Live sound - Stage mixer chain

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The following is an example of a standard stage chain:

Live sound - Stage mixer chain

Stage mixer chain

As already said, the input signals reach the stage mixer from the splitter box and through the mixer we create a series of mixes destined to one or more monitors present onstage. The diagram shows that the signal that exits the mixer goes through a series of modules before it reaches the monitor. The first of these modules is a graphic equalizer, usually 31-band [Graphic equalizer ] , whose function is to make sure that the monitor's response is flat. This is necessary because the monitors don't usually have a flat frequency response, in other words, they amplify and/or attenuate certain frequency bands of the audible spectrum. This characteristic is more present when lower quality monitors are used. To rectify this response we need a graphic equalizer that acts on the signal before it reaches the monitor. If, for example, the monitor over-emphasizes the lower frequencies, we'd attenuate them through the equalizer. The result will be that on the monitor the low frequencies will be reproduced at their correct amplitude. It's an a posteriori correction which is necessary, because only high quality monitors (and therefore highly expensive) guarantee a flat frequency response (clearly the flat response of a monitor whose signal has been equalized by a graphic equalizer can't compete with the quality given by the flat response of a monitor that hasn't needed to be corrected). At the end of the day, it's not really worthwhile spending exorbitant sums of money to give the musicians onstage a crystal-clear sound. The money is better spent on a good P.A., where quality is essential.

After the graphic equalizer comes the limiter (not always present as it may introduce distortions) [Limiter ] which protects the rest of the chain from unexpected signal-peaks. Next the signal passes through an amplifier which drives the stage monitor (some monitors have the amplifying stage incorporated in their system).








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