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Published: Tue February 21, 2006  News Feed

Kevin Hedge kindly shares with us this amazing story of the night Larry Levan taught him how to use a Urei 1620. SIMPLY A MUST READ FOR ALL UREI FANS! For more info about Larry Levan, Kevin Hedge and Blaze visit http://westendrecords.com

"In 1991 while I was part of the Shelter organization, I had the privilege of working with the legendary Larry Levan. At that time my main service to Shelter was promotions and production, so that put me in charge of booking talent. This week Larry was joining us for a guest DJ appearance. Myself and the resident DJ were there to show Larry how our system worked. Yeah! I'm going to show Larry Levan how to work a sound system, which was mistake number 1.

Mistake number 2 came when I tried to help him with his records. I went to pick up one of his records boxes, Larry politely said "No thank you I don't need any help, please leave the DJ booth."

Now I was feeling like a wet cloth. I was only trying to help and now I've made a fool of myself how could it get any worse. Well I shouldn't have asked.

Mistake number 3 before I was going to leave the booth Larry asked me to turn on the system. I immediately ran to put on all the amps and power to the DJ booth, thinking to myself "I will show him how to use the mixer and he will thank me." *hahaha* so I ran back into the booth to test the system, I rushed up to the console, placed a record on the turntable and cranked the input up to 10. Then I slowly raised the house level to 5 and thought it sounded pretty good. I turned to Larry and said "Mr Levan the sound is live”. He said "thanks" and I felt that I had won his approval. But just then the idiot in me jumped out and I said “Sir are you familiar with the Urei 1620?" That's when Larry said to me "Let me show you how to use your mixer."

He then proceeded to tutor the resident DJ and myself on how to properly use the Urei 1620 best for sound quality and cross fade mixing. So let me share that knowledge with you.

Larry Levan on how to use the Urei 1620:First you should never max-out your input level pots. Never try to get more overall volume by cranking the individual input level, which will only limit your headroom for blend volume matching.

Always use the house level to achieve overall volume levels. Remember the mixer is really a pre-amp it's driving the amplifiers, so the house level pot is the most reliable source for signal to the amps since it stays constant. Also this again will allow you more flexibility when cross mixing between turntables.

Larry showed us the Urei sounds best and works most efficiently when, the input level pots are used at between 6 & 8, 8~10 gives you the gain on the channel. This gives you a constant blend volume reference for mixing without compromising your overall house volume. Also it maintains a consistent record out level. *note* The house gain pot does not effect the record out signal. Then he instructed us to set the house level to the overall desired listening volume. Usually between 3 & 6 for low to moderate listening levels and between 6 and 9 for hi-volume listening levels. You never want to run at 10 on the house level pot for fear of overdriving the amplifiers.

A side note: Larry was a real perfectionist when it came to sound quality. He was very careful with his monitor levels. He never played his monitors all night long, mostly using monitoring when blend mixing. Once the blend was done he would lower his monitor volume to pay attention to the house volume and sound. Spot monitoring will save your ear fatigue as the night goes on."

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