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Yamaha M7, Never used a Digital Board before, tips/tricks?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Sony, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Okay, I'm running sound at The Zeiterion in New Bedford, MA in a couple days (25th, 26th and 27th) and I'm hoping I haven't bit off more then I can chew. They have a Yamaha M7 board and I have never used a digital board when running a show before. I've used many Analog Boards from Soundcraft, Mackie and A&H and that stuff is no problem for me.

    So here's the question, what do I need to know about mixing with a Digital board like this that is different from an Analog board? Is there like, an offline editor that I could download and play with beforehand to get familiar with it?

    Also, what is the standard procedure for a sound check in a prefessional environment? I've only done high school and college shows so far and I want to be crystal clear on what I should and should NOT do in a professional environment. On my list so far I have, Check/Change Batteries, Check Packs to make sure they are working, and then Check Levels. Is there anything else I should do?

    Thanks Guys!
    -Sony
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    First time at a digital mixer:

    1) Learn the concept of Selected Channel. The channel that is selected is the one that you control

    2) Use your resources. You have full parametric EQ as well as two dynamics units on each channel, and you have built in effects processors.

    3) Anything can go anywhere. This is my favorite part. Inputs and channels are now totally different things, and busses, auxes, and matricies are totally seperate from the physical outputs on the board. You can patch anything anywhere. So given the physical limitations of the output hardware, you configure the specific outputs that you need for each show. Whether that be an LCR system with other busses for front fills and side fills, a monitor system with a bunch of aux outs, or whatever.

    4) Everything can be saved and recalled. Make sure to take with you a blank formatted USB key. Don't leave any of the installed little software applications on it - reformat it and remove all partitions so you have a truly blank USB key. You'll use this to back up your scenes.

    5) Use the UDKs (User Defined Keys). They can be used to recall so many different things. They're your fast shortcut through the paging of the console for the most used functions.

    That's what I can think of off the top of my head.

    You can download Yamaha Studio Manager and the M7CL Editor, and then get a network cable and sync up the console to your laptop. This can be useful if you set up a wireless network because you can connect to the console remotely.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  3. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    More tidbits --

    * Watch the digital clipping! Digital boards clip at 0db .... -18db is supposed to be the equivalent of 0db on an analog board.

    * you also have delays available on every input and output channel so if mics and/or speakers have a large variation of upstage/downstage placement, you can easily play with the delays to try to clean up the sound a bit.

    * Digital boards also in general have multiple fader bank layers, but the M7 has dedicated input faders so you don't have to switch when adjusting individual input levels. However your mix buses, matrix and DCA(VCA) are all switched on the central panel -- so get used to swapping back and forth and be prepared to use multiple layers of console tape if you need to actively use the bus/matrix/DCA controls on the different layers. fader bank swapping is probably the most annoying thing about my 01v96 ...

    Enjoy! You can quickly get spoiled with these toys -- between the school's DM-4800 and my 01v96, I already have :)
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    This is one of the more important things on digital boards.

    Definitely! After using the LS9s in both of your venues, and using 01V96s and PM5Ds for the music hall and outside events, I never want to go back. Even the original 01Vs are still great consoles!
     
  5. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, on all points, including digital clipping. Gain structure is very important in the digital realm.

    Also, as I've learned the hard way more than once; SAVE OFTEN!

    Other than that, enjoy the touch screen!


    Ian "still hitting the screen on the LS9 after the M7" Garrett
     
  6. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    I had a LS9-16 at the last church I was at. I can't tell you how much I loved it. It has been a bit of a pain going back to analog.

    The only thing I can add to what the others have said is to download the Studio Manager software and play with the offline editor. Maybe you can even set some stuff up ahead of time if you know enough details about the gig. Install it on a laptop, play with it, and then sync to the board when you get in the space.
     
  7. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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  8. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I've gotten a little bit more info on the event. The system I'm using with the M7 and stuff is the house system, NOT a rental so the Gain Structure and such should already be set up. I should only need to control the mix which is easy.

    I downloaded the Studio Manager/offline editor software and I was surprised how easy it was to quickly catch on. The Select buttons make perfect sense and does make the board less cluttered. That being said...it's a pain in the butt to have to select each fader and adjust individually, I like being able to just grab a knob or two at the top of the board and turn it, it's just quicker for me.

    The only thing that I'm really interested in that I don't know how to do at all is the board seems to be able to hold "cues" that I can run a show with. I have 2 days of rehearsals and if I can set cues for the entire show in those 2 days that would be amazing. How do these work? Are they anything like Lighting cues?

    The event itself is basically an American Idol type event for local High School students, so I'm assuming lots of wireless mics and inexperienced users.
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    You will be dealing with gain structure within the console. It's important to get this right. You'll set gain for the mics and may end up sending signals to effects busses and to the internal graphic EQs, and it's important to understand the digital gain structure issue there.

    You'll quickly realize that this is not the case, and tapping a select and spinning a physical EQ knob or hitting a sends on fader button to get to an aux on your faders is just as quick as visually locating an EQ or aux knob in the sea of knobs on any analog console. I like it better actually. You'll catch on instantly.

    Kind of. You can save all of the settings in the board, including gain (useful if you have to change gain for different acts depending on their inputs), effects settings and patches, aux levels, EQ and dynamics, etc to a scene. If you know the order of the acts, you can save them in order, and have two of your UDKs be Scene Next/Scene Previous, which essentially gives you the GO and BACK buttons of a light board, or you can just use the dedicated scene controls on the console (grey buttons methinks). You may want to insert changeover scenes with everything muted and and levels down except for any music that you may have playing from an external source (ipod, CD) during this time.
     
  10. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    You basically just get your mix where you like it and then record the cue. I believe you can even set fade times to the cues. I've used cues before, but I've always had them set for no fade. You can also select specifically what parameters you record in the cue. You don't have to record everything I don't think.
     
  11. Stookeybrd

    Stookeybrd Active Member

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    After taking the Yamaha Classes, the thing the instructors stress the most is "Select, Tweak, Save"

    Once you get used to the M7's touchscreen, you'll love every second with it.
     
  12. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    There should be a board setup option to automatically "select" the fader that you touch, so all you need to do is slightly jiggle a fader and it's info will pop to the screen. (On the 01v96 you need to move the fader slightly ... the Tascam DM-4800 had static touch sensitive faders so you only need to touch them with your skin -- not sure which the M7 has)

    just to clarify, Yamaha calls them "Scenes" or "Snapshots", not "cues" ... read up on scene/snapshot storage and retrieval. As mentioned above, very easy to use and a life-saver. You also have a bunch of user programmable keys so if the next/prev scene memory keys are difficult to hit, you can program two of the user-defined keys as "Scene +1" and "Scene -1" ... might be easier to deal with.
     
  13. pacman

    pacman Active Member

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    I recently attended the day-long Yamaha M7 class in Atlanta. The trainers were great & you'll find the board very easy to use. Doing initial setup on the board seemed to be tedious, but since it is the venue house board, you won't have that worry. As soundlight says, selecting a channel for adjusting eq, etc., becomes very intuitive very quickly.

    I was concerned that the touchscreen would be too small, but I had no trouble selecting things. Even the small icons & labels are easy to punch up.
     
  14. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Don't save your scenes as 1, 2, 3, etc. Save them as 10, 20, 30, etc. This will allow you to break acts up if need be. It also saves a lot of hassle if the order of the acts changes, as you have open slots into which you can copy or move the correct scene.
     
  15. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Yea, thats pretty much exactly how I save light cues when I design a show and I was planning on doing that for this.

    Thanks Guys, This has been a big help!
    -Trev
     
  16. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I find it much easier just to hit the Select button rather than move a fader that is live. Plus, if I'm adjusting EQ on one channel and I need to make a quick level adjustment on another, I don't want the board changing the selected channel when I make that quick level adjustment. I would definitely not have the board automatically "select" a fader, but maybe that is just me.
     

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