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Old 02-18-2011, 08:28 PM   #22
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,012

Originally Posted by Analogy View Post
Step 1) Sound check the last band
Step 2) Save a scene
Step 3) Repeat steps 1-2 for each additional band until you reach the opener
Step 4) Recall the appropriate scene during changeovers

Also: Theatrical applications where you want night-to-night repeatability and the ability to step through scenes.
Um, wow. This is going to sound unintentionally condescending, but have you ever done live sound in a working venue with multiple live acts?

"Sound check" is to make sure the mic placement and feedback control is good. Unless we are purely talking about DJs, the "sound" and relative level of the band is going to change drastically from song to song, as well as being vastly different in front of a packed, sweaty house of screaming, bass-absorbing fans than it was at the empty 6pm soundcheck.

I spent years working as a live FOH mixer. Maybe there are massively big-budget stadium tours with separate techs to control repeatability in specific speaker feeds, where they could do the live mix like a studio mix in that way, but I never encountered them, even dealing with some pretty famous major-label acts.

Sound-check, in my experience, is mostly placement-testing and feedback-control. Fader placement might be useful for like half a second into the first song. When the crowd starts screaming, you need to crank the leads and upper-mids to stay above the white-noise roar. When the crowd gets bored/quiet, you drop off the ear-splitting highs and crank up the kick/snare/bass and whatever instrument is kicking ass at the moment.

This notion of set-it-and-forget-it live mixing is either more advanced skill and budget than I have ever seen, or else pure fantasy. The plain reality of live FOH mixing is that the noise floor is changing constantly in both volume and timbre, and that's what you have to stay ahead of. When the audience is screaming and into it, you need to punch up the presence-range clarity to deafening levels to cut through it, and when the audience quiets down, you need to back off the ear-splitting upper midrange and get them back into it with a punchy, bass-heavy clap-along sound.

That's been my experience, anyway.
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