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In: Pro Sound

18
Oct

How to be a Happy In Ear Monitor User

Over the last 10 years there has been a slow, gradual shift to using In Ear monitors. The Church has struggled the most with this transition and it seems it goes slower and with more opposition. People are afraid of change, and most churches are pre-equipped with floor wedges, so “why change what isn’t broken?” I think this response comes from the notion of, “it outputs sound, therefore it works and requires no change.” From here on out I will refer to In Ear Monitors as IEM’s. Please note that these are my own opinions. I am not a trained sound professional but have spent significant time as an audio engineer and spoken to many IEM and Sound Engineer experts. While these are practices I enforce with my teams, they are by no means the golden standard.  So why the shift to in ear monitors? Stage Volume – How many times have you done a set and had someone come up to you after and complain about how loud it was, or how the drums were too loud, or that electric guitar player needs to tone it down a bit? The issue with wedges is they are so incredibly loud, and when you have 8 band members all with their own wedges, it produces so much stage noise. You try to compensate this volume by raising the volume of your main loudspeakers, but then you just have even more volume in the room. By switching to IEM’s you eliminate that stage noise and allow your sound guy to properly mix your FOH speakers allowing the sound in the room to be clear, at a proper volume, and not overwhelmed. Aesthetics – This isn’t as an important of a point but I think its worth mentioning. Having multiple large floor wedges on the stage is a bit of an eyesore. When you remove these wedges and switch to IEM’s, you clean up your stage a bit, and it just looks nicer. Keep in mind, not all IEM systems are created equal. Systems like the Behringer PowerPlay system still require equipment on stage which can get clunky and ugly. My personal preference is fully wireless and/or wired monitor belt packs where the control is from a mobile device (iPhone/iPad) rather then an on stage control surface. Click & Tracks – We’ve seen a huge surge of tracks being used in the church recently. If you are a touring band you probably use tracks often as well. Tracks allow you to fill out your band with instruments you may not have available on stage (additional synths, strings, drum loops/machines, etc). Tracks come paired with click, a metronome that plays in your ear to help keep your band on time. Obviously you want click to be heard by the band and not the audience so using IEM’s is the only way to accomplish this. Side Note: Any band that I have every played on/worked with that has used and embraced the click, has improved…

17
Oct

Behringer X32 vs PreSonus StudioLive Series III 32 Channel

Edit Oct 18 (again) I just want to point out that I am not a professional, and this is definitely a biased article towards PreSonus. I have been asked multiple times what I think about the new PreSonus board compared to other boards, namely the X32. Ive done my best to correct factual errors, but please don’t take this as Gods Golden Truth, this is simply my experiences with the two boards and how I think PreSonus is poised to become the new industry standard with this board (in this price range) unless Behringer can respond accordingly. If you want more detailed information on the boards I would encourage you to check the respective websites. Also I did not go into much depth with the DAW functionality of either board since 1) I have not used it much 2) PreSonus’ DAW integration is not yet available. If you have any other questions feel free to comment below or tweet me @lyndondueck and I’ll do my best to answer your questions and provide insight as to my opinions on both boards.  When PreSonus announced the PreSonus StudioLive Series III, I was ecstatic. I became a fan of the PreSonus mixers after using their Series I and Series II mixers. The tone and sound processing is what sold me, but the ingenuity and forwarding thinking to make it easy to use a digital board while still trying to stay relevant in the digital age were all factors that made me into a PreSonus fanboy. The only thing that I wished for was a bit more of a digital interface (The Series I and II are more analog focused) and some more modern features that sound boards like the Behringer X32 had made standard, so when the Series III came out I was eager to see if it lived up to the hype and if it matched to other boards that were dubbed “industry standards.” (Spoiler Alert, it did) I’ve used both the Behringer X32 and the StudioLive SIII so I’m going to go ahead and give my opinion and try not to be biased at all… For context, I installed a PreSonus SIII in my home church and use a Behringer X32 at Chapel Services at a Bible College and various other events. First Impressions Right off the bat the PreSonus gets a win for aesthetics. The Blues and Blacks mesh nicely to create a very visually appealing board, coupled with the fact that everything is laid out in such a way that navigating the board is easy, its an obvious win in my book. The X32 maintains a darker look with dark greys and less focus on colours except for coloured LEDs in some places. This may be of benefit to those who are looking to maintain a dark aesthetic, but to me it actually makes it harder to navigate. The PreSonus has a lighter workspace on the faders, and then a darker workspace where the buttons and LEDs can be found allowing for…