Question about Fender 4 Channel Powered Mixer with 10 in Speakers System

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Vocal sound with a powered mixer

I have an IMG Stageline PMX 100, 4 channel powered mixer p.a system, i'm using it in my loft for rehearsing my songs using an electric acoustic guitar and 2 vocalists. i don't have any instructions for it, and am not sure what to sett the mid, gain, bass, tone, volume etc.. to get the best live sound. any tips?

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Do'nt mess with the Tone,Bass, Mid or Highs without reason. Flat is the Standard for mixing, recording, and further processing as it allows you to control the tone there.
Volume is subjective, as in a crowd of WWII Marines are deaf, but many cities have regulations for sound levels, and they check them, and will shut you down if your out of compliance (need a sound level meter, the good one), and you can drive away old ladies with load noises (remember: they are your customers).
Generally set your levels so they NEVER Distort the signal and any point or level in the show.
Make shure that you have quality microphones and cables.
Keep your levels balanced if possible.
Do'nt know what your rig entails, but any place to clean up a signal, or lower noise will directly reflect on the sound.
A DSP with compressor/limiter and maybe some other algos like reverb, delay, flanger, phase/frequency shifter can greatly enhance and help control a modest or not rig easily.
With voices, a sybillance or vocal processor can make a world of (usually good) difference, and a matched set of Compressor/Limiters dedicated to the voices can help tame the levels of several people in a live or studio situation.
Keep mike and other low level cables far from electrical drops (crossing at right angles) taped down.
Run your mike and other levels well within safe limits,
setting levels of incoming lines as high as possible With Out Overs, the more headroom the better.
Use the Mains out to control the volume levels in the House (your audience). In most situations,
the volume of the entire soundsystem should be so the audience can talk in close quarters (whisper), and still hear themselves over the band in the distance. (the country clubs I've played).
Start with the lead vocal, and get a comfortable , clean, and balanced sound with both loud and soft singing, both being heard with-out major adjustment of the signal at the board.
Adjust any output or input that has changed in response to the addition of the voice, to a average -10 db level.
You may fine-tune them later, and at the show, (and another show, and another,&another &another...)
These levels rise as you add more voices and instruments, and during the course of some shows, so having some extra space is good to have room to solo a voice over the basic loudness of the rest of the show, (I swear, it's a circus folks).
Add the other vocals one at a time as before, 'til all are of the same level.
Now adjust any levels that may have risen or changed (-10 db is a good starting place) to not have any overs for the next stage.
Add the instruments levels one at a time, in order of importance to the sound, leaving headroom for solos, as well as building structure in the gain matrix.
USE THE TONE CONTROLS ONLY AS THE LAST RESOURCE, Though Equalizers can be real handy.
Tone Conrols are TO FIX Undesireable Sounds Levels such as Feedback, a nasal voice (the same), or other Highly offending examples of Vocal or Musician outbursts (Guitars Mostly).
As the club manager or health department official TELLS you to turn it down, and as sound levels subside, the guitars keep wailin', and at a certain point one must just turn the damn soundboard OFF, turn and announce to the official that at that point "it is out of your control".

Posted on Nov 13, 2008


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