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Visiting engineer show file issues


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Hello all


What do you do when the visiting engineer's show file has different inputs?

Board is Yamaha - LS9 or M7


I import the scenes through the offline and online Studio Manager routine, and I can ensure things I want left unchanged are recall safed, but what do you do with input patches that need amending?


Say I have a standard input like Kik, Sn etc and am engineer turns up with a 2 kik input scene. Ie they need two ch.1 inputs.


Thanks a lot



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You'd normally expect a show file in advance of the show so you can look through it and iron out any potential issues before hand. However, back in the real world, if the engineer has a file with lots going off then you'll really expect them to want a 1:1 patch.

You have to remember that there's the physical stuff to work out too not just the soft patching on the console.


My post related solely and specifically to single hit show files. Where the scenes within a show / console are not used. Things are quite clearly somewhat different if the engineer has a file with 40 scenes in it for a 12 song set.


If you have a file in advance and you can see that they want 2 mics on a Kick drum, you'd be sensible to run 2 mics all day as that will minimise any hassle there, but if you can't, or if you get a show file halfway through the day then once you've finished giving them the evil stare load it into studio manager and have a good look.

Things to look out for are :

Input patch, Output patch, pre/post settings on auxes, Fixed mixes used as sub groups, Custom fader layer stuff (LS9), user defined keys, amongst others.


If the input patch is 1:1 then you're off to a great start. Simply get the patch guys to repatch at the stage end, either on remote boxes or on the main stage box. this way your monitor console (if you have one) will also follow the patch so as to minimise confusion.

output patch is where you'll have to do lots of stuff. make sure his outputs line up with your outputs and change them where necessary.

Make sure theres no pre/post conflict, especially if you're doing mons from FOH. Some people run side fill post fade if done from FOH.

Check that if the engineer is grouping things and if they are grouped, make sure they're not on something that you're using for something else. A matrix driven sub for example. Change that accordingly. Sometimes it's difficult to see some of these options in studio manager so its always best to check.

One thing I have on my yamaha show files is user defined keys. These never really transfer across between shows, so just be aware that if the engineer has lots of that going off for mutes/effects/other stuff then you need to deal with that accordingly.


Drop your playback and your compere mic into place plus any talk to stage that might go through your FOH console and you should be ready.


One thing that really really helps is communication. If you think something looks a bit out of place, ask. I have had countless showfiles where it takes a little while to realise that all it is is something that the engineer has knocked up in studio manager before the first gig of the tour. They don't really know what they're doing and actually, all it does is slow things down. there's often nothing useful in alot of these files so check that they definitely want to use it. Sometimes there is more advantage to giving THEM a showfile after their set rather than them giving YOU one before it.


Be prepared for it to be wrong. Be prepared for the show file to have channels missing, channels that they don't use anymore. Be prepared for it to be different to the channel list, different to the stage plan, for a firmware version from before the war, etc etc.


Few engineers at ANY level keep upto date with these things I've found and you tend to find that the only advantage to most show files is that the channels are labelled for them and the effects are set roughly how they like them.

Of course, as stated above, this is very different with a guest showfile with multiple scenes. You have to treat this very differently.



To specifically answer the question about patching in an extra channel. If you have time, you could happily hard patch your "kick in" channel to the next channel along after the drums.......you do leave a couple of buffer channels for pads and track DI don't you? Then you can build a softpatch to suit on the console to fit in with the engineers scene. If there is no channel data you could do this on custom fader layer on the LS9 but there are obvious complications if there is channel eq and the likes in place.

The downside to this is it puts an extra layer of patch into the equation which if a fault were to develop needs a little more thinking about. it would also mean the monitor console (where present) would have an odd patch if it were not softpatched accordingly.


In the last 12 months I have done a few shows where the FOH and monitor engineers have wanted different patches on their respective consoles. The monitor engineer only wants certain channels from the mix to appear on the console and the FOH wants all the channels but not necessarily in the order that would make sense to patch at the stage. When we add to this the fact that the show file given before hand to modify into a house patch that works was incorrect, and the monitor engineer wants 2 additional channels, that aren't even listed on the spec and neither engineer appears competent to mix Ribena (other fruit based drinks are available) let alone a named act, it's understandable the whole thing even on a fairly small scale can get quite stressful.

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Surley if hes got 2 kick channels its because he wants inside and outside mics not one y-split?


But the broader question: If for some reason you cant give them the stage patch they want- the only reasons a) I can see for this being festivals without flip-flop and b) stages with very inflexible patching (ie 12-18 is always downstage, its hardwired, no your acoustic guitar cant come up in ch9). Then load up either on the desk or offline (depending on if youve got the afternoon to sound check or if the files arrived on a festival during the previous act), go through the input patch for each channel and just change it to where the mics plugged in- some stage box sockets wont go to the desk (because youve allowed for 3 toms and he only wants 2 etc) some channels may not have a mic patched (maybe they just arnt bothering with ride/overheads etc when theyve seen the venue). Remember to do the same for the outputs so the sound comes out where your pa is plugged in rather than where it was on another gig.

Personally I always recall safe playback inputs, presenter mics and outut faders- avoids any jump in levels when you change scenes/show files on a change over.


(all this is general information that applies to all digital desks, I havnt used an M7 in quite some time, different manufactures may label buttons differently, but how you run your show should be a constant)

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