LARRY'S LIVE MIXING TIPS
- DON'T let the monitors be louder than the PA.
- Use your ears. It has to sound good to you.
- Trim down the bass EQ to reduce room boom.
- Use PFL (pre-fader-listen solo) to check for signal presence before opening the fader, and also to cue up
- Use AFL (after-fader-listen solo) to balance out groups of performers.
- Keep the vocals clearly understandable.
- Keep the absolute level low enough to allow the room reverberation to decay between beats. Otherwise, the bass
and drums will meld together into a drone, instead of timekeeping beats.
- The PA must be either mono or surround. A stereo PA usually does not work, unless the venue is small. Mono or
matrixed surround work better.
- Use EQ and pan (if not mono) to separate instrument overlaps.
- Walk the house to find dead spots and standing waves.
- Reset the board before mixing. Set everything to zero, off, or flat. Don't expect last weeks' settings to work,
or to even be there.
- Pre-fader aux sends are for monitors. Changing the fader to change the mix does not affect this.
- After-fader (or post-fader) aux sends are for send effects. Lowering the fader lowers the effect too. Send effects
add more sounds.
- Channel inserts and bus inserts are for insert effects. Insert effects are the effects that can reduce or remove
- To use one mixer to do recording, PA, and monitors, use the pre-fader aux sends for monitors, an after-fader aux
send for the PA, and the LR bus (or the submasters) for the tape.
- Avoid using a piano and acoustic guitars together, unless indistinction between them is acceptable. If both
instruments are present, make sure they are not both playing chords. Otherwise, you might end up with a
"guiano" (or maybe a "puitar").
- Use EQ to smooth out peaks in vocals. Compress to smooth out level variations.
- How to control a singer's level:
- Adjust the singer's monitor send in the opposite direction.
- Add reverb to the singer's monitor send.
- Make sure the singer can hear the monitor. Solo it.
- Give the singer a dummy mic, and use a second mic to actually pick up the vocal.
- If you also play an instrument, be careful to not favor the instrument you play in the mix.
- Do not allow the musicians to control the levels of their own monitors. If they need monitor levels higher
than the mix allows, give them headphone monitors.
- Reduce feedback with individual channel strip EQ, not the master EQ. A limiter also works.