Our setup is as follows: 10-piece band (2x vox, 4x horns, gtr, drums, bass, keys) using Soundcraft Ui24R digital mixer, 1100W Alto TS215 active PA (sometimes also 1200W bass bins), a couple of monitors on stage.
- Master volume -- where is the best place to control this? There are four controls I believe: physical volume knobs on the mixer's main outputs, an output fader on the mixer digital interface, physical knobs on the PA itself, and on the bass bins. Should I set all of these about 50%? And then which is the best to adjust to boost volume? If I find myself pushing some individual track faders to 90%+, should I decrease everything else and bump the master volume instead?
- Gain vs. volume -- each channel has both controls on the mixer. I know the difference between gain and volume when using guitar amps etc., but in the context of live sound what is the best practice? Should I adjust the gain on each channel so that they're all peaking at similar levels (how high should this be?) Or should I adjust gain so that all the volume faders can be set about 50%? Is there a different rule of thumb for horns, vox, gtr, bass, keys, drums?
- Soundchecks are often quite tight for time. What is the general procedure / order to get the mix sorted? Should I set the master volume where I'd expect it'll be first, then do bass drum, snare, rest of kit, then rhythm, vox, horns?
If you can help me with these, or point me in the direction of some beginner's resource, that would be fantastic.