Board Config (EG, channel order) ?


Active Member
I mixed for a friend the other day and he had what to me was a really strange channel order. Almost exactly backwards from what I've always used and seen. Just curious if anyone on here sets up much different from what I always thought was pretty standard industry-wide.

My Setup:

Snare (1 or 2 channels)
Guitars (left to right)
Keys (Left to right)

<Board Masters>

Vocals (left to right)

Outboard inputs

My DCA's are usually setup something like (depending on group):
Kick & Bass
Elec Guitars
Acous Guitars
Lead Vocal
Outboard Ins


That order is pretty much what i always use with a full band, although possibly with the percussion inputs straight after the drums. However, if im doing a much smaller gig, without the drums miced up, i tend to put the vocals first, then follow the usual order of bass, guitars, keys, fx.
Subgroups and VCA/DCAs tend to follow the same order as the board channels for me.
This is the way i have seen on every band technical rider so far, and to me it makes sense to follow what seems to be an established standard.
This article from FOH Online gives some ideas as to why the board is laid out as it normally is:


Wireless Guy
Premium Member
I always do KSHT, but after the kit I don't have an established pattern.


That's pretty much how everyone does it! THATS EVERYONE based on every major and minor sound company and band I have come across with slight variations of course.


I have seen it done both ways. I did, load in alot of shows and it just depends on the guy that sets up. If it works for them I just adjust to their working style.


Well-Known Member
Sometimes I'll do that, but other times, especially when I have a series of bands or something like that, I'll simply go by some kinda stage layout. Like put the vocals in order across the stage from left to right, put the second row of instruments across and so on. It REALLY is up to you, especially if there is only very slim chance that someone will have to come and run the board, and even then, if you've done a halfway decent job of marking your board, anyone should be more or less all set.


Well-Known Member
Drums first 8 channels, the order of drums really depends on how I feel that day (usually something like snare, tom1, tom2, tom3, kick, HH, oh1, oh2; this layout seems more logical to me because I do some drumming on the side, and this is how I see the kit: Drums L-R, top to bottom, and cymbals L-R), then instruments (I say instruments because I don't have a standard type of band that I do, it could be saxes and trumpets and electric bass or mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and standup bass, or acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, keys, piano, etc.), then the Vox channels, left to right, usually labeled with colored tape in case someone starts walking around with their mic & stand. This is mainly for the music series that I mixed this past summer all summer, and I haven't mixed a live band since, but that's my standard layout.

Long and complicated post, food for thought.


Active Member
Thanks all! I was kinda surprised how many don't use the 'standard' setup that I've always used and seen others use for 30 years. I think one reason I really like it is that the channels are kinda in the order that a mix is built. Rythm and in particular kick/snare, form the foundation, instruments sit on top of that and vocals on top of that (except for some folks I've thought improved a bit when hidden in the mix).

Soundlight, you win the interesting order of the year award for your drums. From a drummers perspective it would make sense though.

Thanks all,


Well-Known Member
That's what everyone says. But after you sit behind a kit for long enough, it starts to make sense. When you "roll down" as I call it, and you have the cheap kit that I do, you roll the snare (with released loose snares, not tight), high then low rack toms, floor tom, and then kick drum. That's the order I see them in when I sit down, and then the cymbals ride on above everything. Just makes sense to me after sitting behind the kit.


Active Member
Usually, by deviating from the standard layout that EVERYONE in the industry uses, an engineer is using a subtle method to cue other engineers in to the fact that he or she is in one of the following categories:
1) Knows just enough to be dangerous
2) "I do sound at my church!"
3) Learned how to do sound from some guy who's been mixing for the same bar band since the early 70's.

At least that's what I hear...


bnb sound well put! LOL!!!

oh and soundlight ya know i never really looked at a drum kit that way since i don't play drums but now that you mention your order and explanation it made me think of a few other things that helps me as a m.e. thanx!


Active Member
My board is different than a typical setup for a couple reasons... I run a large musical show with a lot of inputs... I keep the things I touch the most toward the center to keep it easy.

From L to R:
Playback tracks
Vocals (Basses, Tenors, Altos, Sopranos)

Groups/Mains Module:
Background Vocals
Kick, Snare, HiHat
Toms, Overheads

Reverb Units
Elec. Gtr
Floor Tom
Rack Toms

Seems to work for me... I've never had to have anyone else sub in on my show yet, so perhaps time will tell if the arrangement makes sense to anyone else but myself...


Active Member
Careful BNBSound.... the audio quality/mix/audio engineers at my church blows most church's, and mid-size venues out of the water.

But I know the stigma your talking about.... Just because you know how to unmute a channel and turn it up doesn't mean you got anything.


Active Member
Careful BNBSound.... the audio quality/mix/audio engineers at my church blows most church's, and mid-size venues out of the water.

The difference being: somebody who "does sound" at a church like that would most likely refer to themselves as an engineer, while some guy twisting knobs on a 20-year-old Peavey mixer amp behind the organ down at Our Lady of Perpetual Feedback is likely to say, "I do sound at my church!"

Point taken though, it's tough to pass along tone-of-voice with text, that first post might have sounded a little snobbish, stuck up, etc. Oh... wait a minute... I'm a sound guy, that's allowed! (smile)
I happen to have to run several inflexible systems - from a church system that has the channels pre-labelled and static (and groups too) to aid the thoroughly non-technical people they have to try and train, to several school systems that are quite limited, e.g. don't have groups or foldback systems.

For me it is just a case of doing the absolute best I can with what I have because I don't have the flexiblility of specifying what system I want -> I have to use what they already have to the best result possible.
I was pleasantly suprised when I found out about the "standard" way of doing things. When I started, it ended up roughly similar to the standard. Drums to the left going Kick, Snare, Tom, Tom, OHL, OHR, then Vox, then Lead, Rythm, Bass guitars, then random church mics, then CD on far right next to masters + groups.

Still do that to this day (except generally not micing toms, and micing hat instead). Musicals are different though, I like to have the actors far left all the time, no matter what desk I'm using (comes from growing up on a venice, which meant that the radio mics were just left of the masters anyway).

I suppose although there's an industry standard, we do learn from our mentors, and develop our own little ways of doing things.

But the most important thing as ever is - it's got to work really really well, no matter what you go for.


Active Member
i honestly do stuff alittle different, but thats just cause i do things odd with everything. Ill put my drums in the center of the board, strings on the left (B, LG, RG, anything else ) vocals on the right (L, B; S,A,T,B), with the keys right before vocals, and anything misc. in with the drums. The drum order is the same though. I just like having everything at my finger tips while being comfortable, and that gives me the nice erganomic layout with my setups usually and put sthe stuff that ill move more close to my fingers at the ends.


My current configuration with is as follow

1 to 10 Sopranos
11 to 19 Altos
20 to 24 Tenors

1 Sopranos left
2 Sopranso right
3 Altos left
4 Altos right
5 Tenors left
6 Tenors right
7 Basso left
8 Basso right

25 Solo Vox 1
26 Solo Vox 2
27 Choirsubmix return (done via matrix sends on groups), used for FX send and Monitoring
28 Basso 1
29 Basso 2
30 Basso 3
31 Basso 4
32 Basso 5
33 Key R
34 Key L
35 Bass Guitar
36 Guitar
37 Drums Main right
38 Drums Main left
39 Kick
40 Snare

Well, that's all the board can take. I would be very happy if I got any VCA or DCA groups.



Active Member
I run things pretty much according to standard configurations.....K Sn H R1 R2 Fl Ov Ov, etc...

Here is the question...... How do you work multiple acts on the same console?

I work in a club that often had 3 or 4 acts in a night. We will load in the main act first, sound check, and then load in the opening acts. We will leave the vox mics alone, and re-patch them into unused channels. (For example, we will use channels 1-24 for the main act, then repatch the vocal mics into 25-30 for the opening act, and 31-40 for the middle act). We will pull instrument mic's from the main act and use the faders to control volume levels, leaving the field alone.

The vocals are the most difficult to eq, and the drums do not change much, so this works for us. If any changes are made, we make a note of it on the board tape at the bottom.

Any other ways of attacking this (without the use of a digital or an automated console, that is cheating for this lesson)

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