This past Sunday was my third time running FOH at church, and the first time without having anyone with me in the booth to help in case things go awry. The DigiDesign Venue board is an awesome tool to work with... once you get past the complexities of the board itself. Being able to save and recall queues makes it alot easier to run a service that may have music, drama, videos and multiple speakers. And being able to see the EQ and dynamics curves helps me to better visualize the changes I am making. And that is not even scratching the surface of what that board has to offer!
FOH at CCC
CCC Monitor World
Up until now I have only been running monitors (sometimes called foldback) on an older analog Allen & Heath ML4000 board. Boy would I love to have the Venue there for monitors! In some ways monitors is more challenging than FOH because there are anywhere from four to six monitor mixes to deal with, each with its own set of judgment calls to make while trying to figure out what each musician needs. At FOH there is really only one mix to deal with (I don't count the matrix mixes for the lobby, video, ALD, etc... they are pretty much set and forget). I feel more pressure at FOH though... if I mess up on monitors there may only be a dozen people that know, but at FOH there may be a couple thousand people that hear my oops.
My biggest weakness is probably EQ. I pretty much understand the signal flow of the system and enough of the basic effects I need (compression, verb, delay) to get by, but EQ seems to be the most troublesome part for me. It takes me a while to relate what I am hearing to where it lies in the spectrum... and once the whole band is playing it gets really hard for me to clean up the EQ on individual instruments. Hopefully with some time and practice I'll get to where I am really comfortable with EQ.