#3 Mixing levels with the sound meter Top Ten Mixing Mistakes

#3 Mixing levels with the sound meter 

One of the coolest apps to come out of the Apple App Store is RTA and SPL meter. This cool toy put affordable tools in everyone's hands.  It also puts these tools into the hands of people who have no clue what they are using. I know of a church that has ushers that walk around the room with the SPL app and monitor the sound person. If the sound level exceeds 90db, the sound person gets written up. But what does 90db mean?  A-weight, C-weight, average, peak, fast response, slow response? 

Are the iPhones calibrated? Are they aiming the mic at their chest or ear level? 

Neither time nor space permits me to give a white paper on the proper use of an SPL meter. They are not hard to find. But here is a word for all those trying to live with the constraints of a meter. The Spirit does not live in the meter.  Personally, I never use one.  I do not want to restrict the flow of the service with a meter. Before you accuse me of just liking to mix loud, most traditional services that have a pipe organ exceed SPL averages that a typical contemporary service. My point is, what is the reference? Keeping the pipe organ illustration in mind, is it too loud because there are electric guitars or drums? Or is it too loud because it is hurting people?

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