[Guest post from Matt Shull] Since I started running sound back when I was 12 years old, I’ve always found that having to walk around the room and listen to the sound and then walk all the way back to the console to tweak something small has been problematic. This is especially true for me now, when the room I'm listening to has a nice flight of stairs to reach the balcony area where the console is located. Thankfully, through the recent advances in technology, you and I can remotely control our digital mixers.
The church I am running sound for now has launched a new campus that is also a portable church, so each week we set up and tear down literally everything. We are using a Yamaha LS9-32 sound console and it is the first digital mixer I’ve used.
I don’t know how other companies do remote access to their consoles but I’m sure it’s not too different from the way Yamaha has their system set up. Through the past 6 months I’ve been researching ways to remotely control the LS9 and I’ve come up with two different options.
1. Yamaha has put out an iPad app called StageMix that is specifically designed for the M7CL console and the LS9 consoles. Set up is quite simple, it connects and syncs to the console fast, and all you need is a wireless router, a Cat5 cable, and an iPad (which you’ll set to a static IP Address).
The advantages to the StageMix app is you can walk around the room and mix not only the FOH but also the 16 different mixes that you can assign as IEM (In Ear Monitor) mixes or Aviom mixes. This comes in handy if our worship leader needs something in his IEM because he could do it himself with the iPad if he wants.
There are a couple of disadvantages as well. You can only have one device, whether it is a computer or iPad, connected to the console at one time. This is only an issue when you want to have two iPads connected at the same time. The other disadvantage is that you can only edit the slider level and the EQ of each channel and the master level of the board. You can’t change gate or compressor settings or anything else. In all if you’re just looking to walk around the room to get a better FOH mix then this is the solution for you.
2. iPhone / Android Usage. If you’re like me though, you don’t own an iPad (I borrow the worship pastors), but you have an iPhone or an Android phone. Before I found the iPad app I used used a different technique. All you need is an iPhone or Android, the FREE Teamviewer app, a computer (Windows or Mac), some drivers from the Yamaha website, and the Editor software for the console (given by the company and also FREE).
Teamviewer is an app that lets you control your computer. You have to download the software on your computer and then download the app and then connect the two. You could use VNC if you prefer but Teamviewer seemed easier to me.
Then you connect the console to your computer and use the Editor software to control the console and use your phone to control the computer.
The advantages are that you’ll be able to edit everything about each channel from levels to compressors, but the disadvantages are that it takes longer to connect to the mixer and reaction time is just a little slower.
As new and better technologies become available I’m sure remote access will become more widely used and better able to suit the needs of sound guys and gals. Who knows what the next exciting technology will be. If anyone would like to be shown how to setup up either technique I’d be more than happy to email step by step instructions.
Matt Shull works at the Journey Campus of the Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, AR. He starting working with sound and mixing at the age of 12. Then at the age of 16, was called as a worship leader. Right now, to quote Matt, “I recently married my gorgeous wife, Courtney, and we're just a couple of 20-somethings finding our way through God's plan.”
[NOTE:] In the next few days, Matt will be posting up step-by-step instructions on how to setup the StageMix app to the console and also how to setup the Teamviewer app to the console on his website at http://www.mattshull.com.