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Title: ideal mix position
Post by: brent nowlan on November 01, 2005, 11:56:56 pm
my church is under renonvations and there planning on moving the sound booth to the back center of the santuary, but there making a balcony just for the audio and video stuff. I was wondering if anyone knows of any good experiences that come from being above everyone (16 ft possibibly) and mixing, and i want to hear the bad too, of course...I feel that it might be a bad idea, they havent started anything and wont for ahile so i can still have a say.  Is being at ground level the way to go?  
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Clayton Luckie on November 02, 2005, 12:22:30 am
It all depends on your room and your speaker setup.  If you are going to be in a balcony, make sure you are going to hear the same thing that the people will on the floor.

I dont like being on the floor where I am now, because I feel like Im in people's way.  I'm in a traditional mix position, about two thirds of the way back, so there are people behind me.  But if I were going to be in a balcony, I would demand to be able to hear an accurate mix.  This is where your qualified sound contractor comes in to play.  You have one, right?? Smile

cl
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: bigsound on November 02, 2005, 01:00:31 am
At my church, when the mix position was relocated, we moved it to the back center part of the sanctuary, and raised the mixing area up about 3 feet. I can sit and see over the crowd, and still get a realistic feel for what's happening.
If you are 16' up or more, you'll need to spend some time running down to the floor so you'll know what the congregation is hearing. For me, the main thing you miss by being elevated is the amount of low end actually present on the floor.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: DTownSMR on November 02, 2005, 08:24:50 am
I've never had to mix from an elevated position so I'm not speaking from experience behind the desk. But I have noticed that the times I've been in the audience of a venue that has an elevated mix position, there is a higher percentage of poor overall quality. I don't assume that's because the techs CAN'T do a good job, rather I think that stems from them NOT hearing what's on the floor. A quality sound design team will address this. If you're "rolling your own" install, it'll be more hit or miss. Smile

My guess is that to correct that situation you'll need some sort of near field monitors (w/ sub) at the desk that are leveled (volume & eq) to match what the congregation hears from the mains on the floor. I suspect the desk monitors should also need to be timed delayed to match the ambient sound from the mains.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Tom Young on November 02, 2005, 08:24:56 am
Balconies do not make good sound mixing positions. This location has the effect of placing the sound mixer(s) in a different acoustic environment than that experienced by the majority of the audience or congregation.

If you are forced to be in a compromised position (balcony, underbalcony, way off to one side) then the sound mixers must walk out into the main floor area in order to get a "reality check" on how it sounds there. Even with much walking, mixing decisions made while at the console will not be "true".

Other factors that "sink or swim" a mix position have to do with the design of the loudspeaker system. Even if you happen to get the best position possible (2/3 back, center, main floor), you need to ensure that this position is not in the overlap or transition zone between arrayed loudspeakers. If the mix position is somewhere within the primary coverage of a single component in an array, assuming the array/system is well designed and optimized, then the mixing choices made will reflect what most people within the space will hear.

I also prefer a raised mix platform, from 18" to 24", as long as it does not block sight lines. This allows the sound op to see over the heads of the congregation, thus maintaining the ability to react to changes on the platform.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: brent nowlan on November 02, 2005, 09:49:20 am
This is a big church im talking about, they have architects and sound designers working on this plan. but I havent met the sound designers so i dont know if they have a big say in where the sound booth goes, or is the architechs are just throwing it where it would look pretty.  Im pretty sure with the renovations where getting a new sound system so i would just have to make sure that its adjusted so we could hear an accurate mix on the balcony, but would that compromise the sound elsewhere...would being on a balcony differ the sound because theres no people or pews that absorb the sound??? i would think so... thanks for your responses so far, good stuff.. brent
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Ferd Regier on November 02, 2005, 10:44:32 am
"...architects are just throwing it where it would look pretty."


I happen to be an architect, and often see simplistic comments like this.  That's not really a criticism of the public (or you), but really of ourselves as architects.
What the public sees of our services is really a small part of what we do and we need to educate.  I consider myself a generalist in many ways, as I need to take information from disparate sources and somehow priorize all of it, then distill it into a design that achieves some level of success.  I can't possibly know enough about all of the possible systems (structural, mechanical, electrical, acoustical, etc.) to be anything but.  The design process always requires compromises.  Sometimes they are minor, sometimes not.  It's all based on the degree of clarity of both information and priority I get from the users (if I even get to deal with users), and of course, the skill of the designer.
That being said, make sure that you express your needs to the architect (through your accomodations committee or whomever is dealing with the architect).  Some architects have very little understanding of acoustics (both the physics and the psycho- type).  If he isn't getting clear instruction from your side, the priority of the system placement will be low.

Ferd
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Guest on November 02, 2005, 10:59:17 am
Wow ferd, great to hear there is an architect in the ranks!

A agree that a balcony is far from ideal. I have seen that setup get installed and then, un-installed several times.

When doing live work, there are far too many things to go wrong, it makes sense to me to get things placed for the greatest chance of success.

Tom's 18"-24" raised booth sounds best.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Tom Van Valkenburgh on November 02, 2005, 02:48:16 pm
Based on my experience, chances are poor (but not impossible) that you will hear exactly what the congregation is hearing in the balcony.

If the balcony idea wins, I would recommend asking current balcony dwellers what you should consider before the plans are finalized. A few items I have run across:

- Make sure you have plenty of lockable storage near the platform to store your gear (unless you have the luxury leaving everything set up). It's no fun dragging all your SR implements from/to the balcony week after week.

- Make sure you have good, easy, direct access to the balcony from the main floor. Especially with a renovation, there is the temptation to put in a spiral staircase, make you walk to the end of the education wing to take the stairs, or other kludges. If you have special programs, or are short on help, you could be taking this route a lot. If they will have to hoist the mixer over the front edge of the balcony, you need better access.

- Before the Sheetrock is up, run a few extra empty conduit runs at least downstairs, preferably to the platform. Who knows what the future holds.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Guest on November 02, 2005, 03:32:29 pm
And a fireman's pole... Shocked
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Clayton Luckie on November 02, 2005, 05:27:25 pm
Mike McCloskey wrote on Wed, 02 November 2005 14:32

And a fireman's pole... Shocked



I always liked the idea of a zipline.

cl
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Andy Peters on November 02, 2005, 05:28:09 pm
Mike McCloskey wrote on Wed, 02 November 2005 13:32

And a fireman's pole... Shocked


You need a Batpole ... so you can go back UP to the mix position!

-a
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Steve Swaffer on November 03, 2005, 10:04:20 pm
I do not consider myself an expert by any means, but we moved our mixing location to an off center raised (about 10') balcony about 4 years ago, to give more room for people on the main floor.  Most would consider our situation a nightmarish auditorium was built in the 1860's to be used as a "long" auditorium, converted in the 1910's to be a "wide" auditorium and I am clear over in the corner.  Our music is southern gospel style but the only instruments we use are a piano and organ.  That being said I get frequent complements on the quality of the mix-often from family that sings and has made numerously studio recorded albums.  I do not say that to boast, simply to say it can be done.  But I have walked the auditorium more times than I care to count and know the difference between what I hear and what they hear and have been mixing here for 12 years.  I love the visibility-especially during our annual Christmas play and other special programs.  It all comes down to priorities and the big picture.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Greg Hertfelder on November 03, 2005, 10:27:13 pm
A lot of good comments so far, but few words have been said about distance from the stage for logistical purposes. Placing the mixing console in the balcony creates great difficulty when the console operator has to hustle to the platform (and back) 2 minutes before service time. Most churches don't have union stage crew sitting around on headset, waiting for orders, and so the console operator often has to abandon the post and hustle to the platform for troubleshooting.

The console should be located about 1/2-to-2/3 the depth of the sanctuary/house away from the platform, and away from the back wall (to avoid perception-altering acoustical reflections). I agree with Tom that 2/3rds back is the most common, but some operations have had success with counter-sinking the console between a semi-circular cross aisle and the platform, which remedies of a number of sightline issues, for both the console operator and the congregation seated behind. Tricky stuff, architect...you have your work cut out for you.

Its nice to position the console near an exit, to minimize distractions when the inevitable rest room need arises. Also nice is a network of hallways that permit the operator or techs to enter the platform discretely from the back or side (without walking down an aisle), to minimize distraction.

Video control can be anywhere in the facility, in an room acoustically sealed off from the sanctuary to keep the intercom headset signal-to-noise ratio optimum. The same with the lighting control, and cue-calling lighting directors.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: David Stagl on November 04, 2005, 05:27:16 pm
We just refit our sound system which included moving the mix position from a balcony down to the floor.  Here are some of the problems we had before we moved:

- The mix position was off-axis from the speakers so it was like mixing under a blanket

- The tech loft wasn't very deep so the engineer was standing only 4-5 feet away from a wall where the bass builds up

- The trip from the loft down to the floor can take you a minute or so if you're running.  Going down to listen and then back up to make changes isn't easy.  Getting to the stage takes slightly longer so troubleshooting could bring rehearsals to a halt.

We're in a much better listening position now, and the room is tuned so that the only reason you need to leave FOH is to make sure everything is working.  I would settle for a balcony mix position as long as I have a set of delay speakers pointed at me that replicate the sound the congregation is hearing.

In a professional application, I don't think it's unreasonable for an engineer to figure out how the room sounds and compensate at the mix position, but in a church setting when you're dealing more with volunteers and non-professionals I think the odds of this really happening are much less.  My philosophy for church sound is to make things as easy as possible for volunteers to operate the equipment and achieve good results.  That means a priority is getting the guys to hear exactly what the congregation hears.


You can see pictures of our upgrade process at the flickr link below; photos of the new system aren't up, yet, but should be in the next couple weeks.  You can also read all about the upgrade at my blog:  goingto11.blogspot.com.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46684504@N00/sets/854845/

Dave
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Clayton Luckie on November 04, 2005, 06:57:48 pm
Is the Venue console new?  Do you like it?

cl
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Bob Watkins on November 04, 2005, 08:12:30 pm
There are many opinions on this. I have worked in both situations. I liked having the ability to stand in the balcony and can walk and work without blocking view. I can almost guarantee that you will not have good coverage if the balcony is only being designed for sound and video. I would work with the contractor first and see if they are aiming speakers at your location. If not, you can invest into a signal delay and take a main feed and connect it to a pair of near field monitors. set the delay for 0.1 sec for every 100 feet you are from the main speakers.

This works, but is not ideal. Sitting on the main floor is the best, but you can block views and will get static forever on blocking views (or two close for complaints).

If it were me, I would take the near fields and the balcony over sitting in the congregation. It is a trade off either way.

Also look at other churchs in your area that may have a similar design and see how they handle the sound position. Ask them what they would change, if anything.

Good luck.
BW
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: David Stagl on November 05, 2005, 12:50:18 pm
Clayton Luckie wrote on Fri, 04 November 2005 17:57

Is the Venue console new?  Do you like it?

cl


The Digidesign Venue is new.  We received it and set it up about a month before we started running it, and I had been working with the software for it for quite a while before that so I feel confident in saying that I pretty much know the thing inside and out at this point.  I love mixing on the desk.  I've personally mixed on it for about six weeks now, and right now it would be my first choice.  I don't think this is really the thread to go into this on, so if anyone would like to know anything about the console just PM me.

Dave
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Tom Young on November 06, 2005, 01:39:25 pm
Nice post.

Please use your real name in the future. See board rules.

Thanks
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Ferd Regier on November 07, 2005, 09:01:57 am
Has anyone in a poor mixing position just suspended an ambient mic in the ideal position and used it to monitor the mix (through headphones)?
I'm an a rear corner (bass issues, etc.) and have been thinking of doing this.
Ferd
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Guest on November 07, 2005, 10:13:27 am
I have.

It can help. For me, it doesn't come even close to being as effective as being in the right ambient position.

But comromises always are just that. It is better than having nothing.

I would get a basic calibration mic, like the Behringer cheapie. It needs to be an omni with really flat response (but probably doesn't need to be a lab standerd calibration mic...)

Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Tom Young on November 07, 2005, 10:25:59 am
"Has anyone in a poor mixing position just suspended an ambient mic in the ideal position and used it to monitor the mix (through headphones)?"

This will not work.

First; the mic will be in a non representative position (above peoples' heads).

Second; it would have to be an expensive, flat microphone so that it does not color the sound.

Third; the headphones have to be flat. Almost all headphones are not.

Fourth; we hear with two ears and even a carefully implemented binaural microphone system which feeds into a binaural headphone system does not replicate how we hear completely.

Fifth; one cannot mix live sound with headphones on. Despite the impression folks might have that there is some benefit to this, it cannot help but isolate the sound mixer from the acoustic environment. We can use these devices to solo inputs (briefly, and to hear noise or leakage) but even in this case the signal integrity is not near 100%.

All attempts at making up for bad mixig positions, which normally entail carefully aligned and equalized nearfield ldspkrs or headphones, are bandaid attempts that ultimately fail.  How we hear in an acoustic environment is different than what we hear when we place a microphone in this environment, feed it to headphones or nearfields and then monitor that.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Tom Young on November 07, 2005, 10:29:10 am
The Behringer measuremnt mic, and others, do not have even frequency and phase response either and both on and off axis.

It is not until you get into the $800.+ range (Earthworks, B&K, a few others) that the mic does not color the sound in some fashion.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Phillip Graham on November 07, 2005, 11:00:14 am
brent nowlan wrote on Tue, 01 November 2005 23:56

my church is under renonvations and there planning on moving the sound booth to the back center of the santuary, but there making a balcony just for the audio and video stuff. I was wondering if anyone knows of any good experiences that come from being above everyone (16 ft possibibly) and mixing, and i want to hear the bad too, of course...I feel that it might be a bad idea, they havent started anything and wont for ahile so i can still have a say.  Is being at ground level the way to go?  


The church I have recently started attending has a good mix position.  This photo of the room is old, but it does give a good sense of where FOH is:

index.php/fa/3010/0/

FOH is a recessed region in the center of the main floor, not shadowed by the back wall or the balcony.  FOH pit is large, with enough enough room for an Innovason Sy80, full outboard rack, full light control rig, and stage manager position.

Because the floor is sloped, the people in the seats behind FOH have a clear view of the stage area.

For a lot more money you could also have added a pathway to Stage/video world that wouldn't have involved walking on the main audience floor  Very Happy
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Harry Frankenfeld on November 08, 2005, 01:30:37 pm
We just moved into our own facility, after 13 years as a mobile church. I've mixed from crows' nest positions in the back of a balcony, the front edge of a balcony centered and off-center, as well as in the middle, and have to say that the new booth location (which is pretty-well described by Tom Young's post at the beginning of the thread) is excellent.

I'm in the back corner of the wall, but the booth is wide enough that my actual mix position is about halfway across the right seating area - the room seats ~ 500, in two sections. The booth is raised 18", so I can see, but I"m not high enough to take me out of the space. Plus, I can hear not only the mix in the room, but how the congregation is reacting to the mix, and go with it. If they seem to be pulling back, I can pull back with them, but if they are ready to blow the doors off, I can go there as well.

This is the first time in 11 years - since we moved beyond the casual 50-people-in-a-room - that I've felt a part of the service as a member of the congregation, instead of just a technical worker, getting the job done.

I've posted a few photos of the room at my flickr account: http://flickr.com/photos/captainbonehead/- I need to update since we've moved in.

Hope that helps!

Harry Frankenfeld
Grace Community Church, Nashville
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: David Stagl on November 08, 2005, 02:14:28 pm
Harry Frankenfeld wrote on Tue, 08 November 2005 12:30

This is the first time in 11 years - since we moved beyond the casual 50-people-in-a-room - that I've felt a part of the service as a member of the congregation, instead of just a technical worker, getting the job done.



That was something I noticed as well when we moved down out of the loft.  I suppose you could debate the merits of this; I personally prefer not only being down to feel out the congregation a bit, but also because I actually feel like a part of the church again.

I was looking at your photos.  Looks like you're right up against the wall.  Our west campus has the mix position right up against the wall as well.  You just need to keep in mind that there's a lot of bass buildup there.  For me, that's probably a good thing because I like lots of bottom, and that way I don't drown the congregation in it.  

Dave

Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 08, 2005, 09:49:06 pm
Were you aware that next week we are installing 4 Danley Sound Labs TH115's as subs there?  I will also be doing a complete system realignment towards the end of the week.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Phillip Graham on November 09, 2005, 12:24:46 am
Ivan Beaver wrote on Tue, 08 November 2005 21:49

Were you aware that next week we are installing 4 Danley Sound Labs TH115's as subs there?  I will also be doing a complete system realignment towards the end of the week.


Yeah Ivan,

I am aware of that.  I met with Kent and Todd last week to see where I am going to fit into things audio-wise.  I am booked with my thesis proposal till middle of december, and we are going to move forward about that time.

I know they are wanting to add a couple more boxes to the L/R hangs, I think Kent mentioned that fiddling with F-chart said 2-3 more/side, and reverting back to "real" line array processing.  Are you doing the L/R hang upgrades too?

Kent said I was welcome to come up, but time doesn't allow it.  Tell him I said hello.  They are definitely doing a good job of letting me get involved there.

On a minorly related note when might be a good time to get up your way to check out the SH50, et al.  I've been meaning to do that/meet Tom/Dr. P.  Let me know.  Sorry I missed the smaart class, school again...
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 09, 2005, 08:10:30 pm
I did a site visit today and there was no mention of doing anything to the main system EXCEPT the very first thing we are going to do is to secure the frame above the ceiling for the center cluster.  Both me and my project manager are scared by that thing!  I hope it doesn't fall this week.  After securing, we will drop the center cluster and procede with the installation.  I am going to do before and after measurements of the room.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Phillip Graham on November 09, 2005, 10:36:11 pm
Ivan Beaver wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 20:10

I did a site visit today and there was no mention of doing anything to the main system EXCEPT the very first thing we are going to do is to secure the frame above the ceiling for the center cluster.  Both me and my project manager are scared by that thing!  I hope it doesn't fall this week.  After securing, we will drop the center cluster and procede with the installation.  I am going to do before and after measurements of the room.


Hey Ivan,

I guess their stuff for the L/R clusters is further down the road.  That's what I get for relaying something second hand.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Jerry Nuckolls on November 09, 2005, 11:54:53 pm
Tom is absolutely right!

Headphones are no (reasonable) way to attempt to mix a live event.  They might be useful for soloing a signal, but other than that, no use.  

An architecht that I am working with at the moment actually proposed to put a mix position behind a wall with a small glass window and use a mic in the space to represent the sound.  While this may have an aestetic appeal for those looking to "hide" the technical staff, it does not produce effective sound reinforcement for the venue due to the constant battle the tech staff will endure.

In response to the Architecht that posted earlier, I feel that it is your job to make a space completely functional and allow form to follow.  If you happen to be designing a church and want the members to hear the preacher/pastor/rabbi etc with the clearest possible sound, the mixing party must be located in the general populus.  There should be no compromise that puts the message in jeopardy in order to keep a nice symmetry, or to hide staff that is there to assist in production.

R.Bob Adams from SLS makes a few good points in regard to this.  At a recent lecture he said that in order to keep attention focussed at the front of the house, minimal movement must be attained at the mix position.  If the sound operators do not have to move 4 feet across the mixing desk to turn a knob, then they become relatively invisible.  When the operator does not have to move his arms too often, or roll a chair around, the operator does not draw attention to himself, but instead keeps it focussed on the stage.

I wholeheartedly agree with his (Mr. Adams') thoughts.  So, It is possible to locate an operators position in the general listening space and have them be (heard) but not so much seen!

Unfortunately, most reinforcement systems are an afterthought to the space and consequently suffer somewhat due the audio consultant being brought on to the project too late.  Here are some common compromises that I have seen reached when the consultants are brought in too late:
    1) Sound position is mixed in the middle, the venue accepts removing some seating to accomodate this (best situation)
    2) A mix position may be brought to a balcony or ledge, but careful speaker selection and attention to tuning are taken to make the best of a null situation.
    3) The system goes digital and somebody mixes from a tablet pc in the audience area (an elegant and wonderful solution if appropriate).
    4) The mix position is put under a balcony because "it looked like a good place."  The sound operators are made aware of the differences in sound between the main body and the under balcony position, and do their best.  It is rarely adequate even with experience.  The systems designer is put between a rock and a hard place and the customer is upset because it doesn't perform to their standards.  Try not to ever let this happen.


I apologize if that was long winded, but there are lots of things to say about mix position.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Harry Frankenfeld on November 09, 2005, 11:56:28 pm
Quote:

I was looking at your photos. Looks like you're right up against the wall. Our west campus has the mix position right up against the wall as well. You just need to keep in mind that there's a lot of bass buildup there. For me, that's probably a good thing because I like lots of bottom, and that way I don't drown the congregation in it.

Dave


Same here. I had a similar situation in our last location -- I was in a balcony position, overhanging part of the main room, and since we were renting space/time from another congregation, we had a portable setup, and had no choice but to use two separate sub locations. Between the beaming and the physical structure, I learned that if it felt like the bottom two octaves were overblown at mix-position, it was just right down below. With our new building, the booth platform resonates a bit with the house at full-tilt -- not audibly, but as if there were butt-shakers bolted to the bottom. It does make it feel like I'm pushing the house more than I am.

I totally agree about getting to feel like part of the church again. We have mid-week home groups, which kept me from feeling totally disconnected, but Sundays felt more like a "Morning, Ralph" punch-in, rather than joining in worship. I'm definitely feeling more connected with the church as a whole now.

Harry Frankenfeld
Grace Community Church
Nashville, TN
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Mac Kerr on November 10, 2005, 12:13:49 am
Jerry Nuckolls wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 23:54

 4) The mix position is put under a balcony because "it looked like a good place."  The sound operators are made aware of the differences in sound between the main body and the under balcony position, and do their best.  It is rarely adequate even with experience.  The systems designer is put between a rock and a hard place and the customer is upset because it doesn't perform to their standards.  Try not to ever let this happen.
This is however the way every Broadway musical is mixed, and they attain a very high level of excellence in sound quality. Yes, it would be nice if every mix position was in the middle of the audience, but it just ain't gonna happen. Having a mix position behind glass is a seriously bad idea, and in a balcony merely a bad idea, but part of the job of mixing is realizing what it sounds like in different parts of the audience area. Even from the center of the rear of the audience, it doesn't sound like it does in the front row on the side. Or if you have a loud worship band it doesn't sound the  same in the front row where the band is blasting the audience in the face with their stage sound and mons.

Mac
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Phillip Graham on November 10, 2005, 10:30:42 am
Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 10 November 2005 00:13

Or if you have a loud worship band it doesn't sound the  same in the front row where the band is blasting the audience in the face with their stage sound and mons.

Mac


In ear adoption in the church world has been pretty aggressive, and stage volumes in these new rooms is typically pretty low.  I've freelanced several places that even had an isolated (guitar) amplifier room to keep any amps off the stage.

Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: David Stagl on November 11, 2005, 04:18:30 am
Mac Kerr wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 23:13

Having a mix position behind glass is a seriously bad idea, and in a balcony merely a bad idea, but part of the job of mixing is realizing what it sounds like in different parts of the audience area.


When you're dealing with professionals, I think it's safe to expect the engineer to walk the room and adjust things.  However, I don't think it's fair to assume that the guy who mixes maybe weekly or a couple times a month is going to pull this off.  I'm sure he'll do his/her best, but I think if you want these guys to succeed you really need to try and get them in the best position you can to start with and then get them some quality equipment.  It's always a compromise, but from what I've read around the net and from talking to other churches it is amazing how little some church leadership cares about being able to deliver a message vs. looking good; it seems like there aren't many churches that would even engage in a discussion that would reach a compromise on where the mix position goes.

Dave
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: JIMGUNDLACH on November 24, 2005, 09:30:00 pm
Too many variables.  Will AV still be in the balcony even if sound is on the main floor?  How will the balcony effect the mix location acoustics on the main floor?  Congregational seating in the balcony?  Enough staff to mix sound on the main floor and run AV from the balcony?  Why an open balcony? Why not put AV in a room behind glass so they can make noise and leave sound on the main floor.  Sound should never be dead on center-line.  Sound needs to hear what the audience hears to do a good mix.  Is the sound 15' high on the back will the same as in the seats?  If so - why?  Someone LIKES rear wall reflections?  Does sound need to walk to the stage a lot during rehearsals?  If so you will HATE the balcony location.  If the renovation design teem is good, things will move many times until all of the compromises are worked out.  There is no single right answer.  However, everything else being equal, 2/3 back on the main floor is best for sound.  OR Always put sound in the rear so they don't disturb the congregation.  What good is "perfect" sound if 1/3 of the congregation is driven to distraction watching the sound guy?  It takes a lot of experience to know when to compromise and when to fight. Every church has a unique set of priorities.
Title: Re: ideal mix position
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 24, 2005, 09:41:34 pm
I actually had a customer that wanted to put the operator in a highly elevated position (the main floor was flat) and wanted to know what I thought about the soundman wearing a headset and having someone on the floor radio to him about the changes to be made. YEAH RIGHT!

The best one I ever saw was the mix position was in a closet with a 8" B&W TV set hooked to a camcorder located at the back of the sanc.  They saw and "listened" to the service on the B&W. NICE!