Things are going pretty well behind the mixing board at my church. I’ve had a couple of goof ups (a little ringing on the pastor’s mic two weeks ago, and I ran out of disk space on the recorder last week), but overall I think I have been able to add something to the performance quality. I have even received a few comments that the band’s sound has improved over the last few weeks. But there is a tricky problem with the sound in the front few rows.
We have a PA onstage that the main vocalist and some of the instruments run through, and then the church PA running through some overhead speakers placed in front and above the stage. I have a limited ability to control the sound in the first few rows with the mixing board. But as I was thinking about it today, I realized that all I need to do is get the band members with amplifiers to tweak their levels to produce a better mix before I mix for the church PA. Once I get the “air” mix working well in the first few rows, it should be easier to fill in the rest and still have everything sound great. But there is one more problem I would like to solve.
The most important element of mixing a performance is starting with a band that is playing at their peak level. That generally requires setting up a stage monitor mix that allows every musician to hear themselves in the larger context of the music. So my plan next week is to first tweak the amplifier levels on the stage, then rough in a mix for the church PA, then lock in the stage monitor mix, then go back and polish the main mix again.
I will let you know how it works next week!