controlling sound level

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of volounteer volounteer 4 years, 8 months ago.

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    Profile photo of volounteer

    Our problem is volounteers on the board and controlling the sound level both on the monitors on stage and the level in the audience.

    Would like a way to assist or even automate ala AMM approach setting LUFS or at least SPL levels.

    Want a LUFS meter showing loudness not just the VU like meter the Qu has now. This would be needed on input for CD playback.

    Compression or other FX that would set the LUFS level on input could work too. But also need one on the LR outputs.

    Would like a way to show SPL levels at the board. Ideally remote meters could be connected via a snake and give the sound levels.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    To be blunt I don’t any mixer feature will fix your problem.

    Have them in the audience with an iPad.

    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees

    I agree. There are no technical solutions to inexperience, no quick fixes or shortcuts to operator competence. Of course, the same can be said about the musicians on stage…

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    I think Dick knew what I meant to say, I need to type slower and read my post before hitting submit!

    ….and what I wanted to say.
    To be blunt I don’t of any mixer feature that will fix your problems.

    Profile photo of GCumbee

    As others have said. Sometimes it comes down to some folks just aren’t cut out for this. You wouldn’t want someone who could barely play a guitar or drums in a vital role on stage. Or someone who can’t sing leading worship. Running sound requires just as much skill. If they can’t do it let them serve some other way.

    Profile photo of volounteer

    Reasonable suggestions for normal situations.
    Thanks to those who replied.

    We are a church. We have to use volounteers.
    You mix with the volounteers you have not the volounteers you wish you had.
    Some are skilled but yet they take a long time setting up do to volume variations depending on what CD we may play that week.

    The music director is on stage doing things during the service and not really able to tweak in RT via the Ipad that he has.
    Or the one that the dealer will be providing soon.

    Also they take an hour every week before the services to tune the mixes to stage monitor to get levels right.
    There HAS to be an easier way to do that.

    An LUFS meter would certainly speed things up as we could set the output the same every time and do it faster.
    An automatic feedback suppressor would also be helpful. I have seen those in use in other places. Would be nice if it were built into the Qu32 also.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    You are not going to fix your problem by throwing more hardware or these days software at it, not going to happen.

    If the set up stays basically the same week to week why are monitors taking an hour to be

    How many people are on your sound team? Do they rotate through a schedule to where each person is only running sound once every four weeks? Do any of your sound team run sound on a regular basis as a hobby or profession?

    Profile photo of volounteer


    The monitors are redone because the music director often playsback CDs or PC music that he provided for that week.
    Or more accurately, he has the volounteers play it while he is on stage directing things.

    I am trying to get him to normalise the CDs he burns using LUFS ap so that once we set the level correctly, we can use that level every time in the future and then we won’t have to tweak the stage monitors any longer.

    Complicating things is that he is more a musical expert than a sound expert although he does know a lot about using a board.
    I suspect that digital dBFS and LUFS and similar new things are still being learned.
    Also, he tends to set things by ear not by measurements that show the real levels.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    We had two volounteers which made it tough for them. They have done it for 11 years now.
    They alternated Sundays AM but there was nobody for Sunday PM or Wednesday night. And if work takes them out of town it gets to be a problem.

    We are training 4 new ones. Some have hobby experience, one went to Full Sail and has some real experience,
    one appears to be an artist who is willing to help, not sure about the last one. No guarantee that they all get it well enough and all will keep volounteering.

    I suspect the music director will rotate most of the others through Sunday AM with one of the old timers so as to make sure they are all experienced and could do it alone if needed.

    It appears that I will be the only one doing Sunday night and Wednesdays. But those nights are not nearly as challenging.
    Nor are flubs as damaging to ensuring that people keep coming back and dont leave because of the audio. Without a choir in the evening we can kill those monitors which helps a lot. The piano and organ monitors are not a problem. The only other one is the stage wedges but they are not a real issue either on Weds. or in the evening Sunday.

    Profile photo of garyh

    We have 1 service, Sunday morning, which consists of 4 or 5 worship songs (piano, drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead vocal and 1 to 4 backing vocals), and a sermon. We have 2 rehearsal times, Wednesday evening for however long it takes to set volumes, etc., and for an hour Sunday morning as a straight run through.

    From your description, I’m assuming you use CD backing tracks with some live instruments and vocals. Taking an hour before the service to set levels etc. seems reasonable to me. Use the scene saving functionality if levels are drastically changed between songs.

    Profile photo of Mark Oakley
    Mark Oakley

    Why not run the monitor send for the CD Post-Fade? Even with CD’s of different levels; when it’s right in the house it will be right in the wedge.


    Profile photo of volounteer

    @mark Oakley

    I do not know how the monitors are set up. The dealer and music director did that before anyone else got involved. They used to have a 40 channel analogue board, so some things got rearranged to make it fit on the Qu32 while keeping operation as close to what they had previously, for the current operators.

    I suspect that there are a number of changes in many areas that could be made to improve usability and make it easier to use. All I think I know indicates that there are 4 mixes being used for monitors, and one for hearing impaired. Maybe they should use the two matrix instead of all mix for the choir monitors, which a post in another topic on these forums suggested in a similar situation.

    I believe it is used so the performers can all hear a monitor if they are involved in the song performance so they can stay in sync. It is also possible that the piano , or keyboard/guitar on stage is also in the piece. The choir should follow the director and he has his own monitor next to him. But I do not think the choir would ever sing with a CD track, that is usually 1-4 singers up front alone when that happens. And I do not know where the ‘loft’ is or why there is a monitor there. Supposedly it is next to the pipes for the organ. And no reason why they need a monitor there at all if they really have the floor wedges in front of the choir too.

    We also have two wedges on the floor on the top step going up to the stage in front of the pulpit. We have a set of monitors that are at the piano, organ, and choir director locations. We have the choir loft, and we seem to have have two more wedges on the floor in front of the choir at the back of the stage. Also there is one monitor meant to feed hearing impaired which is to be upgraded when we can afford it.

    The whole set up is a mystery. I just got involved a couple months ago. I would think the front wedges would be good enough with the piano/organ/director set. Those also seem to have volume control knobs so should not be the problem.

    I am not on stage so I cant judge how well the monitors can be heard. All I can do is what the music director says to do.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    Keep in mind the more monitors and the louder they are in an attempt to appease the musicians has a big negative impact on the main mix sound. With the full band up and playing turn off the main speakers and see how loud it is, how “mushy” it sounds and keep in mind that is what all of your main mixes are built around.

    Are you putting the choir mics back into the monitors for the choir? that can be bad.
    Actually you want to be careful about the volume of the track music in the choir monitors, it can easily get louder than the choir is singing and then guess what all you
    are only picking up with the choir mics.

    No meter is going to fix any of that.

    Profile photo of MarkPAman

    ” I would think the front wedges would be good enough with the piano/organ/director set. Those also seem to have volume control knobs so should not be the problem.”

      Careful of volume knobs.

    If you start changing levels there, then it sort of makes the whole point of saving scenes on the desk a bit redundant.
    Set the levels on any speakers that have them, mark the position & leave them there. Then the next time you recall a scene everything is the same. If you turn the up at the speaker, you could well find lots of feedback the next time somebody hits recall.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    I think it’s time you need to get someone in there to go through the system front to back who really knows what their doing to at least figure out how the system is configured and then streamline it for your needs.

    When I say “really knows what their doing” I don’t mean a friend of a buddy who is DJ on the weekends, the kid who works at the music store, and maybe not even the dealer who put in.
    Your music director should be involved offering ideas on what they want but also be ready to be told what can be done and what should not be done.

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