When Rocky Mountain Calvary (RMC) first approached us about doing an audio system upgrade, one of the main areas of concern and they really wanted to focus on was improving coverage in their main worship space and adding intelligibility. We reached out to Danley Sound Labs to have them design a system that would provide just what the church asked for. They did a great job of understanding what the church was after and designing a system to fit that!
The main portion of the sound system was… 1 speaker! Yes, when we told RMC they responded with the same question I’m sure you are asking. “How could 1 speaker cover an almost 2000 seat auditorium?”
We all know that the last few years have brought a lot of new ways in how people interact with AV. It has highlighted the area's businesses will need to focus on as they build their systems and seek to keep people engaged and connected through changing times. So, what does this mean for you, and how does it affect your vision for your business?
Many churches get to a point when growth, new goals, new building, or just equipment age forces them to think about upgrading. Everything might still be working reasonably well, but it’s harder to accommodate new asks or larger worship teams. Or perhaps the equipment is just old enough that parts are no longer available and your confidence in it lasting through a weekend just isn’t there anymore. If this is the case, where do you even start to make a plan? This is really where Lambda comes in. Rocky Mountain Calvary in Colorado Springs hit a point where their equipment was old, goals were changing, and budget was available to make some changes, so they reached out to us looking for an idea of what steps to take next.
When we met up with the RMC tech team, they expressed first of all wanting to upgrade the audio system. The tech team very much wanted a new soundboard and waves audio plugins. When we saw their building though, we noticed speaker system was more than 10 years old and had lost much of the fidelity from when they were installed. They also just didn’t fit the space as well as new technology could. So, we suggested upgrading the speakers first and then replacing the soundboard, integrating waves audio effects, and maybe even some new mics. This would ensure they would have good audio from the absolute start to the end. We met up with the team from RMC several times to build request lists, talk about dreams and goals, and even moving through older equipment talking about what new equipment is capable of. In the end, they decided on upgrading four major areas: Camera lenses and a video switcher, speakers, soundboard, and house lighting. We also discussed future steps such as led walls and staging pieces to add dynamic.
With more and more emphasis on broadcast in today’s world, a good pair of headphones is critical to monitoring program output, along with a variety of other things. One of our favorites for this is the Audio Technica ATH-M70X’s. These have proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers and do an excellent job to reproduce extreme low and high frequencies while maintaining perfect balance. They are ideal for studio mixing and tracking, FOH, mastering, post-production, and personal listening. As they are a closed-back headphone design, the studio headphones provide excellent sound isolation and are equipped with 90° swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring.
If you need a Com system for a small to mid-sized production team, we’ve got something new for you! The Solidcom M1 from Hollyland is the perfect solution! This wireless intercom setup supports up to 8 team members, providing them each with a wireless belt pack and a professional wired single-ear headset. This affordable com system provides clear, conversational communication without interference. The built-in panel antenna on the M1 base station can provide one-way transmission to belt packs up 1312' away fronting the panel, and an extra 164' at the back (line-of-sight). Not only that, but if you need to expand your coverage and team support, you can utilize the cascade connection feature to join this system to a second Solidcom M1 intercom system, linking both base stations together. We’ve had fun doing demo’s of this com set and trust us when we say, you will not be disappointed!
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.
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