There is such a huge disparity between digital surfaces and systems from one console to another- it can be overwhelming to know where to start on a board you haven’t used before.
This is why having a thorough knowledge of signal flow is so important. It allows you to walk up to any console, take a moment to get your bearings- here’s my input gain, here’s my channel EQ, etc. and quickly get to work.
When you own the console or are responsible for it, you should dive deep into the manual or online tutorial and learn it so you can work efficiently. If you are just walking in and mixing on a console du-jour, there should be an audio tech who is well versed in the software platform, menus, and filing system of that console.
Now, I said ‘should’. For any of you who’ve worked in live sound for more than a year, you all know that what ‘should’ be and what ‘is’ are two very different things. So with that in mind, I...
I want to talk about setting up your workflow on the console.
Once you start mixing more than a few shows, you’ll start to find that you have some preferences in how your console is laid out. Everyone has their own particular way of doing things and it’s all a matter of what works for you.
For instance: How you do your input patch will determine where things show up on the surface. It doesn’t have to be 1-1, you can patch inputs to come up in whatever channels you like.
If you are mixing on a digital console with a limited number of faders available on the surface, you’ll have to think about how you want your inputs to populate them. If you have 42 inputs and only 16 input faders/layer, how do you want to build your layers?
It’s a good idea to have all of your drums on the same layer or page so you can easily make adjustments to the overall drum mix.
Likewise, if you have numerous inputs for keyboards and tracks.