Room Intelligibility Fix
Late last year a church approached us about upgrading their audio system as they were encountering issues with intelligibility. They had an old system that was installed back in 1994. It was originally designed to cover both the main area of the sanctuary and a balcony section. However, the balcony did not end up being used for seating which has led to the old speakers having poor coverage in the main seating area and a lack of intelligibility. P.S. that’s the 2nd time I’ve used that word, so I should probably explain what I mean by that. Intelligibility is a fancy word for how clearly you can hear something. Often, it’s most noticeable when someone is speaking, but it refers to the overall clarity of the sound system.
Last year brought a lot of change in how and where we work. I’m sure at some point or another we all took a turn working from home or had an increase in virtual meetings. Either way, we’ve already seen businesses using more remote options and relying on audiovisual equipment even more.
We don’t see remote business options going away any time soon as people are finding them quick and convenient. So, how do you know if your meeting rooms or huddle spaces can keep up with your needs? The great news is that as the AV industry advances there are lots of easy-to-use, affordable options to give you the right components to create your ideal meeting space. We work with schools and businesses to make sure their specific needs are met.
Compression on a vocal
Last week we had an introduction to audio compression. Today let's take a look at why you might add compression to vocals!
For speaking vocals, I rarely use any compression. The main reason for this is that you will lose some of the dynamics and if you are not careful it can make them sound very unnatural. On the other hand, for singing vocals, I love being able to use compression! If I have a console that will allow me to, I like to do two stages of compression. For the first stage, I like to use compression as more of a soft limiter (somewhere in the 7:1-10:1 ratio) with a pretty high threshold. Most of the purpose of that compressor is to trim the loudest part of the vocal. Then I use a second compressor to “squish” the rest of the vocal a little bit (Ratio 2:1-3:1, a medium threshold (3-6db) ) and to make-up a little bit of gain to keep my gain structure correct. My main goal, as with any compression is to try and get the vocal more consistently coming out of a PA or on a stream. But, this doesn’t mean that it’s always the right choice! Sometimes adding a compressor to a singing vocal or adding too much compression can make a vocal feel un-natural or thin. So, use with caution and always mix with your ears and not your eyes!
Trevor- Lambda Audio Visual Sound Engineer
What is it? How and When Do You Use it?
Welcome to Trevor’s Audio Master class. I will be your guide to the wonderful world of Compression. The definition of a compressor is, “An audio signal processing operation that reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds, thus reducing or compressing an audio signal's dynamic range.” I’m sure that cleared up any confusion on compressors. Any questions??
Ok, but seriously. These are questions that we often get when we are doing sound training. What is a compressor? How do you use it? When should you use it?
Easter is just around the corner and it’s a good time to talk about making AV Goals. Audio Visual systems are an investment for your business, but sometimes it can be hard to make the final decision on when or how to invest in new equipment. How do you know which areas to invest in your AV system and what things can wait? This is where a little careful planning can take you a long way.
We’ve been looking at a series of cable and equipment testers recently. These tools help give us ideas when troubleshooting systems and how to proceed. If you know a cable is bad it is much easier to replace it than your other pieces of equipment. So, here’s another cable tester we use and love!
You simply plug each end of your cable into the appropriate connections and turn the knob to check each pin connection. LED's confirm each conductor continuity and connection status of each wire. This is such a useful tool for us! It allows us to check every connection we terminate before we install that cable on any job site. If we are having an issue with a cable this is a quick and simple way to check and make sure that the cable is not the problem.
It can be really helpful to have cable testers as part of your toolbox. They can save you so much time and sometimes turn a seemingly big problem into a simple fix.
We realize that sometimes you just want to make a simple cable swap or another easy change on your own. At Lambda our main mission has always been to empower people to know their equipment and be able to get the most out of it. This is why the team at Lambda has been working hard to create resources for you to use this last year, including instructional graphics for camera operators.
We want to continue to provide practical tips for you to use so your company and staff can continue to grow. So, be sure to send us any questions or topics you’d like to see addressed here or on social media. Also, be sure to keep reading future issues as we have a lot of DIY tips coming up and if you haven’t heard about our jobsite guide, we’d love to get one into your hands! More to come!
A while back we talked about the “Lambda process” for turning your dreams of new audio, video, or lighting system into a reality. A big part of that process is all about the gear testing that happens in our shop before the equipment ever gets to your location. After the gear has been ordered and arrives, we set up all the equipment and each component in our shop just as it will be for the install. This ensures that when we arrive for the install, there aren’t any surprises and there won’t be “that one missing part.” Along with that, we have an assurance that each piece of the gear we install will work for you leaving no questions of whether your new parts are faulty. This detailed process not only assures that each piece is built properly, but that they all work together flawlessly.
*Note: Photos were pre-Covid. If you want to know more about Lambda's safety measures, or how your next appointment will look like, click HERE!
One of the projects we have not had the chance to showcase this year is a church campus launch that we helped with at the beginning of 2020. One of the great opportunities we have as a business is to see the organizations we work with grow and expand. New Life church in Colorado Springs, wanted to launch a new campus on the east side of the Springs. Our role in the launch was designing the video system.
With more holidays just around the corner and the continued uncertainties of what will happen next with Covid, the team at Lambda wants to make sure you we can give you the best tools and tips for making this season special! This year certainly wasn’t what we all expected and will look different as we plan ahead. Be sure to read last week’s article with a few ways you can make your system better this season without ordering a whole new system!
As we continue to look at ways to improve video stream, audio, and lighting for the holidays, we thought it would be a good week to check out these five tips to prepare your system for holiday productions!
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All of the Lambda Staff contribute to the Blog. If you have any questions about the info we provide, please don't hesitate to ask!
Check out our resources page for FREE checklists and tools we mention in articles! We are here to help you improve and maintain your Audio Visual Systems!