Monday, August 6, 2012

Dave Rat Mic Input Calculator

Mic Input-itus
A common affliction amongst sound engineers typically caused by small pee pee syndrome or Little Ball Syndrome

          * Note, females engineers please appropriate gender specific equivalents to any male oriented terms

Take the # of band members, multiply by 5 and add 2.
If venue sizes are below 1000 capacity, subtract 1 input per band member, to adjust for on stage levels effecting the FOH mix.
If venue size and ticket sales are between 2500 and 5000, add one input per band member as a success bonus.
For venues selling over 5000, add one input for every million albums sold in the first 30 days of the current album. Note; this applies to headline acts only! Support acts do not add album sales bonus inputs and must use the calculation for the largest headline show of the tour.
If any venue on the tour is less than half sold, take a 5 input embarrassment penalty for the remainder of the tour.
Once you have determined the correct amount of inputs including the modifier bonus and penalties that should be used, next compare that total to the actual inputs you or the engineer being analyzed for possible syndrome affliction actually uses.
Engineer's utilizing less than the correct amount are considered exceptional. + or - 1 input from the calculation is considered normal in most cases.
Engineer's implementing an excess of inputs beyond the calculation are typically suffering from small pee pee syndrome where in they have unnecessarily over bloated the sound setup much to everyone's chagrin and often to the detriment of show sound quality, purely to pump their own ego and pretend they are doing something more complex than it really is. Alternately, lack of control over the # of input channels is also caused by another form of sound engineer ailment wherein the sound of the show is sacrificed to chaos due to the artist adding more things on stage and the Little Ball Syndrome affliction prevents the engineer from suggesting better ways of accomplishing the same result in a less complex manner. The engineer, so willing to ass kiss and excited about the delusional thought that somehow over-complication equals job security, adds inputs like they are seeding a lawn.


  1. I think the fact that a drum set requires massively more inputs-per-musician than any other instrument throws off your formula. A band with more members who only play a couple instruments each will massively inflate this formula's input count, but in reality won't need nearly so much. For example, the 8-piece band I mixed in a sub-1k venue last weekend, I used 19 inputs, and couldn't ever imagine what kind of shenanigans it would have taken to go up to 34. IMO, you should separate your formula into two halves to take this into account. Drum set input list should scale with venue size/band popularity (I groan every time somebody brings some 7-piece monster into a 300 cap venue... Really? You're not Mike fucking Portnoy), then the rest of the band's inputs per member can scale up separately.

  2. C-mon Dave..there's already an app for this...isn't there?
    Plus Rane;s Pseudo-Acoustic Infector has handled many of these same problems for years. ( I find that placing a rack of these at a distance 4.675 times the height of the average lead singer near the monitor mix location ( 3.2 time if venues are between 1120 and 3000 seats) always always improves any performance.

  3. ...and if i turn down can you get me in the pa?

  4. ... and if you could, please turn up my guitar in the drummers wedge... he wears earplugs...

  5. Haha .. I've gotten away with a sm .57 placed just right for my overheads / racks .. sounded great .. bonus
    Points I think..

  6. An old-school mentor of mine taught me a drum mic lesson years ago... " if you can't mic it correctly with three, you can't do it with more"... has worked for me for 30 plus years...

  7. This is brilliant. Throughout my career I too have been very good at limiting the amount of inputs. I did not have a formula but I did earn the moniker "Dream Crusher" from a few bands I've worked for.

  8. I have an important question: if I put out way more microphones than I need or have any intention of using ... should the equation be applied to the number of channels that aren't muted or the number of mics?

    1. Kick, HH, OH over the drummers right shoulder?

  9. I rented pa out to a 5 person band with a venue capacity of 750 and they had 36 ch used. Blew my mind

  10. I rented pa out to a 5 person band with a venue capacity of 750 and they had 36 ch used. Blew my mind

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