iKey Audio USB / SD Recorder

Recently a co-worker was searching for an audio recorder to purchase for our new campus.  He came across this, and I am very intrigued.  Here’s a little bit from the iKey Website:

The RM3 has two 1/4” line inputs on the front to record any vocals or electronic instruments, as well as a combo XLR/1/4″ stereo jack and a stereo RCA input on the rear. It has 2 BALANCED XLR OUTPUTS on the rear panel, and a stereo RCA output for pass-through ability. You can also monitor your media thru the 1/4” phono/line output provided on the front of the RM3, with its own dedicated volume adjustment.

The deck will record on a standard SD card (up to 4 GB) or up to 32 GB with an SDHC card.  It will also record on a USB flash drive, which inserts on the front panel next to the SD card.

What gets my attention is this device sells for $199.

Products – iKey Audio.

3 Church Tech Ipad Applications

I recently bought an Ipad for our department for the sole reason of connecting to our Avid SC48 via wi-fi, because our mixer is in the balcony and it’s a real chore getting downstairs.  I wanted something our FOH guy can take with him and troubleshoot, line check, and tweak on the main floor of the room.  It has worked really great.  Lot’s of people are doing this.  The VNC client that has worked really well for us has been the Iteleport app.  It’s $25.00 in the app store, and well worth it.

Another application that I’m in the process of setting up is the “Lighting Pad” by Alcorn Mcbride.  It is a very simple controller allowing you to name channel faders, record and play back cues.  The app is written for Ipad, Iphone and Ipod Touch.  For our main sanctuary, we have only par cans (82 channels).  All I need to do is write simple cues and store them for playback.  The app is $10, and it requires an ArtNet adapter, which is simply an ethernet to DMX converter.  The popular one seems to the the ETNTEC ODE, which sells for around $250.

The last application that I’ll mention is Apple’s Keynote for Ipad.  We’ve had a couple of speakers come in recently who have their presentations in Keynote, on their Ipad.  It works really great.  You’ll need a VGA adapter for the Ipad.

How is your Ipad helping you in your church tech?

Cox Chapel Gets an Audio and Video Upgrade

My church has four main worship venues. Our main sanctuary, Cox Chapel, The Great Hall, and Wesley Hall.  Each facilitates a very different style of worship.  The Sanctuary is home to our traditional worship service, while Wesley Hall is where our contemporary body, Cornerstone, meets.  The Great Hall hosts our teaching service, Kerygma, and Cox Chapel is where we have our Methodist worship in the Anglican tradition.  For some time Cox Chapel has limped along with some old TOA powered mixers providing input to a small Symnet DSP unit.  The output of the Symnet fed our Rankus Heinz PA, along with a hearing assistance system and a CD recorder.

Out with the Old, In with the NEW

Since tech needs are minimal in Cox Chapel, we are forgoing a sepeate mixer altogether and simply using the London Blu DSP with some touch panels on the wall.  Mixing is done internally.  Our inputs are Pulpit, Lectern, and four wireless lavs.  Pretty basic.  It’s also a chance for us to really clean up the rack after years of patching, re-wiring, and well, you know . . .

Another upgrade is to our video recoridng system.  We have been feeding the video output of a Canon XL2 to a DV deck and recording each service on MiniDV tape.  With our upgrades we’re re-tasking a Canopus DV converter and a Mac Mini.  We’ll capture video using Adobe OnLocation.

Our biggest hurdle has been trying to locate some conduit that connects Cox Chapel with the rest of the building.  With the help of a faithful volunteer we were able to determine where that conduit is and will soon have network connectivity for both the Blu DSP and the Mac Mini so we can transfer video files after recoridng.

My next post will be a results post where I’ll share a few pictures, and let you know how our first Sunday goes.

New Personal Monitoring Technology

Just saw this today.  David McLain is at InfoCom 2010 and tweeting about different technologies he is looking at.  You should probably follow David on Twitter.

This is a personal monitoring system by MyMix Audio.

It might be tempting to think “Oh, another Aviom” – but you’d be wrong.  Some significant differences:

  • No special hub is required.  A standard $50 network switch works fine.  Or, if you don’t want to hassle with a wall-wart, you can use a Power Over Ethernet switch and clean up your rig on the stage.
  • Individual channel tone control.
  • Parametric E.Q. on the main output.
  • Internal effects than can be applied to individual channels.

I’m going to try to work out a demo of this system in the very near future.  Here’s a video from MyMix Audio, and you can follow them on twitter – @mymixaudio

Church Sound Tweaks – DBX Driverack Installation

Mackie tt24 console

Mackie tt24 console

The other day I went to a friend’s church to help with their PA.  Their FOH system was bi-amped, but the subs were not sourced from an aux buss.  They were experiencing lots of problems with to much low end on everything.  Enter the DBX Driverack PA. I have used the Driverack 260, and didn’t care much for it. The audio quality is good, but the computer GUI is lacking.  The window is too small, and the software is not intuitive like the Ashley Protea, for example.  But the Driverack PA doesn’t even have serial control, which surprised me – but it was not a handi-cap.  As much as I disliked using the 260, I really enjoyed the PA version.  Here’s what we did at my friend’s church:

1.  We decided to source the subwoofer feed from an Aux buss.  Since we had limited drive lines, we took the system from stereo (which they did not care about) to mono.  So the left out was changed to the mono out of the Mackie TT24 console, and the right out was moved to Aux 12 out.  We put a curve on the output of aux 12 with the on-board 6 band EQ of the console.  The curve looked something like this:


It’s not the ideal curve – I’d like a steeper slope, and all I got was about 12dB per octave.  24 dB per octave would have been more like it, but we made do.

2.  The DBX Driverack PA was installed in the amp rack.  The Wizard feature on the driverack was very intuitive.   We connected a reference mic to the front panel input, and followed the easy instructions in the quick start guide.  The quick setup guide was all the documentation we used.  So we EQ’d the room and set up some notch filters. I added a crossover filter to the the input to keep the very lows out of the mains.

I would not have done some of these things if we were putting in a new installation, but working with a limited budget and the need to be pragmatic informed the decisions we made.

There’s more work to be done, specifically with the monitoring system on stage.  We’ll tackle that in the next couple of months.

Small steps.