Sizing a mixer to the band needs

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by stjohn1299, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Hi, don't know much about live sound, but learning. My question is mainly in regard to mic'ing drums. If our drummer used 7 mics for his drumset, would it take up 7 xlr inputs on the mixer board? I'm reading this thinking it's a dumb question, lol...but we're thinking of micing the drums (7), lead vocals and backing vocals (say 4), and micing my cabs and two guitarists' cabs (3). If that's the case, it looks like I'm looking for at least a 14 channel mixer with 14 xlr inputs? I'd also need at least 5 monitor outs for each member. Am I thinking correct on this?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Nope, unless each member actually needs 5 monitor wedges and 5 separate monitor mixes...:cool:

    You'll probably be looking at boards with 6 auxes, tops. You can probably make due with 4 monitor mixes and 2 EFX ones.
  4. 7 drum mic's? A kick and two overheads should do fine.
  5. Ditto! Seven mics seems excessive!
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    It also helps to get something oversized on purpose so you can add future band members and/or do a direct channel and mic channel on your bass rig. So, 4 extra XLR inputs is NEVER a bad idea. So far though, you are thinking correctly! Who is the soundguy for the band?
  7. Just as a reference for you.

    We run a yamaha mg16/6fx

    4 players

    2 vox mic
    2 guitar mic
    1 leslie mic
    1 Bass DI (sometimes)
    3 Drum Mic

    The last board had 4 inputs, and just could not cut it. Plus we often have people sit in. So the 5 extra channels helps a lot. Plus, it takes a LONG time to set up 14 inputs man. You will be like Les Claypool from Electric Apricot.
  8. What kind of gigs are you doing? If you do a lot of outdoor gigs, then mic'ing each drum isn't excessive. We mic each drum for the band and as long as your soundguy is competent and knows how to mix and control levels, it won't be overbearing or excessive.

    I can see how that could be the case in a bar, though.
  9. DRafalske


    Nov 6, 2008
    Hebron, KY
    We mic each drum too. Drummer uses a sub-mixer and sends one signal to FOH.
  10. Another good option.
  11. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Agreed. Also, regarding the drum set: I highly recommend putting a mic on the kick / snare / high hat... even if playing in a club barely bigger than a closet. If you wish, toms and overheads as needed. With drums, the kick / snare / hat is the junk in the funk, the meat in the beat.... and must be heard across the room (along with the vocals and instruments) if you want the mix to sound right.

    Bands and drummers have had strange reactions when I insist on a high hat mic, but it's one difference between sounding good vs. sounding great.
  12. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    I provide sound for local bands in the typical bar/club venue.
    All I have for mixing boards are 16ch. A&H MixWizards.
    Anything more then that they have to hire someone else!

    For the most part, the bands I do are 4-5 piece rock bands.
    Typical setup:
    (4) Vocal Mics
    (2) Guitar Mics
    (1) Bass DI
    (5) Drum Mic's (Kick, Snare, Tom 1, Tom 2, Floor)
    I generally don't mic the High Hat as the snare mic
    usually captures bleed from it anyway.
    (1) FX return

    This leaves me with a couple of spare channels.

    With the A&H MixWizard I provide (3) seperate monitor mixes.(1-drum, 2-vocal)

    I also use the (2) AUX channels that have built in FX's (5&6).
    I find there reverbs work pretty well for vocals & drums.

    I use one AUX for a seperate FX send to a processor of choice.

    I personaly have never needed any more then a 16ch board for bar/club gigs.
  13. Thanks alot for the input guys...I really like the idea of mic'ing the hi hat separately...I try to get as much of it as I can in my monitor mix. I try to have a clear kick and snare, which aren't a problem, and the hat, which can be. Our drummer is a Neal Peart follower, so he has a large kit. I really like the idea of adding a sub-mixer for the drums...then only sending one line to FOH. As far as the sound guys go, we have a few that are showing us the ropes, but one day it will be us when someone becomes live sound literate. I'd like to be that guy if I can...Drum PA was leaving me scratching my head, though...seemed like it was taking up a lot of inputs, but I'm guessing not now.

  14. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    When you send one drum mix to FOH, that mix is the only mix available for your monitor send. So if you want clear snare & HH in the monitor, well you get what get.
  15. You could always send Snare/Bass to one side and the rest to the other (using a stereo mixer)... this does minimize the need for snake channels etc.
  16. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    yes, but I'd prefer a drum snake & the mix in the hands of FOH, not the drummer.
  17. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Depends on the music and the place, the bigger venue, the more mics are needes to make the entire kit audible to everybody. I've played many gigs where the sound guy miked kick, snare and all toms plus overheads; that's easily 7 mics. Sometimes even more. Sometimes less.

    I mean, LEARN to use as few as possible - it's a skill you WILL need. Things happen and you need to adapt when they happen. Not "if" but "when". Sometimes a channel or two break, sometimes you need to stuff two bands in 8 channels. Sometimes you have 10 minutes to change the drums and the entire backline AND do a sound check. But if there's time to tweak and room in the mixing console to go with more mics, you'll have more control over balance and the tone of individual drums. In the perfect world every band plays in perfect balance but you can guess how these things work out in the real life.

    You should have DI for the bass. Mic it if there are effects or otherwise unique tone (e.g. some reeeeeally sweet vintage treasure), otherwise go primarily for DI. It's the most common way to do it and the easiest. Use the amp/cab only for stage monitoring. You can mix the two, e.g. take clean unprocessed bass from DI and mid/treble from mic.

    Monitors; learn to live with 2 channels (usually drummer & the rest). You can hook up multiple wedges to a single channel but learn to live with only two separate monitor mixes. Four is pretty usual and I call six monitor channels a luxury. Not uncommon, but a little luxury anyway.

    All this so that you'll be able to live with other gear that what you own. Many places have fixed PA and you'll have to live with whatever they got. Well, at least over here. I'd guess it's not THAT different in the States.
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Seven mics on the drums? Hoo-boy. I'd tell the drummer to get a mixer of his own, and feed that sub-mix to the FOH board. Really.
  19. Geddyfleaharris

    Geddyfleaharris Supporting Member

    If that's the MixWiz 3 16/2, I bought the same board a month ago. Awesome board with a lot of versatility. The mono and A/B outs are very cool features. The only thing I haven't worried about too much was using the computer to change the FX parameters. That seems like a pain in the a$$. Maybe I am missing out on something cool.....

    Our full set up consists of:

    4 vox
    1 keys
    1 bass
    2 guitars
    5 or 6 drum mics

    Mixers usually go from 12 to 16 channels. Maybe there are 14s but not many from what I have seen. Always nice to have an extra channel or two.
  20. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    Small System:

    Big System:

    Both systems use the MixWiz 3 16:2
    I use the factory presets for the FX, they work well for my needs :D
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