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Can you help us with our sound system?

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"Dave, can you come to Sioux Falls to help us with our sound system?"

Prior to that call, we had worked together with the Ransom Church for some add-on products and accessories, but the new tech director wanted to talk with us about systems, so that we'd have a better understand of their needs as the church grew.

A couple weeks later, I boarded a plane to Sioux Falls, SD. From the cool vibe of the concrete-floored welcome area, I walked into the back door of the worship space where the tech director explained that weekend attendance was growing (from 300 to 1400 in under a year) and that the tech systems were straining under the load.

As he walked me around, I saw a lighting system that was well done, along with the audio and the video systems – both of which were recently installed.

Frankly, I wondered why I was there.

After a few minutes, I asked what types of issues they had and if I could hear the system. In a nutshell, the church had plenty of equipment, but the audio system did not sound good.

The space was loft-like in nature, having been an old auto parts warehouse. The wood trusses acted like a low ceiling, and the worship space was very wide, so acoustic volume was high near the platform, but didn't carry well toward the back, corner and side seating areas.  See "before" coverage map below.  The difference between yellow and purple areas is about 10dB, an apparent halving of acoustic volume. 

Ransom AC Before

As we discovered, the previous choice of main speakers was not poor equipment, but simply the wrong equipment.

Read more: Can you help us with our sound system?

 

The installation is over - what about training?

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The building is finished, the sound system is installed, the training session has ended, and the tail lights of the system installer are fading in the distance.  What's next?!  A well-deserved break for everyone! 

Over and over we find churches in what will become a predicament pretty quickly if training is not addressed.  With the upgrade, the church now needs 3-4 tech volunteers (or more) where it needed one or two before, and some of those people who just finished the training session have never even seen a mixer or a switcher before, and have little to no idea of how everything works together.  They all seemed to understand, none of them had any more questions for the trainer when he asked, but many of your team members went home overwhelmed and under-prepared.  And the weekend is coming. 

For budget reasons, churches often opt out of ongoing training, but making the best use of the new equipment requires that people know how and why they're doing what they're doing.  Recently, we've come across a new video curriculum called the Ultimate Live Sound School DVD Set.  It's a DVD-based curriculum taught by David Wills, a professional touring engineer who has worked with lots of top music acts over the past several years.  These videos allow you to look over the shoulder of a professional audio engineer who has worked with the top names in the business. 

In Free Church Sound Training, David will tell you about his background, and that lesson will tell you who he knows and should give you a good sense that he can help prepare your team on the basics of sound theory, signal flow, mixing technique and much more.  Click here to watch that free lesson

The Free Church Sound Training is an introduction to the more detailed Ultimate Live Sound School DVD Set.  A couple of us have started using this DVD set and the more detailed training videos for the Presonus Studio Live and Behringer X32 in our own churches and find the videos to be a powerful resource for both group and for individual training.  For more info on the Ultimate Live Sound School DVD click here

Unfortunately, we often find churches are not able to equip volunteers for success on their own so they experience lots of volunteer turnover.  The Ultimate Live Sound School DVD set will allow you to spread the knowledge of proper audio system operation to the team in a way that is well-presented, non-threatening and that comes with the benefit of the teacher being an outside expert. 

Right now, the Ultimate Live Sound School is priced at $50 off the normal $199.95 price at just $149.95.  The Ultimate Live Sound School contains over 6 hours of training, plus bonus sessions, that your team can refer to as often as necessary and share among themselves.  Click here to order the Ultimate Live Sound School DVD set now.  

   

QSC Touchmix Android App - Just Released

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touchmixandroidExplore 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.

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Shure announces ULX-D Digital Wireless in 900MHz band

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With the proliferation of wireless phones and connected tablets and computers, "wi-fi everywhere", and shifts in how the FCC allocates parts of the wireless spectrum, the predictable use of wireless microphones is tougher than it used to be.

With that, Shure is pleased to announce that the ULX-D Digital Wireless is now available in the 900 MHz ISM frequency band. This range of the wireless spectrum is reserved internationally for radio frequencies used by Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) industries, so it should remain unaffected by the issues that surround the use of the 500-800MHz portion of the radio frequency spectrum shared with broadcast video and/or wireless broadband devices.

The ULX-D Digital Wireless is targeted for use where traditional UHF "TV band" spectrum is limited or not ideal, and the ULX-D 900 MHz features components and accessories are optimized for use within regional variations of the 902-928 MHz spectrum.  For more information about how we can help you to successfully integrate wireless into your facility, please call us anytime at 800-747-7301. 

   

Shure is discontinuing more 600MHz wireless systems.

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As we've been warning for over a year, it's time to stop buying 600MHz wireless microphone and personal monitoring systems, unless you have no other choice.  Unfortunately, some of you have no other choice due to location, and other systems in use.  

At some point in the future, the FCC will issue a statement that will give users 42 months to vacate systems operating in the 600MHz band (approximately 600-699MHz).  And at this time, we have not received that notice, which could come next week or in the next few years. 

Eeffective immediately, Shure is discontinuing the following from BLX® Wireless, UHF-R® Wireless and PSM®900 Personal Monitor Systems:

K12 and M15 frequency band SKUs in BLX Wireless Systems
K1 and L6 frequency band SKUs in PSM900 Personal Monitor Systems
L3 in UHF-R Wireless Systems

Shure knows what's coming (even if it doesn't know when), and we'd all be wise to follow their lead.  Our opinion is that early discontinuations will keep Shure from having to pay large trade-in rebates like they did when the 700MHz range was similarly abandoned in 2010.  Please contact us with any questions you have. 

   

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What others say

Thanks much for your help and advice in the E6 mic.  It is everything you promised and more!  The pastor's happy, the tech services team is happy, and most of all the congregation is happy because they now hear his words in a clear natural sound. We love it!

Dan Miller, Living Oaks Community Church