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Title: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 20, 2011, 08:57:53 pm
I am in the process of updating my sound equipement at my chruch. I plan on working with a small budget of about $10,000. The church is small 35 x 70 feet. But as I research and plan I have several concerns. Equipment List: Mackie 1604, Sennheiser e835 mics (6) for Prase Team, Shure PGX Wireless (2) pulpit and soloist, Shure Easyflex EZG12 gooseneck mic (pulpit podium), dbx 1231 GEQ (3), dbx 160A comp/lim (2 and more in the future as I include drums and things to be recorded), 10in custom made Bill Jenkins monitors (2) (Ohhh yeah!), Crown xti2k amps (3), Tascam cd RW 901 recorder, and a Denon DN 4500 dual player.

Concern#1: Members who sit in the front rows get blasted with the sound, but the members in the back of the santuary get very little sound... Is getting two pairs of speakers (one pair for the front half, and one pair for the back rows) a good solution to this problem?

Concern#2: I dont't plan on using hanging choir mics (ceiling fan placement), but I've been hearing a lot of great things about Audix microboom mics... Does anyone know if these mics will be a great solution?

Concer#3: I really want to add a sub in the sanctuary, but really don't have a place for them. Has anyone had any problems placing subs under the pulpit (vibrations, boomy lows, etc)?

Concern#4: I am tossed between buying a Mackie 1604 and a Presonus 16.4.2. Has anyone received positive feedback on the Presonus?

Concern #5: Speakers???? Looking at Peavey Sanctuary series and JBL's AC series. I'm looking at speakers pushing 500w program.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on April 20, 2011, 09:27:55 pm
I am in the process of updating my sound equipement at my chruch. I plan on working with a small budget of about $10,000. The church is small 35 x 70 feet. But as I research and plan I have several concerns. Equipment List: Mackie 1604, Sennheiser e835 mics (6) for Prase Team, Shure PGX Wireless (2) pulpit and soloist, Shure Easyflex EZG12 gooseneck mic (pulpit podium), dbx 1231 GEQ (3), dbx 160A comp/lim (2 and more in the future as I include drums and things to be recorded), 10in custom made Bill Jenkins monitors (2) (Ohhh yeah!), Crown xti2k amps (3), Tascam cd RW 901 recorder, and a Denon DN 4500 dual player.

Concern#1: Members who sit in the front rows get blasted with the sound, but the members in the back of the santuary get very little sound... Is getting two pairs of speakers (one pair for the front half, and one pair for the back rows) a good solution to this problem?

This is one way to do it.  However, you'll be ahead of the game if you can have the proper speakers flown so as to somewhat ameliorate the difference between front and back listeners.  How much ceiling height do you have to work with?  Using delay speakers (time-aligned with digital delay) can seemingly help out, but there will be other issues with multiple sound sources despite the time-alignment........which will only be aligned in a small area where the measurement is taken.

Quote
Concern#2: I dont't plan on using hanging choir mics (ceiling fan placement), but I've been hearing a lot of great things about Audix microboom mics... Does anyone know if these mics will be a great solution?

They are very good mics.  The primary concerns, though, will be the amount of sound coming from the choir for the mics to pick up as well as how the choir is utilized.  If you're trying to get a choir presence along with an amplified ensemble using area mics can be somewhat problematic.

Quote
Concern#3: I really want to add a sub in the sanctuary, but really don't have a place for them. Has anyone had any problems placing subs under the pulpit (vibrations, boomy lows, etc)?

If you're placing a sub in close proximity to a speaking mic you'd be well advised to use "aux fed subs" so you can route only the keys, kick and other sources needing LF reinforcement and keep ALL voice mics completely out of the subs.
Quote
Concern#4: I am tossed between buying a Mackie 1604 and a Presonus 16.4.2. Has anyone received positive feedback on the Presonus?

I have used the Mackie and own and use a Presonus.  The Presonus would definitely be my preference between the two.

Quote

Concern #5: Speakers???? Looking at Peavey Sanctuary series and JBL's AC series. I'm looking at speakers pushing 500w program.

Again, speaker choice will depend on placement options.  This gets back to the question of ceiling height.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Brad Weber on April 20, 2011, 10:46:38 pm
I am in the process of updating my sound equipement at my chruch. I plan on working with a small budget of about $10,000. The church is small 35 x 70 feet. But as I research and plan I have several concerns. Equipment List: Mackie 1604, Sennheiser e835 mics (6) for Prase Team, Shure PGX Wireless (2) pulpit and soloist, Shure Easyflex EZG12 gooseneck mic (pulpit podium), dbx 1231 GEQ (3), dbx 160A comp/lim (2 and more in the future as I include drums and things to be recorded), 10in custom made Bill Jenkins monitors (2) (Ohhh yeah!), Crown xti2k amps (3), Tascam cd RW 901 recorder, and a Denon DN 4500 dual player.
That tells us something about the existing equipment and your budget but you haven't told us anything about your services, the type of music involved, the instruments involved, what the space is like other than overall floor dimensions, what problems you're trying to address, your goals and so on.  Basically, the information focuses on the equipment itself rather than the purpose of and goals for the system in general, thus providing a very limited basis for any system and equipment assessment or recommendations.
 
Concern#1: Members who sit in the front rows get blasted with the sound, but the members in the back of the santuary get very little sound... Is getting two pairs of speakers (one pair for the front half, and one pair for the back rows) a good solution to this problem?
Don't know enough about the space, the goals, etc. to say.  One thing to possibly consider is that if the goal of having two mains up front is stereo then that means all listeners covered fairly equally by both channels, which can get much more complex to actually achieve if you introduce fills and multiple speakers.

Concern#2: I dont't plan on using hanging choir mics (ceiling fan placement), but I've been hearing a lot of great things about Audix microboom mics... Does anyone know if these mics will be a great solution?
To be direct, a great solution for what?  You haven't indicated that you have a choir or where it is located or how that relates to other things on stage, so I'm not real clear on the purpose for these mics or what you are trying to do.

Concer#3: I really want to add a sub in the sanctuary, but really don't have a place for them. Has anyone had any problems placing subs under the pulpit (vibrations, boomy lows, etc)?
You have not noted bass, kick, keys, etc. being relevant so is a sub required?  And if it is then without knowing the stage size, arrangement, etc. it's difficult to say whether such a location would be feasible or effective.  In general, a subwoofer in such a location can have some challenges and will almost always have the aspect that those seated in the front row right in front of the sub will get a lot of bass while those further back may get much less.

Concern#4: I am tossed between buying a Mackie 1604 and a Presonus 16.4.2. Has anyone received positive feedback on the Presonus?
There is lots of positive and negative feedback available on the StudioLive boards.  A SL 16.4.2 will provide onboard processing which may eliminate needing some of the existing outboard processing and/or planned some of the otherwise planned processing.  The SL boards do have scene store and recall, however they do not have motorized faders so their scene recall may work fine for some people while it does not work well for others.
 
Concern #5: Speakers? ??? Looking at Peavey Sanctuary series and JBL's AC series. I'm looking at speakers pushing 500w program.
How much power the speakers 'push' is not usually really a factor, how much sound they output and where they output it usually matter much more.  So may factors such as size, weight, mounting options, etc.  Again, not enough information to know what you're really trying to do or what is practical in order to offer an informed response.
 
 
I'm sorry if my comments come across as rude or unresponsive, but the point is that there simply is not sufficient information provided for making informed decisions or comments regarding specific equipment.  The way I look at this is simple, if the goal is simply having certain equipment and if that alone defines a successful result then starting with defining that equipment makes sense.  However, what typically defines a successful or acceptable result is more along the lines of providing certain functionality, addressing specific issues, obtaining some desired performance, supporting a defined vision or defined goals of the church in general, etc., and if that is true then start with defining those goals and expectations first and let the equipment selection follow using that information as a basis.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 12:42:46 am

Concern#1: Members who sit in the front rows get blasted with the sound, but the members in the back of the santuary get very little sound... Is getting two pairs of speakers (one pair for the front half, and one pair for the back rows) a good solution to this problem?

This is one way to do it.  However, you'll be ahead of the game if you can have the proper speakers flown so as to somewhat ameliorate the difference between front and back listeners.  How much ceiling height do you have to work with?  Using delay speakers (time-aligned with digital delay) can seemingly help out, but there will be other issues with multiple sound sources despite the time-alignment........which will only be aligned in a small area where the measurement is taken.

Quote

The church is a two level building. From what general contractors have told me, there's nothing to attach flown speakers to inside the sanctuary. Believe me, I would love to fly them. But it's been ruled out. So I have benn considering mounting speakers to the side of the wall. I am aware of the time delay issues when using multiple speakers, but with all the restrictions inside the sanctuary, I'm not sure what else to apply.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 01:26:03 am
Concern#2: I dont't plan on using hanging choir mics (ceiling fan placement), but I've been hearing a lot of great things about Audix microboom mics... Does anyone know if these mics will be a great solution?

To be direct, a great solution for what?  You haven't indicated that you have a choir or where it is located or how that relates to other things on stage, so I'm not real clear on the purpose for these mics or what you are trying to do.
 
They are very good mics.  The primary concerns, though, will be the amount of sound coming from the choir for the mics to pick up as well as how the choir is utilized.  If you're trying to get a choir presence along with an amplified ensemble using area mics can be somewhat problematic.

Let me paint you the picture. The choir area will be used for a choir. The choir area size is roughly 15 x 15 feet. The musicians are placed about 5 feet from the choir area to the left. The choir area is about 3 feet behind the pulpit area. The ceiling in the choir area is about 7 feet. I have a pic to download, but even cropped it's kinda big, so if you guys want to see let me know.

The style of singing will be Gospel and Bluegrass. The size of the choir will vary: sometimes there are 8, but during our concerts it could be 20-25. Due to the size of the sanctuary, if singing acapella, the song is great. However, once the Leslie Organ kicks in, drums, and at times the bass, the voices are drowned out.

So I would like to purchase mics that can solve ALL concerns: Provide a choir presence during concerts; make those 8 little girls sound great (even if I have to provide reverb), and NOT be drowned out by the band.

So if area mics are problematic, whic mics do you believe are better ones?
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Tim Padrick on April 21, 2011, 01:42:00 am
I like the Presonus.  If you decide that it does not fit the budget, get an Allen & Heath MixWiz (older used models available for as little as $400) - it's a Much better mixer than the Mackie.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 02:15:26 am
I like the Presonus.  If you decide that it does not fit the budget, get an Allen & Heath MixWiz (older used models available for as little as $400) - it's a Much better mixer than the Mackie.

Thanks Tim, I will add the MixWiz to my planning. BTW are you currently using the Presonus? If so, what venue, church, clubs, etc?
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 02:36:48 am
Concer#3: I really want to add a sub in the sanctuary, but really don't have a place for them. Has anyone had any problems placing subs under the pulpit (vibrations, boomy lows, etc)?

You have not noted bass, kick, keys, etc. being relevant so is a sub required?  And if it is then without knowing the stage size, arrangement, etc. it's difficult to say whether such a location would be feasible or effective.  In general, a subwoofer in such a location can have some challenges and will almost always have the aspect that those seated in the front row right in front of the sub will get a lot of bass while those further back may get much less.

If you're placing a sub in close proximity to a speaking mic you'd be well advised to use "aux fed subs" so you can route only the keys, kick and other sources needing LF reinforcement and keep ALL voice mics completely out of the subs.

Yeah, dialing in aux fed subs was going to be my prefer setup. But let's talk about the results of having subs in that size church. The members in the front rows will get the majority of the lows. Is there a solution to that?

The reason I'm asking about subs is that I really want to control all sound in the church. I want to DI box the bass, guitar, and keys; then send them a mix thru monitors, and have all sound go thru the house.

Also, recording is within my future plans, so wanted to mic the drums for that, but also have the drums come thru the house as well.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 02:46:10 am
Concern #5: Speakers???? Looking at Peavey Sanctuary series and JBL's AC series. I'm looking at speakers pushing 500w program.

Again, speaker choice will depend on placement options.  This gets back to the question of ceiling height.

Well in that part of the sanctuary the ceiling is about 12 feet high. We have steps that lead to the pulpit/choir area which will go up 3 feet, and another 1 foot step into the choir area.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 03:25:23 am
Here's a picture of the inside of the sanctuary:
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 03:29:56 am
Here's a closer look at the choir area:
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Brad Weber on April 21, 2011, 09:23:13 am
Just some quick observations from the pictures....
  My first recommendation is to consider spending some of your $10,000 budget on acoustical treatments.  I'd personally want to try to be able to experience the space in person before making any specific recommendations but I would guess that added absorption on some surfaces and any added diffusion would help.
 
In terms of speakers, I might first consider a low profile center main array with one or more fill arrays further back.  It would have to be confirmed that some acceptable form of attachment is possible and it appears that all the cabling would have to be surface run.  Your expectations for the system output and quality would also have to be verified.  However, that is my initial thought.
 
Low frequency output and especially even coverage at low frequencies would be a potential challenge.  You might be able to integrate small subs into the arrays noted above and if the ceiling is substantial structurally then the proximity to the surface would provide some 'loading' at low frequencies and thus greater low frequency output, perhaps allowing the use of smaller subs.
 
Now for the bad news.  Adding acoustical treatments and the type of system noted might be difficult within your budget.  It is not just a factor of the equipment itself but also of the installation of that equipment in the existing space, which appears as though it may be more labor and hardware intensive than it might be for many other spaces.  There are seemingly minor issues such as cabling paths and the ceiling structure that could have a significant impact on what is involved in the physical installation or feasible in general.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on April 21, 2011, 09:28:38 am
Well in that part of the sanctuary the ceiling is about 12 feet high. We have steps that lead to the pulpit/choir area which will go up 3 feet, and another 1 foot step into the choir area.

John....

One of the prime concerns would be putting the sound ON the listeners and keeping it OFF reflective surfaces such as the walls and ceiling.  Due to the size and shape of your room you are fairly constrained in what you can do.  Mounting on walls will mean that a good percentage of your sound will immediately start reflecting into the room causing clarity issues.  So a permanent mount doesn't look optimal.  Somewhere above the ceiling there will be something to which you can anchor fly points.  Or not......

As to the choir mics there is one overriding  principle:

Loudest sound at the mic wins.

It doesn't matter what you use or how much you spend.  If the sound from the band/sound system etc is louder than the voices at the mic.......well, you get the picture.  It is not unusual to use multiple hand held mics with 3-4 voices/mic in extreme situations.

Good luck 

Edit:

Brads post came in while I was typing.  Listen carefully to him.  He's a top man. 
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on April 21, 2011, 11:45:45 am
Quote
Well in that part of the sanctuary the ceiling is about 12 feet high. We have steps that lead to the pulpit/choir area which will go up 3 feet, and another 1 foot step into the choir area.

What stops you from putting the speakers on a shelf that is attached to the wall behind them, right up against the ceiling?
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: John Rosborough on April 21, 2011, 02:27:31 pm
First let me say to Brad and Dick, thank you for your time, experience, and advice, I trully appreciate them.

Brad I will digest your post!

I will respond with any further questions most likely in a day or two. You gave me a lot of issues to ponder.

Once again thank you; you guys are aewsome. But let me go back to the drawing board.

God Bless and Take Care!!!
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Tom Young on April 21, 2011, 05:48:33 pm
As to the choir mics there is one overriding  principle:

Loudest sound at the mic wins.

Good point.

I will add that the choir microphones (no matter how they are deployed) are also going to pick up noise from the fan above the choir/platform. It is likely that the only thing that can be done about this is to turn off the fan or reduce the fan speed to the point where the air it is moving is not picked up from these mic's.

Dick and Brad have covered everything else very well.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on April 21, 2011, 09:56:20 pm
I just LOVE ceiling fans and what they do to sound in a room.  Multiple doppler-shifters make me go bonkers to say nothing about the HF chatter they induce.  As a musician I would pass on any restaurants wanting to hire music if they couldn't turn off the ceiling fans near where I was playing. 
If you must have them on while using the sound system, please consider putting them on the lowest possible speed.

I agree with Brad about a centered speaker.  But this means you will have to find a way to fly it.  Given that somewhere up there there is enough of a structure to hold up the roof there must be enough of a structure to support one or two lighter weight cabinets.  It's worth checking out as that is the best option for getting the sound where you want it.  And if you need to have a second (delay) speaker out in the room you will be able to then put it in line with the main speaker. 
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Tim Padrick on July 08, 2011, 11:25:35 pm
Thanks Tim, I will add the MixWiz to my planning. BTW are you currently using the Presonus? If so, what venue, church, clubs, etc?

I've mixed club gigs on the Presonus, and it's nice to have everything close at hand (as opposed to a MixWiz or GL and a rack of goodies).  But with analog, you can do two things at once, so it's a tossup.  If the show is FX intensive, analog is handy.  But if it's a regular song list, setups can be saved as scenes on a digital console.  But the Presonus goes silent for a few seconds during scene changes, and you then have to do a 'fader locate', neither of which is good.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Frank DeWitt on July 09, 2011, 09:32:45 am
Thanks Tim, I will add the MixWiz to my planning. BTW are you currently using the Presonus? If so, what venue, church, clubs, etc?

I've mixed club gigs on the Presonus, and it's nice to have everything close at hand (as opposed to a MixWiz or GL and a rack of goodies).  But with analog, you can do two things at once, so it's a tossup.  If the show is FX intensive, analog is handy.  But if it's a regular song list, setups can be saved as scenes on a digital console.  But the Presonus goes silent for a few seconds during scene changes, and you then have to do a 'fader locate', neither of which is good.

If you want the digital effects of the Presonus and you want instant scene changes and motorized faders AND you have a computer nerd in your church you might look at building a 16 ch system based on the Software Audio Console system.  It would give you all of the above for about 2 to 3K

Frank
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Scott Hofmann on July 12, 2011, 03:01:52 pm
First let me say to Brad and Dick, thank you for your time, experience, and advice, I trully appreciate them.

Brad I will digest your post!

I will respond with any further questions most likely in a day or two. You gave me a lot of issues to ponder.

Once again thank you; you guys are aewsome. But let me go back to the drawing board.

God Bless and Take Care!!!

Just posing an idea here....since it is a fairly small and confined space, wouldn't something like the Bose MA12 column array work well mounted to the side walls at the front? If not Bose, than similar but larger footprint SLS or Community columns? This would certainly solve the question of equal volume front to rear. Subwoofers of course can be added. 
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Matthias Heitzer on July 13, 2011, 04:15:11 am
 The percieved equal sound distribution is often a result of the broad dispersion and reflexions from walls and ceiling and not of the geometry of the array. 
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Brad Weber on July 13, 2011, 08:10:23 am
The percieved equal sound distribution is often a result of the broad dispersion and reflexions from walls and ceiling and not of the geometry of the array.
This leads to the topic of direct versus indirect sound, the resulting coverage versus intelligibility and why achieving both acceptable coverage and acceptable intelligibility can be such a challenge, particularly in difficult environments.  To achieve a system with good intelligibility for all listeners the general goal is typically to provide good, and equal, direct coverage for all listeners while also minimizing the energy hitting other surfaces, thus maximizing the direct-to-reverberant energy ratio at the listeners.  And you want to do this for all frequencies of interest.
 
A column or compact line array may help limit the vertical pattern and thus reduce the sound hitting the ceiling, which could indeed be beneficial for intelligibility, but I'm not clear on how it would resolve any front-to-back coverage issues.  And since these devices typically have broad horizontal patterns that often also vary significantly with frequency, there may be some aspects related to the horizontal pattern to also consider.  I'm not saying they may not be a good option, just that you'd probably need to look at it in more detail.
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Matthias Heitzer on July 14, 2011, 11:15:21 am
(Oh, there are a few lines missing, i have somehow overwritten them:
For 1kHz, the nearfield for a 1m array ends at ~1,5m, you might gain distance with a halfspace placement, but only
for low frequencies where the nearfield is a lot smaller. No way you can use the popoluar -3dB at double distance with such small arrays.)



Actually you're rather running into trouble, because the line source can work for the highest octaves and the resulting tonal difference from first to last row can't be compensated because there is no practical way to drive small elements of the array individually.
But the proposed model has nasty lobes above and beneath the main axis in the mid and high frequencies, what indicates a very poor coupling in the upper octaves.

marketing doesn't solve real world problems
Title: Re: Seeking sound advice (no pun) for my church install
Post by: Scott Hofmann on July 14, 2011, 05:09:23 pm
(Oh, there are a few lines missing, i have somehow overwritten them:
For 1kHz, the nearfield for a 1m array ends at ~1,5m, you might gain distance with a halfspace placement, but only
for low frequencies where the nearfield is a lot smaller. No way you can use the popoluar -3dB at double distance with such small arrays.)

Actually you're rather running into trouble, because the line source can work for the highest octaves and the resulting tonal difference from first to last row can't be compensated because there is no practical way to drive small elements of the array individually.
But the proposed model has nasty lobes above and beneath the main axis in the mid and high frequencies, what indicates a very poor coupling in the upper octaves.

marketing doesn't solve real world problems

On the other hand, having actually heard the MA12 in a real installation, they can work very well for spoken word and reasonable music levels. Admittedly it was in a much larger space about as wide as it was deep. And, they were set up as two columns high on each side. Clearly, one's mileage may vary.