changing the audio world, one system at a time .... church sound, video and lights

Temple De Hirsch Sinai Bellevue Sanctuary Sound System

Temple De Hirsch Sinai Bellevue Sanctuary Sound System
Rabbi Daniel A. Weiner liked the new system in the Seattle Chapel so much he wanted the same for the Bellevue Sanctuary. That building was built in 2001 so it had some acoustic treatment built into the design. Consequently we didn’t have to install any acoustic treatment to correct any issues.

The facility has a u shaped seating area with a balcony, which was a bit of a challenge as far as coverage. Because of the excellent coverage character of the Bose F1 Line Array system, it was a good fit here as well.

The Old System
The old system was fine for speaking, but not for a full worship team. As you can see in the pictures below, the system consisted of Renkus Heinz speakers mounted on the lighting truss. 3 speakers facing down to cover the u-shaped seating area. There is a sub-woofer installed in the wall to the left of the platform. The only problem there is the amp rack for the system is located approx. 100’ from the platform in another room. Consequently the sub woofer was basically non functional.

The New System
We left the old system intact and we are using it to augment the new system. We ran an output from the Soundcraft 32 Channel Stage Box to an input on the old system and patched it to a dedicated fader on the console.

Temple De Hirsch Sinai Bellevue Sanctuary Sound System Read More...
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Temple De Hirsch Sinai Seattle Chapel Sound System


Temple De Hirsch Sinai - Seattle Chapel

Jim Collier the Facility/Media Director expressed the concerns they have with the Chapel. Highly reverberant, noisy, just bad for music in general. We had to correct the acoustic problems with the new sound system install or the new system would just make the problem worse.

We installed 72 Primeacoustic Beveled Edge Panels (2 ft x 4 ft x 2 inches) into the room which corrected the acoustic problem.

Next, the new system, Bose just came out with their new portable line array system (Bose F1 system with subs). So after looking at the physics and the design of the Bose system we felt it would be a perfect fit.

We weren’t wrong the system has clarity and has plenty of power to handle anything they could throw at it. The bottom end is very tight and punchy.

We did an impulse response test on the room before and after the install. This gave us a Sound Signature of the room before and after.

Here is the result. We ran a male shout and a female shout through the signature files of both and this was the result.

The first is the male shout in the room before install followed by the after install, then the female shout with the same order. Read More...
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Life Change Church Seattle - New System

Life Change Church Seattle


Associate Pastor Art Nelson would like the room to sound like a recording studio control room. His comment on the existing system: It has a mushy bottom end, with it sounding very different depending on where you sit in the seating area.

Project: Upgrade Sound, Video, Acoustic Treatment, and Lighting

Design Parameters:

  • Acoustics - room to have a sound signature similar to a recording studio control room. Adding bass traps, panels and diffusion. (see drawings below)
  • Sound - Total new system, converting to digital, centered around a Midas M-32 mixer with 48 channels to platform. Speaker choice is the ISP HDL 3112 3-way line array with the ISP XMAX 212 Sub Woofers (all active) XTA processing and installed in a LCR configuration.(see SketchUp drawing below)
  • Lighting - All new lights to be LED including house lighting. Some par fixtures and a lot of robotics.

SketchUp Drawings

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Existing System:
  • Acoustics - None, no acoustic treatments of any kind in the existing room.
  • Sound - 2 x EAW Passive MK Series Club Speakers, Mackie SWA 1801 Active Sub Woofers, QSC amps (mains & monitors), Mackie SR 32-4 VLZ console, 4 stage pockets with 8 x XLR & 4 x 1/4” connectors.
  • Lighting - House light consist of residential hanging globe fixtures and track light for stage area.
  • Video - projection system on to a painted-on-wall screen in 4:3 format approx. 100” diagonal
  • Room size is 40’ x 40’, so this is a small room and their is a lot of energy put into the room from this system. The speakers are mounted in center cluster configuration, running mono. No processing of any kind, and amplifiers are located at the sound booth.

Read More...
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SSL (Solid State Logic) Announces LIVE Console

SSL launch first ever live sound console at Prolight + Sound 2013

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“We are very confident that we have created a console engineers will fall in love with.”

Here is the quote from their site:

We are proud to announce the launch of ‘Live,’ the first SSL console for live sound production at Musikmesse/Prolight + Sound 2013 (Hall 5.1, Stand B.73). The ‘Live’ brings SSL’s unique approach to audio quality and console ergonomics to sound for the stage. SSL has been at the leading edge of analogue and digital audio console innovation for over 35 years. Like so many multi award winning, ground breaking and much loved consoles for Music, Broadcast and Post production SSL has created through the decades, Live promises to bring something very special to the party. Read More...
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Expectations of a Soundman!


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Countryman E6 Headphone/Earset Mic

Feedback Problems with E6 earset mic
I've had some questions about the feedback issue with this mic.  
After inquiring about the model of E6, I discovered the problem, they bought the Omni version of this mic. 
To get the best possible result from the E6 mic
it has to be the directional version of this mic. When you order the directional version, you get a couple of capsule covers:  a cardiod pattern and a hyper-cardiod pattern. This is the only version of this mic that I recommend.
                                                                                                        
e6d_large_combined

What Model Number to order
Here is an example of the right model number to order
E6DW5L1AT
Breakdown of number: 
Model Number - Directivity - Sensitivity - Color - Cable Diameter- Wireless Brand/Connector
E6 - DW - 5 - L - 1 - AT
Directivity:  OW-(Omni) | DW-(Directional)
Sensitivity:  5 -(General Speaking) | 6 -(Speaking & Vocals) | 7 -(Strong Vocals) 
Color: L -(Light Beige) | T -(Tan) | C -(Cocoa) | B -(Black)
Cable Diameter: 1 - (1mm) | 2 -(2mm)
Brand: AT  - (Audio Technica - Hirose 4 Pin) | AW  - (Audio Technica - Switchcraft TA5F)
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Sound System Training Test


I’ve added a link to the online interactive version of the “Test” ( see link in sidebar) or you can take the Test right here right now. Here is the “Test”




The online version does not have any questions from page 3 of the downloadable PDF file but is quite entertaining. It will give you a grade when you are done.

download “Audio Console Test” here

This is the test I use in my training seminar. For church media worship ministry leaders this will help you find a competent sound system engineer.

The biggest shortfall in church audio engineers is their ability to create a mix. They pretty much have a grasp of the functions of a board but lack the mixing skills. This is why I created the test, to reveal what they know or don’t know.



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New Active 6" Line Array System

I recently visited the my distributor of light and sound products and Burt showed me a bunch of great new products.

Lights

A new robotic light in both spot and wash versions. Now these lights are going to take the market in a whole new direction. They are about the size of a big coffee can with a price point (under $1K retail) that will make it great for Houses of Worship, DJ, Club, and Touring applications (believe me they are bright enough). The great thing about these LED lights is the capability to have 32 fixtures on one 20 amp circuit.

I will post picture as soon as they go on sale.

Speakers

The Omnisistem B3 R6/R12 Line Array will be available in an active version within the next 2 weeks. Great news for churches with up to 2000 people/seats. they can be configured as follows:
these arrays are extremely compact and with the addition of subs on the floor give you a 5 way system. more....

R6R12-1R6R12-2
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Home Recording Studio Drum Platform Design

Controlling drum leakage in your recording space, is probably the biggest problem in the home recording studio.
One way to solve the problem is to record the drums in the studio area while the rest of the band is recording in the control room. No more leakage but the scratch tracks are pretty much useless because of the leakage in the control room.
One problem solved and another problem is created. There has to be a better way.
If you isolate the drums properly, the leakage from the drums in the adjacent mics is not a problem. So what is the best way to isolate the drums?

The Solution: Build This

Drum Platform Design Read More...
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Mini Line Arrays Part 2 update

Now we have the trusses up and the mini line arrays in their right location. Here was the sequence of events.

We started the install on Thursday with the 2 uprights and finished the rest of the truss on Friday.

Uprights put up firstRight side upright

Read More...
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Drum Surround DIY Diagram

Here is the "Live Stage" version of the Studio Gobo design.

The panel is 1/2 the density of the Studio Gobo design. You should notice that the surround uses two panel sizes. One 48" panel and four 36" panels to make the surround.
There are a couple of other things to notice as well, wheels that help you move the panels around and the space it provides for cable management.

Again I must point out that the most important ingredient to this design is the use of "Quietrock".


Live Sound drum surround design image.


Get the full size image here....
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Home Recording Studio DIY Gobo Design Diagram

Here is a gobo design that I put together for a home recording studio. It can also be used for live applications (drum surround).

The most important part of the design is the use of "Quietrock 525" you cannot scrimp on this, it costs about $65.00 per sheet (4' x 8') but it makes all the difference.

Studio Gobo design image for home and professional recording studios

The 22.5° ends of the design helps to create various configurations, by flipping them around you can create straight walls or as the picture shows create a surround. If you need a reflective surface on one side don't do the 22.5° ends, instead make it square and replace the fabric on one side the gobo with 1/2 plywood. This will give you a additional room tuning option, you can move the gobos around and have either the reflective surface or the absorbing surface exposed in your room.

Download the full size picture here.....

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Line Arrays for Small Churches

Here is a temporary install of a mini line array for a small church in Tacoma WA. It is a temporary install because they are putting in a truss system very shortly and the speakers are not in the optimum position right now.

Here is a render of the future truss system with the speakers hanging in future location & a picture of where they are right now:
Line array installed at Christ Life Church

the new line arrays in their temporary location:

Mini line array at Christ Life Center Church in Tacoma Read More...
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Church Sound

Church Systems



Most church buildings today are not designed for sound, so even the smallest church building needs a sound system. Therefore the sound system is the cornerstone of every local church.

Why do churches go through at least 2 sound systems before they get one that really works?

The reason is that the music stores don't usually have the churches best interest at heart. While they do have good equipment, they usually don't have the necessary skills to determine your needs?

Do you think of speech reproduction first? or Do you design for music reproduction? There is a difference and You can have both. Read More...
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First Baptist Church in Tacoma -Sound Booth Complete

Well, here it is, the completed sound booth. We raised the floor one step ( 7” ) which gave better site lines and now all the personnel running the service can see the platform clearly. The sound from the main speakers has a clear path now.

new sound booth at First Batist church in Tacoma, WA


Here is the old booth:

Old video console at FBTold audio console at FBT

and the wiring below the board.



As you can see the original install was quite bad. Read More...
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First Baptist Church in Tacoma - Sound Booth Overhaul

The First Baptist Church in Tacoma gets a Sound/Video Booth overhaul. They have a very tight space and a lot of gear. We took their equipment list and put together a very efficient design. The install takes place from Jan 21 - 23. We are also raising the floor one step (7&rdquoWinking to get better visibility for the sound/video personnel.

Dimensional Drawing of the new sound/video booth

Phase One of the overhaul was to move the monitors amps down to the platform. We did that in Nov ’09. The amps for the mains are still in the booth (as you can see on the audio rack on the right side of the booth).

Phase Two - the design, construction, fabrication and install of new booth.

Once the install is done I will post an update.


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First Baptist Church in Tacoma - System Rewire



sanctuary from balcony sound boothSoundcraft GB8-40 board in sound booth
Chris Pak from First Baptist church in Tacoma contacted me about their system a few weeks ago. They felt that the system was not operating properly and there were some wiring issues regarding hum in the system. I don’t know who designed the system but I did meet the installer. The amplifiers were placed in the sound booth under the mixer, feeding the monitors and the main speakers from the balcony. The system design consisted of a center cluster with additional speakers for side fills all located behind the suspended ceiling.
The cluster: 6 boxes of McCauley M120 speakers, and 2 subs cabinets (mounted one on each side of the array) not sure what the side fills are.
The processing for the system: DBX Driverack PA The driverack was set to a JBL 3 way speaker system with subs. (The McCauley system is a 2-way box)
The sound was very thin and I could tell that the mids where none existent.

We programed a custom setting in the driverack and the speakers came alive with all kinds of good sound.

Read More...
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How Important is it to Aim Speakers?

I just finished correcting a problem at the St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Issaquah. The problem was a very reverberant space with lots of echo. In the sanctuary there wasn’t a lot sound absorbing materials, tile floors, plaster walls in a basic rectangular shaped room. The 4 speakers providing sound to the 4 seating areas were located in the skylight structure. see pics Read More...
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ISP in Idaho

We just finished doing an install of a pair of ISP HDM 115 speakers in the All Saints Presbyterian Church in Boise, Idaho. We had to create special brackets for the beams in the sanctuary. As you can see from the pictures, the beams have different angles from one side to the other. Here is a picture with the old speakers (Mackie SRM 450) and what it looks like now.
Read More...
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United Church Complete


Well here we are all finished with the install. We moved some of the equipment we replaced (with the new equipment) downstairs to a multifunction room. Put it all in a rack (see above pics) We also brought a feed down from the sanctuary so they could use this room as an overflow. Read More...
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United Church ISP Install

Original Speaker LocationNew Speaker Location is forward from old speaker location
We just finished the install at the United Church in University Place, WA. We changed the location of the speakers along with new ISP Speakers. The front pews really don’t need re-enforcement because they are close enough to hear everything naturally. That allowed us to install 2 overhead choir mics for the choir. The comments from he congregation were “I could hear everything clearly for the first time in years” Read More...
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ISP Speaker Upgrade Complete


Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I just finished installing a pair of ISP HDM112 speakers for the First Baptist church in Twins Falls, Idaho. The original system consisted of an Allen Heath GL 3200 32 channel board and a LCR speaker system with Mackie (RCF) 300A for the Left and Right and 2 Community cabs for the cluster. We replaced the RCF speakers with the ISP HDM112. The difference was amazing. The thing that I notice about these speakers is their ability to project sound and their clarity. In a narrow (39’ wide and 39’ ceiling height) room like this its important to have a system that can project to the back of the room without being incredibly loud at the front. Read More...
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ISP SPeaker Upgrade

Heading back to Twin Falls ID. This time it's to fix a system that I installed a few years ago. The system consisted of a pair of Mackie (RCF 300A) speakers. This was when Mackie had just bought RCF, and had not taken over production from Italy yet.

Side Note: Mackie had a hard time meeting demand with the factory in Italy so they took over production and eventually outsourced to China. Read More...
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Tascam DM-4800 can it be used as a Front of House board?


I recently spec'd two Tascam DM-4800s for a system install. One for recording and one for the FOH. After some fine tuning on the budget the church decided to drop one the the boards. We decided to use the remaining board as the FOH board and the church will get the other board later. Read More...
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Live Recording & Audio Recording/Video Capture-Editing Studio


We are installing a complete Live Recording - Tracking studio for Christ Life Church in Tacoma, WA. They are upgrading their existing live sound system to accommodate live audio recording and live video recording.

This church is blessed with remarkable musical talent. They have produced and recorded their own CD's (in a recording studio) already and now they what to capture their live performance. Read More...
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Live Recording - analog, digital, with computer, harddisk recorder?

What are the pros using for live recording (bands)?
Things have changed rapidly in the way that we record live. We used to use a separate mixer and get a feed from the direct outs of the FOH mixer to record the performance. That practice for a long time only changed slightly when digital multi-track recorders became available. Pro-Tools has become the digital recording program of choice for many years, only because it established a foot hold early. Now things have got real interesting as far as new things to come along.

Digidesign has released the live/recording consoles (The Venue Series) which give Pro-Tools users a real good way to mix and record live, of course this would be at the high end.
Read More...
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Muddy Sound from a Sound System with Active Sub Woofers?

Are you having issues with muddy sound from your subs?

Here is a tip:
If possible wire up your subwoofers from a
post fader aux send on the board to a graphic EQ then to the subs. See diagram below: Read More...
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What is the best Projector for my Church?


Quantify whether you have the ability to do a rear projection system.

If you can do a rear projection system anything above 2000 lumens will work. Provided the space behind the projector is enclosed and ambient light can be controlled in that enclosure.

What to look for in a projector: Read More...
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Thoughts on the new McCauley M Series Line Array

I recently when to a church service where they had a new McCauley M Series system installed. The configuration consisted of 7 x M-90 modules, 1 x M-120, 2 x MS1 and 1 x AC355 per side. The sanctuary is a 80' x 80' x 26' (WxDxH) with a balcony.

The 2 MS1 cabinets where flown in a separate array next to the main array. I noticed some interesting things (no mids) with lots of sizzle in the high end. They had an acoustic guitar player as well as an electric guitar and you couldn't hear either one. The vocals where not very clear either. Because they did almost 90 degrees of vertical coverage they had some slap back and early reflections in the seating area. Read More...
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Live Recording - analog, digital, with computer, harddisk style recorder, or mixer/recorder stand alone unit?

When you are ready to start "Live Recording" you will find in your research that you have a lot of options. Which one is the best? First you need to put together a couple of lists. One being the intended audience for the final product (target quality), and how to distribute it (internet, CD, DVD, DVD ROM, etc). Once you got that figured out you can start looking at what equipment and process it would take to do that type of recording. So lets look at an example:

We want to record the pastors message and put it on CD and put it up to the Web Site.
Target Quality: CD =
44KHz / 16 bit Internet = mp3 format Read More...
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Selective Hearing? Have you tuned your ears in or are you tuned out?

Have you noticed that if you put your cell phone up to the ear that you don't use, it doesn't sound right. That's because your mind has trained your ear to use the right filters to compensate for the sound that your cell phone puts out. Read More...
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problems with Mackie SWA1801 Subwoofer and the Fix

I recently had to check the speakers on a pair of Mackie SWA1801 subs for blown speakers. Once I got the front cover off (many bolts) to get access to the speakers...... Read More...
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Sub Woofers - Why the 180° polarity switch?

There is a reason why that switch is there on sub-woofers. Read More...
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Concerts - Do you go anymore?

When was the last time you went to a concert? I stopped going... why? The sound in the venue was terrible. The last one I went to was Eric Clapton when he toured with a 40 piece orchestra. Read More...
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Active or Passive for Main Speakers? Part Two

If you have a system that you are going to add to or just update some components, your existing speakers for example, the passive speakers are your best bet. Unless you are looking to really upgrade to the next level. I am working with Read More...
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Active or Passive for Main Speakers? Part One

I have had a lot of questions lately about whether to go active or passive in the choice for main speakers. While active is great, it does deserve some caveats. If you choose an active system make sure that you order one extra of every model you have in your system. The reason; if you have a problem with any of your speakers it will have to sent somewhere to get repaired. Having an extra allows you to keep the integrity of your system while the component is being repaired.
So which is better? Read More...
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Ingredients to grow a church

1. The pastor better be a pastor, someone who loves people, a people person.
2. Grounded in the word
3. Have a great sound system

The last one may sound funny, but it is very, very true. If the congregation can't hear the word, or the vocal intelligibility is poor, the church will not grow. I have a good case in point. A baptist pastor called one day and asked if they could improve the vocal intelligibility of their system because the older members were having a hard time understanding the pastor's preaching. Read More...
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Using the right tool for the right job - microphones

How does a Microphone Hear?
The way a microphone responds to sound and the way we hear are vastly different. Understanding this difference will help you understand how to use microphones properly.

Human Perception of Sound
God has blessed most of us with an incredible mechanism to perceive sound We perceive a wide variety of sound characteristics such as:direction, loudness, pitch, etc. We can make mental choices of what we desire to listen to. This allows us to focus our hearing on what we choose to listen to.

Microphones Response to Sound
In contrast to the human hearing system, a microphone is a crude and simple device used to pick up sound vibrations. Actually a microphone only contains one faction of the human hearing mechanism, just a diaphragm which converts sound vibrations to electrical energy. Read More...
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Church Systems - should they be Mono or Stereo?

Churches have migrated from the bullhorn and soapbox to fairly large complex sound systems. Most church buildings today are not designed for sound, so even the smallest church building needs a good sound system. Why do churches go through at least 2 sound systems before they get one that really works? Read More...
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Church Sound Systems - Update every 5 years?

It seems that every 5 years from an install I get a call with comments like "Our system just doesn't sound good anymore" or "We need a better system". If the system was great 5 years ago why the indifference to it now? The answer is that we quickly get used to the way it sounds. The best remedy to an ailing system is to have it tuned. Every sound system needs to be tuned at least twice a year. Read More...
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