thread: THE REDS
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Old 1st August 2005
Ditto on that above, plus:

Some consoles can be pushed "into the red" and not distort. For instance, working above 0 dBV on a Mackie is mucho different than a Midas, etc. Why? Headroom. The max voltage of a Mackie may be +18. A pro console can be +28. 0 is relative remember.

I think that mixing style has more to do with it in this case. I have seen some of these guys not maximizing the gain structure of the channel strips, only to over work the summing busses and master. This adds unnecessary distortion to the signal. They often feel like their band needs to be louder, because louder is better to the average moron music fan. I also know that most tours that I have been on have a system tech who is responsible for the rig. As that guy watches the night build at festivals, etc., he will manage his system at the drive rack, making sure that the amps have headroom, are running clean, etc. As he trims back, the FOH guy is pushing the desk into the red. YMMV