Mixing Yourself

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Original Contributor: KJacob

Using a typical triple amplification system, a professional front-of-house mixer rides vocals, varies the level of horn sections and rides (and often misses) lead solos. They do this because they and not you can hear a mix over the mains “out front”.

The Bose® Personalized Amplification System™ family of products changes all this. Now you can hear the mix your audience hears. Are the vocals too soft? Now you can do something about it. Turn it up (of sing louder)! Or, more probable, turn everything else down! Is your guitar solo easily heard? Are the drums too loud? Don’t get mad. Work together as a band and play the tune right. Play with dynamics. When that sax solo comes in, drop the whole band’s level so much that every little juicy nuance can be heard. How will you know? You will hear it. Listen! Support the lead instrument by playing quieter, or less, or most likely (the best-ever approach), don’t play at all! It might surprise you to know that many of the top professional players in the world are most revered and respected for what they don’t play than for what they do play. It’s exactly the same as a “playmaker” in a team sport. Yeah, the big scorers get the headlines. But the players that make the most assists quickly become the most valuable players. Delivering the song you are playing is the same as making a goal in sports.

And about playing loud: This can be real exciting, but not as a steady thing. Don’t hammer your audiences into numbness without a letup. And don’t numb your whole band by a steady diet of loud. Everyone appreciates a letup. Treat yourselves and your audiences to the knockout punch, but make it infinitely more dramatic when you launch it from almost dead quiet. Showbiz requires dramatic over-exaggeration for a memorable effect. Combining loud play with really quiet play is the best way to get the point across. This might be a new world of playing for you. Try it. Now you can hear it and now you can do something about it. It’s interesting: most “hit” records are produced to sound loud, and it is done with a big sacrifice in dynamic range or peak-to-average sound. Call this “punch”. You can make it sound better than a record. Mix it live by playing it right.