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First Impressions: Mackie DL32R Digital Live Sound Mixer
Digital Mixing, Free to Roam
Six More Mixers for Less Dough
But wait, there's more! Sidebar to Economical Pro Performance
Economical Pro: No It’s Not an Oxymoron
A sampling of digital audio consoles that offer professional power for modest budgets.
First Impression: Aviom 320 Personal Monitor Mixer
Compared to the A360, the A320 is missing several interesting features. In return you get a much lower price and an increase in simplicity --- which is a good thing. Besides, selecting personal monitor mixing systems shouldn't really be up to the techie.
Review: Yamaha QL5 Digital Mixing Console
Churches will be hard-pressed to find a more capable mixer in this price range.
Review: Video Devices Pix 270i Network Connected Video Deck with Dante & MADI
PowerSafe circuitry is a feature that should be on every piece of production gear.
Review: Roland VR-50HD Multi-Format AV Mixer
The most unique feature of the VR-50HD is the USB3 port. This allows the user to plug directly into the computer….
Review: Canon FX205 High-Definition Camcorder
Packed with features, THIS baby brother to THE XF300/XF305 brings 1080p/60fps to the table.
A look at point-source loudspeakers for small and portable churches.
A Few Good Mics
Important considerations for mic'ing instruments, with a run down of promising options in a range of prices.
First Look: Audio-Technica BP894 Microset Cardioid Condenser Headworn Microphone
...sounds excellent, full, and natural—and provides sufficient level to fill the sanctuary without feedback and with gain to spare.
First Impression: Sennheiser Praise Pack e835
Buying the Praise Pack with four mics for $349.00 brings the price per mic down substantially.
Review: Gooseneck Lectern Microphones
A wide range of gooseneck microphones are put to the test in a challenging acoustical environment.
Mixer options for small churches and secondary rooms.
An exploration of headset and lavalier microphones.
Review: TOA AM-1 Real-Time Steering Array Microphone System
A viable option when considering solutions for applications that historically would require multiple mics or are in particularly challenging acoustic spaces.
Review: PreSonus StudioLive 315AI Active Integration Loudspeaker
Immediately, I was impressed with the clarity and smoothness of the sound.
Review: Movek MyMix Personal Monitor Mixer with Multi-track Recording
It’s much more than just a personal monitor mixing system.
Digital Consoles: Bang for Under $10,000 Bucks
High-end innovations and feature sets continue to trickle down to these affordable units and churches large and small are benefitting.
First Impression: Waves SoundGrid Studio System
New system takes on all plug-in processing, freeing up your native system. At the same time it connects your devices on a network accessible by multiple host computers. Lots of interesting possibilities here.
The DI Defined
“DI” stands for “Direct Injection,” a term that goes way back to the formative days of the sound and recording industry. The concept is simple: the DI is intended to interface the output of an instrument, or that of an instrument’s amplifier, to the input of the sound system…usually through the mixing console.
Review: SSL Live Console
Most digital consoles will let you re-arrange the faders. But SSL takes it to a new level of simplicity by letting you drag faders or entire tiles from one bank to another.
First Look: Sony PCM-D100 Portable High-Resolution Audio Recorder
The sound quality is excellent. An acoustic guitar recorded at the highest resolution is incredibly detailed and accurate.
Review: dbx DriveRack PA2 Loudspeaker Management System
The DriveRack PA2 picks up where DriveRack PA+ left off.
Review: Allen & Heath ME-1 Personal Monitor Mixer
The configuration is flexible and can grow and change with your needs. With 16 configurable keys, the unit is capable of mixing 40 inputs—a feature that blew away our reviewer.
PreSonus Delivers Dante Networking for StudioLive AI Loudspeakers
No-hassle, self-configuring, plug-and-play digital audio networking
Review: PreSonus Eris E8 High-Definition Active Studio Monitors
How well the E8 compared to my near-field monitors (at several times the price) was an eye-opener. Entry-level speakers have made huge strides in recent years.
First Impression: Dante Via
New Audinate software program being introduced at InfoComm turns any computer into an audio network bridge
Pivitec Introduces MADI to Ethernet AVB Network Audio Interface
The company says it is the world’s first AVB to MADI bridge.
Review: Waves SoundGrid Extreme Server
If you have yet to dive into the world of audio effect plug-ins, there are literally hundreds of options. Waves has made it easy to jump into a whole new world of sonic possibilities.
Digital V 2.0: Tech Trends in Large Consoles
From interface advancements to enhanced networking and mobile control, progression is at the heart of the digital movement
Earthworks FlexWand FW730 Microphone System
With a mic-to-choir distance of six feet, an 80-voice-choir can be fully covered with three FlexWand microphones, vs. at least six typical cardioid mics.
Review: Countryman H6 Headset Microphone
Gary Parks reviews Countryman's H6 Headset Microphone and finds it ready for the rough-and-tumble church world.
Review: Monoprice Model 600020 Dynamic Vocal Microphone
At $14.07 for a single mic, I find it amazing that it looks as good as it does and performs decently as an audio tool.
Review: Granelli Audio G5790 Microphone – A New Twist on a Classic
What started as a one-off gained a life of its own.
The Active Evolution of Loudspeakers
Smarter DSP, innovative coverage techniques, skinny columnar arrays all part of a constantly evolving category
Review: Galaxy Audio ES3 and HS3 Omnidirectional Headsets
Both models share the same mic element. The difference is in how they’re worn and how the boom is positioned. These are functional, user-friendly and affordable headsets with more than acceptable audio performance.
Review: Anchor Audio Beacon Line Array
Moving around a portable PA system has never been easier. "The system condenses down to a rugged ABS plastic box the size of an airline-approved roller bag," he notes. So how does it perform? It depends on what you’re expecting.
Review: Aviom A360 Personal Monitor Mixer
New personal monitor mixer provides channel-level controls like volume, mute, group, solo, plus reverb, tone, pan, and stereo spread.
Review: Clear-Com RS-702 Two-Channel Analog Intercom Beltpack
An inside look at the redesign of Clear-Coms beltpacks, the line up is made for more durability, comfort, improved audio quality, and user friendly.
Point Source Audio CO-8WD Omni Headset Microphone
When used for singing or speech, the mic sounds smooth, full--even pleasing in nature.
First Impression: EAW Anya Loudspeaker System
I went into the demo with an open mind, wondering what EAW has been up to for the past few years. When I left thinking EAW may have a real game real changer here.
Review: Waves GEQ Graphic Equalizer Plug-In
Not the most exciting plug-in on the market, but it is a professional tool that you will use every day and will make your mix sound better.
First Impression: Yamaha QL Series Digital Consoles
Compared to LS9, the new QL Series has the ability to connect simultaneously to two devices, such as an iPad running QL StageMix and a computer running QL Editor.
First Impression: Midas Pro X Live Console
For the last few years, Music Group has been shaking up the industry, bringing incredible mixing power at remarkably low price points. With the new Pro X, it would appear that Midas has done it again.
Review: Allen & Heath QU-16 Compact Digital Console
I was immediately impressed by how much output and clarity was available from these preamps.
Review: NoMixUps Modular Tech Labels
I wasn’t sure where I’d find use for this type of product - until I began looking at all the things I have labeled with gaff or board tape and sloppy handwriting.
dB Technologies Expands DVA Series Modular Line Array with RDNet-Ready DVA-T8
New driver technology, higher output and RDNet control are additional features the DVA-T8 offers.
First Impression: Sennheiser Laser Drum Microphone
I walked into this product demo quite skeptical, and unsure of what I was going to see and hear. I left completely impressed and jealous that I could not go to the store and buy a set of these right away
Review: Logitech Ultimate Ears LUE 900 Noise-Isolating Earphones
The high end of the company’s line of universal-fit earphones
First Impression: Midas M32 Digital Console for Live and Studio
It is great to see a big company actually listen and respond to its customer base. The M32 is still a lightweight and portable console but we’re told it now has the sound, and it certainly now has the feel of a real Midas console.
Review: Yamaha Stagepas 600i Portable PA System
IT WAS REALLY SIMPLE TO FIND A GREAT SOUND WITH THIS SYSTEM.
A hit list of new portable loudspeakers
Handheld Vocal Mics: More Options for All Budgets
Our semi-random sampling is designed to give you a leg up before you take a listen.
First Impression: QSC TouchMix Series Mixers
Once known only for amplifiers, QSC is making a serious entry into the affordable digital mixer market with the new TouchMix Series
Review: Mackie 3204VLZ4 32-Channel, Four-Bus FX Mixer with USB
If you haven't looked at Mackie's products in a while, you'll be surprised
2013 Best of Breed (Cont.)
Part two in a slide-show roundup loudspeaker innovations
2013’s Best-of-Breed Loudspeaker Systems
A slide-show roundup of the year's innovations
Finding Gold in a Sea of Wireless Mics
A how-to guide to choosing the right wireless mic for your intended application
Review: JBL LSR308 Two-Way Powered Studio Monitors
The coverage is impressive. It truly opened up the sound field like nothing else I’ve heard in this price category.
Review: PreSonus StudioLive 32.4.2 AI Digital Mixer
By far the most impressive feature sets within this console have to do with the innovative wireless and digital control technologies
Review: Yamaha MGP24X Analog Audio Mixer
Right off the bat, the appearance is striking, and you can’t miss the LCD screen, and the console has more headroom than I expected. This was a pleasant surprise.
Bringing Instruments to Life
A roundup of the latest drum and instrument microphones
Future Mixing: Top 9 Trends in Console Design
A list of dominant trends driving mixing console design.
Review: Samson Expedition Express Portable PA with Bluetooth
The Expedition Express is small enough to travel on the dashboard of your car.
First Impression: Audio-Technica BP894 MicroSet Cardioid Condenser Headworn Microphone
Newly introduced BP894 condenser microphone looks like a contender to enter the elite ranks of professional-quality headsets.
Digital mixing: the next generation
StudioLive AI-series mixers retain the same surface-driven functionality that made StudioLive mixers famous, while adding even more processing power, enhanced workflow features, and Active Integration technology.
First Impression: Line 6 XD-V75-40V Digital Handheld Wireless with Earthworks Premium Capsule
Though we expect pricing to involve more than a modest investment, it should produce vocals and speech reproduction that sounds like it was captured through a professional studio mic.
Review: Roland M200i 32-Channel Digital Mixing Console
Designed from the ground up to be controlled by an iPad.
First Impression: Dugan-VN16 Automixer Card for Avid Live Sound Mixing Systems
If you find yourself regularly trying to juggle multiple microphones at once, or simply need a way to run simple events unattended, the Dugan Automixer could be a great solution.
Waves Audio GEQ Graphic EQ Plug-in
30 ISO bands plus high and low pass filters
Review: Cerwin Vega P1500X Portable Powered Loudspeaker, with P1800SX Powered Subwoofer
While we like the sub, the tuning of the mid/high box leaves much to be desired.
Review: Radial Engineering SB-5 Laptop DI
What to do with noisy consumer-grade equipment? Radial Engineering introduces a 'must have' tool for church sound techs.
First Impression: Whiteley Solutions Phoenix LX Drum Enclosure
Their product line of Phoenix full drum enclosures provide up to 39 dB of reduction on the stage. This helps vocalists and other musicians on stage to hear themselves better. It also allows the FOH engineer to mix drums with studio-like separation. What audio engineer wouldn’t mind having that?
First Impression: Samson Expedition Express Loudspeaker System
This looks to be very handy, portable sound solution for your next location-based event. Anywhere you need sound you could find a use for one of these units.
Yamaha StageMix 4.0 Now Available
Greater control and flexibility for both digital mixing consoles
First Impression: Mackie VLZ4 Series Analog Mixers
New series features innovative ergonomic design, upgraded Onyx preamps, and new op amps for a lower low noise floor.
Review: AKG D12VR Reference Large-Diaphragm Dynamic Microphone
I really like it when a microphone (especially a kick mic) has some weight to it. It tells me that the tool is professional, sturdy and will last a long time.
First Look: Ace Backstage Microphone Softpod
Ace Backstage’s Microphone Softpod can hold six mics for about the price of two mic stands.
First Impression: Martin Audio MLA Mini Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array
Company's MLA loudspeaker design works like a line-array in reverse. Instead of focusing on what comes out of the loudspeaker, Martin Audio's design concentrates on what arrives at the audience.
Martin Audio Announces New MLA Mini Loudspeaker System
New Ultra-Compact Format makes MLA technology accessible to most budgets
Tascam DR-60D DSLR Recorder
The DR-60D is a four-track solid state recorder that will fit snugly under any camera or into any rig, and record up to 96-kHz/24-bit high quality audio straight to SD/SDHC media.
Klark Teknik DN200 Active Stereo DI Box
The DN200 Dual-Channel Active DI Box is housed in a robust alloy case further protected by a replaceable silicon sleeve, and features inputs on pairs of XLR, TRS and RCA sockets
Review: Shure FP Series Wireless Microphone System
Camera-mounted electronic news gathering (ENG) wireless systems
Review: DPA d:facto II Vocal Microphone
High-performance, supercardioid condenser microphone optimized for live sound reinforcement vocal use.
Radial Engineering Stagebug Laptop Direct Box
The SB-5 features an integral five-foot cable terminated in a 1/8 connection for laptops, tablets and personal music players that is secured in place with a compression fitting.
Review: DBX PMC Personal Monitor Controller
Deceptively simple to set up and get going.
Waves Audio Debuts Genesis Bundle for Live Applications
New bundle includes C4 Multiband Compressor, Renaissance DeEsser, H-Delay and Renaissance Reverb
Auralex Studiofoam T Acoustic Absorption Panels
Studiofoam T panels are designed to eliminate standing waves and flutter echo while reducing unwanted reflections.
Avid Pro Tools 11
New features include a fully redesigned audio engine and 64-bit architecture, offine bounce, a low latency input buffer, dynamic host processing
Audio Review: dbx PMC Personal Monitor Controller
True to form, dbx has put some thought into this product and provided yet another tool for the audio engineer to do what they do best—only better.
Avid Pro Tools 11
Features include a fully redesigned audio engine and 64-bit architecture, offine bounce, a low latency input buffer, and more.
First Impression: SSL Live Console
Even with all the hardware controls, the surface doesn’t look cluttered, and the touch-screen software is beautifully designed. It’s obvious from the start that the console is designed to be customized for each user and event, with no single way of working.
Shopping for Mics?
CPM delivers a roundup of inspiring microphone technologies designed for church applications.
Tutorial: Small Church Consoles: Mixing for the Majority
Sound options for churches with fewer bells-and-whistles requirements—and lesser budgets
Review: Que Audio DA12 Headworn Microphone
Reviewer: ...sounds good, very stable in use, appears to be durably built
First Impression: Radial SB-5 StageBug Stereo Direct Box for Laptops
What happens when a guest speaker shows up with music or video for their presentation?. Video is easy. The problem is audio—what do you do with that 1/8-inch headphone jack?
Shure BLX Wireless Microphone Systems
The new BLX Wireless Systems come in a variety of receiver options, including a half-rack size for installed applications.
Allen and Heath ME Personal Mixing System
The ME-1 personal mixer manages up to 42 sources and incorporates an ambient mic, knobs for mic and mix levels, stereo outputs for headphones/earpiece and a mono output for a stage wedge.
First Impression: Yamaha MGP32X and MGP24X Audio Mixers
Yamaha practically invented the small digital mixer back in the late ‘90s. They now launch the new MGP24X and MGP32X with an intriguing hybrid of analog and digital technologies.