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10 Holiday Gifts That Your Kids Will Love
By West Music Company
11/14/2016 5:04:00 PM  

With the holidays fast approaching, many parents are thinking about what to give their children. Musical instruments and music themed gifts make wonderful presents for youngsters. Not only is making music fun, it helps develop growing minds! Below are 10 gift ideas, all available at West Music, that your kids will be sure to love.

Over the River with Sleigh Bells Bundle

This classic winter song comes to life in this beautifully illustrated children’s book. Sold in hardcover, so it’s durable for many trips to grandmother’s house. Buy the bundle and receive a set of sleigh bells, so your kids can jingle along with the story.

 

Kala Makala Dolphin Bridge & Shark Bridge Ukuleles

Simply the best entry level ukes on the market! Sound and playability usually suffer at these affordable prices, but not with Kala Makala.  With their brightly colored head and body and a playful dolphin or cool shark cutout at the bridge, these ukes are sure to be a big hit.

West Music carries over 16 different colors, so pick your child’s favorite!

Kala Makala Dolphin Bridge & Shark Bridge Ukuleles

 


Drummer Boy Bundle

In this charming Christmas story a toy drummer boy embarks on a journey on which he plays his drum and warms the hearts of everyone he meets. Richly illustrated by beloved children’s author Loren Long.

The bundle also includes a PlanToys 7" drum and sticks for added fun!

Instruments for Ages 3 and Younger

Shakers, clappers and castanets! These seeming simple instruments help develop sensorimotor skills and hand-eye coordination in babies and toddlers, as well as instill a life-long love of music.

West Music has a full line of instruments and toys for children under 3.

Percussion

Shakers

Castanets

Mini Rainmakers

Our early childhood educators love the Mini Rainmaker for babies and toddlers.  Only 8” tall, the Mini Rainmaker is perfect for small hands.

West Music’s child educator Melissa says, “In teaching early childhood music and movement for over 15 years, I’ve never found an infant or a toddler who wasn’t fascinated by these rainmakers.”

 




Westwood Beginner Guitar Pack

Don’t play Guitar Hero, be a guitar hero! Buy a beginner guitar pack for your child and let them explore the world of music.  Guitars are available in half, three-quarters and full size. The pack also includes My Guitar, multimedia lesson software that teach your child basic chores in a fun and playful way. The pack also includes a gig bag, guitar strap and strap end pin.

½ Size Beginner Guitar Pack  for ages 5-8 or height between 3'10" to 4'5" tall

¾ Size Beginner Guitar Pack for ages 8-12 or height between 4'6" to 4'11" tall

Full Size Guitar Pack  for ages 12 & up or height of 5' or taller



Children’s Literature

The value of children's literature is immeasurable! Not only does reading encourage a vivid imagination, it stimulates the part of the brain that deals with developing language.

West Music carries a full line of music-themed children’s literature that will sure to delight your child as they clap, stomp and sing along with the characters in the books.

Remo Drums

Remo Drums are some of the best on the market. Available in a variety of styles and designs, you are sure to find the right percussion for any age group, from pre-schoolers to adults.







Harmony Traditional Style Soprano Recorders

These bestselling recorders are the perfect way to introduce your child to wind instruments. Available in a variety of bright colors and sold at a great value, these are the perfect gift for children ages eight and up. West Music also sells a variety of music books to help your child master their first song before the New Year!

 




Ornaments

Hanging ornaments is a tradition everyone in the family enjoys. Show your love of music by decorating with these beautiful ornaments available now for the holidays. You will be amazed at their level of detail. For just one example, the piano ornament featured here has a fallboard that actually opens and closes!


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Tags: holiday, christmas, gift guide, shopping, black friday, gift, gifts
Categories: Band & Orchestra, Orff, Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Folk, Kids & Movement, Live Sound & DJ, Music, Books & Resources, Live Sound, Recording & Software
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Guide for Electronic Equipment Diagnosis
By Gavin Wright
4/24/2013 9:39:00 AM  

In need of electronic gear repairs? Read this first.

Is your amp broken? Has your speaker stopped "speaking" to you, or is your keyboard out of commission? You've come to the right place, but before you bring in your broken stuff, let's take a moment to better identify the real problem.

So, what is actually broken here anyway?

With electronic music equipment, there are often several different components working together to deliver the sound to your ear. An electric guitar has a pickup, volume and tone knobs, one or more cables, possibly some effects processors, an amplifier, a speaker and a power supply. A defect anywhere in this chain may prevent any sound from occurring. How can you tell where the problem is?

Divide and conquer. If your amplifier powers up but makes no sound, try using a different sound source (guitar, keyboard, whatever). No improvement? Try different connection cables. Still no sound? If possible, try a different speaker or speaker cabinet with the same amplifier. If none of these solve the problem, it's probably in the amplifier.

You get the idea - methodically replace each part of the signal chain you can to isolate the defective component. Many times, you can identify and fix the problem yourself – but not always. That's why we're here!

Follow these simple troubleshooting techniques to ensure you bring in the right piece of equipment.

Is there no sound coming from your instrument or amplifier?
      Try the "divide and conquer" technique above.

Did your gear emit smoke or sparks, or present any other obviously catastrophic symptom?
      If you fall into this group you'd better bring your gear in right away – something is obviously wrong.

Does your gear turn on?
      If it doesn't power up, check the outlet by plugging something else into it. If the outlet is okay, check to see if there is a user-replaceable fuse. If there is, unplug the unit, remove the fuse, locate a replacement fuse of the same value and swap it out. If the fuse blows again, or if replacement doesn't remedy your problem, bring it in for repair. Please don't try to access anything that requires disassembly. Many electronic components retain potentially lethal voltages even when unplugged.

Has your keyboard or other component begun acting erratically, or stopped remembering its presets and settings?
      Try "reinitializing". Many electronics have a "factory reset" option. Instructions should be outlined in your user manual, and many times consist of holding down a couple of specific buttons when turning the unit on. Be aware that this will generally erase any user-created presets and settings, but it sometimes straightens out the problem. If this doesn't help, it's time to visit our shop.


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Tags: repair, diagnosis
Categories: Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards, Guitars & Folk, Live Sound & DJ, Recording & Software, Live Sound, Recording & Software
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Wireless Microphone Buying Guide
By Doug Ducey
12/7/2010 11:46:00 AM  

TYPES OF WIRELESS SYSTEMS

Whatever part you play in your musical group, there is a wireless product available to suit your needs. Here are some of the systems you have to choose from.

hand heldHandheld Microphone System

These systems combine a receiver and a microphone with either a built in transmitter, or a separate transmitter that plugs directly in to the mic. Perfect for lead singers because there are no cables to interfere with the singer’s performance and no body pack attached to the singer’s clothing.

 

 

Instrument Systems

These are generally used by guitarists and bass players, but are usable with any electric instrument. A small cable connects the instrument to a body pack transmitter and the receiver “receives” the signal generated and feeds it to the amplifier or sound system.

Lavalier

Lavalier Mics w/Body pack Transmitter

These are like the instrument system in that they employ a body pack to transmit to the receiver. A small mic is clipped to the users clothing and connected to the transmitter when being used. Public speakers, worship leaders, stage actors and presenters use these systems.

 

 

Headset

Headset or Headworn Systems

Fitness instructors, drummers that sing, singing dancers and dance instructors would benefit from a wireless headset system. Again, the headset mic is connected to a body pack transmitter by a small cable. These systems allow increased hand movement as they are mounted by a small boom and held in place by the headset, thus making the microphone constantly in position to be used.

 

 

Clip-on Wireless System Clip On

These are much similar to the lavalier system in concept, but are designed more for use by woodwind and brass players as the clip-on mic is designed to be affixed to a horn. Horn players love these because they are no-longer encumbered by a mic stand and are free to move about if they so choose.

All types of wireless systems have at least one thing in common, they all use batteries. Whenever possible use a good alkaline battery like a Duracel© or Eveready© and keep the batteries fresh. The life of a battery will vary from system to system, so check your owners manual to see what the estimated battery life is for your particular wireless unit.

VHF OR UHF?? THAT IS THE QUESTION!!

Wireless systems operate on either VHF or UHF frequency bands. Most VHF systems operate in a band width of 174 to 216MHz. This would be in the same range of television channels 7-13. UHF uses a frequency range from 470 to 805MHz (the range for TV channels 14-69). Higher priced wireless systems are usually a UHF system because they have a higher transmitter range and offer less interference from TV signals. UHF also has more transmitter range than their VHF counterparts because UHF signals move through the atmosphere more easily.

The interference issue is changing. This is due to the FCC assigning parts of the UHF range for public safety communications. The band is becoming more crowded still because the higher end of the UHF spectrum (above 900MHz) is a general purpose range for cordless phones, ham radio and garage door openers. Wireless use in this range is not advised because interference problems are very likely. The VHF band is becoming more crowded because digital TV transmissions have recently been added to this band. Even though the UHF band is more crowded that it used to be, there is still more open space here than on the VHF band, which is why it is still the most preferred band.

RECEIVERS, DIVERSITY, FREQUENCY AGILITY, AND ALL THAT STUFF!!

A wireless system is only as good as its sound quality. You don’t want a system that “drops out” frequently or is prone to outside interference. You will want a wireless system that has a good “distance range” and ultimately sounds like a wired system. A well designed system with easy to use controls and easy to read displays is a must. If you are a musician that gigs every weekend or a full time player that travels a lot, a durable, ruggedly built system is a must.

Diversity is all about reception and freedom from dropouts. One external sign of diversity is two antennas, although not all dual antenna units are true diversity receivers. Usually, diversity means that two antennas are monitored and the one receiving the strongest signal is selected automatically. Reception is in part a function of position and is influenced by the locations of the transmitter and receiver. Using two antennas, you reduce the chance of dropouts occurring and get a much stronger, clearer signal. In a live performance setting, the fewer dropouts the better. Diversity circuits can be a simple, passive two-antenna system or they can be complex systems using two receivers, systems that add antenna phase switching, and the list goes on and on. You need to decide if you need diversity in the first place. If you need a system that will operate in a stationary location, an open location like a church, you probably would not gain anything by having diversity.

Frequency Agile Systems that have several frequency patterns that you can select are said to be frequency agile. In any location, one frequency may work better than others and be clear of interference from other signals. Having the frequency agile feature also allows more ease in using multiple wireless systems at the same time. If more than one band member is going wireless, you need to have a choice of frequencies. This feature is not so important if only one wireless system is being used. Some frequency agile systems will automatically choose the frequency with the strongest signal and least interference. This is a great feature known as Automatic Frequency Selection and again is especially useful when more than one wireless system is being used.

What Frequency Should I Get? If you are purchasing a wireless system, especially one that is not frequency agile, you will have to select from several frequency options. The frequencies are designated by a combination of a letter and a number. Unfortunately, each manufacturer uses their own system for this and they are not standardized from one manufacturer to another. The letter designates a particular band range for the unit, while the second part, the number, refers to a specific frequency within the range specified by the letter. You will want to choose the letter that works best for your location, and a number that is different from any other systems that will be used alongside of yours. If you have any doubt about which system will work best for you in your location, contact a West Music Associate, and they will be happy to assist you.

What The Heck is Companding and What Does It Mean To Me? You’ll see this term used in system descriptions, and the term is a combination of the terms “compression” and “expanding”. Each manufacturer uses different companding technologies, and some are much more sophisticated and more effective than others.

The signal is compressed by the transmitter, then the receiver expands it again. The process is necessary because microphones and instruments have a grater dynamic range than transmitters are capable of handling. By compressing the signal at it’s front end, and then expanding it again at the receiver end, the dynamic range of the mic or instrument can be better realized. Companding circuitry is also used in noise reduction systems and can give a wireless system a better signal-to-noise ratio and a higher dynamic range. This is greatly dependent on the quality of the circuitry design.

Since systems from different manufacturers, and sometimes even different systems from the same manufacturer will have different methods of companding, always avoid mixing the components from different systems, even if they use the same frequency. Dropouts, interference and other unpredictable results can occur.

Displays: You need to be kept informed of how well your wireless system is working, so you’ll need a display that is easy to read onstage and one that is well lit. It needs to tell you the channel you are using, signal strength, and a low-battery level warning indicator or battery level meter. The battery level meter or warning indicator is usually located on the transmitter, but some of the upper-end systems have these indicators on the receiver.

Front of wireless receiverWireless Receiver

 

How ‘Bout Those Wireless Monitor Systems? These systems use much the same technology as a wireless microphone system, but it turns it around. The central unit is the transmitter. It takes the monitor signal form the mixing board and sends it to a body pack receiver that uses “ear-buds” that are connected to it. True, you don’t have monitor speakers taking up stage space, the real benefit here is better monitoring. The ear pieces isolate the performer from external sounds and make it easier to hear than with regular stage monitors. Feed back problems are reduced greatly and the monitor mix stays consistent when/if you move around the stage.

Earbud wireless monitor systemWireless Monitor

Again, using a wireless system can make your performances much easier. The “freedom from wires”, the ease of movement around your stage setting, all help to enhance your entire performance. Now, the only question left is how much you need to spend on a system. If you play professionally and travels to various venues, you might want to look at spending more for a more advanced system with more advanced features. If you playing situation is more casual, and you are only using one wireless, a lower priced system likely will serve you well.

As always, do your homework. Analyze carefully what you want the system to do for you and your performance. Research the brands and get all the knowledge you can from manufacturers websites. Do not hesitate to call one of West Music’s associates with any questions you might have.


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Tags: Live Performance, Wireless Performance Equipment, Wireless Sytems, Handheld Microphone Systems, Instrument Systems, Lavalier Mics, Headset Systems, Clip-On Wireless Systems, VHF vs UHF, VHF, UHF, Frequency Agile Systems, Companding, FAQ, Wireless Receivers, Earbud Wireless Receivers
Categories: Live Sound & DJ, Live Sound, Recording & Software
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Microphone Buying Guide
By Doug Ducey
12/7/2010 11:44:00 AM  

It used to be that the price of the mic was a direct reflection of it’s quality. In the past few years, many microphones are available at a much lower price and perform quite well for their intended application. Most of these lower priced mics copy the basic structure of their more expensive counterparts.

WHAT TYPE OF MICROPHONE IS BEST?

Before you can answer this question, you have to decide how you are going to use the mic. Will you use it for live vocal performances like in a band setting? Is it for recording? Will you use it to mic an instrument? Maybe you’d like a multi-purpose mic. Once you decide on the application of the microphone, you can narrow your search considerably.

WHAT DO THE SPECS MEAN?

If you get a basic understanding of the specs and terminology, selecting the right mic will ne an easier task. Take some time and read the following:

Polar Pattern GuidePOLAR PATTERN: The polar pattern is the shape of a mic’s field of sensitivity or the directions from which the mic accepts or ignores incoming sound. An omnidirectional microphone responds to sounds coming from all directions. A bidirectional mic picks up sounds from east and west while excludinf sounds from the north and south. A unidirectional mic hears sounds from one direction and ignores sounds from other directions.

The most common microphones are unidirectional and they come in three polar patterns: cardioid, super cardioid, and hypercardioid. All three are patterns that reject sounds coming from behind the mic or from the sides. The cardioid pattern is roughly a heart shape, which makes the mic more sensitive to sounds coming from straight on or from the sides, but rejects sounds 180 degrees opposite the direction the mic is pointed. Supercardioid microphones accept accepts a little more sound from a 180 degree direction, but rejects more from each side. The hypercardioid allows yet more sound from 180 degrees, but rejects more of the sound coming from 90 or 270 degrees.

Polar patterns for these types of microphones are very important if you use the mic in a noisy setting like a singer’s mic in a band setting. The cardioid, supercardioid and hypercardioid mics will tend to exclude all sounds except the singer’s voice which results in a less “muddied” sound and allows more gain before feedback occurs.

Some condenser microphones are multi pattern and their polar pattern can be changed either by means of a switch or by interchangeable capsules from one pattern to another-from omni to cardioid, for example. Having a mic with this feature makes for a much more versatile microphone, especially in the recording studio.

FREQUENCY RESPONSE: This is the range of frequencies from low to high that a microphone will respond to. These frequencies are stated as a range such as 80hz to 15khz. A good vocal mic would have a frequency response in this range. If you needed a mic for miking snare drums and toms, look for a mic with a range that starts around 50hz. Lower sounds like a kick drum a low end of 30hz to 40hz is desirable.

RESPONSE CURVE: Frequency response only tells you the range a mic can reproduce, but the response curve refers to the shape of it’s frequency responsiveness. Starting at zero on the low end and dropping off at zero on the high end, it takes the form of a curve when applied to a graph. In this curve there will be peaks and dips at certain frequencies that give the microphone a certain character, thus making it more suited for certain applications.

EXAMPLE: A mic intended for vocals may have a spike in it’s upper midrange, thus resulting in a smoother more intelligible sound reproduction.

Frequency Graph

SPL and Sensitivity: How quiet a sound a mic can pick up is referred to as the mic’s sensitivity. Since a microphone’s sensitivity is measured by different systems, for the less experienced user it is probably enough to know that the lower the number, the more sensitive a microphone is. SPL stands for sound pressure level and is expressed in dBs. A mic’s SPL describes the maximum volume of sound that the mic can handle. In a way, this is the opposite of sensitivity. This is of the utmost importance if the mic must deal with loud instruments. Average SPL level is around 100dB and a high SPL is 130dB.

In addition to the specs there are other factors that determine the characteristics of microphones. Manufacturing precision can affect a mic’s performance. As a result of this, some of the lesser expensive microphones aren’t consistent in their sound reproduction. How the mic is built and the kind of metal used also effect a microphone’s performance. Listening to similar microphones is the best way to choose the one best suited to your needs.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MICROPHONES AND HOW ARE THEY USED?

Microphones usually fall into one of two categories: Dynamic or Condenser. Dynamic mics do not require a power source, while condenser mics do. Further explanation of this follows, so pay particular attention to this next segment.

DYNAMIC MICROPHONES: Dynamic mic’s usually have a high SPL capacity. They are extremely rugged and have a polar pattern that rejects off-axis sounds. Since they have internal shockmounting, they tend to be used for live sound applications like vocals and instrument miking, but some are also used for recording. (The Shure SM57 has been a staple of both the studio and the stage for a long time.) Dynamic mics are usually affordable, and additionally, many manufacturers have introduced economy series mics that offer great performance at a budget friendly price.

Sm58 sm58 Microphone

Dynamic microphones use an inductive coil connected to a diaphragm that’s placed within the field of a permanent magnet. As the diaphragm moves, it moves the coil, thus varying the voltage the coil produces.

CONDENSER MICROPHONES: A condenser mic will have either an external power supply, use phantom power or have internal batteries. Newer mixers will have phantom power, but if you have an older mixer, check to see if it has phantom power before buying a condenser microphone. If the mixer does not have phantom power, free standing external phantom power units can be purchased to accommodate condenser microphones.

While most condenser mics are used for recording, there are some that are used for live sound applications such as miking pianos and acoustical string instruments. Other applications include overhead miking of choirs and cymbals.

Many condenser microphones have roll-off and attenuation switches used to enhance a certain mic’s versatility. The roll-off switch alters the frequency range, usually on the low end, reducing response or cutting it off below a certain level. This is used in live situations to reduce low-end rumble and to increase an amplifier’s efficiency. Lots of amplifiers don’t produce very low end sounds, but they use up power trying to. Rolling off the bass keeps the PA power amp from having to deal with frequencies that are below it’s capability. In recording, rolling off the bass results in added clarity. Attenuation switches alter a mic’s sensitivity or volume, so that high volume sources won’t overload the microphone.

Large Diaphragm MicLARGE DIAPHRAGM CONDENSER MICS: These mics have diaphragms from three quarters to an inch in diameter. They are very sensitive and require external power and shock mounts. Since they are large and so sensitive, they are unsuited for miking live performances, but are excellent for recording voices and many instruments. These can be very expensive, but recently many manufacturers have been producing more affordable large diaphragm condensers designed like the expensive models and work quite well for nonprofessional recording.

Small Diaphragm Mic

SMALL DIAPHRAGM CONDENSER MICROPHONES: These do especially well in reproducing higher frequency sounds and sound sources that change quickly in volume. They have a diaphragm that is one-half inch or less in diameter and are used in both recording and live performance applications. They require phantom power or a battery to operate. These are well suited for overhead miking of cymbals.

SHOTGUN MICROPHONES: This style of mic has a narrow and extended polar pattern. They are used mainly for broadcasting because they excel at picking up specific sound sources from a distance. Pic of shotgun mic

SUMMARY: Do as much research as you can before purchasing a microphone. Most manufacturer’s web sites are full of information and specs on their products. You’ll be amazed, and maybe a little confused with all the choices available, so take your time when choosing a microphone. For further assistance contact any West Music store and one of our knowledgeable Associates will be glad to assist you.

(FOR INFORMATION ON WIRELESS MICROPHONES CHECK OUT OUR “WIRELESS MIC BUYING GUIDE” )


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Tags: Microphone Guide, Microphone Tips, Microphone, Polar Pattern, Product Guide, Microphone Help, Frequency Response, Responsive Curve, SPL and Sensitivity, Dynamic Microphones, Condenser Microphones, Small Diagram Condenser Microphones, Shotgun Microphones
Categories: Live Sound & DJ, Recording & Software, Live Sound, Recording & Software
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Church Sound Files: The Fallacy Of A “Flat” System
By Jon Baumgartner
8/25/2010 11:36:00 AM  
Flat is great for home stereos, headphones and interstate highways, but sometimes not so much for church sound systems.

On more than one occasion, I’ve been called to a church to inspect the facility for the purpose of designing a new sound system. Upon arrival, I discover that the church has perfectly adequate audio components that have been tuned and balanced perfectly inadequately.

It never fails - when I inform the owner that the system is fine and simply needs to be properly tuned, I get the response that the church has just paid somebody several hundred dollars to tune the system with pink noise and a computer, and thus, it is as close to “flat” as possible.

But these clients have been sold a fallacy: flat is always good, and flat is what you want.

Not so fast, and here’s why. About 40 years ago, home stereo systems began to improve exponentially. The ability of loudspeakers to exactly reproduce what was happening in the studio recording became extremely good, and providers of high-end stereo system equipment began bragging that the loudspeakers had nearly perfectly flat response. They were indicating to the potential buyer that the loudspeakers were going to exactly reproduce what the studio engineer had worked so diligently to create in the recording studio.

Without question, a stereo system with a perfectly flat response over the entire audio spectrum is indeed a wonderful thing to experience. So why is “flat” not the end-all and be-all?

As previously mentioned, the recording and mastering engineers go to great lengths to EQ every single track on a project to sonic perfection. These guys are true professionals at producing breathtaking audio, and they don’t want your home loudspeakers messing with their art. Therefore, a perfectly flat loudspeaker response should in theory reproduce a sonically perfect example of the original work. 

Because many of us enjoy listening to music in the home (and some pursue sonic perfection with great zeal), it has become widely known that flat is good. Flat is desirable. Flat is what we want.

Let’s get back to our church. The technician we speak to about tuning the room tells us that he will use a computer analysis tool to determine which frequencies in the spectrum are deficient, which ones are too prevalent, and which are just right. He’ll reduce the overly prevalent and increase the deficient, until all frequencies in the audio spectrum are represented at the same decibel level. The system response is now flat. Oh good! This Sunday the sound is going to be awesome!!

But Sunday comes along and the sound is very thick, muffled and somewhat dull. Disappointment city. Why?

Because flat usually only sounds good if you’re playing a recording through it. Recall that the studio engineers went to great lengths to sonically shape the sound.

If your church is fortunate enough to have a quality console with lots of sweepable EQ on each channel and an engineer that really knows how to listen and how to mix, each individual channel can be tweaked to sound fabulous (just like they do in the studio).

On the other hand, if your console is closer to entry level and your Sunday mix engineer is a volunteer who is helpful and willing but perhaps lacks adequate experience, then it’s time to rethink the “flat” idea.

I own and use a spectrum analyzer, but the work doesn’t start there. It ends there. 

First I get rid of feedback using the system EQ. Then I get rid of lingering overtones, and then I do some tonal shaping (again, using the system EQ). 

How do I do this? By listening first (see my prior article about EQ). When I’ve got the system sounding as good as possible, I then fire up the Real Time Analyzer (RTA) to see what it looks like. I may find a part of the spectrum that is lower than it should be and will tweak it up a bit. Almost always, with very few exceptions, the midrange has to be reduced in relation to the lows and highs because the human ear hears mids more readily, and we need to compensate for that.

Take a listen to a quality recording of a singer you like. Notice how crisp and breathy - yet rich and full - that singer sounds.  It doesn’t take a lot of listening to realize that the magical voice you have grown to love has been carefully EQ’d. We have to do the same thing with our sound systems in order to achieve that musical quality, both in speaking and in singing (and of course in all the other sound sources one can find in a church).

Technicians who tune systems by listening sometimes get a bad rap in the the pro audio industry. Computers and analysis programs are wonderful tools that help us in the field to achieve better results. There is, however, no computer that will tell you that if the sound is nasal you should reduce 1 kHz just a bit, or that if the sound is too boomy you should get rid of some level at 100 Hz.

If a technician tells you they tune by ear, ask for some references. You may be very pleasantly surprised. The system will be tuned nowhere near flat, but hopefully it will be crisp and articulate without being piercing, as well as rich, warm and full without being muddy or boomy.

Flat is great for home stereos, headphones and interstate highways. In our church sound systems, sometimes it’s better with some valleys and hills.

Originally published at ProSoundWeb

Jon Baumgartner is a veteran system designer for Sound Solutions in Eastern Iowa, a pro audio engineering/contracting division of West Music Company. Feel free to e-mail him with your questions at jbaumgartner@westmusic.com.


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Tags: church sound systems, flat tuning
Categories: Live Sound & DJ, Live Sound, Recording & Software
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West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Sara DePaoli wrote: This is such a fun idea! I'm in!

Here are ... [More]
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Carly Litvik wrote: I am planning on entering the #WestistheBest conte... [More]
"It's Time For Discriminate Listening!" Lynn Kleiner Talks Recorder Quality (1)
Michael Bresler wrote: Absolutely! After 40 years of experience, I hearti... [More]
Coralville November Musician of the Month: Grace Huber (1)
Morgan wrote: atta kid Grace... [More]
Coralville September 2013 Musician of the Month: Nathan Stone (1)
Valerie McNally wrote: Congratulations, Nathan! You work hard and it is ... [More]
Urbandale Piano Gallery August 2013 Musician of the Month: Jonathan Ruth (1)
Joe wrote: Nice job Jon James!... [More]
 
Authors
Abbigayle M. Hicks (1)
Amanda Hazelett (8)
Amy Huston (1)
Ann Eisen, Sneaky Snake Publications, LLC (1)
Anne Carley (1)
Artie Almeida (1)
Author: West Music Conservatory (1)
Benjamin Coelho (1)
Cathi Dorr (1)
Cindy Weber (1)
Dan Ehl (The Kalona News) (1)
Dan Jacobi (8)
Deanna Swoboda (1)
Debbie Yarrow (1)
Denise Gagne (1)
Don Muro (1)
Doug Ducey (8)
Doug Goodkin (1)
Dr. Donna Emmanuel (1)
Emilia, MT-BC (4)
Erin, MT-BC (3)
Gavin Wright (2)
Griff Gall and Paul Weller (1)
Janet Stephens (1)
Jeff Taylor (1)
Jennifer Winegarden (8)
Jerry Zinn (1)
Jim Solomon (1)
Joanie Mercy (2)
John Feldman (2)
John Waltz (2)
Jom Van Gelder (1)
Jon Baumgartner (1)
Jordan Wagner (24)
Judy Pine (6)
Kalani Das (1)
Katey, MT-BC (5)
Kathy Bohstedt (2)
Kelly Klemz (1)
Kelly McNichols (1)
Kirk Davis (1)
Kyle Ware (6)
Kyle, MA, MT-BC (2)
Laura Fehr (1)
Lea Ann Huegel (8)
Lindsey - MA, MT-BC, NMT (6)
Lisa Bost-Sandberg (1)
Lisa Sullivan (1)
Lorna, MT-BC (2)
Lucy , MT-BC (1)
Lucy Schipper (2)
Mark Nicolay (1)
Maureen Butler (1)
Melissa Blum (5)
Melissa Raap (5)
Morgan, MT-BC (1)
Nick Janssen (9)
Paige Schneweis (9)
Patrick Downing (1)
Peter Hart (5)
Rachel Federman Morales & Joel Shwartz (1)
Rachel, MT-BC (1)
Randy Hargis (2)
Robbin L Marcus (1)
Roger Sams (1)
Rosemary, MT-BC (4)
Ruben Newell (2)
Ryan West (1)
Sam Marchuk - West Music Education Consultant (2)
Sandy Lantz & Gretchen Wahlberg (1)
Sanna Longden (1)
Sara Roth (1)
Sara Volz (1)
Scott Sandberg (2)
Shannon Price (2)
Sharon Burch (1)
Sol Weber (1)
Staff Music Therapist (3)
Stephanie, MT-BC (1)
Teresa Heitman (3)
Tim Wiegand (1)
Valerie Johnson (8)
Valerie Johnson and Rod Pierson (1)
West Music (12)
West Music Cedar Falls (14)
West Music Company (269)
West Music Conservatory (183)
West Music Coralville (26)
West Music Mariachi (2)
West Music Marion (13)
West Music Ottumwa (2)
West Music Piano Gallery (9)
West Music Quad Cities (13)
 
Archive
2016
 December (5)
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2015
 December (10)
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 August (14)
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Blog Roll
Rhythm For Good
 



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