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Author Topic: Live Mixer Channel Labeling  (Read 8560 times)

Herb Liebhaber

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Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« on: April 21, 2013, 01:26:08 pm »

Lets please try this again with my true identity revealed so folks can respond.

Hi all, this may be a silly question easily answered by "whatever works for you" or "depends on the situation" (which is probably why I cannot seem to find an answer) but... Is there a baseline, standard or rule of thumb on the proper way to assign live mixer channels to their respective instruments? I have read things like "kick drum is always in channel 1" or "bass is always in channel 9" so as I reconsider my current situation I'd love a little guidance.

I am working with 24 channels with my 5 piece band, drums requiring 11 channels on their own, bass, assorted keys (stage mixed to a single send), Leslie hi and low, one guitar (for now with possible acoustic additions later on), four vocals, and usually channels 23 & 24 dedicated to the cd player.

What do you prefer for a channel grouping or hierarchy on these sorts of things, i.e. drums first, bass, guitars, keys then vocals, etc.?  I have always done vocals in the first 4-5 channels and the rest in no particular order (as long as they remain grouped) after that. I'd love opinions and experiences and tell me if I am simply over-thinking this.
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 01:52:53 pm »

Well it really depends o. Your workflow. What works for me may not work for someone else. But if it was me it would look like this

1 kick
2 snare top
3 snare bottom
4 Tom 1
5 Tom 2
6 Tom 3
7 Tom 4
8 Tom 5
9 hat
10 oh l
11 oh r
This is what I'm imagining your drum kit looks like. Also. I'm a k,sn,t, hat guy. Others have good argument for k, sn, hat... And this is one of the thing I love about digital consoles because I can have crap where I want it and you can easily move it if you want it different. So as you move on the reason you may see "bass is always on 9" is because many of us only need 8 ch for drums.
12 bass
13 lead DI
14 lead mic
15 acoustic 1
16 acoustic 2
17 key1L
18 key1R
19 key2L
20 key2r
21 vox1
22 vox2
23 vox3
24 vox4

I don't know your exact ch requirements but you get the point. I havent actually had a band in a analog desk in a while but one of the things I used to do is put my vocals next to my master section no matter where that was in the ch setup. It really does come down to preference.
On most of my digital setups I still patch drums, guitars, keys, then vocals. But I lay it out with drums typically on the second page. That's what works for me.

T
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bigTlamb

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Herb Liebhaber

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 02:07:22 pm »

Well it really depends o. Your workflow. What works for me may not work for someone else. But if it was me it would look like this

1 kick
2 snare top
3 snare bottom
4 Tom 1
5 Tom 2
6 Tom 3
7 Tom 4
8 Tom 5
9 hat
10 oh l
11 oh r
This is what I'm imagining your drum kit looks like. Also. I'm a k,sn,t, hat guy. Others have good argument for k, sn, hat... And this is one of the thing I love about digital consoles because I can have crap where I want it and you can easily move it if you want it different. So as you move on the reason you may see "bass is always on 9" is because many of us only need 8 ch for drums.
12 bass
13 lead DI
14 lead mic
15 acoustic 1
16 acoustic 2
17 key1L
18 key1R
19 key2L
20 key2r
21 vox1
22 vox2
23 vox3
24 vox4

I don't know your exact ch requirements but you get the point. I havent actually had a band in a analog desk in a while but one of the things I used to do is put my vocals next to my master section no matter where that was in the ch setup. It really does come down to preference.
On most of my digital setups I still patch drums, guitars, keys, then vocals. But I lay it out with drums typically on the second page. That's what works for me.

T
Thank you for the response. This is pretty close to what I was thinking:

1 kick
2 snare top
3 hat
4 Tom 1
5 Tom 2
6 Tom 3
7 Tom 4
8 Tom 5
9 oh l
10 oh r
11 electronic drum pad
12 bass
13 e. guitar 1 DI Or mic depending on the need
14 e.guitar 2 as needed
15 key1
16 key2 as needed
17 leslie high
18 leslie low
19 vox1
20 vox2
21 vox3
22 vox4
23 cd left
24 cd right

Looks like I am on the right track with a couple open/available channels for later flexibility.

Is double micing the snare pretty standard fare?
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 02:24:41 pm »

Thank you for the response. This is pretty close to what I was thinking:

1 kick
2 snare top
3 hat
4 Tom 1
5 Tom 2
6 Tom 3
7 Tom 4
8 Tom 5
9 oh l
10 oh r
11 electronic drum pad
12 bass
13 e. guitar 1 DI Or mic depending on the need
14 e.guitar 2 as needed
15 key1
16 key2 as needed
17 leslie high
18 leslie low
19 vox1
20 vox2
21 vox3
22 vox4
23 cd left
24 cd right

Looks like I am on the right track with a couple open/available channels for later flexibility.

Is double micing the snare pretty standard fare?

Comes back to preference. Also snare type, drummer, and how it's tuned. I do it when I can. Don't worry about it when I can't.
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bigTlamb

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Tommy Peel

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 03:06:57 pm »

I tend to have the inverse of your setups with vocals on 1-4 and drums starting with the kick on 10-16.

1: Lead vox
2: vox 2
3: vox 3
4: keys left ch/other instrument/vox 4 depending on number of vocals and other instruments used by the band for a given show
5: keys right ch or mono keys
6: Acoustic guitar
7: lead electric guitar
8: rhythm electric guitar/banjo/other instrument
9: bass
10: kick
11: Floor Tom
12: left rack Tom
13: right rack Tom/other instrument(our drummer has switched to only using two Toms so this channel is unused normally)
14: Snare
15: left OH
16: right OH
Pre/post show music is connected to the Tape input
Effects connected to aux 3 which is routed to group 1/2 so I can control it with faders.

As you can see our instrumentation changes pretty regularly; several of our band members can play literally anything that's on stage so they even swap instruments between songs sometimes. They also like to throw in different combinations of instruments from time to time(banjo, mandolin, ukulele, cajon) hence the reason for having several "other instrument" slots in my board setup.
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Herb Liebhaber

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 03:25:31 pm »

I tend to have the inverse of your setups with vocals on 1-4 and drums starting with the kick on 10-16.

1: Lead vox
2: vox 2
3: vox 3
4: keys left ch/other instrument/vox 4 depending on number of vocals and other instruments used by the band for a given show
5: keys right ch or mono keys
6: Acoustic guitar
7: lead electric guitar
8: rhythm electric guitar/banjo/other instrument
9: bass
10: kick
11: Floor Tom
12: left rack Tom
13: right rack Tom/other instrument(our drummer has switched to only using two Toms so this channel is unused normally)
14: Snare
15: left OH
16: right OH
Pre/post show music is connected to the Tape input
Effects connected to aux 3 which is routed to group 1/2 so I can control it with faders.

As you can see our instrumentation changes pretty regularly; several of our band members can play literally anything that's on stage so they even swap instruments between songs sometimes. They also like to throw in different combinations of instruments from time to time(banjo, mandolin, ukulele, cajon) hence the reason for having several "other instrument" slots in my board setup.
Well, there you go. I have been in a duo for nearly 20 years and we use a good portion of 16 channels with vocals, stereo guitars, stereo sequencer, bass, acoustic guitar etc. and from the start I placed vocals first so when we put the 5 piece together in the last year that thought process carried over to the bands 24 channel board and my current layout is very similar to this. I started this thread to see if there was a standard or 'right' way so I guess I can't go wrong either way so I might just leave things where they are now after all. Thanks.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 03:57:01 pm »

Well, there you go. I have been in a duo for nearly 20 years and we use a good portion of 16 channels with vocals, stereo guitars, stereo sequencer, bass, acoustic guitar etc. and from the start I placed vocals first so when we put the 5 piece together in the last year that thought process carried over to the bands 24 channel board and my current layout is very similar to this. I started this thread to see if there was a standard or 'right' way so I guess I can't go wrong either way so I might just leave things where they are now after all. Thanks.

I'd say that there isn't a right or wrong way to do it; I do it this way because it made the most sense to me. I got my start in the world of audio mixing at a church where the typical service was piano, song leader, and the choir. Then they'd have someone do a "special" and sing to a cd/tape. When I started working with the band I'm with now I laid the board out in a way that seemed logical to me; most people I've run across tend to put the drums first and vocals last like some of the earlier posts. The first board that my band had was a Yamaha mg166 and it ended up with a strange layout because only the first 6 channels had those one knob compressors; I had to put the things that needed compressing on those channels(vox, kick acoustic guitar) and everything else on the rest of the board wherever it would fit.
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Mike Reigh

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 05:59:57 pm »

I always run my instruments from HL to HR starting with the lower numbers just after the drum channels.  My VOX channels use the same (HL to HR) just after the instruments.  I also go:

K
S
H
T1
T2
T3
OHs as needed.
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Steve Alves

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 06:38:08 pm »

I like my most common channels on my first layer (01v96i) so I do:
1 Kick
2 Snare
3 Hi-Hat
4 Overhead L
5 Overhead R
6 Bass
7 Lead Guitar
8 Rhythm Guitar
9 Key 1
10 Key 2
11-16 Vocals
17 Tom 1
18 Tom 2
19 Tom 3
20 Tom 4
21 Spare
22 Announce/Talkback
23 Music L
24 Music R

This keeps the common stuff including vocals on the first layer. If using electric drums I only use 5 channels. Acoustic Toms do not usually get changed much after the initial mix. If not using all the vocals I can bring stuff down.
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Tim Perry

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 09:24:31 pm »

Love the magnetic labels from Mixtagz...  but they don't seem to have one labled "cowbell"
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 09:53:13 pm »

Love the magnetic labels from Mixtagz...  but they don't seem to have one labled "cowbell"

Those are quite simple and effective solution, however, I have heard many mixed reviews on the ebay offering.
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Tim Perry

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 10:51:15 pm »

Those are quite simple and effective solution, however, I have heard many mixed reviews on the ebay offering.

Mixed review?  how apropos! 

Long you don't try to stick them on an aluminum chassis...
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 03:58:03 am »

My default assignments for 16 channels:

01 K
02 Sn
03 HH
04 R1
05 R2
06 Fl
07 OH
08 Bass
09 Gtr 1
10 Gtr 2
11 Key L
12 Key R
13 V DSR
14 V DSC
15 V DSL
16 V Drm

Jerome Malsack

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2013, 12:02:39 pm »

Love the magnetic labels from Mixtagz...  but they don't seem to have one labled "cowbell"

I found a magnetic sign shop and asked if they have any scraps.  Make my own tags by getting the paper cutter out and slicing away then using a label machine to make my own. 

Have you considered stereo pairs on the leslie?  Have the stereo pair follow the leslie as the doppler moves left to right  around the room.
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Kevin McDonough

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2013, 06:42:54 pm »

hey

Yeah I'd agree with the people that take drums first, only ever worked with one engineer who didn't. Also tends to be the order that you go through it during sound check, so easy to work from left to right on the desk. So you end up with:

Kick
(Kick out if you have it)
Snare top
(snare bottom if you have it)
HH
T1
T2
T3
T4
(Ride if you have it)
OH L
OH R
Bass DI
Bass Mic
Guitars Stage Right to Stage Left (so left to right as you see it from FOH)
Keys SR to SL
Other instruments SR to SL
Acoustics SR to SL
Vocals SR to SL
Vocals drums


edit:  However in saying that, there have been times when I've made changes for digital desk layers. Depending on how many channels I have to do and whether the desk has banks of 8, 12 or 16 faders per layer and how it all fits in, I have occasionally changed the order to keep all the money channels on one layer, so that once the show is running I can focus on that one and only occasionally flick to the others to change or check something.


k
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 03:01:16 am by Kevin McDonough »
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Tim Perry

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Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2013, 12:46:45 am »

hey

Yeah I'd agree with the people that take drums first, only ever worked with one engineer who didn't. Also tends to be the order that you go through it during sound check, so easy to work from left to right on the desk. So you end up with:

Kick
(Kick out if you have it)
Snare top
(snare bottom if you have it)
HH
T1
T2
T3
T4
(Ride if you have it)
OH L
OH R
Bass DI
Bass Mic
Guitars Stage Right to Stage Left (so left to right as you see it from FOH)
Keys SR to SL
Other instruments SR to SL
Acoustics SR to SL
Vocals SR to SL
Vocals drums

k

Don't forget to designate a couple for accordion in case Dick Rees stops by...
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Live Mixer Channel Labeling
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2013, 12:46:45 am »


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