Digital Audio Consoles: A Look at Signal Routing to Workflows, Other Basics

Walk a console operator through five basic areas, and it's likely they'll be well on their way to being successful with their console, regardless of the manufacturer.

Digital Audio Consoles: A Look at Signal Routing to Workflows, Other Basics
Every digital console may very likely have a different approach to where items are accessible. Some consoles require you to click through a few things to get to some items.

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Digital Audio Consoles: A Look at Signal Routing to Workflows, Other Basics

Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
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With digital audio consoles, some of the traditional thinking involving layouts and workflows has really become as creative and varied as our imagination.

I remember when some of the first digital consoles hit the market, some of their layouts, feature sets, were bound by analog thinking. However, we’ve seen an evolution by many manufacturers, where they have developed and designed the next model of audio consoles to go far beyond those imitations and bounds of the analog console.

For an audio engineer to succeed, aim to have them obtain familiarity with the audio digital console quickly.

Truth is, we are only bound now by our imagination to design, program, and consume new software, hardware, and workflows. To repeat what I’ve heard many times, some of these new digital consoles look like we are piloting a spaceship.

I see quite frequently starry-eyed volunteers and students (and yes, even the pros) who look at an unfamiliar large digital console, and just look lost. I encourage focusing on teaching them to identify the common key areas that they need to command an audio console. Most can learn to identify these key areas of a console. Once they can do that, they know they will be able to get to work quickly with a good amount of confidence.

So let me share with you some process that may help you form some common approaches: as a touring engineer, system tech, technical director, student, or volunteer of varied skills levels.

I find if you can successfully walk an operator through these five basic areas, there is a good chance they are well on their way to getting to a successful relationship with their console, regardless of the manufacturer.

1. Walk Them Through the Basics of the Console

First and foremost, is my desire for the audio engineer to succeed. For them to succeed, they need to obtain familiarity quickly. Familiarity then leads them to rapidly access what they need to adjust.

Start with audio basics. That’s right, the very basics, I’m talking signal flow. From patching inputs, to gain structure, to on channel processing and right on down the line to the LR mix. Making sure the operator understands how to get to the basics is critical.

Every digital console may very likely have a different approach to where items are accessible. Some consoles require you to click through a few things to get to some items. Clearly go through both in software and work surface access areas for basic functions.


More About Debbie Keough
Debbie Keough is currently a freelance audio engineer based in the Orange County area of Southern California. She has held FOH, lighting, media and technical director positions from the largest megachurches to smaller local churches. Additionally, she is an instructor at The Recording Arts Center in San Diego, California. She loves mixing and her heart is to teach, encourage and raise up the next generation of technical artists in the church. She can be reached on Instagram and Twitter @debbiekeough.
Get in Touch: debbiekeough1@gmail.com    More by Debbie Keough

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Leadership · Team Development · Volunteers · Aux Sends · Bus Signal Flows · Digital Audio Consoles · Inputs · Layouts · Volunteers · All Topics

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