Product Reviews

Just because you like it, why should I? Audix VX5 reviewed.

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A couple weeks ago, the Audix sales rep stopped by with the Audix national sales manager in tow.  I've known both of these guys for a long time, and we've enjoyed a friendly relationship for at least 15 years.  We spent a few minutes catching up and telling stories, and as we talked through the line, the topic of missed opportunities came up.  I often ask sales people if they have products that we're missing out on -- ones that other dealers are selling successfully (and that we're not), or ones that no one is selling, but that everyone should be.  And like a good salesperson, Gene had an answer. 

The Audix VX-5 is a new handheld hypercardioid condenser microphone that he said was becoming very popular, and that reminded him of the old AKG C535.  That got my attention since the C535 was one of my favorite vocal mics "back in the day."

Gene let me unbox the microphone and I have to admit that it had a nice look, and a great feel, but what a mic looks like doesn't matter much to me.  The VX5 is made here in the USA, solidly built, and precise in its fit and finish.  But again, how would it sound? 

Since it's pretty much impossible to get a feel for a microphone in an office setting, Gene left the microphone with me, and I decided to try it out on an unsuspecting vocalist.

Read more: Just because you like it, why should I? Audix VX5 reviewed.


Line 6 Soundscape M20d - feature by feature

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by Doug Doppler,

The Line
 6 StageScape 
M20d does a fantastic
 job of addressing the 
challenges we face each week, 
and it does it all via a touch-sensitive user interface that can be mirrored on one or more iPads.

One of the biggest challenges we face on Sunday mornings is developing a streamlined workflow for sound check, monitor levels, and front of house mix. Workflow is an integral part of how this unit was designed, and is key to its effectiveness in a worship environment.

The five Mode Buttons allow you to toggle between the Setup, Tweak, Record, Monitor, and Perform views in the UI. With the exception of Record Mode, these buttons trace the exact production path you’d follow on a Sunday, making for a streamlined approach on an architectural level.

Read more: Line 6 Soundscape M20d - feature by feature


"Okay, we're back now." Keeping your security team and greeters connected.

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Right away, I have to tell you that this won't be a typical equipment review.  In fact, it's not a review of how a product works, but simply an observation of how the church I attend keeps its Outreach Team (the guys that serve in the parking lot) connected during our worship services.

Our weekend worship service starts at 9:30AM and at 10:03AM, I felt the sound desk vibrate.  "Hey, what happened to our service?"  My friend Marty had sent me a text message to say that the guys outside had lost the signal from the service.  I thought, "Hey, they ARE listening." and quickly shot back a text message to let them know that we were in the Meet and Greet break.  Since I didn't have an ambient microphone in their audio feed, when the band mics and the pastor's mic went off for the break, they heard dead air.  I quickly sent them some sound to let them know that they were still okay and the service restarted within a minute or so. 

Each week, Marty stops by the tech booth to pick up radios for the three or four guys who faithfully serve in the parking lot.  Rain, snow, 100 degree Ohio summers or ice cold rain, these guys greet people, keep an eye on the cars, and they make sure that anyone who needs anything gets what they need.  And normally, once the receivers are picked up, I don't give it another thought -- except this week was different. 

A few years ago, we purchased an assistive listening system for the hearing impaired, never thinking that our small church would find a use for the system other than...

Read more: "Okay, we're back now." Keeping your security team and greeters connected.


Let Us Help You Design You Portable Stages

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Versatile - Rugged - Fast install and strike - Anti skid surface - Choice of surfaces - Easy storage - No tools required


PennStage is a flexible range of rugged, high quality staging products built from 6061 structural grade alloy and high quality plywood.  It features a durable ¾”" slip proof and water resistant surface as standard.  The versatile Fastfold support systems come in a variety of fixed and adjustable sizes to ensure compatibility on variable grades and surfaces.  Setup and teardown are a breeze with no tools required.

PennStage also feature a full range of accessories including stairs steps, handrails, guardrails, wheelchair ramps and a range of product carts.  Standard and custom designs are available.

Take a look at the video below to get an idea of how fast and easy setting up a PennStage can be.  Please call us for pricing on all standard and custom configurations today!



Personal Mixer Headphone Extensions

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Headphone extensions have been the bane of many a sound engineer's existence. The cables on IEMs are never long enough to get from the musician's head to the Aviom or M-48, which means we need to provide some sort of extension cable. In the past, I've tried buying 1/4" headphone extensions and used 1/4" to 1/8" adapters, but those cheap, off-the-shelf adapters are very stiff and the adapters don't always work.

Recently, we've tried making our own. I found some super-thin cable and put a 1/4" TRS on one end with an 1/8" cable end on the other. Those worked well; at least until the 1/8" ends started failing -- which was about week 3. We then switched to regular cable (Mogami 2792) with a TRS on the PM end, and a locking 1/4" cable end with 1/4" to 1/8" adapter on the other. We even zip-tied a carabiner to the musician's end so they could clip to to their belt loops. Those work OK, but we've still had issues with the adapters (usually the left side cuts in and out).

While walking the trade show floor at WFX, I was tipped off to a possible solution

Read more: Personal Mixer Headphone Extensions


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What others say

Thanks for the great job you all have done!  Thanks for suggesting and sticking with the digital board. The benefits are awesome.

We are so pleased with having great sound, lighting tech...etc in the building.  I have been in many new churches where the sound is squeaking, squawking etc. and it ruins the services.  We have had few to no glitches. There are still many things that I would like to do.

By the way the remote clicker for the Power Point worked great, reached from the platform to the back of the room.

I am looking forward to continuing a working relationship and a growing friendship.

Pastor Steve Hubbard
Ebenezer Baptist Church