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Author Topic: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church  (Read 16029 times)

Jared Koopman

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Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2012, 05:35:27 pm »

I'm not qualified to advise you on the gear to get, but here are some other thoughts.

Consider placing the wireless receivers up near the stage. This will help reduce dropouts and interference. If you go this route, look for some with remote monitoring capabilities; usually this is a network interface and you run an application or web page on a computer at FOH for monitoring. Of course, that adds more cost.

For some reason, $400 seems to be a minimum price point where you start seeing better sound quality, more reliability, and less glitchiness. I think one of the big things is that most lower-priced models don't have diversity radios (two radios with separate antennas, and the receiver picks the one with the strongest signal). I don't have a lot of experience, especially recently, so there could be something out there cheaper that is adequate.

As for budget, it's unrealistic to set numbers before doing your research. Imagine if you sent your wife out to get you a package of socks and you said "don't pay over a dollar for a dozen" when you haven't shopped for socks since you moved out of your parent's basement. That's what your church board has done by giving you a "budget" and saying "do it for this" -- they may be good stewards of your church's resources, but they simply don't have the experience to understand the true cost of providing audio/visual services to their congregation. You need to understand what will meet your needs in order to develop a realistic budget. Otherwise the only brand your budget will afford is Realistic. (Does Radio Shack even sell that anymore?)

Do your research and determine the products that will meet your needs for at least the next 5-10 years. Develop a proposal with solid numbers including installation costs if professional help is needed. If the budget you have is adequate, great!

If not, bring this to your church board. Be prepared to explain how the current system is inadequate and how your proposal will meet the church's needs. Armed with that information, they can make a wise decision regarding the project. You may have an operational budget for your department and have already saved some money, but more may be available for capital expenses if you just ask. People are more willing to spend money if there's a definite plan. Don't be afraid to ask for more money if that's what you need -- it is better to be told "no" than to never ask when the answer could "yes."

Just remember that simply saying "I know enough to know that we need to hire a professional to help us make the right decisions" can go along way to building that trust. :)
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Jared Koopman

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Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2012, 05:44:41 pm »

Brian and Jared, thanks for the clarification.  There is a lot that is not immediately obvious with the X32.  I spent a long time trying to figure out how to patch the Aux inputs only to finally realize that you do not route Aux Inputs as part of the input patching but you can select them directly for a channel.  Or that Card inputs are assigned in the input patching in blocks of 8 whether USB or Firewire is selected for the card but you can also direct select USB L and R for each of the channels.  Speaking of that, the block of 8 patching issue can seemingly also be applicable if you use more than L/R for the USB input or use the Firewire input.
 


Technically you have the capability of mixing 40 (41 with talkback mic) inputs on the X32.

32 xlr
6 aux (or 3 stereo sources)
usb

Since we do not have any external effects patched in, I use the Aux inputs for my CD/ipod/PC inputs which leaves me 32 for anything else.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2012, 08:17:04 pm »

I'm not qualified to advise you on the gear to get, but here are some other thoughts.

Consider placing the wireless receivers up near the stage. This will help reduce dropouts and interference. If you go this route, look for some with remote monitoring capabilities; usually this is a network interface and you run an application or web page on a computer at FOH for monitoring. Of course, that adds more cost.

For some reason, $400 seems to be a minimum price point where you start seeing better sound quality, more reliability, and less glitchiness. I think one of the big things is that most lower-priced models don't have diversity radios (two radios with separate antennas, and the receiver picks the one with the strongest signal). I don't have a lot of experience, especially recently, so there could be something out there cheaper that is adequate.

As for budget, it's unrealistic to set numbers before doing your research. Imagine if you sent your wife out to get you a package of socks and you said "don't pay over a dollar for a dozen" when you haven't shopped for socks since you moved out of your parent's basement. That's what your church board has done by giving you a "budget" and saying "do it for this" -- they may be good stewards of your church's resources, but they simply don't have the experience to understand the true cost of providing audio/visual services to their congregation. You need to understand what will meet your needs in order to develop a realistic budget. Otherwise the only brand your budget will afford is Realistic. (Does Radio Shack even sell that anymore?)

Do your research and determine the products that will meet your needs for at least the next 5-10 years. Develop a proposal with solid numbers including installation costs if professional help is needed. If the budget you have is adequate, great!

If not, bring this to your church board. Be prepared to explain how the current system is inadequate and how your proposal will meet the church's needs. Armed with that information, they can make a wise decision regarding the project. You may have an operational budget for your department and have already saved some money, but more may be available for capital expenses if you just ask. People are more willing to spend money if there's a definite plan. Don't be afraid to ask for more money if that's what you need -- it is better to be told "no" than to never ask when the answer could "yes."
Just to clarify I haven't been given a hard budget, I'm just trying to get an idea of how much it's going to cost to get the desired results without spending more than is necessary. For a mixer I'm most likely going to recommend a x32; from what I've seen it should meet our needs now and in the future. I'm still not sure which wireless handhelds will be best though.

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2

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Brian Mullen

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Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2012, 02:48:54 pm »

I found the Peavey Sanctuary series (S-24) very easy to install and setup for churches that do not have a dedicated sound tech.  Priorety and auto attenuation on the first 4 channels is real handy for Padre and pulpit mics. Cost is under $2K. There is a 32 channel board in the Sancuary series with all the same features and then some. As for wireless mics, I see someone has already recommended the Sennheiser EW 100 series. I have install 20 or so of the G1 series and several G3 series mics (I use the G3's in my gear) and have only had 3 failures, 1 baton mic (suspected abuse) and 2 headset mics (both had the cords wound too tight and broke the cable at the beltpack).  The $700 pricetag seems to cause some people concern until I take mine out and demo it for the customer, then they are sold. I love my Sennheiser and use it for all kinds of events, range is great out of the box and the sound is fantastic.

Good Luck,

Brian
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Bob L. Wilson

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Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 07:36:42 pm »

We just bought an X32 for a youth ministry and with the help of a few friends I organized a blind listening test of the preamps versus the other consoles the church has, an original series Midas Venice, and a Midas Heritage 1000. We used Timpani, Cello, Tenor sax, and a solo vocalist as sources. We used EV N/D868, Crown CM700, EV RE20, and Sennheiser E935 as mics for the respective sources. Consoles were behind a curtain where a wizard patched them out of sight of the listeners. All direct outputs went into a Crown PSA-2 amplifier and then on to a pair of Dynaudio BM15 monitors. Channels were set for identical output levels across all three consoles using my calibrated Earthworks M30.

Listeners voted by secret ballot. Rankings ended up Heritage, X32, Venice. X32 preamps are not quite as smooth as the Heritage and they produce more undesirable artifacts with high level transients. Most listeners thought they sounded very similar to the orginal Venice preamps but with less self noise. The Venice direct outs on our consoles are still set up in the default post fader arrangement which may be contributing to the higher noise floor. All in all the X32 acquitted itself much better than my and everyone elses bias against Behringer had allowed us to believe it could sound.

As for wireless Mics I would be looking at EV RE2 or Telex FMR500 (same units different insignia) the EV N/D767a is second to none for wireless handheld use and the EV/Telex beltpacks take the same TA4 connector as Shure with bias and signal pin assignments swapped. Meaning any mics new or used orginally made for Shure will work on an EV/Telex rig with ten minutes of resoldering. The clearscan feature works excellent and allows scans both globally across the entire spectrum a unit supports and within groups when multiple units are being used together. My experience is the Telex algorithm works even better than Shure's does at identifying a clear piece of spectrum the first time every time.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2012, 09:06:27 pm »

Just remember that simply saying "I know enough to know that we need to hire a professional to help us make the right decisions" can go along way to building that trust. :)

+1000

We do about 25:1 fixing DIY attempts vs systems that are legitimately worn out. 
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2012, 02:07:31 am »

+1000

We do about 25:1 fixing DIY attempts vs systems that are legitimately worn out.

Good to know, the current system was at least partially professionally installed. I'm fairly certain that I can get the new board up and running without too much trouble. The system has a fairly simple signal flow and should get simpler with the digital board because I should be able to remove the external eq and compression(they have a stereo comp inserted on the main outputs along with an eq). There are only 2 FOH speakers so I don't have to worry with crossovers or delays. Anyway they may decide to get a pro to come out and install everything, I don't know what they've been planning.

Thanks for all the info on the wireless mics; most on my very limited experience with them had been with Sennheisers and most of that was good.

Has anyone used the lower end Sennheiser wireless rigs? (as in one's that are $400-500 instead of $700+) I understand the the ew100s are great but are the low end models bad?

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2

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AllenDeneau

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Re: Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2012, 03:26:26 am »

Good to know, the current system was at least partially professionally installed. I'm fairly certain that I can get the new board up and running without too much trouble. The system has a fairly simple signal flow and should get simpler with the digital board because I should be able to remove the external eq and compression(they have a stereo comp inserted on the main outputs along with an eq). There are only 2 FOH speakers so I don't have to worry with crossovers or delays. Anyway they may decide to get a pro to come out and install everything, I don't know what they've been planning.

Thanks for all the info on the wireless mics; most on my very limited experience with them had been with Sennheisers and most of that was good.

Has anyone used the lower end Sennheiser wireless rigs? (as in one's that are $400-500 instead of $700+) I understand the the ew100s are great but are the low end models bad?

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2

First, I'd like to throw an idea out there regarding mic purchases. I'd strongly recommend looking at what is available for rent in your area and buy similar. This way when and if you have an issue or just need more for special events, it's easy to rent same or similar units. Makes the learning curve much easier as well as knowing there is support locally. There's lots to go into regarding specific needs of said mics but I'm just speaking in general regarding brand and model.

Now with the mixer, keep in mind I've only tinkered with it at stores etc..., but you may want to really look at the presonus 24.4.2 since you're looking for remote iPad mixing. A number of boards can do that BUT, as you move forward, as you suspect, into a more contemporary worship setting (again I've only read on it a bit) I believe however, up to 10 iPad, iPod touch or iPhones can be connected to the mixer so the musicians can connect and control their own mix from stage via their device.

If anyone has experiance with that board and has any real info on the feasability of that option, please let me know if I mis-read it or if it actually works.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2012, 06:15:23 am »

Now with the mixer, keep in mind I've only tinkered with it at stores etc..., but you may want to really look at the presonus 24.4.2 since you're looking for remote iPad mixing. A number of boards can do that BUT, as you move forward, as you suspect, into a more contemporary worship setting (again I've only read on it a bit) I believe however, up to 10 iPad, iPod touch or iPhones can be connected to the mixer so the musicians can connect and control their own mix from stage via their device.
The X32 also supports multiple iPads along with direct support of their P16 personal mixers.  The current version of the X32 iPad app is more limited in what it can do compared to the StudioLive app, however the latest version does expand its capabilities.  But perhaps the biggest difference is that the StudioLive app requires having a computer connected to the mixer and running their VSL software, you essentially are talking to the VSL software that then communicates with the mixer, while the Behringer does not require a connected computer in order to use iPads for remote control.
 
On some of the differences in sound and the 'Midas' preamps, there are times when relatively subtle differences in sound quality may be very important, but what usually really matters is how those translate into actual use.  The reality is that in many cases the rest of the audio system, the room acoustics and the system operation may limit the practical effect of factors such as the sound of the preamps.  Things like a slightly higher noise floor in the preamps may be important in a studio or a recording or broadcast application but may not matter that much for live sound in a room where you have trouble getting the audio to be heard over the noise of the air conditioning.  So input like that Bob offered can be very valuable, just remember to consider how it applies to the actual situation at hand.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 03:34:12 pm »

First, I'd like to throw an idea out there regarding mic purchases. I'd strongly recommend looking at what is available for rent in your area and buy similar. This way when and if you have an issue or just need more for special events, it's easy to rent same or similar units. Makes the learning curve much easier as well as knowing there is support locally. There's lots to go into regarding specific needs of said mics but I'm just speaking in general regarding brand and model.

Now with the mixer, keep in mind I've only tinkered with it at stores etc..., but you may want to really look at the presonus 24.4.2 since you're looking for remote iPad mixing. A number of boards can do that BUT, as you move forward, as you suspect, into a more contemporary worship setting (again I've only read on it a bit) I believe however, up to 10 iPad, iPod touch or iPhones can be connected to the mixer so the musicians can connect and control their own mix from stage via their device.

If anyone has experiance with that board and has any real info on the feasability of that option, please let me know if I mis-read it or if it actually works.
Regarding the wireless mics, I will look into rental options in our area; I don't know off the top of my head any rental places that have pro-audio gear in our area but I'll call around. I'm sure there are some places in the Dallas area that do but that's 2 hours away; if anyone knows of anywhere in the Tyler/Longview, TX area let me know. I'm also open to places in the Dallas area.

As far as the mixer goes I considered the SL 24.4.2(I've used a 16.4.2 a little bit and liked it) and I think that the x32 offers more features and channels for the same money(I'm really curious to what the next generation of SL mixers will do though). I'm sure that given time Behringer's iPad app will improve. I also like that it works without a computer because there currently one in the sound booth. As far as controlling monitors from the stage, that's something thats pretty far down the road and I anticipate we will go with the P16s. Right now we have 2 monitor channels(one for the 2 monitors on the front of the stage and one for the piano) and they are controlled from aux's on the current board and will be on the new one.
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Re: Re: Re: New Sound Board and Wireless Mics for Church
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 03:34:12 pm »


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