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Monitors on a Yamaha PM5D – Scenes and Selective Recall

Historically, my particular pattern of mixing monitors on a digital console is to take advantage of using scenes.  My buddy Nathan Miller got me started on this path while we were both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church.  It is a pretty powerful method of mixing monitors that gives a whole new dimension to the players on stage, enabling them to make specific requests that pertain to each individual song. From an engineer’s perspective, this definitely opens up new challenges that many may choose to simply avoid by not using scenes, however if you can wrap your brain around the concept, it’s worth considering.

Selective Recall Page on Yamaha PM5D
Little Big Town Selective Recall

I’m on tour with Little Big Town right now and am on the Yamaha PM5D, so my comments are going to apply specifically to that console.  When setting up the board to do scenes, you definitely want to give thought to having some of the “Selective Recall” features enabled.  This is the 3rd table of the Scenes page.  By setting all of the channels selective recall safe with the groups as my image shows, any EQ, Compression, Delay, etc. changes you may make throughout a show stick throughout all the following scenes, thus not changing.  Now – there appears to be a bug here in the 5D software in that the phase reverse is not included in the ATT group and is only recall safe if you choose the “ALL” group, which you do not want to enable.  An email has been sent to Yamaha regarding this.

A common complaint to running scenes is – “what happens if a guy wants a level changed on something on every scene?”  The answer here on the Yamaha desk is Global Paste, last tab in the Scene group.  Choose the channel changed, choose only the appropriate mix send and no other parameters to paste, select your scenes, and paste away.  Yahama’s great downfall here is there is not a way to globally increase a level by a certain amount relative to where it’s current position is in the scene.  Global paste will paste the current level to every scene.  If someone wants 5db more of a particular channel that already has changing levels throughout the scenes, that must be done manually.  Other consoles do this better – I wish Yamaha would take note here and come up with a better method of Global Paste. (Again, the phase reverse doesn’t global paste unless you select “All” parameters)

Taking things another step deeper…some of the members of Little Big Town enjoy taking advantage of scenes, while others get distracted by instrumentation changing in their mix and do not want scenes affecting their send.  I was able to accommodate  everybody by, again, the selective recall feature.  As you will notice in my screenshot, in the Sends side of the screne, the final column “Ch to Mix” is recall safe on some mixes, and not on others.  By enabling this parameter, those mixes now are completely recall safe in that any changes I make to that mix throughout a show are not changed when I hit next scene.

So there’s a few things I’ve learned along the way.  Cheers!

Download Yamaha PM5D Owners Manual

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  • Matt,
    So how does the PM5D Suit you for this, Im considering the jump to Digital, will probably rent before we buy and were looking at several consoles for FOH/MON Use, Give me your Opinions on these consoles and what you like, dont like, what you prefer, etc, Are you enjoying life from a bunk, Ive been there plenty and really dont miss it.


    Sators reply on March 14th, 2009:

    Hey Don – I’m definitely a fan of digital consoles. The advantages are definitely worth the cost, considering even the footprint alone of comps/gates that you get in the size of a console, saving racks and truck space, cabling, etc.

    As for what specific consoles – personally I’ve been a fan of Yamaha, with the 5D being the fav simply because I think it’s pretty intuitive, easy to navigate, powerful, etc. The PM1D is pretty overkill for everything you need as far as cards, cages, etc. unless you are a serious tour or install facility. M7CL is a definite bang for the buck, however slightly difficult to get around compared to the 5D if you ask me, but it’s a quality console that many folks are putting into use. I’m not a fan of the LS9…way to cumbersome and slow to navigate to me, but that’s a “you get what you pay for” thing. 01V is good for the small acts not needing much at all.

    The other power player in the digital console market is Digidesign with the D-Show/Profile consoles. No question about it those are quality desks and I see a lot of Profiles on the road and I don’t really have anything negative to say about them and would happily walk up to one any day.

    There’s other digital consoles around, Mackie, Allen & Heath, etc. Not a fan of either of their desks and they are much more “economy” line in the console spectrum.

    Gotta love bunk life – actually just woke up from a nap in the bunk…can’t complain having a place to rest right before a show!


  • Leroy

    this is ob-scene


  • Billy Baker

    Hi Matt,

    Long time since our install in Houston. I type in “PM5D Global Paste” and what appears a blog by Matt.

    Very Cool. I hope all is well.