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Channel Faders

Lesson 5 from: Live Sound Mixing Fast Start: Avid SC48

Zach Varnell

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Lesson Info

5. Channel Faders

Lesson Info

Channel Faders

So the next section we want to talk about channel feeders, all of the channel fighters have specific ways that you can access any of the input channels on, and we kind of want to walk through both assigning channels in the patch bay all the way to routing talk backs, talk about banking channels and bank safe ing channels, graphic e cues and effects returns, we'll talk a little more about the flex channel on dh channels, you can actually move and drag around on the council, and this becomes really, really helpful, especially when you're doing things like big festivals, where you have a huge patch that you set up, and then every individual stage get set up. And what kind of do that this afternoon to, um, ok, so the first one assigning inputs and patch bay right now, we already sort of talked about the fact that there's sixteen individual failures that you can access at any one time, and you, khun bank, between the next sixteen by choosing banks, and they sort of, like, stack on top of ea...

ch other if you think about it that way, but you can actually assign any channel to any one of those fighters, and they don't have to be in order, and this is part of the sort of the great thing about having a digital console is that every pre amp is not specifically assigned to an input channel. You can decide where you want to route the pre empts toe, which input favors, depending on how you want to set up your counsel, we're going to go to the patch bay on batch face pretty simple we've got across the top you basically have four different controls that you're gonna patch you either patch your inputs, patch her outputs, patch her direct outs or patch your inserts right now, we don't have the card installed to be able to set up in search, so we're not really going to talk much about specific analog inserts um s so we're going to start with just the inputs tab and it's really important to also and this is something that I've just noticed, and using the consul for years is that sometimes, if you're in a hurry and you're not paying attention, you might actually be on the outputs tab and trying to patch in something from the mains or something to the stage and not realizing that you're on the outputs. Tablets of the inputs tabar the direct stab, for example, so make sure that you're always first looking at whichever tab you're controlling before you start to actually assigned things, um so once we're on the inputs tad this is sort of the big grid on and there's sort of two different terminology is that we have to use two different terms one is the source and one is the destination s o the source is any sort of actual physical hardware and put her output and the destination is any sort of physical any sort of virtual channel that's on the board so I can take any pre amp or input from the outside outside of the console any sort of hardware input and assign it to any channel on any virtual channel on the actual council um right now you can see it's set up specifically I'm just going to remove all the assignment so we can show you how to set this up but on the left side down here and they're sort of broken out by affection turns and channels um I have the forty eight channels that have set up on the council so of those forty eight channels that are on the sixteen channel banks those air whereas sign what channels get sent to those and then across the top are this the sources? What do I want to send each to those destinations? So right now I have installed analog card a b and c and these are the forty eight preempts that are built into the back of the consul if I had a remote stage box with an additional thirty two channels, for example, those would, in addition, show up under a separate tab, either a stage or from the house. Well, this stage would show it was the stage box, and then the pre empts that air in the council and show of under front of house, and those will show up under those individual tabs so I can patch any of those channels to whatever specific input channel I want to use. And then, in addition to that, I can actually send channels from pro tools with the fire wire connection out to any individual input channel, which is sort of how I'm standing it up right now, since we obviously don't have a stage in the stage box here. So if I have forty eight inputs, sort of the standard set up is to start just one to one where I'm gonna go channel one all the way down the forty eight and now each of these forty eight channels, the forty eight microphone preempts are assigned to the forty eight channel inputs it's, just one for one, but it doesn't always have to be that. Sometimes you want to make a stage list of views of the pre empts and what's plugged in, but I want to rearrange them so that this channel is actually closer to this channel or I want to have all of my drums together but they're actually all over the place on the patch on the council or on the stage or maybe I want to have all of my vocals in the beginning but they're not till way later in the patch you can rearrange and adjust all of those by changing whatever channel you're sending it to um typically the way that I started off working with the council just to keep things really clear and not get confused a zay do a one to one patch across everything set up all the channels and then I just drag the channels that I want into it that order that I want to see them on the console that way the patching comes first once all the channels airline checked then I can set up the council how I want to s so we'll go back and look at that but that's basically the setup of the patch may that's how you patch any of the sources to the inputs on the channel when we go into outputs and groups, I'll talk about how we patch the outputs and what those look like and in the patch based section we'll talk more specifically about some of the rules of the patch bay and how you can double patch things and some things you can't double patch and why that that happens um okay let's, talk about routing, talkback oscillator and plug in returns to channels eso writing the talkback already sort of talked about right now I've got to talk back, mike set up here and they're sort of two ways that I can set that up. I can either in the miscellaneous tab route the talkback mike specifically tue aug cz one through eight um and now whenever I talk or turn on that talk back, I will turn it on here and I'll talk you can see that I'm talking to channels one through eight and whatever is plugged into channels one, three we'll hear me coming through there, mike, this might be kind of a knowing to be trying to sound check a band and then you want to turn on your talk back. Mike, you have to stop what you're doing over the options to have and turn the talkback mike on and off s o the other thing that you can do in the patch bay is you can actually take the talkback mike and assign it to an input channel socially how we do that we're going to get input from a house and I'm just going with science channel forty eight to the talk back mike, and then I'm going to turn off the routing to all of these channels because I'm going to do that all from the actual channel itself instead of with the hardware routing built into the miscellaneous tab so now once this is often not using really this section of the talk back mike anymore now if I go to channel forty eight on the console and I start talking you can see now that talk back mike is being fed to an actual channel and what could be helpful during sound check is I'm gonna go ahead and latch this channel um to the flex channel so now whatever bank come on I have an individual control to mute on dh send my talk back mike to any of the mixes without having to leave the console so if I'm working in bank a and I'm talking on you know working on the drums and I have to talk to the band I just reached over and a new the the latch talk back channel instead of having to go back to the options page um so that's definitely helpful and I'm gonna go ahead and undo that really quick um routing the oscillator we already sort of talked about but you can basically do the same thing with the with the oscillator you khun route it specifically to an output by using just the route to mode or you can assign um in the patch bay from front house you can assign the oscillator to any one individual channel um so now if I go turn on the oscillator and I'm creating pink noise you can see now channel forty eight is my control and now I can send channel forty eight out to any individual channel this is actually really helpful for really quick signal patching if I just want to bring up that channel forty eight and test signal without having to plug into mike, I can assign an oscillator with pink noise on it to a channel and then practice bussing it I'm seeking sort of here um a bus that left and right and you can sort of hear theo pink millie is coming through and then I contest if I just want a line check really quick all of the aug sends, for example, let's say I have six monitors on stage and their odds one through six I can bring up that channel really quick um I'll bring down the main here and then go through dogs one through six and test those outputs and see if I'm physically hearing them on stage by using pig noise. Andi really helps just instead of having a guy right walk around with a microphone and trying to talk to each of the channels and making sure they're there, I could just use pink noise to do that and it's a whole lot faster um I can't do that if I route that to an output specifically because that's not going through the specific channel so sometimes you want to test the channels bus to the output sometimes you want to go straight to the hardware output but either one you couldn't do that either way by routing the channel that way so we'll go through back to the patch bay, turn off that patch and turn off the oscillator plugin returns the other cool thing is that plug in ski either act is an insert on a channel or you can actually return them to either another input channel or in effects return, which we'll get into in just a second. So right now this is set up is an insert so I mean config mode I've selected the plugging that I'm gonna use but let's say I wanted to send the output of the kick drum to the compressor and then individually control the output of the compressor and the dry un compressed signal so in that case, instead of bringing it up is an insert on that channel. Um I'm going to return that, um as a bus, so I'm gonna bus that specifically to, um dogs let's say august nine um and then I can return that on any individual channel, so now bring up the kicked him really quick if I want to bring this up on bus nine aiken bus, so now I'm bussing the kick drum to august nine, which is then showing up in the plug in and then I can return that specifically to a channel on channel two we want to make sure that this is obscene china set up as pre fader so now I am sending that to the compressor with dogs nine and then I'm returning it here on channel two s oh there's sort of two different ways to use plug ins if you want to use them ascends and returns, you can also return those not just to any specific input channel between send into the effects returns or actually to physical inputs and outputs I'm or straight to pro tools so there's a lot of flexibility is for us how you want around everything okay? So we've routed everything we've showed you how you can set up inputs and outputs inputs with the patch bay we've talked about routing the talkback, the oscillator and the plug and returns on dh we talked briefly about banks but really quick I want to show you that there's actually a couple of the things you could do with your sixteen channel input banks. So the primary bank are the input features used these sixteen channels for input fighters channels one through sixteen seventeen through thirty two and thirty three three forty eight it's pretty simple the second thing that you can do is there's actually eight stereo effects returns that you can use and that's activity with this button right here and now if you press that these air no longer controlling the input channels those were controlling the effects returns on do we talk about plug ins? I'll show you how to set up a stereo effects return for like a river for example so you could use an odd descend to send any a number of channels to reverb and then return that to one of these effects can returns. The other cool thing is that you could actually send a two track mixto one of these effects returns which is what I commonly do for like an ipod or play back if I want to have like a cd player and ipod playing for music for the show so that I'm not using a channel on the council of one of the forty eight input channels I'll use an effects return a cz the two track play back that way I have a favour assigned with it and it's just really quick read they're accessible with the affects return button so there's the first two things you can do either input banks or effects returns the third thing is you could actually use these sixteen fade er's as a graphic e q for any of the outputs so I'm gonna show you how to do that really quick let's say that we want to use a graphic e q on the left and right output so I'm gonna go ahead and select ah, left and right here. Um, and I'm gonna bring up one of my sixteen e cues. And right now this is set up is a stereo e q so it's one into. If you remember from the dsp processing part of the beginning, we have sixteen graphic accuse we can use. So now I have a graphic e q one into is being used on my stereo master bus, and I can either individually control that in the outputs tab with thirty one band geek you or I can actually use the phasers to control that and that's. What? These two buttons right here, I can control frequencies twenty three, six. Thirty with these or eight hundred three twenty k on dh. This just allows me a little more control a little more hands on tactile control over that graphic on the master bus by just adjusting individually. These graphic accuse the specific bands of the graphic on dh like us at all these air saved so soon as I go back to my input failures that doesn't change those air saved and is if I ever recall those on those fatal positions were called back up, so I'm going to reset the graphic you section and then go back to my main input banks. So those are sort of the three different ways that you can use banks. The other cool thing is there's something called bank safe mode, and what banks safe mode allows you to do is let's say that there's three channels that you do not want to be affected by your banking, you can put those in what's called bank safe mode, and what happens when you do that is that those always stay on the main bank no matter what you switched to. So the first thing I'm gonna do is go to options, and we're going to go over to oh, interaction and there's sort of three different safe modes there's automation, safe solo safe and bank safe automation safe prevents any scene from changing that channel, so if I put a channel in automation safe mode and I switched to a different scene, that channel will not be affected. It's it's sort of locked in safe mode solo safe means that if I saw any channel in the console, it will solo the channel I selected, but we'll also solo whatever channel haven't solo safe mode, sometimes that's really helpful to do with effects returns put those and still the safe mode so that whenever you solo vocal that also brings up the effects are also solos, the effects that you hear so that those aren't independent but the last we're going to talk about his bank safe so right now I'm going to switch the input safe switch to bank safe and then go back to the inputs tab and let's say that I have channels fourteen fifteen and sixteen are my three main vocals and I've got lots of channels on the council but I don't want to ever change looking at thes three um so I'm going to go and select these and choose safe mode for each of these three so and you'll see it now blink safe mode for each of those and now if I switch to a different bank you'll see that those three remained there so no matter which bank I'm switching between these three are banks safed they're locked into the council and I will never have to lose those that's a really helpful feature especially if you have specific channels that you just never wantto I never want to lose sight of for example like the vocals or um sometimes it's you know an ipod playback or it totally depends on the program material whenever you're mixing but in puts their bank safe mode really helps the other way that you can turn on bank safe mode is just by clicking the top of the channel that green button for each of the individual channels in the actual software with the mouse or you could do it with the safe button on the selected channel we talked a little bit about this. The flex channel the flex channel is in addition to the s e forty eight it's unique to that channel. It gives you one extra fader it's not an extra input. It just gives you duplicate control over any favour you decide to use. So if you remember, I use this to set up with the talk back mike, when we righted the talk back on that was really helpful to be able to have this fate are always be sitting here on the talkback. But maybe you want to set that as your to track ipod playback so I could actually route the playback to maybe, like effects. Eight andan I would select affects eight. And maybe I'm just going to name this channel ipod. So this is my ipod playback. Um, let's. Just go ahead and for um continuity sake will route the input from to track tio affects return eight so if I have an ipod played into the back, are plugged into the black of the quarter inch jacks for to track it's now being fed to the ipod channel. And now instead of switching back and forth constantly, whenever I want to touch the ipod to effects returns, I'm going to select the ipod channel and then double tap the, um, the ipod channel, so now this the ipod channel is now or this flex channel is now latched to the ipod channel and whenever I switch back this is controlling no matter whatever bank come on it's constantly controlling the ipod love and that way if I'm like mixing a band I don't have to remember where it is I just always know this channel right here is my ipod. Maybe that's your lead vocal, maybe it's the bass guitar, whatever you want it to be that's what? The flex channels there for us to just be an extra latched channel phone release it double tap it again and then it switches back to whatever channel I select double tap it again and whatever channels selected it now latches to that specific channel. Ok, so that's the flex channel the cool thing is too any of these channels, I can copy paste or move around as long as I'm in config mode, so I'm gonna go ahead and just reset all of the failures on the input strips and we're gonna walk through this this afternoon when you do run a later segment when we do a we're gonna walk through this in a later segment when we do a set up for front of house counsel on a festival patch and basically what that will show is how you can set up the whole festival patch and then drag just the channels you're using to your main bank so that you're not switching back forth between banks but there's sort of three different ways if ice pick a specific channel I'm just gonna go and make some changes here just to show so we can track it let's say within the compressor up we have smog sends that we're sending I'm let's say this is called base so now bases on channel nine I can either copy this I could just right click and say copy base and then maybe I have another channel that they plugged the base into and now they're on a separate channel and instead of trying to redo all those settings myself I could just go to channel ten and it paste and now all of the channel settings air copy to that channel I can drag so if I just want to move the base to channel two I could just drag it over to channel two and if you notice that clicked in pop for a second audio cut out that only happens in config mode so you can't drag channels while there's a show happening that it's only what works in config mode so now if you notice bases now on channel two um instead of channel nine, if I moved back here it would switch it back to channel whoops channel eight to channel nine s o I could drag and move channels wherever I want. The other thing that I could do is create um channel presets like put folders I can name my own folders for all of my presets create a new preset and call that base and now if I go to a different channel and I want to load a preset um I can double click on it and it will bring up all the channels are all the settings of that presets so that's really helpful to sometimes if you want to make presets for specific channels that you know you'll use in the future I always like to use these types of the accused is a place to start from I can create those presets and then when I'm going to make saying I could just double click on the presets to start off with and then find tune from there so that's really helpful thie other cool thing is that you can completely reset a channel if you just want to start over you can right click and say reset base reset based just resets everything about the channel the dog sends the channel assignment the e q the compressors everything or I could just reset the fader to zero um well, I could reset the entire channel um so there's two different ways you can sort of do that um blank strips so channels typically one through sixteen. Right now, these are all active channels, but there's two ways that I can actually create blanks trips or create what are called stereo channels. So let's say I have a keyboard on stage, that's, channel fifteen and sixteen. Instead of having to constantly use two fingers to move that up and make two adjustments to every single parameter, I want to make fifteen and sixteen one stereo channel, so I make sure I mean config mode. I'm going to select both channels, um, by holding down the multi select button and clicking on both channels. Now you see both fifteen and sixteen or are selected now before I combine these into a stereo channel. I want to make sure that the gain for each is set completely at zero, because if I combine the two stereo channels together and their gains are offset, those offsets remain for the final stereo channel, and I can't zero those out unless I split them into mano, reset the games, then re combine the begin to stereo that could be helpful if, for example, for some reason, the left channel of the keyboard is louder than the right channel, I can offset those individually as model channels and then combine them, but most of the time, you probably in most circumstances want those gains to be matched and individually controlled so I'm going to select both channels and then I'm going with the mouse right click and say make selected model trips, stereo strip stereo and you see now what happened is I have now a stereo channel that I can use and it created right here withhold a dead channel a dead channel is or blank channel is just a channel strip it's a failure that's not doing anything, so I've got a stereo strip and a blank strip you can actually add blanks trips in two if you want to keep the spacing separate, sometimes that really helps like let's say you have your drums and rhythm section on one through sixteen, but channel here let's put these back to mano o if I want to split these back tomorrow, I just say split selected strips tamano on and then it will return them to channel fifteen and sixteen, so let's say channels one through fifteen are all of my rhythm section and channel sixteen is vocal one and then I'm banked too. I start all the rest of the vocals it's going to be a pain to be going back and forth between bank one and bank two s o I want to put a blank strip on channel sixteen pushing all of the vocals over to the next bank I'm gonna go ahead and say insert blake strip and now channel fifteen this is dead and channel sixteen starts here and everything gets moved up one and what that does is allowed me to have all of the in that one specific bank all of the channels that I want to work with, which really saves a lot of time switching back and forth on and this is all stuff that you're doing during set up while your sound checking the ban and sort of setting up the consul for how you want to use it um there's something that's really cool for sound check called input direct mode any individual channel has all of these effects that I'm using e q compressors the gates inserts everything if I suddenly just want to bypass all of that and listen to the strait signal off of the pre empt aiken goes up here and click input direct and input direct mode switches that channel toe on lee here signal directly through the preeminent bypasses all of the effects that's just a really helpful tool sometimes to be able to use let's say you're mixing and you're hearing distortion and you're thinking is that distortion because I am compressing it too much or is it clipping somewhere or is it actually coming from the source? I can quickly click input direct and here the source coming straight off the pre empt to decide if that distortion is coming from the source or I'm causing it somehow that's. Really, really helpful? Um, yeah, we already talked most mostly about flip to failure mode. You can take any of the og sends and flip them to fader, um, and that's, kind of like the core of the input channel strip section you've got, you know, banks say fs, you've got your effects, returns, you've got your globally q and then all of your banks. And in a later segment, when we actually walk through, setting up for front of house for a festival patch will show how you use all of those to be able to take a forty eight channel massive festival patch and condense it to the actual set up that you're using that specific day.

Ratings and Reviews


great class, lot's of great tips for who's starting to mix on avid consoles thanks Zach and Creative Live greetings from Romania Adrian

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