A soundcard (also known as a "mixing console", "mixing console" or "soundboard") is a complex and sometimes "intimidating" piece of equipment. Here's a very basic guide to setting up a mixing console for a small live show using the Bare Bones PA system setup.
Before we move on to the step-by-step part of the instructions, it is necessary to understand the basic scheme of the sound card. The mixing console has two main sections: an input section and an output or master section.
- The input section consists of several separate channels, which can range from 4 on the mixing console to more than 32. Each channel consists of a set of inputs on the back of the board and a corresponding set of controls, collectively called a channel strip. A channel strip usually consists of a gain adjuster that controls the volume in the first stage, when the signal is sent to the console, before any processing or routing can be performed; a channel fader that controls the post-processing volume; one or more Aux Sends (Outputs) that function as faders, except that they are sent to the alternate outputs on the sound card, which are used for effects such as reverb or echo, and monitor speakers; a set of equalizer or EQ controls that control sound quality in the low and high frequencies, and often the midrange as well; bus or group assign buttons that send the signal to the alternate bus faders and outputs in the master section of the board.
- The master section controls control the mixer output to the various outputs on the rear panel of the board. A sound card's output section usually consists of a master fader that controls the volume of the main outputs on the board (in other words, the volume for the entire system); auxiliary masters who control the volume of the auxiliary outputs; Aux Returns, which are used to bring the signal from a reverb block or other non-payable effect into the mixer without using a channel strip; bus faders, which alternate with the master faders for the bus outputs, which are used for their alternate speakers, recorders, and to group channels together.
Step 1. Choose a location for your sound card
This is important because the volume of the sound decreases when you are further away from the sound source and so that the sound bounces off the surface in the room. You need to be in the place where you are, far enough from the speakers so that you don't have sound traveling directly to your face all night, but close enough so that you don't end up turning the mixer too loud because you can't hear it. at the back of the room. You will also need to analyze the length of your microphone cables and the location of electrical outlets in the room.
Step 2. Reinstall the speakers and power amplifiers
Step 3. Connect your speakers
Connect cables from the 'Output' jacks on the power amplifier to the 'Input' jacks on the speakers. Note: If you have powered speakers (speakers that have power amplifiers built into them), you can make all amplifier references refer to the speakers themselves, since the amplifier and speaker are already connected
Step 4. Connect your power amplifiers
Connect cables from the 'Main Out' jack on the mixer to the 'Input' jacks on your power amplifier (or powered speakers).
Step 5. Connect monitors
If you have monitor speakers for the musicians to hear themselves, connect cables from the Aux Out jack (almost always labeled “Aux Out ') on the sound card to the input to the power amplifier for your monitors. Note: Most sound cards have more than one auxiliary output, so be sure to keep track of which one you use for which amplifier / speaker.
Step 6. Create a basic setup
Set up your microphones and stands as needed, along with any DI () boxes required for instruments to be directly connected to a PA system (eg acoustic guitar, or keyboard).
Step 7. Create an 'Input List'
Write down a numbered list of each microphone or DI-box, from left to right, while on the board. For example: 1. Guitar DI 2. Keyboard DI 3. Sound Microphone Kim.
Step 8. Designate your sound card
Take a strip of tape and place it on the sound card just below the faders, use a marker to copy the input list onto the tape so that each fader has one point below it (you may have to use abbreviations to match these labels in the space below each fader, write "SoundM" instead of "sound microphone", for example).
Step 9. Secure your microphones with a cable
Connect mic cables to each mic and DI-box using your input list from step 7 as a guide, in our previous example you would connect the cable from 'Input 1' on the sound card to the DI-box for guitar 'Input 2' connects to DI keyboard and so on. Note:. Many small format audio cards allow a 1/4 "instrument cable to be plugged directly into the mixer without the need for a DI-box. This jack will be labeled 'Line B"; not to be confused with the socket labeled 'Inst', which stands for 'Insert Point', not an instrument.
Step 10. Zero the board
Make sure all of your faders are down, as well as your Aux Sends and the 'Gain' or 'Trim' controls on each channel. If your sound card has 'bus assignment' controls, make sure the 'Main Mix' button for each channel is down and all other bus assignments are up.
Step 11. Turn on your sound card and then your power amplifiers
Step 12. Turn on the outputs
Bring up the 'Master Fader' as well as the master knob for any external sends you use. You don't want to bring up all of these controls if there is a '0' or 'equal' mark next to your master fader.
Step 13. Test your sound
Have someone speak into one of their microphones while you move very slowly so that the microphone matches the fader. If the fader is high and the volume is too quiet, slowly turn up the 'Gain' or 'Trim' control for that channel until you are satisfied with the volume. Do the same for each microphone and field until you are sure everything is working.
Step 14. Check your monitors
While someone is speaking into a vocal mic, slowly turn up the Auxiliary Send control on that Auxiliary Send channel to which you connected your monitors ('Aux 1', probably) and let them let you know when they can hear themselves. through the monitor speakers. In general, the volume of the monitors should be determined by the musicians, since they are the ones who listen to them.