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Audio Mixer for Video Production?
We currently distribute SD video and create DVD's, and the audio comes from an AUX send on our main audio mixer. We have about 12-16 inputs (instruments, vocals, ambiance, etc.). We do an AUX because we want to add piano and audience singing into the recording mix that are not in the FOH.
We want to take the next step, because the monitoring of the recording AUX is not always the sound technician's first priority, and we have consequently gotten some "out of balance" mixes on our DVD. The audio booth is in the auditorium space, and the video boot is back behind the auditorium, so it is not easy to "whisper" to the sound technician to turn down the drums in the recording AUX.
What I'm looking for is a very simple multi-channel mixer. No groups, no effects, no AUX sends or returns, really just multiple inputs mixed via faders (if possible) to a single mono output, which will go to video production. We are planning to tap into the audio mixer's insert jacks to go into this mixer.
Anyone do this and have any recommendations? I don't want to buy junk, but I don't have budget to go digital, and I dont' want to buy more features than I need.
Thanks for any help you can give!
So the first thing I am going to do is to show you a mixer that has more than what you want, and it is digital. The Presonus 16.4.2 would be a great mixer for what you want and it is relatively inexpensive as digital mixers go. The only reason I suggest this is that with the processing power on this mixer you can get a much better mix.
I did a search for line mixers and came up with the http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/mixe...ono-line-mixer Whirlwind make a pretty solid piece and might be what you are looking for.
Peace (Phil 4:7)
I try to avoid using inserts to split inputs for three reasons. First, you want to consider where the insert occurs, some are after not only the channel gain but possibly also polarity and high pass filter switches. Any changes to any levels or controls prior to the insert split would affect the signal going to the video mix. Second, on many mixers using the insert as a split means having the jack only partially inserted, not in far enough and you get no split signal, in too far and you break the path on the house mixer. The chances of connectors getting bumped or jarred out of position is often a problem. Finally, the split will be an unbalanced audio signal and it sounds like you plan to run some distance so that may be asking for noise problems. Because of all those issues I always prefer to split sources before the mixers, either direct splits, active splits or most often, passive transformer splits.
You also noted not wanting a very simple video mix console without effects, etc. but keep in mind that you will be getting the sources without any channel EQ, effects, dynamics processing, etc. In addition, that other than any ambient mics the video mix will not be getting the effect of the room and that video mixes often do not want the same dynamics as the live performance. So you might want to consider whether you really would benefit from having a more capable mixer for the audio-for-video mix.
All of that leads to the question of whether it might be easier and potentially have other benefits to simply add some way to communicate between the two locations?
Unless you have an experienced engineer, dedicated to the video's audio mix, I would stick with something like Drew mentioned. Our church uses the StudioLive 24 channel mixer and it works very well. You can compress, limit and EQ the mix which translates to a very nice sounding mix. That and it have a whopping 10 auxes! We got it through our dealer for around 2400$ I believe. It's not unreasonable and it sounds incredible. Probably the greatest digital mixer for a small/medium church for the price.
If you run your mix post fader from an aux, compress and limit the signal, you should end up with a decent mix. Now depending on the room that you are in, some things may translate differently in your room than on the mix. For instance, your bass guitar may need to be cranked in your room to get a decent level in the room. Because of this your bass may pop out like a sore thumb in the recording. This is where you make minor tweaks, not more than 1-3db, and then let it mix itself.
This way, the audio recording becomes a barometer to how good the sound engineer is mixing, because in reality what is getting recorded (After you make some adjustments) is what the mix is in the room.
A couple of suggestions and take them with a grain of salt because this is what has worked for us.
1. Compression is huge! Make sure that you are doing sufficent compression on your channels. Pretty much all of your intrumentation should be compressed at some level. Drums and vocals may tend to have a decent amount more compression than others but compressing your channels not only helps you dynamically in your service but translates nicely to your audio recording.
2. Run your Aux post fader. Make small tweaks in your mix. Not more than 1-3 db. If you are needing do adjust more than that you may want to look at how your system is set up (Compression, EQ, Levels)
3. Compress and Limit your audio. Many audio recordings sound dead and flat because they basically that, flat. If you were to record your audio, your waveform during worship should look in the ballpark of a recorded CD. Some may disagree but unless you do, your dynamics and feeling won't sound great.
4. Your audio guy needs to be monitoring the feed. Even if it takes 5 to 15 seconds over the duration of a song, it not hard to keep a pair of headphones around your neck and check every few minutes. Once service is rolling in worship, checking the feed every so often should not take him away from his duties.
Hope that helps.
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hgrjack (Tuesday, May 8th, 2012)
What console do you use at FOH?
In a few churches i have consulted with i have recommended buying an iPad or pc software and controlling their Aux mix from it. This can be done with some consoles so that it doesn't affect the FOH engineer(read: happens behind the scenes). Some software changes things on the surface and would compromise the FOH engineers ability to do his job.
Of course if you have an analog console then isn't going to help you.
My alternative setups usually involve either a small 6 channel mixer or a Yamaha o1v96. With the 6 channel mixer you use your mix of your aux you are currently using minus speakers. Then you can either have all of the speakers in a single aux or all the way to individual direct outs to the mixer. With the o1v you have alot of options from analog direct outs to digital direct outs. The o1v can be had under $2k all day long so it isn't cheap but worth it for the amazing processing packed into it.
Thanks for all the ideas!
Thanks to all you experts who have chimed in.
We are pretty low on the technology totem pole. We have a lowly Yamaha MG2432 house mixer, no compression/limiting, and equalizers for each output.
Since we only want to ADD things to the House mix for the recording (Piano mic and ambiance , or congregation singing mics), maybe I should do this:
1) Take the mixed FOH output into a separate group, and,
2) add the piano and ambiance mics into that group, and use that for recording.
At least the balance and mix will be as good as the technician involved can get the FOH to be (varies from decent to novice).
Groups won't work, it's got to be AUX.
I tried the above plan (sending the FOH to a group, then adding piano and ambiance mics) while we were having Praise Team practice tonight. It didn't work out as well as I had hoped. It seems like the FOH mix is not quite right for recording (at least to the sample I recorded and listened to with headphones).
I think I'm going to have to try a post-fader AUX channel again. That will let me tweak the mix to the recording, yet allow the relative changes the FOH tech. makes to be reflected in the recording mix. Our instrument players sometimes decide to turn themselves up (Don't you wish you could secretly break all those pots on the instruments?). In addition, singers sing differently from week to week, and even between early rehearsal and service.
I guess if it were easy, any monkey (like me) could do it...
As some people have said the prosonus console i would get that and use it as a FOH Console then take your old house console to mix your other stuff my old church which was portable did a simular setup but in a trailer outside the church we had a ipad or a ipod touch that we used to mix down the mix for video even had our own eq