Resources

Five Wireless Microphone Mistakes That Are as Common as They Are Avoidable

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by Alex Milne

They’ve happened to the best of us. After paging through stacks of manuals, phoning and perhaps yelling at manufacturer technical support lines, and checking and re-checking dozens of options on menu screens, we discover the cause of our wireless microphone malfunction is something so breathtaking simply, so glaringly obvious, that we can’t believe we didn’t think of it in the first place.

The following five mistakes are blunders shared by inexperienced and experienced audio pros alike. Do not be ashamed.

1. Dead Battery

The lifeblood of the wireless microphone transmitter, the battery, is a fickle creature.

The useable life of a battery is influenced by a number of factors, which makes it hard to pin down just how many hours you’ll get out of a microphone. The type of battery in use, the brand, the temperature, and - the oft-ignored curveball - the transmitter power (20 mW vs 50 mW, etc), can all dramatically change how long your handheld perseveres.

Some people play the russian roulette game of guessing how much juice they’ve got left on a case by case basis. Others invest in a battery tester or multimeter. The most paranoid users (and the wisest) don’t let a mic go up on stage without fresh batteries. This results in a lot of half-used batteries that go in the battery recycling bin, but it is a heck of a lot better than a mic going dead. You can purchase batteries by the case from your favorite audiovisual retailer. If you do any kind of mission critical work, we encourage you to do the same.

Read more: Five Wireless Microphone Mistakes That Are as Common as They Are Avoidable

 

17 seconds to better audio

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Listen to for 17 seconds to hear the difference that 17% can make. 

 

Problem: The main worship facility at South Delta Baptist Church of Delta, British Columbia seats approximately 1600 people with both main floor and in the upper balcony. Due to a 4 second reverb/decay time, a large percentage of the congregation was challenged in hearing the message due to a lack of vocal intelligibility - caused by excessive reverberation and echo.

Solution: Primacoustic Broadway panels were placed on only 17% of the wall surface and spread evenly throughout the sanctuary. Since the style of worship incorporates amplified instruments, careful attention was paid to the stage area to control reflections from vocal monitors, guitar amplifiers and drums.

As a result, reverberation was decreased from 4 seconds to just over 1 second, greatly improving intelligibility and enhancing the worship experience for everyone.

If you'd like to talk about acoustic solutions for your worship space, please get in touch with us.  We would be glad to create a custom solution for you. 

   

What are the differences between the Shure QLX-D and ULX-D?

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We get this question a lot, and thankfully, we found some information from Shure that neatly summarizes the facts and confirms our suspicions about audio quality.  The following article is a Tech Tep from the Shure Applications Engineering team.  

Typical Applications for QLX-D - corporate events, live music, higher education campuses, houses of worship, hotels, conference centers. For a corporate installation, consider QLX-D if all the receivers are on the same floor and/or use the same Ethernet network. For live music, consider QLX-D for a small or medium-size concert hall.

Key Differences between QLX-D and ULX-D

In terms of audio quality, reliability, and RF performance, QLX-D and ULX-D are the same. The primary differences are network sophistication and RF flexibility.

Read more: What are the differences between the Shure QLX-D and ULX-D?

   

Video display solutions for bright rooms

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Is your video projector washed out?  Not washed up, but washed out - as in, the light in the room is so bright that you can't see the image, no matter how bright the projector is.  It happens all of the time -- house lights, stage lights, sunlight.  Some of those can be fixed, but you can only go so far. 

Every day, we watch televisions, computer monitors, and our devices (phones, tablets, etc.) and we're pretty spoiled.  High brightness and beautiful color, and if you're indoors, these video displays generally unaffected by the light around you. 

Then we decide that we want to see that same image in a meeting room or auditorium.  If we're not careful with lighting placement or choosing the right projector and screen, we can see something like this.

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 2.54.18 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can't make out anything (video or words).  But that's what overhead fluorescent lights (let alone sunlight) can do.

With a conventional projection screen, there's not much else to expect, since the projected video image is picked up equally well compared to the other light sources and reflected back to your eye.  Add to that that the darkest part of the white screen is as black as your black on the screen can be. 

Does that make sense?  If so, how do you get a really good, dark, detailed black on a white screen with high ambient light.  Well, you don't. You get what's shown in the photo above. 

So what are my options, you ask?  Read on...

Read more: Video display solutions for bright rooms

   

Three Keys for Building Design

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Editor's note: We can't stress enough that you read this article, read it again, and then promise to follow all of Mike's recommendations.  If you do so, you'll be ahead of 90% of churches out there.  One of my investment advisors rants that no one really wants to learn about investing, but that most people just want a quick-fix.  It's the same in the technical world.  There are no shortcuts when it comes to proper planning, equipment selection, and integration. 

by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

Today I’d like to tackle a few suggestions that I always give to churches who are starting a building project. I always say the same thing, mainly because these are the areas I see churches skipping time after time. Skipping these things ensures two things: First, you and your congregation will not be happy with the performance of the sound, lighting and/or video in the room. Second, there will remain a healthy market for companies that specialize in fixing churches that were designed and built poorly.

With that said, here are three things you cannot skimp on when entering a building project.

Fix the Acoustics Before You Build

First, the overall acoustic signature of the room has to be correct. This is where most churches skimp out. They let the architect design the building; which is fine except I've yet to meet an architect who has any real clue how acoustics work. A few do, but they're the ones who design churches for a living and have acousticians on staff.

The problem is most architects want the room to look nice and be easy to build.

Read more: Three Keys for Building Design

   

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What others say

Dave,

All the shipments came yesterday! I just want to say how impressed I have been of your customer service. It has been great working with you and I plan to continue buying from you in the future and will recommend you to any church looking to buy equipment.

As always thanks for your time,

Steven Teters