Church Production

Could You Mix in Another Room?

EEK! What's that!?! Is that a bass amp on the stage? You've heard about those. What are you going to do?

By Chris Huff
September 25, 2013 4:51 pm EST

Topics: Tech Tutorial, Audio-based,
Tags: audio, education, engineering, mixing, sound, training,

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  Mixing With Volume Restrictions

  Concepts in Audio Console Set-up

  Making Your Low-End Work


What’s your cooking specialty? Do you make a crazy eggplant parmesan? Do you grill up the best steak on your block? Can you cook anything else?

Iron Chef is a televised cooking competition with a simple premise; pit two chefs against each other by making them cook with the same surprise ingredient such as beef or chocolate or squid or artichokes. Each chef has to come up with four or five dishes, from the appetizer to dessert, using that surprise ingredient in each dish.

The competition reveals the depth of knowledge of each chef by their ability to work with the surprise ingredient. Some chefs can easily create great dishes with any strange food, no matter how bizarre, while others suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ingredients. You’re putting trout into the ice cream machine? That's only slightly better than the chef who tried it with asparagus.

Mixing in the same room with the same band is a lot like using the same recipe every year for cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. You can do it and it can sound great, but the minute you are asked to mix in another room (cook something else) your depth of mixing knowledge will get put to the test.

Time to cook up a new recipe

There are three primary areas that make up the uniqueness of a mixing space; available equipment, the band (whatever you are mixing), and the acoustical properties of the room.


You aren't working with the same microphones; different makes and models mean different polar patterns and frequency responses. You might have fewer microphones. Consider what you'd do if you normally mixed drums with eight microphones but in this room you only have four.

What about monitor mixing? Let's say you've been spoiled with in-ear monitors at your church (nothing wrong with that). In this room, you've got to mix four floor wedges and account for their stage volume in the mix.

EEK! What's that!?! Is that a bass amp on the stage? You've heard about these. What are you going to do? You're depth of knowledge makes the difference between “the nightmare stage amp” and “just another part of the job.”


Let's say your friend invites you to guest mix at his church's mid-week band practice. They have the standard lineup, same as your usual band; lead singer, couple of guitarists, bass player, keyboardist, and drummer.

How will you mix the vocals? What do you do when the guitarist cranks up the distortion to 'grind behind' the rhythm acoustic guitar? Next page