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Author Topic: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings  (Read 1561 times)

Johnathan Funk

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Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« on: March 25, 2017, 11:21:16 am »

Hello,
I'm new to this forum, but I was hoping someone here could help me. I am the "sound guy" at my church, but I'm completely self-taught, with not a lot of familiarity with the correct terms for a lot things when it comes to audio. We're a small church, so our budget for audio isn't very big, but I recently purchased a dbx 266XL for our pastor's microphone. I don't know how to set it up though, and the guide I had planned on using from CCI Solutions now leads to a blank page, as it seems they updated their website. How would I go about configuring this properly? Our mixer is an Allen & Heath ZED428 if that's important. Also, is it better to run the line from the mic through the compressor or just use an insert cable? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2017, 02:07:58 pm »

Insert cable.

Start by using the "Auto" setting rather than guessing about the controls.  You'll eventually want to know about using the unit as a limiter on the mic by choosing a hard knee, high threshold and quick-ish release to just ride herd on any overs.
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Johnathan Funk

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2017, 03:29:02 pm »

Insert cable.

Start by using the "Auto" setting rather than guessing about the controls.  You'll eventually want to know about using the unit as a limiter on the mic by choosing a hard knee, high threshold and quick-ish release to just ride herd on any overs.

Thanks! I'll go ahead and give that a try when it arrives.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2017, 04:54:36 pm »

I had been fine tuning my preferred vocal settings for years, when a visiting tech showed me my results were almost identical to the 266 auto setting.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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Jay Barracato

Taylor Phillips

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 11:00:58 pm »

When I started to volunteer a bit for a big church in suburban Atlanta with a Grammy winning worship leader, the way they taught setting the starting point for the compressor was to use a ratio at or between 1:2-1:4 and set the threshold to give -6dB of gain reduction when the speaker or singer got loud.  IIRC, the lower ratio was for singers to maintain musicality and the higher for speakers to prevent clipping in recording.  All suggestions, rather than rules, and everyone was allowed to tweak to their taste.  They had different equipment across the church, so I don't know how well the auto settings on any of them worked - the digital board in the room where we had the young professionals service I did was one I had never heard of before and have never seen since - Innovason SY80.
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 12:32:41 am »

set the threshold to give -6dB of gain reduction when the speaker or singer got loud.
Gain reduction is definitely something you don't want to overdo... gain before feedback tends to be marginal to begin with on a lot of pastors' mic setups, and the *last* thing you want is the gain on your pastor's mic increasing by 10 or 15 dB whenever (s)he stops speaking and the compressor releases.

You'll eventually want to know about using the unit as a limiter on the mic by choosing a hard knee, high threshold and quick-ish release to just ride herd on any overs.
+ 1 to this as well... that's where I usually end up on spoken-word compression.

Jonathan, what's the problem you're trying to solve with the compressor?
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 01:00:18 am »

Jonathan, what's the problem you're trying to solve with the compressor?

My thoughts exactly.  You'll get great advice here but it really would be good to know what kind of problem you're trying to solve.  It seems a bit backwards to be buying gear you don't have any idea how to use.  After all, how could you know it's the right gear?
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2017, 03:02:56 pm »

Level control should be audibly invisible,
If you're not having a problem keeping the pastors volume fairly level, there's no need to use a compressor /limiter.
   If he has a lot of dynamic range high-volume low-volume then what i do is find the point where he's talking normally,
set the compressor threshold to be just above that.
Ratio at 3 or 4 to 1  with 6 to 8 ms attack and fast release
Knee set to 2 to 3  and  makeup gain as needed.

The biggest thing is not to crush his dynamic range, or have long release times  or ratios that will make him sound squashed.
      No 1 setting  is  right for every situation   :)
 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 03:05:36 pm by lindsay Dean »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 04:11:09 pm »

Level control should be audibly invisible,
If you're not having a problem keeping the pastors volume fairly level, there's no need to use a compressor /limiter.
   If he has a lot of dynamic range high-volume low-volume then what i do is find the point where he's talking normally,
set the compressor threshold to be just above that.
Ratio at 3 or 4 to 1  with 6 to 8 ms attack and fast release
Knee set to 2 to 3  and  makeup gain as needed.

The biggest thing is not to crush his dynamic range, or have long release times  or ratios that will make him sound squashed.
      No 1 setting  is  right for every situation   :)

I know you mean well, but there are several contradictions in your post and some downright misleading info which, though not strictly incorrect, assumes knowledge of the OPs situation that we don't have.

And, as Jay noted, it takes several years of experimenting and tweaking to find manual settings which will compare favorably with the program-dependent auto processing.

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lindsay Dean

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2017, 04:14:49 pm »

Did not say it was the end-all-be-all conclusion of settings
read the last sentence
in my post.
thanks
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2017, 04:20:39 pm »

as usual and forever,
 in the immortal and forever true
 statement by Ivan beaver
          it depends
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Luke Geis

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Re: Pastor's Mic Compression Settings
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2017, 01:41:10 am »

My approach for spoken word is simple:

Always have some amount of compression happening at all times that is between 3db and up to as much as 10-12db.

The attack should be as fast as possible and the release set to be nearly fully released between words. The release time takes some listening and looking to nail down. In general the cadence will live right around 180-200ms, but it really depends on cadence.

I like having the compression always engaged so that the effect of pumping is reduced and limited. Try and keep the amount of total compression to no more than 10-12db. Keeping it so that any given word has at least 3db of compression will help the compressor act more as a volume leveler and not seem overdone or clamping things down too much. As with anything in audio, it depends. This is not a set and forget setting, you will have to monitor and adjust it regularly. That is my approach, others have different ways. There is no one size fits all, you will have to try them all so to speak to find what works best for you.
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