State of the Mix – Fall 2010: Return of the Master Fader
I’m using my Master Fader again now that the subs are no longer aux fed. I used to have the Master Fader pickoff point set to pre-fade since all my feeds use the PQ’s and Matrix sections. I originally did this because every so often someone would tweak the master fader (maybe walk-in was a little hot to their ears….) and then the band would start and the tops and subs balance would be off.
Now that I’m off aux-fed subs, I brought the Master Fader control back for a simple reason: the new PA gets loud. For the last several months, I have invariably been pulling back VCA’s when things were getting too loud overall, but I hate pulling them back to do this. For me, VCA’s are mixing tools I like to actively use. Using them to turn overall levels down seems like more of a system thing and not so much fun for me when I’m in a mixing head-space. I think VCA’s are supposed to be fun.
The Master Fader now gives me a bit of flexibility to pull the overall music level down a bit if needed or to push it all up if called for. I think I had it pulled back 3 dB the first weekend out on this, so we’re not talking major moves. It’s just a bit here and there when needed.