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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.

 

LED Wall - minimum viewing distance, a quick calculator

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We get a lot of questions about how to properly calculate the minimum viewing distance for LED video walls of specific sizes.  Here's an easy calculator. 

Take the video wall pixel pitch in millimeters, multiply by 3 and add 10%. 

For example, we'll use a very common 3.91mm pixel pitch wall panel.  3.91 x 3 = 11.73 + 10% is 12.9'. 

If you view the wall at any closer than about 13', the picture will appear to be very grainy.  The reason for this is that LED wall panels have relative low native resolution (a half-meter panel with 3.91 pixel pitch uses just 128x128 pixels), and it takes several individual panels to create a presentation display like you'd see in an auditorium or church.  A 4x7 grid of these panels will create an 80x139" display (about the same size as a 12' projection screen).  That display will have a native resolution of 896x512 pixels. 

I hope that helps you understand a bit more about minimum viewing distance.  If you have questions about LED video walls and whether they're a good fit for your application, please call us at 800-747-7301.

   

Free System Design Review

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You've undoubtedly asked yourself, "So what exactly does that mean? Free System Design Review.  The words were blocked in red in the advertisement, so I just clicked it.  And now what?" 

What that means is that we're here to help. 

If you're in the market for a new audio, video, lighting and/or projection system or upgrade (or are having problems with what you have), let us know. 

Do you have a proposal in-hand and aren't quite sure what to think of it?  We'll look it over and tell you what we think. 

Do you have questions about wireless microphones, HD video distribution for production and presentation, or on how to improve audio coverage on your auditorium?  These are things that we work with every day, and we'd be glad to provide some ideas. 

Do you have questions about video streaming, laser projectors, multi-site systems, or wonder about next steps as your church grows?  We've worked with one of our church clients from its start with 20 people to about 5000 weekend attendance today, and we can help with system design and equipment standardization.

Sometimes, you just need one more set of eyes (or ears) to solve a problem or to get confirmation of what you're already thinking. 

We're celebrating our 25th year in 2017, so we've seen a lot, and we've learned a lot.  If you think that our experience might be helpful to you, call us at (800) 747-7301.  Or you can send us some photos, a video, an audio recording, take us on a Facetime tour, or email us at gtsales@geartechs.com. 

Technology for Worship: It's what we do.

   

Block 96% of ambient light, without covering the windows

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We could spend all day telling you  about how Da-Lite Parallax screens block over 95% of ambient light from windows and and other light sources. We could describe how it maintains a bright, vibrant image even when a room is filled with natural light. We could thoroughly explain how it offers extremely wide viewing angles, with no speckle or glare. But we'd rather show you.

After all, seeing is believing. That's why Da-Lite created a video to show you the difference.

As you can see, the difference is striking. That's why if you have a brightly lit room, Parallax is the best screen choice for your project.  Please call us for more information on this amazing new screen technology. 

   

Feedback is not always bad.

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

Audio guys are taught to fear and loath feedback. We have parametric EQs, notch filters, magic boxes and feedback eliminators, all to keep feedback from rearing it's ugly head. The mix could be great, the lighting perfect and the song words spot on, but if the pastor's mic runs into feedback, you feel like you've failed. For most of us feedback=bad.

But Is It?

The feedback of which I speak in the opening paragraph is of course, the electro-acoustical kind. The mic picks up it's own signal, it goes through the amplification loop and repeats, ending in a high-pitched scream. And I agree, that kind of feedback is bad. But not all feedback is. In fact, sometimes, feedback can be very helpful.

Getting Better All The Time

Any sound engineer worth his salt should be striving to get better all the time. But how do we get better? How do we know if we're making progress or just making things louder? One really good way to get better is to get some feedback. By asking others to critique our mix, we will learn valuable insights and hopefully, get better. The challenge is, we're so trained to avoid feedback (the bad kind), that we tend to avoid all feedback (the good kind).

Now, it can be humbling to ask for feedback. I've done this in the past, and sometimes go home feeling less good about my skill level. However, after the sting wears off, and I've processed the feedback, my mixing usually gets better. It's easy to get caught in the trap of thinking we have this thing figured out and continue to do the wrong thing over and over again.

Read more: Feedback is not always bad.

   

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What others say

By the way, the M-400 is stinkin' awesome!  I always knew it could do this stuff, but I've never seen it in action.  I set the loaner board up, stuck in my thumb drive, loaded my settings, and bam, there they were!

Every tweak, every name, every setting, all right there!

Just thought I'd share that with you!

Wayne