Breaking it in

First up, the new system sounds fantastic! I went to see U2 the Wednesday before, and I have to say I think our PA smokes what they’re touring with. Don’t get me wrong, U2 sounded great (albeit insanely loud), but the clarity we have with the new Meyer system is just amazing! The Venue is also a dream to mix on, but that’s a separate post.

I guess I kind of burned out a bit on the system after that first service. When every waking(and sometimes non-waking) moment is filled with thoughts about schedule logistics, equipment training, cable termination, and all kinds of other work stuff a little time away is a nice thing. So now that I’m getting back to work….

The first weekend went pretty good. The morning rehearsal was a little rocky as we worked out some new procedures–aka tried and threw out–for working with the new equipment. By the time second service came around I was pretty satisfied with things–although I would have liked to stick a little more low end in, but that’s a taste thing and always the case for me it seems.

The second weekend was a little rougher than the first, I thought. This was our first full cycle (Thursday rehearsal, Sunday morning rehearsal, and then Sunday services). Thursday was really rocky. Things cleared up a bit on Sunday morning, though. Again, 2nd service felt the best.

One of the things that has been the biggest challenge for me mixing on the new system is where to put the average volume for the music we’re doing on Sunday. While I’m not a big fan of the extremely loud rock concert anymore, I still like to feel the music. The new rig gets really really loud. Like 747 during take-off loud…maybe 2 747’s in a head-on collision during takeoff… It’s loud. This will be great for concerts, but not Sundays. I think I’m just about there with where we want the volume. We were peaking around 95 dBA at FOH on the more up-tempo stuff this past Sunday and comments from some of the folks down front weren’t that it’s too loud. I might still dial it back a bit and then ease things up over time.

There are some other new quirks of the room and system now, too. For example, this week our pastor’s lav(Countryman B6) was ringing down around 350-400 Hz. It wouldn’t have been a big deal except it was much more audible in the front 2/3 of the house than in the back where FOH is located. I thought we had dealt with it only to hear after the service that it was still clear. Stuff like this we’re just going to have to iron out over time much like our ever-evolving soundcheck procedure…

Props to Mike Eiseman from TC Furlong for coming out this afternoon to check out the Digidesign Venue they sold us. Not only was he able to locate our missing tools for the console less than five minutes after arriving(we’d been looking for about a week and a half), he also repaired our dead console light jack and walked through of the D-show console with our other FOH engineers Bob and Larry. Mike even had answers to questions I had. Thanks, Mike!

David Stagl

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Breaking it in