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Author Topic: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?  (Read 3398 times)

Aaron Nickerson

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Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« on: May 09, 2013, 05:53:21 pm »

My church is considering going to some form of personal monitoring system.  We run an Avid Venue console with one stage rack.  We currently have 8 monitor mixes controlled at front of house  (we use 6-7 on the average Sunday, but more for special services).  We run a rock style contemporary worship with one drummer, two electric guitars, bass, piano/keys, worship leader on acoustic, and 2 BGV's for the average Sunday.

I have looked into Aviom and similar systems mentioned in the recent thread about personal monitors, and it seems like most of them are limited to 16 inputs.  We run 19-20 inputs on the average Sunday, and special services can be up to 25 channels or so.

Does anyone have any experience working with the Avid PQ system?  It seems like a good fit for our system, but the price tag looks to be over $8k. 

Does anyone have any recommendations for a way to get a personal mixers capable of handling our channel needs for less than the Avid system?
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 06:06:30 pm »

$8k is about average for personal mixing systems.

A 16 channel movek myMix system is about $7000. Add $1000 for another 16 channel input unit for a total of 32 channels available on the network (each mixer would be able to pick 16 channels from the "pool" of 32). Better than having only a total of 16 channels to choose from, and most musicians wont' need more than 16 channels in their mix.

Another option I looked at in my hunt for PM systems was having a 24 channel studiolive mixer on stage controlled by the musician's iphones/ipads. My church ultimately decided against this, mostly because we didn't want to incorporate an analog split (we already have a bit of a rat's nest and didn't want to add to it) plus the gain knobs would be unattended. Could fix that if you had a separate monitor engineer.

If you are capable of incorporating a madi, ethersound or dante network, you can use Allen & Heath's ME system. But I believe that's more than 8k for how many mixers you need.
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 07:37:14 pm »

I have quite a bit of experience with PQ an I like it a lot. PQ is limited to 12 inputs per mixer. So typically you will find the need to do some "stem" mixing. Her is a breakdown of how I would typically do things
1. Drums (a stem mix off of an aux send)
2. Bass
3. Gtr1
4. Gtr2
5. Key
6. Piano (if its the same person playing keys and piano I stem those off if a aux also)
7.
8.
9. WL Acoustic
10.Worship Leader
11.BGV1
12.BGV2
If I have more than 2 BGV I stem those through a aux

The venue only has 8 directs to choose from on the PQ section so you have to pull 4 of the mixes from either a aux, matrix, group, or master buss.
Hence drums, keys, BGV, etc coming from an aux send into the PQ buss.
Personal monitoring is great but sometimes giving musicians to much to choose from can be a bad thing. The good thing about PQ is it allows you to use all the power of the venue for your mixes and will still allow FOH to have control of and fix any mix issues for the band. And if they continually mess up their mix you can lock them out!

Good luck
T
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Brad Weber

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 01:30:09 pm »

I have looked into Aviom and similar systems mentioned in the recent thread about personal monitors, and it seems like most of them are limited to 16 inputs.  We run 19-20 inputs on the average Sunday, and special services can be up to 25 channels or so.
As Thomas noted for the PQ, with any personal monitor system do you actually need every individual channel or could you handle some sources via aux sends, subgroups or matrices?  Maybe think of it in terms of what band members need, if no one needs or wants to control the individual background vocal channels then maybe they can be merged and input as one mix to the personal monitor system.  Similar with drums, maybe with kick separated or something like that.  That might allow you to work within a 16 input format for the personal mix system.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 03:31:28 pm »

A odd way of doing it, but it would work.  Install a Software Audio Console (SAC)  mixer with no preamps, just line ins from your FOH mixer.  It can handle as many inputs and as many mixers as you build it for (max 72 in and 25 mixers)  At 24 channels in and out you could do it for less then 8 K You might be closer to 4K depending on what you use for control surfaces (tablet, or laptop, new or used)
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Aaron Nickerson

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 08:15:09 pm »

Thank you for the feedback.  It was very helpful.

Also, for anyone else researching monitor options, Church Tech Arts just posted a podcast about this subject that I found to be very helpful.

I am going to speak with my worship arts pastor tomorrow about the strengths and weaknesses of the different options.

One thing I am considering is a monitor console, something like Frank suggested.  Though I am concerned with availability of volunteers...  Does anyone use a monitor console in a church environment?  Any thoughts?
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 08:38:50 pm »

Do you currently have more than enough volunteers to more than cover FOH? If the answer is...NO! Then I would steer clear of a monitor console. We currently do not have any monitor consoles at any of our locations. At all of our locations we mix 8-10 iem mixes from FOH (no personal mixers) the last church I was at we only had 2 PQ controllers and the remaining 12 mixes were from FOH. I have seldom had issues mixing monitors from FOH. I would love to have monitor consoles but we really don't have the volunteer base for competent engineers. If I could have what I wanted tomorrow it would be PQ at our campus with profile and GL remotes at the smaller campuses.
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bigTlamb

"If you suck on a functional analog desk, you'll really suck on a complex digital desk...." Dick Rees

Kent Thompson

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 11:38:39 pm »

Do you currently have more than enough volunteers to more than cover FOH? If the answer is...NO! Then I would steer clear of a monitor console. We currently do not have any monitor consoles at any of our locations. At all of our locations we mix 8-10 iem mixes from FOH (no personal mixers) the last church I was at we only had 2 PQ controllers and the remaining 12 mixes were from FOH. I have seldom had issues mixing monitors from FOH. I would love to have monitor consoles but we really don't have the volunteer base for competent engineers. If I could have what I wanted tomorrow it would be PQ at our campus with profile and GL remotes at the smaller campuses.
We currently do a mix of methods. We do have a person on stage that mixes the monitors but(could just as easily mix them from FOH and have on occasion), we use ipads to roam the stage to help the musicians out with their mixes. We use the aux sends because I can configure the console to have as many as we have outputs for which is a good amount. There are aps that are iPad based for our iLive that we use so that individuals could do their own mixing which we have used in the past. Currently we are not using them. The available pm systems though ad some flexibility that we don't have currently. It works. I think we would still be better server by a pm system but, then you need to train the users how to use the system and build mixes.
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 04:38:08 pm »

I have looked into Aviom and similar systems mentioned in the recent thread about personal monitors, and it seems like most of them are limited to 16 inputs.  We run 19-20 inputs on the average Sunday, and special services can be up to 25 channels or so.


The question I would return is "do you really need more than 16 sources to your monitor mix?" Just because you have 20 inputs doesnt mean you need all 20 to be separate inputs on the monitor mixers.

I dont send each drum mic as a separate channel. I send them through a subgroup and then use that subgroup to feed a monitor channel. Same with vocal mics. I keep the lead and other main vocalists separate, but all the other vocals get combined into a group.

I am not saying you cant use more than 16, just maybe rethink about what is absolutely needed to be an independent channel on the monitor mixers.

Jared
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Experience with Avid PQ Mixers?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 05:09:05 pm »

The question I would return is "do you really need more than 16 sources to your monitor mix?" Just because you have 20 inputs doesnt mean you need all 20 to be separate inputs on the monitor mixers.

I dont send each drum mic as a separate channel. I send them through a subgroup and then use that subgroup to feed a monitor channel. Same with vocal mics. I keep the lead and other main vocalists separate, but all the other vocals get combined into a group.

I am not saying you cant use more than 16, just maybe rethink about what is absolutely needed to be an independent channel on the monitor mixers.

Jared

I don't think any one musician needs more than 16 inputs in their mix, but I think you should be able to pull those 16 channels from any and all inputs in your system.

We have about 20 channels of inputs each service, generally. None of the musicians need all 20 of them, but each of those 20 channels are ones that certain band members would want in their ears.

For instance, most of the musicians don't need the background vocals in their ears, but each background vocalist would want each of the others. Most people on stage don't need the synth in their ears, but the synth and piano players will want it. Most of the band could probably do just fine with a drum subgroup, but the drummer wants individual control.

This is why for our church an Aviom or Behringer P-16 system just didn't cut it. And since we use a Roland board anyway we're saving up the money to get the M-48 system. With it each musician has 16 stereo groups and can assign any combination of the consoles' 40 input channels to any of those groups.
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.
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