Using Stereo Systems To Your Advantage
Stereo systems are great to have in your church praise environments because it adds a heightened level of realism to your mix. First, in order to start mixing stereo signals; you must be running a true stereo system. Check out, How Stereo Systems Work, to see if your church is running stereo and has the capabilities to do so. Playing CD’s in full stereo is also great because then you are enjoying the music as the intention of the artist’s.
Instruments That Can Be Mixed In Stereo
Some instruments can sound amazing when miked and/or mixed in stereo. Adding compression, delay, gates or reverb to one of the two signals can make for great dynamics and mainly, control over your individual instruments. Stereo signals can also be used wtih audio effects.
The first, most common instrument that sounds amazing in stereo, is the synthesizer. Most synthesizers have a left and right output, which is usually located on the back of the synth. From here you can run two separate signals from the synth to the soundboard. Most effects on synthesizers have stereo sounds. Now you can supply your congregation a stereo effect in your mix.
Electric guitar amps and the effects, often support stereo signals. If you have an extra microphone or a ¼ inch jack and would like to run the electric guitar in dual channels, you can. If you are setting up microphones for electric guitar amps make sure you know how.
Mixing drums in stereo can make for a really neat effect. I would only suggest fooling around with the rack (or tom) mics. A common, yet easy stereo effect you can create is by panning the left tom about 75% left on the panning knob. For the right tom, to pan about 75% right. Now when a drummer is doing a fill along the toms, you will distinctly hear the different drums through the left and right channels; and thus, you have created a very impressive effect. Using gates on your drums will help control your drum mix.
Mixing Stereo On A Soundboard
Mixing different sounds, effects and channels on a soundboard in stereo signals, is rather easy. However, it can take an artistic ear to make them all sound great. So with some experience and practice you can take your stereo system to a new level. On a mixing board, the panning rotary knob is how to send the different signals through the different speakers.
Using the stereo (panning) features of your system will increase the pleasure and ‘wow’ of the mix. However, be careful when using your panning knobs, as you could send sound through one channel; when really wanting a balanced sound (like with vocals).
Back to Church Sound Articles