Reply To: Foh or Mons first?

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1) Set up the Foh mix first with main LR and channel faders at unity (or some like -5) and adjust chan gain to suitable hearing level (and not overdriving into the red). Then mix the stage wedge monitors using the faders and EQ, not touching the gain.
2) Set up the stage wedge monitor mixes first,keeping the channel gain as low as possible to reduce feedback and adjusting the monitor mix faders to suit the musicians level requirements. Then attend to Foh mix,adjusting the chan faders for the required listening level.

Like many things, everyone has their own way of working. But generally you get your gain stage good, at the LOUDEST peak you should be hitting the +6 LED on your Qu. Since it’s a digital console, clipping is BAD! And your noise floor doesn’t really suffer with a tad lower gain.

Your wedges should all be PRE-fader, PRE-eq, PRE-compression, PRE-everything. You will run into singers who want reverb for comfort, but generally speaking the monitors should be as dry as possible.

If it’s a small room, do your FoH first since the bleed from it will cause possible low and low mid feedback issues. Also, this will affect monitors since the musicians will have a lot of FoH bleeding back to them causing the monitor mix to change if setup first.

Your gain doesn’t have anything to do with feedback, whatever is loudest at the mic will win (voice or monitor). If you set a very low gain and push your faders up high, then that’s no different than your gain up high and faders down low which theoretically will come out the same volume at the wedge.

Once you have your FoH going, push it up to it’s limit and see if you’re having problems with your low/low mid’s with feedback. If you are, use your PEQ or GEQ to ring it out (I prefer PEQ, unless it’s being used to sweeten the mix)

FoH is rung out if needed, then move onto monitors and do the same. Put the vocals up to the point of feedback and start pulling back your offending frequencies. Push them further up until the next frequency rears it’s ugly head and ring that out as well. You can only go so far as feedback is inevitable and too much pulling will really start degrading your signal. I usually stop after about 3 pulls.

After one channel is rung out, go onto the next and LEAVE ALL CHANNELS OPEN! This is important!

Try and keep your gains steady, since up/down will affect your monitors.

Longer reply than I expect, but hopefully that helped