I am having trouble trying to get the right mix so our church sounds great in the building during the service, and for the simultaneous live radio broadcast. I have a Mackie 24 board and around 15 musicians/vocalists going at once. We can't afford a second board. Thanks.
Yes, it is a 24 x 8! Please explain the Mix B. I'm a relative newbie at this, I was drafted without knowing the gain from the slide, and although I've learned a lot, I'm still not as familiar with the whole system as I'd like to be.
Make sure that Mix B is not assigned into the Main Mix in the master section on the right; it's one button somewhere that should be UP.
On each channel that will be sent to broadcast, set the Mix B Source to Channel (DOWN, if I remember correctly) and hit the EQ Assign to Mix B switch DOWN.
What this means is you now have the gain pot at the top determining preamp gain, and aux sends still their own deal, but have two seperate mixes.
The standard mix goes through the Hi Mid and Low Mid parametric EQs, then straight to the fader and main pan knob and can be assigned to any buses or the main mix.
Mix B goes through the High and Low EQ knobs under the Hi Mid and Low Mid, has its own pan and level knobs, and then goes straight to the Mix B Master knob over on the right, then (assuming you don't have Assign To Main Mix enabled) comes out of the Mix B 1/4" TRS sockets.
So, you can set your PA EQ and levels and pan totally seperate from your broadcast EQ, levels, and pan with one mixer. Nifty, eh?
Excellent suggestion. However, IMHO it's not necessary to split the EQ. I use Mix B to run a control room mix in my recording studio when I'm tracking. When mix B is set to channel, it's pulled off the channel strip pre-fader, but POST EQ. When you split the EQ, you limit what you can do with the house mix. Get a good-sounding house mix and mix B will sound pretty good too. Anything that doesn't sound good can probably be taken care of on the broadcaster's overall EQ.
Another suggestion is to add a couple mics - things that may be loud enough in the room that you don't mic them for the house won't come through very well in the broadcast unless you mic them - but those channels shouldn't be assigned for anything but mix B... you don't even have to un-mute them - the channel mutes don't work for mix B or the pre-fader aux sends (one of the reasons I don't like the Mackie for live work - muted channels are still live in the monitor mixes).
Might also add one or two "ambience" mics, strictly for the broadcast, pointed toward the congregation.
There are 444 pushbuttons on a Mackie 24X8. I counted them one day. Some of mine are starting to get a little noisy (I dread opening it up to clean them, but I'd rather that than pay somebody else to do it). It makes the board seem a little more complex, but they pretty much eliminate the need for a patch bay.
If I didn't have my trusty Peavey four-bus I might consider it. Even if nobody's got a mod for it yet, I could come up with one. In the studio, it's not a hassle.
The Peavey, though, is an excellent touring board. It's eight years old, been bounced around to about six hundred shows, dropped down a flight of stairs on three different occasions, the road case is held together by duct tape (gasp!) and last week I finally had to open it up and touch up the solder on one of the XLRs that was starting to get a little flaky. Took me about 15 minutes to open it up, make the repair and put it back in the road case. It's got six true aux sends, 4 pre-fader and two switchable pre or post on a channel-by-channel basis - excellent when you're running the monitors from the FOHconsole. The only drawback is the phantom power - it's not selectable by channel or even in groups of 8 like the Mackie - it's just either on or off for all channels. All my mics and DIs are balanced, so the only time that's a problem is if I have a flaky connector or cable.
Thank you, thank you!! We've got practice Thurs, and I'll have help getting things going. Just as an fyi, I've got 2 electric guitars, one rythm guitar, 2 acoustic guitars, 1 bass g, 1 steel g, keyboard, fiddle, and 7-10 vocals. All but the rythm guitar are miked thru the soundboard. We are also adding 3 hanging mics for the congregation. I got the job when we started a new church and I looked at the soundboard and said "I could have fun with that". Never having touched one before, little did I know what I had just said! This site is a lifesaver, and I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again.
Check the accoustic guitars - a lot of them are accoutic/electric anymore, with a contact mic. built-in - they hide a quarter-inch jack in the bottom strap-lock. If not, and you've got a little extra money to spend, look into sound-hole pickups - it doesn't sound as good as a miked accoustic, but it's a little less prone to feedback and has the advantage of not dropping out if the guitarist shifts position, as happens if you just put a mic on a stand in front of him.
There are similar contact mics designed for fiddle, again, the purpose is to both reduce the chance of feedback and eliminate volume changes when the musician moves.
Bad news, attribute it to my blondeness and ignorance. The boards isn't a 24x8, it's a 24x4. So, I'm still stuck. What I have done for those instruments that can't (or won't) plug directly into the system is to mic their amps. It seems to work without feedback, and gives me some control over volume. It also allows me to add them to the monitor mix, which allows them to keeps their amps lower than normal. Any new suggestions out there for me on the original mixing question?
SR 24x4 right? It should have six aux sends - use 5 and 6 if you like, they're post-fade. Either way, the auxes or a spare pair of buses if you have any will work the same as Mix B, just with less ease of control.