Video: Secrets of Equalizing a Kick Drum

If you work with a studio this is really good information. If you mix live (for example, if you're a church soundguy), then glean from this: it'll help your band sound thicker and richer.


If you need to add an outboard EQ, look here: they start around a hundred bucks and you can probably go up as high as you want. A few hundred will get you an excellent EQ.

This is a video lesson. As usual, if you have difficulty with the video on your mobile device, click on the title ("Video: Secrets of Equalizing a Kick Drum") or go to the CSG home page.

__________________________________________
David McLain | The Kick Drum Guy | CCI SOLUTIONS
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PO Box 481 / 1247 85th Ave SE
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Voice: 800/426-8664 x255 / Fax: 800/399-8273
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First Impressions of the MyMix personal monitor system

I had a chance recently for a quick preview of the new MyMix personal monitor system.


This is the first new personal monitor system I’ve seen in quite a while, and the paradigm is so completely new with MyMix that it took a little bit of time to wrap my head around it. Once I’d made that transition, I was pretty impressed with what I saw.


Here’s how it works: Like any personal monitor system, every musician gets a personal mixer, and that's where the similarities stop. In the MyMix system, every personal mixer has two inputs and a network connector. There is no master "input device." The personal mixers are the input devices. When you network multiple mixers together (up to 8 of them), then you end up with a multiple channel system that comes with an unusual amount of control. Two mixers gives you four channels of audio, five mixers gives you ten channels, eight mixers gives you 16 channels of audio on each networked personal mixer.


The mixing itself is less than entirely intuitive for us old-school analog guys. All of the networked and local inputs show up on the large, clear LCD screen: you scroll through the list using the big knob on the front, push the knob to select the input, and then you’re ready to set gain, adjust EQ (we like this) or add reverb (we really like this!).


It’s a little awkward the first time you try it, but once you’re used to it, it’s pretty easy, and it’s probably the best way to handle a system that has this much flexibility! Fortunately, if there's feedback or other loud things going on, you have an instantly-accessible mute button to save your ears!


The system sounds wonderful. The flexibility is unbeatable. Individual reverb and individual EQ is a bonus feature. The combination of both headphone out and stereo balanced line-level outputs is a plus for wireless in-ear monitors. I wish the inputs had pass-through outputs; without those, we would need to use external mic splitters or Y-cables, and they’re not expensive so that’s more just a hassle than an insurmountable obstacle.


But then they went and added a digital recorder into each mixer! You can record, right there, not at the FOH position, exactly what you’re listening to: up to a 16 channel, multi-track recording as a time-stamped 24-bit WAV file on an optional SD/SDHC card. That is a wonderful surprise! Nice job MyMix! If you’re really creative, use an extra MyMix mixer for your FOH or recording board, and record the track right there.


The individual mixers run $499 each, which is fairly normal for personal monitor mixer. Now here’s where it gets even more interesting: there is no proprietary and expensive “input module,” since the inputs are on each mixer. For your distribution hub, you save hundreds of dollars again: use a standard Ethernet switch (What’s that run? Maybe fifty bucks?). And of course, much of the time, you’ll want to add a handful of Y-cables or mic splitters, but they’re not real expensive either.


This is a good system; it sounds good and it’s well thought out. I’m looking forward to being able to install these systems for my clients!



© 2010 churchsoundguy.com. Used by permission. Permission granted to re-post this article on church or tech-related blogs provided that contact information is included.

Photos © 2010 MyMix Audio.


__________________________________________
David McLain | The Monitor Guy | CCI SOLUTIONS
Be seen. Be heard.
PO Box 481 / 1247 85th Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98507-0481
Voice: 800/426-8664 x255 / Fax: 800/399-8273
email: dmclain@ccisolutions.com
online: www.ccisolutions.com
blog: www.churchsoundguy.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/churchsoundguy
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MyMix FAQ's:

Question:


Is there a maximum number of myMix units in a system?

Answer:


Yes, the maximum number of myMix on a system is eight.




Question:


How long can I record for?

Answer:


Recording time for myMix systems based on media storage size, manufacturer of SD card and number of units. Times are in hours:minutes (rounded).

Storage
Size

Number of myMix units



1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8


1GB

00:30

00:19

00:14

00:12

00:10

00:08

00:07

00:06


2GB

01:00

00:39

00:29

00:24

00:20

00:17

00:15

00:13


4GB

02:00

01:18

00:58

00:48

00:40

00:34

00:30

00:26


8GB

04:00

02:37

01:57

01:36

01:20

01:08

01:00

00:52


16GB

07:52

05:12

03:56

03:06

02:35

02:14

01:58

01:44


32GB

15:44

10:24

07:52

06:12

05:10

04:28

03:56

03:28

These times are approximates only. Check display of myMix unit for actual time available.




Question:


What is the largest SD card supported?

Answer:


32GB SD card




Question:


We are a band with four musicians, how many myMix do we need?

Answer:


We highly recommend one myMix per musician, and have found in our testing with musicians that once they experience the ability to create their very own mix they aren’t very excited about going back to previous monitoring methods. That doesn’t mean you can’t share a myMix. Just know that you will be forced to compromise your ideal mix, the very problem myMix aims to solve.




Question:


Can I use the headphone outputs and the line level outputs at the same time?

Answer:


Yes. The signal being fed to the headphone and line outputs are identical. So if you want to use an in-ear monitoring system in addition to wedges, go for it.




Question:


We are four musicians with seven mics/instruments, but the keyboardist needs three channels. There are only two inputs per myMix, how would we connect his third input?

Answer:


If one of the musicians is only using one of his inputs simply plug the keyboardist’s third input into a spare channel.




Question:


If we connect our instruments/mics directly to myMix, how do we get the signal to the FOH console?

Answer:


There are a few of ways to get your inputs to a console. You can use a Y-cable coming from the source where one end of the Y-cable plugs into your myMix and the other plugs into the console. Or, if you have a stage splitter box, you can connect the source to the split and send one output to myMix and the other to the FOH console. Depending on the situation you can even use an additional myMix as the FOH mixer and completely eliminate the console and snake.




Question:


What kind of headphones do you recommend, is there something special to look for?

Answer:


Headphone selection is a very personal choice. Besides the obvious preferences you may have regarding brand, size, color etc, you should look for headphones that have an impedance rating between **** and *** to ensure you have enough level to satisfy your tastes. During our beta testing, when musicians opted to monitor through headphones, we witnessed everything from high end studio headphones in use to the cheapest stock mp3 player headsets. The Master Equalizer in myMix allows you to dial in the stereo output to maximize your particular headphones.




Question:


Our singer uses an in-ear system, but our guitar player wants to use his wedge, can we use both for myMix?

Answer:


Absolutely. The great thing about myMix is that it doesn’t limit you to a silent rehearsal environment where everyone is forced to use headphones. Again, the Master Equalizer in each myMix unit lets your guitar player optimize his wedge and your singer dial in his in-ears.




Question:


Can I plug my guitar directly into myMix, or do I need a guitar amplifier?

Answer:


You can, but it isn’t recommended. The impedance of the myMix inputs is really for mic and line level sources, not instrument level sources. In our experience we have found very few guitar players who prefer the sound of a direct guitar sound over an amp or even an amp modeler. So we would suggest some of the following alternatives: use a mic on your amp and plug it into myMix, use an amp modeler directly into myMix, use the recording output or your amp (if it has one) directly into myMix, or plug your guitar into a direct box, then into myMix.




Question:


Does myMix require an Ethernet switch?

Answer:


A system that only uses two myMix units does not require an Ethernet switch. Simply connect the units directly to each other with an Ethernet cable. Three or more myMix units require an Ethernet switch.




Question:


What type of Ethernet switch do I need for a myMix system? I want to buy a POE switch for myMix, what should I look for?

Answer:


myMix uses standard, off-the-shelf Ethernet switches, not pricey proprietary switches used by other products. You can use either standard switches, or, if you want to completely eliminate the power supply, you can use a switch that provides Power-Over-Ethernet (POE). While POE switches are more expensive than normal switches they provide an additional level of convenience. Just make sure the POE switch you choose is capable of providing 15 continuous (not max) watts to each myMix connected to the switch. We’ve found that you really need to pay attention to the specs provided by the POE switch manufacturer. If you aren’t sure, contact the manufacturer and make sure the switch is capable of providing a continuous 15 watts to each myMix. Due to the constantly evolving nature of network products we have a hard time recommending any one particular POE switch. We can, however, confidently say that you get what you pay for.




Question:


Can I use have a myMix system where some units are powered by the included power supply and some are powered by POE?

Answer:


If you are using a switch that is half POE and half non-POE it is no problem to mix them on a system.




Question:


I see a lot of switches with 4 POE ports and 4 non-POE ports. Are there any POE switches with 8 POE ports?

Answer:


They exist, you just need to take a little time to search. Most computer supply retailers carry a wide variety of switches at numerous price points. We can’t stress enough the need to check the specs and make sure you are getting 15 continuous watts to each myMix requiring POE.




Question:


How do I save my settings to profiles?

Answer:


Once you have recalled a profile, any change you make to your myMix is automatically updated in the current profile. So, you don’t really have to do anything to save your settings.




Question:


Why would one ever want to select Input type Mono, and not just leave dual mono and simply not using the spare input?

Answer:


Because in mono only one input channel appears in every unit. It just keeps the user interface free of any extraneous unused channels.




Question:


How does the master EQ work?

Answer:


The Master Equalizer is a four band parametric with selectable high and low shelving, adjustable Q and frequencies. It affects both the line and headphone outputs.




Question:


Do I need the master EQ?

Answer:


If you didn’t understand any of the language in the answer to the question above, then you don’t need it. If you do understand, then you will realize the Master Equalizer gives you the opportunity to ring out wedges, add bass to sub-par headphones, liven up a dull set of in-ear buds, or even tune a main PA system to a room. Save it in a different profile so you don’t have to repeat the process every time you change output devices, or rooms.




Question:


How many effects are on myMix?

Answer:


There is one global effect in myMix that has the option of small, medium, or large room or hall reverbs, or adjustable delay. You can send as much of each channel into the effect as you desire on the main mix page.


FAQ © 2010 MyMix Audio. www.mymixaudio.com.

Understanding 1/3-Octave & Parametric Equalization (EQ) In Your Church Sound System

The basics of graphic and parametric EQ, where important frequencies are, and an overview of EQ in general

October 08, 2009, by Joe Wisler

You’ve probably seen the ubiquitous “1/3-octave EQ”. (This would be the piece of equipment in the audio rack with all the little sliders on the front.)

Unfortunately it will likely have all sliders set the same: A - smiley face; B - frowney face.

Both settings happen largely due either to the inexperience of the operator or a poorly designed sound system.

image

Or both.

First let’s look at the 1/3-octave equalizer and get an idea of how it can best be used.

Note the photo of the 1/3-octave equalizer below, and notice the 31 sliders on the front panel. Each slider is set on a frequency.

Starting at the left slider, and moving right, the frequencies begin at 20 Hz and end at 20 kHz. Look at the first slider (20 Hz) and count over to the right to the third slider, and you will find 40 Hz.

This is one octave higher in frequency than 20 Hz. What that means is there are three sliders/ filters per each octave, meaning that each filter is 1/3-octave apart from the filter next to it.

With this information (and what we discussed in my previous article) about where certain important frequencies are, we can better EQ our system.

1/3-octave graphic equalizer

For example, we know that the range for vocalists is about 70 Hz for the lowest bass singer to about 1400 Hz for the highest soprano, so setting a smiley face on the 1/3-octave EQ does nothing more than boost all frequencies on either end of the vocalist range - or in essence - cuts all the frequencies where the vocals should be!

Next time you can’t hear vocals in the house mix (or vocalists complain that they can’t hear themselves in the monitors), check to see if your EQ is smiling at you.

It’s always my recommendation that the main house EQ, if being done with a 1/3-octave EQ, never be randomly adjusted.

If your system was installed by a competent audio contractor; EQ should already be set for maximum performance and shouldn’t need to be changed.

Any changes you believe necessary for improvement should be done on the EQ section of your console.

However, this is not the case when using a 1/3-octave EQ for monitor mixes. Because the monitors often move to different positions on the platform, and the “set” and surroundings change as well, so too will EQ likely need some adjustment.

Still, take note that major adjustments (+/-10 dB or more) shouldn’t be necessary - if this is the case, you should look at other aspects to identify potential problems.

The other common type of equalization is parametric. It offers adjustable frequency filters, which means that instead of having filters on set frequencies - the case with 1/3-octave - the operator decides what frequency (or frequencies) need to be cut or boosted.

And not only can you decide what frequency needs to be adjusted, you can also decide how many frequencies around the center frequency will be affected by your adjustment.

Parametric EQ is not for the beginner, nor is it likely needed for each performance. It is, however, a very useful tool and one that every system operator should be familiar with. On many parametric EQs, including the one shown here, there are at least three controls.

One control allows selection of the frequency at which to insert a filter. Another control allows adjustment of how wide or narrow that filter will be.

A wider filter affects more frequencies around the center frequency, a narrow filter, less frequencies - more pinpoint adjustments and/or broader overall adjustments.

Parametric equalizer

Finally, the third control is for cut/boost of that particular filter.

Often following installation, the sound contractor or designer will use a parametric EQ for tuning the system. This assists in identifying problem frequencies and helping to correct them without affecting the surrounding frequencies.

It’s also helpful if the system needs a broad spectrum of frequencies adjusted, because this too can be accomplished using perhaps just maybe one filter.

I use a parametric EQ when doing overhead miking because it helps me identify frequencies that tend to feedback too soon, so I can then set filters to notch them out.

The only problem I have is finding the frequency of that out-of-tune choir member and trying to notch it out!

But I keep trying…

Joe Wisler has worked in professional audio for more than 30 years and has also been involved with church sound and technical ministry throughout that period. Courtesy ProSoundWeb

__________________________________________
David McLain | The EQ Guy | CCI SOLUTIONS
Be seen. Be heard.
PO Box 481 / 1247 85th Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98507-0481
Voice: 800/426-8664 x255 / Fax: 800/399-8273
email: dmclain@ccisolutions.com
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blog: www.churchsoundguy.com
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Stage Monitors Primer: Tips, Techniques, and Rules of Thumb

Mixing monitors can present challenges even for experienced sound people.

Yikes! As if keeping the front-of-house mix under control wasn't difficult enough, now you have to worry about a monitor mix for the musicians and singers on the stage! Mixing monitors can present challenges even for experienced sound people.

We polled loudspeaker manufacturers and pinged some audio professionals, asking them to provide tips, techniques, and rules of thumb about running stage monitors. Most manufacturers feature more than one model in their lineup so be sure to check their websites or check with a systems integrator to find the most appropriate product for your needs.

The contributors generally had a lot more to say on the subject of monitors than what we could fit in this article and we've done some editing for space considerations. For all the comments, as well as more tips, techniques, and rules of thumb from additional sources, go to www.churchproduction.com.

Dan Palmer, manager, L-Acoustics Installation Sound provides a good overview:

“The selection and usage of stage monitors for house-of-worship applications requires insight and knowledge. The monitor system must provide full coverage for performers, church staff, ministers and clergy. The mix is different than the FOH mix, of course, but the sound quality and impact should be representative of what is going out to the audience. Proper system EQ, level balancing, control of the monitor (limiting), frequency response, directivity (what is the coverage area requirement?), and even the physical profile of the monitor (aesthetics) are major considerations.”

As to the primary purpose of monitors and what the mix should consist of, Kent Morris, Peavey Electronics audio consultant weighs in: “Stage monitors should be used for only two purposes: to keep the performer on time and on pitch. Too often, church stage personnel ask for a myriad of signals in the monitor to their listening detriment. The more elements present in the monitor mix, the less discernible each element becomes. If the mix is limited to hi-hat, acoustic guitar, right hand of keyboard and vocal, the mix is clean enough to present a proper palette.”

Get the Right Tool For the Job

Insofar as the gear is concerned, Nigel Meddemmen, technical sales support, Martin Audio Ltd. says, “The first step is to ensure that the monitor is driven correctly with a suitable amplifier and a controller to get the best from the monitor. A great sounding monitor is a good starting point.”

John Loufik, technical applications engineer, Community Professional Loudspeakers reinforces that getting the right monitor for a particular application is key. “Pick the right monitor for the right job. Selecting bandwidth and horn pattern can make or break monitor choices for various situations. For example, duet singers sharing a monitor need a wider opening horizontal angle whereas solo musicians need a tighter horn pattern to focus on them and not spill their mix to adjacent musicians.”

Now that you have all the right equipment in place, what do you do? Just as important are the non-technical considerations, the relationships you have with the people on the stage. As John Sager, director, market development, Installed Sound, JBL Professional, says, “The best rule of thumb I have is to listen to each of the musicians needs, make sure you understand their needs, work with them one at a time to set up the mix they want to hear, and make sure they know you are there for them. Developing a rapport with each of the artists is crucial to a successful monitor mix.”

Randy Weitzel, district manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems adds, “It is important to listen to the stage environment. When mixing wedge, or loudspeaker monitors, you need to walk the stage. Listen to the stage volume, tonality and instrumentation. Is the stage volume at a level that is conducive to create a mix for the sanctuary? In other words is the stage level acceptable for your space. The softer the stage volume, the better the chance of creating a great mix for the audience. The more lively the room is acoustically, the softer the stage volume has to be to have a chance of creating a good mix for your audience.”

Meddemmen from Martin Audio also reminds us to pay attention to the source. It's important to have the best possible signal to feed to the monitor mix. “Another consideration is microphone technique. Ideally, a vocalist should have a strong voice and keep the microphone as close to his mouth as possible. This will reduce the amount of gain required on the mixing console and therefore help reduce the likelihood of feedback. It is often our job to educate inexperienced vocalists to improve their mic technique, which is of benefit to everyone involved.”

I Want Everything A Little Bit Louder Than Everything Else

Even after everything is up and running, your job is far from done. You have to get the monitors at a level that's workable for the musicians and singers, while avoiding feedback or running the monitors louder than the main sound systems. Dave Rat, president, Rat Sound Systems Inc., who co-developed the MicroWedge with EAW’s engineering team advises, “One of the primary challenges with setting up stage monitor systems is achieving the desired volume levels without creating feedback. At some point, regardless of which monitor type is used, if you turn it up loud enough and there are open mics, feedback will occur. There are some things to keep in mind in order to minimize feedback and maximize volume while maintaining the desired tonal balance. An often overlooked and useful trick is utilizing mic angle. Cardioid microphones offer rejection to the rear of the mic. This rejection pattern is three-dimensional so the tilt of the mic on a stand is important. While common practice is to have the mic angle parallel to the floor, the ideal angle is typically pointed upward at a 30-to-45 degree angle, depending on where the wedges are. Then the person would speak or sing slightly over the top of the mic. An added benefit of the up-tilt mic is a subtle improvement in sightlines where less of the person's face is visually blocked by the mic.”

Stu Schatz, applications engineer, Bosch Security Systems Inc., Communications Systems Division, emphasizes physical placement of the monitors. “There are many pickup pattern variations available on the market, but most common performance microphones are either cardioid or hypercardioid. Figure 1 shows the polar pattern of a cardioid microphone—note that there is a null on the backside of the element – 180 degrees from the on-axis point of the microphone head. Figure 2 shows the polar pattern of a hypercardioid microphone — note that there are two nulls at about 120 degrees on either side of the on-axis point of the microphone element. For maximum gain before feedback place the monitor in this null relative to the microphone as shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4.”

Randy Weitzel of Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems adds his thoughts. “Think about reducing levels in mixes to make changes. Ask yourself: What can I turn down, to make something else appear louder? If they need more drums, perhaps the bass is too loud. If an artist wants more vocals, perhaps the instruments are too loud. Instead of turning up the vocals, turn DOWN the instruments. If you are always turning things up, eventually you will run out of mixing head room and everything will be too loud.”

Also, in many situations there is considerable interaction between the house and monitor systems. Timothy Thornton, director of sales and marketing, Radian Audio Engineering Inc. offers this suggestion, “Make sure the house system is on with the monitor system so the singers and musicians can hear what the house mix is doing to the room and the interaction. This adds to their monitor experience and reduces the chance of the monitors overpowering the house mix.”

Steve Bush, senior technical support representative, Meyer Sound Labs spoke about another important consideration: “One of the common problems with regard to monitors in houses of worship is doubling up on wedges to increase SPL. All too often, you’ll find two monitors pointed at one location reproducing the same program material, which causes different amounts of interference at variable frequencies. It’s much better from a practitioner’s standpoint to use a monitor with more available SPL in higher frequencies rather than trying to sum together two loudspeakers. This will both increase amplitude and minimize the complications that arise from adding additional wedges.”

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

Sometimes a monitor has to pull double duty. Gerry Tschetter, vice president, marketing, QSC Audio Products LLC provides a handy tip from a keyboard player’s perspective. "As a keyboardist who has logged a few hours playing in praise-and-worship bands I really appreciate the flexibility of powered loudspeakers in the stage monitor and keyboard amplification role. A powered loudspeaker that has some built-in mixing capability is required for this tip; take advantage of the internal mixer on your powered stage monitors by running the electronic keyboard into one of the inputs and a monitor send into the other. The keyboardist can now hear a general mix and have the ability to hear ‘more me’ without eating up a separate monitor mix. This can also work nicely for other instruments, such as electrified acoustic guitars."

Be sure to take advantage of rehearsal opportunities. When the band, singers and choir are rehearsing is a great time to use these tips and perfect the monitor mixes. Rehearsals are as much for you as they are for the singers and musicians. Applying some of the concepts found here and online (www.churchproduction.com) should help get your monitor mix under control.

Mark Johnson is an independent technical trainer/writer based in Crockett, Calif., and former editor of Sound & Video Contractor magazine and of Church Production magazine, where this article was published. He can be reached at mjohnson6286@sbcglobal.net. Used by permission.

________________________________________
David McLain | The Monitor Guy | CCI SOLUTIONS
Be seen. Be heard.
PO Box 481 / 1247 85th Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98507-0481
Voice: 800/426-8664 x255 / Fax: 800/399-8273
email: dmclain@ccisolutions.com
online: www.ccisolutions.com
blog: www.churchsoundguy.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/churchsoundguy
linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmclain
podcast: http://www.ccisolutions.com/podcast
Clearance Bin:http://www.ccisolutions.com/clearance