You are here

Which instruments to which channels?

For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.

Which instruments to which channels?

Postby GT40Graham » Sat May 12, 2012 7:31 pm

Hi,

Is there an accepted "standard" of which channels are used for which instruments on a live mixer?

The reason that I ask is that I've been setting up the PA for my band today and working from left right, I tend to put vocals on the first few channels, then guitars, then bass and then the drum mikes. One of the guitarists told me that the "norm" is to put the bass drum on channel 1 and so on, I've never heard of this, is there an accepted order for these things?
GT40Graham
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby BWSE » Sat May 12, 2012 7:45 pm

Accepted standard is:

Drums
Bass
GTRS
KEYS
Whatever else instrumentation wise
Vocals

Vocals mostly from SR --> SL

last but not least effects if and when in use...

I tend to also put HD tracks at the end when I don't need to touch them that much.
BWSE
Regular
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Littlehampton

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby GT40Graham » Sat May 12, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks for that. Any particular reasons for this standard?
GT40Graham
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby BWSE » Sat May 12, 2012 7:52 pm

GT40Graham wrote:Thanks for that. Any particular reasons for this standard?


No, no idea why, I guess convenience. A standard that has grown over the years and is now widely accepted? Unless anyone can shine some light on this?

I've uploaded you a generic I tend to use for most large festivals etc.... It might help you?

Image

here's a link so you can possibly zoom?
screenshot generic
BWSE
Regular
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Littlehampton

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat May 12, 2012 7:55 pm

Yes; kick on 1 then the rest of the drums on 2-'n' and so on is considered by many to be normal, but I'm not normal!

That said, I don't often work with live bands that use a full kit; I tend to concentrate on folky/acoustic-y type stuff.

If I have a pattern, it's to work left-right across the stage (as viewed from FOH) - sometimes all vocs followed by instruments, sometimes voc 1 and their instrument, voc 2 and their instrument etc. But I will frequently do what just seems right at the time. I used to be able to remember channels, but these days usually revert to the masking-tape arrangement!

I have worked with people on festivals/long gigs where more than one soundtech will be driving the desk with the same lines throughout a day/weekend, where they insist that it MUST be kick on 1 etc. I usally go into 'whatever' mode at that point and let them get on with it.

In summary; do what you're comfortable with. If it's only you using the desk why should anyone else care two-hoots how you've allocated the channels?
User avatar
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4259
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cirencester, UK

 


Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby BWSE » Sat May 12, 2012 8:02 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:
In summary; do what you're comfortable with. If it's only you using the desk why should anyone else care two-hoots how you've allocated the channels?

A very valid point. If it's your desk and you are the one mixing, do what feels right to you. If you need to share it or send it off as a channel list, probably stick to 'standards'.
BWSE
Regular
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Littlehampton

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby GT40Graham » Sat May 12, 2012 8:21 pm

Many thanks guys.
GT40Graham
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Dave Gate » Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 am

My understanding is that it's because you usually start the soundcheck with the drums, then the bass, etc.
User avatar
Dave Gate
Regular
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun May 13, 2012 9:27 am

It makes sense to have inputs that are grouped together, e.g. Drums, and I generally follow what BWSE says, though for some reason I tend to put keys after bass and then gats. I think also it's because you want channels you're likely to be working on most together.

Whilst no channels are set and forget, I like to have that golden vocal channel (or whatever the lead channel is) close to solo instruments and FX returns, because that's where I'm doing most of my work.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2894
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby robare99 » Mon May 14, 2012 4:18 am

I heard it goes back to the days when they recorded on tape. By using channel 1 for kick, there was a little extra bit of tape on the side which helped with the recording etc.

I do mine like others have said. I do my channels like this...

1:kick
2:snare
3:floor Tom
4: med Tom
5:hi Tom

More drums if needed. A double kick would be channel 1 & 2, on a 5 piece kit, if I use an SM91 as well then I tack that on at the end (channel 5 or 6)


I do it because the StudioLive iPad remote is in 2 banks of 12 channels. Drums are often set & forget, I mean you do have to make adjustments here & there but not all the time.

On the next group of 12 channels are everything else...

13:bass
14:guitar left
15:guitar right
16:keyboards
17:DI
18:DI

21:vox1
22:vox2
23:vox3
24:vox4


User avatar
robare99
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Dave Gate » Mon May 14, 2012 7:14 am

I tend to go for: kick(s), snare (top & bottom), hi-hat, toms, overheads (if used). That way you can get the drummer to play a kick/snare/hat backbeat to see how they're all sitting together; then do the toms, get them to play the whole kit while bringing in the overheads.

Then just keep building from there. I would tend to subgroup as I go, so that when the vocals are added last of all I can pull everything else down a bit if they're not sitting nicely without using excessive gain etc.

But that's just my way - you've got to find what suits you, and makes it easiest for you to get the result you want.
User avatar
Dave Gate
Regular
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby GT40Graham » Mon May 14, 2012 7:54 am

If you have enough channels, do you tend to leave an empty channel between the various of groups of instruments to allow for expansion and ease of identification?
GT40Graham
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Rob Taylor » Mon May 14, 2012 8:16 am

I frequently use gaps between instrument/vocal channels.

Also, vocals last makes sense to me, since when on large desks, they're closer to the main control section, which helps since they're going to be the thing that needs tweaking the most (ie less reaching long distances).
Rob Taylor
Poster
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Dave Gate » Mon May 14, 2012 8:37 am

GT40Graham wrote:If you have enough channels, do you tend to leave an empty channel between the various of groups of instruments to allow for expansion and ease of identification?

I tend not to, but I usually leave an empty channel after the guitars and before keyboards, brass, vocals for the inevitable acoustic guitar that nobody's bothered mentioning until the soundcheck is almost finished . . .
User avatar
Dave Gate
Regular
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Bossman » Mon May 14, 2012 9:23 am

GT40Graham wrote:If you have enough channels, do you tend to leave an empty channel between the various of groups of instruments to allow for expansion and ease of identification?

totally depends on the gig.. if its a festival with lots of bands then yes, I would layout the channels in a generic festival layout with some gaps and spare channels between groups of channels.

If its a band I'm touring with and I know exactly what the channel list is then I don't leave any gaps.

Generally I like to have drums from ch1.. followed by bass, then keys, then guitars... then Vox.. and if there are horns I usually put them after the vox.

After soundcheck I rarely have to touch the rhythm section (drums/bass/keys), so for me it makes sense to have them at one end of the console.. and put things like vox and lead instruments near the centre master section of the console. I generally have all the things that I'm likely to want to ride the volumes of close to each other, and near the master section.
User avatar
Bossman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 707
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: UK

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby Jude May » Tue May 15, 2012 7:42 am

I set my desk up with the drums and bass first, so...

Kick, Snare, Hats, Rack 1, Rack 2, Floor tom, Overheads.
followed by Bass Di them mic

Guitars follow as they appear on stage, i tend to use 2 mics per amp.

Gtr L Sm57 & something, Gtr R Sm57 & something. the something depends on what is on hand.

Keys next, followed by acoustic instruments then the DJ lines

I always put Vocals to the right of the center section, usuallt because ive run out of channels on the left. This puts all the effect returns next to the vocals.
I tend not to use audio groups when im mixing live, i do however make use of VCAs
1 = Kick and bass
2 = drum kit
3 = left guitar
4 = right guitar
5 = other instruments
6 = vocals
7 = effects return
8 = everything except the vocals

i set VCA 8 up this way so i can mute just 1 thing during change over and still leave the vocals open for MCs to talk to the croud during change overs
Jude May
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby ShepsMix » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:03 am

[quote="Bossman
Generally I like to have drums from ch1.. followed by bass, then keys, then guitars... then Vox.. and if there are horns I usually put them after the vox.

After soundcheck I rarely have to touch the rhythm section (drums/bass/keys), so for me it makes sense to have them at one end of the console.. and put things like vox and lead instruments near the centre master section of the console. I generally have all the things that I'm likely to want to ride the volumes of close to each other, and near the master section. [/quote]

I'm the same, and \I run mon's from FOH, so can set up both running down i"]order.
ShepsMix
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Which instruments to which channels?

Postby TSH-Tim » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:19 am

Don;t you just hate it when techs start putting crap on different layers when they haven't used all the channels on the first layer anyway !
TSH-Tim
Frequent Poster
Posts: 660
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:00 am


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest