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Solo and Monitoring

Lesson 9 from: Live Sound Mixing Fast Start: Avid SC48

Zach Varnell

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Lesson Info

9. Solo and Monitoring

Lesson Info

Solo and Monitoring

Ok, so the next topic we want to talk about is a little bit geeky on this is super technical but it's really, really helpful, especially when you're mixing and monitors in monitor mode when you're using the council on stage to mix monitors s so we're going to talk about all of the different ways that you can use solo solo modes on the console and all this stuff is set up within the options tabs were going kind of walk through each of these just to cover some of the topics we're going to go over there's three different solo modes f l and p f l r probably two you're aware of and then the third is super not not nearly as common it's called solo in place, which you probably wouldn't want to be using for a front of house mixing situation. We're going to talk about dogs follow a f l f l follows dogs auto canceling impropriety multiple soloing options latch versus momentary solo safe mode how to put the q wedge on your main fader way ready talk about talkback assigned inbounding so we're not ...

going to do that on will cover briefing really talk back then so to first start off if you go to the options tab and go to buses, you'll see this whole section under here called solo and monitor options most of the time the most common way of using solos that most people want to use is pfl on dh for those of you that don't know pfl means pre fader s o when I solo a channel it's soloing that channel before it ever gets to the fader. So even if I have the vader all the way down when I solo it, I'm still going to hear whatever level I've set the pfl value to be at and that's what's called the level trim. So right now, it's zero d b, which means that whatever the gain of the pre empt coming into that channel is set at its passing straight through to the solo feed on, not adjusting the solo level at all. Some people like to add a little bit of level trim, especially when you're mixing and louder situations and you're on stage. Eso when you hit solo, you really hear a lot of what's happening a little bit louder than it would be typically in the mix, it's totally just depending on your own personal taste. Let's, go ahead and bring up some channels really quick we've been doing drums most of the day, so let's patch in some other instruments so we can hear so let's see, we'll start working with base let's say we want to soul of the base, the first thing we're going to do is set up um, before we do anything, we're going to set up the cue to be on the main fader time to go back to my options and there's this little check box here, this is q on maine's fader. Now, what happens when I select that is I've set up a monitor wedge, as if this is a monitor consul in a mixing monitors on stage, and this is going to be my listen wedge so that I can soul any individual channel or any of the mix is that the band has on stage and hear what they're hearing through my listen, wedge really helps me sort of, like, put my ears in their situation and hear what they're doing. So when I select cues on main fader the master stereo output, it doesn't get muted or anything, it doesn't go away. It switches to the rotary encoders of the first three output channels, so I'll show you how that works of suitors like like you on maine's fader, this now controls my q level, and if you look over here in the output section my first three fade er's now the rotary encoders are set to left modeling, right? So I can still adjust the main favors with those rotary in quarters. Or I can actually just manually drag them up and down using the fader on the actual output screen so I could go over here and actually adjust the master outputs here, but they stay at whatever level they're at. So now that this is not controlling the main fader anymore, it's controlling my monitor, the main feed is going to be controlled either with a mouse or with those rotary encoders. So the next thing I do have set up my monitor feed. I want to go ahead and patch in um the stage monitor to the monitor feed, which is in the main output. So there's a stereo monitor feed, I could set up a pair of studio monitors if I wanted let's say I wasn't mixing on stage and I was mixing in the broadcast booth and I had the front of house mix, but then I also had the monitor mix for me to hear. I could set up a pair of studio monitors that way. If I'm just doing a mano floor wedge on stage, I'm just going to use one of those monitor channels. Somebody go ahead and patch that in and now, whenever I soul of this channel and bring up the q on main, this fader now controls my master output for my cue. Wedge which is down here on the floor on dh that works for both any input channel that I can cue or any monitor mix that I'm building for any of the band the second way that I can monitor either if I don't want to use the floor wedge and I want to use headphones I've got a pair of headphones like just patch those into the headphone jack down here and then up at the top here under the monitoring section this monitor tab is now being controlled by the fader because I've switched the monitor control to be on the main fator but aiken send the main mix two monitors if I want to so right now there's nothing being fed to the main mix if soon as I turn that on anything that's being fed to the mains will go to to the listen wedge and to the headphones as soon as I solo something um that immediately kills the main mix and switches with solo whatever I'm soloing so if it's just one channel little solo that channel if it's multiple channels a facility to those if it's a channel plus on entire mix that I'm soloing it'll combine those and we're going to talk about sort of what those differences are okay, so we're listening to base let's see wade got a guitar track based track let's say that we want to seoul the guitar parts I'm gonna bring up the fans are a little bit here, so now I can hear that notice that the fighters all the way down the channel fainter and I'm still feeding it soloing it to my q edge because it's set to p f l, which is pre fader, so I'm soloing this before the channel feigner if I switched to a f l then when I sold this channel it's not going to come up until I bring up that individual channel theater, so there's really not a lot of common situations where you'd want to have a solo be an nfl mode because you want to be able to solve something, usually without having that to be affected by the mix. Now there is a time when you're actually trying to mix multiple channels together so that you want to hear the blend of them, in which case you'd obviously want to hear the blend of the favors affecting their scent of the solo, in which case you could just soul of the master output. Or you could switch to a f l and select just those channels, and you could control the blend. So I mean there's a comment there's a situation where you might do that for the most part, most engineers use pfl mode. So that's sort of just scratches the surface we're just getting started with the sewing which is a little bit silly but we're going to sort of dive deep here into some of the other options that you can do right now you can see the monitor level is adjusted with the main fader here you can add delay if you want to that if there's any sort of delay between the speakers on dh what you're hearing that I'd be a common situation if like you have studio monitors set up at front of house and you calculated the distance between those studio monitors and the main speakers on and you're going to listening to both of the same time obviously if you didn't have a delay on him, these speakers would be much closer and would be out of phase with the mains and so you'd want to figure out how much delay to compensate those speakers bias so that when you pulled them up they would be in phase with the main speakers some people choose mixing that way it's not super common but that's where you wouldn't do that um dogs follow nfl we're gonna come back and talk about going to switch back to p f l hear the a f l we'll come back to solo in place at the end because it's not super common a key thing to keep in mind on pretty much every front of house or live mixing console when you solo a channel it's not soloing the main mix it's only soling the monitor feed so the monitor feed in the main feeder pretty much separate, and we're on ly soloing the monitor feed so let's, go back to the main page, the input tabs. Well, actually, really quick if you see we've got dogs follow nfl what access follow nfl means and this is actually kind of cool you khun solo any individual channel if you want to listen to, like just the guitar, for example, or let's say that you've already built a mix let's say we'll switch to mix one, and I want to solo odds one to hear all of the mixes in that channel. So I'm gonna go into a f l and you know is when I select the channel it's actually switching the input of it's, switching the rotary encoder to follow whatever soloed dogs master that I have and that's what the dog's follows f l option does, so if I switch to solar dogs to it automatically switches the rotary encoder dogs, too, because it's, assuming that whatever I'm listening to, I'm probably gonna want toby probably gonna want to be hearing what it is or adjusting when it is that I'm hearing, so switching the nfl um automatically switches the rotary encoder if I turn that option off when I go back, if you notice now, when I switched to a different solo, um, the rotary quarter stays the same, so that's a really helpful feature that just kind of speeds up sometime. The other option is a f l follows dogs is, which is a little more extreme of a programming thing. What that basically does is that if I select dogs three it's automatically going to solo, whatever dogs I have, so we wouldn't check that so let's say I select odds one it automatically solos, dogs one and I don't necessarily think that most the time I want to always have that immediately soloist things I'm going to switch on a dog's I might just want to make a quick change. I don't need to solo it, but sometimes especially if you're setting up on your moving fast, it just helps you to remove that one extra button you have to push, so if I'm quickly going through mixes on working dogs five automatically solos, dogs five for me um, so that's what the dog's follows eifel follows dogs does I usually have obvious follow nfl and not a f l follows ox is just depending on what your workflow is and how you want to have that sort of set up um, auto cancel is sort of the default mode for oxygen for soloing, so if I could click any channel and solo in, um on I click another channel, it automatically cancels the previous solo. It doesn't hold those down that's a really helpful thing, because I'm not building each solos and then having to turn all of them off, but if I have auto cancel off, and every time I solo something and I add another another track that I'm soloing, it just continues to turn those solos on it. Doesn't auto cancel the previous one? Um, input priority is kind of cool if I'm listening to any individual input that I'm soloing and I switch over to, um, solo and a f l and entire mix, if you notice it keeps my mix, it keeps the input channel soloed along with the nfl channel and that's really helpful if that's what they mean by impropriety that even though I have I've sold something on the output failures as an nfl solo, if I have something solid on the input features, it doesn't cancel out the input, the inputs remain the priority so that's really helpful if I want to try to solo something specifically on an input channel and then compare that to an entire mix on the output channel, it just keeps those two separate um yeah, so we're going to go and then the mix to the monitors is the same as the button up here and that's pretty much the majority of, um sort of the the nfl npfl options if I want to go through and listen to each of these, I'd want to see how all of them are set up so let's go and look att soloing an actual nfl mix here all of these channels I have ogg sends brought up, but none of them are set his pre fader and so because all the failures were down, I'm actually not hearing anything so let's go ahead and I'm going to bank select all of these typically when I'm mixing monitors I'm using pre fader on all the accents and the reason for that is that if I'm making any changes to the front of house mix and I'm also mixing their monitors, I don't want my changes throughout the show to be constantly affecting the band's mixes on stage I want their mixes to remain constant, what they've had and none of my changes to affect those changes if they're said his post fader any move that I make on the council will change the send to their specific mix, which is definitely not what I want to do so now that I have that soul is going solo um nfl solo there aug channel here so that's it mix one and it's a f l it's listening to the blend of all the different toxins I have, and I'm gonna go ahead and select, send one and flipped to fader. And now this is the mix of all the different instruments I have, so I'm going to bring up their mics and try to get a good balance in my wedge that I'm listening to because I have their mixed soloed before sending it to them. So now I know what that person's makes. Sounds like in my wedge right here, and I can help violin and as much as I can very quickly and then ask them to make fine tune adjustments. It's really easy to go through an nfl solo each of their mixes, and we'll kind of go through setting up when we get to the section on building a set up for a monitor council will kind of walk through each of these segments. Another thing to really help help you sort of understand a little bit about soloing and some of the options, even though it's set to auto cancel, there is another option for soloing a track momentarily and then letting it go so if I just tapped the solo button, then it remains open it latches the solo button until I tap it again to turn it off if I hold the solo button down for at least one second then it's momentary and as soon as I let go the solo removes so I'll show you verses and that's really helpful to know to kind of mimics a little bit about how you would think if you just want to really quickly here something you could just kind of hold it down and then let go and it will remove the solo it's just kind of a faster way to do something we talked a little bit of last time about bank safe mode there's also what we called solo safe mode so we're gonna go back to the options tab go back to um interaction and before we had set the safe switch to be bank safe which basically if you remember on the input channels allow you to get you to bank safe certain channels and prevent them from being affected by whatever bank changes you're making we're going now switch this to actives solo se fs so now I can enable solo saves on certain channels to make sure that if I solo anything in nfl or master or pfl pre fader solo on an input channel any solo safe channel will also be soloed every time I do that um sometimes you always want here the vocals sometimes you always want to hear you know the guitar whatever it kind of depends on your mixing set up the most common thing that I usually use this for is solo saving all of the effects returns I'm going to show you how to do that really quick we're going to pull up the effects returns tapping the affection turns button here on ben I'm going to go ahead and select each effects return and select solo safe now I'm probably not going to use all seven effects, but I have been there if I have if I need to and now any time my solo anyone of the channels that sending somethingto one of those effects ends it'll automatically soul of effects return as well. So all here not just the dry signal but the effects returned with it and sometimes that's really helpful while you're mixing if you want to quickly here the vocal on dh then suddenly you soloed in your headphones and the river bs gone it sounds very different on having to go find the reverb toe double sole heir to solo with it and latches really confusing so that just kind of saves that step um, so once I have those in solo safe mode, we're going to show you how to do this in the next segment on plug ins but all this going to quickly bring up a weaver and plug in um and we'll assign this to august ten on and let's say on the snare so we're gonna go to the snare on channel two and we're gonna bring up dogs ten and we're gonna feed august ten two uh river plug in and now oh then we want to make sure also that ox ten is pre fader and now you see the snare drum august ten is being sent to the river bits coming in here and so I'm going to return that on effects return to so now you could hear your immediately hearing the complete snare return because it's in solo safe mode um I'm gonna go ahead and we'll bring that out of the main makes just for now but because it's in seoul a safe mode now when I got there so now when I saw the snare I'm actually hearing the return as well come back through the solo on dh it's not just, um not just the snare by itself so that's kind of an effective way that you would use solo safe mode on the effects returns to be able to link some of those things and like I said, there's a lot of ways that you could use that for um but so safe mode definitely helps in those circumstances, so we're going to go ahead and go back to those input channels affects returns and turn off solo safe mode for each of those someone to select the channel and turn it off for each of those and now you see the safe vote is no longer blinking on that channel um the last thing I want to cover just really quickly we've gone through pretty much every safe or every solo mode that you could think of there is in the talkback section a cool feature that some people use called dim level and what happens with dim level is whenever you start talking or enable the talk back mike it automatically dims the rest of the mix for that that person's feed some people find this really helpful, especially for bands where there's allowed a lot of stage volume or the mix is really loud and you're trying to talk to the artist and the band through their stage wedge on every time you talk you're just getting drowned out by their monitor mix and so you have to crank your talk back makes the dim level helps and you set that in the miscellaneous tab here I personally don't ever do that because it's always dimmed and tell you enable the talkback mike or disabled to talk back mike and I typically don't use the enable talk back but now use a switch on the mic itself or use a nin put channel um so it's not as effective use it that way you can actually set up a foot switch to go into the g p I input on the back of the forty eight counsel to control the top packs, which, if you did have that that really helps a lot just because on then that would automatically enable it and then trigger the dim but again it's one of those things where, unless you're using it effectively and trying it out, I usually try to stay away from but that's that's where it is if you if you want, the last sort of thing about about soloing is to understand soul in place. For the most part, when you're mixing life sound like I mentioned the solo button on ly effects your monitor mix, whether that's your stereo monitors that you've set up in front of house your headphones or your listen wedge, it doesn't affect anything in the actual main mix if for some reason you actually did want to solo something in the main mix, you can switch to solo in place and what solo in place does is if I basically works like a recording counsel if I sold a channel it's going to solo it in the main mix as well and meet all the other instruments, I can't think of very many circumstances where you'd want to have that set up that way it could be very dangerous if you're if you forget that it's enabled and the show's in the middle of the show and you solo the key driving all of a sudden, everything cuts out, but they kicked around for the entire audience. It might be helpful in sound check, if that's what she wanted to tow. Listen for, but again, it's one of those things where you take a risk if you start enabling it and using it a lot, because if you forget and you sold something in middle of the show, it could be really disastrous. Um, so, yeah, that's, pretty much like the whole consuls specifications around nfl pfl and saluting.

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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