Top Audio Production Highlights From 2013

Will you make 2014 better than 2013?

Was 2013 your year for upgrading to a digital mixer?  Or, was it a year of struggling with old equipment?  Looking back on 2013, I’ve had a lot of great times and a few I’d rather forget.  In the spirit of reflection, here is a list of audio production “tops” from 2013.

My Favorite Quote:

  • Wes Wakefield on mixing; “Fundamental mixing techniques win every time.”

My Favorite Live Audio Post

The Top Two Articles You Should Have Read But Probably Didn’t

The Top Ten Most Popular Articles, here at BTM, Written in 2013

The Crossover Basics and Resource Guide


The first time I heard the word crossover was in the context of “Chris, plug those into the crossover unit.“  I was clueless.  I was helping with a live gig setup and even after being told EXACTLY where to plug in the cables, I still didn’t know what the crossover unit did.  Funny thing about it, crossovers are easy to understand.  Implementation…well, that’s a bit harder.

What is a Crossover Unit?

A crossover unit takes the incoming audio spectrum signal, everything from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and splits it into two or more bands.  Those new frequency bands are then sent to different loudspeaker drive units that are created specifically for those frequencies.  Think about home stereo units with midrange speakers, tweeters, and subwoofers.  The tweeters are dealing with high frequencies, the subwoofer with the low end, and midrange with midrange. …keep reading »

Mixing Secrets by Mike Senior: Book Review


Your job isn’t always limited to being behind the mixer.  As technology advances, audio editing software prices drop, and churches ask more and more of the audio staff, you could very well find yourself doing some studio-style production.  It could be a studio room or it could just be behind a computer with studio software.  Either way, you will need to have a copy of “Mixing Secrets” by Mike Senior.

Mike Senior is a professional engineer who has worked with some big names in England.  He’s known for his amazing work at Sound on Sound magazine where, since 2007, he’s been transforming dozens and dozens of amateur productions into commercial grade mixes in his column “Mix Rescue.”

Here is where he’s especially great, most definitely for those of us in the church environment; he specializes in adapting techniques of top producers into techniques for those of us working on a budget – and still getting pro-grade results. …keep reading »

Gear Review: Rode PinMic and HS1 Headset


[Guest Post: James Knight] Many of the budding engineers here will have heard of RØDE – they’re an Australian company who started out back in 1967 manufacturing studio-grade microphones from Chinese capsules and purpose-built Australian electronics. Ever since ’94, they’ve been exporting to the States and now manufacture their own capsules, back plates, electronics and absolutely everything else needed at their base in New South Wales, Oz.

They pioneered models in almost every major market – studio, broadcast, podcast, live – and now they’ve got a few new weapons under their belt – the PinMic, Lavalier, and HS1 Headset. These mics are all equipped with the same omni-directional, lightweight condenser capsule, and are designed for broadcasting or closed-studio work. …keep reading »

The PreSonus StudioLive: The Perfect Digital Mixer?


Virtual sound check enabled; check.  Parametric EQ set for guitar; check.  Small frequency band notched to bring out clarity of singer; check.  Reverb added; check.  Saved as a preset for next Sunday; check.  Easy-as-pie to do all of this; CHECK!  Moving into the digital realm of mixing can be costly and carry a huge learning curve.  Not anymore.

StudioLive Review

The first time I heard about the Presonus StudioLive mixer, I was hopeful.  Then I saw a picture of the mixer and the very very small digital LCD screen and I though “less options and even harder to use.“  I was wrong. …keep reading »