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Piano Question

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Re: Piano Question

Postby ef37a » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:39 am

Now, I have a copy of the AES journal from way back, 70s? This gives details of an automated mixer system (using 'adaptive logic?) developed I think by Shure?

This device was certainly put into production but seems not to have survived.

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Re: Piano Question

Postby James Lawford » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:01 pm

With regards to keyboard sounds, if you can store your preferred settings via USB then that’s great! Unfortunately I’m only really familiar with Roland stage pianos and would just for for their bright grand piano sound and layer a warm pad, electric piano and string sound, using the four level faders today balance or mute sounds at certain times.

If you’re using the Behringer P16M personal monitor mixer then one of the channels on the mixer should be your keyboard - hopefully! This will let you create a custom mix.

Any small analogue mixer will do for creating a personal setup (Allen and Heath, Soundcraft, Yamaha) but in this case you’re in an even better position with the P16 system, assuming you are getting the correct channels coming down the cable for you to be able to mix as desired.


churchgirl wrote:Thank you all again!

I have never used the USB function on this keyboard. I only learned to create sounds a few months ago. I bring this keyboard home with me every week and am usually the only one to play it. When someone else plays it, they don’t seem to know how to change any settings. They use preset sounds. I wondered if the benefits of using a USB is so your own settings are stored in the event multiple users are making changes to the settings? I’m super new to all of this. I’ve been playing in small churches with tiny budgets for the past 13 years and only played for a children’s choir in a larger church before that, so I have very little knowledge of all of this.

James Lawford: What you said is also very helpful. I do adjust my playing as needed in the service, mostly through dynamics (how hard I press the keys) and song choice. I really need to start including changing the sound as well - I have recently learned how to do that, but it never occurred to me to do that in quiet moments. Thank you! Also, I have been on the receiving end of fluctuating monitor levels. It’s extremely frustrating. It’s hard to play when I can’t hear myself! I asked about it, but didn’t get any help on that. So, I’d love to use your solution. Right now, I’m using a Behringer 16 channel personal mixer. I don’t have that splitter cable thingamabob. What does that look like? Where can I buy it?
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Re: Piano Question

Postby MOF » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:34 pm

Right now, I’m using a Behringer 16 channel personal mixer. I don’t have that splitter cable thingamabob. What does that look like? Where can I buy it?
If the piano is plugged into a DI (direct injection) box then that will be sent to the front of house mixer on xlr microphone cable(s), there should be a spare 1/4” guitar type socket(s) on the DI box(es) that are probably labelled “loop through”, you can use 1/4” guitar leads to connect to spare channels on your monitor mixer to hear your piano.
Alternatively if you’re listening through foldback speakers, from the Behringer mixer, you could use some open (not closed) backed headphones plugged into the piano’s “phones” socket.
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Re: Piano Question

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:44 pm

ef37a wrote:Now, I have a copy of the AES journal from way back, 70s? This gives details of an automated mixer system (using 'adaptive logic?) developed I think by Shure?

This device was certainly put into production but seems not to have survived.

This sort of thing certainly still exists - there was one in the conference room where I used to work. Unfortunately no-one had had any training on how to use it so much of the time it gated out all the wanted audio.

And of course most video conferencing systems like Zoom try to boost the current speaker while reducing everyone else.
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Re: Piano Question

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:52 pm

ef37a wrote:Now, I have a copy of the AES journal from way back, 70s? This gives details of an automated mixer system (using 'adaptive logic?) developed I think by Shure?

This device was certainly put into production but seems not to have survived.

Definitely still going strong, still in widespread use, and still copied and enhanced by a lot of other manufacturers.

Shure marketed it under the 'Intellimix' brand. The original hardware versions were analogue, but I think the current models are DSP-based, and they also offer software plugins. Eg:

Analogue: https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/mixers/scm810
Digital: https://www.shure.com/en-GB/products/mixers/scm820

A better description is a 'priority mixer' rather than an 'automatic mixer' but they are very useful in some applications. A lot of current digital mixers offer a variation of the same facility, either natively (as in some of the Allen&Heath and Studer desks) or via a plugin card (eg, the Duggan mini-YGDAI card for Yamaha consoles).

But what these systems do is prioritise one channel over the others, based on which has the strongest signal, and by turning the others down automatically the overall signal-noise ratio is improved and spill minimised.

My experience of them is from broadcasting panel shows and the like where you need to keep a lot of channels open to catch fast but unscripted dialogue exchanges, and the Shure Intellimix is really helpful in keeping PA spill and general colouration under control.
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Re: Piano Question

Postby Dave Rowles » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:51 pm

churchgirl wrote:! Also, I have been on the receiving end of fluctuating monitor levels. It’s extremely frustrating. It’s hard to play when I can’t hear myself! I asked about it, but didn’t get any help on that. So, I’d love to use your solution. Right now, I’m using a Behringer 16 channel personal mixer. I don’t have that splitter cable thingamabob. What does that look like? Where can I buy it?

Ah. So they are probably using a Behringer X32 or similar then. If that means nothing to you, then don't worry!

On the monitor front, it sounds like they are either moving the gain to adjust the volume during the service (which they shouldn't) or your monitor mix is set to post fade, so when they change the fader level it alters your sound. You might want to ask them about it next time you're there.

Once they've set a level for the keyboard they shouldn't adjust the gain, just the fader. Your monitor send should be set to "Pre-EQ" on the board, that way anything they do to your sound for the congregation will not have any effect on what you hear in your monitor.

Bad monitoring will drastically affect your ability to adjust your sound and playing style for the service.
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Re: Piano Question

Postby Mike Monte » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:02 am

churchgirl wrote:Last service, the sound guy asked if I could turn my weighted keys off or down, because he says when I play quietly, it’s so quiet he has to turn me up, but then when we do a louder song, it blasts them out. I don’t control my sound at all - they ask me to turn the volume on our MOXF8 all the way up and never touch it. I’m very careful to follow those instructions.

As a sound provider I like to let the musicians "play" as much as possible without subjecting them to "my" concept of balance.

If you are playing quietly it is probably because the written dynamic markings in the music says to play quietly....
It could be a situation where the music says to play softer (which you do) but the other players just blast-away (as many non-musicians tend to do) thus making your part inaudible. (I would look at this first....)

The sound person's job may be to make sure that you are heard, but, sometimes you only need to be "felt"..... You, as the musician (artist) should have some dynamic (volume) control....

Better keyboards have "touch sensitive / velocity sensitive" keys for a reason.......

I am not familiar with your keyboard but I (as the sound guy) would ask for your keyboard volume to be set at 70% (or so) to give me something to work with plus leave you some headroom.
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