth. Imagine 10 minutes of taping being reduced to a minute. Take a look at the video below.
QSC Touchmix Android App - Just Released
Explore the power and intuitive workflow of the award-winning TouchMix interface for yourself. Download the free TouchMix Control App to your iOS or Android tablet for the virtual TouchMix experience.
The TouchMix Control App features:
• Complete wireless control of all TouchMix functions and features on iOS and Android tablets
• Personal stage monitor Aux mixing control on iOS and Android smart-phones
• Connect up to 12 iOS or Android devices in any combination simultaneously
With sound quality that rivals professional consoles costing ten times more, the TouchMix is... Simply Genius.
Learn more about TouchMix Control.
Tone versus stage volume - an epic battle, and an easy way to solve it
Delivering great tone at low volume.
One of our system designers is working on an article entitled "How Loud is Loud Enough?". It will be published in the next week or two.
We find, especially in smaller churches with contemporary worship, that the battle between what we'll call stage volume and overall volume in the house is often an issue. Instrumentalists need more volume in order to feel their instrument or to get the best tone from their amplifier. And there's truth to that. And that need for volume drives listening sound pressure levels higher than they need to be for worshippers. It's a very real conflict in smaller rooms.
In order to get that full tone, many musicians build or buy isolation boxes for their amps and/or place the amps in another room so that they can get the tone they want and to not overpower the house sound system. There's an easier way, and a less expensive way.
The Radial Headload is a combination load box and attenuator that handles up to 130 watts RMS of continuous power and peaks of 180 watts. To use the Headload, it gets placed between the amplifier head and the speaker cabinet, allowing the guitar amp to be driven hard while reducing the output level - thus quieting the stage.
The headload utilizes Radial's JDX Reactor direct box which captures the signal from the head plus the reactive load from the speaker cabinet for a more natural tone. The Headload is also equipped with a Radial Phazer – phase adjustment tool. This lets you time-align the JDX direct feed with the microphone to deliver natural tones, or when pushed to extreme, create over the top effects. The JDX direct output may also be tailored to suit with a 6 position voicing switch to select from various cabinet emulation presets and fine tuned using a 2-band EQ to tame overly bright amps.
The Radial Headload V8 (8 Ohm version available now) can be used with or without the guitar speaker cabinet to help you get the precise balance of tone and volume that you need. $899. It might just be the product that allows everyone to have what they need.
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What others say
The mic worked well yesterday.
Everyone could hear and no feed back! Yeah!!!!!!!!
God's blessings to you,