NQC 08: Quote of the day

From Charles Brady:

NQC really needs to question the benefit of providing live unmixed/poorly mixed feeds for solid gospel to broadcast. (What I heard last night sounded like the little kids may have been singing and doing the mixing. ) If you can’t get it mixed correctly most people just can’t handle the raw unmixed vocals..  These really bad mixes being broadcast live are not helping the genre… If Solid Gospel “really” reaches 500,000 then you’d think men with above average thinking abilities would realize the importance of providing properly mixed feeds for those 500,000 listeners instead of just focusing on what those 10-20 thousand are hearing live. Fans got to hear what the “producer/engineer in the recording studio get to hear. Raw vocals with no effects… not pretty.. at all..

Second, artists should throw those ear monitor systems in the trash. Place both hands over your ears and then record something sometime… They are not helping your performances and in fact are contributing to what the fans are hearing in these really bad mixes that solid gospel is broadcasting.

I just hope someone will record them and play them back to the artists and the NQC folks to hear.

This isn’t just complaining or nit picking. This is a real problem that must be addressed in our genre and fast. Until NQC/Solid Gospel can learn how to get a proper mix to radio please stop broadcasting these horrible sounding mixes and destroying the hopes and admiration of over 500,000 fans for their favorite artists.

Update: just fwiw, here’s a discussion we had a while back about the comparative merits of the in-ear monitor.

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  1. Christopher Kai wrote:

    “…artists should throw those ear monitor systems in the trash.

    I’ve gotta’ say that in-ear monitors are fine and work for artists worldwide. In fact, you get a truer sound with them. If groups are having a hard time hearing, people are to blame, not the technology.

  2. GH wrote:

    I agree with Charles. I’m an avid gospel music fan and as much as I’ve tried to make myself listen the last two nights, I just can’t. It’s horrible. I appreciate Solid Gospel wanting to broadcast the convention to us who cannot attend, but something needs to done about what is going out. I love southern gospel as much as anybody and when I can’t stand it, I shutter to know what kind of turn-off it is to a new listener who thinks this is the best the industry has to offer.

  3. Joe wrote:

    I’m not sure if the same feed for Solid Gospel is what is being heard via Enlighten 34 (XM), but if it is, I totally agree. Shrill, tinny, unbalanced, and definitely unprofessional. Freedom Hall is a tough place for good sound anyway; the times I have been there, Dean Hopper did sound, and did as good a job as he possibly could.

    But live is fair at best; and what is being transmitted can make ears bleed.

  4. bbq wrote:

    All the discussion on broadcasting the live unmixed sound over the internet and radio have me wondering why NQC would want to do this anyway. What financial impact, if any, is broadcasting something you want people to be at in person (buying tickets to come) having on the ticket sales? Maybe NQC is sharing in the sales or getting something for the broadcast, but if it’s not done well it’s not very inviting for those of us who’ve not ventured to the Live event and probably not “selling” too well anyway. It definitely doesn’t make a person feel like they “have to go” to the real deal.

    I appreciate their willingness to share but the mix is not up to par. Or maybe it’s the singers?!?!

    I guess I’ll be like all the rest and listen with anticipation that someone will finally hit on all cylinders. I’m probably wasting my time!

  5. Leebob wrote:

    I remember watching Phil Cross use one of the ear monitors only to yank it out. In a seminar recently he mentioned that he felt that ear monitors were hurting the harmonies in most of the groups. One of the regional groups uses ear monitors so they don’t have to share a system with another group…nice attitude.

    We tried using ear monitors and, for me as the emcee, they did not work because when you are trying to minister you are constantly processing the mood of the crowd and the ebbs and flows of the evening. I found that this was difficult with the monitor feed blocking everything else out. For the tenor brother, it actually helped him.

    As far as the broadcast, if it is as bad as what we had to deal with when daystar broadcast the “inaugural” AGM event from Dallas then it is better off not being broadcast at all.

    Give me my football on TV but my SG I need to have live.

  6. Gospel Has Been wrote:

    Well Guys, don’t complain about SOLID GOSPEL. I sent them an e-mail not long ago about some programming on one of their stations (Salem Radio) and the reply I got back let me know they were running the station and would do as they pleased.

  7. Christopher Kai wrote:


    When folks complain that they can’t hear the sounds around them from in-ear monitors the solution is simple: an ambient mic! It picks up everything around you.

  8. Tele D. Trooth wrote:

    For sure…Monday night I tuned in and actually thought my local station was broadcasting some sort of “make it or break it” segment. I recognized the song as a Dove Brothers song but it sounded AWFUL…then I found out it WAS the Dove Brothers. Pitiful! Sad! What we were hearing from the live feed was NOT representative of the caliber of some of the groups.

  9. DRL wrote:

    Personally, I appreciate the feed in spite of its flaws and I hope they keep sending it. Live is live. It has flaws. There is no 2nd take. You missed a note, forgot the words, the mix sucked … oh well, that’s part of a live event. In sg, there is so little “live” left, that when you hear live, you don’t know what to do with it. Take off the stacks and the tracks and this is it folks!

    When you’re sitting inside the concert hall the live experience makes you forgive a lot of the little flaws.

    I am, however, curious what they’re sending to radio. Right now, the Kingdom Heirs just started their set and the tenor is WAY out front, while the bass is pretty much inaudible. The tenor sounds pretty rough in this setting, but if I were there live, I’d love it, I’m sure. Is that the mix the arena is getting, straight off the board, or the monitor mix or a special mix that nobody is listening to.

    At any rate, I appreciate being able to close my eyes and imagine I’m there, and have the good memories flood over me.

    Thanks NQC and Solidgospel.com!!!

  10. DRL wrote:

    Just after my last post, somebody found the “turn stacks on” button for the Kingdom Heirs. Suddenly sounds “better”, but … oops, bass solo with no bass singer in the mix … why not just play the cd?

  11. gh wrote:

    It would be interesting to know how they are getting there feed as someone already mentioned. It almost seems as they would be better off to put a mic somewhere out in the arean somewhere just to pic up the house sound instead of straight from the mix. Right now the Perry’s are on and sometimes it sounds like the stacks are hot and it sounds ok. Then at times in the songs, the mics are so hot, you can tell the mix is really off. Anyway, I’m sure it’s much easier to sit here and complain than it is to actually set sound for so many different people on the same stage in a less than desirable acoustical environment. I appreciate SolidGospel and XM broadcasting, but I do wish it sounded better. Not for personal reasons, but just to give the genre the respect it deserves. The Perrys set sounded pretty good overall and especially “Wish I Coulda Been There”.

  12. KDZ wrote:

    DRL i actually know for a fact that there are no bass stacks in the kingdom heirs trax….

  13. Bryce wrote:

    That makes perfect sense, KDZ. Stacking that vocal part often results in robot bass, as evidenced by Gold City’s early nineties CD Renewed.

  14. DRL wrote:

    KDZ, that would actually make sense since, as I said, the bass was basically inaudible, and when he got a solo line there was silence.

  15. Mary MIligan wrote:

    Thank you for broadcasting NQC with it’s imperfections. They are easly overlooked for the joy of hearing the music and vocals.

  16. FormerDJ wrote:

    #8 said “What we were hearing from the live feed was NOT representative of the caliber of some of the groups.”

    It is representative because it is them singing. It is them singing with no tracks and no professional sound man mixing them so they sound as good as possible.

  17. Leebob wrote:

    Thanks for the info Christopher #7. However, I think it has more to do with the inability to concentrate on all the happenings around me with the sound going directly into my ear like that. Call it my lack of abiility to diversify or maybe I am just too old school. I can’t argue with it because it did help my brother out. This is one of those matter of personal taste issues I guess.

  18. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    I listened to Billy Joel live from Russia in 1986 or 1987 via FM radio, and it sounded better.

    From the 1970s forward, I often listened to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights via WSM 650 AM out of Nashville. Aside from fading in and out, it sounded better.

    If the world had the technology to get a decent mix from live shows 20-30 years ago, then NQC should have the technology to do better now.

    The fact that it’s free over Solid Gospel is one thing. The fact that some people paid $60 for a video that had this same horrible audio should have them up in arms demanding a refund.

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