Resources

It's too loud!

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Virtually every small and medium-sized church with a band fights the same fight. I've heard it called "platform wars", "volume wars" and similar descriptions, but in most cases the facts are simple -- the stage volume (monitors, instrument amplifiers and acoustical volume of instruments like drums) is simply too loud.  And that additional volume forces the sound system in the main seating area to be even louder and/or worse sounding than it needs to be. 

At my own church, we still fight with this most weekends and we're making progress.  The first step we took was to get as many of our musicians as possible on earphones or headphones, and to eliminate stage monitor speakers.  That cost us less than $1000.  We have some additional steps to take, but let's stick with solving the in-ear monitoring equation for now.  

What we did was to buy a simple headphone amplifier.  Today, let's look at the HA4x4 from Elite Core.  It's $119.99 and can provide up to four users the choice of between 1 and 4 different headphone mixes. 

How do you create a separate mix for ear/headphones?  Most audio mixers have auxiliary mix busses and just like you'd send a feed to a monitor amplifier, you can do the same to a headphone amplifier.  In this case, you can send up to four different mixes so that each musician can hear exactly what he or she wants to hear and at the precise volume they'd like, all without bothering anyone else or adding to the volume level in the seating area. 

Elite Core also makes wired bodypacks with volume control.  The WBP-VC gives the wearer a secure place to plug in the earphone mini-plug and an XLR connector for the connection to the headphone amplifier with a beltclip. Try the Elite Core Prohex-Core-18 at $37.99 to get the cable and volume control you need. 

Combine all of that with a set of earphones from Shure like the SE-215 at $99.00 or ATH-M30x headphones from Audio Technica at $69.00.

Next time, we'll talk about making some or all of this wireless, but we wanted to give you an affordable entry point for reducing stage volume in your facility. 

Let us help design a custom solution to quiet your stage volume today!

 

Do you need a sign for your church? Stewart Signs

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We can't help you with a church sign, but we know someone who can.  Since 1968, Stewart has provided quality signs to places of worship across the country and around the world. Almost 50,000 satisfied customers later, Stewart Sign is America’s largest church sign company.  For more information, please click here

   

Streaming to Facebook Live using the Roland VR-4HD

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How do I stream to Facebook Live?  That's a question that we get asked all of the time. 

This quick tutorial video and article teaches you about the four basic components, how to setup your encoding software and the optimum settings in Facebook in order to stream your live event to Facebook. The Roland VR-4HD AV Switcher allows you to connect computers, cameras, video sources, microphones, key-in titles, and add special effects to engage your audience and simplify your workflow for streaming to Facebook Live. Read this article and you will soon become an expert on streaming using the Roland VR-4HD.

We sell a lot of the VR-4HD mixers at $2795 and find that they are a great upgrade to video mixers sold just a few years ago for a lot more money.  The VR-4HD is an HD-compatible all-in-one audio/video mixer with USB 3.0 connectivity.  Click here for more information. 

Give us a call, if you have questions and if you'd like to order one today.

   

The Right Color Balance for Ambient Light Rejecting Screens

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Proper color display plays a vital role in the successful implemenation of projectors and screens in spaces with high amounts of ambient light, so don’t sacrifice color accuracy when it comes to ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens.

Many ALR projection screens on the market today play with color balance in order to keep as much light as possible away from the eyes of the viewer. This creates an image that doesn’t look quite right, although it’s hard to say why, at least until you do a side-by-side comparison with a screen that is reflecting colors accurately. Then you notice how blue the typical ALR screen image is. 

People depend on correct colors not only to visualize, but also to understand. Our ability to see in color allows us to sense emotion or to see health on the skin of others. Getting the wrong color signal might lead us to misread an enemy’s intentions or to be exposed to unwanted illness. Color balance can even mean the difference between right or wrong diagnoses using a microscope in the lab.

In nature, showing off the correct color warns possible predators that a South American arrow poison frog isn’t a good idea for dinner. Being the right color to blend in with tree branches gets the mantis its insect meals. And if a male peacock’s tail feathers are bright and colorful, females know he’s healthy.

Draper was the first screen manufacturer to make ALR screens that are certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for color accuracy. All of its ALR screens have this certification, which means they have no impact on the image color.

When used in conjunction with an ISF-certified (or correctly calibrated) projector, the colors you see appear as they are meant to be, so you can have confidence that no matter how critical the situation, there won’t be any mistakes due to bad color balance.

If you'd like more information on ALR screens and have questions about your projection environment, please call us at 800-747-7301. 

   

The best $100 investment you can make in your sound system for this weekend

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On Friday, we sent you an email that talked briefly about how the earset microphone changed the audio world for the better. Today, we'd like to answer some questions and follow up on that message.

About five years ago we wrote an article calling the earset microphone (originally released by Countryman Associates in about 2001) one of the "three best things that you can do for your sound system". And over the last few years, we've been affirmed over and over by others in national media who agree.

Why is the earset microphone significant and and why do you need one? And even if you already have one, what makes it so effective?

Here's a simple test. Next time you are using a lapel microphone or an earset microphone, move the microphone capsule itself from wherever you have it (corner of mouth or shirt) to the other (shirt or corner of mouth) while continuing to talk and see what happens.

When you move a lapel microphone to the corner of the mouth from the shirt without changing gain, the acoustical volume that you hear gets much louder (about twice as loud), and when you move the earset away from the mouth to the center of your chest, the opposite happens (the volume drops by about half).

That close microphone position is a sound technician's friend. The quality of sound is much more consistent from an earset than from a lapel since the microphone follows the wearer and maintains a distance from the mouth that does not change. And that position requires much less gain to achieve the same acoustical volume so the system remains more stable.

Today, we'd like to remind you that Point Source Audio makes the benefits of earset microphones available starting at $99.95 (up to $449). Point Source makes its microphones compatible with Shure, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, AKG, MiPro, Telex, Shure, Line 6, JTS and a few others.

So if you're tired of inconsistent performance from your lapel microphone or just need to freshen up what you have, let us know. There's still time before this weekend to get what you need.

Some of the step-up options options offer unbreakable, flexible booms, secure dual-ear mounting and a waterproof assembly. Get more information on the Point Source Audio CO Series earsets here. And please call us if you need more information or have questions.

   

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What others say

The Countryman E6 mic you supplied arrived very promptly and has worked really well as a mic for preachers in our church. It sounds good and is almost invisible in use.

Rod Webster, Derbyshire, UK