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  • Assigning Channels

    Is there any reason why a lot of sound techs use the first channel strips on their mixer for drums other then personal preference?


  • #2

    no idea. I always put vocals first.

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    • Stingray5
      Stingray5 commented
      Editing a comment
      I run mine with vocals first also, I thought maybe I was missing something.

  • #3

    Stingray5 wrote:

    Is there any reason why a lot of sound techs use the first channel strips on their mixer for drums other then personal preference?


     

    Well when doing sound check most of the guys I know start with drums, instruments, then vocals. Also puts vocal channels closest to mains/groups/fx returns.

     

    Neither way is "wrong". If you are the only operator then do whatever makes sense to you. 

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    • #4
      Back in the days of tape, with channel one being at the edge, there was a little bit of spare tape. The thinking was you could maybe squeeze a little more dynamic range out if it, since there was some extra there.

      At least that's what I read somewhere.
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      • agedhorse
        agedhorse commented
        Editing a comment

        Used to be that most guys started with vocals, or with vocal/instrument pairs for typical acoustic type acts. The Brits appear to have started with drums first, then some of the Yanks adopted this to appear just as hip.

        When you do a lot of bands without drums, it's pretty hard to start with drums IMO. I typically start with Vocals SR to SL, then instruments SR to SL, then perc, then drums, then playback.


    • #5

      Why?

      Because the drummer always shows up first. Then the bass player and maybe the guitarist. Singers don't ever show up until 10 minutes after show call.

      The other reason is because I spend most of my time around the master section; track input, talk back and effects are always dead against the master section because they're always the ones I move most. Vocals are against those and drums always start from ch 1 because I don't usually touch them after sound check. I do this because in the beginning I was mixing a lot on veronas, series 5 and H1000's... where you actually had to walk across the board to get to the channels. Nowadays it's just how I'm used to mixing.

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      • WynnD
        WynnD commented
        Editing a comment

        Mogwix wrote:

        Why?

        Because the drummer always shows up first. Then the bass player and maybe the guitarist. Singers don't ever show up until 10 minutes after show call.

        The other reason is because I spend most of my time around the master section; track input, talk back and effects are always dead against the master section because they're always the ones I move most. Vocals are against those and drums always start from ch 1 because I don't usually touch them after sound check. I do this because in the beginning I was mixing a lot on veronas, series 5 and H1000's... where you actually had to walk across the board to get to the channels. Nowadays it's just how I'm used to mixing.


        I'm usually half setup by the time the drummer gets to the gig in my band.

    • #6
      I prefer to assign the channels as I view the band from FOH. In the end it really does not matter as long as YOU know where to find the right channel without wasting time.

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      • #7

        Before digital consoles showed up, large shows required very large consoles. Look at the size of a Midas H3000. Things that needed less fiddling with were placed further away, and things like vocals were placed near the master portion of the console so that one operator could easily access the "money" channels while also having easy reach for masters. 

        Now in the days of digitals, it really doesn't matter. On my 01v96 consoles, I put vocals first (lead vocal is ALWAYS channel one) and then left to right. Then guitars, keys, and any horns or misc. Lastly on the top layer is the bass guitar and the kick drum. The second layer gets all the other drums and percussion. The drum channels are all in the same master fader group so if I move one fader, all the other drum faders increment the same +/- to keepo the relative balance of the instruments (sort of a quasi VCA arrangement.) It lets me have top layer control of all levels. Third layer does have all the aux sends and the 8 groups, but I don't live on that layer as much as the top one. Last inputs on top layer are the playback and talkback channels.

         

        So...it is and always has been a preference decision when talking live audio.

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        • #8

          I start with Vox far left as channel 1, and go across stage to right

          So if there was four vocals it would be channels 1-4 from left to right

          Then I start with instruments in the same fashion from stage left to right

          Say guitar,piano on stage left.  Guitar channel 5, piano channel 6

          Other side of drums bass, and guitar far right .  Bass channel 7, Guitar channel 8

          Then drums.  Kick, snare, rack, floor, overheads last

                                  9       10      11     12     13/14       

          Hey its my world back there and this is just the way I do it and I guess one could do it however they wish.

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          • Dogoth
            Dogoth commented
            Editing a comment

            I think that putting drums first came from the old days where even large format boards had the master section to the far right. Putting drums first was simply so that the faders you manipulated most (I.E. vocals, solo horns or other solo instruments) were closest to the master section and the things you manipulate the least during the show (I.E. drums, bass, some rhythm instruments) were "way over there" out of sight & out of mind. Typicaly (certainly not always), once you get a good sound, drums & bass are a set & forget part of your mix so you put them furthest away.


            I still pretty much put drums first & vocals as the higher number out of habit even though with digital boards & DCA's it's not really necessary or even best.

            That's at least my thoughts on the matter.

            FWIW I have heard of guys that start with channel 2 just because (especially in less pro environments) channel one has been used the most and is most likely to fail or have issues.

            cheers


        • #9

          I put vocals first, then acoustic instrument mics, because I always wanted to prioritize the most likely culprits for unexpected feedback. It let me know where to dive for a fader if anything took off. Since I've used boards with different channel counts, it just made more sense to start the high-gain open mics on the early channels, for consistency.

          These days I rarely have any feedback issues -- I know more about mic/speaker placement, use FBX backups, don't play at loud stage levels, etc. -- but the habit stuck with me.

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