AppleTablets

My first experience mixing sound on the iPad

M7CL Fader Shot - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I just got home from band practice, and it was my first session using the iPad to control the sound board. I have to say that I loved every minute of it! If you remember I bought an iPad for my job as Tech Director at my church because of the apps that are available to help me with my job. We just finished installation of a brand new sound system this week, and that included a Yamaha M7CL digital mixing console. Like I mentioned before, our sound booth is upstairs in the balcony, where it sounds completely different than it does on the floor where 95% of the people in Sunday service sit. With the right app for the iPad, I can sit on the floor and mix using the app, without having to be near the sound board.

Stagemix - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereThe app I’m using is called Yamaha M7CL StageMix. I’ll do a full review on it once I have some more time to use it and find out all the cool things it can do. But for now, let me say that this single purchase of an iPad and a free app is going to revolutionize how I run sound for our services. Tonight was just a sound check and quick band practice, but many times I was thankful to have it. With it I can wander the room and tweak the sound as I go. I can hear exactly what the people in the seats will be hearing on Sunday morning. I can walk up on stage and hear what the musicians and vocalists are hearing in their monitors. If they want more of something, I can turn it up while standing right there listening for it. I can turn channels on and off with the push of a button without having to run back up to the console if a guitarist wants to switch guitars. In short, why didn’t I buy one of these years ago?

The only thing that really sucks about the whole thing is that I had to support Apple in order to have this functionality. If you read John’s article about sue-happy-Apple, you will know what I am talking about. I agree completely with his take on the whole patent and suing culture we are in right now. Sadly, Android has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to technology in the church world, and this Yamaha app is the perfect example: It’s not available on Android. A couple weeks ago I was at a conference for church tech workers. There were almost 1000 of us there, and I don’t recall seeing a single non-Apple laptop or tablet in attendance. I would say a good percentage also had iPhones. That is a huge market that Android hasn’t even set foot into, and needs to badly. At this point Apple might be so entrenched that Android might not ever be able to get a foothold, which makes me sad. But enough about that, I so excited about what can be done with these apps for my iPad. I can’t wait to see what cool things I can do with them in the weeks ahead.

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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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4 thoughts on “My first experience mixing sound on the iPad

  • I’m excited to hear your continued adventures with your iPad use. I too wish that there were more developers that produced quality apps for use in church on the Android OS.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Bryan Faulkner

      Thanks for the comment Kris! One of the great things about Android is that you can get a tablet for a lot cheaper than an iPad. I think if developers would start making some Android apps for churches we would see a lot more Android tablets starting to pop up there.

      Reply
  • I run lights and/or sound in my high school’s theatre building as well as working in some other theatres on occasion and I know exactly what you mean when it comes to mixing from a balcony.
    At the high school it’s worse. I have to mix from a booth in the back surrounded by concrete walls. Usually I end up just sitting in the window and leaning back over the board to make any changes to the mix.

    Our light board actually has an app for the Iphone but it’s expensive and I don’t own an apple device. It would be very useful when focusing the lights though. I don’t get much help and it’s a big theatre. ^_^

    Reply
    • Avatar of Bryan Faulkner

      Wow that does sound pretty bad Ric. One of the theaters in our town has the sound booth underneath the balcony, with just a window to open and try to hear what is going on. It’s not technically even in the same room as the stage, so it’s super difficult to run sound. The only time I have ever done anything in that room we brought our own equipment and setup a few rows in front of the balcony overhang.

      There’s a couple good lighting apps I would love to try on my iPad, but the one I really want is $120 so I know what you mean about expensive.

      Reply

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