One of the most powerful tools in your mixing disposal, is the mute button. I have had times when the band is killing it, and then there's some dude impersonating Henry Kaiser rocking a solo that sounds something like Yoko Ono getting in a fight with a bumble bee:
There are times when somebody in the band is just not paying attention and are off in La La Land, or sometimes you'll have somebody who is convinced that they should play as many notes as possible in a worship set. This can leave you in a difficult situation because you don't want to be rude and mute them, but you know what...you totally should. Go ahead. No biggie. They should learn the meaning of the term "tasteful."
One of the most effective uses of the mute button, are out-of-tune background vocals. Have you ever had that situation where you have a "vocalist" that hears everything a half-step lower than the actual song?
How about the guy that is convinced he should try and play the new blues pentatonic scale "he just learned" throughout the entire song?
Or the same guy that just bought an e-bow, and decides he wants to use it during the entire worship set?
Worship Leader: "Hey guys, let's use drum loops for the first time this Sunday morning with a drummer that couldn't play to a click if their life depended on it." That sounds like an excellent idea!
I think you may be getting the idea now.
Here's a technique developed by Courtney Love's engineer he has used countless times (I'm almost sure of it): When there is something coming across the speakers that sounds like someone is torturing a possum with a cattle prod - you grab the fader and start bringing down the volume gently, but quickly...and then in one smooth act of mercy, you bring the other hand up to the console and press the Mute Button so that the audio of the offending channel doesn't cut off too suddenly.
Aaaahhhh. That's better!
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