Finding the Ultimate Kick Drum Microphone!

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by Eric Chancey, @BigDaddyDecibel

One could say that the kick drum (bass drum) sound is the signature of any song.  Rap, Rock, Jazz, R&B all have distinctive kick drum sounds that help define those genres. With that in mind, picking the right tool will make creating the sound a lot easier. Here are some tips for making the proper purchasing decision.

Frequency response.

Check the frequency response of the microphone. Do you really need a built-in +12dB boost at 40Hz when doing jazz?  Will a massive 3 kHz boost be helpful for R&B?

You want those built-in curves working for you, not against you.

If you put the second microphone on your kick drum and you don't want all that high end, now you’re in fix-it mode, trying to get the right sound or fighting feedback.

Make sure that you find a microphone that compliments the type of sound you are trying to achieve.  Doing so will save you time and headaches.

Ease of use.

I can hear you now, "Ease of use? It's a microphone, you put it on a stand and stick it in front of something." It's not that easy.

When selecting a kick drum microphone, here are some things to look for.

Read more: Finding the Ultimate Kick Drum Microphone!


Clean My Filters?

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PLC-XC56_2Clean my filters? - Never?!

More often than not when a client calls needing a new lamp (bulb) for his or her projector, or wonders why the lamp didn’t last as long as it might have, I often ask the follow-up question, “Have you cleaned the filters on the machine?” 

“Filters?  I didn’t know this thing had a filter.”  Oops. 

Ongoing filter maintenance is a very important part of keeping your projector cool so that your lamp lasts as long as possible.  I can’t tell you how many times people have called about a bad lamp only to discover that their filters are fully clogged.  Clogged filters force the operating temperature higher and shorten lamp life. 

Cleaning your filters also prevents dust build-up on the LCD panels that causes yellow spots on the projected image and creates a repair that isn’t covered by your warranty. 

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the filters quarterly, but if your projector is installed 20’ off the ground, how do you gain easy access to get it done? 

Late last year, Sanyo developed its Active Maintenance Filter System (AMFS) to alleviate such issues.  AMFS senses dirty filter material and advances clean material into place automatically for up to 2000 hours of projector operation.  When the filter cartridge expires, a warning appears on the screen that suggests that you change the filter.  At 8 hours of use per week, that filter cartridge should last 4-5 years.  You still have to change the cartridges, but periodic filter cleaning is not required. 

Projectors with AFMS cost a little more than comparable projectors, but if you don’t have to worry about quarterly filter maintenance and you get extra life from the projector lamp, you’ll come out ahead – way ahead. 

Not keeping your filters clean might also cost you a warranty claim since some manufacturers void their warranties, if it’s discovered that you didn’t keep the filters clean. 

Sanyo offers the PLC-XC55 at 3100 ANSI Lumens and the PLC-XC50 at 2600 ANSI Lumens.  Both feature plenty of brightness and great video performance for portable or installed use on screen sizes up to 7.5x10’, depending upon how much light is reflected by your screen. 

If you have questions, please call for more information on selecting a projector for your use.

Sanyo PLC-XC56 LCD Projector 3100 ANSI Lumens XGA       $1119 – shipping included!
Sanyo PLC-XC55 LCD Projector 3100 ANSI Lumens XGA       $1099 – shipping included!
Sanyo PLC-XC50 LCD Projector 2600 ANSI Lumens XGA       $999 – shipping included!

Replacement filter cartridges are $40.  That sure beats climbing up and down ladders or scaffolding for the next 4-5 years, doesn’t it?! 


Get a world-class choir sound!

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If they can’t hear you, what’s the point?

One of the questions I’m asked most often is how to get the best choir sound.  Quite frankly, it’s not easy and you’re typically asking a lot of your sound system to get enough gain before feedback, while getting a great sound. 

Twenty years ago, Audio-Technica introduced its Unipoint hanging microphones and everyone wanted small, invisible microphones and those worked well for stationary choirs.  Today, choirs are mobile with many new churches being built without any sort of permanent choir loft, so the need for invisible, permanently-installed microphones has diminished.  With the new mobility, people have shown a willingness to focus on sound quality first and are selecting large diaphragm microphones. 

Many use large diaphragm condenser microphones, but find them too sensitive, picking up everything from the front row audience to the monitor reflection off the back wall, to the drums, to the guitar amplifiers, etc.  Oh and the choir, too. 

Have you ever felt like that?

Read more: Get a world-class choir sound!


Save money by buying the right equipment.

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Every day, I talk with people just like you about technology for worship equipment.  We talk about what’s new, what we wish was available and what works for others.  We exchange ideas.  We share tips.

Lately, people have been a little more hesitant to spend money.  I can understand that.  Gas prices are soar and then drop like a rock, the stock market zigs and then zags, the dollar goes up, gold goes down.  What does it all mean?  It means that your finance team might be a little bit nervous about letting you spend money for “non-essentials.” 

Have we ever known what the next year would bring?  It’s sometimes easy to get wrapped up in what might be and miss what God has in store for today.  While audio and video gear might be deemed non-essential, selecting the right equipment is absolutely critical.

Read more: Save money by buying the right equipment.


Quick Projector Fixes

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Quick projector fixes

Colors not vivid?  Image looking “flat”?  Are your whites gray/blue?  If so, it might be time to update your projector’s lamp (bulb).  Many projectors offer lamp life estimates of 2000 hours or more.  Our experience is that after 1000 hours (8 hours a week for 2.5 years) that the picture quality of your LCD or DLP projector will degrade to the point that it doesn’t look as good as it once did.  If you feel like images don’t quite “pop” like they used to, or that colors aren’t as accurate, it might not be your imagination. 

Projector lamps don’t typically burn out like a lightbulb.  They just fade away gradually.  If you feel like your machine needs a little freshening up, give us a call at 800-747-7301.  Prices range from $249-549 for most projectors.  Lamps are available for most models (even older units) from virtually any manufacturer, and for models not listed on this website.


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