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Gain tracking = Sharing preamps ie “Gain sharing”… Whether one of the consoles then switches to trim mode or not either way you look at it Gain is being shared.

On the sort of shows where Gain tracking / sharing is acceptable i would argue that both engineers should work to a compromise with the preamps. I have worked like this before on smaller shows using the Roland S4000 digital snake. Gain was run from FoH, then “locked off”. the 2 monitor consoles and the broadcast truck worked off of trims or console gains where applicable.

Less than ideal, but still workable so long as all the “master” engineer, (ie the one with control of gain) doesnt go and change something mid-show without forewarning the other engineers.

But what it comes down to essentially is that when you start working with gain tracking you HAVE to introduce some more latency into the “slave” console. If the master console engineer were to suddenly pad a signal that on the slave console was trimmed “low” then the signal to noise ratio on the slave console would mean the introduction of hiss, Which if feeding IEM’s would be very noticeable. The slave console processor needs time to react to this gain change.

We also have the problem of preamps being “Non-Linear” in response. I know the iLive is fairly better than most other consoles preamps however drive a preamp hard and it will definitely have a different “tone or colour” than if were NOT being driven hard. (FYI iLive preamps like to be driven hard).
I know that this is not a problem as technically this issue of “gain tracking” is actually “trim tracking” but imagine if you manage to get that kick drum sounding just sweeeet and then FoH goes and changes the gain down, your trim goes up to compensate and you get less bottom end and some nice hiss too!

Not to mention that all your dynamic processing will now react different to these changes.

Gain tracking is not an easy thing to do… Just ask Digico who have being attempting this for donkeys years.

I personally would carry a handful of Y-splits and split the really important channels between consoles and just gain share the non-important ones. Lets face it, unless something dramatically goes wrong during a show, how many of us actually grab a handful of gain or pad anyway??? <<<<rhetorical question, please dont bombard me with one-liners and anecdotes of “that stupid DJ” or similar lol