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Inconsistencies with a digital board, or is it me? or psychology?

Yamaha Digital sound audio church LS9 help

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#1
Ethand20

Ethand20

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The Situation:
I recently took over running sound at a church in Morgantown, WV. We use a Yamaha LS9 digital mixing console, with 4 mixes for on stage monitors. there are 9 people in the band/praise team. we use QSC amps. the Acoustic, Electric, and Bass Guitarists play through Peavy amps on stage that are Mic'd for the system. there is a Clarinova on stage that is played consistently. we have 1 trumpet player, and 1 Sax/FLute Player. in addition to a drummer, and 3 or 4 vocalists. That sould be about everything, if i've left out any useful info please ask.

I've been running sound for about 7 years, but due to the technology and training available I would say i'm still a novice, I only recently started with this board, room and band.

The Problem:
there are 3 teams that share the stage, and most of the instruments etc, (praise god for digital boards... almost) 2 teams are exactly the same except for the vocalists. I have the same instrument setting for both teams, and have the settings saved in seperate folders not changing much week to week, save minor adjustments. however I am consistently told after service on sunday that the mix was COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and no-one could hear themselves, come practice this problem tends to be isolated to the Winds, and the piano player.

this week I took much time in practice and did the "raise your hand if you need more of..." and then mixed and saved the setting. At the end of the night everyone was happy, then come Sunday I was informed that the monitor mix was "horrible" and asked "what happened to all the work we did on the monitors?" I dont understand how this is happening, I am not changing anything after practice, and to my knowledge no one else in the church knows the board well enough to make these changes. is there a plausible explanation, or is everyone but me crazy? or am I crazy?

Ethan

#2
Jon S

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Welcome!

Monitors are a fickle thing, especially when the mix is done from the FOH console. In my experience from performer to sound engineer, most of the variation comes from not playing consistently from sound check to show. Most levels will be much lower during the sound check even when you ask the band to play 'like you will be later'. Fixing this comes down making sure the performers know the repercussions of inconsistency.

Aside from that, make sure mic position is consistent, especially for the horns/wind. Most musicians don't know about polar response for microphones, so once i get the mic's set up i usually tell the musician to take a mental picture of where/how they are standing in relation to the mic, and tell them if the see this change through the performance, they're doing it wrong.

If its a keyboard, make sure the onboard volume is consistent, i like about 80%, so they have a little control, same with guitarists (make sure any overdrive channels are at the correct relative volume).

From the mixing desk stand point, especially with the digital console, make sure you know your signal path and gain structure. check to see whether your aux sends are pre or post fader, which could be introducing some variation.

If you can be sure that nobody is messing with the console behind your back, and the scenes are getting saved correctly (I've only had limited experience on an LS9, not sure the scope of the scene settings), variations on stage is the most likely culprit. Ensure the bands know that your not a mind reader and can't hear what's going on on stage, so if they want something changed, they have to tell you.

Good Luck!

#3
em

em

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Are people changing their position on stage every week? Don't discount that musicians can be stoopid and unwittingly play with their tone knobs turned down, crappy cables etc. I'd run through each sound source separately and work your way back to the desk checking all your connections. I think too that those digital settings are probably best used as a starting point and you could tweak as necessary from there to allow for all the environmental changes that will occur from week to week.

And when they do come out with comments like "horrible", ask them for a more eloquent description so that you can actually solve the problem as you'll be more likely to reach a positive outcome than with insults like that.

You deserve their respect!

#4
em

em

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^yeah, what he said. Simultaneous postage!



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