Setting Mixer Input Levels   

The following procedure for setting mixer mic input preamplifiers will get you the best level:
Turn the input gain control all the way down. This is usually fully counterclockwise. Turn any pad or attenuator switch off. For the input being adjusted set the slide fader to the nominal operating level. This is near the top of its throw and is usually marked by the manufacturer with a heavy line or 0 value. Set any submaster faders and the master fader to the same nominal or marked value. With signal coming from the microphone, begin turning up the gain while watching the meters on the mixer until they indicate a nominal value of about zero or two-thirds of their scale. Now you know that you are making most efficient use of the signal provided by the microphone.
If after following the above procedure the resulting sound is distorted even with the gain setting at minimum, the signal is probably too high and use of the pad or attenuator is called for to reduce the signal level before it reaches the preamplifier. 

Follow steps 1 through 3 as outlined above but with the pad or attenuator switch in the on position.