Three Ways to Mic B3 Organ

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by Mike Sessler,

The Hammond B3 is one of those iconic sounds of modern music. And by modern I mean since about the 1950's or so. The Hammond B3 was the invention of Lawrence Hammond. A serial inventor, he figured out that the synchronous motor he used in the first electric clock could produce musical tones. In 1934, he unveiled the Hammond model A. They were originally sold to churches as a substitute for pipe organs.

A simple block diagram of the Leslie 122 speaker.

In 1954, Hammond introduced the B3. When paired with a Leslie 122 rotary speaker, the sound was born. Starting with Jimmy Smith, Booker T. Jones, The Rascals and dozens of other bands in the '60s and '70s, the B3 became a staple of jazz, R&B and rock music. The combination of the tone wheels that can produce a full chord of harmonics with a single key and the dual rotating speakers of the 122 cabinet produce a distinctive sound that is unlike any other.

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The Cost of Getting it Wrong

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by Mike Sessler,

A few weeks ago, Tim Cool from Visioneering posted a thought-provoking post of the same name. It’s very good, and I suggest you go read the whole thing. He asks several questions related to staffing, building and designing. As I thought about what he wrote, one particular question resonated with me:

What will it cost to have the wrong audio and acoustics in your worship center? Again, this is not just the cost to fix the issue, but the frustration quotient and emotional capital. What are they worth?

This is one of the things I see churches missing regularly. How many churches have to build multi-million dollar buildings that sound terrible because they didn’t want to spend $20,000 on an acoustician? How many churches have to install hundreds of thousands of AVL gear that doesn’t work properly because they didn’t want to spend any money on design?

As someone whose mission in life seems to be helping churches undo the bad tech decisions they’ve made (I’m sort of like a Mike Holmes of the church world), I can tell you the cost of getting it wrong is pretty high.

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Wet - no sweat!

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5 Reasons to Choose the H6 Headset.

The H6 Headset is Countryman's newest microphone, designed for exceptional performance and value.
1. Sweatproof

The H6 Omni Headset, with its new watertight connector, is submersible to one meter. It's ready to take on dust, sweat and make-up on stage and screen.

2. Tough
The H6 Headset is made of stainless steel with a flexible, chemical-resistant coating, and H6 Cables are packed with aramid fiber with a 45-pound break strength.
3. Low Profile
The H6 capsule is less than half the size of the Sennheiser HSP2 and DPA 4066 on an extremely light frame. The folks at Countryman have also precisely tuned the four colors of the H6 to blend in against the skin, making the mic virtually impossible to see when its worn.

4. Adjustable
More earwire and boom adjustability means one frame size fits all. Formable wires allow a custom fit every time.
5. Versatile
Choose an H6 Omnidirectional with frequency-response-tuning caps, or an H6 Directional with field-switchable polar patterns. Switch the microphone boom or snap on a new cable in seconds to interface to hundreds of different wireless transmitters and digital recorders.

Click here to order or for more information. 


Making In-Ears Work for You

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Making "In-Ears" work for you

by Gary Williams

If I had to define my experience with in-ear monitoring I would have to describe it as a "love-hate" relationship. When I buy a new piece of gear, like most everyone else I love that "instant gratification" factor. When I unbox that new keyboard or guitar, I'm giddy with excitement as I hear immediate results.

Of course, over time there is a learning curve on the higher tech toys, but for the most part, it never fails to make me cackle maniacally those first few hours as I push buttons just to see what happens. Come on now, don't judge me - we all do it.

So a few years back when I ordered my wireless in-ear monitor system, I couldn't wait for my next gig to try them out. The day came - I beamed as I handed the transmitter to the hired sound guy and gave him a brief description of what I wanted to hear and after some further direction, and a less than satisfying sound-check, my much anticipated in-ears were removed and I limped through the remainder of the show without a monitor wedge, straining to hear what stage volume bled over my direction. WHAT HAPPENED??? It wasn't supposed to be like this.

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Everything is amazing, and no one is happy!

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by Mike Sessler,

Louis CK has a bit in his routine where he describes some of the miracles of modern life, and how we're never happy with them. The bit is pretty funny. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when a few of our musicians got to complaining about the trouble they have communicating with each other during rehearsal now that we're all on ears.

I thought back to three years ago when I arrived at Coast. We had 7-12 monitors on stage, that typically generated 88-90 dB SPL at FOH, 90 feet away with the main PA off. The sound was pretty dreadful back then, the stage was a mess, the piano was rarely in tune and had more drums in those mic's than piano, sound check typically took more than an hour and at the end, people were rarely completely happy.

Today, we're so dialed in that sound check can be done in 20 minutes if everyone cooperates, stage volume is almost 0 and by all accounts, the sound in the house is better than it's ever been. The piano sounds great, and by changing out most of the mic's so does everything else. Oh, and with the M-48 personal mixers, the musicians can usually get a great mix; one that's tweaked exactly for them.

Everything is amazing, and no one is happy.

I'm guilty of this too.

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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!