Setting up and mixing, a different view

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Member Since: Oct 03, 2009

Hi , i've just taken over sound eng for another band and whilst laying down MY rules etc, they did say one thing that the last guy used to do, after setting all faders to 'U', and using the trim/gain knob to set levels, he would tweak the trim/gain again, not the fader to adjust the channels for mixing or adjustment during the performance.

The only reason i can think of was if he needed to bring up a vocal or guitar solo, he would fader up and then when it came to fading down, he new exactly where to put the fader (U) to get back to the original mix

Is this a known way , or what, any comments would be grateful.

By the way, i'm a new member so High Everyone!!


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Hold 'Em Czar
Since: Dec 30, 2004

Oct 04, 2009 08:39 am

yes, it is 'standard' practice for getting proper levels...what this also does is allow you to see the signal better on your mixers meters...also you get optimal signal to noize ratio...pick this habit up as it is a good one......setting your board to unity gain when starting out will also help you get the best performance outta the board.....

one thing, be sure to back them pres up a hair to minimize (read estimate) clipping...

also try it with your master faders......this is sometimes depending on your power amp type, and access to their gain knobs....but you can reduce the workload on your power amps by not having them cranked and your master fader below bigger setups this is a bit harder to do as, generally you don't get to go foolin' with house power amp settings...but again for improved signal to noize, keep that master fader around zero and turn down the power amps...

one cool thing i like about dooin' that, is if someone (even you) accidentally bumps that master fader up real high and fast, yer not in so much trouble....nor will you hurt the power amps or speakers.

welcome to HRC!


The Czar of BS
Since: Dec 31, 2007

Oct 04, 2009 02:06 pm

Hey Rich.
I do the same thing for the getting levels to start with. Reason being that it helps set up the gain structure for the room.

If someone has a blaring guitar, you don't need the gain tuned up to be able to hear it. A little will do.

Now, for myself. I don't touch the gain from there. I use the faders to adjust the volumes.

Give a little push for when someone takes a guitar solo, and such. Especially when you are running monitors from the same board. By turning the gain up in those situations can cause some serious feed back on stage.

Which has happened on occasion when you have a certain jerk on stage........ But that's a different story.

Now WYD gave you some great advice on running your master. The amps all the way up, and the master pulled back some. This will give you a lot of headroom. And will keep the noise floor down.

But, if you are only running FOH from the baord, then there is reason to that you should have to touch the gain knob after you have done your sound check.

Besides which, this changes all of your dynamics. (Comps and gates) By moving the gain knob, all of the dynamics change how the are reacting.

Comps will grab earlier then you want. And gates will open to early as well.

Forgive me if I seem to be rambling a little here, I haven't gotten much sleep in the past few days. But, yeah just setting the gain at the start of the show should be all that you need to touch it.

Oh and Welcome to the HRC!

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