Church Audio: Digital Mixers

There is no question digital mixers are having a profound impact on the pro audio world and this impact is also in the church world as well.   The cost of digital mixers have reduced significantly and many companies are making low end digital mixers which come in very cheap.  Looking at the overall bang for the buck digital mixers are a the best way to go.  Now, there are some key things to consider. Consider the quality of the sound output you are looking for.  Some of the lower end digital mixers have cheap components that reduce the quality of the final product.  There are even some mid grade mixers that may sound better than the lower end mixers but still don’t sound that great.  Your church may only have the budget for a low or mid grade digital mixer.  This could still be a good way to go depending on your churches needs.  Read up on the reviews of the mixer you are considering and find out what other people are saying about it.  Check out the manufacturer.  There are some companies out there that make great studio interfaces but I would not buy one of their digital mixers.  There is a company that makes decent analog mixers but I have had nothing but trouble with their digital mixer.  Again, take a little time and read about the mixer you are considering.

The reason most digital mixers get installed in many churches today is the fact that you can have effects, compression, gates, graphic eq’s (in some mixers), patch bay, scene memory and more all built in to one mixer.  This is an advantage for many reasons.  If you were to buy enough gear to have all of the mentioned pieces to every channel of an analog mixer it would cost you thousands more.  The other advantage, especially for portable churches or churches with limited space, is it takes up far less room.  In the audio world we call it real estate or footprint.  Most digital mixers going in to churches today have a small footprint and you don’t have to have rack after rack of eq’s, gates, comps and effects units.

Another very helpful feature in digital mixers is a feature called scene recall.  What this means is you can get all the aspects of your mixer set the way you want them then save your settings.  This is helpful if your worship space is used for multiple events.  You can have a scene for worship service then when the youth meet you can save a scene for the youth and if the women’s ministry want to have a night of worship you can create a scene for them.  This saves time during set up and sound check because you can simply recall the scene for the event you are about to have.

My obvious recommendation is to go ahead and make that digital leap.  You will find that if you follow the steps I have laid out you will he satisfied with your purchase.

For more information about digital mixers please feel free to contact me… kris@sightandsoundtech.tv

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