Church, Guitar Balance and Equalization

studio

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I’m a guitar and bass player and know nothing about sound. I read all of this and have no idea what I’m supposed to take away.
Well, for starters when you finally join
a church band or even get on the
audio video team, you can usually
get a free meal out of the deal.

If nothing else, your stomach will be filled.
You can work out the rest on your own schedule.
Mind, Body and Spirit. Thanks.
 

Teladjacent

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
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35
Location
Indiana
Well, for starters when you finally join
a church band or even get on the
audio video team, you can usually
get a free meal out of the deal.

If nothing else, your stomach will be filled.
You can work out the rest on your own schedule.
Mind, Body and Spirit. Thanks.
So the takeaway is join the tech team and get a free meal?
 

FortyEight

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Jul 1, 2020
Posts
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50
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Thank you Studio. About two years ago i wouldnt have made it through your first post without my head spinning. but after embarking on home recording im slowly starting to understand the importance of this stuff. can u tell me what frequency the low e is on a bass? i wish u could have a talk with the pedal steel player in my country band. hes getting up in years and has played music forever. and always has to be the loudest. plus he uses this big ole quilter amp that has a 15" speaker that to me floods all the frequency ranges. and then he keeps wanting me to turn my lows up. well if it was his way all u would hear from my bass is a low rumble that has no perceptable notes. which bugs me. its kinda how they do the bass at our church too.

to my ears when the bass is booming all low end then it either is totally lost other than what u feel. or its gotta be turned up so loud it drowns everything out. i feel like with recording and sitting in a live mix there needs to be some mids and a bit of highs to be able to hear it. then u can turn it down so its not drowning out other stuff.

that band is challenging, mix wise. its got a guy always playing an acoustic with chords. i eventually told him to get rid of some of his lows. then u got me, lead guitar, fiddle, pedal steel and drums. most if the times in bars. with wood walls and short ceilings 🤪😁


now. on to the drums at church. psalm 150 says to play loudly with cymbals. but i mean, micing them seems most of the time, un-necessary. unless its in a really big sanctuary. i wish our guys would experiment with the bundle sticks to tame their sound. hot rods. etc.

honestly my perspective is that all the instruments while praising God should just be accompanying the voices of EVERYONE. Not just the band cranking out music for the sake of playing music. we are there to lift our voices, together, to God.

And then be taught Gods word. If i want to be a spectator at a concert, i can do that another time.
 

studio

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Thank you Studio. About two years ago i wouldnt have made it through your first post without my head spinning. but after embarking on home recording im slowly starting to understand the importance of this stuff. can u tell me what frequency the low e is on a bass? i wish u could have a talk with the pedal steel player in my country band. hes getting up in years and has played music forever. and always has to be the loudest. plus he uses this big ole quilter amp that has a 15" speaker that to me floods all the frequency ranges. and then he keeps wanting me to turn my lows up. well if it was his way all u would hear from my bass is a low rumble that has no perceptable notes. which bugs me. its kinda how they do the bass at our church too.

to my ears when the bass is booming all low end then it either is totally lost other than what u feel. or its gotta be turned up so loud it drowns everything out. i feel like with recording and sitting in a live mix there needs to be some mids and a bit of highs to be able to hear it. then u can turn it down so its not drowning out other stuff.

that band is challenging, mix wise. its got a guy always playing an acoustic with chords. i eventually told him to get rid of some of his lows. then u got me, lead guitar, fiddle, pedal steel and drums. most if the times in bars. with wood walls and short ceilings 🤪😁


now. on to the drums at church. psalm 150 says to play loudly with cymbals. but i mean, micing them seems most of the time, un-necessary. unless its in a really big sanctuary. i wish our guys would experiment with the bundle sticks to tame their sound. hot rods. etc.

honestly my perspective is that all the instruments while praising God should just be accompanying the voices of EVERYONE. Not just the band cranking out music for the sake of playing music. we are there to lift our voices, together, to God.

And then be taught Gods word. If i want to be a spectator at a concert, i can do that another time.

No worries my brotha!

Low E on a bass guitar is 41hz
Bass is a unique instrument in that
nothing else should be in that freq range
except kick drum woof and power hungry organists!
Lol.

Bass notes need to be heard as well as felt,
but it all depends on a few factors. The room
makeup, the type of audience and their expectations,
The degree of dynamics with other instruments etc..

Just as a feeler gauge, my mix can start with the upper
bass guitar notes clarifying in the 200hz range and a peak extension
to tickle the 800hz range barely. We want the bass notes
to have perceptible definition. Not just bottom feeder boom. (80hz)
Of course, all those freqs have to play nice with each other
and within the song's natural order of things.

The guitars in my mix will have a low end that starts to
cutoff around 200hz so that the two instruments do not
compete for the same space.

The more instruments you have in your group makes
the frequencies narrower for your instrument in order
to accommodate everyone in their range. In my mix,
if there are two guitar players, they will not sound
identical, not if I can help it. I will reason with them to
alter the sounds so they can be individually heard.

As far as cymbals are concerned, you can mic them,
I usually do overheads.....but they are rarely in the
mix loud enough to be distinguishable by the audience.

I also give the soprano singers handheld condenser
microphones to define that clarity in their voice and
to separate them from the other singers but again,
without being overbearing. Just enough to know
it's in the room.

Remember, it's called Sound Reinforcement for a reason.
It's only there to help what's already being heard in the room.
If your mix is too loud, then it's too loud. Simple.

Now, if we were outdoors, the rules
would change as they often do to fit
the environment. Thanks.
 
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studio

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Location
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Studio you have such a depth of knowledge, thanks for your in depth posts!
If we use what we can grasp of it perhaps we'll all be a bit clearer🤓
Thank you very much for that.
The Good Lord has uniquely defined my steps and guided down paths because it's where He wanted me to be, experience, and learn from the journey.

Did God know I was going to one day write a thread to help out 10,000 + worship leaders, audio techs, musicians and pastors?

Almost every step of my learning experience was met with obstacles, some life threatening and others downright deadly.
But the doors were swinging wide open on the other side.
The light at the end of the tunnel was burning brightly.....

I am honored, deeply honored to be of service to so many. Thanks.
 

Ascension

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
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Posts
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Birmingham Alabama
Really spot on thread! You are right the room many times gets ignored and can be the most important. Have been in a couple large Churches that had been built with no regard to sound. They all had serious issues in the room with dead spots phase cancellation and other issues. Until you addressed those issue with sound panels ect there was absolutely no way to get that room to sound right. Then you get into speaker placement for the room ect and again unless it is done right the room simply will never sound right. Weird reflections dead spots ect. Great sound in a environment is a science that many ignore. They throw a system together to meet a budget with little regard for anything else then spend years fighting the gremlins. When you do the homework up front and really look objectively at the real issues and needs it is a whole other world. However in Churches this is rarely done.
 

oyobass

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Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Posts
372
Location
SpanaGrahm, WA
Really spot on thread! You are right the room many times gets ignored and can be the most important. Have been in a couple large Churches that had been built with no regard to sound. They all had serious issues in the room with dead spots phase cancellation and other issues. Until you addressed those issue with sound panels ect there was absolutely no way to get that room to sound right. Then you get into speaker placement for the room ect and again unless it is done right the room simply will never sound right. Weird reflections dead spots ect. Great sound in a environment is a science that many ignore. They throw a system together to meet a budget with little regard for anything else then spend years fighting the gremlins. When you do the homework up front and really look objectively at the real issues and needs it is a whole other world. However in Churches this is rarely done.
Yup, It is kind of like buying a compressor for your guitar rig- a lot of money for something that apparently does little.

Once you have it in place, you wonder how you ever got along without it!
 

Ascension

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Posts
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Age
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Location
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One of the things I have done for years is record the FOH sound. That way I can hear how I'm setting in the mix and then adjust accordingly. Many times what you hear on stage will fool you. The tape don't lie.
Some examples.
This is all recorded with my Zoom Q3 HD on the internal mics at the back of the room.
Running my PRS MT 15 here with a miced cab in the back room off stage noting but a little verb and delay in the loop.

This is running my little Mesa Subway Rocket combo at an absolute whisper on stage and miced again running nothing but a little delay and verb in the loop.

Here I'm running my Zinky Blue Velvet unmiced with just a little delay in the front.

This is a JCM 900 Marshall MK III Dual Master combo at a whisper on stage

By recording have learned how to make my guitar set in the mix like I want it to. Also have 5 different amps so bring what is appropriate for the gig.
 
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dreamingtele

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Jun 16, 2010
Posts
4,911
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the insights! I may have to read this again as it’s pretty epic. Especially the EQ part since I love EQ-ing my sound. Part of the reason I dont like pedals with just a tone knob. At least i have a 2-3 band eq. lol.

Been trying all sorts of ways and eq to be heard in the church mix and not be loud. Interesting notes, mid boost, etc etc. but always always us guitarists are buried in the mix like guitars are evil inside the church. Lol

Anyway! Will go back to reading.
 




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