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What would be the most useful way to subgroup the following on a 4-buss (Mackie SR32.4VLZ Pro) mixer? It's for a church worship team, sermons and ancillary background stuff.
Lead Vox
BGVs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
Synth Submix
Digital Piano
Lead (Elec) Guitar
Rhythm (Accoustic) Guitar
Bass (Elec) Guitar
Roland V-Drums
Aux Percussion Submix
Pastor's Lapel Mic
Secondary Platform Mic
August 21, 2001 @05:39pm

That's a pretty loaded question. There really is no specifically "right" answer. There are some general guidelines to follow though. Group things based on what is easiest for you to work with. If you know that on some pieces the drum kit needs to be louder or softer and vary in general throughout a performance then group those. Same goes for background vocals, etc. It may also make sense to group some "like" instruments sonically and dynamically to get the most out of compression units if you have only a few, for instance grouping the drums and bass guitar and compressing them. Of course this depends on performers and muscial style as well. Let me know if this helps or if you have more questions.
August 21, 2001 @07:32pm

I use a Mackie 24-4 mixer every week at school for chapel. I am the band director at school, so I tend to think in groups of like instruments. Obviously, you would not sub the CD, VCR, tape, nor the pastor's mic or secondary mic. I would sub all the vox, the keyboards, guitars, and percussion. May not be the best, but that's how I think of instruments, so it's easier for me to grab a sub in a hurry if necessary. Your setup isn't much different from mine, just one or two more open channels in each group.
Danny McCraine
September 20, 2001 @02:21am

The CD, tape, and VCR probably won't be used at the same time as the live musicians.
I'd put all vocals on the first bus: pastor, lead, all backing vocalists.
Second bus for the synth, piano, and CD playback.
Third bus for the guitars, bass, and tape playback.
And the final bus for the drums and percussion, and VCR playback.
Always mute what you aren't using. When the band is ready to start, unmute them and make sure the playback channels are muted. When the band finishes, mute them and unmute the playback devices.
Hope this helps!
- Chris
September 23, 2001 @03:14am

Here's what I do:
Sub1: Lead Vox
Sub2: Backup Vox
Sub3: Band (guitar, synth, possibly bass)
Sub4: Drums, aux percussion, (bass if not sub3)
Pastor's lapel probably doesn't need a sub.
When you start mixing, set all subgroups and mains to unity (or even -5) and then mix the various individual sources to get a good mix. Once this is done, you should be able to mix from primarily the subgroups, making your job easier.
Don't put any playback devices on the subgroups. There's no need to.
I would assume that you're running monitors off this board too. Remember to mute channels whenever not in use. If you merely pull down the subgroup fader, your monitors are still wide open. If you run a loud house/monitor mix, it is highly likely that you will get feedback when everything gets quiet.
Disclaimer: these subgroup assignments are based on running in mono. If you are running a stereo speaker system and want to utilize stereo imaging for your synth, V-Drums, Piano, 5 backup singers, then you have to group the 4 subs into two pairs, effectively halving your available subs.
September 25, 2001 @08:09pm