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Author Topic: automatic mixers  (Read 5026 times)

John Fiorello

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 02:21:21 pm »

Mark,

I don't know what your budget is (other than it's 'strapped') but the iLive system (hear me out now, I know it's not cheap) makes the pla-net interfaces that sound like they'd work for you.  They have a PL-10 which runs cat-5 with 10 channels set ahead of time to the main sound controller.  With rotary encoders, you can have people turn up channels (and you give them the channels they'll need, mic, monitor, etc) but you can set a limiter so they can't turn up the channels further than you've preset.

That makes it easier for someone to mix without much experience.  Just turn up the knob you need and don't worry if you turn it up too much because you've limited it to an acceptable level.

ALSO... you said you have several mixers you had to interface with and depending on your layout, you could put a controller (or 2) in each room you need a mixer for and run the band inputs to a central location.  All the rooms could share the same brain (which has dsp for 64 channels) at the same time without worrying about who is doing what where.


Just an idea to throw out there, it's something we've looked at for our pastors/wedding planner/funeral ushers who don't want to know how to run a board but want to have a few mics on when they need them.


JF
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chuck clark

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 05:04:25 pm »

I've had pretty good luck w/ Yamaha EMX series mixers in these situations. The first 4 or 8 ch. have compression which is very helpful and they are quite simple to operate and even have built in effects.
"fool proof devices fail to take into account the ingeniousness of fools!" Ha! Good luck!
Chuck
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David Kaiser

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 05:28:56 pm »

The other thing to remember is the used market. Shure SCM810 automatic mixers go for around 3-400 dollars on Ebay.  The SCM410 should be cheaper than that.  Ebay usually has lots of automatic mixers available for dirt cheap. The manual for the Shure mixers is pretty comprehensive. Do a search for  automatic mixer on the old Lab.
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Matthew Donadio

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2011, 09:14:01 am »

The only "automatic mixer board" I am aware of is a series from Peavey that has some channels of (Dugan algorithm) AM gain sharing built in. Maybe even some dynamics processing too.

The Crest HP-W series has them.  It is built into the dynamics section on some of the channels.  We have a HPW-28, but don't use the feature.

My understanding is that when AutoMix enabled channels are considered a group.  The one with the highest level goes though normally, while the others get ducked.  You can also set priority on certain channels.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2011, 09:55:14 am »

The only "automatic mixer board" I am aware of is a series from Peavey that has some channels of (Dugan algorithm) AM gain sharing built in. Maybe even some dynamics processing too.

The Crest HP-W series has them.  It is built into the dynamics section on some of the channels.  We have a HPW-28, but don't use the feature.

My understanding is that when AutoMix enabled channels are considered a group.  The one with the highest level goes though normally, while the others get ducked.  You can also set priority on certain channels.

Well sort of... The "Dugan" gain sharing algorithm only gives unity gain to the loudest channel when all the other channels are dead quiet. Two equal loudness channels each get -3dB gain*, 4 equal loudness channels each get -6dB*. This is continuously proportional so gain is shared smoothly between the loudest and softest channels grouped together for AM, so the total gain always adds up to exactly unity gain or equivalent to one open mic (NOM=1).

The priority feature, still maintains the NOM=1 relationship, but biases the gain sharing in favor of the input with priority. This is especially useful in a church application where you have a wireless mic and a podium mic picking up the same talker. If you give the wireless mic priority it will favor the wireless, effectively ducking the podium mic, only when the wireless is talking, but this will prevent or reduce comb filtering from both mics being hot and picking up the same sound from one talker.

JR

** The ratio for sharing with coherent signals is -6dB for two equal channels, and -12dB for 4 equal channels. The Dugan algorithm is smart enough to detect the wether sources are coherent or incoherent and adjust each gain accordingly. 
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Matthew Donadio

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 10:29:18 am »

Well sort of... The "Dugan" gain sharing algorithm only gives unity gain to the loudest channel when all the other channels are dead quiet. Two equal loudness channels each get -3dB gain*, 4 equal loudness channels each get -6dB*. This is continuously proportional so gain is shared smoothly between the loudest and softest channels grouped together for AM, so the total gain always adds up to exactly unity gain or equivalent to one open mic (NOM=1).

Thanks for the explanation John.  The manual doesn't go into that much detail about it.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2011, 10:47:31 am »

I'm a little biased, because I got a patent for that priority feature (US05652800  Roberts) back in 1997. Peavey (and now Crest), has never been accused of over marketing their products. One of my complaints when I was working there.

Not my problem now... :-)

JR
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2011, 11:51:12 am »

Hi,

ok, I'm a pretty experienced sound tech/engineer in the church space.  Been doing it for a number of years.  But we have a new upper staff member whose pushing for more of an automatic mixer board for our children's ministry and high school rooms.  We'll typically have 6 or more mics and then 5-6 instruments +keys in the high school rooms.

One aproach is to get the simplist mixer that will barely do the job. For what you're doing you can probably find one that simply doesn't have a lot of buttons that can make things go wrong.

Another approach would be a small digital mixer. You just tell your volunteers what scene to punch up to do what they need to do.

I can definately see where neither of these approaches would be practical, but they do exist.
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Chris Penny

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2011, 09:34:41 pm »

Seems to me the problem is two-fold
1) A desire to run a full band in these rooms
2) A desire to run sound with a minimal skill set in these rooms

Options to me seem to be
1) To reduce the skills required to mix you could simplify the music program.  For example do you really need 6 vocals plus 6-7 instruments or would an acoustic guitar and a vocal or two suffice?

2) Upskill your volunteers to be able to mix your full bands as you would in the main auditorium. What is wrong with a high schooler in a high school service wanting to up the bass anyway? Use it as a ministry development opportunity bringing through the next FOH operators for teh main auditorium in the future.

I think "engineered" solutions like digital desks with function lockouts or very simple straight through systems may be ok but I think in your situation there use may be limited.

Edit: Excess Spaces
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Sound Guy
Gymea Baptist Church
Sydney, Australia
www.gymeabaptist.org.au

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Re: automatic mixers
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2011, 09:34:41 pm »


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