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mlyoung

M20d workflow roadmap to first gig success?

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Soooo...I bought the Stagescape mixer a couple of months ago.  Love it so far!  I've done a lot of forums reading, skimmed through the manual, watched a lot of videos, and played with the unit a fair amount.  I'm getting ready to do our first gig with it, 5 piece country rock band.  For me, there's a certain level of anxiety that comes with this first time adventure and it's probably in part due to not being a sound engineer.  Anyhow,  I'm thinking if I had a process or workflow map of setting up the M20d properly for the gig I may have a fighting chance.  Does anyone have or can share with me the high level steps you take to set-up the M20d for your band?

 

I "borrowed" some of these from other posts, but this is what I've come up with so far:

 

Pre gig set-up
- Stage with mics and instruments
- Use canned pre-sets for starters
- Set up monitors

 

Gig set-up
- Masters all down (some monitor level ok)
- Set vox levels to unity gain
- Set all other instruments to -5db

- Auto trim Kick and Snare independently for baseline (mic)
- Auto trim the overheads while drummer plays full kit (mics)
- Re-autotrim all three drum channels.
- Auto trim bass independently (line level input)
- Auto trim guitar (mic)
- Auto trim keys (direct)
- Auto trim vox mics seperatly
- Record sound check song(s)
- Tweak FOH

 

What am I missing? At what point should I ring out the room? Does someone have a preferred process for doing that?

 

All pointers welcome.

 

Thanks

Martin

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Not too shabby a start.

 

Your first few outings, you'll have a sweat on... I know I did!

 

Gig set-up
- Masters all down (some monitor level ok)
- Set vox levels to unity gain
- Set all other instruments to -5db

- Auto trim Kick and Snare independently for baseline (mic)
- Auto trim the overheads while drummer plays full kit (mics) - I tend to skip this step now and retrim kick and snare whilst overheads are being done
- Re-autotrim all three drum channels.
- Auto trim bass independently (line level input) - this, if your bass player has a decent DI out shouldn't need doing every time after the first few outings, though it is wise to check again for the first two or three
- Auto trim guitar (mic) - This is best done by getting your bass, guitar and drums running a groove on stage so each mic'd guitar can get their necessary backline level right before you trim. Might be worth mentioning you can always throw a little guitar back through monitors if its getting a little loud on stage or convince guitarists to use a kickback stand for their amps.
- Auto trim keys (direct) - I always ran keys via a DI box rather than running line level cables all the way back to the desk.
- Auto trim vox mics seperatly
- Record sound check song(s)
- Tweak FOH

 

***CAVEAT***

If you plan to tweak FOH from a recording, bear in mind that you will NOT be subject to backline levels and will be judging your "mix" only on what is coming out of FOH. Don't underestimate how much the backline noise bleeds out into the audience area. Take a few dB off amplified instruments (bass and guitar) to compensate, else you'll likely end up with your vox not projecting sufficiently over them.

 

For the first year or so, I'd go out front with the iPad (I run on radio mics) and get a primary tweak whilst everyone is playing "for real". These days, we've got our mix pretty nailed so aside from going out front to check the overall volume and balance, we don't have to tweak much. Can't remember the last time we mixed from the recording though. 

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Thanks for the feedback SiWatts69!

 

Good caveat pointer.  I hadn't really thought of that.  I'm curious about the DI box on keys rather than direct to the mixer.  I am the keyboard player and I intend to have the mixer within reach of me.  If it works out, I plan on eliminating my keyboard amp altogether, run direct to the mixer and use my regular monitor for keys monitor.  IS there any advantage in using a DI in this scenario?

 

Another question,  do you "ring out" the room utilizing the FBS feature?  If so at what point do you do this, and do you have both the FOH and monitors turned up to performance level when you do it?

 

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