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Question about mixing boards..


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If you look at a single channel of any higher end board, you can see that it's made up of a few basic elements.


There will be a fader or knob for channel volume.

There will often be several bands of equalization.

There will be a host of routing options, both effect sends and busses.

There will be an input pad to boost or buffer the original signal coming in.

Often there is also some version of dynamics control, in the form of a compressor / limiter / expander, on every channel.

There will also be a panning knob.

Many medium and high end boards also double up the channels, so there will also be another fader, panner, and maybe even some eq's and routing knobs/buttons.


Now, multiply this by 72 channels and you get the idea, and I haven't even considered the Master section yet.


When doing a real mix for a real record, especially in rock or, in the example, industrial, you can easily gobble up all of the available inputs on something like this SSL that's pictured. Many people say that boards like this are dinosaurs and that you can get the same deal with just Pro Tools and a bunch of plugs...but a LOT of great records have come through boards like this. I don't know if sales of SSL's and others are like what they were in the 80's, but I don't think they are going away anytime soon.


If you want to see REALLY big boards, try to find a picture of the mixing "suites" at Skywalker Sound or at Real World (I think Emagic has a great pic of this one).


I personally really prefer mixing at a big desk, but it doesn't make a lot of economic sense for most projects I've been doing lately.

"For instance" is not proof.


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Originally posted by marino:

They don't really need all those knobs.... They're operating the console backwards and without even looking... :D:D:D

Good one.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.


In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.


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Originally posted by Phait:

Um.. well since I'm very new to all this I guess I'm asking.. WHY SO MANY DAMN KNOBS?! What can you do with them? In what case would you need that much?

Well, my question would be: WHY DO THEY KEEP ON TURNING THE KNOBS WHEN THE SOUND IS RIGHT? I'm surprised about how many concerts were fucked up by sound dudes who couldn't keep their hands from the mixer. The consequence was everytime a great sounding band turning into a disaster area.



Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Originally posted by Phait:

I hate it when I'm watching a band live on TV and their vocals aren't loud enough.. I can't imagine how the singer(s) feel..

Well, that's a whole other story. The singer won't be pissed until later when he sees the broadcast, since the monitor mix is probably OK. You can always see when a monitor mix is not right because the singer will either make a subtle (or not so subtle) sign to boost signal, or they will tear one of their ear monitors off in a desperate attempt to hear their own pitch.


I once did a show where my monitors were completely dead and no one could see that I was having trouble because I was next to the drummer behind a wall of keys (I also had dozens of wires coming from my head, but hey, this was industrial in the early 90's). I did the whole show, sequencers and all, listening intently to the spill from the drummer's monitor and staring at the flashing tempo light.


At the end of the show, I realized that my M1Rex, which was playing 80% of the bass sounds, had reset itself to "000-Universe". I had played the whole show with a jingly pad as the arpeggiating bassline.


"For instance" is not proof.


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