How many times have you walked into a club and noticed that brittle harshness attacking your ears? Defiled by utter ignorance and bleeding ears, I've made it a point to educate those who haven't been smacked around enough yet.
If you are one of those DJ's who consistently throw the gain of each channel into the red, you deserve to die. Well, that's a little harsh, but that's how I feel when I see and hear you do it! By pushing the input gain on a DJ mixer, you are actually increasing the signal to a point beyond it's dynamic range, causing the output of that channel to be distorted and unpleasant to the ears! That's what an amplifier is for! Proper gain staging is getting the maximum output without clipping at each point in the signal chain. The RED leds on your mixer are telling you that you're in a bad place and you need to back off. For some reason, there's a lot of people out there that LOOOOVE being in a bad place, and you're putting everyone else there too. If what you are hearing is not loud enough, you need to tell whoever is running the sound system to turn up their amps after you have come to the conclusion that your gain settings are where they need to be. Don't be the ass who turns up each channel or the main output of the mixer because it's not loud enough. Ear fatigue is not my favorite past time.
I was at a gig recording the output of the mixer and everything was fine until the next guy got on and instantly turned both channels up to a solid red to make it louder in the club. He later asked me for the mix and I told him his entire set was royaly screwed (distorted) because of his own expertise in the field of the 1-D-10-T error.
I encourage every one of you who doesn't already understand what I'm saying to go buy a book on Live Sound and educate yourself.
And all of you (which is hopefully most of us) who do "get it", please don't let these "superstar gain masters" ruin our experience! Pass along the helpful hints.