I am encountering more and more 2 and 3 man dub stages in LA whereas all stages were one man stages in DC. I have been mixing for over a decade but am certain I will have a mix team experience really soon. (I am excited to work with a partner!)

Does anyone have any experience making this jump from a 1 man mixing setup to a 2 man mix setup with a dubber? Do you have an advice on anything I should read up on or do before jumping in? The whole PEC switch thing is a bit new but makes sense conceptually.

Have you been part of a team and have a list of annoying behavior or favorable behavior I should take note of?


Typically, each mixer is going to handle a different element (ie DX, SFX, MX). There's a bit of give and take for elements to shine or whatever. It's usually a good working situation because you have the ears and experience of a fellow mixer there to keep you in check and keep each other from making bad mix choices or a shared tip on how to deal with X situation or whatever.

I wouldn't sweat it if I were you. Just don't drink too much coffee. Either you'll end up talking too much or in the bathroom a lot.


Traditionally, the Dialog(DX) mixer runs the show and is sometimes known as the "lead mixer". The FX mixer is usually to HIS left, and the music mixer to HIS right. On 2 man crews, the DX mixer often mixes the music as well. The FX mixers job is to support the DX mixer during his passes, then the DX mixer will do the same for the FX mixer during the FX passes. The same basic principles that apply to any team situation apply here... basically, don't be a @#%^!!, respect your fellow team members, and treat others as you'd like to be treated. Often mixing teams stay together for long periods of time, because they can reach a level of understanding that goes beyond words, and simply KNOW what the other needs at any point. BTW, if you REALLY want to improve your mixing skills, working under a more experienced mixer is an EXCELLENT way to do that. I learned more on my first dubstage, then I did in five years of experience previous.

  • I've also heard dialogue mixers called a "gaffing mixer". – Stavrosound Apr 17 '12 at 20:21
  • I'd never heard that one, but it apparently has a fairly large history - "gaffer" being used a generic film term for the head of any crew. Apparently the term "gunner mixer" was also used once. – Sonsey Apr 17 '12 at 21:48
  • Jeepers, guess they do it backwards from us where ever you are. If you are behind the console and facing the screen then virtually Every dub stage I've been on the Dia/MX mixer is on the left and the Fx mixer is on the right. If there is a third (music) mixer (rare) then he's to the left of the Dia mixer. Yes the Dia mixer is the one that's gonna gaffe the stage. – Chris Assells Apr 18 '12 at 0:47
  • Yeah, I think you maybe explained that a tad better than I did. lol :) – Syndicate Synthetique Apr 18 '12 at 9:51
  • @Chris Assells, well you've been on a few more than me for sure :). Everyone I've worked on has been the way I said, but that may be the exception not the rule (or something Canadian maybe? We like u's in our words as well). I suppose it really boils down to what works for the team and stage. I notice that Marty and Chris at the DubStage, work the way you mentioned. And yes, 3 man crews are rare to non-existent these days, for better or for worse. – Sonsey Apr 18 '12 at 15:08

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