Behringer P16 Personal In Ear Monitoring System

beh-p16-m8mix_f

The P16 is Behringer’s personal in-ear monitoring system. The features and performance of this system rival that of competing systems (e.g. Aviom, Allen & Heath) that cost 4 or 5 times as much as the Behringer. After using the P16 at church twice a week for over a year now, I thought it was time for a comprehensive review of this system for others who may be interested, but may be unsure of exactly what components they need to integrate it into their own existing sound system. Continue Reading »

The Stereo-to-Mono Summing Cable That No One Makes

Photo0019

Have you ever used a stereo-to-mono “Y-cable” or TRS (Tip/Ring/Sleeve)-to-TS(Tip/Sleeve) cable for combining two audio outputs together, or for summing the Left and Right channels from a single stereo output to mono? For example, maybe you wanted to connect the stereo outputs of your computer, CD player, iPod, iPad, Android tablet or phone into a single 1/4″ input channel on an audio mixer. Or maybe you needed to sum a stereo signal to mono for connecting to a single subwoofer. Or maybe you were mixing a song in your home recording studio and needed to check your mixes in mono on a single “grot box”, like the Auratone or one of its clones (Avantone Mix Cube, Behringer Behritone C5A, C50A, etc.). If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably done this, but what you may not know is this: a Y-cable or stereo-to-mono cable used to SPLIT a signal into two outputs is being used properly. A Y-cable used to MIX or COMBINE two signals into one input is being abused, and may even damage your equipment! Continue Reading »

In Ear Monitoring with the Behringer X-Air XR18

xr18_front

As I’ve written about previously, I’m the proud owner of a Behringer X-Air XR18 digital Wi-fi mixer. I love this thing. After using it for about a year now, I could never imagine going back to an analog mixer and a huge rack full of heavy analog gear for my live sound system. One of the things I like about the XR18 is its flexibility. When I recently decided to go to a wired in-ear monitor system for myself (I’m the drummer in the band), I discovered there are no fewer than 3 options for doing so with the XR18. The other guys in the band will continue to use floor wedges, but after getting accustomed to using in-ear monitors at church for several months now (and abusing my own ears mercilessly for over 25 years playing drums), I decided to do the same thing with my own PA system. Continue Reading »

Acoustic Treatment 101

studioshot

A while back, I received an e-mail from a friend asking me about acoustic treatment options for a practice room that he is setting up in the basement of his home. He plays the drums and guitar, and he said that the reflections in the room were terrible. Knowing that I had spent a lot of time and money on treating my studio, he was curious about what I had used, and what I would recommend that he do for his room. Continue Reading »

A Gear-Buying Strategy for Small Recording Studios

One of the most challenging aspects of building a recording studio is knowing what equipment to buy and when. Where do you start? What should you sink most of your money into early on? The sky is the limit when it comes to how much money you can spend, so it can be very difficult to know what to buy first–should you buy a great mic and a mediocre preamp, or a great preamp and a mediocre mic? What about converters? Should you invest more in high-quality converters early on, or save that investment for later? Continue Reading »

A Better Way to Record the Audio for Your Church Services

dr40

I’ve been using a Tascam DR-40 portable recorder for over a year now to record our band reharsals and services each week at church. After each rehearsal, I import the recorded audio into my DAW, export each song as an MP3, and e-mail those MP3’s to the other members of the band so we can evaluate our parts, practice them, and listen to the songs to help commit any new ones to memory. I’ll often do the same thing after our services, just so we can listen back and hear how everything sounded out front during the service. I also want to begin posting the pastor’s sermon each week on the church website, but recording the sermon with the DR-40 has brought some challenges (more on that in just a moment). Continue Reading »

Roc n Soc Nitro Drum Throne Review

nitro

Over the years, I’ve owned a half-dozen drum thrones from different manufacturers, ranging from less expensive budget models on up to some that were considered top-of-the-line when I purchased them. But they’ve all suffered from the same problems: the joint on the bottom of the seat that attaches to the base did not allow me to adjust it to a point where it was comfortable, the seat wasn’t comfortable, the height was difficult to adjust, and when the height was set, it wouldn’t stay set for very long. Continue Reading »

Why My Church Needed the Behringer X32 (and Yours May Too)

X32_P0ASF_Left_L

The church where I attend (and play the drums in the worship band) recently remodeled our sanctuary. This included new lights, paint, carpet, and expanding the size of our stage. As part of this project, we also installed an all new sound system. Like many churches of our size, we’ve undergone a fairly recent transition from more traditional piano and organ-based music to a live band with guitars, bass, keyboard, and drums, so the old sound system was woefully inadequate for our current needs. For the new mixing console, we ultimately chose the Behringer X32. And boy, am I glad that we did. It’s been a real answer to our prayers (pun intended)–solving many of the problems and overcoming the limitations of our old analog system. For those of you who might be facing similar issues with the sound system in your church, I’d like to highlight some of the stellar features of the X32 which we have found to be a real God-send (again, pun intended). Continue Reading »

Behringer X-Air XR18: the Future of Live Mixing

xr18_angle

A few months ago, my trusty old analog mixer that I had used since 2008 developed an intermittent short in one of the aux sends. Unfortunately, this was one of only two pre-fader aux sends on this mixer, so I was using it for one of two monitor sends for band rehearsals and live gigs. This board had a total of 4 aux sends, but two of them are post-fader, and are therefore unsuitable for use as a monitor send. Continue Reading »

The Best Microphone for Live Vocals on a Budget


sm58

Over the course of the last several decades, the Shure SM58 has become the de-facto standard vocal microphone for live performances. And for good reason: it’s built tough, reasonably priced, and generally sounds great on just about any voice. With a price tag of around $100, the SM58 may still seem out of the price range of some musicians, tempting them to look for other cheaper alternatives. But in the remainder of this article, I’ll attempt to persuade such frugal buyers to think twice before compromising, and why you should definitely buy the SM58 if you are able. Continue Reading »