changing the audio world, one system at a time .... church sound, video and lights

Temple De Hirsch Sinai Seattle Chapel Sound System

Temple De Hirsch Sinai - Seattle Chapel

Jim Collier the Facility/Media Director expressed the concerns they have with the Chapel. Highly reverberant, noisy, just bad for music in general. We had to correct the acoustic problems with the new sound system install or the new system would just make the problem worse.

We installed 72 Primeacoustic Beveled Edge Panels (2 ft x 4 ft x 2 inches) into the room which corrected the acoustic problem.

Next, the new system, Bose just came out with their new portable line array system (Bose F1 system with subs). So after looking at the physics and the design of the Bose system we felt it would be a perfect fit.

We weren’t wrong the system has clarity and has plenty of power to handle anything they could throw at it. The bottom end is very tight and punchy.

We did an impulse response test on the room before and after the install. This gave us a Sound Signature of the room before and after.

Here is the result. We ran a male shout and a female shout through the signature files of both and this was the result.

The first is the male shout in the room before install followed by the after install, then the female shout with the same order. Read More...

Life Change Church Seattle - New System

Life Change Church Seattle

Associate Pastor Art Nelson would like the room to sound like a recording studio control room. His comment on the existing system: It has a mushy bottom end, with it sounding very different depending on where you sit in the seating area.

Project: Upgrade Sound, Video, Acoustic Treatment, and Lighting

Design Parameters:

  • Acoustics - room to have a sound signature similar to a recording studio control room. Adding bass traps, panels and diffusion. (see drawings below)
  • Sound - Total new system, converting to digital, centered around a Midas M-32 mixer with 48 channels to platform. Speaker choice is the ISP HDL 3112 3-way line array with the ISP XMAX 212 Sub Woofers (all active) XTA processing and installed in a LCR configuration.(see SketchUp drawing below)
  • Lighting - All new lights to be LED including house lighting. Some par fixtures and a lot of robotics.

SketchUp Drawings


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Existing System:
  • Acoustics - None, no acoustic treatments of any kind in the existing room.
  • Sound - 2 x EAW Passive MK Series Club Speakers, Mackie SWA 1801 Active Sub Woofers, QSC amps (mains & monitors), Mackie SR 32-4 VLZ console, 4 stage pockets with 8 x XLR & 4 x 1/4” connectors.
  • Lighting - House light consist of residential hanging globe fixtures and track light for stage area.
  • Video - projection system on to a painted-on-wall screen in 4:3 format approx. 100” diagonal
  • Room size is 40’ x 40’, so this is a small room and their is a lot of energy put into the room from this system. The speakers are mounted in center cluster configuration, running mono. No processing of any kind, and amplifiers are located at the sound booth.


SSL (Solid State Logic) Announces LIVE Console

SSL launch first ever live sound console at Prolight + Sound 2013


“We are very confident that we have created a console engineers will fall in love with.”

Here is the quote from their site:

We are proud to announce the launch of ‘Live,’ the first SSL console for live sound production at Musikmesse/Prolight + Sound 2013 (Hall 5.1, Stand B.73). The ‘Live’ brings SSL’s unique approach to audio quality and console ergonomics to sound for the stage. SSL has been at the leading edge of analogue and digital audio console innovation for over 35 years. Like so many multi award winning, ground breaking and much loved consoles for Music, Broadcast and Post production SSL has created through the decades, Live promises to bring something very special to the party. Read More...

Expectations of a Soundman!


Countryman E6 Headphone/Earset Mic

Feedback Problems with E6 earset mic
I've had some questions about the feedback issue with this mic.  
After inquiring about the model of E6, I discovered the problem, they bought the Omni version of this mic. 
To get the best possible result from the E6 mic
it has to be the directional version of this mic. When you order the directional version, you get a couple of capsule covers:  a cardiod pattern and a hyper-cardiod pattern. This is the only version of this mic that I recommend.

What Model Number to order
Here is an example of the right model number to order
Breakdown of number: 
Model Number - Directivity - Sensitivity - Color - Cable Diameter- Wireless Brand/Connector
E6 - DW - 5 - L - 1 - AT
Directivity:  OW-(Omni) | DW-(Directional)
Sensitivity:  5 -(General Speaking) | 6 -(Speaking & Vocals) | 7 -(Strong Vocals) 
Color: L -(Light Beige) | T -(Tan) | C -(Cocoa) | B -(Black)
Cable Diameter: 1 - (1mm) | 2 -(2mm)
Brand: AT  - (Audio Technica - Hirose 4 Pin) | AW  - (Audio Technica - Switchcraft TA5F)

Sound System Training Test

I’ve added a link to the online interactive version of the “Test” ( see link in sidebar) or you can take the Test right here right now. Here is the “Test”

The online version does not have any questions from page 3 of the downloadable PDF file but is quite entertaining. It will give you a grade when you are done.

download “Audio Console Test” here

This is the test I use in my training seminar. For church media worship ministry leaders this will help you find a competent sound system engineer.

The biggest shortfall in church audio engineers is their ability to create a mix. They pretty much have a grasp of the functions of a board but lack the mixing skills. This is why I created the test, to reveal what they know or don’t know.


New Active 6" Line Array System

I recently visited the my distributor of light and sound products and Burt showed me a bunch of great new products.


A new robotic light in both spot and wash versions. Now these lights are going to take the market in a whole new direction. They are about the size of a big coffee can with a price point (under $1K retail) that will make it great for Houses of Worship, DJ, Club, and Touring applications (believe me they are bright enough). The great thing about these LED lights is the capability to have 32 fixtures on one 20 amp circuit.

I will post picture as soon as they go on sale.


The Omnisistem B3 R6/R12 Line Array will be available in an active version within the next 2 weeks. Great news for churches with up to 2000 people/seats. they can be configured as follows:
these arrays are extremely compact and with the addition of subs on the floor give you a 5 way system. more....


Home Recording Studio Drum Platform Design

Controlling drum leakage in your recording space, is probably the biggest problem in the home recording studio.
One way to solve the problem is to record the drums in the studio area while the rest of the band is recording in the control room. No more leakage but the scratch tracks are pretty much useless because of the leakage in the control room.
One problem solved and another problem is created. There has to be a better way.
If you isolate the drums properly, the leakage from the drums in the adjacent mics is not a problem. So what is the best way to isolate the drums?

The Solution: Build This

Drum Platform Design

Mini Line Arrays Part 2 update

Now we have the trusses up and the mini line arrays in their right location. Here was the sequence of events.

We started the install on Thursday with the 2 uprights and finished the rest of the truss on Friday.

Uprights put up firstRight side upright


Drum Surround DIY Diagram

Here is the "Live Stage" version of the Studio Gobo design.

The panel is 1/2 the density of the Studio Gobo design. You should notice that the surround uses two panel sizes. One 48" panel and four 36" panels to make the surround.
There are a couple of other things to notice as well, wheels that help you move the panels around and the space it provides for cable management.

Again I must point out that the most important ingredient to this design is the use of "Quietrock".

Live Sound drum surround design image.

Get the full size image here....

Home Recording Studio DIY Gobo Design Diagram

Here is a gobo design that I put together for a home recording studio. It can also be used for live applications (drum surround).

The most important part of the design is the use of "Quietrock 525" you cannot scrimp on this, it costs about $65.00 per sheet (4' x 8') but it makes all the difference.

Studio Gobo design image for home and professional recording studios

The 22.5° ends of the design helps to create various configurations, by flipping them around you can create straight walls or as the picture shows create a surround. If you need a reflective surface on one side don't do the 22.5° ends, instead make it square and replace the fabric on one side the gobo with 1/2 plywood. This will give you a additional room tuning option, you can move the gobos around and have either the reflective surface or the absorbing surface exposed in your room.

Download the full size picture here.....


Line Arrays for Small Churches

Here is a temporary install of a mini line array for a small church in Tacoma WA. It is a temporary install because they are putting in a truss system very shortly and the speakers are not in the optimum position right now.

Here is a render of the future truss system with the speakers hanging in future location & a picture of where they are right now:
Line array installed at Christ Life Church

the new line arrays in their temporary location:

Mini line array at Christ Life Center Church in Tacoma Read More...

Church Sound

Church Systems

Most church buildings today are not designed for sound, so even the smallest church building needs a sound system. Therefore the sound system is the cornerstone of every local church.

Why do churches go through at least 2 sound systems before they get one that really works?

The reason is that the music stores don't usually have the churches best interest at heart. While they do have good equipment, they usually don't have the necessary skills to determine your needs?

Do you think of speech reproduction first? or Do you design for music reproduction? There is a difference and You can have both. Read More...

First Baptist Church in Tacoma -Sound Booth Complete

Well, here it is, the completed sound booth. We raised the floor one step ( 7” ) which gave better site lines and now all the personnel running the service can see the platform clearly. The sound from the main speakers has a clear path now.

new sound booth at First Batist church in Tacoma, WA

Here is the old booth:

Old video console at FBTold audio console at FBT

and the wiring below the board.

As you can see the original install was quite bad. Read More...

Home Recording Studio Sound Proofing

This too could be yours a SSL 4048G
For years now I’ve been on the search for the most practical, beneficial sound proofing material for Home Recording Studio. I now feel it is possible to build a quality home recording studio inside a home or garage. With basic construction skills you too can build a professional level recording studio in your home. Here is a case study using Quiet Solutions product to pull it off.

click here to view full Sound Proofing PDF
click here to view full Sound Proofing PDF

I am working on some drawings and plans to take a normal space that you would encounter in a house to build a top notch recording studio and control room.
will be up on site soon.

First Baptist Church in Tacoma - Sound Booth Overhaul

The First Baptist Church in Tacoma gets a Sound/Video Booth overhaul. They have a very tight space and a lot of gear. We took their equipment list and put together a very efficient design. The install takes place from Jan 21 - 23. We are also raising the floor one step (7&rdquoWinking to get better visibility for the sound/video personnel.

Dimensional Drawing of the new sound/video booth

Phase One of the overhaul was to move the monitors amps down to the platform. We did that in Nov ’09. The amps for the mains are still in the booth (as you can see on the audio rack on the right side of the booth).

Phase Two - the design, construction, fabrication and install of new booth.

Once the install is done I will post an update.


First Baptist Church in Tacoma - System Rewire

sanctuary from balcony sound boothSoundcraft GB8-40 board in sound booth
Chris Pak from First Baptist church in Tacoma contacted me about their system a few weeks ago. They felt that the system was not operating properly and there were some wiring issues regarding hum in the system. I don’t know who designed the system but I did meet the installer. The amplifiers were placed in the sound booth under the mixer, feeding the monitors and the main speakers from the balcony. The system design consisted of a center cluster with additional speakers for side fills all located behind the suspended ceiling.
The cluster: 6 boxes of McCauley M120 speakers, and 2 subs cabinets (mounted one on each side of the array) not sure what the side fills are.
The processing for the system: DBX Driverack PA The driverack was set to a JBL 3 way speaker system with subs. (The McCauley system is a 2-way box)
The sound was very thin and I could tell that the mids where none existent.

We programed a custom setting in the driverack and the speakers came alive with all kinds of good sound.


TV Show Audio for Video

We just finished doing a pilot (4 shows) for V-Boys Productions. The show is a talk show format similar to "The Vue" but with a Christian perspective. The Show is called "The Vanessa Waller Show". We provided the audio recording for the shoot. Here is a picture of the set.

The Vanessa Waller Show

How to Build a Home Recording Studio Recording Studio

First off this picture is not a picture of a home recording studio. It however a good example of what to target towards.

I recently was a invited to see a ministry that is in the process of building a recording studio in Seattle. Not sure who did the design but they definitely need to go back to school and learn acoustics.
They are taking 2 rooms of an existing building, and converting then to a recording studio.
First off the Location of the building is on a major artery to downtown Seattle. Trucks, rush hour traffic etc. Solution: Major money has to be spent to build in insolation from ambient and transferred sound (through the floor and walls)

2nd Design: They have designed a literal box within a box. While this helps with insolation it does not deal with the acoustics of the control room and the studio (parallel walls etc.) This situation produces Standing Waves. This will really cause a bad environment to mix in. Read More...

How Important is it to Aim Speakers?

I just finished correcting a problem at the St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Issaquah. The problem was a very reverberant space with lots of echo. In the sanctuary there wasn’t a lot sound absorbing materials, tile floors, plaster walls in a basic rectangular shaped room. The 4 speakers providing sound to the 4 seating areas were located in the skylight structure. see pics Read More...