How can I improve our Church's sound?

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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by shufflebeat »

Separate point - do you have anything to gain by having keys in stereo? There are often good reasons to do so if you're making use of the facility but "just because I can" isn't always the best justification.

I'm getting a mild sense that you are picking up on what you wanted to hear in order to confirm your existing thoughts. This is perfectly normal, I do it myself, but it can be an expensive habit.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by The Elf »

I'd keep the keys in stereo. Don't assume that by only plugging one side in the keyboard will deliver a mono signal - it may just be one half of the output. It's adding a potential problem you don't need right now.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by blinddrew »

Yep, I'd put the bass in CH1, the acoustic in CH2 (both set to HiZ), the keyboard in 3&4, and then the mics in the subsequent channels.
Go through one channel at a time. Start with all the levels down at minimum on the mixer. With the bass in particular you might want to start with that at about half way, but with the other instruments have them at their normal output level.
I'm not familiar with the control app for the soundcraft but the principle for any mixer is the same, there are two levels you need to set for each instrument. The level coming in and the level going out. Start with the input. You'll need to refer to the manual but I think it's on the 'Gain' screen. Set your gain for each instrument so that when you're playing your loudest the clip indicator isn't coming on. Frankly I'd then back it down another few dB after that anyway to give yourself some headroom.
Once you've done this, you've got your inputs coming into the mixer at the right level.
Then you can move to the mix screen and use the faders there to determine the right balance for the outputs.
But make sure you do it in the right order, input levels first (with plenty of headroom), then output levels.
Have a good long sit down with the manual, you've got a very capable and very flexible mixer there, but the swing side is that there's quite a bit to learn.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by shufflebeat »

The Elf wrote:I'd keep the keys in stereo. Don't assume that by only plugging one side in the keyboard will deliver a mono signal - it may just be one half of the output. It's adding a potential problem you don't need right now.


That would be a good reason to work in stereo of course if it were the case.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Jeffrey Gian »

shufflebeat wrote:
Jeffrey Gian wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I'm going to disagree slightly here. Before spending any money I'd try with what you've got.
Channels 1 and 2 on the Soundcraft are designed for instruments to be plugged straight in so start with that. Keyboards into any of the other line input pairs.
Start with the instrument levels at minimum though, particularly with the bass.
If you find that you're getting ground loops or other issues then it's worth looking at a DI or two, but it shouldn't be necessary from the off.


So you mean plugging both bass and acoustic to Channel 1 and 2 that'd be line level as theres no instrument level in Ui the other option is to turn on Hi-z which according to shufflebeat isnt a major problem. So you suggest with and without is it?


I'd agree with Drew here.

I wrote:If your acoustic guitar has a preamp (if it needs a battery) then hi/low impedance is not a major issue and it could be plugged into any jack inputs on the mixer without problems, as can the bass.


The mixer inputs you have are perfectly serviceable. There are only two reasons I can think of where this would be a problem:

1) You are a long distance from the mixer, for a variety of reasons balanced XLR leads (hence DIs) are better suited to long runs,
2) You have a passive pickup on your acoustic guitar which might not like the mixer input and would be better served by a high impedance input close by.

If your guitar has a preamp installed (or a pedal preamp) then you can happily plug that into your mixer via a TS jack (guitar lead), also in this case active/passive DI will make little difference to the outcome.


Understood!!! Thanks for elaborating it:)
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Jeffrey Gian »

shufflebeat wrote:I'm getting a mild sense that you are picking up on what you wanted to hear in order to confirm your existing thoughts. This is perfectly normal, I do it myself, but it can be an expensive habit.


Yes you got me right in Dec of 2019 we had went out to perform at a venue there they had a sound guy who actually used the same mixer- Ui24r(btw at the time we had another mixer Yamaha MG16XU) and the sound guy used a Di box for all of our instruments and the mixer was very close to us (not sure why that was required for that time as the the mixer was very close to us infact behind us) moreover at that time i wasnt very familiar with Di's and thought that it might be a need, later after learning about Di i did come to the conclusion that Di isn't a necessity yet, it could be that the sound guy used a Di as practice or through his past experience but as im not sound guy i needed reassurance which brought me here to this forum. I really appreciate shuffle that you bought it, the fact that you were able to sense it through a post shows my uncertainty and a bit of biasness i still have,now that y'all have said that Di might not be a need yet makes me feel good that i concluded on right decision about not needing it. Thanks again!! :)
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Jeffrey Gian »

shufflebeat wrote:Separate point - do you have anything to gain by having keys in stereo? There are often good reasons to do so if you're making use of the facility but "just because I can" isn't always the best justification.


The Elf wrote:I'd keep the keys in stereo. Don't assume that by only plugging one side in the keyboard will deliver a mono signal - it may just be one half of the output. It's adding a potential problem you don't need right now.


Well our keys is a Korg PA300 which has a Unbalaced stereo output through 1/4" jack and we are using a TS cable. Now apparently TS cannot carry stereo signals isn't it? But a TRS can, is it possible that the TS wire we are using could be a bottleneck? Yes i agree that the signal will be Unbalaced but is it a problem?
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Jeffrey Gian »

blinddrew wrote:Yep, I'd put the bass in CH1, the acoustic in CH2 (both set to HiZ), the keyboard in 3&4, and then the mics in the subsequent channels.
Go through one channel at a time. Start with all the levels down at minimum on the mixer. With the bass in particular you might want to start with that at about half way, but with the other instruments have them at their normal output level.
I'm not familiar with the control app for the soundcraft but the principle for any mixer is the same, there are two levels you need to set for each instrument. The level coming in and the level going out. Start with the input. You'll need to refer to the manual but I think it's on the 'Gain' screen. Set your gain for each instrument so that when you're playing your loudest the clip indicator isn't coming on. Frankly I'd then back it down another few dB after that anyway to give yourself some headroom.
Once you've done this, you've got your inputs coming into the mixer at the right level.
Then you can move to the mix screen and use the faders there to determine the right balance for the outputs.
But make sure you do it in the right order, input levels first (with plenty of headroom), then output levels.
Have a good long sit down with the manual, you've got a very capable and very flexible mixer there, but the swing side is that there's quite a bit to learn.


Drew!!! You made my job so simple and clear thank you so much:)
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by shufflebeat »

Jeffrey Gian wrote:Well our keys is a Korg PA300 which has a Unbalaced stereo output through 1/4" jack and we are using a TS cable. Now apparently TS cannot carry stereo signals isn't it? But a TRS can, is it possible that the TS wire we are using could be a bottleneck? Yes i agree that the signal will be Unbalaced but is it a problem?


That sounds like you've been running your keys in mono with one side going to the PA. This is not a problem and you could carry on as you are. There are several options:

Single jack to the mixer (as you are)

Put your single jack into a DI and send that to an XLR in

TRS out of the keyboard into 2x TS jacks, then as above (either jack or DI) but stereo in 2 channels panned L/R.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Murray B »

There is one more reasonably valid argument for having DI boxes for your Bass and Acoustic guitars which is user error. If the bass player / guitar player walk to the end of the cable and it's plugged directly into the mixer then could damage the the input socket. This can be avoided by having them plugged in via a DI.

It's certainly not necessary though for the system to work and if then have a tuner in line on the way to the mixer then it wouldn't be an issue anyway.

I do tend to agree with all of the comments previously regarding getting some advice and an initial set up from an experienced sound engineer. One of the strengths of the digital mixers is that they can store settings. You could have you system tuned to the venue, pre set channel eq, gate, compression and effects settings that should work with your musicians and then only really have to mess with the input gain (perhaps not always) and faders to get everything sounding as good as it can once it's up and running.

Either that or commit yourself to some studying of manuals, theory and tutorials + time spent on the system applying what you've learnt.

Another advantage of your mixer is that you could learn to record the band and then soundcheck with the recordings, this will give you an opportunity to practise the skills you are learning.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by AlecSp »

Jeffrey Gian wrote:So you mean plugging both bass and acoustic to Channel 1 and 2 that'd be line level as theres no instrument level in Ui the other option is to turn on Hi-z which according to shufflebeat isnt a major problem. So you suggest with and without is it?


Hiring a pro will be the quick way to improving your skills.

In the absence of that, stop asking questions and just experiment (but not with a live audience). See what the impact (if any) of trying the instruments in the Hi-Z and the regular line inputs - if there is no audible difference, then you've answered your question. You'll learn a lot more this way.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Jeffrey Gian »

Murray B wrote:There is one more reasonably valid argument for having DI boxes for your Bass and Acoustic guitars which is user error. If the bass player / guitar player walk to the end of the cable and it's plugged directly into the mixer then could damage the the input socket. This can be avoided by having them plugged in via a DI.

It's certainly not necessary though for the system to work and if then have a tuner in line on the way to the mixer then it wouldn't be an issue anyway.

I do tend to agree with all of the comments previously regarding getting some advice and an initial set up from an experienced sound engineer. One of the strengths of the digital mixers is that they can store settings. You could have you system tuned to the venue, pre set channel eq, gate, compression and effects settings that should work with your musicians and then only really have to mess with the input gain (perhaps not always) and faders to get everything sounding as good as it can once it's up and running.

Either that or commit yourself to some studying of manuals, theory and tutorials + time spent on the system applying what you've learnt.

Another advantage of your mixer is that you could learn to record the band and then soundcheck with the recordings, this will give you an opportunity to practise the skills you are learning.


Thanks MurrayB I'll deffinelty consider those points:)

AlecSp wrote:
Jeffrey Gian wrote:So you mean plugging both bass and acoustic to Channel 1 and 2 that'd be line level as theres no instrument level in Ui the other option is to turn on Hi-z which according to shufflebeat isnt a major problem. So you suggest with and without is it?


Hiring a pro will be the quick way to improving your skills.

In the absence of that, stop asking questions and just experiment (but not with a live audience). See what the impact (if any) of trying the instruments in the Hi-Z and the regular line inputs - if there is no audible difference, then you've answered your question. You'll learn a lot more this way.


Thank you AlecSp i will keep those in mind
Can you guys recommend a book that'll help me with everything from start to end speaker placement and what not.
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by shufflebeat »

Most people seem to start or end up with the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook for general principles. You do need big hands:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sound-Reinforc ... 0881889008
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Jeffrey Gian wrote:Can you guys recommend a book that'll help me with everything from start to end speaker placement and what not.


In addition to the other recommendations, I have to add this:

Image

US Amazon site:

https://www.amazon.com/SOS-Guide-Live-Sound-Live-Performance/dp/0415843030/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+SOS+Guide+to+Live+Sound%3A+Optimising+Your+Band%27s+Live-Performance+Audio&qid=1621244409&sr=8-1
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Re: How can I improve our Churchs sound?

Post by blinddrew »

I have a copy of that ^^^ on the shelf behind me.
:)
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