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Push the levels - desk or PA?

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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby manleyelop » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:02 pm

AlecSp wrote:
manleyelop wrote:ive read about folk liking to see there ch faders sit around unity also but some of mine are way down from that but that is where the mix sounded good to me perhaps im just worrying about a problem that doesn't exist :headbang:
If it sounds good to you (and others) then don't sweat over it. Better working practices can make you life easier, but your ears shouldn't be lying!

yes my ears told me it was a good balance & everyone was happy im always willing to learn to do things better by habit plus i have lots to learn but really appreciate this forum :mrgreen:
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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:09 pm

manleyelop wrote:...some of my ch faders have been hovering around -20 mainly drums & bass & im wondering if that's a bad way of doing things.

It would only be 'bad' if, with the faders for those channels at unity, the signals would be so loud that they overload the output of the desk -- because in that situation you're clearly driving way too much signal through the channel strip and risk major distortion.

But if you've set the channel input gains (using PFL, perhaps) so that the signal averages around or a little below the 0VU mark on the meters, then you have the ideal headroom margin, and you're simply pulling the fader back because you don't want much of that particular signal in the mix, for whatever reason.

If that's the case, then yes, it is an acceptable way to work... and a lot of people often find themselves doing exactly the same thing...

... but there are some practical implications that may or may not be important.

I've already mentioned the poor fader resolution when working far away from the unity mark, so if you want to tweak the source level very slightly that would be more difficult and less precise with the fader at -20dB instead of around 0dB.

It's also less convenient when switching between sound check and gig if there's a warm-up band in between, since it's much easier to push all the faders to unity and know you have a reasonable starting point for the mix, rather than try to remember Ch3 has to be at-20, Ch5 at -35 and so on...

And then there's the disparity between the levels being sent to pre-fade and post-fade Aux outputs, meaning you'd have to have wildly different aux send control positions for the same actual output level... which could become confusing -- or extremely unpleasant if you decide to swap a send from post to pre for some reason!
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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:45 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:or it's a banjo that you don't want audible in the mix... ;-) ).

Again with the banjos!

;)
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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby manleyelop » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:05 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
And then there's the disparity between the levels being sent to pre-fade and post-fade Aux outputs, meaning you'd have to have wildly different aux send control positions for the same actual output level... which could become confusing -- or extremely unpleasant if you decide to swap a send from post to pre for some reason!

yes i see i didn't consider that STILL no banjos in this equation though :bouncy:

Do you know the allen & Heath mix wizard desk Hugh?

The stereo channels St1 to St6 confuse me regarding there usage i.e which ones i can use for ext fx & which ones i shouldn't the manual just makes me scratch my head again.I never use the console built in fx they sound horrible to me.i would like to have 3 pre fade aux for monitors & 2 aux's for ext fx
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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:25 pm

manleyelop wrote:Do you know the allen & Heath mix wizard desk Hugh?

See other thread: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=64970&view=unread#unread
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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby AlecSp » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:44 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:If that's the case, then yes, it is an acceptable way to work... and a lot of people often find themselves doing exactly the same thing...

I've already mentioned the poor fader resolution [...]

It's also less convenient when switching between sound check and gig if there's a warm-up band in between, since it's much easier to push all the faders to unity and know you have a reasonable starting point for the mix, rather than try to remember Ch3 has to be at-20, Ch5 at -35 and so on...

And then there's the disparity between the levels being sent to pre-fade and post-fade Aux outputs, meaning you'd have to have wildly different aux send control positions for the same actual output level... which could become confusing -- or extremely unpleasant if you decide to swap a send from post to pre for some reason!
Quite - "mixing at 0" needn't be an absolute religion, but it does make life easier.

I used to be an anal "set every channel gain individually by PFL" person until Mark Payne (from SFL) mentioned that he simply takes each channel, sets the fader to 0 and turns up the gain until it sounds right. (All assuming ample headroom in the system) It sounded to primitive, but really is that easy. And makes for super quick sound checks when that's critical. (Band with a 24 channel mix arrive 30 mins before doors, anyone?)

Your ears will (or should) let you know what's not right...
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Re: Push the levels - desk or PA?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:54 pm

AlecSp wrote:...he simply takes each channel, sets the fader to 0 and turns up the gain until it sounds right.

Yep, that's the way I usually approach it too. Gets you in the right ball park very quickly.

H
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