Mixing Old School….And Drums in the Church

This week our sanctuary is being painted. So we had Wed PM service in one of our smaller rooms. We met in the room our Spanish Church uses on the weekends. We updated the AV system over the summer. You can read about it on an old post.

It was a neat experience. It was a small room (100 people or so). And a basic system. Mackie Onyx board and no dynamics or effects. Wait there is a bus compressor built into the board that I used on our lead vocalist. I’m definitely spoiled mixing on a Yamaha M7CL 4 times a week with the power and flexibility it has. But it was nice to step back and mix on a simple setup. Gives you a good perspective and lets you appreciate what we have.

I do have to say I need to learn how to optimize some of our smaller sound systems better. Spoken word and CD playback sound great. But I felt live music was lacking some fullness. But it did get better as I went through the set and realized that the channel EQ for the vocal mics were being bypassed.

I also realized how big of a difference there is in cheap to middle of the road electronic drums and the top of the line electronic drums. I know this is a touchy subject in churches. Balancing the sonic characteristics, dynamics and tonal quality of a good acoustic kit vs. the drums being way too loud in the room. The spanish church has an older Roland V-Drum set with the TD-6 brain. Mono output and I ran it through a Radial ProDI I had. They were using a Peavey DI that look like it was old enough to drink.

The electric kit we have in the sanctuary is the only electric kit that I’ve been pleased with. It’s the top of the line Roland with mesh heads and the TD-20 brain. We take 6 discreet outputs and run them through a Radial JD6. It’s basically a 6 of their passive boxes rack mounted. It’s a compromise between controlling the volume and a good sound.

In an ideal situation I prefer a good acoustic kit that is regularly tuned, in a proper drum shield with absorption, drummer on IEMs, and good mics and dynamics. But our stage is small, room acoustics are bad and I need to mic a choir on the stage on a regular basis. I miss the fullness, the punchiness and the liveliness of the dynamics of a live kit.

Anyway this has drifted far enough off my original thought for this post of mixing sound on a basic setup.

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December 13, 2007. Sound.

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