VoiceCouncil will no longer be updated. Articles will still be available for some time.


The Gain Pot gives you control over the input level.

Don’t be scared of gain – it’s just a matter of science – once you get the gain right, then you will use the fader to adjust the volume to your tastes.

Engineers will always tell you to make sure 
this is set to an optimal level for your performance – but how do you achieve this?

This is where you can start experimenting.

If you set it 
too low, you’ll end up with a bad Signal-to-Noise ratio (more equipment noise than actual signal) and if you set it too high, you’ll get distortion.

Plug in your mic, set the fader, located at the bottom of the channel, to unity.

What’s unity? It’s the position where the fader is neutral – neither adding or taking gain volume on the channel – sometimes it’s marked with the letter “U” or “0” .

Raise the 
input gain in small increments. You don’t even need to have sound going to your speakers or monitors to set the gain.

So how do you know if the gain setting is good?

Well, keep an eye on your mixing desk meters – we’re talking here about flashing lights that indicate the output of your channel (or the master output).

There’s usually a green section of lights, then 2 or 3 amber lights and one read one.

Flying between a healthy green an amber that is good. Red is not good – turn down your input gain.

Back To VC’s Brief Guide To The Mixing Board