From the Booth: Episode 8 – Acoustic Weekend

Welcome to Episode 8 of “From the Booth.” This was taken from a regular weekend on my daily driver the SSL L500+. We did a bit of an acoustic feeling set which I’ll go into detail below. The biggest difference in this episode is that I chose to do all dynamics processing onboard rather than include the Waves Soundgrid in the fun. Enjoy the video and please let me know what you think of the mix either here in the comments, on facebook, or by dropping me an email (

Here are the particulars for this recording:

  1. This recording is from one of the services from this last weekend at my full-time gig at Christ Community Church. We changed it up this week and proverbially unplugged (sort of). While we didn’t narrow down the number of inputs we changed the ones we used quite a bit. We changed out an electric guitar to a violin, cut down the drum kit quite a bit (biggest change is the kick which is a floor tom with a kick head on it and a large port in the back giving it a much different sound than our massive kick drum we usually use), opted for a standard keys sounds rather than mainstage, and replaced an electric bass with a resonant bass. To compliment what the band was doing I decided to bypass my waves outboard rig and run the whole thing on the console (with the exception of my wash verb which I couldn’t really replicate onboard). This pushed my mix to a much different place, which I quite enjoyed. Just one last quick note, I did edit out the speaking during the performance to help shorten the video, if you have any questions about how we mic up speakers, be sure to check a series I wrote on this topic (find it at this link).
  2. The audio you hear is from the broadcast mix of the FOH console. This mix is built from my master bus with the FX turned down just a bit to help them sit better in a studio environment and that’s it. I will say that not everything translates perfectly. For instance, the toms in the mix are a bit hot but they sat in nicely in the room and popped just like you would want them too. But overall, I’m pretty happy with how these mixes usually turn out.
  3. You will see 3 videos in a matrix: the program feed from video world (top right), smaart (bottom right), and a camera on me as I mix (left).
  4. Here is the general layout of the SSL L500+ that I’m operating.  Top left bank of faders generally sits on my drum inputs and drum FX feeds and can access my mixed outputs if need be.  The Left bank at my waist (left hand) is used for instruments and tracks and access my main outputs and groups if I need to check on something or make an adjustment.  The bank in front of me (right hand) is almost always on the VOX page of the console which also has my VCAs which allows me to quickly make larger mix changes. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments if you’d like to know more.
  5. While I do have a Waves SoundGrid running and available, because I wanted to really change the sound of this weekend I decided to not use it which really took my mix a new direction. As I mentioned I did keep my wash verb running to use which is what is on the vertical screen to my far right (Rde-esser, PEQ, hreverb with about a 5 sec verb time). If you’re curious how I would usually use it, awhile ago I wrote up a 9 week series outlining my basic template for that system. You can find that here.
  6. Song names are listed on the Youtube page and all credit goes to the band for the performance, the song authors, and to God for allowing me to work with such a great team.

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