Every environment presents its own set of challenges when it comes to mixing live sound. By merely recalling last weeks or last venue’s scene because it sounded fantastic at another site doesn’t mean it will sound just as good at your current venue. Now granted that recalling a past scene will have your routing, effects processing, and signal flow. Your eq’ing will be different everywhere you go. When mixing, consider the following factors that affect the sound in a significant way:

  • Room acoustics
  • How many people will be occupying the space?
  • What is the temperature?
  • How humid is it?
  • Where are your speakers positioned in relation to your audience?
  • How many Speakers Provide Coverage?

For those of you reading this, you may be saying well I’ve been mixing for years while being sick and partying the night before. Here are a few everyday small things most people take for granted.

  • How are you feeling that day?
  • What was your environment like before you showed up to work?
    • The things you would never think of may impact your hearing. Were you cutting grass, were you driving with the windows down, or are you overly cautious and wear hearing protection all day?
  • How are your performers feeling that day?
    • Whether your performer is singing or giving a speech, you must take into consideration how much you would have to compensate for your performer. They may be healthy as a horse that day. Or they are just pushing through the best they can.

Hearing health is closely linked to brain health, and alcohol is known to have adverse effects on brain function. Excessive drinking can damage the area of your brain that processes sound. You may be able to hear sounds, but you will find it increasingly difficult to comprehend. You may even find it difficult to distinguish sounds in a noisy environment. If you were partying the night before at a club somewhere, heavily drinking, or just sitting in a peaceful area.

All of these little questions are what affect your mix in a significant way. Having the best equipment is a plus to have are very attractive, sorry to pop your bubble. It’s one hundred percent useless if you are not on your game. You are mixing a band with an expensive line array system and a top of the line audio console.