Setup: First step of the setup was placing the 4 AKG C1000 choir mics on boom stands raised up pointing down to the choir rise. They were set to a cardioid polar pattern with a bass roll off. Their XLR cables were run under the choir rises and into the right stage box that ran back to the sound booth and connected to the mixer, plugging into channels 16-20, on the mixer they were then grouped and assigned mute button 1. The wireless headset’s receiver boxes were connected to the right stage box via a cable with 16 XLR connections. The headsets were run to channels 1-13 then grouped on the mixer and assigned mute button 2. The 7 hand held mics were connected to the left stage box and run to channels 25-32. All lines were checked for signal, to reveal one mic was not plugged in, this was quickly fixed. Room was already tuned using a 32 band graphic EQ with a quite a tame curve. The fold backs were connected to aux channels 1-4. The laptop was plugged into the mixer via the tape in using a stereo RCA to stereo 3.5 cable.

Sound check: Played some music through the PA to get a rough mix for the backing track, the got rough fader levels for the choir mics during rehearsals. The backing tracks were run from the laptop into all 4 fold backs at about -3.5dB, as the performers told me that was the level they found most appropriate. All 4 choir mics were compressed slightly to keep dynamics a little more even. Some frequencies around 1-2k were EQed out to reduce some thinness and tininess in the sound.

Set up the fold back levels for headsets at around -1.5dB. Some headsets began experiencing serious interference problems, after changing these for others only to have more begin causing the same problem, and no time to retune, it was decided that the handhelds would be used instead.

Set up fold back levels of handhelds to about -1.5dB. As the number of singers, who was singing, and which mic was where changed each song, little EQing could be performed on these, but some hiss around 16k was pulled down in almost all mics, as many of the younger singers were creating some and all mics were compressed a little to help compensate for children with poorer mic technique and/or difficulty sustaining technique while dancing.

A noise gate was applied to the choir mics to keep them quiet while nobody was singing, however mute buttons were quickly applied during any song without a choir or whilst the presenter/host was on stage.

Once I, the performers and the person putting on the concert was happy with the sound I was able to get a little more creative with the EQ for the choir mics to help them really sit well with the backing track.

Evaluation: Overall the concert went well, despite some problems during sound check, ways around them were found fast enough to get a good sound for the rest of the concert. The sound of the hand held mics was the only thing I wasn’t particularly happy with, and could not do much to fix this, as the mics were not labeled and the singers were constantly changing, so any time a good sound was achieved, it would need fixing in the next song.

If I were to do it over I would be more thorough with making sure all mics were connected during set up, and find a way to label each handheld mic so I know which is which one the channel or arrange a system so that I know which person has which mic for each song (this process would probably work better as it could also be applied should the headsets have been used.) As I was using a mixing desk I had never used before I did not know much about the processing it was capable of and how to apply it, but as I got further into the day I figured more and more out, so if doing over I would also have applied the signal processing much faster to save time and allow me to focus my attention more on creatively mixing.

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