This blog is a look into my journey working with audio, from live sound to recording. I want to document my life as an audio engineer. Articles can be found by typing a keyword, date or a UNIQ number. A UNIQ number is just a unique number that an article is identified with behind the scenes in the HTML code.
I have not written in awhile, I wrote one post then disappeared shortly after. I have been busy, but here, finally is my second post. Since writing my last entry things have changed at bit. At my church we are moving to Sunday morning setup as of this weekend. We have to be there at 7AM to setup, and I'm actually more excited than nervous about all the work that will need to be done. I'm kind of struggling with EQ in the gym that we are in. I don't have as much experience with EQ in a live setting than I do in the studio. I'm learning though, and it's been a fun process so far. Last week I will admit I was kind of like a chicken with it's head cut off, I was running all over the place. I could not focus on one single task, however somehow I got everything hooked up correctly and luckly the band had the stage connections set up right when I finished setting up the subs / speakers. Oh yeah - The cable running from the audio rack to the mixer is about 200 FT long. I finally got it coiled up nicely, which took forever to untangle. I have been meaning to do that for weeks because it was tangled up the past two or three Sundays, and I've just ignored it for the sake of time. So I'm glad I finally got that taken care of! My goal this week is focused on speed and organization. I want clean, coiled cables and a fast setup for sound. We will see how this Sunday goes, but I am excited! J
One of the things that I am constantly confronted with as an audio engineer is the limitations of the building you are in. This is most pronounced in live sound, especially in churches as in my case. Sometimes you have to just work with what you have, in the case that you are meeting in a less-desirable place or even outside at a church event. The biggest challenge for me thus far at my church is that we are currently meeting in a gym, and we have a live drum set. Balancing the drums and the vocals, guitars, keyboard and such is not easy. The drums are usually at an alarming level (not mic'd), that's just the nature of drums. So trying to mix the rest in and not losing all the other instruments in the loudness of the drums is a task. Being in a gym does not help either, just the nature of the building itself. So in most cases I'm having to boost the vocals and the instruments to be louder than the drums. When I end up doing that you're looking at probably 100+ db. We just got a basic drum cage, but it still can be overbearing. I hate that I have to push it up so loud, but there is really nothing I can do beyond what I am already doing at this point in time. EQ in a gym is also 'fun', sound just bounces around, and it can turn into a muddy mess, and I am continually learning on how to EQ in different, probably less-desirable locations. For me though, that is the joy of what I do, trying to figure out how to improve in your craft and to come up with good solutions for every day problems that come with working with sound. Working with live sound is much different than being in a studio, which I have been in before. In the studio everything can kind of be 'controlled', and it is a much different beast when doing EQ or just general mixing. Me having worked in both environments gives me a better perspective on how to do both. So if I'm in a studio, or in a church or even outside I can try to figure out the best EQ and level solution for that particular venue. I look back at all the years playing guitar and recording songs, mixing my friend's audio tracks and the like and I appreciate all that I learned from that. Then I look back at the different churches I've worked at as a sound tech and I'm glad that I have had the chance to learn to adapt as no two places were the same. - JEH