Church Production

gear: Audio

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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: 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.


First Impression: Roland M-5000 Mixing Console

Expecting the digital audio equivalent of a nicely refreshed Toyota Corolla? Nope. Not even close. This is a stunning new Lexus.

PreSonus Notion 5 Makes Scoring Worship Music Fast and Easy

Upgrade includes video window, new effects, and many notation improvements.

First Impression: d&b Audiotechnik D80 Power Amplifier

Through the OCA setup, a user can remotely adjust the amplifier's EQ in a live setting across all channels more efficiently.


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: 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.

Proven Performers

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.

Sweet 16s

Mixer options for small churches and secondary rooms.

Out-Of-Sight Sound

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.


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


Sound Options

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.



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