The Last Mix

Today was most likely my last time mixing in the auditorium at Christ Community Church as a staff member. There is a possibility that I’ll get one more Sunday just because my start date in Atlanta is still in flux while we try and sell our house here and find a new one. But I’m eager to start transitioning down and meeting my new team.

It was a packed service this morning: 14 vocalists during worship and a 5 actor drama. Thursday’s rehearsal didn’t help since half the band was missing and nobody knew the songs. This morning I started over and rebuilt my snapshots during rehearsals. That was probably the best decision I made all week.

I started feeling better when Dan, the electric guitarist, showed up with an amp instead of using the stock Line 6 POD. Unlike a lot of engineers, I’ve never been squeamish about amps on stage; I just want to make sure that people in the audience aren’t getting their heads ripped off with guitar, and their mix is balanced. This morning we just pointed his amp towards the back of the stage away from everybody, and I threw a 57 on it. He eagerly let me split his signal to do a little guitar thing I started doing with some of our guitarists. I started using it as a fix, but it has also worked in situations like today where the amp’s tone was usable. First I run the guitar into a Radial DI with the XLR patched into the FOH console only. Then I pass the signal THRU the DI into the guitarist’s FX and then down to his amp like normal. I started taking the feed before their FX instead of after because some of the guitarists have some “entry-level” pedals that suck a lot of the tone out of their guitars. I mic the amp and pan it one way, and then I take the DI input and run it through Amp Farm on the Venue and pan that the other way and delay it 7ms or so to thicken it a bit. I tend to dirty the Amp Farm side up a lot more than the amp tends to be and then simply use it accordingly for each song. The Amp Farm side gets me some of the meat back that sometimes disappears with the pedals. This split thing doesn’t always work,though, depending on what kinds of FX the guitarist is using(delay on the amp for example will change the way the guitarist plays which can make the Amp Farm channel sound funky sometimes). But it worked this morning. This is one of those things I will probably not do again for a long long time…

I guess things went pretty smooth during the service. Rehearsal was a little rocky, but the end result was acceptable. It wasn’t my favorite Sunday which was disappointing since it’s probably my last mixing, but nobody could tell things had been rough leading up to the service and I guess that’s all that matters in the end.

David Stagl

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The Last Mix