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Hi Paul,

Well simply said, the DCA is a remote control, the group is a sidepath with real audio control…..

To understand that, you have to understand the matrxing of a vca/dca and a group, and the reasons why to choose for one of the two.
First the VCA/DCA : this is a CONTROL fader wich can control relative a group of faders, in VOLUME and in MUTE, there is NO audio coming through this fader, it’s just remote controlling faders, stereo or mono, who are members of that VCA master. This is mostly used to ( indeed as you do ) adjust the complete drumkit volume or mute, or all backing vocals or all instruments… every engineer has his own reasons to make it easy for him and not adjusting 12 faders , but just one vca fader to give the whole drumsection a bit more. The VCA/DCA is used in most modern analoge mixers and offcorse in all digital mixers… it makes life easy, and audio is not disturbed, routed, again remember the C in DCA is for CONTROL , remote control….

The Group is just an audio master, like your aux master, or stereo master, it’s a mono or stereo BUS where you can send your signals through. A group of signals of wich the AUDIO path is now really behind the channel faders going directly to the groupmaster, audio is controlled also by this fader, and offcors its mute button.

So they are doing allmost the same, the DCA remote controlled and the group direct with audio running through. What’s the difference?

Well if you just want to mute , groupvolume adjustment etc.. the DCA is the perfect choice.

BUT if you want to EDIT this group of channels, with EQ, compression, or just send it to a special destination for recording, zone’s etc. , you do not need only to have control over that group, you want the AUDIO, and that’s when you use the Group.
examples : a compressor on your complete drumkit , an EQ on your complete screaming Choir.

Basicly : DCA = remote , Group = sum of audio

So in your situation, Yes DCA is o.k. for muting and controlling the groups you made. BUT if you want a compressor on the complete drumsection or wanna do something with the complete audio of a group, use a group.