Digitally Mixing Modern Worship Part 3: Life with the GLD-80

About four months ago I began this series on digitally mixing modern worship with a post about getting started with the GLD-80. I thought it was time for a short post on how “life with the GLD-80” has been over the last few months, so here goes:# Volunteer Friendliness
Unless you’re working for a “mega-church” you probably don’t have staffed audio engineers. Neither do we. When considering a new console, friendliness to volunteer audio engineers is really important. I’m not always able to be the one behind the desk, so having a desk I know I can quickly train a non-professional to use effectively is important.

Shows, Scenes and Presets

Since installing the GLD-80 I’ve begun to depend more and more on presents, especially when it comes to training and empowering volunteer staff. Since most (okay… none) of our Sunday audio engineers have official schooling on audio engineering and I don’t have the time (or ability, honestly) to teach professional audio engineering, we have to depend on presets to help make things easier.
I’ve created presets for each of our regular musicians and vocalists, and all of our engineers use the same saved show every week which contains all our effects and routing. This is a huge time saver. On Sunday morning all the engineer has to do is load up the show and recall the presets for the musicians and vocalists performing in that set. At that point they are 90% of the way there. This leaves lots of time for learning the set (lead instruments and vocalists) and fine-tuning things (EQ’s and effects).
I highly recommend that unless you have full-time staff, you have all your engineers share presets and shows. That way every week builds off the tweaks and improvements from the previous week’s changes and you can all make improvements to the overall “sound” of your church’s worship as a team. Giving each engineer their own layout or routing puts you all into silos and removes the huge potential teamwork benefits digital consoles offer.

Tip Share presets and shows! It’ll help you improve your overall sound week to week, and keep your whole team on the same page.

Live Audio Quality

Overall I’ve been blown away by the mixes we’ve been getting from the GLD-80. I’d like to say it’s because I’m just an incredible engineer, but really it’s because of the great features and effects the GLD-80 comes with.

Multi-stage Processing

The GLD-80 can make it incredibly easy to get a good basic mix. They key is using many, many stages of compression and processing to help smooth things out and give you a good foundation to work with.

Tip Utilize the many stages of processing and compression the GLD-80 offers. It’ll help keep your mix smooth, balanced and clear without being piercing or requiring constant fader-riding.
To give you an example what I’m talking about, here are the stages of compression our lead vocal channel goes through:

1. MultiBD compressor 4

First, there is an insert on the DSP channel that routes the audio through the MultiBD compressor just after the gate. I use this to help crush common problem frequencies:
Multiband lead vocal compression
The main thing is taking out those high mids that often cause the vocal to sound piercing or harsh, especially if you have a dynamic female lead.

2. Channel compressor

Next we hit the channel’s compressor. I’m using the 16T model with the following settings:
Lead vocal 16T channel compression

3. Group bus MultiBD compression

Thirdly, the lead vocal is grouped in with the rest of the vocals in a subgroup, and the first thing that happens there is another round of multiband compression:
Group multiband compression

4. Group bus compressor

Finally, the vocal group is compressed as a whole using the 16T model compressor:
Group 16T compression
This stage helps keeps the vocals even as a group. Instead of simply compressing the lead vocal during a dynamic jump, the entire vocal group is compressed to keep the balance consistant.


Similar signal chains are used for each instrument, but the point is that when you take advantage of the incredible processing capability of the GLD, it makes your life easier.

Dante

I wrote a whole seperate post addressing Dante. Dante helps clean up noise and reduce the need for analog inputs on your stage or at the GLD. If you don’t have it yet, get the Dante Virtual Soundcard and use it for all your digital audio.

Recording

We aren’t producing live recordings or anything, but we do record a stereo bus every week, and the GLD has certainly helped with this.
I have our recording bus set up as an aux, with almost every channel set to be in the aux post-fader at unity (0 dB). This means the recording is basically a copy of the main mix.
Then I set a couple of channels (room mics, emcee mics, etc) as pre-fade and mix them manually to make sure they sit correctly in the recording bus.
I also use a bus compressor to help keep the overall recording level as “normalized” as possible to minimize the amount of post-processing we need to do.

7 Comments

  1. Nicholas Jackson June 5, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Hey Ryan,
    Thanks for putting these articles together on the GLD. I really like how you have it setup! However, I am not exactly understanding how you are routing a few things. For example, how do you route groups? Is the lead vocal assiged to LR or only to a group? Also, when inserting the multiband compression on the lead vocal, you are using an FX slot and now can’t use it for anything else. How does that work for you? Thanks for your thoughts!

    Reply
    1. Ryan - Site Author June 5, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Glad you appreciated them! You’re right about group routing. If you’re using a mix group to do compression or something on audio like a group of vocals, you’ll likely want to route those channels only to the subgroup, and then route that group into the mains. I end up using the group bus as a way of mixing groups of instruments, drums, or vocals as well. Hope that helps.

      And yes, you’re right: in our set up we have two reverbs, a delay, and 5 multiband compressors, which we use on three vocal channels as inserts, and then on the vocal group bus as an insert and our drum bus as an insert. Honestly, we may be the only ones in the world doing that much dynamic processing, but I really find it makes our vocals much smoother and easier to mix–which is especially nice since all of our mix engineers are volunteers with very little training.

      Hope that all helps!

      Reply
  2. Nicholas Jackson June 5, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Hey Ryan,
    This is super helpful!
    Since you are using inserts and that FX can only be used for that channel, how do you not run out of FXs since you can only use 8 at a time?

    Would you be willing to share your show file so I can look through your routing? We have a very lively room and I too need that much dynamic processing.

    Reply
    1. Ryan - Site Author June 5, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Of course, you can get it from here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wvHv003Zlloy4vkmgHqzhPPcfzpy07ic&authuser=ryan@hcfcornwall.ca&usp=drive_fs.

      We’re only using two reverbs and a delay, so those three along with the 5 multiband is how we use our 8. There are lots of other great effects you can use, but we just find that this is the best way to utilize the 8 slots we get. How you decide to use your 8 is really going to depend on your instruments/vocals and room!

      Reply
  3. Nicholas Jackson June 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Ryan,
    You are super helpful and quick to reply. I am very fortunate to have found your site. Thanks for your kingdom work mate.

    Reply
  4. Nicholas Jackson June 6, 2019 at 2:54 am

    Ryan,
    I have been rummaging through your setup and this is very helpful. Question: Why are you using Direct Out for port out instead of the input sockets. Can’t the sound change when coming back into the board this way? I always keep my digital trim at zero so perhaps this shouldn’t matter?

    Reply
    1. Ryan - Site Author June 6, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Good question! To be honest I wasn’t sure what you meant at first, because I didn’t realize you could patch input sockets directly as an output! 😂🤯 Thanks for enlightening me. I think in just about all cases, using input sockets makes more sense, and honestly, I think I’ll switch to that now!

      I’d say the only downside is that (for us at least) the input sockets don’t always map to the same actual input. I might re-patch a vocal for example to a different dSnake channel. If you use input direct outs, you can have a Logic (or other program) template that matches all your inputs intuitively, and even if you re-patch the source for that input, your template is still going to work. If you use input sockets and move the source for an input, that input (say “vocal 1”) isn’t going to match on your template anymore.

      Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *