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Author Topic: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system  (Read 6826 times)

Mark Cartwright

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Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« on: March 19, 2005, 06:06:15 pm »

Hi guys.  I'm interested in knowing what your top three (or more) must have components/pieces of equipment are for any system.  Things I'm talking about are any kind of signal processors (specific types such as effects, compressor, feedback destroyer, etc.) EQ, loudspeaker controllers, the list goes on.  I've been running sound at my church for 11 years, since I was 14, and it's a natural gift that I can only say was given by God - I strive to do it to perfection so much that I even have requests to run sound at other places for special events (no, I'm not bragging, just mentioning) but I still feel inadequate when it comes to knowing all about system setup and all the pieces that CAN but aren't always in a system for it to sound its best.  But...I want to!  So...take a few minutes and give me your run-down of the top three components you think a system shouldn't be without..and why.  I'm very interested to know your input!


Mark
Sound & Multimedia Director
Calvary Baptist Church
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Mark Cartwright
Sound & Multimedia Director
Calvary Baptist Church
Batesville, Arkansas

Dan Brown

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2005, 07:10:48 pm »

Speakers, Amps and a Mixer Laughing  Very Happy  Laughing
just kidding.
I would say when I travel around and do shows for others at churches, my 3 pieces are:
TC Electronic m2000 (setup for 2 auxes rev and delay and stereo return)
2 Channel Tube Compressor
2 Neaumann kms105's
If I could be aloud a fourth it would be my DBX dr260 (since most churches don't let you touch there EQ's and since it has a built in RTA)
my .04
sincerely

[Edit - grammar]
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Dan Brown
REACH Communications

Mark Cartwright

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 02:31:39 pm »

Ok thanks for your input.  Surely the others out there have comments, too.    Very Happy
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Mark Cartwright
Sound & Multimedia Director
Calvary Baptist Church
Batesville, Arkansas

Tom Young

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 02:56:14 pm »

I'm taking the "consultant in electroacoustics" approach to your question.

MY big 3 are:

A worship space that is designed with the appropriate acoustic charcateristics for the worship style of the specific church.  Typically, this would entail: the acoustics are not too live (to enable clear reinforced contemporary praise music and intelligible spoken word) but are also not too dead (there is some acoustic reinforcement to envelope and support the congregation and the choir).

A loudspeaker system that has been designed to work within the space described above. This system provides clear and coherent coverage to all seats and allows sound mixers to provide a natural and powerful aural experience without overbearing volume levels.  The system also provides localisation back to the sources on the platform.

A sound team comprised of at least one seasoned live audio pro with volunteers who are gifted as well as dedicated to this ministry. They are supported by being sent to various training programs and with a realistic budget to build and maintain the sound reinforcement system.

Now with the three ingredients above, every piece of gear you may desire and be given can be used to its greatest potential.
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Rob Warren

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2005, 11:57:41 pm »

I've done sound all my life.  I've never really used a rack of toys.  I've always used whatever was there at the site.  Everything I've done is just so different all the time I can't see 3 magic devices that will always make things better.  There has definitely been times where I wished I had stuff, but what ever I wished for would change according to the gig.  
I guess if I were going to do it now days with DSP, that's what I would get.  Something like the protea stuff, this way you can get a few channels of DSP and get the eq, comp, limit, etc all in one device.  

However, before doing this I would personally get a SMAART rig first.  I like using SMAART to see what the system is doing and what the room is doing.  Between seeing and hearing what's going on I can use whatever is at my disposal more effectively.  This is something I do not own myself but I am saving up for it.  Of all the things I would wish to have at the time, this is something that can be used everytime.  

Rob
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Phil Ouellette

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2005, 05:24:18 pm »

Must haves...

I'm with Tom, if the speaker system isn't right for the room then everything else is just turd polishing.

As far as specific gear recommendations is concerned, the best improvement you will get for your pastors voice is a headworn mic (something like a Countryman E6).  Stomp on your old lav mic so no one is tempted to use it in the future.

Next thing to think about is a headphone/IEM monitor system for the praise band so you don't have floor wedges at 120dB muddying up the FOH sound.

The combination of those three things will do far more to improve sound quality than any processor or bit of rack gear ever could.

Phil
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2005, 07:34:11 pm »

I agree totally with Tom, but want to expand on the last comment about people.  Too many people want to talk about equipment etc.  The 2 biggest parts to a great sound are the two humans involved.  Those that are inputing (musicians/singers) and the mix person.  I have done way to many gigs in which people blame the equipment for the reason it sounds bad.  They couldn't do the job even if they had the gear they wanted (in fact it would probably be worse!).  When you don't follow fundimental principals on lesser equipment, you won't follow them on them on better equipment.

I will take a good mixer on OK equipment over top of the line equipment with a bad mix person anyday.  It is just like a musical instrument.  A professional will still sound good on a student instrument, but take a beginner musician and give them the best instrument available and you will not notice any change in the way they sound.

In all of my rentals the best performances have been those in which I (as the mix person) have do do very little.  If the tone is right and the performance is great, it actually takes a bit of work to actually screw it up.

Ivan Beaver
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Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
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Mark Cartwright

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2005, 09:34:02 am »

Yes, I agree.  I have been blessed with the gift of being able to hear what's going on and mix it well.  A bad sound guy can really make a good situation bad.

What I was really asking was what pieces of equipment are the most useful or are the ones you who do this more than I do won't go without.  I realize the equipment won't compensate for a bad tech but I hear all these initials and equipment names thrown around and, quite honestly, don't know what half of them are or do.  I thought maybe I was missing a piece of equipment that would really help me out but I don't even know about it.  I feel pretty ignorant after reading alot of these posts.

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Mark Cartwright
Sound & Multimedia Director
Calvary Baptist Church
Batesville, Arkansas

Scott Helmke (Scodiddly)

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2005, 04:20:39 pm »

Tom Young wrote on Sun, 20 March 2005 14:56

I'm taking the "consultant in electroacoustics" approach to your question.

MY big 3 are:

A worship space that is designed with the appropriate acoustic charcateristics for the worship style of the specific church.  Typically, this would entail: the acoustics are not too live (to enable clear reinforced contemporary praise music and intelligible spoken word) but are also not too dead (there is some acoustic reinforcement to envelope and support the congregation and the choir).

A loudspeaker system that has been designed to work within the space described above. This system provides clear and coherent coverage to all seats and allows sound mixers to provide a natural and powerful aural experience without overbearing volume levels.  The system also provides localisation back to the sources on the platform.

A sound team comprised of at least one seasoned live audio pro with volunteers who are gifted as well as dedicated to this ministry. They are supported by being sent to various training programs and with a realistic budget to build and maintain the sound reinforcement system.

Now with the three ingredients above, every piece of gear you may desire and be given can be used to its greatest potential.


Perfect!   Smile

Tom's advice should be inscribed on plaques and sold in Bible stores.
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Scott Helmke
TC Furlong, Inc.

Dave Mallon

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2005, 05:06:19 pm »

Well, we're looking into a new building in the next five years.

Tom's post will shortly be forwarded to the board along with a message from me that says GET AN ACCOUSTIC CONSULTANT IN AT THE DESIGN PHASE...

Maybe they'll read the memo.

Maybe they'll take my advice.

The emails to me lately have been like this "There's a space over there where it sounds not too clear,  we need more speakers."

My emails in reply have been along the lines of "we don't neccesarily need more speakers.  We just need a better designed system and that may or may not include more speakers..."

No response yet...

Sorry - felt the need to rant a bit to people who would understand.

Dave M
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2005, 07:39:50 pm »

There's a space over there where it sounds not too clear, we need more speakers."
**************************************************
All to often that is the response of people.  That is often the worst thing you can do.  The problem is that adding a speaker to cover those bad spots will make other spots worse.  The general problem is that if people can hook up a stereo they think they know all about audio.

Ivan Beaver
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Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2005, 07:48:53 pm »

If I really must narrow it down, this would be it.  

1: A well designed speaker system that does not interact with itself and provides good even coverage to all seats.

2: A DSP with enough outputs to properly control the system.

3: Enough amplifier power to provide a good clean sound.

4: Damn-here comes that human factor again-a person with enough knowledge to properly setup the system-That is where the rubber meets the road-so to speak.

Given the above almost any other equipment will be fine.  If you don't have to "fight" the sound system, you can do without all the "toys".  The toys are like having sugar after bad tasting medicine-it simply helps to cover up the taste.

Oh- good musicians will also help!

Ivan Beaver
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Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.

gainreduction

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2005, 09:50:37 pm »

I'm with all the other guys when it comes to properly designed systems, appropriate acoustic spaces for the particular worship style and experienced (and nice!) sound people.

But I'll answer Mark's question in the manner it was asked just for the love of gear that we all know we have.

1.)  Earset or headworn-style mic (such as the E6) for the Pastor or talking head.  Lavalier mics are the bane of my audio existence.  We all know the proverbial "cave" sound and the 15db jump in volume when they look down to read the Word.  ugh.

2.)  A quality DI box for electronic instruments such as a Countryman (no I don't work for them) Type 85.  Sure, the (g)IMP2's work just fine, but plug even a less than ideal bass guitar into the Countryman, and I'll at least have something more than cardboard-y ca-ca to work with.

3.)  A dbx 160A compressor.  Just patch it in to whatever you need to make sound better.  I call them my 'more better' boxes because  everything you send into them just comes out 'more better'.

(properly powered and crossed-over subs and a box full of 58's and 57's take the honorable mention category)

Cheers!


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Dan Brown

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2005, 10:03:06 pm »

Just make sure you remember that Countryman Type85 DI is
"Pin 3 Hot"

Dan (I have 20 Countryman's I need to rewire) Brown
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Dan Brown
REACH Communications

Dave Nicholas

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2005, 11:48:44 am »

Well this is an easy one.

1) a good operator
2) a decent mixing console as this is the heart of the system(personally I am a midas guy but other desks would do, but don't ever give me a mackie EWWWWW)
3) I find a very important piece of equipment that people leave out is the power conditioning and sequence startup for those installed rigs.

Every system has speakers, amps and a mixing desk but those are all personal choices and budget dependant.  A proper conditioning and startup sequencer is a very important part of any system.  I have gone into churches and have seen power coming from everywhere to power the parts of the rig.  Remember people, AC is either your best friend or your worst. the audio needs to be feed from the same leg of AC or there is hummmmmm and pops. I know of two churches that blew their systems due to brownouts and surges.  In our church we use 2 ASD120's by furman(for all amps for FOH and monitors) and PS-PRO's Series II on all racks and equipment(we have 10 of these.  Controling all of these are two powerlinks.  Never ever had a problem with AC before.  Once we had the system shut down and had to do a reset.  All the units showed extreme voltage shutdown.  We didn't loose a single component in the rig.  The same couldn't be said for some of the computers in the building.

just my 2 cents
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2005, 12:22:53 pm »

midasguy wrote on Sat, 26 March 2005 11:48


2) a decent mixing console as this is the heart of the system(personally I am a midas guy but other desks would do, but don't ever give me a mackie EWWWWW)




While I like a nice mixing console as much as the next guy, realize that one can get good results on even a Mackie. I would also much rather have a Mackie than a behringer.

Karl "Might want to think about what you say" P
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Phil Ouellette

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2005, 07:59:27 pm »

Karl P wrote on Sun, 27 March 2005 12:22

midasguy wrote on Sat, 26 March 2005 11:48


2) a decent mixing console as this is the heart of the system(personally I am a midas guy but other desks would do, but don't ever give me a mackie EWWWWW)




While I like a nice mixing console as much as the next guy, realize that one can get good results on even a Mackie. I would also much rather have a Mackie than a behringer.

Karl "Might want to think about what you say" P


And I would rather have a Behringer driving a high quality speaker system that was designed for the room, than a Midas driving a pair of speakers on sticks.

Phil
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Dallas

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2005, 08:39:29 pm »

Whats wrong with a behringer?
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Dallas

Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2005, 09:12:15 pm »

Behringer mixer boards? I have had three outa four crap out on me in the middle of something important. Thats what I call a problem...



There ultra drive pro however, I do use when nothing else can be aforded, and I have had pretty good sucess with it.

Karl P
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Your top three MUST HAVES for any system
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2005, 09:12:15 pm »


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