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Electro-Voice RE320 Reviewed

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by Mike Sessler, Coast Hills Community Church

The ElectroVoice RE20 has been from it's introduction a favorite of broadcasters and announcers. Somewhere along the line, someone stuck it in front of a bass cabinet and discovered it rocks as a bass mic. Then someone else put it in a kick drum and found it works wonders there, too. In fact, the RE20 is great on a lot of things. And while it's not super-expensive (at least by premium microphone standards), at $400-ish, it's not a budget mic either.

EV realized there was a market for a more cost-conscious version of the RE20. In January, 2011 at NAMM in Anaheim, they introduced the RE320. Priced at $299.

When I saw it at NAMM, I knew I had to try it. I've used the RE20 in the past, and always liked it. But I have a hard time justifying the price tag when I have so many other things that need attention.

The week before Easter, a box arrived; it was my demo RE320. We were re-setting the stage anyway, so I pulled the PR-48 out of the kick and stuck the RE320 in. I think it was the second or third kick during line check that I knew this mic was not going back.

I've tried a lot of different mics in the kick, and have only really ever been happy with one; the Heil PR-40. I'd love a PR-40, but at $325, it's a tougher sell. The PR-48 was okay, but I never felt we could get it positioned to give us both the punch and the clarity I wanted from the kick. We could get one or the other, but not both.

When I arrived at Coast, we had the "classic" combination of a Beta 91 inside and a Beta 52 in the hole. I know a lot of guys who like the dual mic technique in the kick, and I respect that. My preference however, is to use one. There are a lot of reasons for that which I won't detail here. But know that it's preference thing and I don't think dual mic'ing is wrong. I'd just rather not.

Read more: Electro-Voice RE320 Reviewed

 

The Sound Check Process

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

The other day I was talking with Kevin Sanchez, and he asked me if I had ever written a post about our sound check procedure. I thought I had, but a quick search of the site turned up nothing. So here it is.

I’ve found the sound check to be one of the most important times of the entire weekend experience. It’s a short window in time that allows you to set the tone for the service, either for better or worse. A smooth, well-run sound check will put the musicians at ease and enable them to lead well. A rough one will elevate tension and put the service in jeopardy.

For me, the key to a successful soundcheck is all in the preparation. That means...

Read more: The Sound Check Process

   

CTA Classroom - Quick monitor tips

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechsArts.org

As I've had family in town all week, today's post is going to be simple and quick. I want to throw out three quick tips for helping get your monitor mixes dialed in faster and with a little less stress. The general assumption here is that you're mixing wedges from FOH, but the principles will apply to just about any situation.

Start with a Rough Mix

For some, this may seem obvious, but it makes a big difference. Back when I was mixing on analog consoles, we would typically zero out the board after every weekend. So when the band got there, they didn't hear themselves or anything else in the wedges. It took me a while, but I learned they found this disconcerting.

My initial fix to this problem was to put just each instrument in their wedge to start. That helped, but the more I played with it, the more I found that I could build a basic mix even before they got there that would end up reasonably close to what they wanted.

I started noting roughly where the gains were for each input, and set those appropriately. And I would dial up a rough mix just to get them started.

Read more: CTA Classroom - Quick monitor tips

   

CTA Classroom - Phantom of the Power

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

Today we're going to continue our series on the electrical side of sound. Last time, we tackled ground loops; their cause and a few solutions. This time around, it's phantom power. Phantom power is one of those often misunderstood aspects of sound. It's one of those things that's really not that complicated once you get it, but up to that point it's a bit of a mystery. So today we take the mystery out of phantom power.

Why Use It?
The first question we need to ask is why use phantom power at all? Strictly speaking, we don't need to, as the only reason we need phantom power is to power condenser microphones. Take all the condensers off stage and you can shut off phantom power forever. But most of us like to use the occasional condenser mic or active DI, so phantom power is necessary. Some condenser mics and active DIs will run on a battery, but if you don't have to power something from a battery, you shouldn't (you know it's going to die at the most inopportune time). It should be noted that it is only condenser mics and active DIs that require phantom power; for all other sources, it's best to turn it off if you have the option to do so on a channel by channel basis.

Phantom power moving from the console to the mic, audio goes the other way. In basic concept, anyway.

What is it?

Read more: CTA Classroom - Phantom of the Power

   

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