Church Production

gear: Audio

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The Greatest Boon to Church Sound

Of the three most important recent innovations in church sound, digital mixers, line arrays and headworn mics, I believe the latter has provided the greatest overall benefit.

Console Consortium

A small- to medium-venue audio console round up

Review: Klang:fabrik 3D In-ear Monitor Processor

The Klang system is virtual reality for your ears, and it needs to be heard to be believed. The switch from stereo to 3D is much more profound than from mono to stereo.

Review: Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing System

After spending many hours pouring over the Allen & Heath dLive system, we find it a fantastic addition to the company’s lineup. This scalable, interchangeable console series offers a range of features and capabilities that fit quite well into multiple church production environments.

First Impression: Martin Audio CDD Live! Loudspeakers

One of the highlights of the recent InfoComm16 event was Martin Audio's new CDD Live! line of powered loudspeakers. These new high-powered, compact boxes offer Dante and VU-Net control, plus Martin Audio's Coaxial Differential Dispersion for near-voodoo like coverage.

Review: Earthworks DK25L Drum Mic Kit

The microphones are very high quality and accurate, and the addition of the KickPad helps you to quickly achieve a usable kick drum sound with one of the mics.

Review: Point Source Audio Embrace Earset Microphone

"The mic can withstand very high sound pressure levels without overloading, with a maximum SPL of 148 dB."

What the Future Holds for Church Audio Consoles

This sampling of today’s top-tier consoles provides a glimpse of what's down the road for the masses

Review: Martin Audio CDD12 Coaxial Differential Dispersion Loudspeaker

We heard instruments we’d never noticed before. The low end was solid and didn’t interfere with the reproduction of the mids and highs.

Review: Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Handheld Dynamic Microphone

Shure releases a fresh approach to dynamic microphone design that incorporates two diaphragms instead of just one. Reduced proximity effect, handling noise and susceptibility to feedback are just a few of the benefits.

Review: DPA 4099 Instrument Microphone

"I really think this is the most compact and simplest-to-position drum microphone on the market."

Review: PreSonus StudioLive CS18AI Control Surface

It’s a wonderfully flexible system that allows multiple controllers (i.e., a CS18AI, a tablet, a laptop, a phone) to share control duties over the same mixer at the same time.

First Impression: Countryman A3 Podium Mic

With several interesting new features, Countryman may have created the first podium mic that we could actually get excited about.

First Impression: Arria Live Networked Sound System

Nothing but net. Arria Live first out of the gate with a radical new “network-centric” sound reinforcement system.

Review: Mackie Reach All-in-One PA System

Built into the side of the cabinet IS Mackie’s EarShot personal monitoring system—Separate speakers on each side allow independent or dual control monitoring.

Review: Digico S21 Digital Audio Mixing Console

It was surprising to find features on this desk such as gain tracking, digital tube emulation, and touch-sensitive controls.

First Look: KRK Systems Rokit4 Self-powered Nearfield Monitors

KRK’s Rokit series is affordable enough for even the most modest of buyers, with the smallest speakers in the line costing less than $300 per pair. That “baby” of the line—the four-inch Rokit4—is the focus of this review.

First Impression: Countryman A3 Podium Microphone

The new Countryman A3 Podium Mic offers an innovative set of features designed to set it apart from the competition.

Choosing the Right Audio Console For Your Church

When it comes to audio consoles, churches are often trying to strike a balance: can we take advantage of all the sophisticated functionality today’s mixers deliver without overwhelming our audio team? Thankfully, the answer is yes.

First Impression: Audix Performance Series Wireless

Audix ups the ante in step-up systems. Aims at the sweet spot of the church market with new systems starting at around $400.

Review: Roland OHRCA M-5000 Live Mixing Console

The M-5000 is a very open and clean-sounding console, even at higher SPLs. The smart design makes it a worthy competitor for touring or any installation—large or small.

First Look: Point Source CM-i3 Intercom Headset

Point Source Audio is out to change expectations with its new CM-i3 intercom headset, potentially redefining the category. The super-lightweight design features ear buds that can block out -25 dB of background noise.

First Impression: Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Vocal Microphone

With a long list of remarkable new features, it may just be a game-changer for church sound engineers.

First Impression: Waves eMotion LV1 Software-based Live MIxer

The LV1 opens the door to a new era of high-end audio mixing that is, literally, outside the box.

Waves Sub Align Plugin

Waves Audio introduces Sub Align, a plugin that aligns sub and top speakers in unaligned and inaccessible full-range PA systems.

QSC AcousticPerformance Loudspeakers

QSC adds two new models to its AcousticPerformance loudspeaker series.

Jensen Direct Boxes

Jensen Transformers announces four new direct boxes equipped with the manufacturer’s JT-DB-ETC transformers.

Mackie Reach PA Systems

Mackie introduces Reach, a self-contained PA system featuring Amplified Radial Curve (ARC).

Clear-Com DX410 Wireless Intercom System

Clear-Com launches the DX410 Wireless Intercom System, a two-channel 2.4 GHz digital wireless unit featuring seven kHz wide band audio.

Capturing Vocals: A Guide to Vocal Mics

First things first, the audio signal chain begins with microphones. Here, CPM covers different microphone technologies, coverage patterns, and response characteristics—and gives tips on testing and choosing the best mics for your given application.

First Look: Radial Engineering J48 Stereo Phantom Powered Active Direct Box

About the same size as many monaural DIs, the J48 provides two channels, allowing a performer to route a pair of guitars (or a two-channel device) while completely isolating one from the other.

Review: Blue Microphones Hummingbird Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Blue Microphones have an art deco design that feels like the future while remaining familiar. But do they sound as good as they look?

Review: Crown XLS DriveCore 2 1502 Power amplifier

Initial perceptions that the Crown XLS DriveCore 2 1502 is anything other than a pro audio product can quickly be brushed aside with one look at the I/O section.

Review: DPA d:fine In-Ear Broadcast Headset Microphone

The concept is simple enough - instead of having two separate wired devices (headset mic + in-ear monitors), DPA has integrated the two together in one solution.

A Wireless Mic Guide for the Church Tech

Expanding options for a shrinking spectrum

Review: PreSonus StudioLive RM32AI Digital Mixer

With the Studiolive rm32AI, even folks with no mixing experience should come up to speed quickly.

Review: JBL SRX812 12-Inch Two-Way Bass Reflex Passive Loudspeaker System

The beamwidth of 90x50 provided good coverage for most portable venues.

Review: DPA d:screet SC4098 Podium Microphone

Variations of the typical podium mic can also be applied as choir mics and instrument mics.

Speak(er) Easy: A Loudspeaker Roundup

CPM surveyed the market and presents loudspeakers from several prominent manufacturers, introduced within the past year, with an emphasis on portability and easy of installation and use.

Audio Review: Antelope Audio Zen Studio Portable Audio Interface

The preamps deliver an open and natural sound that really held up with the microphones and sources that I had to work with. And whatever Antelope has going on with their converters, it is working.

Review: Pro Intercom LLC EconoCom Intercom System

“An excellent value for a robust three-channel intercom system.”

First Impression: Clear-Com DX410 2.4GHz Digital Wireless Intercom System

The real selling point we’re told is the HD audio quality. The DX410 is Clear-Com’s first 7 kHz wideband audio device. They claim that it’s so clear that even soft whispers can be heard clearly --- which would come as a relief for a lot of technical directors who have a hard time convincing volunteers not to yell into the “com” during service.

Review: Tannoy VX 8M Dual-Concentric Two-Way Speaker

This little speaker sounds big, like it’s just a 12-inch hole in space with a much larger speaker hiding behind it.

Review: Sennheiser EW D1-835 Digital Wireless Vocal Mic System

Sennheiser indicates that in an ideal environment, up to 15 radio links are possible.

Digital Mixing Consoles: A Match Not Made in Heaven

After years of romancing the church with expensive, complicated products, the digital console industry is finally delivering a broad range of remarkably powerful, affordable and easy-to-use mixers.

First Impression: Shure ULX-D 900 MHz Digital Wireless System

Given the pending changes in frequency availability, having the higher band available is an important step – bringing production-quality performance to an unlicensed band.

First Impression: d&b audiotechnik V7P and V10P Loudspeakers

The V7P/V10P package offers a unique solution. If you need a bit more power from a point-source box with low-mid directional control, these could be a middle ground between two-way boxes and compact line arrays.

Review: Mackie FreePlay Personal PA System

FreePlay combines a three-input mixer, power amp section and two-way speaker in a very unconventional looking compact plastic enclosure designed for "grab-and-go" convenience.

Future Sonics Spectrum Series Model G10

Future Sonics announces the Spectrum Series model G10 universal-fit professional personal monitors.

Review: Yamaha TF Series Digital Mixing Consoles

Yamaha got the balance of simplicity vs. usability just right.

Review: Waves Tracks Live

Tracks Live is easy to use, reliable, and without the complexity found in many of today’s software-based tracking solutions.

Review: Allen & Heath Qu-Pac Ultra Compact Digital Mixer with Touch Screen Control

Qu-Pac is a serious, pro-quality mixer sitting behind a small touch screen and peculiar shape. Sound, flexibility, power—it’s all there.

Audio Consoles for Small- to Medium-Sized Churches

12 targeted questions to help you buy the right console for your church

Review: Mackie ProFX16v2 Analog Audio Mixer

With an MSRP of just $629, this little mixer offers excellent functionality at a very reasonable price.

First Impression: Sennheiser SL Headmic 1

The new Sennheiser mic is targeting many applications in the church market. Sennheiser believes that pastors and other presenters will appreciate the SL Headmic 1’s flexible fit and comfort.

Review: QSC Audio TouchMix-16 Compact Digital Mixer

Even novice users should have no trouble getting up and running quickly.

Mixing Consoles: Accessible Audio/Peak Performance

The latest mixing consoles satisfy the budget-conscious without compromising functionality.

Review: PreSonus Studio One 3 Digital Audio Production Software

Studio One 3 exhibits much fresh thinking about audio production, and the results are impressive --- even if you’re already a die-hard user of a different audio tool (as I was)...

Wireless Wonders

Advice on selecting wireless systems in this changing spectrum environment.

Personal Monitoring: Pocket- and Full-sized Solutions

As competition heats up, smart phones and expanding digital audio networking options are providing more opportunities for low-cost, high-quality, on-stage monitoring. Here are some of your current best options.

Review: Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator

If you’ve ever wished for more gain from any of your sources—ribbon mics, vintage mics, etc., the Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator may be your solution. Find out what’s going on inside this patent-pending design?

First Impression: Digico S21 Digital Audio Mixer

The new Digico S21 retains many of the features of the larger Digico consoles at the new price point most churches can afford.

Audio Console Technology Update

Digital is dominant (although analog IS far from dead). Here’s some help choosing …

First Impressions: The Yamaha TF Series Digital Mixing Consoles

Yamaha’s TF series maxes out at under $4,000, an even a sweeter price point than the company’s LS9 series that has seen a lot of use in smaller churches. Three channel counts are available: 16, 24 and 32.

Review: Audio-Technica System 10 Pro Rack-Mount Digital Wireless System

The newest member of the company’s digital wireless microphone line. The new System 10 Pro offers a simple user interface backed by a powerful suite of RF transmission methodologies that operate "behind the scenes."

Loud and Proud – Bold New Loudspeaker Technologies

Multi-site churches take note: loudspeaker shapes have changed to keep up with the times. A report on new features, networked audio and corresponding configuration options.

What We Do Know About the New Digico S21.

With a retail price of under $7000 (far less than we anticipated), the new Digico S21 digital audio mixing console will find it's way into a lot of churches.

First Impression: DPA d:fine In-Ear Broadcast Headset Microphone

While it’s specifically designed for on-air broadcast applications, its feature set and low visual profile make it an interesting product for the church market.

RØDE Digital Wireless System Filmmaker Kit

RØDE launches the RØDELink Digital Wireless System.

Mackie FreePlay Personal PA

Mackie announces the portable, battery-powerable FreePlay Personal PA.

Clear-Com LQ Series

Clear-Com is shipping its LQ Series, a new family of connectivity devices for linking intercom and audio systems over LAN, WAN, or IP networks.

Allen & Heath Qu-Pac Mixer

Allen & Heath expands its Qu range with the launch of Qu-Pac, an ultra-compact digital mixer with both a built-in touchscreen and an iPad control app.

Review: Community Series IP8-1122 Loudspeaker

In a world of seductive audio consoles, the best audio improvement might be in the form of a loudspeaker upgrade.

Choosing Speakers – Is There Such a Thing as a “Church” Speaker?

Line array or point-source designs … what’s best for your church’s set up? Experts weigh in and provide tips and know-how in this must-read article.

First Look: Shure PG Alta Microphones

The new PG Alta line of microphones relies on the company’s time-tested technology with a heavy-duty, industrial-looking design targeted for the budget-conscious customer.

Soundcraft UI Series Remote-controlled Digital Mixers

Soundcraft got our attention at the Winter NAMM show earlier this year with the introduction of the new UI series of wireless mixers.

First Impression: Audio-Technica System 10 Pro Digital Wireless Microphone System

For better reception, the individual miniature receiver units can be mounted within the receiver chassis, or placed remotely via an RJ45 (Ethernet) cable connection.

First Impression: Radial IceCube IC-1 Balanced Line Isolator and Hum Eliminator

Is it too much to ask for a hum eliminator to do its job without negatively affecting the audio signal quality? Radial doesn’t think so.

First Look: Galaxy Audio AS-1800 Any Spot Wireless Personal Monitor

The unit offers 640 selectable frequencies in 32 selectable channels, reducing the potential for overcrowding and interference. Another plus: it’s church-affordable.

First Impression: Allen & Heath Qu-Pac Compact Digital Mixer

Qu-Pac is different by offering a five-inch touchscreen display that allows control over every aspect of the mixer.

First Impression: K-array KW8 “Owl” Moving Head Loudspeaker

The KW8 “Owl”, a steerable spot-fill speaker with a built-in camera. That’s right—the speaker has a camera that allows the operator to actually see where the speaker is pointing and the resulting coverage pattern.

First Impression: Mackie FreePlay Personal PA

With as much power and flexibility as FreePlay offers, its potential applications are innumerable. Don't believe us? Read on...

First Impression: Sennheiser ew D1 Wireless Microphone System

When it comes to system set-up, the D1 is custom tailored to the newbie volunteer.

New Microphones from WInter NAMM 2015

Think the gold standard of mics was minted in 1958? Hardly. While the Shure SM58 remains the world’s best-selling microphone, innovation continues in some unusual, remarkable and exciting ways.

RCF EVOX Portable PA

RCF introduces the EVOX PA system, a self-contained package with the satellite cabinet fitting into the subwoofer for portability, and pole mount included.

Martin DD12 Loudspeaker System

Martin Audio introduces the DD12 loudspeaker system, combining onboard networking, DSP and Class D amplification with state-of-the-art transducers and Differential Dispersion horn technology.

Mackie Mix Series Compact Mixers

Mackie announces the launch of the new Mix Series Compact Mixers with three new models, the Mix5 5-Channel Compact Mixer, the Mix8 8-Channel Compact Mixer, and the Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer with Effects.

Earthworks 40kHz High Definition FlexMics

Earthworks expands its FlexMic Series of podium microphones to include 40kHz High Definition models, which feature an extended frequency response from 50Hz to 40kHz.

Review: Mackie DL32R 32-channel Digital Live Sound Mixer with iPad Control

Far from being this reviewer’s first Mackie (he owns one that’s nearly 20 years old), after spending a week with the new DL32R, this newest Mackie mixer could wind up being the first fully wireless-controlled audio mixer he specifies for his church.

Review: DPA d:fine Headset Microphones

Introduced at InfoComm 2014, the new DPA d:fine 66 omnidirectional and d:fine 88 directional headset mics are well-designed, top-shelf offerings from Danish Pro Audio. Are they worth the investment? Our expert reviewer analyzes the mics in live and studio environments.

First Impression: PreSonus StudioLive RM-series Rack-Mount Digital Mixer

StudioLive RM appears to take the wireless mixing concept to its logical conclusion.

Wireless Roundup 2015—More Options for Any Church Budget

Why now might be a good time to go mic shopping, and what you can expect to find (and benefit from) when you get there … at a range of prices to satisfy most wallets.

Review: Digital Audio Labs Livemix Personal Monitor System

The Livemix takes some of the best features in the personal mixer market and adds a unique idea our reviewer has never seen before. Despite some initial skepticism, he wound up adding to the list of contenders to replace his church’s current monitor system.

Review: Allen & Heath Qu-32 Digital Mixer

Allen & Heath did an admirable job capitalizing on the power of digital while maintaining key elements of the familiar analog mixer interface. For all it does, the Qu-32 is truly a bargain.

First Impression: Yamaha Rivage PM10 Digital Mixer

A new Hybrid Microphone Preamplifier design takes Yamaha’s Natural Sound analog section to the next level, then mates that accuracy with the colorful palette of Rupert Neve Designs.

Review: Radial Relay Xo Remote AB Switcher

Enables users to easily talk directly with the band without broadcasting into the house mix.

Audio Networking: Confusion or Revolution?

“Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Genesis 11:7

First Impression: Community I Series LoudSpeakers

The range of loudspeakers and subwoofers in the I Series could make it ideal for upgrading multiple venues for a consistent sound.

Shane-Shane-Wickham Xmas Tour with StudioLive AI Active Integration Solution

Travis Brockway, sound engineer for the 2013 Shane and Shane & Phil Wickham Christmas Tour, explains why PreSonus Active Integration loudspeakers and mixers are a perfect solution for small to medium-sized churches.




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