Welcome to the Rockfan Blog! Here you can find education on audio, product reviews, and anything else we feel like writing about. Enjoy!

Live Streaming 101 – 5 Microphones to Enhance LiveStreams/Podcasts/Performances

Legendary microphone manufacturer Shure, has several high quality “plug and play” options to enhance your LiveStreams/Podcasts/Performances. These options range in utility and device compatibility so everyone should be able to find what they are looking for!

Contact us for authorized Shure dealer pricing, and any further questions you may have regarding these products:) Follow these links for more great information:


Live Streaming 101 – 5 Steps to Great Sounding and Looking Live Streams and Podcasts

Set/Room Choice, Sound & Lighting:

Identify a room in your house that sounds and looks good, this will be your “set”. If you are using a single mic to capture both your instrument and vocals, test the mic in different rooms to see how it performs, and let this influence your decision on room choice as well. A large, reverberant room can make you sound distant to the listener and affect intelligibility. Peripherals (treatments) such as acoustic foam, mudguards, pop filters, bass traps, and other studio gear is always nice when available, to shape the acoustics of the room for optimal sound, but isn’t always necessary.

Consider the aesthetic of your background. Choose a colorful wall, interesting artwork, or some other backdrop that doesn’t distract your viewers with clutter. Think of this space as a “set”, and treat it as such, not only creating a welcoming feeling for your listener, but also a feeling of professionalism.

It is always a good idea to turn your video recording device on prior to live broadcasting, not only to ensure that you have a quality video stream, but also to ensure that you have decent lighting for your “set”. Lighting is paramount, but is often forgotten. For home streams and casts, additional lighting may be needed to provide a professional edge to your sets look. If pro lighting isn’t something you’re ready to invest in, consider desk lamps, windows with sunlight or other sources of light to give your audience a nice view of your beautiful face. A few cost effective options can also be found, like this IlluminEssence light bulb set from Monster, made to fit a standard light socket. A set comes with two bulbs and a remote remote that has been paired to the bulbs, to control their color. These can be added to any existing lamp in your home or office, to add a bit of a color wash to your streaming/casting “set”.

 Click here to check out this product. 

Hardwired Network/Internet Connection:

Although convenient, a wireless WiFi connection is not the best choice for this application. When broadcasting live audio and video over the internet, a wired connection is always desired. Hardwire your computer using an RJ-45 (Ethernet) cable. Connect the RJ-45 cable from your computer to your network (router), for increased bandwidth and reliability. Utilizing this cable will provide a more consistent quality of audio and video for your audience to enjoy.

Live streaming uses a variable bit rate (VBR), what that means is: as bandwidth changes the audio quality will change as well. Therefore having a “hard-wired” connection is paramount to ensuring that your quality stays optimal throughout your stream or cast.

Microphone and Interface:

It is critical to take the necessary step of picking out a microphone or microphones, that will suit your needs/application. A common misstep that many make while getting started, is using a “built in” microphone on their laptop or cellular phone. These microphones pick up a large swath of the ambient noise in the room and oftentimes, using these microphones make you sound reverberant or distant. Instead, we want to make sure that your sound is professional! If you’re podcasting, consider your favorite radio personality’s voice, and how nice it always sounds. If you’re live streaming a concert, consider the way a normal live show is mic’d, and apply the same logic. Every instrument has a proximal mic or direct source  mic to allow for a very clean final product. These same principles apply to the virtual world too! You wouldn’t simply toss a microphone in the middle of a room, and expect everything to sound optimal, would you? Doing it this way makes sounds unintelligible and distant, and thus unprofessional to your audience. Therefore proper usage of microphones is an essential part of internet broadcasting. For example: If you are using a vocal microphone and a guitar microphone, mic both audio sources respectively with a microphone that sends each mics signal to a mixer. Running the mics into a mixer and blending them together with effects (when possible), will produce a much better final product for your end listener to enjoy, while also ensuring that you have professional sounding audio. If you are using a digital mixing console, most are equipped with a USB out port that can be used as an audio interface for streaming. This will vastly speed up and make the process less complicated, for those of you fortunate enough to have one of these consoles.

Run a Test:

This step is paramount! Always start a stream, perform a bit of content, stop the stream and listen back. Analyze your audio, video, lighting, and finally your bandwidth (streaming) quality!

It’s always a good idea to get another set of eyes and ears on things. When you perform at a venue, the engineers reference the show from the crowd and stage positions, making adjustments until everything is just right for the audience. You will basically apply this same principle to your live stream. This human reference prior to broadcast, will make your livestream sound and look much more professional. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to give you notes when they tune in, so you can make adjustments to the content they’re seeing on your next broadcast. It never hurts to ask for help!

Have Fun! Enjoy Yourself:

Try to remember to have fun and enjoy yourself. This entire process will tune itself and become better with every broadcast. Have confidence in yourself and the fact that you’ve prepared by utilizing the aforementioned steps.

Acoustic Treatment

We visit many restaurants and breweries in Colorado that have poor acoustics. Acoustic treatment is extremely important to allow guests to easily communicate with one other and hear any source material such as music or a TV with out it seeming “too loud”.

Acoustic energy needs a place to go or it will build to unmanageable levels. Keeping acoustics under control will create a comfortable environment for guests and subconsciously encourage them to stay a little longer.

Our consults are always free! (970) 682-4015

Acoustic Treatment Install at The Roost in Longmont Colorado

Sound Reinforcement for University of Colorado Boulder 2017 Graduation

Providing sound reinforcement for graduation ceremonies

This event proved to be a challenging yet extremely rewarding one. Our good friends at Blazen Illuminations ( hired us to help supplement sound reinforcement for the Colorado University of Boulder’s 2017 graduation. The main graduation takes place in Folsom Field, afterwards each college breaks out and hosts their own graduation ceremonies.

We were excited for this event because it would be the debut of our recently purchase QSC Wideline8 System. However, debuting this system in a tent is far from ideal.

QSC Wideline8 in tent at CU Boulder Graduation

One of my concerns was having ample gain before feed back and smooth even coverage from front to back.  The front row was roughly 10 feet from the loudspeakers and the back row was roughly 80 feet. From front to back I had the potential loss of 18dB! Based on the inverse distance law, which states a loss of 6dB every doubling of the distance.

Although tents are not acoustically ideal, they proved to act in our favor for speech. The reflective surfaces, and domed tops acted as a natural horn for our loud speakers.

QSC Wideline8 EASE Model by Rockfan Entertainment

The PA was made up of four Wideline 3082 per side, sitting atop a single WL212 and two GP218 dual 18″ subwoofers. The subwoofers were mainly used as stands to get the array to the needed height. Using EASE we focused the array to nearly flatten out on the top two boxes. In the photo to the left the minimal array curve is shown.

With the predicated coverage in EASE and the reflective surfaces of the tents the coverage was beautiful! From the front row to the back speech was crystal clear and intelligible. This was also the case with soft talkers, a type of person I’m always concerned about at speaking events, such as graduations.

Overall it was a successful event and the Rockfan Team worked hard and delivered another great production! Both of our stages utilizing this QSC Wideline8 configuration received praise for clear, intelligible sound throughout the tent. Our other 2 stages outfitted with QSC KLA12’s went off without a hitch as well! Thanks again to Blazen Illuminations and RC Events for the opportunity!

EASE Mapping of Tent at CU Boulder QSC Wideline8 in Tent at CU Boulder provided by Rockfan Entertainment

Chuavet COLORado 1-TriTour

This light certainly gets the job done- it is SUPER bright. With tons of programmable colors, it works great in static mode, or when controlled via DMX.

However, I have a few issues with this light. The mounting bracket on the back is not the most durable and I’ve seen several of mine bend throughout the last few months. In addition, the pins that attach this bracket to the light itself is not very resilient and I’ve had a few of them pop off during transport or teardown; leaving the light attached to the bracket on only one side. This leads to extra time spent on maintenance, which gets annoying.
I do like the daisy chain features you get with PowerCon connectors. This makes your lighting truss look a lot cleaner, since you don’t have a ton of power cables running down the sides of your build. I also enjoy the ability to use different clamps in conjunction with this light, since I’ve used them on both 12” box truss and smaller lighting trees. These are great for colorful stage lights, or supplementary event lighting for outdoor use.

QSC CXD Review


This amplifier makes all your hopes and dreams come true. With 3 models avalible, the CXD line will fit any job!

SO many features to talk about. First, you’ve got Flexible Amplifier Summing Technology (FAST) which allows you to power your outputs however you see fit. Need 4 independent outputs powering several types of speakers? Done. Need all of your outputs to be summed in order to drive a big subwoofer? Done. Got a bunch of 70V speakers in the ceiling of your bar/restaurant? Piece of cake. The flexibility of this amp is staggering.

Another great thing about this amp is the on-board DSP. All of this can be configured on the LCD touchscreen on the front of the unit, or through the Amplifier Navigator App available for download on QSC’s website. You can set EQs, compression and limiting however you want. BUT, if you want to use QSC’s presets (there are dozens of them) you can find one that matches the speakers you’re driving. That’s right, this amp comes with presets to optimize the sound of tons of common loudspeakers. All of this is right out of the box.

I really like the interface on this amp too. You’ve got a choice to use the full screen of your computer with the Amplifier Navigator, but the LCD on the amp itself is pretty intuitive if you don’t have a laptop with you. There are tons of ways to customize everything like amp presets, profiles and lockouts. Always great to password your amp if you don’t want an install client accidentally changing your settings. The icing on the cake is the ability to put your own or your client’s logo on the standby screen so they can be reminded of your great install work!
Installs for me would be a totally different experience without this awesome product, so of course it gets 5 stars!

Allen & Heath QU-24 Review

Allen and Heath Qu24

If you’re mixing FOH for a band with 24 inputs or less, the Allen & Health Qu24 should be the first console you reach for. The DSP built into this console is the real selling point. With dedicated EQ, compression, HPF, and gate build into each channel, you get a ton of processing without having to lug around a big rack of gear. Hate rolling out a big 24 channel snake? The on-board d-snake allows for all your inputs to be routed from your stage-box to the console via ethernet. Super convenient since shows of this size are commonly run with just one Want to mix monitors and mains from the same board? The Qu24 offers tons of different mix options utilizing the motorized faders and layers commonly featured on digital boards.

So all this stuff is great, but aren’t digital boards hard to setup? Not at all. Once you’ve found a good starting point for your routing, just save your settings into the console. This will save you a ton of time when zero-ing out the board or prepping for your next show.

In summary, I love the processing on this console and its compact design makes it easy to move around and handle even on a solo job. If you need something versatile and powerful, look no further.
Great console, limited inputs and mix capability. 4.5 stars.

QSC K10 Review


This little speaker is fantastic. The K10 is an active, two-way box with built-in handles to give you easy handling and movement while setting up and tearing down.  Manufactured for small venues demanding fast setup and teardown, this product does exactly what you expect it to do.

The K10 has a number of features for different applications. With a built-in mic preamp, you can have 1 mic, stereo music playback and several other combinations of sound reinforcement without the need of a mixer. This makes for a very simple PA for small crowds, meetings and conferences. Featuring a 90º conical coverage pattern, this thing is great for wider event spaces. I’ve used this speaker often as a monitor wedge, and performers love the clear sound and high SPL for a small monitor.

If you’ve worked live sound solo, you understand how nice it is to have well positioned handles on your speakers. The K10 has a great, rigid handle positioned on the top. This was taken into effect with the K10 tote (sold separately) velcro flap, that allows you to carry the speaker itself, instead of a cloth handle. Unfortunately, there is only one side handle. Normally, this wouldn’t frustrate me, but this handle is located on the bottom of the speaker, when being used as a wedge on stage. Not sure why the rubber feet weren’t just put on the other side!! Easy handling should never be overlooked and overall, I am very comfortable handling this speaker.

Though not made of solid steel, this speaker is pretty rugged. Personally, I’ve seen these speakers take the usual beating of regular load-in and teardown all in a soft case. It takes quite a bit for any kind of damage or wear to show on these boxes- they always look clean and professional! On the road mishaps can happen, speakers get dropped and knocked around. Even in the extreme cases of physical punishment, the K10 continues to produce great sound (the show must go on!). On the downside of durability, the K10 tote bag does not stand the long-term wear test. Over time these bags tear and fall apart, so if you’re transporting them regularly, I would suggest a road case.

Call us to request a price, for purchase or for rental.

All in all, I give the K10….10/10, 5 stars! Nice