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"Helping You Sound Your Best"

Assigning Console Channels

    Often we are asked:  "How should we arrange the inputs on our console?"   This is a good question.   It shows that someone is thinking.   It has always been difficult for my brain to wrap around mixing on a system that has the various instrument and vocal channels assigned randomly across the console.    Some situation tend to be based upon the stage layout, left to right  from the control booth location.   Some situations tend to be much more flexible,  but lack any plan or methodology.

    One aspect to consider is, how many different operators did to use this system.  If the church has a team of several operators,  it is important to make sure everyone can easily work with the arrangements.  If only one operator is regularly seated at the desk,  it is important to consider how a substitute would fare should the primary operator be unavailable.   Consistency is always advisable.

    The answer is actually quite simple.   Arrange your inputs to accommodate how you want to use the console.    This tends to raise the second question: "How do we want to use the console?"   Yes,  there is a potential problem arising.   Let's consider some mixing philosophy.

    Often we will arrange stage inputs and console layouts so that the main podium microphone and primary wireless preaching microphone are positioned very close to the master section of the console.   This helps to keep the more critical controls quick and easy to find and adjust.

    Of course, common sense is helpful to arrange instrument and vocal inputs for musical presentations.   Our experience in the recording studio has shown that a regular input arrangement helps to speed up sound checks and live adjustments.

    Here is an example of a worship team arrangement, from a church we recently assisted with an upgrade to their system.   They had been patching in what appeared an random order. 

1. Kick

2. Snare

3. High Hat

4. Tom One

5. Tom Two

6. Tom Three

7. Drum Overhead Left

8. Drum Overhead Right

9. Bass Guitar

10. Electric Guitar Direct Box

11. Electric Guitar  Microphone

12. Acoustic Guitar

13. Acoustic Piano High

14. Acoustic Piano Low

15. Keyboard Left Output

16. Keyboard Right Output

17. Vocal One

18. Vocal Two

19. Vocal Three

20. Vocal Four

21. Worship Leader

    This is exactly the same layout, we would have used for a recording session.   Once you have used this pattern in one scenario,  it easily becomes a standard for any scenario.   It reduced very easily into   DRUMS,  GUITARS,  KEYS,   VOCALS.

2005 Jordan Audio Consultants