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Author Topic: "Solo" level  (Read 2576 times)

Steve Swaffer

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"Solo" level
« on: June 02, 2009, 07:08:20 pm »

I think I know the answer to this-but I can always learn more, so I will ask.  My music director insists that I mark a "solo" level on the board, so that anytime we have a group singing, and someone breaks in on a solo , their volume will be where it needs to be.  We are traditional-no band, usually piano, occasionally accompanied by a guitar.  The obvious answer would be a mic check before every service, but this is not feasible do to schedules (real issues not convenience), plus our pastor has a tendency to change the service schedule during the service, so I have worked hard to be able to learn our singers well enough that I can usually get a reasonable mix on the first note, no matter who is singing with who, but it is obviously never perfect (is it ever perfect?).  Is it just me, or are there not too many variables from service to service, just to be able to run everything "by the numbers"?  We run around 500 in the service, I mix on an A & H GL3800, and I have mixed here for 16 years-just to give you an idea of my situation.
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Steve

Mac Kerr

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Re: "Solo" level
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2009, 08:25:19 pm »

There are too many variables. Even if you assume all the singers will sing with exactly the same volume (not likely), if they move the mic the level will change. If one sings with the mic 4" from their mouth, and the next is 1", that is a 12dB difference in level. That is why someone stands at the console an mixes.

Mac
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Greg Hertfelder

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Re: "Solo" level
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 10:41:23 pm »

I agree with Mac. But, the Director is just looking for some kind of reference for training others in the limited understanding he has of sound.

In your shoes I would just smile and mark a point on the console a couple dB hotter than 0dB to placate the Music Director. In a quieter moment - when you have the ear of the Director - explain the variables of mixing sound and how marking the console has limited usefulness.
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Jeff Ekstrand

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Re: "Solo" level
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 02:44:24 pm »

Agreed. There are so many variables to this equation that it's impossible for you to adequately do that.

Make a mark on a piece of tape so it's not permanent, then proceed to explain, later, outside the business of a rehearsal or Sunday morning, why simply marking levels on a fader doesn't do the trick.
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Jeff Ekstrand

Technical Director, North Shore Campus
Willow Creek Community Church
Northfield, IL

DaveGetting

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Re: "Solo" level
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 02:53:46 pm »

Or if you wanted to get crafty (simply to appease) you could make a sheet that says what vocalist gets what mark.  But that would be a baseline as different songs, different instruments, different phases of the moon determine how loud each person will sing on any given Sunday.

I can see it as some sound techs (at least in my situation) treat the mixer like the RonCo Rotisserie - set it and forget it.  But that becomes an opportunity for education - not a procedure change.

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Dave
Aurora, IL

Steve Swaffer

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Re: "Solo" level
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 11:23:06 pm »

In defense of my music director-I was not asked this publicly (this time was via text during service-really a very useful tool!).  He grew up here-was junior age when I started working sound here, and I usually have his respect and ear.  This post was part of "crafty"-so it is not just my say so!  I used to use a cheat sheet years ago-and may have to when I get older-for now my memory works a little faster.  Thanks for taking time to answer-I was hoping I wasn't just losing it!

Steve
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Steve

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: "Solo" level
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 11:23:06 pm »


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