You can never get enough tips and techniques on how to successfully mix, mike, design, tune, etc., a tour. In each issue of Mix, front-of-house and monitor engineers provide you with a new tip to make your job as a touring professional that much easier. Here, we've compiled all of those tips into one, easy-to-find spot. Got a tip yourself? Let us know at

FixIt: Anda Union Engineer Tim Pearce

Jul 1, 2012

Anda Union Engineer Tim Pearce on miking the horse-head fiddle: “The horse-head fiddle is like a smaller, two-stringed version of the cello. One of the main problems I had using a mic on a stand [on this instrument] is that they are so energetic—it was impossible to keep them close to the mic."...

FixIt: Kenny Rogers Technical Director/Monitor Engineer Frank Farrell

Mar 1, 2012

Rogers’ current tour includes a vocal choir. We asked his technical director how they mike a choir in a sound-reinforcement situation....

FixIt: Bobby Aitken

Jul 1, 2008

Raymond Gubbay's production of Tosca features a sound design by Bobby Aitken. Tosca is one of the recent operas performed in the round at London's Royal...

FixIt: Jayme Braun

Jun 1, 2008

FOH engineer Jayme Braun recently finished up the third leg of the Adore 2007 tour. You can also find Braun mixing house for JoJo, Switchfood, Bryan White,...

Festival Work

Oct 19, 2007

The personnel on the stage are critical. At Strawberry, Tony Williams does a fantastic job organizing and deciding which inputs go where. Especially in band-after-band festivals, you can pre-EQ and we have some general vocal settings that work. ...

Sound Design

Oct 19, 2007

The songs are well-known, but the dialog is very funny. Chris Egan's orchestrations are crafted not only to enhance the pop songs, but also beautifully assist the transition from dialog to song and back to dialog. ...

Mic Choices

Oct 19, 2007

One of our goals was to create an SR system with a huge wow factor for the audience, while providing outstanding audio excitement for our TV viewers. There were 3,000 in the Bella Centre with an additional 7,500 in the town square, and knowing that there's a potential TV audience of a staggering 1.4 billion, we had to keep our wits about us. ...

All-Around Good Tips

Oct 19, 2007

The supercardioid 105 capsule is not for everyone. It depends on the artist and the situation. What helps with Mary is that the drummer is on a second level above her and everybody is on ears, so there are no amps onstage. I have two wedges, and that's it. It's a quiet stage, and she's got so much energy we don't worry about her not giving us enough level....

The Analog Option

Oct 19, 2007

I wanted to avoid the increasingly popular trend of wedging highly complex and powerful consoles — digital or analog — into simple and relatively non-complex gigs. A compact and easy-to-setup FOH world — where I can see everything that's going on at a single glance without pressing buttons — can be achieved with a compact analog setup....

Digital, Digital, Digital

Oct 19, 2007

Managing snapshots, presets and safes: These can be incredible tools for helping you manage a complex show, one that has multiple bands, a high number of cues or radical bus reassignments during the show. Sounds like the answer to a mixer's prayers, right? You've been mixing without them for years and you should continue mixing without them when you first go digital. ...

On Outboard Gear

Oct 19, 2007

I'll take the preamp sends from the direct outs of the [venue-provided] mixing console and send them to the 24 analog inputs of the three Mobile I/O 2882+DSPs. The main problem is going back and listening to all that material to find the best songs. You can add all the Mobile I/O boxes together through each unit's corresponding digital bus. ...

Vocals Are Key

Oct 19, 2007

When you're working with a vocal-oriented artist or group, time is a major factor. A fix for placing a vocal in a group is to assign all instrumentation to two groups so that the stereo image remains the same as it was in the stereo bus. Bring those up to two group-out masters panned hard-left/right. ...

Back That System Up

Oct 19, 2007

With 50,000 screaming fans, system crashes are not an option! My trick for fail-safe operation is set up two Pro Tools rigs with a perfect mirror of your session, with LTC recorded onto an available track in Pro Tools. Send one TC track out to the input of your sync I/O, USD, etc., so both CPUs act as a master....

Drum Work

Oct 19, 2007

If you're having trouble capturing the “complete” snare sound, multiple microphones on the snare top might be a solution. Place two dynamic mics at the edge of the snare in an X/Y pattern and blend them evenly in the console. This dramatically increases the area of the snare top that you pick up while keeping phase issues to a minimum....

Getting the Guitar

Oct 19, 2007

We use acoustic guitars with onboard batteries driving the pickups on a number of Ricky's songs. When these feed wireless systems using companders, the guitar's sound ends up getting compressed to the point where it's not very musical. The Lectrosonics [IS400] doesn't use a compander, so the guitar sounds perfectly natural...

Onstage Sound

Oct 19, 2007

Here are some quick fixes for onstage sound: Try placing sidefills low on their side and angling them up with 2×4s. This reduces floor bounce and its resulting comb-filtering. Carpeting the floor can be the cheapest way to improve the sound onstage. To eliminate that ‘zone of confusion’ at the exact center point between sidefills...

FOH Mixing

Oct 19, 2007

Many venues—particularly sheds and open-air shows — can sound reasonable if you keep the volume down. Many younger FOH engineers mix too loud, trying to blow the place down. I like to mix at about 102 dBA, leaving plenty of headroom. So what do you do when the screaming fans put the level at 110 dBA —...

P.A. Systems/System Design

Oct 19, 2007

Some newer arenas seem to be very bright, with lots of reflective surfaces, from skyboxes, etc. How should I deal with an overly live venue?
Modern line array technology offers the best way to deal with highly reflective, reverberant large spaces....


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

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