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Programmable Mixer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Unregistered, May 7, 2011.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I've been doing the sound mixing for a band who are about to embark on their first tour - Universities, festivals and a couple of support gigs. They are quite complex and technically very good but to be honest, I don't mind twiddling the knobs in the comfort and mud free environment of my rehearsal studio, but I'd rather not spend my summer trudging around the country and Northern Europe sleeping on a bus with a bunch of smelly musicians.

    Can any of you knowledgeable people recommend idiot proof programmable mixing software I can load up onto a lap top, set it up and hand over to them because I just know they are going to ask me to go with them.

    Thank You

  2. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    Nothing that I know of will do that. Well - MAYBE if the band played to a click track and/or triggered events via MIDI.

    Bound to be wraught with problems though. I think the best thing for them is to have you write a script that describes what your twiddling by how much and when for the house engineer to use.

    If your twiddles are that much a part of the process then I daresay that you are a band member, as opposed to support.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    The situation is not a problem. Any new digital mixer by AVID, DIGICO and others can all be operated via WiFi with an iPAD from anywhere in the world. Having a nice stereo microphone to stream the amplified audio to the remote device would be necessary. Of course along with the remote SPL metering device.

    Obviously, you bathe more often than your smelly musical friends who should have an equally smelly sound person with them. I generally stink at this myself and after over 40 years of doing this, I've not found it necessary yet to bathe. So there you have it in a nutcase. Shell? That smells like gas. So totally apropos.

    Stinky girl
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Avid Venue. Not to push Avid products. They do enough of that already. But, even with a high tech mixer there's going to be issues. The....uh.....venue (as in arena or stadium, not the mixer) being one of them. Every space is different and will pose different problems. Having a preset will get you in the ballpark and probably 80% of the way but having a grubby smelly FOH engineer will take care of the rest of the problems.
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    There are a multitude of digital mixers that can go from "scene" to "scene" recalling all of your settings. (audiokid will be along any time now to suggest a PreSonus StudioLive - which can recall 80 scenes from internal memory - and also be controlled by a laptop)

    So the question to me (and hueseph apparently) isn't can it be done? - but should it be done?

    You say they're going to be playing "Universities, festivals and a couple of support gigs" - so indoors at University gyms, University auditoriums, outdoor festivals. I think it's unrealistic to expect a preset that sounds good in a nice rehearsal studio to sound good in any or all of those other environments with all the variables that they would entail. It might give them a good place to start every show, but I honestly doubt there is a 'set it and forget it' preset that can cope with the challenges of a complex mix and live sound. If you're not into long malodorous bus rides, is there someone you could teach the basics? Surely there is some youngster who would think that would be a fun summer experience.

    And if they're at a show where they're the supporting act, it's probably not their production anyway. They'll have to be able to work their magic with whatever console and PA is provided.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Exactly Dave. Waaaayyyy to many variables when you are playing live from room to room. They will be going totally bonkers trying to figure out what is happening from room to room.
    Feedback is only one of so many issues that you need a human that knows why its happening. EQ settings are another. Sounds like a disaster to me.

    When I think of programmable, I think of scene changes for theatre or variety shows more than a touring band that has their sound down.
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks for all the info.

    Having weighed up all the comments I can see I'm going to have to go and help stink up the bus for a few months.

    I agree, their sound is the sound I gave them and I don't want them going off and muffing the whole thing up. This will be my first live mix and I'm sure it will be very different from working in my studio. Always good to learn something new.

    Thanks Guys

  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Make your life easier and practice mixing in mono. I don't know if this is the case anymore but for the most part I remember mixing in mono mostly when doing live. It's pretty tough to hear things in stereo in an auditorium. I tried stereo once but it failed. It's been quite a few years though.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    A stereo mix in a large venue can be much more effective than your local nightclub. When I do PA, which I don't like doing, in smaller venues like nightclubs, I always mix in Mono. However, I usually figure out how to generate a stereo mix of that for a stereo recording off of the PA board. So I'm still mixing in stereo but the audience can't hear that, in a smaller venue. Although I do make exceptions. For instance, if I have a guitarist on the left, I may pan him slightly to the right. While the keyboardist on the right is panned slightly to the left. Since they are using their own onstage amplifiers, this can definitely help to give the audience an interesting & pleasant stereo effect. Lead singers are always Mono Center along with the ancillary backup vocals if there are any. A lot of this also is dependent upon musical genre, loudness levels, etc..

    PA stands for Practically Awful
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  10. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Y'see, Always learning something new.

    I always record in mono and process the final mix. I try to imagine the band on stage and place them so to shut your eyes and listen to the playback, you can imagine the band in front of you. I learned this from listening to Eddie Offord's work on early live Yes albums. The Eagles 'When Hell Freezes Over' and Thin Lizzy's 'Live and Dangerous' albums both used the same method in the final mix, replicating the bands on-stage positions.

    I think I prefer to listen in mono though and use lots of speakers and amplification to bring out the sound dynamics. Who knows what's best eh? We all like different sounds. I wouldn't attend a stadium gig if I had a free ticket for a corporate box but when it comes to pure sound, there's nothing like a pile of Marshall amps stacked up on a stage in a pub. A guitar, a wire, an amp and your ears. Nothing added, nothing taken away.


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