Each channel on a mixer has a little button labeled something along the lines of "Pre/Post." This one little button can affect the stage monitors, nursery speakers, hearing impairment equipment, and even your recording devices. Let's explore the functionality of this button so the right people and devices are getting the sounds they need.
Pre and Post Sends are auxiliary sends. That is to say, they control the sound sent to objects like nursery speakers, stage monitors…anything other than the main house speakers.
What is a pre send?
A pre aux send delivers the signal out of the mixer BEFORE it passes through the channel fader; pre-fader. Therefore, you can move the volume fader all you want but it's not going to affect the volume going to that auxiliary unit.
What is a post send?
A post aux send delivers the signal out of the mixer AFTER it's gone through the fader; post-fader. Therefore, when you move the volume fader, that aux send volume is equally manipulated.
What devices are affected by its use?
The devices effected by the use of the pre/post aux send could be monitors, nursery or hallway speakers, a recording device, in short, anything you have hooked up to the mixing board as an auxiliary send.
What do I set to pre and post?
The rules on this are not cast in stone but the guidelines will get you far.
Pre Aux Sends (signal before fader)
- Monitor mixes. This way, if you fade down the music such as when a singer is reading scripture or speaking, the monitor volumes for the musicians do not change. This way, they still hear everything they need.
- Multi-track recorder for later editing.
- See #1.
Post Aux Sends (signal after the fader)
- Nursery / hallway
- On-air broadcast
- Recording device
- Think of it like this…if you want the listener to hear it "as if they were seated in the sanctuary" then it's Post.
One word of warning…
Concerning those stage monitors with the Pre Aux sends; you don't want to broadcast a player tuning or adjusting a microphone during a quiet portion of the service. As long as those channels are on, it's possible such noises could be heard by the congregation as it came out the stage monitors. Therefore, you have a few options. 1) Mute the channel, 2) Turn down the channel aux send, or 3) turn down the master aux send. Mixers can work differently in how they turn off/mute a channel so test it before the service to see which works for your mixer.
The pre/post button can easily be overlooked. While it's a small button, it's quite mighty and gives you yet one more way to get sound to the right people in the right way.