The step you'll never regret

Start your rehearsal with an audio line check for more consistent results

Today, I'm going to talk about the audio line check.

Performing a line check prior to rehearsal will eliminate mistakes, reduce wasted time, and increase your reputation as an audio engineer.

Unfortunately, not every engineer takes the time to do this because they assume everything will work as it always has.

You'll never regret performing a line check

There are only three steps to perform a simple line check:

  • Grab a microphone

  • Follow the patch list

  • Diagnose any issues

Doing a line check before every rehearsal takes only a few minutes and will almost always guarantee results.

So, here's how, step by step.

Step 1: Grab a Microphone!

Get a microphone or a tone generator. You will plug this audio source into every cable on your stage to verify the audio comes into the correct channel on your sound board.

I will use a known working dynamic microphone like the Shure SM58 or a noise generator like the Behringer CT100. The benefit of the CT100 is that it will show if Phantom Power (+48V) is turned on, and the tone can be set to a specific level -4 dBu, -10 dBV, or -50 MIC.

Step 2: Follow the Patch List

Start at the top of your Patch List with Input 1. Verify that the microphone or generator is going into the correct channel on your mixer and that the audio is clear and noise free.

If you see and hear the audio, move onto the next Input. Repeat this process until you have finished all of the channels/inputs on your mixer.

If you don't see/hear the audio or it is noisy, move onto step 3.

If you aren’t working with a patch sheet, download mine to get started!

Step 3: Diagnose Any Issues

Every now and then you will find a channel that has one of the following:

  • Mis-patched or disconnected cable

  • Loose or faulty connections causing intermittent audio

  • Ground loop hum or unwanted noise from electrical interference

  • Imbalanced audio levels

When you come across one of these, trace and test all of the cables in-between the mixer and that input.

It could be as easy as plugging in a cable that was accidentally disconnected. Other times, you will need to use a cable tester (like the Behringer CT100) to verify that it is a faulty cable.

Swap out cables, try different audio snake channels, change input and output ports, or use a different channel on the mixer entirely.

9 times out of 10 I never have an unexpected issue with my audio lines after completing a line check.

When the band arrives and you do have an issue, you know that all of your audio lines and gear has been tested. You can then confidently start troubleshooting at the musicians gear and work your way back to your mixer.

Until next time,


Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

  1. I created a range of Preset Library Downloads that will help your team get professional quality audio without the hassle of starting from scratch. Each product includes .pdfs with full documentation on how to use the preset and why each setting was made.

  2. If you’re looking for a start-to-finish way to get mixing on the Behringer X32, join my X32 Fundamentals Course. In this 6 hour self-paced video course, I’ll guide you through the five fundamentals that will help you go from overwhelmed to confident when mixing on the X32.

  3. For hands on help, schedule an Online Coaching Call with me, personally. Online sessions provide the flexibility to access personalized support while sitting in front of your own equipment and working in real time.