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Author Topic: Live Recording  (Read 8425 times)

Joseph White

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Live Recording
« on: November 23, 2010, 11:51:32 pm »

I am s Sound Engineer for a "mega" church in Florida. Our services are about as contemporary as it gets; drums and electric guitars are out front in the mix and we run 95dbA. We have a 3000 person sanctuary and close to 10,000 regular attenders across 4 campuses. We stream our services to the internet through Flash and Roku and provide DVDs of the service same day as you leave.

We currently use an M7CL dedicated to our "broadcast" mix which provides signal to everything outside of the sanctuary. This has provided us with a great mix for all of these different mediums. However, many churches our size and larger use a mix from the FOH console to feed the same type of media and our administrators are wondering if the extra personnel necessary to run this THIRD console is necessary.

Our FOH console is a VENUE D-Show, which is already responsible for floor wedges on top of regular FOH duties (the last console is an old ML5000 running our IEMs).

So, my questions. How would you guys handle creating a broadcast quality mix from the FOH console; including output finalization, crowd mic mixing, and the more general problem of compensating for the differences needed for a canned mix versus live. Can the FOH console produce a mix without a dramatic reduction in quality from our current setup?

I realize that occasional monitoring by the FOH engineer would be required, but I do not want to distract him too much from his primary job. Also, with the FOH console properly placed with open air in the middle of the room, I don't think monitoring the broadcast mix with E5 every couple minutes will produce an acceptable mix on its own.

I am a competent engineer and have lots of ideas of my own, but I'd love to tap into the wisdom of others for this problem.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the gratuitous detail.

Joseph White
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Joseph White
Calvary Chapel Melbourne
www.calvaryccm.com

Christy L Manoppo (okky)

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 12:17:40 am »

wow.. I tought about this for my church. Assign FOH duties and broadcast duty on 1 desk..

imo, if you assign the very same console that already doing FOH and monitor duties, your engineer will have like a triple burden on his shoulder. Mixing monitor imo, is more difficult than mixing FOH's. plus mixing broadcast... is like mixing music in a studio..

Quote:

So, my questions. How would you guys handle creating a broadcast quality mix from the FOH console; including output finalization, crowd mic mixing, and the more general problem of compensating for the differences needed for a canned mix versus live.


It is doable. I'm not familiar with D-show, but in theory if you can assign an input into multiple channels,(like a split), for instance, input 1 goes to channel 15 and 30), and then assign the latter channel to another mix bus and apply all your eff and dynamics there.

Quote:

 Can the produce a mix without a dramatic reduction in quality from our current setup?


i think it can but its all depends.


IMHO, if I'm in your condition. I will say no to the cut. The M7CL is already doing its job best. It's better to do things by working together. Your FOH sound should be great now, monitors also. Broadcast sound is already awesome too. Why you want to reduce your level of "excellence" by scratching the M7CL duties... If "excellence" is your goal... than you must stick with the original setup.
but again, that is my personal statement.
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Christy L Manoppo
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Kent Thompson

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 01:34:22 am »

Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I know I am completely busy during worship. I would not be able to produce a production mix that I would feel good about with divided duties. Sounds like production has a lot more going on than FOH and is likely a busier job than FOH as well. In hard times though sometimes sacrifices must be made to be responsible.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 08:53:21 am »

Joseph White wrote on Wed, 24 November 2010 04:51

I am s Sound Engineer for a "mega" church in Florida. Our services are about as contemporary as it gets; drums and electric guitars are out front in the mix and we run 95dbA. We have a 3000 person sanctuary and close to 10,000 regular attenders across 4 campuses. We stream our services to the internet through Flash and Roku and provide DVDs of the service same day as you leave.

We currently use an M7CL dedicated to our "broadcast" mix which provides signal to everything outside of the sanctuary. This has provided us with a great mix for all of these different mediums. However, many churches our size and larger use a mix from the FOH console to feed the same type of media and our administrators are wondering if the extra personnel necessary to run this THIRD console is necessary.



IME you need separate mixes for FOH, monitors, recording, and possibly broadcast for best results.

Most of us run the FOH mix and monitor mixes with one console and console op, but we only get away with that because the monitor mixes are pretty static.

Some of us use the FOH mix for recording and broadcast, but this is a pretty nasty compromise on several grounds.

The mixes for FOH and the mixes for recording and other uses outside of the room are generally very different, and both usually need to be very dynamic. I've never met the person who thought he could do a really good job of both at the same time.

As far as using two boards for two different but very dynamic mixes, well that just makes common sense. Having two people run the same board at the same time is like having two cooks in a very small kitchen - it just doesn't work. Too many opportunities for manual interference and head-butting. It just doesn't work even worse if the consoles are digital and you're using layers and virtual controls.

This is one of those questions that administrators who are far removed from the actual operation tend to ask. I've been asked questions like this in many other contexts. Pray for grace to not just tell them that they are way out of line and being penny-wise and pound foolish.  They probably not doing God's work if they press backward thinking like this.

The world is full of churches that would give their right arms for the equipment and staff to do work at this level, and it seems like they just want to throw it all away to save a few pennies. With 10,000 people being served, working at this level is fully justified. It would be justified with 1/10 the people ibeing served.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 11:20:45 am »

My audio career has me doing live sound, recording, installs and broadcast/film.  I can say that from this perspective, each is a task with its own special requirements.  Best practice would dictate a separate console/engineer for the broadcast audio.

That's how it is in my world.
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Tom Young

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 04:55:52 pm »

Another very critical issue is the isolation required for mixes feeding anything other than the FOH speakers. Especially for folks who know a good mix when they hear it.

For recording, streaming, broadcast, etc. the person who is mixing must be in an isolated space that also is designed to sound good, ie: work well for this purpose, like any audio control room.

In the event that why this is necessary isn't obvious, this has been discussed here and elsewhere on PSW multiples of times so I am sure yuou can search and find good explanations.

HTH-
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Tom Young, Church Sound section moderator
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Chris Penny

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 05:07:03 pm »

My guess is senior leadership or whoever looks after the budget is looking at places they can make cuts? Are all your sound engineers paid professionals or are they volunteers?

Anyway I would be looking at justifying each position and also looking at how things would run without those positions.
For example:
If you wanted to free up monitor world you would be looking at getting a personal monitoring system such as Avioms or Roland M48s.
If you needed to run broadcast from FOH just you would be limited to the Preacher and maybe an ambient microphone (This is all I provide when I have to run all 3 functions from FOH when we have to overflow to another room)
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Chris Penny
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Justin Bartlett

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 04:00:58 pm »

I can't imagine trying to get a quality recording mix while mixing for the live room at the same time.

Would it be useful to just record to Pro Tools and mix it on Monday instead?
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 08:42:43 pm »

Justin Bartlett wrote on Fri, 26 November 2010 13:00

I can't imagine trying to get a quality recording mix while mixing for the live room at the same time.

Would it be useful to just record to Pro Tools and mix it on Monday instead?


Except for the fact that he needs a live mix for broadcast to overflow rooms, which is essentially the same as a recording mix. Kind of hard to do it using ProTools on Monday when you need it on Sunday as it's happening.
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Joseph White

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 12:15:19 am »

Thanks you guys for all of your advice. I am well aware that the separate mixing platform is ideal. I am serving my leadership and must make a case to them for why we need to spend more money than the bigger church down the interstate if they can't hear the difference. If a comparable mix can be produced from FOH then I have to align my priorities with theirs.

To answer a few of your questions. We use an Aviom system for our in ears so that we do not have to man that console full time. We have 4 full time mix engineers that do the majority of the mixing in the sanctuary.

I think my answer is that I need to play them a song mixed from our current broadcast rig and then play the same song recorded off a matrix of our DigiDesign console. Hopefully the difference will be obvious enough that they will agree to leave the broadcast system and its personnel untouched. If not, then I'll be on here again trying to get answers to my method questions.

Thanks again.

Joseph White
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Joseph White
Calvary Chapel Melbourne
www.calvaryccm.com

Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2010, 07:13:19 am »

Justin Bartlett wrote on Fri, 26 November 2010 21:00

I can't imagine trying to get a quality recording mix while mixing for the live room at the same time.

Would it be useful to just record to Pro Tools and mix it on Monday instead?



Change Pro Tools to the name of any of a number of fine multitracking DAW software packages from Reaper to Audition to Nuendo and its all the same - a fine idea.

It just plays hob with getting those CDs out at the end of the service.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2010, 07:16:40 am »

Joseph White wrote on Sat, 27 November 2010 05:15

Thanks you guys for all of your advice. I am well aware that the separate mixing platform is ideal. I am serving my leadership and must make a case to them for why we need to spend more money than the bigger church down the interstate if they can't hear the difference. If a comparable mix can be produced from FOH then I have to align my priorities with theirs.




A fine way to demo the dfference is to do a comparison of a board mix or a stati mix done on AUX sends with a fine mix off the dedicated console, same service, using one of the freeware software packages that does time-synched comparisons.

The tool you want is called "An ABX Comparator" and while they are used for formal listening tests, one of them will really tell your story for you.

Well,unless the guys doing the mixing aren't so good... Wink
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Brad Weber

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2010, 08:26:11 am »

Joseph White wrote on Sat, 27 November 2010 00:15

Thanks you guys for all of your advice. I am well aware that the separate mixing platform is ideal. I am serving my leadership and must make a case to them for why we need to spend more money than the bigger church down the interstate if they can't hear the difference. If a comparable mix can be produced from FOH then I have to align my priorities with theirs.

A simple example of the issues is that anyone in the space is hearing not only the acoustics of the space but also the direct sound of the sources, which can definitely affect the resulting mix.  However, a listener outside the space is not subjected to the acoustical environment or live sound of the performance space and thus requires a different mix.  How does someone in the performance space isolate themselves from the space in order to create a good recording or broadcast mix while also still doing their job in regards to the house mix?  Even ignoring the actual physical mixing operation required to create multiple mixes, you can't have one person creating mixes for two very different listening environments without the likelihood of some compromises in one of the mixes.
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Brad Weber
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Brian Ehlers

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2010, 02:03:23 pm »

It's all about compromises.  To me, the way you describe your church and ministry, it's worth having a second mix engineer for the recording.  But I'm not footing the bills.

I'm at the other end of the spectrum.  In addition to FOH, I'm also creating mixes for recording, hearing assistance system, live feed to the fellowship hall, and monitors.  How do I do it all at once?  Obviously, I can't.  Fortunately, the line-up of our musicians stays fairly constant.  I make frequent checks of the mixes I make (listen to every CD) and take notes.  I also keep a log book of "recommended settings" for every channel strip on the board -- and every musician who regularly plays.  (It's an analog board;  if digital, I'd just save them all as presets.)  90% of the time, the end result is 90% good enough.  But when someone throws me a curveball, it might take a few services before I get all their settings dialed in.  If those kind of results are good enough for your church, then you may be able to abandon the recording console.  But of course, it's simply shifted more work onto the FOH engineer, so it's a bit of a false economy.

If your church leadership simply doesn't understand the root issue of multitasking, give them some examples.  Tell them you have decided to get rid of the FOH engineer, lighting operator, and video operator as well.  Next Sunday the preacher will be expected to not only lead the service and preach the sermon, but also run the sound, lights, and video.  There's no reason one person can't do all four;  he just can't do it as good as four people.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2010, 12:41:55 am »

Brian Ehlers wrote on Mon, 29 November 2010 11:03

Next Sunday the preacher will be expected to not only lead the service and preach the sermon, but also run the sound, lights, and video.


Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. For many years in my church, the PA amp was in the pulpit.

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Brandon Conn

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2010, 06:54:17 am »

Joseph,
At Gatewayin Southlake Tx we ran a venue d-show as FOH, Broadcast, and as the building distributed audio console. The best result we had was to setup the broadcast mix on one of thePQ mixes. We would create a mix minus mix, insert it into the PQ mix, and then insert MC/LAV/Aud mics and any other important ch into the PQ mix. Then we would output patch the PQ mix to our web feed and duplication. This allows to keep all of the levels close to a "normalized" level if you will. Adjusting them on the PQmix. It's like a small mixer within the d-show.

Thanks
Brandon Conn
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Joseph White

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Re: Live Recording
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2010, 11:52:20 am »

Thanks Brandon. That is exactly the type of info I was looking for. I haven't played with the submix features of the console much since it was really just doing FOH. I'll have to play around with those PQ mixes and see what I can get.

Thanks again,

Joseph White
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Joseph White
Calvary Chapel Melbourne
www.calvaryccm.com
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