Monthly Archives: January 2016

Automixing The Nutracker

For the ninth year in a row I mixed the Tulsa Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

I was on a quest to do something a little different for this year’s production since I’ve long since gotten bored with it. One suggestion that I received was to set up use an automixer for the orchestra. Our Yamaha CL5 has a built in 16 channel Dan Dugan Automixer. My orchestra set up was 14 mics this year, so it fit nicely into the 16 channel Dugan automixer.

The Dugan Automixer is meant to be used primarily for voice for talking head type events. I’ve used the Dugan before, mainly for floor mics for tap dance shows and I think it works well in that respect and gets a little more gain before feedback. So I was curious to hear how it would fare in an orchestral music environment.

So, the thing about Yamaha’s implementation of the Dugan Automixer is; is that it takes up 8 channels of the graphic EQs on the CL5’s Number 1 Virtual Rack. Meaning that you can’t have both graphic EQs and the Dugan inserted at the same time in that rack. If you want to use 16 channels of the Dugan Automixer, then you have to use up 16 channels of the graphic EQ. So that leaves you will only Virtual Rack Number 2 for your graphic EQs, if you need them. It’s not a big deal for me, since I rarely use the graphic EQs on our standard console set up.

My set up is identical to last year’s set up, which you can read about here:

Eight Years Mixing The Nutracker

Except that I added one extra Shure SM81 for the percussion section since they were more spread out in the pit this year. This gave me 14 channels in the pit orchestra and fit nicely in the 16 channel Dugan Automixer.

Overall I was happy with the performance of the Dugan in orchestral music. It seemed to have a little more gain before feedback which I think helped the smaller orchestra sound a little fuller overall.