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Title: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 23, 2014, 11:23:11 pm
I am currently using some fairly lower end equipment that has "gotten me by" with my ceremony needs. A GTD quad channel receiver and a simple Behringer rack mixer that in general covers the basics, but of course any slight deviation from a simple environment and it's less than ideal. My business had grown considerably since I started it in late 2012 (2 customers to 10 customers to 32 customers) and now that many of my clients are requesting ceremony services along with reception I am stepping up my game, considerably.

I am thinking of purchasing a Behringer X32 plus a Shure ULXD4Q. This is not a cheap setup by any means, but it would give me a lot of control. The parametric eq, compressor, and gate would let me refine what should be a quality output from the mics. I could utilize Dante to reduce cable clutter. It's all a nice package, but at a steep price.

The question is if I am really over engineering and overthinking this? I have been put off by my current setup that it has me thinking "do it right or go home" but are there less expensive solutions that would give me a top end quality rig?
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: chuck clark on September 24, 2014, 12:16:52 am
A: Yes  It's overkill.
What are you doing Lou, weddings w/ a couple of mics?  I doubt you need a mixer w/ 32 inputs for that!  I would suggest a Presonus or an A&H Q series w/ 16 inputs.  Save a thousand bucks and you still get the 4 band parametric eq and dynamics and effects you need.
Sounds great. Less filling. Happy sailing.
Chuck
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on September 24, 2014, 05:51:30 am
I am currently using some fairly lower end equipment that has "gotten me by" with my ceremony needs. A GTD quad channel receiver and a simple Behringer rack mixer that in general covers the basics, but of course any slight deviation from a simple environment and it's less than ideal. My business had grown considerably since I started it in late 2012 (2 customers to 10 customers to 32 customers) and now that many of my clients are requesting ceremony services along with reception I am stepping up my game, considerably.

I am thinking of purchasing a Behringer X32 plus a Shure ULXD4Q. This is not a cheap setup by any means, but it would give me a lot of control. The parametric eq, compressor, and gate would let me refine what should be a quality output from the mics. I could utilize Dante to reduce cable clutter. It's all a nice package, but at a steep price.

The question is if I am really over engineering and overthinking this? I have been put off by my current setup that it has me thinking "do it right or go home" but are there less expensive solutions that would give me a top end quality rig?
Having good quality equipment is a wonderful thing, assuming your rates cover enough depreciation to make it work financially. 

There's nothing wrong with an X32, but you or your clients may perhaps appreciate the smaller size of the Qu-16 or a smaller X32 variant.  The ULXD is great, but expensive.  Since you will likely only need a couple channels, you may want to check into the new QLX series, which has most of the same features and performance of the ULX-D series, but is a little less expensive.

What is the rest of the system?  What problems are you experiencing?  What are your clients asking of you that you can't deliver?  A reasonable mixing board is a great asset, and wireless mics that work and don't drop out are as well.  Are your speakers adequate?  Does your equipment look nice?
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Brian Jojade on September 24, 2014, 12:06:16 pm
For a ceremony system, I have an X32 RACK, amps, and Shure ULX-P microphones. Usually I'll use SRX712M speakers.  The total cost for the kit came to somewhere around $10K.

Compare that to some packages that the competition brings out for ceremony systems that has a cost of less than $1000 for everything, and of course, it sounds like that.  As long as I can charge at least $200 MORE per show because of the higher end gear, I'm coming out ahead.  Once people hear the difference, that's not usually much of a problem.

For a ceremony, having a full X32 is overkill.  I've never seen a ceremony needing 32 inputs!  Dante is cool, but there isn't going to be a reduction in cable clutter for such a small system.  The cost difference for Dante cards and Dante capable mics is very hard to justify.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 24, 2014, 01:22:43 pm
OK let me dive into the current setup a little so you can see where I am coming from. I currently have what is best described as a combo-setup that I can interchange for my ceremony and my reception needs when needed. About 75% of my gigs are ceremony and reception, and about 75% of those I have a ceremony at a seperate site that requires a second system. But I was trying to come up with something that I can throw into my main setup when needed. So I have a rack back with:

GTD 4-channel wireless receiver w/ 4 mics and 3 lavs
AKG 1-channel wireless mic receiver (backup)
Alto Wireless transmitter
Behringer 8-channel mixer
Power Strip

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ldncuwgwlgzazf3/AACuH4zHmzYknd5JnIPfDt7Sa

So the current mics are just fair. They sound ok in very ideal conditions, but I seldom operate in ideal conditions. My lack of a good parametric EQ with compression and gate control don't let me rig out my setup much so I get constant feedback from guests talking to close to the speakers, or a very tinny sound no matter how much gain and EQ I can muster for those that talk with the mic a bit lower. I am certian I could overcome many of those issues with a good mic and mix setup.

I use a single Yamaha DXR8 for most ceremonies. On a rare occasion I will bring in a second, usually run wirelessly to it. My reception system I have a pair of DXR8's with DXR12's, Rane 62, and Denon SC3900s.

Most ceremonies I will run 1-4 mics. The current lav packs are not good enough to pick up all three people. Actually it's a challenge with even the one. So I've been micing up all the participants to compensate. Gain has to be way high. Just not happy with that.

I would be afraid to have a ceremony with only two receivers/mics. For instance what if I mic up the groom, officiant, and a speaker needs to speak.

I also run into a lot of ceremonies that are not ideal conditions (say windy for instance).

I have run into situations where I had a live band plug into me, both ceremony or reception. So my channel needs can jump from 1-10. This does not happen often, but the flexibility is nice that the DJ can "save the day" when it's needed.

So some of my limitations. Because I would like to use this with my core setup at times, I need to make sure it fits into my primary setup. I run a very clean setup, no facade, and I can't put a mixer board at the same level as my decks and my primary mixer (Rane 62). So that leaves me to put it in my stand, but the depth of the stand is limiting plus trying to live mix someone with the equipment that low is not flattering. So most of the typical mixers with sliders have too much depth to fit. So that got me thinking with the X32 that while it's channel overkill, I could control with my laptop, ipad, even the front panel in an emergency. I've also looked at the PreSonus RM16AI but it's 6 lbs heavier and 7" deeper.

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ztvea63k6zls6iv/AAC7SMu229g7auiTX6J5fijta

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/91mo15wosb9a3uj/AABRde7IKCczBNSMqiQE2ryTa

It may also be that I should rethink my whole core setup strategy, but I really love this setup.

Right now I charge +$300 off my main price for ceremonies and if I did "go for the gusto" I would probably raise it up to +$400-$500 and sell the ultra-high quality it offers. ROI would be a wedding season.

So what do I want?

> Great sound out of up-to 4 mics (and a diversity of mics to select from)
> Combiner so I can run off a pair of paddle antennas when needed, dipoles for other uses
> Ability to work in less-than-ideal conditions (wind, soft speakers, feedback cancellation)
> Ability to rig out my system
> Interoprobility with my primary system
> Ability to provide RCA, Balaced, and XLR to a videographer
> As lightweight as I can get it
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 24, 2014, 02:36:58 pm
Hi Lou-

Really you're trying to overcome bad speaker placement (often out of your control - wedding planners and mother of the bride issues), guests who don't speak loudly enough or freak out and get quiet when they hear themselves in the PA (very common) or who lack sufficient awareness to put the mic reasonably close to their mouth.  The rest is pretty much sense, both technically and business-wise.

What is your role during the ceremonies?  Can you actively mix the event or are you sequestered some place where you can't do what needs to be done?  It's been a long time since I've done sound for a wedding ceremony (and it was on a church's installed system with their mics), but I recall using wireless lavalier mics on the bride, groom, and officiant; wired mic for singer(s) and DI for keyboard or guitar.  I also recall hiding a wired mic in the floral arrangement behind the kneeling bench at a different church.  The ceremony is where you have the most control (and the least forgiveness if you don't deliver) so use that aspect to your advantage.  Officiants are usually the least of your problems...

Receptions - the dreaded auntie or uncle or grandparent who freezes up the instant they hear themselves, etc., gets combined with lack of control over speaker placement and planner/mother issues.  There is another thread in the Lounge forum about wedding receptions and guests speaking/toasts/etc that is worth your time to find.  Ultimately this is a human problem that requires a mostly human solution; "better" gear will help but cannot overcome Aunt Sally's sudden muteness or Grandpa's previously unknown shyness when they are right in front of the only PA speaker the wedding planner let you put (and only in that location).  This is also where you enlist the assistance of MomZilla or another member of the wedding party to "help" with the microphone and assure Sally and Gramps that it's okay to hear themselves.  A familiar face offering encouragement (and pointing the mic at the person, rather than the ground - yes it happens) is faster, better and cheaper than a "feedback destroyer" that has to sense the ringing (as will the guests) before it can work.  The rest of the reception after the first dances (couple, parents, etc) is pretty much wall paper music for everyone NOT on the dance floor (find that thread in the Lounge for more discussion), so you may wish to address the "entertainment" as a sub-system of the whole reception system design.

Working outdoors in windy environments is also something beyond your control and will require some adjustment regarding the expected outcome.  The things that help with wind noise are not visually conducive to wedding planners, brides and MomZillas.  Effective windscreens are big and usually not white or beige and some look like a dead cat (the fur, anyway, google it).  Your job is finding a balance between client aesthetic demands and audio expectations.  The variable high pass filter on the channel strip is your friend, but you're likely out of luck with 25MPH winds, a whispering bride and the only place to kind of hide her lavalier mic means you can't put a windscreen on it.

You might wish to search the interwebs for "location sound" - what the movie and video guys do.  They have a lot more leeway in equipment selection (much of which is very expensive) but the techniques they use can be applied to some of your situation.

As to providing a feed to VDO - I'd give a transformer isolated, XLR feed and have the ability to turn it waaaaay down if needed.  The VDO guy/gal should have their own way to get that into their recorder or camera unless you're dealing with amateurs.

In general, I believe that wireless anything will fail.  While it's really fairly reliable (and can be very reliable in the right hands with a proper budget), batteries fail, mics come loose for their attachments, or the user turns them off somehow.  I'd place wired back up mics some place where they can be immediately accessed.  It is better for the officiant to hand the bride & groom a wired (or hand held wireless) back up mic than to be inaudible.  Have a plan to Make The Sound Happen even if every wireless mic fails.  And make it as invisible as possible.  Having wired spares also means that if you have a stationary presenter, he or she can use one of spares (all you need is a stand).
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Tommy Peel on September 24, 2014, 02:55:47 pm
So what do I want?

> Great sound out of up-to 4 mics (and a diversity of mics to select from)
> Combiner so I can run off a pair of paddle antennas when needed, dipoles for other uses
> Ability to work in less-than-ideal conditions (wind, soft speakers, feedback cancellation)
> Ability to rig out my system
> Interoperability with my primary system
> Ability to provide RCA, Balanced, and XLR to a videographer
> As lightweight as I can get it
I would think an x32 Rack + wireless AP + iPad would work great as a mixer for what you do. You could rack it with whatever wireless mic receivers you decide on in an appropriately sized rack case with the receivers always connected to the mixer. I'll defer to more knowledgeable people on the mics, but I've always had good luck with Sennheiser wireless gear; probably some ew100 series mics and a combiner would do what you need to do much better than what you have. 4 mic receivers, the combiner, and the mixer would fit in a 6u rack case.

And +1000 to what Tim said; better gear won't completely fix people/environment problems. Probably the better EQ options offered by a digital mixer will help though.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 24, 2014, 03:03:12 pm
A simple little Shure SCM410 auto-mixer can make multiple-mic setups work really well.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 24, 2014, 03:53:53 pm
Oh I am under no illusion that simply great gear solves everything. There is no way to overcome some situations, but I do want to better the odds in my favor.

The X32 (and the RM16AI) has the compelling feature of having iPad control so I could mix up by my laptop for when I do need to live mix. That being said the SCM410/810 is the one of the few auto-mixers I have seen. Is this something that is very good at? I have seen also automixing at the software level (Dan Dugan Automixer Plugin) but I have not researched much into this.

It would be quite convenient that I could rely on some automation in this. As a DJ I am already pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes. If say that SCM410 works well I can do as I do right now and feed that signal to my Rane 62's mic channel and have single knob control when I need it, but have the hardware or software manage a lot of the tweaking.

It also makes me think if I should look at taking some of the money I would do for say the microphones, "step down" to say a EW 135, and use the extra for something like a automixer and a feedback suppressor teamed with the compressor and gate control of the X32 or something similar.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Brian Jojade on September 24, 2014, 08:03:48 pm
You have to look at all points in the system and find the weakest link.  The X32 RACK is a great mixer for this scenario as it has easy iPad control and tons of flexibility.  Being able to have it rack mounted means less connections onsite for faster and cleaner setup.

Having good quality speakers for the type of event you do is also important.  While you can compensate somewhat with EQ, if the speakers don't output clean sound, the best equipment up front won't matter one bit.

Lastly, and the most often overlooked is the microphone being used.  I'm pretty familiar with the SHURE line of mics.  Cheap wireless can't be made to sound great. You will get sound through, but it's still going to be a mess and not sound right.  With the new digital offerings coming to market, the bar is changing slightly, so some of the cheaper alternatives are becoming acceptable.  In the analog world, the Shure PG and PGX line are all but useless.  Not a chance I'd run those systems.  The SLX is so-so. The ULX is acceptable, although not quite as good as a wired alternative. The UHF-R is pretty amazing. I have a hard time telling the difference between wired and wireless in most scenarios.  The new ULX-D line is amazing. I have not been able to distinguish a difference in audio quality between wired and wireless when using that system.  The QLX line should be the same way.

Now, once we figure that out, knowing what mic element to use for the situation will make a big difference as well.  The traditional SM58 head is great for someone that knows how to work the mic, but that may not fit the type of users that you're dealing with.  Having something that works well with improper mic technique will make your life much easier.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 25, 2014, 12:08:24 pm
Well currently I have two weak spots in my current system, the mics and the mixer. And those are going out the door.

The mics are my biggest focus, but man why does the ULX-D's have to be so expensive. ULDX-D4Q at $5k is a big price, and of course throw in another $1k for mics themselves.

I've been trying to find out more information on the SCM410 that Dick Rees suggested but I am not finding much out there. Is this a new unit?

I could also "scale back" on the mixer and look at things like the Mackie DL806 and the QSC Touchmix-8, however I am a little concerned about the build quality of the Mackie, and the QSC does not seem to have an overly great UI to work with.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Ray Aberle on September 25, 2014, 06:05:13 pm
Well currently I have two weak spots in my current system, the mics and the mixer. And those are going out the door.

The mics are my biggest focus, but man why does the ULX-D's have to be so expensive. ULDX-D4Q at $5k is a big price, and of course throw in another $1k for mics themselves.

I've been trying to find out more information on the SCM410 that Dick Rees suggested but I am not finding much out there. Is this a new unit?

I could also "scale back" on the mixer and look at things like the Mackie DL806 and the QSC Touchmix-8, however I am a little concerned about the build quality of the Mackie, and the QSC does not seem to have an overly great UI to work with.

Shure SCM-410, MSRP is $877.00; street will be about a hundred less... shop around. :)

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/mixers-dsp/scm410-4-channel-automatic-mixer

Agreed on the QLX-D -- MAP on the QLXD4 half rack single channel receiver is $636. Add some bodypacks, maybe an antenna distro, you're at about the same $5k but fully kitted out. ULXD -- $5,015 MAP for the quad receiver. SM58 handhelds are MAP at $474. ULXD1 bodypack is $445.00 (and that's without the microphone capsule still).

-Ray
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 25, 2014, 08:59:47 pm
Shure SCM-410, MSRP is $877.00; street will be about a hundred less... shop around. :)

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/mixers-dsp/scm410-4-channel-automatic-mixer

Agreed on the QLX-D -- MAP on the QLXD4 half rack single channel receiver is $636. Add some bodypacks, maybe an antenna distro, you're at about the same $5k but fully kitted out. ULXD -- $5,015 MAP for the quad receiver. SM58 handhelds are MAP at $474. ULXD1 bodypack is $445.00 (and that's without the microphone capsule still).

-Ray

Yeah any mixer I choose will likely be in the $750 - $1200 range. I keep on thinking the SCM410 will be an awesome addition, but the lack of some peer reviews has me a little worried about buying.

Given the price of the ULX-D and the QLX-D I have to wonder if for the 20-30 uses per year, coupled with one of the mixers I have mentioned, if the Sennheiser EW 135 G3 is a great enough performer. I could get a pair of mics and receivers for the same price as a single.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 25, 2014, 09:07:50 pm
I've bought all my 410's used from Ebay for $150.00 or less.  They all work perfectly.  Try one...you'll like it.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Thomas Le on September 25, 2014, 09:47:45 pm
Shure SCM810 $100 Buy it now on fleabay! Why shortchange yourself?
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 25, 2014, 10:02:14 pm
Shure SCM810 $100 Buy it now on fleabay! Why shortchange yourself?

Because with the 810 you need an 8 input XLR module as the unit itself has Phoenix connectors.  If you use two 410's instead, you get XLR inputs and the ability to run 8 into 2 or chain them and run 8 into 1.

More control, less space, ready to roll.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 25, 2014, 10:49:41 pm
I've bought all my 410's used from Ebay for $150.00 or less.  They all work perfectly.  Try one...you'll like it.

How long has this been out. I am surprised I have not seen it before and even more surprised of the low resell value.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 25, 2014, 11:32:43 pm
How long has this been out. I am surprised I have not seen it before and even more surprised of the low resell value.

You said earlier that you were familiar with the 410's and 810's.   Now you say you have not seen it before. 

What's up with that?
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 25, 2014, 11:36:59 pm
OK.

What auto-mixers have you seen, oh all-knowing one?

As to resale value, you can now pick up fairly high end analog mixing consoles originally costing  over $50K for a couple thousand...in perfect working order.

I started looking around a couple years ago but did not see this model. I abandoned the idea that a quality one existed. After looking at this I suspect this came out in 2008 or 2009?

The more I dwell on it the more I am compelled to give this a try. To be able to balance out quality vocal output automatically, as a DJ, is mighty tempting. I may even get this now to work with my not-so-great-mics if I can't decide what models to purchase. At least it could potentially bring these mediocre mics to the fair level.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Mac Kerr on September 25, 2014, 11:53:16 pm
I keep on thinking the SCM410 will be an awesome addition, but the lack of some peer reviews has me a little worried about buying.
The more I dwell on it the more I am compelled to give this a try. To be able to balance out quality vocal output automatically, as a DJ, is mighty tempting. I may even get this now to work with my not-so-great-mics if I can't decide what models to purchase. At least it could potentially bring these mediocre mics to the fair level.

I'm curious what it is exactly that you think an automatic mixer does. Here's a hint: it has nothing to do with balancing mics.

Mac
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 25, 2014, 11:53:49 pm
I started looking around a couple years ago but did not see this model. I abandoned the idea that a quality one existed. After looking at this I suspect this came out in 2008 or 2009?

The more I dwell on it the more I am compelled to give this a try. To be able to balance out quality vocal output automatically, as a DJ, is mighty tempting. I may even get this now to work with my not-so-great-mics if I can't decide what models to purchase. At least it could potentially bring these mediocre mics to the fair level.

There is nothing that will do the work for you.  What it WILL do is give you finer control of your mics by gating the un-used mics for a cleaner sound with more over-all headroom.  You still have to ride herd on the program level to compensate for when people turn their heads or get a bit off mic.  There is no "magic box" that will solve your people problems.  But a simple auto-mixer like the 410 can assist you.

How well it will work depends on how you deploy it in your system.  There are several ways to do it, but I'm going to leave it up to you to figure out how best to hook it in for your use.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 12:04:52 am
I'm curious what it is exactly that you think an automatic mixer does. Here's a hint: it has nothing to do with balancing mics.

Mac
Maybe my terminology was too generalized. Auto-gain (within a range), anti-feedback, compression, and gate. As a solo wedding DJ I have only so many hands in the game. Guests tend to speak softly at one second, loudly on another, then they hold the mic away and then closer.

I know no system will be perfect, or fully automatic, but something that evens the odds a bit in my favor to help produce a quality audio output.

Now if you are saying that this unit won't help much at all, then that is fine. I can look at a few different units that gives me great manual control.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Mac Kerr on September 26, 2014, 12:12:57 am
Maybe my terminology was too generalized. Auto-gain (within a range), anti-feedback, compression, and gate. As a solo wedding DJ I have only so many hands in the game. Guests tend to speak softly at one second, loudly on another, then they hold the mic away and then closer.

That is not what an automatic mixer as it exists today does. It may behave a little bit like a gate which will reduce room tone in the mics, and with multiple mics may help with feedback, but it will do nothing to balance levels. That is what soundmen do.


Mac
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 26, 2014, 12:24:41 am
Maybe my terminology was too generalized. Auto-gain (within a range), anti-feedback, compression, and gate. As a solo wedding DJ I have only so many hands in the game. Guests tend to speak softly at one second, loudly on another, then they hold the mic away and then closer.

I know no system will be perfect, or fully automatic, but something that evens the odds a bit in my favor to help produce a quality audio output.

Now if you are saying that this unit won't help much at all, then that is fine. I can look at a few different units that gives me great manual control.

You're going to need to try this to understand how it helps.  True, it has a gain-sharing algorithm which helps even out the over all program level, but that does not involve regulating the individual mic gains completely.  It does not use compression or have "anti-feedback".  It does have very effective and fairly benign gating, smoothed out by the "last mic open" feature.

What it does is assist you in mixing by reacting instantly to open and close the various mics as people speak...faster than you can follow...and applying gain-sharing to maintain a more constant summed output to return to your board.

Regarding any "feedback suppression", there is none as such.  But by opening only the mic(s) being used, the system headroom is maintained at a higher level of gain before feedback.  You're not "killing" feedback, you're creating a sonic environment where the threshhold of feedback is tilted in your favor.

Spending money on "high end" gear is not the solution.  Study and practice are required.  A good audio tech can do your job with little or no gear and a lot of experience.

There's a lot more besides this, but I'm going to let it go for tonight.  Craig Ferguson is coming on...
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 12:26:51 am
That is not what an automatic mixer as it exists today does. It may behave a little bit like a gate which will reduce room tone in the mics, and with multiple mics may help with feedback, but it will do nothing to balance levels. That is what soundmen do.


Mac

Good to know. I guess I will be looking back to some more expected solutions.

What would you recommend for my profession and general needs to live mix mics. Most of the time it's vocals only, but on the rare occasion I might have one or two live instruments (usually acoustic but not exclusive).

Given my setup I almost certainly have to have iPad control. I need to live mix up high with the rest of my equipment at receptions which also in some cases doubles up as a ceremony system if it's in the same room. Otherwise I am usually running on a single speaker with a keyboard stand to prop up my 4U rack back right now.

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ztvea63k6zls6iv/AAC7SMu229g7auiTX6J5fijta
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 26, 2014, 08:35:25 am
Requiring Ipad control almost makes no sense for a DJ with a small system like yours, especially since 99.9% of the time you'll be behind your system. It would appear that your basing that need on the ability to hide the mixer so as to not take up any space above the lower rack where it might (but I doubt) interfere with your mixing pre recorded music.

If you want Ipad control you've moved to another level of board, a digital board, and probably a board that has more options and features than you'll use in your lifetime. If, as you state, there are gigs you can do with a single speaker, a small 4-8 channel mixer should be able to do the job. You don't need automation, and you don't need a $2-5k digital board. You might find a Behringer rack mount digital unit will fill your needs, but even that will be the equal to killing a fly with a shotgun. Buy some good mics and a small Soundcraft board like the one at the link below and call it a day.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/soundcraft-epm6-6-channel-multi-format-mixer
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Allen Cole on September 26, 2014, 08:51:43 am
Big Ups on the DXR's, I own a pair of DXR10's atm and I'm extremely happy with them.

You seem to be really concerned with this Ipad interface, why not just use something like a Presonus AudioBox with mixing software that has an ipad interface?    You could set your gains, gates and run each channel through a vocal compressor which would allow for more gain on the channels while compressing sudden spikes in voice volume, add a DBX DriveRack with an RTA mic you could do a "decent" job eliminate feedback and room resonances all in two rack spaces.  You could use the same head unit, carry it to the reception hall and plug and play after loading different presets.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 10:05:01 am
Requiring Ipad control almost makes no sense for a DJ with a small system like yours, especially since 99.9% of the time you'll be behind your system. It would appear that your basing that need on the ability to hide the mixer so as to not take up any space above the lower rack where it might (but I doubt) interfere with your mixing pre recorded music.

If you want Ipad control you've moved to another level of board, a digital board, and probably a board that has more options and features than you'll use in your lifetime. If, as you state, there are gigs you can do with a single speaker, a small 4-8 channel mixer should be able to do the job. You don't need automation, and you don't need a $2-5k digital board. You might find a Behringer rack mount digital unit will fill your needs, but even that will be the equal to killing a fly with a shotgun. Buy some good mics and a small Soundcraft board like the one at the link below and call it a day.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/soundcraft-epm6-6-channel-multi-format-mixer

Trust me, i would not mind going to a smaller board. But here is my dilemma. For my primary system (Rane 62, Denon SC3900s, Yamaha DXR8s and DXS12s) (see picture here (https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ztvea63k6zls6iv/AAC7SMu229g7auiTX6J5fijta)) my setup is very clean, and it's a selling point to my customers.  So the problem becomes when I need to live mix things like toasts, I need to of course access the mixing console. The problem becomes if I don't have something like an iPad or laptop access control where I can keep it to the level where my current laptop is I will look mighty foolish having to bend over and work the controls.

The only solution in my mind that I can think of that allows me to use a physical board the way I want and in a way I can integrated it into my current setup is a custom case that would fit below my main flight case, that I can mount the board onto a slider tray so I can pull it out when needed, and tuck it in when I don't. I can then mount my receivers, transmitters, and anything else into this custom flight case and use it for ceremonies as well.

Big Ups on the DXR's, I own a pair of DXR10's atm and I'm extremely happy with them.

You seem to be really concerned with this Ipad interface, why not just use something like a Presonus AudioBox with mixing software that has an ipad interface?    You could set your gains, gates and run each channel through a vocal compressor which would allow for more gain on the channels while compressing sudden spikes in voice volume, add a DBX DriveRack with an RTA mic you could do a "decent" job eliminate feedback and room resonances all in two rack spaces.  You could use the same head unit, carry it to the reception hall and plug and play after loading different presets.

Yes I really love the Yamahas. Best price/weight/sound in it's class I think. If I did step up it would probably be the EV ETX line, but I hope to get many years out of these.

So with this thought of having something like a Mics > DBX DriveRack > PreSonus AudioBox, I noticed that the DriveRack has only 2 channels, so I am taking it that each mic channel should have an individual DriveRack channel to work off of, so 2 DriveRack units?
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Ray Aberle on September 26, 2014, 10:30:31 am
So with this thought of having something like a Mics > DBX DriveRack > PreSonus AudioBox, I noticed that the DriveRack has only 2 channels, so I am taking it that each mic channel should have an individual DriveRack channel to work off of, so 2 DriveRack units?

DriveRack would be used on the //other// side. So Mics > Mixer > DriveRack > Speakers/Amps
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 11:00:09 am
DriveRack would be used on the //other// side. So Mics > Mixer > DriveRack > Speakers/Amps

Would each channel still need to be handled individually for the DriveRack to operate as expected?
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Guy Graham on September 26, 2014, 11:51:07 am
Would each channel still need to be handled individually for the DriveRack to operate as expected?

What problem do you have, that you anticipate a dbx Driverack will solve?

How you described its place in the signal chain indicates you are not understanding the purpose of such an item. In pursuit of addressing the issues you've mentioned, I struggle to see what value you'd get from a Driverack.

Until you've sorted out your principle concerns, I'd forget about it altogether - you have decent powered speakers that seem to fulfill your current need. Any model of Driverack will mostly just duplicate the good work Yamaha already did with the built-in processing on your loudspeakers; if you are considering it for the peripheral functions it could add - then it is the wrong tool for the job!
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 12:25:31 pm
What problem do you have, that you anticipate a dbx Driverack will solve?

How you described its place in the signal chain indicates you are not understanding the purpose of such an item. In pursuit of addressing the issues you've mentioned, I struggle to see what value you'd get from a Driverack.

Until you've sorted out your principle concerns, I'd forget about it altogether - you have decent powered speakers that seem to fulfill your current need. Any model of Driverack will mostly just duplicate the good work Yamaha already did with the built-in processing on your loudspeakers; if you are considering it for the peripheral functions it could add - then it is the wrong tool for the job!

So here are the problems that I have in general (some are mic related, some are mixer related).

1) Picking up softer sounds on my lavs. I believe this is a mic issue where the GTD lavs just not good at their job. Even in ideal conditions I have to turn up to max gain unless it's a person who projects well. So I have no headroom left, and of course maxing out the gain brings noise and other artifacts in.

2) Voices sound very tinny. Again unless it's someone that projects, voices on my lavs and my mics are just tinny, washy. And sometimes on my handhelds they can get muddled depending on the voice of the person speaking.

3) EQ. I don't have any EQ capabilities on my current mic mixer, just gain. I am delegated to my speaker when I am playing to ceremonies and at my reception I have a 2 band EQ on my Rane 62 mic input.

4) No high pass filters. No filters on my ceremony other than my speaker (100hz, 120hz). I have a filter on my Rane 62 that works well, but most of the time I need any serious HP filtering is at the ceremony.

5) Feedback cancellation. It's bound to happen. The toaster walks too damn close to the speaker, and I think even if it's rigged out properly, it's inevitable to happen.

6) Ability to live mix "comfortably". I've mentioned it before, I really only have a pair of spots I can live mix from at my reception/main setup. Up high at the level of my laptop, and low, where a rack bag would reside. Problem with it low is I loose a lot of eye contact with the event, there are times i have to play music at a queued time. It's just not good being low. And since my setup is pretty minimal I just can't throw a regular mixer up, and have numerous cables hanging around, if I even had a place to put it.

It seems the consensus in this thread is there are no appliances out there that can help with auto-gain, auto-gate, anti-feedback. And that is fine. I am not a sound engineer, but I have a couple basics in my head. However as a solo DJ with a minimal setup the more automation that I can factor in to make these mics sound great, the better.

I already get great sound from my Rane 62 and my Yamahas. Now it's time to do the same for the mics for ceremonies and receptions.

If someone here tells me that the best option is simply to get good-great mics (Senn ew135s, Shure QLX, etc) and a mixer with gate, hp filters, and eq and that is the best solution, then that is it. I still need to think of the logistics to actually live mix, which is why i have been focused on the iPad since I can bring that up to my laptop level and do what I need to do. If that is the case I may look at the lower cost solution of the Mackie DL806, although Mackie has been dicey for the past some years (at least in the DJ community) so I am not sure what to make of that.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 26, 2014, 04:03:59 pm
Here's a suggestion for you. Go to the study hall section of this site and take the time to actually find out what mixing basics are before you post again. What you're doing here is asking people to do your homework for you, something that should have been done long before your first post. Not knowing what a DSP does, what the order of the signal chain should be, etc. are indications of an extreme lack of knowledge, which is the first problem you need to cure before moving past two speakers on sticks.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 04:09:00 pm
Here's a suggestion for you. Go to the study hall section of this site and take the time to actually find out what mixing basics are before you post again. What you're doing here is asking people to do your homework for you, something that should have been done long before your first post. Not knowing what a DSP does, what the order of the signal chain should be, etc. are indications of an extreme lack of knowledge, which is the first problem you need to cure before moving past two speakers on sticks.

I am asking for advice. But since i guess I am not a coveted sound engineer you don't want to provide any.

I am a DJ, who knows some basics of sound, but trying to elevate my knowledge and experience with providing great live mic sound.

I do know what a DSP does, however I am unfamiliar with if a product that says it does X if it really does X.  And sorry that I did not know that the Drive Rack processor would be post mixer, I was assuming that it would provide the basic processing pre-mixer which would then allow me to make minor adjustments at the mixer.

But again, whichever.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 26, 2014, 04:16:38 pm
Lou...

There is no "simple solution", so stop looking and "go to school".

It doesn't matter what gear you use as much as knowing how to use it.  You've gotten by as a DJ so far but plainly know little or nothing about live sound.  Your "gear problems" stem more from your lack of knowledge/experience than from the gear itself.

Granted, wedding sound will also fool sound people who have only done bar bands.  It is one of many sub-sets of live audio.

IIWY, I'd hire someone with the requisite experience to work A few weddings with you and pay them to show you the ropes.  You need guidance and experience OTJ.

Just remember when learning a craft:

The first twenty years are the hard part.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 04:27:09 pm
Lou...

There is no "simple solution", so stop looking and "go to school".

It doesn't matter what gear you use as much as knowing how to use it.  You've gotten by as a DJ so far but plainly know little or nothing about live sound.  Your "gear problems" stem more from your lack of knowledge/experience than from the gear itself.

Granted, wedding sound will also fool sound people who have only done bar bands.  It is one of many sub-sets of live audio.

IIWY, I'd hire someone with the requisite experience to work A few weddings with you and pay them to show you the ropes.  You need guidance and experience OTJ.

Just remember when learning a craft:

The first twenty years are the hard part.
I plan on learning, but I also cannot get by with the current equipment I am using, plain and simple. I don't have EQ, Gate, HPF (except at the speaker for ceremonies). This is why I was reaching out here to see if a) if there were automated ways to assist and b) what would be the equipment to go to given what I was looking for.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 26, 2014, 04:34:38 pm
I plan on learning, but I also cannot get by with the current equipment I am using, plain and simple. I don't have EQ, Gate, HPF (except at the speaker for ceremonies). This is why I was reaching out here to see if a) if there were automated ways to assist and b) what would be the equipment to go to given what I was looking for.

Lou..

I have had to do far more complex things with the same lack of equipment when working for AV outfits.  I make it work because I know HOW it all works.  It isn't working for you because you have very little practical knowledge and are mistaken in the little knowledge you THINK you have.

We can't spoon feed you experience and you seem not to be amenable to taking advice or following instructions, preferring instead to pursue the fantasy of gear that will do the job for you without your learning anything other than where you can buy stuff.

You are fast approaching troll status...
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 26, 2014, 04:43:50 pm
I am asking for advice. But since i guess I am not a coveted sound engineer you don't want to provide any.

I am a DJ, who knows some basics of sound, but trying to elevate my knowledge and experience with providing great live mic sound.

I do know what a DSP does, however I am unfamiliar with if a product that says it does X if it really does X.  And sorry that I did not know that the Drive Rack processor would be post mixer, I was assuming that it would provide the basic processing pre-mixer which would then allow me to make minor adjustments at the mixer.

But again, whichever.

Giving advice to anyone is not a problem for me as long as I'm qualified to give that advice. I gave you my advice, like it or not, so that's where the advice giving ends.

In your case though you've asked for the location of the airport before you've learned how to fly. And, if you didn't know a Driverack is designed to be used post board, then you've never taken the time to read anything about the product(s). Want more advice?? Do your homework, and post in the proper DJ forum.
Title: Re: Considering high end for wedding ceremonies. But is it overkill?
Post by: Lou Paris (Paris Creative) on September 26, 2014, 04:48:17 pm
Do your homework, and post in the proper DJ forum.
Um, but this has nothing to do with DJing other than I am a DJ. This is all about live mic mixing (thus why I posted here).

And no, I did not know DriveRack was supposed to be used post-mixer. This is a product that I was unfamiliar.

Don't worry, I will not be posting again.