So I had a kid coming in today to mess around and try and learn some stuff. So I thought about what we'd work on and I landed on something that I've been wanting to do for some time now. I had kind of hit a block with my mixing and decided it was time to shake up the gain structure a little and see if I couldn't eke some more clarity out of my console. Having read about some implementations of techniques that I had stumbled upon on smaller mixers back in the day, I decided we ought to try it.
So I thought it out. The kid showed up. I explained it in the production office. We went to the console and I explained it again. He asked questions and we dug deeper. We went back to the office and drew diagrams and watched videos on the subject on line. We went back to the console and started to dive in.
And we got totally roadblocked because I already have so many requirements on the mix that I just couldn't free up any more facilities to implement the idea. (Moving all compression to the groups if any of you advanced users were wondering, and no I don't feel like describing the conditions that prevented me from doing so.) So instead of re-exploring a setup that would let me push into more compression or open up the mix without touching the outboard... we went to lunch.
We came back with a vengeance though and by changing the crossover settings managed to squeeze a few more dBs and a lot more full sounding bass out of our poor beleaguered subs. (A trio of dual twelves that we pretend are single eighteens by way of flogging them with a sub-harmonic synth and... wait for it... a second sub-harmonic synth) So now it sounds a lot less like a bass (fish) and more like bass (groove). It wasn't a huge change but the drums sound a lot more present and the bass player's five string turned into a real eyeball rattler.
There was one small change pertaining to the groups and compression that made a nice difference. Having a desk with twelve aux mixes and having ten of them taken up with monitor mixes and one for the subs, left me with only one to feed effects with. I picked delay because I want more granular control over which singer is echoing at any given moment. For drum and vocal reverbs I went with sending the channels direct to the two mix and also busing them to a group which feeds the processors. In the case of the drums I added a compressor to the group chain, lifted the straight-to-L/R routing and assigned the group to L/R instead. It brought out the attack of the toms a little, made the metal sparkle a little more, and the bottom snare mic is a thing of beauty. I've never been so happy with a snare sound.
Toss in a little electrical housekeeping and a really nice rehearsal and it was a pretty good day. But I'm worn. My wife had to wake me up to go to bed, at which point I became more a wake than I have ever been in my life and had to write this stuff to take the edge off. Hope it was educational.