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gain staging between mixer and powered FOH speakers Mixers (Analog)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
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Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Good, please feel free to follow the established guideline. Does the fact about mixing with the input gain affects dynamics processors and sends fall within the established guidelines?
Please excuse that I don't have time to reread the thread - has anyone mentioned dynamics processing?

Quote:
How sensible, practical and efficient is it to adjust the volume of the sound using the loudspeakers trim regardless of how nearby they are?
Not really sensible or efficient but 6' away is a bit more practical than 25' and we are not talking about universally applicable advice, just helping a guy out of a specific hole, or reassuring him that it's not a hole, which it's not.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I hope you realize that this affects the operation dynamic processing that is inserted on the channel and also any sends. If you're mixing monitors from FOH you're in effect changing the mix balance of the monitors.
All understood. In my particular context, I am usually dealing with both those issues and accommodate them appropriately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
How practical and efficient is that especially when FOH is not next to the loudspeakers?
In my usual circumstance, and seemingly that of the OP, I am very close to the mains. But as I said, I usually do just fine anticipating an appropriate volume level. There have have been exceptions, but usually not so much that I can't wait for a break to adjust them.

Bottom line is, you do your best to accommodate all the relevant issues including giving yourself sufficient leeway, as has been well outlined.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
All understood. In my particular context, I am usually dealing with both those issues and accommodate them appropriately.
How, may I ask, dealing with them appropriately should mean mixing with the faders in the first place.

Quote:
In my usual circumstance, and seemingly that of the OP, I am very close to the mains. But as I said, I usually do just fine anticipating an appropriate volume level. There have have been exceptions, but usually not so much that I can't wait for a break to adjust them.

Bottom line is, you do your best to accommodate all the relevant issues including giving yourself sufficient leeway, as has been well outlined.
What does this mean pray tell? Why not do it correctly in the first place instead of having to "giving yourself sufficient leeway" to undo an incorrect mode of working? This work method really does not seem consistent with the experience of someone who's "been in the business of live sound for decades"...its not really sensible, efficient or practical.

Everybody is talking about the OPs situation when in fact, they have no idea if he's 6' or 25' away from the loudspeakers or if he has to wade through a crowded room to get to them...not that this makes any difference anyway.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I always thought that the reason for teaching people what are the recommended or best practices was so that they know what to do when they have to setup and operate different systems in different situations....
Yes, of course you're correct. I think there's also a "teachable moment" here for what I'd consider to be the "recommended or best practices" for dealing with people the people that present themselves at gigs and give their take on how things "should" be done:

- Be cool and non-confrontational
- Consider their advice to the degree appropriate for the source providing it
- Inquire and learn on the subject if there are gaps in one's understanding
- Make changes to a successful, consistent workflow only for well-understood logical reasons

It's this last point that I think gives a good foundation to leaving well enough alone. Other equipment, new situations, different gigs . . . this may or may not render the existing workflow unsuccessful . . . by which time, only progress on the third point will be of any help. Hopefully there's plenty of available information to that end already on this thread.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
How, may I ask, dealing with them appropriately should mean mixing with the faders in the first place.


What does this mean pray tell? Why not do it correctly in the first place instead of having to "giving yourself sufficient leeway" to undo an incorrect mode of working? This work method really does not seem consistent with the experience of someone who's "been in the business of live sound for decades"...its not really sensible, efficient or practical.

Everybody is talking about the OPs situation when in fact, they have no idea if he's 6' or 25' away from the loudspeakers or if he has to wade through a crowded room to get to them...not that this makes any difference anyway.
All I'm suggesting is that the starting point is having the faders at unity and the input trims such that the mix is good with the faders at unity and no input level is pushing too hard into the headroom. You set the volume at the speakers a bit on the loud side so that you have leeway to be that loud if it is called for unexpectedly. You then bring the output faders down only a touch and away you go. Your levels are healthy but with good headroom all the way down the line. Signal to noise is optimal. No stage is going to overload. I usually run the vocals through compressors via aux sends. Levels within and between songs are adjusted with the faders, but if the levels change too much from sound check, I adjust a bit at the channel trims. This only restores what was happening during sound check. If I need it louder than what I get when restoring the faders to unity, I've done something wrong. If I have to push it a bit above unity, I still have enough headroom to accommodate that. I then raise the volume at the speaker when I get a chance so I can reclaim that bit more headroom upstream. How is this incorrect? It's worked well for me for decades several times a week. I get compliments constantly from both audience and artist. Most of the time, I am actually not even using my powered speakers. They get implemented only for louder shows in addition to the much better passive speakers which are a bit limited in volume handling. My system is such that when I have everything at unity with good PFL levels, I'm right where I want to be. In that case I never touch the output adjustment of the board and the amplifier has no trim at all, and the above still works for me perfectly. It gets a bit more into the question at hand with the louder shows where the powered speakers are carrying the lions share.

Last edited by Piedpiper; 4 weeks ago at 02:23 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
How is this incorrect?
It seems you've created an elaborate system of workarounds to get past the cobweb of unnecessary technical issues caused by this very unorthodox setup. It's inefficient and has too many 'what if' scenarios to think about, the double effect of readjusting the compressor parameters and the monitor mixes each time I must 'mix' with the input gain alone would be a pain in the butt for me.

Couple that with the possibility of having to adjust output from the amp/powered loudspeaker and you have a cobweb of unnecessary fiddling to contend with. Where does the compressor output reenter the console in this scenario?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
It seems you've created an elaborate system of workarounds to get past the cobweb of unnecessary technical issues caused by this very unorthodox setup. It's inefficient and has too many 'what if' scenarios to think about, the double effect of readjusting the compressor parameters and the monitor mixes each time I must 'mix' with the input gain alone would be a pain in the butt for me.

Couple that with the possibility of having to adjust output from the amp/powered loudspeaker and you have a cobweb of unnecessary fiddling to contend with. Where does the compressor output reenter the console in this scenario?
Seems like you're overstating what I do. I don't adjust input gain much, just a tad if necessary, though it can definitely be necessary, like when someone soundcheck vastly quieter than when they play the gig. I don't get how this is so unorthodox. I keep wondering if you're reading my description wrong, or just got hung up on a detail.

Perhaps I should summarize what I think you're saying. So you're suggesting that I keep the channel trims down a bit from where I have them, keep the faders down a bit from unity, and turn up the powered speakers a bit and that way I will be further away from having to adjust the trims or speakers? If so, fine, I get it, but it's really not that big a deal. I simply have more of a priority of keeping everything in the sweet spot. Probably a compulsion on my part, but it really doesn't get in my way in the slightest. Am I reading you right?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
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The type and quality of gear makes a big difference: My KV2 active systems (ES 4-way & EX 10 wedges) all have +- 6 db boost or attenuation that is the last adjustment I make to appropriately cover a venue. I seldom, if ever, boost and the trim is generally in the 2-4 db range. With out question the first and most important gain setting is for the mic levels for the pre amps: I use the PFL meters with Head phones to get a clean level without any chance of digital clipping. This is very important for several reasons but the most important is all of my limiting and compression occurs after the initial A/D conversion. When placing the faders and master at unity I might make further trims to the pre gain but it is usually a small number. On many occasions we will be working in venues that have well designed custom FOH and I send a two mix from the stage of the unity mix I have described and I maintain total control over our on stage EX10 wedge monitor mix.
I have never had a problem with poor FOH levels with this protocol and I leave the house levels up to the house mixer when working in this fashion. This is concert work not a festival or open mic night and I would not suggest it is an acceptable universal approach for all situations but it sure as hell works well for me.
Hugh
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Perhaps I should summarize what I think you're saying. So you're suggesting that I keep the channel trims down a bit from where I have them, keep the faders down a bit from unity, and turn up the powered speakers a bit and that way I will be further away from having to adjust the trims or speakers? If so, fine, I get it, but it's really not that big a deal. I simply have more of a priority of keeping everything in the sweet spot. Probably a compulsion on my part, but it really doesn't get in my way in the slightest. Am I reading you right?
Set the input trim on the loudspeakers at max if you want, set the mic input sensibly as described by Hugh in the post above, making sure there is no chance of clipping, then use the faders to mix. There is no particular technical benefit to having them at unity unless you're using a console that was made in the 60s, You can barely measure any significant distortion in modern faders (let alone hear distortion) when they are used normally and not broken, and outboard processors should be connected via the channel insert instead of the aux send.

The so called "sweet spot" is a lot bigger now than it was 40 years ago and it is a lot more important to leave the mic input in a happy place than keeping the faders at unity.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Set the input trim on the loudspeakers at max if you want, set the mic input sensibly as described by Hugh in the post above, making sure there is no chance of clipping, then use the faders to mix. There is no particular technical benefit to having them at unity unless you're using a console that was made in the 60s, You can barely measure any significant distortion in modern faders (let alone hear distortion) when they are used normally and not broken, and outboard processors should be connected via the channel insert instead of the aux send.

The so called "sweet spot" is a lot bigger now than it was 40 years ago and it is a lot more important to leave the mic input in a happy place than keeping the faders at unity.
My mic inputs are in a happy place. That's my goal, as are the faders. And when I do shows such as open mic where it's a different source every ten minutes, I definitely change the input trims if necessary to a healthy level on the new sources. There is zero reason for me to not change them and every reason to change them. If I put the powered speakers at max, I'd have the main faders close to the bottom for most shows I do. The loudest I ever need to set the volume on my Mackie SRM450s is at noon. And that's for what I consider to be loud shows. That may work for you at the volumes you work at but perhaps you're working with very different equipment, or only in big venues, or are one o those guys who doesn't think they're doing their job unless the the audience goes home with their ears ringing for three days after. What Hugh describes IS what I do, except that my system is not digital, though the same principals apply. Not sure what your point is at this point.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
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What I know is that if I ever have to make volume adjustments at the loudspeaker/amplifier trim knob I did something wrong and if I connect outboard processors via the aux send I'm doing something very wrong...

You seem to be moving the goal post a little every post because if your faders are at unity and you have a 'good' mix (as you claim above) then you must be mixing with your mic pre gain pots...but hey what do I know, Maybe I misread this post....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
......as well as periodically running sound for festivals, where that is absolutely the case, as you describe. I accommodate that by changing the individual channel trims rather than using the faders. I keep my faders referenced to unity and adjust from there, but main starting points are set at the channel trims which I also adjust on the fly if I deem it appropriate to the circumstances. I have occasionally needed to adjust the volume control at the powered speakers, when I am using them, if I have not anticipated enough volume, but rarely. All the variability happens on the front end.

Last edited by Samc; 4 weeks ago at 07:12 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
My mic inputs are in a happy place. That's my goal, as are the faders. And when I do shows such as open mic where it's a different source every ten minutes, I definitely change the input trims if necessary to a healthy level on the new sources. There is zero reason for me to not change them and every reason to change them. If I put the powered speakers at max, I'd have the main faders close to the bottom for most shows I do. The loudest I ever need to set the volume on my Mackie SRM450s is at noon. And that's for what I consider to be loud shows. That may work for you at the volumes you work at but perhaps you're working with very different equipment, or only in big venues, or are one o those guys who doesn't think they're doing their job unless the the audience goes home with their ears ringing for three days after. What Hugh describes IS what I do, except that my system is not digital, though the same principals apply. Not sure what your point is at this point.
it is convenient to have (some) faders at unity (for roughly equal pfl levels), but that's about it: it's not always wanted (i prefer seeing some level relationship) and much less of an issue if you have vca's/dca's available - and i'd still opt for optimum level matching: 'unity', 'at noon' or 'at max' seem a bit unprecise and i cannot recommend touching gains when doing auxes from foh...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 07:48 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
...if your faders are at unity and you have a 'good' mix (as you claim above) then you must be mixing with your mic pre gain pots...
Can we clarify (genuine question) why this might be a problem? S/N is not a major issue in most setups these days so I might keep a gain pot a bit low in order to maintain a "faders at zero" line.

Something with little low frequency content like a drum o/h for instance. If I set gains to ensure a healthy signal into the preamp it would be over-represented in the mix with the fader at zero. This approach becomes problematic in the opposite scenario but apart from that is it an actual problem or just an alternative approach?

I don't feel the need to obsess about nice straight lines, but I understand why it's useful.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
Can we clarify (genuine question) why this might be a problem? S/N is not a major issue in most setups these days so I might keep a gain pot a bit low in order to maintain a "faders at zero" line.

Something with little low frequency content like a drum o/h for instance. If I set gains to ensure a healthy signal into the preamp it would be over-represented in the mix with the fader at zero. This approach becomes problematic in the opposite scenario but apart from that is it an actual problem or just an alternative approach?

I don't feel the need to obsess about nice straight lines, but I understand why it's useful.
As you rightly point out, distortion/S/N is not a problem in modern faders and mic amps like when this method of working was adopted, so there are no technical benefits to continue working this way. But if you're mixing monitors with the same console or are using dynamic processing, this is certainly going to going to affect both the monitor mix and the behavior of the processors.

I don't think we need to debate or even contemplate why these things are undesirable.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
But if you're mixing monitors with the same console or are using dynamic processing, this is certainly going to going to affect both the monitor mix and the behavior of the processors.
This would certainly be an issue if you were tweaking input levels mid-set but (within reason) would barely register on monitors or dynamic processing otherwise.

So we're not suggesting working to "faders at zero" is inherently problematic, then?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
I don't feel the need to obsess about nice straight lines, but I understand why it's useful.
Why is it useful? Mixing is based on how it sounds, not how the faders line up. Attempting to include fader alignment as a mixing criterion adds a non-audio-related task or objective for no technically discernable reason and as such is a waste of time and a distracts from focusing on listening to what you're doing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
This would certainly be an issue if you were tweaking input levels mid-set but (within reason) would barely register on monitors or dynamic processing otherwise.

So we're not suggesting working to "faders at zero" is inherently problematic, then?
If someone is 'mixing' with the gain/trim pots it stands to reason that s/he will be tweaking the mix/input levels mid set, and we can't know how much changes will have to be made even when working with a band they know but especially with a band they don't know. I know a bunch of singers and musicians who can hear a minute changes in their mixes especially when you tweak their instruments and voices.

The situation is the same with dynamic processors, and is even more obvious if the processor(s) is on the same channel of the musician's instrument or voice. I don't know if you know this, but faders allow more detailed control of the volume than the mic gain/trim, which is exactly what they were designed for. The general design of mixing consoles is very well thought out and mature, the PFL and the fader stage both on the channel and in the mastering the way inserts are implemented etc were not done by hazard.

Faders at unity was originally implemented when the signal to noise performance of faders and mic amps was not very good, any claim that this method offers any technical benefits when using a modern console is false. I also still don't have an explanation why someone would connect outboard inserts via an aux send as opposed to the insert send and return which was designed specifically for this purpose. How is the output from the processor redirected back into the mix...?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
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"The situation is the same with dynamic processors, and is even more obvious if the processor(s) is on the same channel of the musician's instrument or voice. I don't know if you know this, but faders allow more detailed control of the volume than the mic gain/trim, which is exactly what they were designed for. The general design of mixing consoles is very well thought out and mature, the PFL and the fader stage both on the channel and in the mastering the way inserts are implemented etc were not done by hazard."

Exactly! And...

Let's talk visual representation a la "faders in a line".

Just as mixing is more than making everything equally loud, I want my faders to represent the levels in the mix. Not only can I see in a sense the level relationship I'm at between channels, I can also pick out which is which regarding channels without being "label dependent".

I do not advocate any absolute system in this regard and never say never (or always), so everyone os free to do what works for them. But I reserve the right to pick apart spurious or "one-way" arguments and assertions.

You may now get back to work...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Let's talk visual representation a la "faders in a line".

Just as mixing is more than making everything equally loud, I want my faders to represent the levels in the mix. Not only can I see in a sense the level relationship I'm at between channels, I can also pick out which is which regarding channels without being "label dependent".
Thanks for mentioning this crucial bit of info.

Quote:
I do not advocate any absolute system in this regard and never say never (or always), so everyone os free to do what works for them. But I reserve the right to pick apart spurious or "one-way" arguments and assertions.
You obviously haven't read this article and some of the comments:

How And Why Unity Mixing Can Make All The Difference In The World - ProSoundWeb
Old 4 weeks ago
  #50
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Set up your system, tune it as you will, set your input levels then...

Mix the show.

Any time spent tweaking one end or the other to maintain some arbitrary channel fader alignment in the middle is a distraction from the real work.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #51
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Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Attempting to include fader alignment as a mixing criterion adds a non-audio-related task or objective for no technically discernable reason and as such is a waste of time and a distracts from focusing on listening to what you're doing.
I don't disagree but sometimes that's just the way people think. Who am I to tell them they're wrong if it obviously works for them.

There are valid reasons why this is not translatable to a multi-act situation but that's absolutely irrelevant as far as the band are concerned, they're not expecting another band. They are mixing from the stage so won't be adjusting gain pots mid set, partly because they have been conservative in their initial setup and partly because they are too busy playing the gig to care.

None of what you say matters or will make the slightest difference to the gig.

Nobody cares.

Quote:
...small gigs...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #52
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Outside of the upper and lower limits of overloading and noise floor, much of this discussion is a matter of workflow preference and priorities. Since it seems to escape you, having my mix begin with faders in a line gives me a reference point that I can easily gage my consequent mixing from. It works for me. The trims are set for healthy levels, meaning not too high or too low. All the stages are sending healthy levels to the next stage.

Many practical considerations have been mentioned, but some of them are simply preference. Some of them have important consequences. Some of them have not so important consequences. I've been doing a very good job of mixing live shows several times a week for a many years. My venue is frequently sited as the all time favorite of many of the national touring artists that come through, in large part because of the sound I provide, an all too rare experience for most of them. My system works for me for many reasons. Any system must be implemented properly in order to serve. Every circumstance offers different priorities.

And regarding my compressor routing. My comps are balanced in and out. I would have to short them to single ended to use the channel inserts, which I could do but prefer not to. I route the aux sends into them and then back into the board via other channel inputs that I keep at a constant input trim and faders at unity.

And BTW, that article posted above is essentially how I operate. I see there is some disagreement in the comments but evidently I'm not alone in my thinking.

A quote from the comments: "Perhaps the only real truth is that gain structure through a whole system needs to be monitored to ensure there is sufficient headroom at all stages from pre-amp through to PA and speakers."

Levels that are not too low or high is one of the main goals of my approach. I don't understand how some of the commenters are getting that that system will overload the mix buss. Nowhere does it say that the writer of the article is running the trims so high that that would be an issue. And the one commenter that responded to another that having the main fader at -15 MUST mean that he is overloading the channels. If the gain is set properly at each stage and the resulting volume is too high because the power amps are set wide open, that does not point at the upstream gain as being the problem. It just means that the power amps are set higher than the system and gig need them to be. That is why I originally suggested turning the trim down to a reasonable useful level so you can run everything upstream at healthy levels, not overload levels.

As a separate issue, there is one venue I sometimes work at where most everyone else doesn't know a thing. I purposefully keep the trims on the power amps down at 9 o clock so they don't blow the speakers, which has happened. Of course this doesn't stop them from overloading it upstream but mostly they don't seem to do that because the don't really understand enough to reset the input trims too high. Ultimately, there's no way around the need for knowledge. And the consequences of the lack of it are unavoidable sometimes.

Last edited by Piedpiper; 4 weeks ago at 04:37 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #53
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Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Many practical considerations have been mentioned, but some of them are simply preference. Some of them have important consequences. Some of them have not so important consequences.
The argument about affecting monitor mixes and dynamic processors are important facts which have not been addressed as yet. Other arguments are not just petty preferences, they are considered 'best practices' in professional circles of operation, and are recommended (in the manual) as the best mode of operation by the engineers who design the consoles.

Then there's the whole business of having to use the loudspeaker trim control to adjust the system volume...

Quote:
And regarding my compressor routing. My comps are balanced in and out. I would have to short them to single ended to use the channel inserts, which I could do but prefer not to. I route the aux sends into them and then back into the board via other channel inputs that I keep at a constant input trim and faders at unity.
So in effect you've created a quasi parallel processing network...it gets better. By changing the input gain/trim of the input being compressed, you are effectively changing the threshold and thus modifying the operation of the compressor, which...never mind. This will probably be brushed off as personal preference too.

Quote:
And BTW, that article posted above is essentially how I operate. I see there is some disagreement in the comments but evidently I'm not alone in my thinking.

A quote from the comments: "Perhaps the only real truth is that gain structure through a whole system needs to be monitored to ensure there is sufficient headroom at all stages from pre-amp through to PA and speakers."
The article is titled: "How And Why Unity Mixing Can Make All The Difference In The World", and the writer asserts that "Good unity mixes sound open, alive, immediate and unrestrained", while when the system is properly set up and aligned, and the sound ain’t so great, the console faders are not aligned...which of course is a bunch of 'unrestrained' crap. It only serves to misinform the novices and spread confusion and ignorance. In the comments he proceeds to claim that just because the electronics engineers designed the console it didn't necessarily mean they knew how to use it...!

I wouldn't use this article as a good reference of what to do if I were you.

Last edited by Samc; 4 weeks ago at 06:57 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
There are valid reasons why this is not translatable to a multi-act situation but that's absolutely irrelevant as far as the band are concerned, they're not expecting another band.
This is what you say....

Meanwhile, the person who suggested that mode of operation also said he mixes festivals, and that his venue is considered one of the best by national bands that work there because of his mixing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Personally, among other things, I run sound for a weekly open mic, as well as periodically running sound for festivals, where that is absolutely the case, as you describe. I accommodate that by changing the individual channel trims rather than using the faders. I keep my faders referenced to unity and adjust from there, but main starting points are set at the channel trims which I also adjust on the fly if I deem it appropriate to the circumstances.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
I've been doing a very good job of mixing live shows several times a week for a many years. My venue is frequently sited as the all time favorite of many of the national touring artists that come through, in large part because of the sound I provide, an all too rare experience for most of them.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
The argument about affecting monitor mixes and dynamic processors are important facts which have not been addressed as yet.
The facts you present are correct. Input gain settings will upset both dynamic processing and downstream aux mixes.

If you are playing...
Quote:
...small gigs...
...where these are not relevant then it's not a major consideration.

Does that cover it?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
Does that cover it?
Don't know...ask the people who had to play through it.

Size of the gig and who's playing has nothing to do with anything...you you adjust input gain, it affects everything downstream, that's a fact.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #57
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Once a discussion of this sort gets this deep into the weeds it either becomes circular in nature and die of it's own weight or the nerdy tecno-launguage invariably will raise it's ugly head and prolong the discussion. The one thing I am certain about is the importance of establishing a "happy place" , as Sam says, for the input gain and after fully implementing the overall gain structure leaving them alone! Messaging the analog input gain as a mixing protocol is a piss poor practice: it creates a ton of problems with few if any benefits.
One of the biggest benefits in the current abundance of digital management tools available across most all price points is logarithmic controls that show DB scale to indicate SP levels. The old linear faders most of us old timers started out with encouraged unity settings for "fine adjustments": any cogent explanation of why and how is beyond my pay grade. The point is new digital gear offers much better performance and control than the old analog processing that needed to be pushed to "0" for optimal performance.
Hugh
Old 4 weeks ago
  #58
Old 4 weeks ago
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
I tried but they lost me here:

Quote:
One of the biggest mistakes even seasoned live sound engineers make is setting up a mix from the preamps and then mixing again from the faders (and from the aux sends). While it’s often the result of working with extremely little setup time, this practice is inefficient and invariably leads to poor gain structuring. A far better method is to start dialing in each channel by setting the channel fader to unity gain and then bringing up the mic pre until the input is at an ideal nominal operating level.

While few live sound mixing consoles provide detailed channel metering, most include an indicator (usually an LED labeled Peak, Clip, or OL) to signal when an incoming peak crosses a threshold just below clipping. One highly successful method of achieving ideal input gain is to turn up the mic pre until that indicator light flashes at the loudest peaks, and then back down the gain by about -15dB. This will ensure a strong signal, while providing a buffer of extra headroom to prevent clipping if you boost the EQ a little or get hit with unexpected transients. From there, you can use the faders to cut unnecessary volume, reducing noise as you mix rather than boosting it.
No mention of how this method affects the downstream effects and aux sends, plus nobody "sets up the mix with the input gain/trim knob, they set the input gain with it and mix with the faders as console designers had intended. The writer also forgot to mention that faders offer more detailed control adjustment than the gain knob. he also forgot to mention that the fader will only lower the level of the signal it won't fix the or get rid of the nasty distortion that comes when the signal is clipped.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
Once a discussion of this sort gets this deep into the weeds...
As is often the case the discussion has branched out, sometimes to explore different aspects of the issue, other times to reframe the question into something that fits a previous comment.

I don't think I've seen anything actually incorrect on the thread, just the usual rutting of stags in peripheral points.

For any latecomers, the OP's question was answered on page 1.
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