thread: THE REDS
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Old 1st August 2005
  #9
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Remoteness's Avatar
Let’s get over the “overs.”

When I first saw the post subject line “The Reds” I thought you were talking about those red pucks for Otari 2" analog machines…

In any event, here we are -- Now, let’s get over the “overs.”

I love pushing the limits but, I also like plenty of headroom. My ears are my best equipment when it comes to how something sounds when you’re pushing the envelope.

IMO, if the system you were working on had more power on the other side of the desk output the headliner FOH engineer wouldn’t have needed to push the system as much as he did. There’s nothing wrong with observing your levels. Maybe the amount of scrutinizing needs to be addressed. Listen to what your ears are telling you than what the meters are showing you.

I’ve seen various FOH engineers approach their mix buss levels differently. Some push the level at the desk and reduce the feed to the power amps. Others like to have plenty of headroom and the meters hardly move. In my opinion, it’s all good as long as the end result sounds great and the equipment didn’t have to get damaged from the consequence of the mixing process.

Think about it, if you had tens of thousands of watts of power at your finger tips, would you have needed (or wanted) to push the group or mix busses? If you’re talking about tonality, that’s a completely different thing altogether.

Like many folks, I mix with my ears. The only time I mix with my eyes is when my ears are a bit fatigued from being on a very long (or loud) gig. If the sounds were on point at the start of the session or event, I tend to stick with it and go by my visual aids.

When it comes to how I set my fader levels it all depends on how much control I want and how fast do I need to make a change. With that said, let me explain…

I may set the faders at or near zero when I want to make subtle adjustments. When I want to make quick and noticeable changes I tend to keep the faders closer to the bottom of the fader scale and drive my input gain higher.

I like to start with completely flat console settings but, I’ve been known to use the previous engineer’s settings when they‘re in the ballpark. If it’s already close to what I’m going for I say, “Why not go for it?”

I hope this helped.