Tommy Kib Circumvents Aging PA System via PreSonus QMix
[Editor's note: The kind e-mails just don't STOP around here. I asked Houston's Tommy Kib to give us "a paragraph or two" about his experience with the StudioLive and QMix in his worship services, and instead I got the sea of text that follows. Oh, and the video. Read on, it's all good.]
I volunteer with Adore Ministries (@adoreministries) running the audio: trying to capture, mix, master, and send recordings of our services up to SoundCloud for people that couldn’t attend. This allows us to share the message with all that want to hear it.
If there were a target audience for Adore, it would definitely be both young adults and the young at heart. Our services focus on staying very contemporary, while also keeping true to even the most traditional of Catholic traditions. A lot more information about Adore’s mission, vision, etc is on their website.
What we have been able to do with the wonderful PreSonus technology is a really tremendous thing. Since our particular venue doesn’t have the most reliable infrastructure, we have been bringing in our own audio gear. Most of the venue’s gear may have been state-of-the-art in the mid 1980’s… but it hasn’t really been refreshed, well… ever.
So, I bring in some good stuff to allow us to get in and set up a quality live sound and recording rig by ourselves. This allows us to barely touch, or have to trust (The faith pun is intended) the venue’s admittedly aging gear and leave without a trace. Typically the venue’s employees coming in for the service after us could easily be overwhelmed if we didn’t put everything back exactly like we found it. They also have a lot of folks re-routing signals, so input #40 on the snake near the altar might run to input #12 on the mixer. We learned early on that deciphering the existing setup this was a terrible waste of time.
On a typical Adore night at the Catholic Charismatic Center, I’ll haul over:
- Mics, stands, cables, DI’s etc.. anything feeding the mixer
- PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2
- The wireless StudioLive Remote set up:
- Laptop, Wireless Router, iPad, and 5 iPod Touches mounted in IK Klips.
- In-ear monitor setup consisting of some Shure wireless (PSM 400) and some hard-wired Shure packs, and of course the $50 mini-mixer for the drummer.
- I leave the big box with the 24 x 8 snake at home.
Most of the time, we send the main outs of the StudioLive to the venue’s front of house mixer, a very temperamental Allen & Heath GL4 that eats power supply fuses like I eat crawfish! Once in a while we’ll send a couple of signals allowing us to balance in some front fills or actually have a subgroup dedicated to front fills.
Using QMix means we don’t require a monitor engineer. I’ve noticed after 2 events that I can get a way better EQ and starting mix from being able to roam around the entire venue during sound check. We absolutely cannot be in there before about 3 p.m., and most of the band simply can’t arrive until 5 p.m., and the event has to start at 7 p.m.! And if we’re not out by 10 p.m., (service ends at 9 p.m.) we really make the janitor unhappy!
The musicians (other than 2 that plug their ears right into the iPods) have really preferred using QMix over anything used before, even the Aviom system that this venue has. When we did rely on the Aviom, it was patched differently each and every time so there was 30 minutes of prep going in to re-patching and labeling the monitor mixes. With QMix, I think there’s only one “wish list” item I’d ask for… and that’s to save the channel labels or board tape part when recalled.
To say QMix is a game changer is a severe understatement. I’d credit it with at least 10 minutes savings during sound check, which is spent getting a much nicer sound. I thought the same when SL Remote for iPad came out, and now I don’t lose an hour spent running and connecting through a snake. Having the Store, Recall, and FAT Channel on the StudioLive takes anything we do anywhere to the next level, but being able to start with a recalled scene as a start point is PRICELESS! Probably another 10 minutes saved per night there…
What’s that add up to..? 2 hours saved per service? At least 80 gray hairs saved! When we only have 2 hours to set up and sound check, every minute counts!
Enjoy the little video! That should be enough for a “paragraph or two,” right?