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Author Topic: getting a new system - need recommendations  (Read 13436 times)

Brian Murphy

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getting a new system - need recommendations
« on: February 26, 2008, 01:03:46 pm »

We are looking at putting together a new sound system for our church.  Right now, we are using a fairly old system (based around a 16ch Mackie mixer) that needs to be replaced.  Our whole sound crew is a volunteer crew - some with a decent amount of experience, but as far as I know, no professionals.

Our church is currently mobile and is currently meeting in our local community rec center.  We are in the process of purchasing and renevating a building.  We'd like to make sure the equipment we buy now would work in both places.  I don't have the measurements of either place right now, but they are both fairly small.  The rec center is a short, wide room and the new building will be narrower and longer.  Both have roughly 12 to 14' ceilings.

Here's the equipment that we are looking at.  I'd appreciate any and all comments you might have.  There are several areas where we know what type of equipment we want, but are not sure what the best options are.  We plan on hiring a consultant, but I'd like to get a good idea of what we should be looking at beforehand.  

Mixer:  Allen & Heath GL2400-32 mixer
Good EQ for the mains - any recommendations?
equipment for feedback suppression, compression, gating, reverb, delays and other aural exciting equipment
EQ for the monitors
A good crossover to split the mains between a sub and main speakers
Amps for the mains
subwoofer and main speakers

Microphone pre-amps (are these needed)
Shure SM87 microphones for the vocals
Shure SM57 instrument mics
Shure ULX (or SLX) wireless LAV and wireless SM87 based microphone
Direct boxes for accoustic guitars

Drum shield and drum mics (kick, snare, 2 overhead, tom mics,   - do you mix these separately (locally at the drum set)?

Some way of dealing with the electric guitar amps.  

We are thinking about going with in-ear monitors (Sennheiser EW300 IEM g2's I think)
- This would need a good patch panel
- We'd want dual driver ear phones for the bass, drum and electric players
If you do in-ear monitors, does that mean that everyone on stage needs one or do you still do a few floor monitors?

As all of this still will be mobile, we'd also be looking for equipment that would make the transportation, storage and setup of the eqiupment easier.  

We are currently using a CD recorder to record the sermons.  Eventually, we'd like to be able to record the music and the sermon directly onto our computer.

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of equipment.  If you see any glaring holes, please let me know.

There is a lot of equipment available out there.  The choices are often overwhelming.  I appreciate any help you can give.

Thanks

Brian
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Tom Young

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2008, 03:03:40 pm »

Need more info.

Type of worship ?
How loud to you get or need to get ?
Describe the acoustics of the two spaces you will be in.
How will you connect bass guitar and keyboards to sound systems (do you need DI's for these, as well ?) ?

You should not mix the drum mic's at the drum kit. No one knows how they sound through the sound system other than the person who is mixing. Make sense ?

Based on what we have been told (by you) there is no apparent reason for separate mic preamps. Your mixer has mic preamps.

You also need to do some homework.

Search here at PSW on IEM's and dual-driver IEM's, etc. There was a recent thread in which a few folks advised that you do not need dual driver buds to get good bass, if you use the right buds.
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Jeff Ekstrand

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 03:11:13 pm »

Welcome to the forum. There are definitely some good, concrete answers you can get based on the info you provided. As for things like speaker models, number of speakers, and the power necessary, that is something that requires a better understanding of the room, and would be best decided by the consultant you said you would be hiring at a later date. Here is my take.

Quote:

Mixer: Allen & Heath GL2400-32 mixer


Unless you have a very un-tech-savvy crew, I would recommend making the jump to digital, and doing that at this juncture. I'll continue to cover this as my post goes on, but the first reason is that it provides you flexibility from week-to-week, especially in a portable setup. Being able to program the board on your home computer, and load it from a USB key on Sunday morning is KEY!!! Check-out the Yamaha LS9/32. It's pretty-much exactly what you would get with the A&H GL24000, plus so much more, including:

Quote:

equipment for feedback suppression, compression, gating, reverb, delays and other aural exciting equipment


The LS9 has built-in graphic EQs, 2 dynamics on every channel (which would typically cost around $20k for a good compressor on every channel of an analog board).. dynamics refers to compressors and gates. It also has four built-in effects processors, which is another big expense if you were to use an analog console.

Add to all these functions the fact that Yamaha has great mic-pre's, and the channel EQs are some of the most flexible for the money, it's almost a no-brainer. If I were to spec an analog FOH system with everything the LS9 offers, it would total somewhere around $30,000. The LS9/32 will run you under $9k, maybe under $8, depending on where you go. Brilliant!

Quote:

Microphone pre-amps (are these needed)
Shure SM87 microphones for the vocals
Shure SM57 instrument mics
Shure ULX (or SLX) wireless LAV and wireless SM87 based microphone
Direct boxes for accoustic guitars


You will not necessarily need extra mic preamps. The console preamps should do you just fine for a long time.

Are you sure you want to go with 87s for vocals? Sometimes a simple dynamic, like an SM58 can be a better choice for a wider variety of vocal sounds. Also think about having a volunteer crew at the helm, as well as probably amateur vocalists. You could save some money staying with SM58s (plus, if I'm going with Shure vocal condensers, for the money, I like the SM86 better than the 87s).

SM57s will be a workhorse instrument microphone, GREAT CHOICE! And, not expensive. Smile If you ever need an extra vocal mic, an SM57 is the exact same mic as an SM58, without the grill.

Whirlwind direct boxes should be good enough for a while. If you want to go high-end, I recommend Radial JDIs/J48s, and Countryman are the "industry standard" for a great DI. Whirlwinds are a lower-cost, workhorse option that is typically a good solution for most systems. $50-$100 instead of $185-$300. Smile

I like the ULX Wireless, great stuff. I did have one worship pastor drop his handheld, though... it somehow landed head-up, and cracked the transmitter bad enough to need a factory repair. Smile

Quote:

We are thinking about going with in-ear monitors (Sennheiser EW300 IEM g2's I think)
- This would need a good patch panel
- We'd want dual driver ear phones for the bass, drum and electric players
If you do in-ear monitors, does that mean that everyone on stage needs one or do you still do a few floor monitors?


Have you looked into Aviom? If you get the Yamaha LS9, you can add a special card that allows you to output a single Cat5, which is then broken-out at the stage and connected to multiple personal mixers. Each artist with a mixer gets control of up to 16 channels for their own personal mix. you can plug-in the Sennheiser wireless systems to these if you want. The BIG plus to Aviom, especially with a non-professional or inexperienced crew, is that the artists are no longer dependent on the audio guy to turn the right knobs in the right direction. They control their own destiny. Smile Check out www.aviom.com

Also on the monitors, you can do any combination of in-ears and wedges, it's all in how you design the system. Typically people will fall in love with in-ears, though. I have two wedge mixes available at our church, in case someone can't survive in-ears... but I don't advertise the availability.


As for brands on speakers, amps, and system processing. Can you give us an idea of your budget? I through my other suggestions out there because they're pretty budget friendly, except in the most extreme cases. I like Crown and QSC amps, and they have a wide-range of cost options. There are also plenty of speaker brand options, and so many of them are so good you could hardly make a bad choice with a reputable brand. It's choosing the exact model that's important. system processing will depend on the number of speakers, and the different controls you want available.

One last reason to consider the LS9. Scalability of your audio ministry. You may need a larger console when you move to a permanent building. Yamaha's digital platform is fairly consistent in it's user interface, which means you could get a larger console down the road and already be familiar with what you're using. If you get a larger digital console down the road, the smaller LS9 could be repurposed to another ministry like student ministries. Then you have students learning how to use a digital console, and you're training your next generation of audio techs.

Sorry for the novel-length post. I'm done now.
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Jeff Ekstrand

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Willow Creek Community Church
Northfield, IL

Kent Thompson

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 05:49:19 pm »

A drum shield will help with isolation but, will also affect the sound your microphones pick up due to reflections(picky I know). The shield however, is a necessity in some situations.

For drum microphones you could buy any of the drum microphone kits available. Shure being my personal favorite brand or just get a handful of sm57s an md421 for bass drum and a couple of sm81 for over heads(a very subjective list).

The sm57 is a very versatile microphone you can use it on anything from drums, to guitars, to vocals, even choirs in a pinch. Can't go wrong with a bag full of them. Unless of course you get a bag full of md421's just as versatile a lot more expensive.

Nobody has said anything about the aural exciter so I will. Save your money and buy something else you need. It kind of reminds me of the home stereos that came out during the 70's that had reverb. People thought they sounded good when they turned the reverb on.
If you have to have one our church has 2 that are not in use anymore we could make a deal Razz
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A.J. McGlynn

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 06:13:09 pm »

As far as Drum Mics I suggest audix. They have kits available so that you get kick, snare, 3 toms and overheads for $900 which is a really good deal. I usually dont use the I5 mic for snare (which is what it is intended) I usually grab a Shure 57 and use the I5 for a less important instrument say congas or other percussion or use it as a backup.
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andrewsullivan

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2008, 06:32:26 pm »

For drum mics i would definately get sennheiser e604's they are great for toms and snare
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Sennheiser-E604-Drum- Microphone-3Pack?sku=270833&src=3SOSWXXA
don't worry about sound bouncing off the drum shield, this won't make a big difference

i would also take a look a sennheiser and audix vocal mics..... they are fantastic

for compression get a pre-sonus acp 88 is pricey but they best it can make drums sound great.

to record straight to your comp. just run a one to two out of your monitor channel, plug two rca's into that and into the 1/8 input on your comp and mix through that monitor channel
effects on voices- tc electronic mone xl is great
hope this helps
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Matthias Heitzer

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 02:45:05 pm »

the brackets of the e604 didn't convince me, nor did the plastic enclosures.
Thats a pity, cause i like their sound.

The successor, the e904 has a metal housing, but havn't made experiences with them yet.
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Justin Rygel

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 05:00:57 pm »

Brian Murphy wrote on Tue, 26 February 2008 18:03


The rec center is a short, wide room and the new building will be narrower and longer. Both have roughly 12 to 14' ceilings.
Quote:

A good crossover to split the mains between a sub and main speakers
Amps for the mains
subwoofer and main speakers



Depending on how soon you are getting into the new building, you probably should hold off on replacing the mains until you can hire someone to properly design and implement a system in the permanent location.  As far as equipment goes, the speaker system (in combination with acoustic treatment/design) has the largest impact on the sound of the system, and there is a VERY big difference between a portable system being used in a 'short, wide room,' and a permanent system being used in a 'narrower, longer room' And there are probably not really any speakers that would do both well.  If you must upgrade your mains now, at least make sure to get mains that have flypoints so that they can be suspended when you get into your own building.

Crossovers aren't used that often anymore, get a DSP unit and you will be able to set up crossovers, distribution, corrective eq, limiting, and delay in one box.

QSC RMX series amps are a great value if you don't have to move them around, our amp rack has (4) of them, one QSC CX302V, and one QSC PLX1804, and everything sounds great, no noise or distortion, and not a single problem, but the rack weighs around 300 pounds.  
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Justin Rygel
Federal Way, WA

Brian Murphy

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008, 02:18:18 pm »

Wow.  There's some great suggestions here.

We tend to have a fairly upbeat contemporary worship service most of the time.  The musicians like it loud with a lot of guitar and drum volume.  The congregation often complains about the volume, but I think a lot of it has to do with the sound not being clean rather than just loud.

The rec center that we currently meet in has hardwood floors (no carpet) and acoustic tile ceilings.  The new building will be renovated before we move in and I'm not sure what it will have.  

We currently connected the keyboard and bass guitar into the system through direct boxes.  The bass goes through the pre-amp on his amp before connecting.  We've had good luck with that, however, I don't think that our current amps / speakers do a good job of reproducing the sound.  We currently have 4 Pro Co CB1 direct boxes.  Any comments on those?  Is it worth the upgrade to  the Radial JDI/J48 or even replacing them with Whirlwind direct boxes?

Quote:

You also need to do some homework.

There is a ton of information here and on the web. I'm somewhat overwhelmed by it all.  Is there a really good place to start other than just reading all the posts in this forum?

I'll really have to take a second look at the Yamaha LS9-32. It's quite a bit more expensive (~$5500 more), but might be worth the extra budget if it prevents us from buying a lot of the other equipment.  This will really take some research.

I've also looked at the Aviom monitor systems a little bit.  I think this is another area I really need to investigate before we invest in in-ear monitors.  With the plug in card for the Yamaha, it might make a more comprehensive (although possibly more expensive) solution.  

I like the stuff I've read on the Audix drum mic kit.  I think the suggestion for that kit and a few SM57s is a good idea.

It looks like I need to do more research on Speakers and amps for the FOH.  

I'll keep reading the suggestions here.  Thanks for the help so far.
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Justin Rygel

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Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008, 05:11:23 pm »

Look in the study hall on this site, lots of good information there: http://www.prosoundweb.com/studyhall/

Probably not worth the upgrade from the CB1s to Whirlwind Directors, HotBoxes maybe, but for that price, you might as well get Radials and be done with it, they are VERY well liked around here.  I recently got some EWI LDB-101s that I really like, especially for the price; this is the only inexpensive ($50) DI I have used that would be a significant upgrade from a CB-1.  Check it out at www.audiopile.net, they also have really good deals on cables, snakes, and cases if you need any of that stuff.

If you can't swing the extra cash for an LS9 but aren't scared of going digital, take a look at the O1V96V2, it is about the same price as a GL2400 and upgradable to 32 channels via external preamps.  Its not as capable as the LS9 (no recallable preamps and no graphic EQs are the most noteworthy differences) but still has gating, compression, and parametric EQ on every channel, so it still has a lot more to offer than an analog board.

Take a look at Beta57s instead of SM57s, they are only about $15 more and are IMO a more versatile, more durable mic.

I've moved over to using Audix vocal mics as well as drum mics.  Are you sure that you want the sound of an SM87 (or any condenser based vocal mic), not that its bad, it just definitely has a sound of its own; condensers in general tend to be more 'revealing' of poor vocalists.  I've been using Audix OM7s when I can, with very good results, but I still need to keep some other mics around for singers who don't know how to stay on the mic, as OM7s loose volume very fast as you get off-axis.
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Justin Rygel
Federal Way, WA

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: getting a new system - need recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008, 05:11:23 pm »


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