Frequencies and your mixer

So. . .Since we've been on the lines of audio information sharing I thought I would post one that has helped me a lot.

So, understanding the frequency ranges of your instruments helps when you are cleaning your mix of unwanted sounds and making the instrument speak more clearly through amplification. Even more so when you are out doors and there are many environmental things  going. (I.E. frame noise, wind noise, and other various other unwanted sounds) So checking out the frequency ranges of your instruments is a start.

I've attached a picture that gives you an idea of where these ranges start between the octaves. These numbers correlate to the Mid low and high range settings on the various channels of your mixer.

I will not go into the full details of what you can do, but I am sure any smart person can figure out the ranges are of their own instruments.

One of the first and easiest things you can do is figure out what particular frequencies your instruments use and start by ELIMINATING the frequency ranges on that channel that the instrument DOES NOT use. This typically will help in eliminating frame noise and many other environmental elements that tend to find their way to your speakers.

The other possibility is either boosting or diminishing the certain frequencies of the instrument to create more bite, warmth, or body to the sound as you so desire. I do not recommend doing this a lot but it has helped me create the sound I am looking for in certain musical situations. It takes LOTS OF TIME and LISTENING to do this effectively. If you do not have a stadium like rehearsal facility or at least proper distance from the set-up to hear the end result you can really screw things up. (Trust me I know this from experience) :)

Hope this helps you guys out in some way.
[quote author=RGreen link=topic=3813.msg20537#msg20537 date=1293809634]
my advice is based solely on my last 15 years of reading, personal failures, questioning of others and self discovery.

Ah, personal failures. The best teacher!

Thanks for the in depth, informative response!  There are just too many variables, acoustically and  environmentally, that would hinder such a quest.  I do however, think it would be interesting to see some sound isolating ";pit booths";! 

I think, or at least wish, the tapspace community could commission an instructional book/dvd combo, that specifically explores the sound reinforcement of the front ensemble instruments (all of them), and would cover everything from A-Z.  That'd be pretty sweet.
There just may be an app for that in the near future. . .  :-)
I have been give the thumbs up by our admin to secure a quality sound reinforcement system to aid our marching program next year.  However, my head director would like to know the pro's and cons of digital vs. analog, to justify the couple extra $ it will take to get a digital console.  As it stands, he is for it, but like my self, lacks the depth of experience.  Would anyone mind sharing some personal insight, if you have experience with both digital and analog?

Here is what I have come up with so far:

Digital console pros:
-4 band eq for carving frequencies

Digital Console cons: (from the way the admin see it)
-the little extra $

Analog Pros:

Analog Cons:
Actually, most [i]Analog[/i] consoles have 3- or 4-band EQ. Digital consoles often have much finer EQ control, in terms of number of bands and the width of those bands.
I think you need to keep in mind that one of the most powerful things that a digital mixer offers over an analog is the ability to set and recall scenes.

Consistency is really important to all of the band directors I have worked with.  The digital mixer (I recommend the Yamaha 01V96) will offer this over an analog mixer.

Hope this helps in your discussion and plea for new gear!

And again, thank you all for the quick response!  I am going to go along with what Tom endorses!  The Yamaha 10v96 has so much to offer.  I also thought about the presonus 16.4.2, but I LOVE the motorized faders that respond to scene or group specific settings.  Thanks so much for your help guys! 
Yamaha is good equip. However, you're not comparing apples to apples. The adat is an extra on yamaha hence more money, but the phonic can do 16 all together without the adat and you can dual them as well. You could probably dual two Yamahas..You have to find out how many streams the Yamaha can accept back to the mixer. I think the Yamaha is ugly aesthetically, and that yellow green screen is the pits and archaic for a new model.. you'd think they would improve it. It probably sounds good. Their equip is always very safe! And contained. Like the motif! Never got it because of that reason alone. As from what I read. I think there a lot of equip junkies out there not willing to change or try new equip or form opinions on stuff they have not tried.

And those that do take the step end up never regretting it. I am deciding between the Presonus and the Phonic actually. I want daw Integration to be easy. Presonus' customer service has been really slow on feedback if hardly at all. And short in the email. I'm a new can you swing me. I run my own business. I know how it goes. They won't compare the two. Just emailed Phonic. We'll see what happens there. I do like Presonus' Videos. They are intuitive. Phonic has been around forever too. But we shall see what happens. This is a higher end machine for them. Behringer is coming out with a 32 in a few months that is killer too. Similar pricing as well. I don't know if I'll need that many channels though. I use hardware synths for my recording.. have 7 of them.. all of them will do. The 12 inserts in the Yamaha are not what I need and I'm not going to have an adat pipe to extend channels to another box.. it's too much extra crap. I already have something similar that doesn't work somewhere along the line with the Digital Performer. And I don't like software synths.. I don't want to play with a mouse for hours. or have another keyboard to program. It's a waste of time.

If I were going to buy something I'd want to hear from the horses mouth(how they boast it or how they bash the other). I've talked to Behringer, Roland, Dave Smith Instruments, Emu, Alesis, and Access for their feedback for purchases I made. EMU is one sided and they never stand behind their product. I love some instruments I have from them, but eh.. what a pain in the ass. Roland haven't had too many issues and are decent replies. Dave smith is fast. A little non descriptive. Alesis is a mess. They never respond or stand behind their product. Took them one month to answer a firmware question several times I attempted, and nothing has been done to fix the issues. Ummm.. thanks but no. They send me emails saying buy this.. and ummm.. you can't even fix an issues with the ION firmware? No thanks. Access was easy fast and descriptive. Good company. Behringer in particular gets back to you and give you the bottom line and is never siding on their equip they even admit to using other equip in their studios. They make some very well done products. I've had several pieces of their equip as well with no issues and saved a ton of money.

I just wish. I could have a digital mixer, with FW DAW integration, that works both ways to the unit and back to screen, with all it's bells and whistles. Seems like they are always one or the other. Maybe that's why there has been a decline in sales of hardware instruments. No one wants to deal with the headache of the connection and communication between the two. At least for electronic music.

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