In live audio, time is not on your side. If there is a problem you need to fix it and do it quickly. Doors are about to open and members of the church are about to fill the room. We had a conference not too long ago where we were receiving both audio and video through a web stream. The computer that was going to be accessing the page was in our rear studio. Video was fairly simple to route to the screens: out of the computer, into the video switcher, onto the screens. Audio, on the other hand, was a bear.
The Most Valuable Tool for Church Production
Audio had to come out of the computer by the headphone jack, converted to stereo TRS cable, into a patch bay that connected to a FOH patch bay, out of that patch bay into the input patch bay of the console, and then into the house system. Suffice it to say there were a lot of things that could go wrong. And they did. One of the audio lines was coming into the console with a constant buzz. Now, there are six or seven (or more!) places that the buzz could have come from, but how was I supposed to check each line?
The Answer: The Whirlwind Qbox. The Qbox is the all-in-one audio line tester ideal for applications such as live sound, maintenance, installation work – anywhere audio runs down a cable. Its most useful feature is a built-in speaker, so I started off at the computer, plugged the outs into the Qbox, and was able to tell I had a clean signal. I then moved to the next cables, the next patch bay, and so on. This tool helped me find a bad patch cable in less than 5 minutes when it would have taken me close to an hour of troubleshooting without it. It is an investment, but I can tell you the time it has saved me is worth more than its price tag. I will never work an event without having one close by.