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Author Topic: MC7L-48 vrs ls9-32 with 16 channel expansion.  (Read 19849 times)

Keith Shannon

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Re: digital experience
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2010, 02:47:18 pm »

George S Dougherty wrote on Thu, 18 March 2010 18:33

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 18 March 2010 15:32


Keith, you seem to have some strong ingrained opinions about how to operate digital mixers. How many shows have you mixed on digital mixers, and which ones were they?

I would never consider having different scenes in the same showfile that are for events that are not all part of the same show. If your inexperienced user accidentally jumps to the nest scene he may have a different patch, or routing, things that are going to be very hard to fix if he is not used to using scenes. I would have several different showfiles, one for each version of the service. I would then have several scenes in each showfile for each of the distinct elements of the service. That way only the mic levels and mutes change and it is easy to see what changed and correct it. When using scenes for mutes I also prefer to actually take the fader down. It is an instantaneous change to get it back up, and it is a valuable visual cue to what has happened.



It doesn't seem like Keith has done that much work on a digital console, but your suggestion is very handy for anyone using digital consoles.  I've mixed on a few M7's where the churches just had all their different setups as scenes and that's all they used the scenes for.  They had some people who could operate it decently well, but they were all self-taught and had little idea of the true flexibility built into the boards.

That seems like a common issue in church sound outside of larger churches.  People who know how to push a fader, turn a knob but get lost when you start talking about signal flow and how the board actually operates.


To be honest, no, I don't have much digital experience. However, I do know sound systems, I do know what digital can do, I know what our current sound techs currently know how to do and I know what a new system would require them to start doing. I'm in the process of spec'ing a completely new installed sound system that would do more than what the 2 PA systems we have now would do. Our sound techs know analog. They mess with faders, mutes, even EQs regularly. As such, a system that would still require that of them on a regular basis is no imposition at all.

What they don't have to deal with on a regular basis is reconfiguring the system for very different uses. That, however, is something the new sound system must be relatively easily capable of, because that is the direction our ministry wants to go; we're planning concerts with visiting artists, organ recitals, band concerts and simply being able to point a microphone at things we're already doing, like handbells and children's choir. Completely avoiding repatching in a fully analog setup would require a 48-channel mixer frame, which is the largest of all possible options, still requires some reconfiguration (though no cable-swapping) as different things are plugged into each installed input, and so it's our last option. The most feasible option currently is a 32-channel mixer, with 16 channels being swapped at once between two possible locations, usually for very similar purposes. It's feasible, and the cheapest option, but still requires time-consuming board work to configure and reconfigure the system for certain events, which will happen often enough to warrant an easier way.

The third option is a digital mixer capable of taking all 48 ins, which allows us to digitally patch, name and configure each source in a convenient manner, save, and then recall those settings week to week. These basic configurations would then be manipulated by muting channels and adjusting faders, POSSIBLY with an EQ change here or there. The use of a common control layout replacing the "top half" of a mixer is not rocket science, and they don't mess with that part much on our current mixer anyway. Save/recall of basic configs is similarly a 1-minute addition to their current skillset. Beyond that, the techs can use the mixer in a pretty analog fashion, adjusting faders, muting channels, and generally doing what they've done for 30 years. That is a HUGE plus for me in convincing them to back the idea of going digital; what will change will not require them to totally re-learn the sound system. Given that, the only other major objection is cost; an M7 would cost 3 times the price of a GL2800-48.

Contrast that with using showfiles. First, the showfiles have to be set up, saved and reloaded. That's a bigger task than looking through scenes for the basic configuration you want, and is a fundamental shift from thinking of the console as more mixer, to thinking of it as more computer. Second, you're dumbing it down, which may sound good, but you could easily in our church arrive at a place where normally the soundman only has to advance scenes at the right time. If something goes wrong, a soundman who hasn't had to do anything else but load showfiles and advance scenes in a long time will not have a clue what to do. Trust me, I've seen it happen MANY times on analog systems; when all you know is the master fader to control overall level of spoken work, and something starts feeding back, you can forget checking signal meters to find the source and notching it out with the EQ; you're cutting the master fader.

The question in any complex system, especially sound systems and very especially digital, is not always "what can it do for you?", but "what do you want it to do for you?". The features of a digital mixer are tools in your toolbox; you may have more tools than you need, but you're by no means required to use them all just because you have them.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: digital experience
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2010, 02:53:51 pm »

Keith Shannon wrote on Fri, 19 March 2010 14:47

George S Dougherty wrote on Thu, 18 March 2010 18:33

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 18 March 2010 15:32


Keith, you seem to have some strong ingrained opinions about how to operate digital mixers. How many shows have you mixed on digital mixers, and which ones were they?

I would never consider having different scenes in the same showfile that are for events that are not all part of the same show. If your inexperienced user accidentally jumps to the nest scene he may have a different patch, or routing, things that are going to be very hard to fix if he is not used to using scenes. I would have several different showfiles, one for each version of the service. I would then have several scenes in each showfile for each of the distinct elements of the service. That way only the mic levels and mutes change and it is easy to see what changed and correct it. When using scenes for mutes I also prefer to actually take the fader down. It is an instantaneous change to get it back up, and it is a valuable visual cue to what has happened.



It doesn't seem like Keith has done that much work on a digital console, but your suggestion is very handy for anyone using digital consoles.  I've mixed on a few M7's where the churches just had all their different setups as scenes and that's all they used the scenes for.  They had some people who could operate it decently well, but they were all self-taught and had little idea of the true flexibility built into the boards.

That seems like a common issue in church sound outside of larger churches.  People who know how to push a fader, turn a knob but get lost when you start talking about signal flow and how the board actually operates.


To be honest, no, I don't have much digital experience. However, I do know sound systems, I do know what digital can do, I know what our current sound techs currently know how to do and I know what a new system would require them to start doing. I'm in the process of spec'ing a completely new installed sound system that would do more than what the 2 PA systems we have now would do. Our sound techs know analog. They mess with faders, mutes, even EQs regularly. As such, a system that would still require that of them on a regular basis is no imposition at all.

What they don't have to deal with on a regular basis is reconfiguring the system for very different uses. That, however, is something the new sound system must be relatively easily capable of, because that is the direction our ministry wants to go; we're planning concerts with visiting artists, organ recitals, band concerts and simply being able to point a microphone at things we're already doing, like handbells and children's choir. Completely avoiding repatching in a fully analog setup would require a 48-channel mixer frame, which is the largest of all possible options, still requires some reconfiguration (though no cable-swapping) as different things are plugged into each installed input, and so it's our last option. The most feasible option currently is a 32-channel mixer, with 16 channels being swapped at once between two possible locations, usually for very similar purposes. It's feasible, and the cheapest option, but still requires time-consuming board work to configure and reconfigure the system for certain events, which will happen often enough to warrant an easier way.

The third option is a digital mixer capable of taking all 48 ins, which allows us to digitally patch, name and configure each source in a convenient manner, save, and then recall those settings week to week. These basic configurations would then be manipulated by muting channels and adjusting faders, POSSIBLY with an EQ change here or there. The use of a common control layout replacing the "top half" of a mixer is not rocket science, and they don't mess with that part much on our current mixer anyway. Save/recall of basic configs is similarly a 1-minute addition to their current skillset. Beyond that, the techs can use the mixer in a pretty analog fashion, adjusting faders, muting channels, and generally doing what they've done for 30 years. That is a HUGE plus for me in convincing them to back the idea of going digital; what will change will not require them to totally re-learn the sound system. Given that, the only other major objection is cost; an M7 would cost 3 times the price of a GL2800-48.

Contrast that with using showfiles. First, the showfiles have to be set up, saved and reloaded. That's a bigger task than looking through scenes for the basic configuration you want, and is a fundamental shift from thinking of the console as more mixer, to thinking of it as more computer. Second, you're dumbing it down, which may sound good, but you could easily in our church arrive at a place where normally the soundman only has to advance scenes at the right time. If something goes wrong, a soundman who hasn't had to do anything else but load showfiles and advance scenes in a long time will not have a clue what to do. Trust me, I've seen it happen MANY times on analog systems; when all you know is the master fader to control overall level of spoken work, and something starts feeding back, you can forget checking signal meters to find the source and notching it out with the EQ; you're cutting the master fader.

The question in any complex system, especially sound systems and very especially digital, is not always "what can it do for you?", but "what do you want it to do for you?". The features of a digital mixer are tools in your toolbox; you may have more tools than you need, but you're by no means required to use them all just because you have them.


You clearly have no interest in getting advice from people with more experience than you. Do what you will. Have fun.

Mac
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Kent Thompson

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Re: digital experience
« Reply #72 on: March 20, 2010, 12:45:55 pm »

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 18 March 2010 17:32

Keith Shannon wrote on Thu, 18 March 2010 16:48

Do you ever touch the faders, or do you have scenes for those too?

I suppose it depends on whether you view a digital mixer more as a mixer that has some computer-y stuff, or a computer that does mixer-type stuff.

The way I would use a digital mixer is still as a mixer; the digital stuff exists to save time reconfiguring the installed system for various general purposes, by storing a scene for big stuff like patching, channel naming, mix/matrix blend and routing, etc. I might, for example, have a scene for normal Sunday service (pulpit, three wireless, choir mikes), Sunday service led by the praise band (the basic mikes plus the praise band's inputs and Aviom patching), Advent Wednesday service (pulpit and three wireless), Lenten Wednesday service (pulpit and one or two wireless), choir cantata (four chancel mikes plus necessary pulpit/wireless), praise band concert (16 chancel inputs routed the same way the band does it in their loft space), etc. Each of these requires substantial, sometimes major changes to who has what plugged in where, and how close-to-hand everything needs to be. That would in turn mandate a huge change in the fundamental console configuration; if the console were analog and I were going from a Saturday praise band concert to Sunday morning service, I might as well zero everything and start fresh, and it would take hours. A digital console's utility in this scenario is that, given that every installed input can remain hooked to the console, what's where can be set up, stored, and then by hitting two buttons the console's set up for some other common event, then with another two buttons it's back to the special event. If you think of it that way, scenes should be utilitarian, providing a basic setup with the tools to work with that setup the way you'd do soon an analog.

Now, you may consider scenes to be less major, given a console that can back up its entire configuration to a USB flash drive. If the console's basic system setup is considered fair game, then complete setups for each operator of the system can be created, tailored to the way each operator wants (or is allowed) to use the console for the same basic set of events. A complete setup can be created with scenes for every song in a concert; that setup can even travel with the band, as long as the majority of the house mixers are compatible. In that case, the console is less a mixer and more a computer; the scenes are less like unique ways to configure the console and more like slides in a slideshow. You can do practically all the setup up front, and during the show 90% of your work is "next scene", taking a lot of the unwelcome surprises out of the event.

Whatever floats your boat. For installed systems that see a lot of the same things going on, especially systems that used to be analog, I would think that the more minimalist approach is warranted. For a touring system or a festival, the complete mixer-on-a-stick approach is probably easier.


Keith, you seem to have some strong ingrained opinions about how to operate digital mixers. How many shows have you mixed on digital mixers, and which ones were they?

I would never consider having different scenes in the same showfile that are for events that are not all part of the same show. If your inexperienced user accidentally jumps to the nest scene he may have a different patch, or routing, things that are going to be very hard to fix if he is not used to using scenes. I would have several different showfiles, one for each version of the service. I would then have several scenes in each showfile for each of the distinct elements of the service. That way only the mic levels and mutes change and it is easy to see what changed and correct it. When using scenes for mutes I also prefer to actually take the fader down. It is an instantaneous change to get it back up, and it is a valuable visual cue to what has happened.

A digital audio console is just a digital console. whether you view it as a computer that can mix music, or a mixer that can do computer stuff, it is shortsighted to ignore the powerful functions of the console.

Mac


This makes a lot of sense to me for setting up shows and scenes.

Although it has some of the guts of a computer and may internally work the same way I could not call it one. It is really its own beast. I can't even say it is even like an analog board even though they try to give you things that make it feel like it. It is like moving to a new town. You have no idea where all the stores are whats the best way to get to them till you start driving around and looking for stuff. Then you figure out to avoid 1st street and take I street instead.

What would be helpful to me is sharing some of those better ways to do things. Maybe here or might be better in another thread. Something that people new to digital can get tips from. I know I am all for finding better ways to do things.
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Kent Thompson

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Re: digital experience
« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2010, 07:17:18 pm »

Got through the weekend unscathed lol. I received so many comments on how much better it sounded. Even people with hearing aids could hear the difference. We have one more Sunday with it before it goes back. We have found and M7 close by that we are going to go try out soon as well. I felt encouraged that all our volunteers but one reacted very positively on the usability on the board. The other person was just a little hesitant but, even our old Mackie was intimidating to him so probably just a little more training time would help.

Oh yeah forget the mute groups lol DCA mutes are great for a fast mute and pulling down the DCA worked even better because I was less likely to forget I muted it even though the red light was shining in my face Razz. I had no idea what I was talking about. As usual I prematurely opened my mouth.
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Mac Kerr

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Congratulations
« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2010, 09:03:41 pm »

Kent Thompson wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 19:17

Got through the weekend unscathed lol. I received so many comments on how much better it sounded. Even people with hearing aids could hear the difference. We have one more Sunday with it before it goes back. We have found and M7 close by that we are going to go try out soon as well. I felt encouraged that all our volunteers but one reacted very positively on the usability on the board. The other person was just a little hesitant but, even our old Mackie was intimidating to him so probably just a little more training time would help.

Oh yeah forget the mute groups lol DCA mutes are great for a fast mute and pulling down the DCA worked even better because I was less likely to forget I muted it even though the red light was shining in my face Razz. I had no idea what I was talking about. As usual I prematurely opened my mouth.


Congratulations on your success. It will only get better as you get more familiar, and comfortable using the available power,

"Oh brave new world that has such consoles in it" Apologies to Shakespeare and Ariel.

Mac
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Kent Thompson

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Re: MC7L-48 vrs ls9-32 with 16 channel expansion.
« Reply #75 on: March 23, 2010, 12:27:11 am »

Dick Rees wrote on Thu, 18 February 2010 17:50

Call these folks.  They list Harlingen in their communities served.

http://www.texasaudiorental.com/concert.htm

Just for the record they only rent whole systems Razz.
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Kent Thompson

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Re: Congratulations
« Reply #76 on: March 23, 2010, 12:36:15 am »

Mac Kerr wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 21:03

Kent Thompson wrote on Sun, 21 March 2010 19:17

Got through the weekend unscathed lol. I received so many comments on how much better it sounded. Even people with hearing aids could hear the difference. We have one more Sunday with it before it goes back. We have found and M7 close by that we are going to go try out soon as well. I felt encouraged that all our volunteers but one reacted very positively on the usability on the board. The other person was just a little hesitant but, even our old Mackie was intimidating to him so probably just a little more training time would help.

Oh yeah forget the mute groups lol DCA mutes are great for a fast mute and pulling down the DCA worked even better because I was less likely to forget I muted it even though the red light was shining in my face Razz. I had no idea what I was talking about. As usual I prematurely opened my mouth.


Congratulations on your success. It will only get better as you get more familiar, and comfortable using the available power,

"Oh brave new world that has such consoles in it" Apologies to Shakespeare and Ariel.

Mac

Thank you!

I would have quoted something from Star Trek but, only because I am a Star Trek nut. Very Happy
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Kent Thompson

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Re: MC7L-48 vrs ls9-32 with 16 channel expansion.
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2010, 11:36:09 pm »

After spending some quality time with an M7 today we all agreed that the ilive T was the system we should get. So they placed the order. I was told it should come in Tuesday. I want to thank everyone that gave their input and put up with my rambling posts. Without doing more rambling I will just say I really appreciate it.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: MC7L-48 vrs ls9-32 with 16 channel expansion.
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2010, 11:36:09 pm »


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