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Digital Mixer For Live Sound Consoles
Old 11th August 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 
Tekker's Avatar
 

Talking Digital Mixer For Live Sound

I'm doing some research for my church who is looking to get a new soundboard because our current one just smoked earlier this week.

Ok, so here is the situation. The people who built the church obviously had no clue about sound because they built the sound booth up on the second story balcony. When the soundman is up there mixing he is above the speakers and they are pointing down and away from him and it is impossible to get an accurate mix. So in order to get a good mix he has to keep going up the stairs to make adjustments and come back down stairs to listen. It is just the worst setup imaginable. They had been considering moving everything downstairs, but they don't really have the room as the church is pushing the building's capacity as it is.

So plan B is we would like to get a digital mixer that can be controlled wirelessly via a laptop, or if it is possible to control it via a controller with physical controls (like a DAW controller) that would be even better. Basically we just need something so the soundman can be downstairs and make adjustments without having to have all of the big equipment downstairs taking up space.

The budget is around $5k-$6k (max). We would like to get a 32 channel board to have room to expand (we would like to be able to completely enclose the drums and mic them eventually), but could make due with 24 channels if the 32 channel is out of budget.

Any suggestions on a mixer that can be controlled via wireless laptop/controller or a better way to accomplish our goal would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
-tkr
Old 11th August 2008
  #2
Gear Head
 
Mental Audio's Avatar
 

remote mixer

Just thinking out loud here, but how about a yamaha DM with studiomanager on a laptop. You'd need a wireless usb connection of course, but I don't know if those exist.
Good luck.
Old 11th August 2008
  #3
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Hi Mental Audio,

Are you talking about the DM2000? From what I could find, this is the only 32 channel version and the DM1000 is 16 channel.

I can't find any places selling them, has that model been discontinued? The only thing I could find mentioning a price was this article which said that the base price is (was?) $18k. Unless they have dropped significantly since then, the DM may be out of our price range.

The mixer and studio manager is exactly what we're looking for, seamless integration between the hardware mixer and software.

-tkr
Old 11th August 2008
  #4
You could also put a monitor speaker up at the board. This is common for DJs and many different venues of live sound. The church I attend most often actually has the sound guy(s) tucked away in a room with a video feed and monitor feed. They don't actually hear the hall. Nevertheless, they'e heard the hall before and know where the levels should be week after week and how that translates into the sanctuary. That being said, are you SURE you need a remote controlled mixer?

The auditorium where I often run events (conferences / lectures) has a poor, poor monitoring system, and I can't hear the speakers. Like you, I'm on the upper level. That's not an issue though, because I know what the levels should be. I just look at the little green lights and set my dB.

Peace of cake.
Old 11th August 2008
  #5
What comes close is the Roland M400 system together with Sonar. But there is nothing wireless about that.

The Soundcraft Vi4 comes to mind. But I do not believe anything wireless is available for that. (vi4 is around 20.000 euro)

The DM2000 Yamaha is over 20.000 euro/dollar, so out of your guys league.

Because a church uses different engineers every time I'd stick with a analogue alike surface.

A bad construction is a bad construction. I'd suggest two extra speakers upwards angled so sound is heard in the right way from the balcony. This is the right way and the cheapest.

This way a decent Allen & heath analogue mixer will work for you guys (and some compressors & a decent reverb).
Old 11th August 2008
  #6
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Hi NorseHorse,

I'm actually not the one running sound. I play drums in the band but I'm helping do some research because I also do recording/sound.... and I know where to go for help. Our main sound guys are not all that experienced so I don't know that they know the room well enough to be able to mix without hearing it. There are monitors up in the sound booth, but as far as I know they never get used. Lately the lead singer has stood out in the middle of the room during sound check and told the sound guy what to change. Which works ok, but having the sound guy be able to hear the room would probably work a lot better.

The remote control was something I suggested to the pastor a while back because they were all very unhappy with how difficult it is to set levels in the room. Now that our current mixer is toast and we have to get something else the pastor really liked the idea of being able to control sound from down in the room. The pastor is also talking to some friends and doing some research into this. So I think this is the way he wants to go.

In addition, the drums aren't miked so they wouldn't have any drums in the monitors and we also have a piano which puts out a lot of live sound (even with the mic turned off it is still quite audible). The musicians/singers also rotate around a lot so the sound often changes from week to week. It seems this would be pretty difficult to get right without being down in the room listening.

-tkr
Old 11th August 2008
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziekschuur View Post
What comes close is the Roland M400 system together with Sonar. But there is nothing wireless about that.
I had briefly thought about getting several channels of AD/DA and using a software program for mixing, but then we'd have typical computer issues to deal with and not to mention the latency of trying to run that many tracks at once with effects. So it quickly evolved into getting a digital mixer instead.

Quote:
The Soundcraft Vi4 comes to mind. But I do not believe anything wireless is available for that. (vi4 is around 20.000 euro)
Any digital mixer that has software to control it should work because we could get a wireless USB hub to connect the laptop to the mixer. Then the laptop could be down stairs controlling the mixer.

Quote:
Because a church uses different engineers every time I'd stick with a analogue alike surface.
I don't think that a computer interface would be to bad. The software mixer for the yamaha looked very straight forward to use. Plus the physical "hands on" mixer would still be upstairs if it was needed.

Quote:
A bad construction is a bad construction. I'd suggest two extra speakers upwards angled so sound is heard in the right way from the balcony. This is the right way and the cheapest.

This way a decent Allen & heath analogue mixer will work for you guys (and some compressors & a decent reverb).
I'll suggest this to the pastor also so we'll have some more options.


Finding a $6k (or under) digital mixer with software is turning out to be harder than I thought. The cheapest I've found so far is the Mackie TT32 which is $11k. Yikes!

-tkr
Old 11th August 2008
  #8
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
The Yamaha LS9 is the answer...we have just done a club with the same wireless solution to a mis-placed control booth...available in 16 (expandable to 32) or 32 (expandable to 64) inputs.
Old 11th August 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
The Yamaha LS9 is the answer...we have just done a club with the same wireless solution to a mis-placed control booth...available in 16 (expandable to 32) or 32 (expandable to 64) inputs.
Looks like the 32 channel is about $9k. Might be pushing it a bit, but I'll let the pastor know.

-tkr
Old 11th August 2008
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekker View Post
Hi Mental Audio,

Are you talking about the DM2000? From what I could find, this is the only 32 channel version and the DM1000 is 16 channel.

I can't find any places selling them, has that model been discontinued? The only thing I could find mentioning a price was this article which said that the base price is (was?) $18k. Unless they have dropped significantly since then, the DM may be out of our price range.

The mixer and studio manager is exactly what we're looking for, seamless integration between the hardware mixer and software.

-tkr
The DM 1000 has expansion slots for Yamaha's digital interface cards that will allow you to bring in another 16 mic inputs. It would fit well with your plans for expansion in that respect, unless you need more than 16 mic inputs now. I mix on one weekly: FOH and 4 or 5 monitor wedge mixes and sometimes ears too.

Seriously though, if you're looking at 32 channels, you'll need 40 or more. Bite the bullet and go shopping for a pm5d or m7cl...a mid- to large format industry standard digital console.

You need a professional contracting consultant who can make recommendations and do the work. Surely you can get referrals to reputable ones in your area from other churches you know.

Reading through some of your posts in this thread indicates the need for some training of your presumably volunteer audio crew as well. The contractor you choose should be able to hook you up there as well..part of the package.

Where are you located?
Old 11th August 2008
  #11
Gear Head
If your budget is tight and you control everything remotely with Yamaha's studio controller software anyway, you could even consider a 01v96 v2. They can control 32 channels and have 12 mic + 4 lines inputs AND ADAT + S/PDif inputs. So with a cheap 8 channel ADAT preamp (Octopre etc), you'd have 24 channels, and with an extra expansion card, 8 more => 32. I reckon a 2nd hand 01v96v2 would set you back less than 2000$. But you'd only have 8 aux sends.

Best regards
Eric
Old 11th August 2008
  #12
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
A LS9-16...with My16AT card...and a couple of 8 channel pres with ADAT out...will give you 32 channels.
We have used the Presonus or Focusrite pre for input expansion
Old 11th August 2008
  #13
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Audio Allegiance's Avatar
Quote:
The Yamaha LS9 is the answer...we have just done a club with the same wireless solution to a mis-placed control booth...available in 16 (expandable to 32) or 32 (expandable to 64) inputs.
What the LS-9 has going for it over older Yamaha products such as the DM series and 01V96 is the colour screen, the intuitive GUI and work flow but most importantly the mic pre gains are stored in the scene memory. That is a prerequisite for total recall to be meaningful the way I see it.

Running Studio manager via a lap top and a wireless router is exactly what you are looking for but also consider getting a pair of nearfield monitors for the sound booth.

Considering your budget an M7CL (which has a touch screen) is totally out of reach and the LS-9 (16 or 32) would be a stretch but I think getting anything less than an LS-9 would something you'd regret. Just my two cents.
Old 12th August 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kooz View Post
You need a professional contracting consultant who can make recommendations and do the work. Surely you can get referrals to reputable ones in your area from other churches you know.

Reading through some of your posts in this thread indicates the need for some training of your presumably volunteer audio crew as well. The contractor you choose should be able to hook you up there as well..part of the package.

Where are you located?
Hi Kooz, we are in Central Point Oregon (southern Oregon).

drbob and Mike, I'll talk to the pastor and see if he'd be at all willing to go higher for the LS9-32, if not then we'll start looking at expanding the LS9-16.

Katakomb, thanks for the info. I'll be sure to pass it along to the powers that be. I also found a couple videos on youtube about the LS9 and I want it!!! I may have to quit playing the drums so I can play with the new toy. heh

-tkr
Old 12th August 2008
  #15
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If you want to work remotely look into the Yamaha DME (Digital Mix Engine) mixer without the control surface

connect to a cheap ass pc running studio manager over USB

then set up a laptop with wireless card to connect to the upstairs pc over VNC (remote desktop).
Old 12th August 2008
  #16
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I talked with the pastor earlier today and he said that $9k may be a bit much, but he would take it before the church board. Hopefully they'll go for it. The more I look into it, the more I like!!

-tkr
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