I've read a good bit about gain staging, and thought I had finally gotten a basic understanding, but when I experimented with how a now thought it should be done....disaster. I should add that I am approaching this as a live performance set up, but since I also record our live performances, as well as in the studio, I'm hoping I can ask the question here/--System is an Allen & Heath ZED 14 into active EV ZXA1 speakers ...stage monitors I leave for later....right now, they're not hooked up. For this experiment I have our usual stage set up mics...which are two AKG Condenser mics (C4000 and C3000B) for vocals and one Shure 57 to pic up the acoustic guitar. So, I start with my Allen & Heath ZED 14 mixer with everything at unity gain (except the channels I'm not using which I mute and take the faders all the way down). I start w/ the gain knob at zero, the channel faders at unity, the main faders at unity and the master control knob on my EV active speakers at zero (it is calibrated to go dB down or up from zero) My understanding is that next I should set the gain control using the meter to push the green lights up to the yellow/orange 'starting to clip' level and that is where the gain should be set. My problem is that I can't get hardly any reading on the meter without getting feedback. If the ideal is to have all settings on the mixer at or as close to unity as possible, how can I get there if I can't get any meter activity at all.? Sorry for such a newbie Q, but despite everything I read, this continues to frustrate and confuse.