Tech Times for Church Audio                                                                                           June 5, 2009

Welcome to this month’s edition of Tech Times.

For the past few years Lorne Atkins, the owner of Alectro Systems Inc., has done a fantastic job growing this newsletter into a relevant tool for churches and all A/V enthusiast alike. It has opened up a window for communicating the current concepts in technology, as well as providing excellent solutions to many of the issues at play in church sound and video. It is now my privilege to take the newsletter reigns from Lorne, and continue to provide all of you with excellent topics for discussion and analysis.

Before we dig into this months issue facing churches in their A/V needs, I’d like to take a second to introduce myself. My name is Gregg Weisbrod, and I have been heading up Outside Sales and System Designing at Alectro Systems Inc. for the past three years. Throughout my nearly five years working with the company, I have been privy to many fascinating and complicated scenarios that face churches and sound engineers. It is my great pleasure to be able to share these on-going experiences with you in the months and years to come, providing solutions to help you on your way. So without further ado, let’s dig into this months issue: In-Ear-Monitoring Systems (IEM).

Yours in Christ,

Gregg Weisbrod

In This Issue:

In-Ear Monitors

Earphone Options

Aviom Compatible


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IN-EAR MONITORS - Are your floor monitors just too loud?

It is important for everyone involved in their church services to understand that a monitor feed is both extremely important to a musician, allowing them to follow each other and stay on beat, and at the same time should never give the musician more than a reference point for themselves and a few other key people to stay in rhythm with. Often, the compromise is something that neither the musician nor the sound operator are ever truly satisfied with. So... what is a good solution?

In-Ear-Monitor systems provide one the most effective solutions both in practicality as well as cost-wise. An IEM system consists of a single UHF transmitter that utilizes an auxiliary/monitor output from your mixer, and sends a wireless signal to a beltpack receiver worn by the musician. From there, a set of earphones run up to the musicians ears, often available in a stereo configuration but rarely used that way. Multiple beltpacks can then be tuned into a single transmitter, providing the feed to as many musicians as needed. Furthermore, three or four transmitters can be employed, utilizing four auxiliary outputs, to provide four completely independent feeds to the beltpack receivers. The beltpacks would simply switch between the four different frequencies to tune into the mix they require.

The implications to this solution are astounding. Not only does it completely eliminate the wall of sound from the platform, but it also allows the musicians to hear exactly what they want, at exactly the levels they want to hear them at. No more loud muddy sound emanating from the monitors, no more struggling with volume levels, and most importantly no more monitor frustrations between the sound operators and the musicians.

Learn more about IEM Systems and their abilities ...

EARPHONE OPTIONS - Will any old headphones do the trick?

It is surprisingly essential that your IEM system utilize a proper set of earphones. For the most part, a simple pair of noise-cancelling earphones will get you started quite nicely; however, there is much to be gained by investing in some of the higher end options available to you. Companies like AKG, Galaxy Audio, and Shure, who have all mastered the demanded requirements of an IEM system, each offer a variety of earphone options to take the quality of sound for the musicians to a completely new level.

Both comfort and a more complete coverage of the entire range of lows, mids, and highs, are what can be gained with a better set of earphones. In what can sometimes be a tough adjustment for the musician, using an earphone during live events, offering them the most comfortable and better sounding option can allow them to perform at their best.

Explore your earphone options...

AVIOM COMPATIBLE - Welcome to monitoring heaven.

The Aviom system has completely revolutionized the way that sound monitoring for musicians operates. By offering the musicians their own independent control over what they hear and how it balances, it has freed the sound operator from the often difficult task, and at the same time has given the musician and endless sea of options for mixing their own feeds on the go.

Essentially an IEM system all on it’s own, as one could simply plug their earphones out from the A-16II mixer itself, it can also be used with a wireless system to allow the mixer to send a feed to multiple people on the platform. The mixer would be controlled by the worship leader, which then would feed into the IEM transmitter, sending the feed to multiple beltpack receivers. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Learn more about the Aviom system and how it works...