View Full Version : Live mixer setting help
12-14-2010, 06:52 PM
My band is just getting ready to play live for the first time. We got our hands on a Mackie 1604-VLZ3 mixer and plan to use that with powered mains, subs and monitors. The problem is, none of us really know anything about live mixing. Are there baseline settings to set the mixer at to get "in the ballpark"? I know there is no setting capable of covering it it all. I'm just looking to avoid setting the mixer all at 12 O'clock and just playing and having the mix sound like mud. The room we're playing in is a typical rectangle shaped bar holding maybe 75 people.
I did some research on the web and came up with a boatload of stuff. So much that I still have no idea what I'm doing.
Our band plays alternative and hard rock music. The band consists of a full drum kit, bass guitar, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, lead vocals and background vocals.
Any help on the basic settings would be great.
12-14-2010, 10:31 PM
If you've never set up and operated a system before, PLEASE hire a sound guy. Maybe a simple system w/ 2 speakers on sticks, but this is a much more complicated rig, and there are a lot more things that could be wrong than there are that could be right.
12-14-2010, 10:36 PM
I'm sorry to say, there's not a lot many people will be able to tell you what to do...my advice is get your balance right on stage first...i.e. all your amps should be the same volume...what are you planning on running through the mixer? Also, what mic's are you planning on using?
But yeh...it should all start with the right balance on stage, amps should be audible while the drums are playing. Unless you have a particularly soft drummer, chances are you won't even need to mic them up...but if you do wanna use a couple of mic's, no overheads, just kick drum, snare, maybe toms.
When it comes to the actual mix, make sure the vocals can be heard over everything first, and only turn up other things at the desk if they need the extra amplification.
+1 on what duanemassey said as well...its hard enough getting everything mic'd up right...let alone getting the mix right at the front of house...and THEN at the monitors...
12-15-2010, 11:33 AM
Yup, this is the kind of thing you need to learn while doing. It will help greatly if you have somebody with a clue helping you along for the first couple of times. If this is absolutely not an option, you should buy the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook, read it cover to cover, taking notes, and then set up and get familiar with your system well ahead of the gig. Good luck!
12-16-2010, 07:50 AM
The most important thing is to understand how the mic preamps work and how to properly set the gain structure. Hopefully the manual explains it. It's going to take a while the first time you do it, so don't plan on getting there an hour before you hit the stage and getting good sound. The best thing you can do is spend some time a couple of days before the show setting it up, dialing it in, making sure you have a rudimentary idea of how it all works, then coming back here with specific questions.
12-17-2010, 01:31 PM
Thanks for the posts. I did not give enough info in the original post. We were able to get all the speakers, mics, etc... working. We set the gain correctly and such. I guess the help I'm looking for is EQing. I'm looking for guidelines or tips on how to set it. I have read elsewhere that certain frequencies need to be tailored so one instrument doesn't cut into the other.
BTW: All instruments run through the PA.
12-17-2010, 02:17 PM
vocals come first. kick in the low-cut button on all of them, and roll their low end EQ knob back a little, to keep them from being boomy.
kick drum traditionally is tweaked at the channel to have the lows boosted, the low mids cut pretty heavily (sweep that extra knob to around 150-200), and the highs tweaked up just a little.
everything else is stage volume dependent: keep the lows out of everything except the bass guitar (low-cut button in), start with EQ flat on it all, and only bring up what is missing from the stage sound, and only just as much as you need.
take plenty of time to go out front and listen while the band plays, and don't let it get too loud.
12-17-2010, 02:36 PM
the goal is to fill the room with your sound. if drums, guitar & bass amps are loud enough to do that, dont bother running them thru the PA. just run the vocals or whatever at a level that blends with everything else. have somebody with a good set of ears stand back a ways while yer playing & make adjustments.
+1 on rolling off the lows. remember fill the room, not flood it. watch out for feedback/mic placement. keeping em behind the speakers is a safe bet.
BTW: All instruments run through the PA.
ugh, in that case roll the bass off the guitar to free up room for the bass, roll high mids off the bass to do the same for the guitar...ect.
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