Best way of laying out the mixer surface for gig?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of lightingman117 lightingman117 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #96697
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Am wondering if you can advise..

    I’m new to my SQ5– OMG love it..sounds amazing and I really like the features and workflow

    The surface arrangement feature is soo cool..
    But how do people like to set up their desks?

    Mostly my bands are pretty small– 5 piece / 16 channels or so but I also do a 13 piece / 28 channel latin scar band.. (and will now link from my QU over slink for this band..)

    Looking for tips as to how people think about their surface layouts..

    I am tempted to put
    -Vocals Group Fader plus Vocals in the group on Layer A plus all the other main instruments on Layer A – (plus maybe Kick on Layer A)
    -Drums Grp fade and drum inputs plus Bass on Layer B?

    I like the idea of having the group fader with the elements of the group “under” (i.e to right of) that fader like I would in a DAW so the group level and processing is easy to hand but is this not a good idea in practice?

    What do you do? Are there some established best practices?

    Thank you

    #96698
    Profile photo of xyz
    xyz
    Participant

    Does Allen & Heath have a start-up standard template or show/scene?
    I thought I had seen that somewhere?

    #96699
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    The non answer answer would be try a few different layouts and see what
    works for you work flow best. You have an SQ, six layers and any fader can be
    anything!!
    Maybe set up a practice gig with one of your bands where you have the time to experiment/play.

    For your vocal groups if your using audio groups and not DCA groups think about
    assigning any of the vocal FX returns to that group and un-assign those FX returns
    from the main mix.
    That way if you raise or lower the vocal group level the FX return mix balance stays
    at the same ratio.

    #96701
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Thanks Mike,
    Yes thats a really good point about un-assigning the fx return from the Main LR mix and taking into the LR via the Group fader- else as you say – if you don’t, then when you pull down the Group fader you still have a heaps of wet FX in the main mix.

    #96708
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Yes thats a really good point about un-assigning the fx return from the Main LR mix and taking into the LR via the Group fader- else as you say – if you don’t, then when you pull down the Group fader you still have a heaps of wet FX in the main mix.

    Now if your using DCA groups you do not need to do that as the DCA is more or less remotely controlling the channel faders so the send level to the FX is changing keeping the FX mix in balance.

    #96719
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    I was thinking about your layering question and it really personal preference thing
    but here is what I will do sometimes for a basic band set up at least as a starting point and maybe modify during sound check.
    If you use groups or DCA’s on various channels apply those where needed.

    Vocal layer – includes all vocals, FX DCA that contains all FX returns, maybe a key lead instrument, Monitor mix DCA if the band is on wedges and there is lot talk
    in between songs or if other people will be coming up to the stage to
    speak at different times. Being able to pull the stage monitors all down
    in level some when people are speaking helps with clarity and people not
    used to speaking don’t get scared when they hear their voice blasting
    back at them.
    Channel that has playback walk in music on it.

    Instrument layer – all instruments, lead vocal channel, vocal group if your using one,
    FX return DCA,

    Drum layer – Drums, lead instrument and vocal channels, Vocal group, FX return DCA

    Mix layer – Mix masters, FX masters, Matrix masters

    #96727
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Ah– so you duplicate a lot..(I worry that I might get a bit lost to know where to go to find something if I duplicate too much but maybe being consistent about location of common elements– far right say would help – ) as you say personal preference- great ideas though
    Really good ideas to have a DCA for all the FX returns and all monitors mix DCA

    Thanks Mike

    #96734
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    I’d recommend putting a spare channel or two somewhere, or at least leaving gaps for them.

    I got caught out on one of my early gigs with an SQ when a last minute special guest appeared, and I’d no way of quickly getting their channels into layers that made sense.

    #96736
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Ah– so you duplicate a lot..(I worry that I might get a bit lost to know where to go to find something if I duplicate too much but maybe being consistent about location of common elements– far right say would help – ) as you say personal preference- great ideas though
    Really good ideas to have a DCA for all the FX returns and all monitors mix DCA

    I duplicate what makes in the way of important inputs and or groups.
    I keep or try to the duplicated inputs in the same location through the layers.

    If you use a DCA group for monitors I’ve heard it is possible to forget to turn
    them back up when the band starts playing!!!

    #96746
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Thanks Mark– “special guests” are a nightmare.. I’ve had lots of that..even though you ask who is up you still get the “You DO know about the African Drummers right?” Good idea to leave a free channel(s) on a layer already patched in.. yep. Thanks for that.

    And Mike I could imagine that it is (theoretically) possible to forget to, say, turn a monitor DCA back up 🙂

    I’m a bit worried that my first gig with the SQ5 (i’ve been using Qu16 for years) is my most complex band .. but hell I’ve got 2 weeks to get really familiar with desk at home… what could POSSIBLY go wrong 🙂

    #96747
    Profile photo of IraBob
    IraBob
    Participant

    Mike – great ideas on the layers. Thanks for your insights.

    Ira

    #96749
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Thanks Mark– “special guests” are a nightmare.. I’ve had lots of that..even though you ask who is up you still get the “You DO know about the African Drummers right?” Good idea to leave a free channel(s) on a layer already patched in.. yep. Thanks for that.

    And when the band arrives you find out that you never received the updated stage plot!!

    #96751
    Profile photo of xyz
    xyz
    Participant

    what could POSSIBLY go wrong

    A left handed singing drummer comes on for 2 songs
    oh and they want the bass on the other side and a dual pickup acoustic instrument.

    How ever this is what makes live sound engineers 🙂

    #96752
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    xyz
    Lol – Jezz no.. please 🙂

    Ah- yes– the mythical “updated stage plot”.. where DO they all go?

    #96767
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Ah- yes– the mythical “updated stage plot”.. where DO they all go?

    …if we only knew!!

    I’ve had the up dated stage plots go both ways as in only needing about
    half of the inputs we set up for or needing twice as many!!!
    A few times I have set up all the required stage wedge mixes and their needed
    amp racks ect only to find out when the band arrives everyone has switched to
    an in ear monitor system.

    And yes I do communicate with the bands prior to and the week of the show just to
    go over the details! I guess what details are important to pass along vary from person
    to person.

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