Getting a nice clear sound and a balanced recording is about making sure your gain structure is correct, turning things down and keeping bass under control. The rest is up to each band member managing individual tone and volume.
Getting the levels right: gain, volume, EQ
On the PA speakers
- GAIN knob: set to 12 o’clock
On the Mixer
- Main mix fader set 1/4 way on volume
- Channel level knobs (Mackie - set to 12 o'clock)
- Channel faders (Alto - set to 1/4 way on volume)
- Mic channel gain knobs set to 12 o’clock
- Keyboards, synths, etc, gain knobs set to about 9 o’clock
- Pan knobs: set to 12 o’clock
- EQ knobs set all to 12 o’clock
Balancing sound with the mixer: level, pan, EQ
- Utilise level to balance the sound of drums, guitars, bass, amps and vocals coming through the PA.
Avoiding feedback & balancing microphones
- Make sure mics aren’t pointing directly at the PA speakers
- To adjust mic levels, turn up the LEVEL of each mic by speaking into them, one by one. If you get feedback, either reduce LEVEL or step away from the PA speaker.
- Pan can also be used to reduce sound energy away from where it isn’t needed.
Reducing the volume: PA and amp positioning
Point PA speakers and guitar amps at the listening position; this will minimise the amount of volume required. Remember, too much volume (especially bass) will only muddy up the sound in the room.
Make sure there is a direct line of sight between the PA speaker and your ears.
BASS & GUITARS:
Point amps at your ears or elevate them on a chair instead of increasing the volume.
Keep your volume under control so that your band doesn’t have to compete to be heard; the more control you have at the kit, the better the overall sound.