Burbank, CA—March 2017… Jimmy Church has a multifaceted career. He recorded and produced rock bands on the Sunset Strip in the 1980s, opened the Pro Audio department at Guitar Center's Megastore on Sunset Boulevard and became the GC chain’s number one salesperson, and worked in sales for equipment manufacturers Alesis, Amek, and HHB. In 2008, he started an Internet radio sports talk show, then went on to be the host of a live show, Fade to Black on the Game Changer Network and now syndicated on the KGRA-dB digital radio network. Church also is a guest host on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, appears on Hangar 1: The UFO Files and Time Beings on the History Channel, and hosts and speaks at an assortment of conventions.
TASCAM equipment has always been part of Church’s rig, from an M3500 32-input console in his late-1980s studio to the UH-7000 4-channel USB Audio Interface/Mic Preamp that is an essential part of his current broadcasting system. “I’ve been a TASCAM guy forever,” he confirms. “I had an M2500-series console and a PORTASTUDIO 426 6-input cassette deck, too. Now, in addition to the UH-7000, I have TASCAM VL-S5 studio monitors and a TASCAM MH-8 8-channel headphone amplifier. I love the sound of TASCAM gear.”
According to Church, the TASCAM UH-7000 is the most critical piece of his studio. “I’m using it for a mic preamp and digital interface, and it carries my broadcast feed that goes out to the network, so it’s a vital link in my chain,” he asserts. “It wasn’t designed for broadcast—it was meant for studio production with a DAW and as a standalone preamp and converter—but it does my job perfectly, and it sounds amazing. It has very low noise.”
As with the UH-7000, Church has found an innovative use for the MH-8 headphone amplifier. “It has two input channels with mic and line inputs, so I have two independent headphone mixes, and to switch between them on the fly during the show, I just hit a button,” Church explains. “One channel is a headphone mix of my show, and the other is the telephone mix for the callers. When I listen to the telephone mix, I hear what my guest is listening to. During a commercial break I can go back to the guest mix, and then when I use the talkback mic, I can hear myself and the guest talking to each other but the audience doesn’t hear that.”
Church’s system includes three phone lines and multiple inputs. “I have my commercial, my stem, myself, a guest in the studio, and a video feed, and I’m outputting four stereo mixes out of an analog console that are going to headphone mixes, the MH-8, the TASCAM VL-S5 studio monitors, and the UH-7000,” details Church. “The mixes have to go out to separate computers. There’s much more to it; it’s a complex system.”
Given that his work goes out over the Internet, and he is quite familiar with digital technology, it is perhaps ironic that Jimmy Church is very much an analog audio guy at heart. “People comment to me all the time, ‘man, your show sounds amazing; how can I do that?’” he relates.
The answer is analog audio technology, with the TASCAM UH-7000 serving as a bridge to the digital world. “I’m an old school guy who engineered and produced records in an analog audio era, and I like that sound,” Church confesses. “But we broadcast in the digital world, so I wanted to have as much analog as I could and still have digital feeds. I went with an analog console, analog processing, and the TASCAM MH-8 headphone amp. I stay as analog as I can before I hit the TASCAM UH-7000, and the UH-7000 maintains that sound quality when it sends my show out to the world. That’s my secret.”