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Author Topic: faders  (Read 2334 times)

Bart Pollard

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faders
« on: September 06, 2008, 08:39:26 pm »

this will probably sound really stupid to some of you guys but when ever i am at a concert it seems like when they are mixing that all of their faders and in a line at 0 or U.  When i mix mine are all over the place..... do they mix with gains? is this a better way of mixing?
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Rob Warren

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Re: faders
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 10:46:25 pm »

Bart,

It is best to set your Gain / Pre amps ahead of time and mix from
the faders.  I guess this would be the "text book" or traditional
way to mix.  I have run in to guys that mix more by the gain and NOT fader and yes the faders are all up the same.  I DON"T recommend this way at all.  Especially if you are running monitors from the House console.  Which, is extremely common in the church setting.  If you start messing with the gain control which also controls the input signal going to your aux channels then guess what...if your running the gain control up and down then you are also changing that persons monitor levels along with it.  Real good way to get the band and singers wanting a gun to shoot you.  

Your gain should be set by 2 ways.  You may be lucky enough like me where you have input meters by each fader or on a meter bridge above each channel.  If not, then use the pfl button on one channel at a time and your master meters should then become your input meter for the channel you PFL.  Unity gain or 0db level is what you aim at achieving.   Personally I try to set the PEAK level at 0 and not average level.  Make sure you do one channel at a time and turn OFF the PFL before moving on to the next channel.  If you don't then it will mess up the meter accuracy as it will then be doing several channels of PFL.  

Forgive me if you already know how to set the gain knob, I figured I'd go ahead and put that in as well. Maybe someone else will benefit as well.  

I mean, it's all about giving yourself some headroom.  If your mixing a guitar or something and have his gain at unity or "0" but his fader is way down at -20dB because it needs to be in the mix that low, then lower the gain a bit to allow your fader to go up to say -10 or -5 or something.  That way you now have some room to cut the fader later on instead of nowhere to go.
Some of this might be caused by say a guitar amp or a drum set and acoustically in the room it's fairly loud so in the pa naturally you may have those faders down more than others because you are hearing the acoustical volume along with the PA.  

long post, I hope that helps,  
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Rob

David Sumrall

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Re: faders
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 10:51:15 pm »

Hey Bart,

Never a stupid question here.

Basically what they have done is try and set up good gain structure.

This is assuming that the bus and aux masters as well are running around zero.

Then they may be mixing via vca or dca's vs the channels.

Now, not knowing exactly what console, analog and/or digital gains, input levels, etc.. its kind of hard to tell if that really is the case, but its probably their goal.

Basically the concept is that you start with the fader at zero and set the gain to give you the input level you want.

Some guys try and get the gain to make the input hit zero, and some like hitting a little lower to allow for some headroom in the summing busses.

Now if you are running monitors from FOH, and/or aviom or intellix or something then you one console's gain structure can end up being a compromise to take care of all those purposes.

For example say you end up needing to crank the gain so you can get more volume to the monitor wedges or ears, this in turn may make it so you end up turning down the fader for FOH.

I think there are a couple articles in the study hall on this web site that you might find interesting and helpful.

Good luck!

David


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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
Soutlake Texas
GatewayPeople.com

Matthias Heitzer

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Re: faders
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 07:13:58 am »

A lot of "fader movement" is substituted by subgroups or vcas.
If you have a monitor console, you can twist the gains at foh as much as you want.
And if the venue is bigger, i.e. the natural volume of the different instruments and voices is irrelevant for the sound "out there", the difference between the fader levels are usually not that big.
Compressors chip in their part, too.
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I'm from Germany,so please excuse my bad english.

Dan Costello

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Re: faders
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 11:50:51 pm »

Because of the way that the faders are tapered, the resolution is generally highest at unity, i.e. a small fader movement might only adjust the level by 1.0 dB, while a movement of the same distance further on down the fader path could result in a 5-10dB difference.

Those differences aren't as big or noticeable in a small room with a fair amount of stage wash, but on a big stage where the vast majority of the sound is coming from FOH, a 5dB swing in level is pretty substantial.

If you can get your gain structure set initially so that a good mix is achieved w/ the faders at or near unity, you've got more room later on to make fine adjustments.

-Dan.
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Dan Costello

"Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.."

Don Sullivan

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Re: faders
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 06:10:10 pm »

Your question is a valid one. Large mixers can look complicated and daunting.

I've met a lot of FOH operators who felt their job was to faithfully reproduce what was coming from the stage, and not "alter" or "color" the sound in any way. These kind of operators tend to "set it and forget it", allowing the musicians to balance themselves through their dynamics. I've seldom found musicians who were so in tune with each other that this would work well (most of them were Jazz players in very small venues)

I see the FOH job as arranger, mixer, dynamic enhancer, controller, noise filter and much more. My faders tend to move quite a bit, but I do try to keep them within 10 db of zero for the fine resolution you get on the log taper faders.

A lot of things go into a mix, faders being but one.

Perhaps your operator was bored and wanted to see if he could create a reasonable mix with the faders straight.  Razz
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: faders
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 06:10:10 pm »


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