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Author Topic: ideal mix position  (Read 5812 times)

Jerry Nuckolls

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2005, 11:54:53 pm »

Tom is absolutely right!

Headphones are no (reasonable) way to attempt to mix a live event.  They might be useful for soloing a signal, but other than that, no use.  

An architecht that I am working with at the moment actually proposed to put a mix position behind a wall with a small glass window and use a mic in the space to represent the sound.  While this may have an aestetic appeal for those looking to "hide" the technical staff, it does not produce effective sound reinforcement for the venue due to the constant battle the tech staff will endure.

In response to the Architecht that posted earlier, I feel that it is your job to make a space completely functional and allow form to follow.  If you happen to be designing a church and want the members to hear the preacher/pastor/rabbi etc with the clearest possible sound, the mixing party must be located in the general populus.  There should be no compromise that puts the message in jeopardy in order to keep a nice symmetry, or to hide staff that is there to assist in production.

R.Bob Adams from SLS makes a few good points in regard to this.  At a recent lecture he said that in order to keep attention focussed at the front of the house, minimal movement must be attained at the mix position.  If the sound operators do not have to move 4 feet across the mixing desk to turn a knob, then they become relatively invisible.  When the operator does not have to move his arms too often, or roll a chair around, the operator does not draw attention to himself, but instead keeps it focussed on the stage.

I wholeheartedly agree with his (Mr. Adams') thoughts.  So, It is possible to locate an operators position in the general listening space and have them be (heard) but not so much seen!

Unfortunately, most reinforcement systems are an afterthought to the space and consequently suffer somewhat due the audio consultant being brought on to the project too late.  Here are some common compromises that I have seen reached when the consultants are brought in too late:
    1) Sound position is mixed in the middle, the venue accepts removing some seating to accomodate this (best situation)
    2) A mix position may be brought to a balcony or ledge, but careful speaker selection and attention to tuning are taken to make the best of a null situation.
    3) The system goes digital and somebody mixes from a tablet pc in the audience area (an elegant and wonderful solution if appropriate).
    4) The mix position is put under a balcony because "it looked like a good place."  The sound operators are made aware of the differences in sound between the main body and the under balcony position, and do their best.  It is rarely adequate even with experience.  The systems designer is put between a rock and a hard place and the customer is upset because it doesn't perform to their standards.  Try not to ever let this happen.


I apologize if that was long winded, but there are lots of things to say about mix position.
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Jerry Nuckolls
Acoustics Engineer
Image Media Solutions

Harry Frankenfeld

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2005, 11:56:28 pm »

Quote:

I was looking at your photos. Looks like you're right up against the wall. Our west campus has the mix position right up against the wall as well. You just need to keep in mind that there's a lot of bass buildup there. For me, that's probably a good thing because I like lots of bottom, and that way I don't drown the congregation in it.

Dave


Same here. I had a similar situation in our last location -- I was in a balcony position, overhanging part of the main room, and since we were renting space/time from another congregation, we had a portable setup, and had no choice but to use two separate sub locations. Between the beaming and the physical structure, I learned that if it felt like the bottom two octaves were overblown at mix-position, it was just right down below. With our new building, the booth platform resonates a bit with the house at full-tilt -- not audibly, but as if there were butt-shakers bolted to the bottom. It does make it feel like I'm pushing the house more than I am.

I totally agree about getting to feel like part of the church again. We have mid-week home groups, which kept me from feeling totally disconnected, but Sundays felt more like a "Morning, Ralph" punch-in, rather than joining in worship. I'm definitely feeling more connected with the church as a whole now.

Harry Frankenfeld
Grace Community Church
Nashville, TN
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Mac Kerr

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2005, 12:13:49 am »

Jerry Nuckolls wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 23:54

 4) The mix position is put under a balcony because "it looked like a good place."  The sound operators are made aware of the differences in sound between the main body and the under balcony position, and do their best.  It is rarely adequate even with experience.  The systems designer is put between a rock and a hard place and the customer is upset because it doesn't perform to their standards.  Try not to ever let this happen.
This is however the way every Broadway musical is mixed, and they attain a very high level of excellence in sound quality. Yes, it would be nice if every mix position was in the middle of the audience, but it just ain't gonna happen. Having a mix position behind glass is a seriously bad idea, and in a balcony merely a bad idea, but part of the job of mixing is realizing what it sounds like in different parts of the audience area. Even from the center of the rear of the audience, it doesn't sound like it does in the front row on the side. Or if you have a loud worship band it doesn't sound the  same in the front row where the band is blasting the audience in the face with their stage sound and mons.

Mac
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Phillip Graham

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2005, 10:30:42 am »

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 10 November 2005 00:13

Or if you have a loud worship band it doesn't sound the  same in the front row where the band is blasting the audience in the face with their stage sound and mons.

Mac


In ear adoption in the church world has been pretty aggressive, and stage volumes in these new rooms is typically pretty low.  I've freelanced several places that even had an isolated (guitar) amplifier room to keep any amps off the stage.

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Phill Graham

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David Stagl

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2005, 04:18:30 am »

Mac Kerr wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 23:13

Having a mix position behind glass is a seriously bad idea, and in a balcony merely a bad idea, but part of the job of mixing is realizing what it sounds like in different parts of the audience area.


When you're dealing with professionals, I think it's safe to expect the engineer to walk the room and adjust things.  However, I don't think it's fair to assume that the guy who mixes maybe weekly or a couple times a month is going to pull this off.  I'm sure he'll do his/her best, but I think if you want these guys to succeed you really need to try and get them in the best position you can to start with and then get them some quality equipment.  It's always a compromise, but from what I've read around the net and from talking to other churches it is amazing how little some church leadership cares about being able to deliver a message vs. looking good; it seems like there aren't many churches that would even engage in a discussion that would reach a compromise on where the mix position goes.

Dave

JIMGUNDLACH

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2005, 09:30:00 pm »

Too many variables.  Will AV still be in the balcony even if sound is on the main floor?  How will the balcony effect the mix location acoustics on the main floor?  Congregational seating in the balcony?  Enough staff to mix sound on the main floor and run AV from the balcony?  Why an open balcony? Why not put AV in a room behind glass so they can make noise and leave sound on the main floor.  Sound should never be dead on center-line.  Sound needs to hear what the audience hears to do a good mix.  Is the sound 15' high on the back will the same as in the seats?  If so - why?  Someone LIKES rear wall reflections?  Does sound need to walk to the stage a lot during rehearsals?  If so you will HATE the balcony location.  If the renovation design teem is good, things will move many times until all of the compromises are worked out.  There is no single right answer.  However, everything else being equal, 2/3 back on the main floor is best for sound.  OR Always put sound in the rear so they don't disturb the congregation.  What good is "perfect" sound if 1/3 of the congregation is driven to distraction watching the sound guy?  It takes a lot of experience to know when to compromise and when to fight. Every church has a unique set of priorities.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2005, 09:41:34 pm »

I actually had a customer that wanted to put the operator in a highly elevated position (the main floor was flat) and wanted to know what I thought about the soundman wearing a headset and having someone on the floor radio to him about the changes to be made. YEAH RIGHT!

The best one I ever saw was the mix position was in a closet with a 8" B&W TV set hooked to a camcorder located at the back of the sanc.  They saw and "listened" to the service on the B&W. NICE!
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Can I have some more talent in the monitors--PLEASE?

Ivan Beaver
dB Audio & Video Inc.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: ideal mix position
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2005, 09:41:34 pm »


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