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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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