Arpangel wrote:On a digital mixer, is it possible to place effects anywhere? Like, before the main gain stage? A compressor for instance?
Nope. The gains stage has to be in the analogue domain, obviously, while a digital compressor in a digital mixer has to be in the digital domain, after
the A-D converter. It therefore won't help if your gain staging is inappropriate such that you're clipping the converter.
But we've had this discussion before in your original recording a piano/marimba thread: you just need to record with more headroom. As the Elf says, it really is that simple!
I'd definitely switch to 24 bits if you're currently using 16 -- that will allow you the required additional headroom without compromising the system noise floor. Switching to 96k (or 88.2) sampling won't make any difference to your clipping problems, but you might perceive it as capturing the percussive transients better.
From your descriptions, I'd set up with around 20dB headroom. Just record a noisy part of the rehearsal, play it back, check the level, and tweak the preamp gain accordingly for peaks to reach around -20dBFS. When you record your actual performances you'll probably find the peaks are 10dB higher, but that's fine...