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The Perfect Church: Audio and Video

5

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What's this? The geeks spend an entire episode without mentioning the internet a single time? Indeed. Like a rare white tiger at the zoo, folks gather from far and wide to see MF and Rob get passionate about something other than the next hot thing on the web...

That's because today we start our 2 episode series on "The Perfect Church". We talk about the types of systems we'd put into a church if we could do what we wanted. Today, we talk about audio and video systems.

Rob goes off forever on audio gear while MF sits back and asks some good questions. We talk about a great and simple podcasting setup for your church that would give you totally pro sound quality. Then we launch into some brands that you should look for when doing a live sound installation.

Then, we move into video systems, talking about some things you should check out for a medium sized church production arsenal. We talk HDV and lighting, backdrops and editing suites. Then we talk briefly on some options in live video and ask for someone who knows about projectors to record an MP3 and send it over (because we won't pretend we know anything about them!)

But before all this, we talk about how we hope some folks get a glimpse into the life and heart of some average Christians by listening to Geeks and God.

speakers?

What brand speakers?

EAW

http://www.eaw.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Live video streaming

When it comes to the matter of streaming your service/sermon live, I've taken a look at the options recently. You could try to "roll your own" system with something like the Darwin open source streaming server (which also lets you Stream your video into Second Life), or you could pay lots of money and use a service such as Sermonaudio.com.

Or......

You could try out ustream.tv (note, .tv - not .com), which lets you stream live online for free. Kind of like a "live youtube". I know of at least one user experimenting with streaming church services on ustream already. It is free, so you could at least try it out with little risk.

Twitter?

Hey Rob and Matt. Just wondering, but do either of you have a Twitter account?

Not Me

Nope. twitter is blocked where I work. That kind of kills it for me.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

I'm On Twitter

OK, so I signed up for twitter.... my username is mattfarina.... http://www.twitter.com/mattfarina

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Just setup Twitter

I just set it up with your little nudge...what's your screenname? Mine is: Rob_Feature

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

You guys use twitterrific?

Twitterrific is the best way to use twitter on your mac. Twitter is kinda fun. Who would have thought such a simple concept would take off like it has.

Haven't seen this...

I hadn't seen this...I just use iChat.

Oh, and Go Here if you're a Twitter-er.

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Oh then you definately have

Oh then you definately have to get twitterrific. Its much more fun to use than with ichat. You'll like it.

Great cast!

I really loved the part about non-Christians listening to the cast. I agree that so many Christians use the truth of the Word as a knife to the heart instead of arms that rescue. Thanks for adding that part!

What did he say?

Turn it off.
Oh,okay.
*click*

Haha...

Is this a referance to my "This episode isn't going to be any good...they should just stop listening now"?

If so, i think it's awesome if someone actually did...too funny. I don't think you missed much.

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Pro Presenter

Rob and MF,

Shrop here.. We looked at Media Shout and waited patiently for a Mac version for about a year. A company rep recommends running it in Parallels on an intel mac.. would work I guess.

We went with Pro Presenter. Our Worship Pastor found it.. http://www.renewedvision.com/

ok.. just heard you mentioned it :)

Pro Presenter rocks and they have some other apps for multiple screens. Support is fantastic!

I also heard that these guys are working on live camera too.

Pro Presenter is a front end for QuickTime. Haven't tried it, but you should be able to play Xvid and WMV if you have Flip4Mac loaded for QuickTime..

This podcast rocks! Please keep it up.. We have our creative team hooked..

Later,
Shrop

Pro Presenter Video Tip

Oh yeah.. a tip for Pro Presenter users on older Macs.. We are currently using a PowerBook G4 2GB 1.67GHz.. We were encoding with mp4 and having all kinds of skipping/stuttering of video.. really bad.. :( pastor not happy etc..

Anyway, talked to Pro Presenter support and they recommended encoding QuickTime Movie using the DV compressor. Files are a bit bigger. They play flawless now on the same machine since there isn't as much CPU going towards decompression.

Encoding decisions are so important with digital video..

Later,
Shrop

Hey, thanks for that very

Hey, thanks for that very useful tip!

I go to a tiny church in NZ and any attempt to discuss our media solutions ends up sounding just like this thread. I was considering buying pro presenter and donating it to the church along with my old g4 powerbook, but wasnt sure if it was up to the job.

Of course there is the whole political faction to worry about. I suggested a mac already and was met with some oddly aggressive and hateful reactions from the same people that seem to spend more time complaining about their pc than doing things with it. Weird.

Anyways, If i can just drop a turnkey solution onto the media desk that costs the church nothing and works smoothly, that seems like it would eliminate most of the fears and hostility by the powerpoint loving crowd.

Ha. who am i kidding? Well. its a lovely thought anyways.

Thanks again for the comment. It helped heaps and led me to this nifty website/podcast.

cheers

2 suggestions

I know this is a dream setup, but I would have suggested Apple's Final Cut Express for those who don't have a huge budget.

Also if I can wait to purchase a mac, I always check MacRumor's Buyers Guide. Presently Apple's lineup of computers are rather stale and updates are coming soon.

Phil

Finally

OK, I finally finished the episode! It took three times, partly because of the biased mac content! :)

All I can say is, the reason macs only have 3% of the market right now is because of the people who own them!

Now for some comments on the podcast - great episode mostly. I of course disagree that mac is the only way to go, and that it is the only good solution for video. But I've already written on this in the forums in the past, but Rob didn't read it I think, since he said he didn't know anything about what is available to PCs for video. I laid out some solutions there.

One HUGE omission on the cast. You slammed some audio companies and left out the biggest offender - Behringer!! And I grew up in the 80s and know Peavey is nasty (though they have improved quite a bit). But Behringer puts out really cheap junk and has flooded the market with broken gear. Don't buy it!

On the wireless issue, if anyone is looking to go there, go with Sennheiser if you can afford it. They are a good step up from Shure, though they have great stuff which we use. But Sennheiser is on top of the game.

If you are looking for reference monitors, the M-Audio BX5a and BX8a models are pretty great for the money, and have reviewed really well. Rob mentioned the yamaha, and referenced the NS-10s. And yes they are in many studios, but always as a second set. They are amazing at showing what stuff sounds like on typical users sound systems and stock car audio. But for mixing for a decent church sound system, you can find something more appropriate. Go full range with an 8" woofer and even a sub if your sanctuary has that. You want to mix on the computer, and then hear those results on the system you are mixing for.

On mics, we actually moved from Shure to Audix. Great mics. Great specs and reviews.

I hate to just say what I disagree with, or mention more alternatives, but the good stuff doesn't need repeating. And the cast was full of it. Still on schedule to get a MacBook pro btw - next Feb if things go right!

Chordinator

www.calvarycolorado.org

Good feedback...even if it's wrong :)

Hey Chorinator...
Good feedback and thoughts here....but of course, I"m going to disagree with you on all counts :)

First, video editing on a Windows box? Yikes! Sure, it's possible but so is moving a pile of dirt, one grain at a time, with a pair of tweezers! The right tool is key for the job. (and, why is it that you're getting a Macbook Pro? hehe )

I also disagree with you on your audio recommendations. Let me tackle them in order:

First, Behringer...Is it high quality pro gear? Absolutely not. But, is it as bad as the stuff on my "bad" list? No way. Behringer is cheap gear, for sure, but in my experience it's a good choice if you have a small budget. Their gates are especially worthwhile for a small church with a small live setup and a small budget. It sounds like you've had a bad experience with it in the past, but I've used them many times (not by choice) and they've always done the job.

Second, M-Audio speakers (and their kind) are EXACTLY what I would suggest avoiding. M-Audio is not an audio company...they're a computer audio company. It's a HUGE difference. They make gear tailored to the "computer audio" guy, who isn't really an audio guy.

You're exactly right about the NS10's, which is why I recommend them so highly. They are not fancy speakers. They are not glamerous and I don't even think they sound good....but what they are are ACCURATE. I've worked in major label recording studios and any real producer will tell you that all those other "first tier" speakers are there for one reason: To impress the client. They sound fantastic and rich...but they're not always accurate (unless they're something like a pair of Genelecs, which no church should be spending money on for mixing podcast audio). The NS10s (and their new powered versions) are accurate and cheap. If your mix sounds good there, it will sound good anywhere. In a car, on the radio, on a jam box, clock radio or million dollar PA system. That's the whole point. The speakers aren't there to make you feel good, they're there to get a job done well. Sure, add the subwoofer if you want to feel good or impress your friends, but there's no need for it when doing a real mix (other than checking your subs once in a while to make sure they're not insane). That's my rant....you hit on something that drives me nuts: "feel good" mixing.

I've never been impressed with Audix, myself. For the same money you can get mics from folks who have been in the biz twice is long and are relied on nightly in the worlds biggest venues.

Ok, so that was alotta negatives...but I have a feeling you expected a retaliation...so I couldn't let ya down. :) It's all with the goal of making churches better, so thanks for participating...

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Wow!

I didn't actually think you would disagree with me on every point!

Behringer???? Are you serious? Worse than 80s Peavey. At least Peavey worked, though it sucked any good tone out of existence. But Behringer has broken down on me and a ton of other people since it jumped on the scene. I only bought two items of theirs, but have since read many reviews. There is this also neat site www.harmonycentral.com which will confirm that you are indeed on crack. Sorry about that. You may not actually know it though...

Video. As I've said before, both platforms actually work awesome. Macs are now PCs with a great OS. Check... finally. PCs are either junk over the counter systems with an OS that needs tweeking, or they are great stable machines with an OS that needs tweeking. Are you seriously calling the large number of professionals who edit video on PCs idiots? That's a little arrogant don't you think? There are a ton of them, and they can afford either platform. Read up on what's what in the world if you want to slam all of us idiots! :)

M-Audio. Hmmm... Behringer is OK, but not M-Audio. Wow. Do you read Sound on Sound, or Mix, or Electronic Musician, or... I get two of those and gather my opinions based on those reviews, which I then follow up with by listening and comparing. You are just slamming stuff and it shows weird bias. You love Pro Tools and your M-Box, which is made by M-Audio. What the heck? You love Avid, and they bought M-Audio, and have used their resources and expertise to hone some products including the reference monitors. Seriously? Do you want to be That Guy? I bought the BX5a pair for church, and at $220, they blew away everything in their price range. They are pretty flat across the spectrum as far as their size allows. My sister who is a professional video editor (full Avid) asked her audio editor (ProTools guy) what she should get and he had her get M-Audio. I backed him up of course. Just because they started out as a computer audio company, you seem to think they are incapable of building good gear. That's pretty incredible. And I mean that in the true sense of the word. My true opinion on monitors. Spend over $250 (on reference monitors) and you will be alright (though there is some junk in there too). If you have golden ears, and know what you are doing, spend more. If you have a sub in your sanctuary, get one for your rig and test some audio on both systems so you know how your rig compares. Then you can get some decent results.

Audix - more of the same from you. But read some reviews and check out their site before taking a dump on them as well. Great reviews and specs. Tons of Pro users and large venues. Between an SOS review and me trying them out, we went with OM-5s for our stage. They sounded better than the others we have tried, and feedback less. Bose did a huge test to find the mic that would feedback the least with their new on stage stuff, and found the best results with Audix. And they are tone junkies.

I admit I'm sounding harsh, but you seem to contradict yourself alot, and are REALLY biased on a ton of stuff. I'm just a little confused.

Chordinator

www.calvarycolorado.org

Play Nice

OK, we need to play nice here. No name calling and always being polite even when you disagree.

1 Corinthians 13:3, "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

If love can't be seen in our actions than we need to check ourselves.

That said, I will throw in my 2 cents. When it comes to reviews we need to be wary and look at who is doing the review. There are a million self professed professionals and experts out there.

That guy who has a recording studio in his basement is somewhat professional, but not quite there. That person who works for a record label producing all the stuff we hear on the radio is a professional. That person who edits video for a church isn't a professional. That person who edits video for a TV show, a movie, or the 7pm news is a professional. So, we need to be careful of what we say here. Maybe you call these levels of professionals but I think you get my point.

When it comes to audio and video here the professional I mean here is the level of expertise we are representing here (not me personally). This happens with Bobs expertise and that of others we know and have talked to about these subjects. Even when you disagree, and there are always disagreements, please realize this info comes from highly qualified sources.

Please note that Bob has called Avids products good stuff. The problem here is Windows. Windows is just not a quality and reliable system to work on. To get it to that point takes a lot of tweaking and extra software that takes away from system performance. You really need a Mac (OS X has that nifty BSD backend) or Linux. Notice that in both cases the root of the reliability and quality is based in Unix based systems.

Now, on the church audio front.... I've attended more churches than I can count. At one point I got the nickname 'The Church Whore' because I got around to so many churches looking for a good church home. What I found was that it is very rare for a church to have a good sound setup much less a great one. Great ones, in my experience, are 1% or less of the churches out there. Good ones may get up to 5% in my experience. Sadly, using other churches as a mold will rarely provide for a model worth following in audio. I hope that changes soon and this was one of the driving motivators for these episodes.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

The Problem

Let me just say first off that this may seem way more heated than it really is! I was at a 3 on the irritable scale when writing the last post. I'm still only a 4 :)

You say that Bob has called Avids products good stuff, but the consistency is not there in what he likes or dislikes. Avid owns M-Audio, and to discount them because they started out computer based is ludicrous. In today's day and age, some company with resources can hire away a pro from another company at the drop of a hat. M-Audio or any other company has the capability of doing this. I own a Presonus interface, and they have the capability of being less than their names quality by trying to compete with the other guys. And Avid has the ability to sink it's resources, R&D, and people into M-Audio. They don't even have to steal anyone. I mentioned the M-Box/M-Audio connection because I remembered (I thought) that it was farmed out to them. I could be wrong, but who cares. The issue is that you both have a voice in the world and the power to influence. If you do this irresponsibly, you are not handling things as you should as a Christian.

Example - on the podcasts, I have heard statements to the effect - don't edit video on a PC, it's just bad, I don't know why, bad architecture... And then you (Matt) come with your post here and say the problem isn't the hardware at all, but the Windows OS because it needs tweaking. Same thing I said. There used to be a big gap between the two platforms money wise. So those of us who couldn't afford to be one of the chosen ones had to spend a couple of hours tweaking windows, but it would save hundreds of dollars. To me it was the only responsible thing to do with my money (read steward).

My challenge - If Rob has ANY evidence that the end product from a Mac running Avid is different from a PC running Avid, bring it. But don't just talk biased. I've read stuff from professionals that say there is no difference in the least. And 3 out of 4 of them are on Macs, which means... well you do the math. There are plenty of real world pros on PCs running windows. And there are plenty of Mac pros who I've heard say that windows is a great way to go with no difference in output.

You talk of the pros you know, who you get your info from. The one on the videocast was interviewed from his home studio/living room. Does he count as the pro, or is he the "almost there" you speak of? When I mention the people I know who are PC based doing stuff for TV, does that count, or do you just discount me as "that guy"? I know a true pro who works from home 90% of the time, flying to the producers location for tweaks.

What counts as good information regarding what is good or not? Probably once a month or so, I have to shut things down and reboot to get a fresh start from my PC. This slows me down a bit, but the product I get is still great. And my render times are great using a 64 bit dual core AMD system. Faster than a Mac of its born on date according to those lame reviews. But for the most part that is my experience, and it's been great. I've mentioned "reviews" as pointed out, and I do put a bit of stock in those. I know which ones to listen hard to, and those to hear as opinion. When someone does a test on a PC next to a mac, and loads both with plug-ins til they drop, then that's a good test. I listen closer to that. If it's an advertisers product, grain of salt. But I would put reviews from Sound on Sound, or VideoMaker alongside, or even ahead of some truly fine individuals with a podcast, because they are written by seasoned pros for the most part. I know of their work already, and have even heard of many of them. SOS has articles and interviews of some stellar producers quite often.

Chordinator

www.calvarycolorado.org

read below

When it comes to audio and video the pros we talk about are on a different level of the ones we have had on the podcast. This is one area we have been blessed in. When I say audio and video pros I am talking about guys who have worked doing audio for a major recording studio. And, guys who work doing professional video editing that we get to see on TV. And, guys who have the luxury (and I drool over this) of having their own rendering farm in their office. Yet, there will always be disagreements on these things and I know, from experience, people sometimes have a hard time listening to others when it's something they don't agree with or aren't open to. So, even if you disagree, respect the source you disagree with. Unless you are a high end pro they are more experienced than you. And, even their debates are not worth getting upset about.

I was listening to a sermon the other day and one of the questions the pastor asked the congregation was if they got upset about the same things Christ did. I think this is an important question to ask here. Would Christ bother with the time to get upset about this? I don't think so and neither should we.

Now, as for being a good steward... that doesn't mean being cheap. I would love for someone to find me a verse in the bible that says being a good steward is about being cheap or spending as little money as possible. As far as I can tell, it's about spending money wisely.

But, you said you were able to get a PC for less money than a mac that could do the job. This leaves me wondering what kind of machine on the performance end. I just went to Dells site and configured a machine to be comparable to a base Mac Pro. The Dell was much more expensive. So, that leaves me wondering if you built it yourself, if you got a machine that has less performance when compared, or if you got it back in the G5 days.

In fact, if you go back to the announcement for the Mac Pros you'll find that they are less expensive than the comparable system from Dell and the other big names. That was one of the things that blew my mind at the launch.

Now, if you are really concerned with rendering performance you'll have a rendering farm. Most likely it'll be some Unix variant (BSD, Linux, etc.) for the operating system. Editing video on a machine, for your average user, is more than speed to render. The few milliseconds difference is small enough to them that it doesn't matter. So, please realize that it's more than that.

Sadly, many geeks and reviewers get caught up on the details that don't matter quite as much in your typical situations or that matter in your day to day use. This really hit me yesterday when I was reading a comparison between 2 products. None of the comparison points/differences were things that mattered if I were to get one. All the questions I had weren't answered in the writeup. Maybe it's the engineer in me that's always thinking requirements and what meets them. But, much of what I read doesn't hit on my heavy hitting requirements but on my geek love to measure.

Read Bobs comment below. He addressed several of your other concerns.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Picking at Details

Hey Chordinator...
I agree with MF...at this point, this discussion isn't really benefiting anyone anymore. The whole point of the episode was to give our opinions of what churches should buy with their money. I think our suggestions were very strong and based on good information (not just pulled out of a hat) You may see them as random because we DON'T recommend things based on a company bias (for example recommending all avid-made products, or even a mac for everyone...did you listen to any other mac/pc shows where we recommend pc's for certain things?). In fact it shows we have no bias because we'll pick and choose what is good.

If you disagree with them, that's ok. We're not demanding people go buy what we tell them to. And, to be honest, I think it's going a bit far to say that if we tell them to buy certain things, "we're not handling things as a Christian"... In fact, that's the ONLY reason we're doing this podcast: To try and serve churches. And I think we're doing it quite responsibly and professionally.

So, again, thanks for your comments, people can either take or leave my experiences and opinions...

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

We're fine.

I think this got out of hand. I'm really not trying to get into a hate session here. I just want proper information out there which will lead people to using their (God's) money well. That's it. Switching platforms is expensive, both financially, and with time as well once you learn new gear.

I was actually feeling a little wary after my posts, and decided to make sure I'm not being as biased as I suggested you were Bob. I emailed a guy I've been connected with before who is a specialist in this field. He sets up pro systems, and in both platforms. I didn't mention a debate with anyone on this subject btw. His response was a bit humorous, and a bit un-printable. I asked about Linux vs Mac vs PC. His response to Linux "LOL NO Pro uses Linux period. They may use it for a render farm but defiantly not as an OS for editing." I actually have no experience in the Linux/video area, and don't have a basis to comment. Do you know anyone using Linux as an OS to run Avid? I'm really just curious here.

I won't quote the other stuff he said, because it was exactly what I said in the other posts. Mac is now a PC with a good OS... both systems are awesome... blah blah. He did point out that it MUST be a good PC with quality components, and configured correctly. So, if someone has a fairly new machine, don't throw it out or be discontent with it! It will do for now. You can learn to tweak it here http://www.pcaudiolabs.com/downloads_video.asp?cat... .

Matt, I think you mis-read my post. When I was comparing systems, it was pre MacBook pro. I already said that it is finally time for me to make the leap to a Mac. They are faster, and cheaper than they used to be. I would never advise Dell for someone because they are not what they used to be. I've owned two, and they are unstable, and over priced. Their customer support was great, but I was shut down while they acted. My current machine (ADK) is awesome. But I need a laptop for stage use, and it will be expensive either way. So I'm aiming at the Mac Book pro. Only a custom built for audio laptop will work on stage. Off the shelf big brands have grounding problems which cause buzz depending on what is shared IRQ wise. Mine was looping with the hard drive. I saw one company selling laptops for audio with a $50 HumX ground lift unit. Lame.

Even after the switch, I will stay with my PC for video until it is too old to handle the frequent software upgrades. AMD 64 X2 Dual 2.2 GHz, Vegas, Sound Forge, Boris Red, Canopus ADVC 110 video converter. Decent set-up, but like you appropriately said in the cast - the most important thing is what you put into the machine. Good camera work and sound are what most people mess up on! Especially Sound!

Keep up the Good work!

Chordinator

www.calvarycolorado.org

Hehe...

I really got ya riled up, eh? :) Didn't mean to, just having a friendly conversation.

Let's go over this again:

Avid...fantastic fantastic fantastic. Avid on Windows? No way. Avid on Linux? Sure! THAT is pro. The problem is the OS, not Avid. I'm talking about the regular guy who wants a turnkey solution...and for him, it's final cut on an apple.

Second, for audio....
To be honest, here's my bias: My ears and experience. I don't base my opinions on reviews or magaizines. I base them on using the gear, working with producers who use the gear and listening to what they hear and think. I can't tell you how many crap products get good reviews in the magazines you have mentioned. (and I can't think of a single professional producer who actually reads those magazines for exactly that reason).

Pro Tools Mbox being made by M-Audio? Hardly. Yes, Avid owns Digidesign and M-Audio, but M-Audio is the computer/electronic audio sub-division of Digi...Digidisign makes their pro audio products, M-Audio makes their computer/electronic products. Just visit their website...it's all computer musician (or electronic) stuff. All I'm saying is pros don't use M-Audio (unless maybe you're BT)...and if they have a choice, neither should churches.

You seem to treat these 'reviews' like they're the Gospel of Gear. (you must have mentioned reviews 5 times in here). I make my decisions and recommendations based on my ears and my experience, not what some magazine tells me I should like. That's like liking a band because Rolling Stone told me to!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Video Stuff on the PC

Chordinator,

Thanks for the post from the PC faithful!

I haven't dropped serious dime on PC video editing software in many years however, it just seems like good money chasing bad architecture.

Macs from the start have been about digital media synthesis (and from the start I mean, the 80s). Even though they are running on the Intel architecture now, you cannot easily find the same quality components on the PC vendor. You CAN find comparable components, and possibly all from a build-to-order shop, but you have to take a lot of expertise with you to get the right stuff. Or, you can get a Mac Pro, or MacBook Pro and you're basically done. I know in the Ultimate Audio & Video episode, Rob was all about not using the built-in audio, but from my limited experience, my standard PowerMac's audio out is very clean and I have digital out as well. Basically, imagine almost every high-end component available for a PC and then jam it into a box and you have a Mac Pro system. Then you have to properly configure/tweak out all your software to handle the bandwidth of video.

Finally on the software... I haven't used Premier in a LONG time (remember the bundled Matrox vid cards?), but I do remember that they had to completely retool their core architecture around the third major release (I cannot even remember the correct name of the product then but I think it had a horse as the image). Final Cut stole the dev leads off that team and built FCP based on QuickTime architecture at the core. I don't think they've had to scrap their architecture yet...

Anyways, not to go off on you, because I do agree with your point about the only reason why Macs don't have more marketshare is because of Mac owners... (sorry RF)

-Brett

You CAN get Avid on a PC,

You CAN get Avid on a PC, you know. Much better than Final cut or Premiere or anything else out there. I started out editing non-linear on Macs, but i wouldn't go back.

Yes...

Yes, you are correct...Avid is 'da bomb. Industry standard and totally rockin.

But, for a church, I don't recommend it. The machine requirements, the management and cost of the system, and the fact that it's losing big popularity these days to final cut makes me shy away from recommending it.

And, I especially DON'T recommend it on Windows. Linux, sure...but not Windows...with Avid, the OS is the problem, not the software. Great software on a bad OS doesn't make for a great experience.

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Countryman mics and video on Windows

There are two companies you can get Countryman mics from in the UK:
Autograph Sales
and
Amber Sound

The Amber Sound Countryman PDF price list shows them to cost over £300, so they are quite a commitment for a lot of churches, though probably worth it in the long run.

In terms of video editing on PCs: OK, so the mac may have great in built support for such things, but I don't have one....and in about an hour, I was able to knock up a video about our church's Party in the Square in Portsmouth, to show in the afternoon of the day it finished, using what was built into Windows: Movie Maker. It might not be the greatest video production system. It might only let you produce WMV files (unless you go for the huge AVI option), but it managed to do the job.

My $0.02 better late than never

Hey guys. I've been enjoying the podcast! Rolled back to the start of the Drupal series about the time the Javascript episode released, and have made my way up through this episode. So I decided to reopen an old thread and submit a couple of comments.

I used to really like Mackie mixers for live sound until I started mixing on Allen & Heath. They are definitely laid out with live mixing in mind, and are a dream to work with. From the GL series mixers we have FOH down to the MixWizard we use for our portable system, they're very operator-friendly, clean-sounding mixers. If you're not familiar with them, check into them. And consider this an open invitation to buzz out to Highland and check them out some time.

Agreement on the E6, but there are a variants showing up that hook over both ears, and we may try one of those next time.

FWIW, we typically buy all of our Sennheiser and Countryman stuff from Northern Sound and Light. They have excellent pricing, and we've always been very happy with their service.

I think you're probably right about Macs being superior to Windows systems for multimedia, but when that's what you have available, you can still get acceptable results, especially in audio. I've worked out a pretty good solution using open source and free software for recording and processing our pastor's sermons for podcast and radio broadcast. I've found that EQ, Compression and Limiting can go a long way towards improving intelligibility, especially when you're preparing to mash a live sermon recording down to where it's accessible for dial-up users.

While I don't have complete docs on our actual recording setup at the moment, I have posted the software side of my method on one of my blogs for anyone who is interested in a low-cost solution for doing this on an available Windows PC.

Thanks for the podcast. I've really been enjoying it!

Micah

Allen and Heath...Yes!

Hey Micah...
Yes...thanks for pointing out Allen and Heath. These are fantastic live boards and are the industry leaders along with Soundcraft. I have nothing bad to say about either. Mackies are sorta like the little brother of these two 'big guys'.

Thanks for pointing that out, and good post!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Hi guys, first time listener

Hi guys, first time listener here. As a point of reference I have worked in professional live and studio audio for a number of years and currently serve as a full time Media Director.

While I agree with some of your audio recommendations, I think you could expand your list and still give people quality choices. For instance EAW is a fine speaker manufacturer, but they are not the only quality choice. Meyer Sound speakers are astounding, Apogee, Turbosound, and SLS all make very good boxes. The new powered QSC line provide recognized excellence at a bargain price as well.

Great console choices should include Midas (a world standard of excellence), Yamaha - probably the live sound market leader, Alan & Heath, Soundcraft, and Digidesign Venue.

I highly disagree with the recommendation of Mackie. I speak from waaaaay too much experience with just about every product in the Mackie line - including daily use of their flagship console. Layout sucks, EQ sucks, non-mutable aux sends sucks, shielding sucks, and worst of all, the entire electronics are mounted to one giant surface mounted circuit board instead of a professional modular layout. That said, they do make great studio monitors, decent powered speakers, and the small powered plastic encased mixers are a good value.

Our Church

Hello,

In My Church The Embassy The Kingdom of God in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada we have two sanctuaries (we added the new one in 2003 by cutting off the offices and adding new)and in the old 800 seat sanctuary I am looking at setting up Video would you recommend a camera that has an hd or would you recommend a camera that uses tapes? We want to be able to produce the video onto dvd rather then just sell the Audio of the sermons (not that audio is bad) for the Young Adults of the church. Let me know your thoughts.

Be Blessed!

Visit These Great Websites
www.embassyonline.ca (Young Adults)
www.theembassyofgod.com (Main Site)
www.embassyworship.com (Worship Teams)
www.durhamhop.com (Durham House of Prayer)
www.geeks4god.web44.net (My Site)

Visit These Great Websites
www.embassyonline.ca (Young Adults)
www.embassystudents.ca (JR & SR High)
www.theembassyofgod.com (Main Site)
www.embassyworship.com (Worship Teams)
www.durhamhop.com (Durham House of Prayer)
www.matthewdykstra.site90.com