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connecting two mixers

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Postby MoGal » December 19th, 2006, 2:10 pm

I have a question about how to go about connecting two mixers. We actually tried this at our last gig and though it worked, we did have some feedback problems and I wasn't sure we connected them right. The reason we are doing this is because we needed more channels than we had in our main mixer.
Our main mixer is a Yorkville MP8DX - 400w & 200w, 8 input powered mixer. Here is the link to it:

http://www.yorkville.com/products.asp?t ... t=55&id=44

The other mixer is a Behringer XENYX 1202FX unpowered mixer, with 12 inputs. Here is a link to it:

http://www.americanmusical.com/item.asp ... ENYX1202FX

The way we connected them was with a dual 1/4" RCA cable from two of the inputs on the main mixer to the main outputs on the Little mixer.

Is this the best way to connect two mixers? If so, we weren't sure which knobs were the ones controlling the gain - the ones on the main mixer input channels or the main out level on the little mixer. Then there are the individual volume levels and trim knobs on the little. See, we're pretty pathetic when it comes to this stuff! I'm surprised we haven't ruined anything so far! Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!
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Postby AdRock » December 19th, 2006, 3:53 pm

the way you hooked it up sounds correct if you have to do it. There are several places that control the gain.

1st. the gain where each mic is plugged in
2nd. the output of the little mixer
3rd. the input gain knob of the powered mixer

The trick is to get the 1st gain setup right without feedback then adjust the output of the mixer and the gain on the input so that nothing is running super hot but you have the gain you need.

Personally, my opinion would be to sell those 2 mixers and put that money towards one that has all the inputs you need.
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Postby MoGal » December 19th, 2006, 5:09 pm

thanks for your input (no pun intended!)

We have thought about selling the mixer, but I guess we were concerned we wouldn't get much back on it and it was easier/cheaper to just buy this little $100 mixer in the meantime. I'm sure we'll look at selling it down the road a little bit.
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Postby Bish » December 19th, 2006, 9:43 pm

Can you tell me how you've assigned your channels?


In one of my earlier bands the main mixer used by the band was fine until we decided to mic the drums. Then we never had enough channels.

I purchased my own mixer and would do a separate drum mix with my board and then run that signal into two channels of the main board (since we were running system in stereo) using XLR cabling. This allowed my mix to be mastered similar to having extra channels on the main board but in fact only using two channels of the master console.

I could also control my master out and since I used a complete rack system, (mini PA see below) I could run a separate stage mix and volume control separate from the main mix.

Image

I don't know if that makes sense or not but the drums were grouped as a separate mix on the secondary mixer.

As it were, I even incorporated my electronic drums easily into this same situation. The biggest difference was my electronic drums had the sound module assistance to control the drum mix so I only needed two channels out and then into my board simply for the sake of a more controlled mix to the master console and the independant ability to use my stage monitors which I really needed with the electronic kit or there was NO stage volume at all.

If I've confused you worse, sorry. If you have more questions, I'll see if I can answer them.
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Postby DemoEtc » December 20th, 2006, 5:58 am

That's a nice rig there Bish! Looks like the helmsman's controls on the Starship Enterprize.

That cupholder is a nice addition :)

From the manual of the powered mixer:

Channels 7 and 8 have dual TAPE/CD/LINE IN RCA type inputs. Either the XLR or RCA type inputs (not both) may be used to connect a tape deck, CD player or an outboard mixer to these channels (using both RCA jacks is OK).

So it's correct the way it's hooked up from what I can see. Maybe make sure the smaller mixer isn't clipping before its signal is sent to the big mixer - using the main output slider and that level indicator. I think I'd keep the eq flat on both to start off with and then adjust at the big mixer. Changing the eq on the smaller mixer will change the level and maybe put it into clipping, so just think of it as a raw, un-eq'd input going into the big mixer, and adjust it as you would any other raw guitar or line level source.

If the eq on the small mixer has to be adjusted, then maybe leave the eq on the big mixer flat for the channel it goes into. I can see where boosted hi freq on both of them would add up to cause feedback at unexpected moments.
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Postby Laz » December 20th, 2006, 9:36 am

AdRock wrote:the way you hooked it up sounds correct if you have to do it. There are several places that control the gain.

1st. the gain where each mic is plugged in
2nd. the output of the little mixer
3rd. the input gain knob of the powered mixer

The trick is to get the 1st gain setup right without feedback then adjust the output of the mixer and the gain on the input so that nothing is running super hot but you have the gain you need.

Personally, my opinion would be to sell those 2 mixers and put that money towards one that has all the inputs you need.


I agree with everything except the last. A 24-channel board is more than twice as expensive as two 12-channel boards, because not as many people use the big ones. Also, larger boards are less likely to be powered. Plus you don't have to carry the extra one for smaller gigs.

As Bish notes, using one mixer for the drums is a clever solution. At least grouping the channels sanely so that your sound person doesn't go crazy is good.

Last, the more mic channels you have, the more chance for feedback, no matter what arrangement of equipment. So it may not be due to the mixers. Gain distribution is important for noise and distortion, but feedback is based on the total gain, and the number of mics that are active.
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Postby Misanthrope » December 20th, 2006, 9:42 am

Laz wrote:As Bish notes, using one mixer for the drums is a clever solution. At least grouping the channels sanely so that your sound person doesn't go crazy is good.

Sanity of the sound guy aside, it makes sense to be able to adjust the relative volumes of each miked drum on one set of controls, and then still be able to control the overall volume of all of them on another control. There's nothing worse than destroying the balance between them when you're trying to eke them all up together just a little.
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Postby leear » December 20th, 2006, 9:49 am

run drums on one and everything else on the other. if you want you can also come out of the outputs on one board into two channels on another, or into the pre amp in. this is also a good way. and then run it like a 24 channel board
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Postby AdRock » December 20th, 2006, 3:15 pm

I would agree, run the drums to the small mixer and everything else on the main one. Basically using the small mixer like a subgroup.
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Postby Laz » December 20th, 2006, 4:39 pm

OK, now I'm really confused...

I just remembered that you gals are an all-acoustic quartet - what are you doing with 20 channels?

Not that more isn't better 8)
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Postby AdRock » December 20th, 2006, 6:05 pm

LOL, Laz, I just looked at their website and realized the same thing.

So, MoGal, what is included on your input list?
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Postby MoGal » December 20th, 2006, 6:50 pm

Hey, I just got around to checking the forum and boy - I really need to print all this stuff up and study it! Sorry...I ain't following all this!

To answer your last question, here is what we have:

Our two main guitarists play 2 guitars each, so each of those requires a channel. (Sometimes one or both of us uses a switchbox though to save channels. That is fine unless one of the other band members doesn't need to use one of our guitars, like for Landslide, when we have three guitars going). Okay, so let's just suppose that the two of us need 4 channels for our 4 guitars. Then, we have a keyboard player - that is 5 channels. Then, we have the bass going from the bass amp through the PA - that is 6 channels. Then, we have our "instrumentalist" who sometimes plays bass, but other times she may play the mandolin, dobro, or flute. That is 7 channels. Then, we have 3 of us who sing. So, there are 4 microphones on stage.

The powered mixer we originally bought has 8 channels. Since we already are needing 10 channels, and that does not include mic-ing drums, then we had to get more from somewhere. I saw these cheap Behringer ones in the Sam Ash catalog and went ahead and got one at Guitar Center for about $95.00.

We typically don't mic the drums for live performances, because people complain enough that they can't hear the voices above the instruments. However, for recording purposes, we will need to mic the drums.

Also, I forgot that there have been two local moms that have expressed interest in the last couple weeks in joining up with us. There could be occasions where we bring in more singers/musicians! So, it looks like we should have at least 12 channels, and with my new mixer, we have 20!

Now, I guess I need to re-read all the responses again and see if they apply to us! Not now though - too tired!

Thanks for all the help guys.
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Postby AdRock » December 20th, 2006, 7:40 pm

So, here's what I see:

1. Guitar
2. Guitar
3. Guitar
4. Guitar
5. Keys
6. Bass
7. Mandolin
8. Dobro
9. Flute
10, Vocal
11. Vocal
12. Vocal

Then if you mic the drums, I'll guess at these

13. kick
14. snare
15. Hat
16 Tom
17. Tom
18. Tom


Yes, you have 20 channels but 8 of those channels come from being L or R on 1 channel. This can pose other problems once you have them all hooked up. It really looks like you have the stuff to rig it to get it done but this is really not the optimal way to do it. You could most likely be able to put out a much better sonic product with some changes.

what do you use as far as speakers & monitors are concerned?
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Postby MoGal » December 20th, 2006, 7:53 pm

I can't answer the question about the speakers - those belong to our new bandmate, Teresa, and I don't know the brand. I think they had a red logo, which makes me think they are JBL, probably 15" passive speakers. The monitor she has is probably the same brand. I have a TC Helicon VSM-200P VoiceSolo Passive Voice Monitor.

I have a powered Gemini monitor that I have used in the past, but I prefer not to lug it around - very heavy. I would run it out one of the main outs on the front of the mixer. It seemed to cause feedback as well. In addition to the monitors, I have started using my guitar amp as a monitor and mic-ing my guitar. It is much easier to hear my guitar stuff now.

You are probably right that it is not the best set up, but since we are just doing this for fun, and not making much money at it, I'd prefer not to have to buy an expensive mixer. If we can work with what I have, that would be best!
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Postby leear » December 21st, 2006, 4:31 am

Ok with everythihng you mentioned try this. Get DI boxes with a link. You can hook 1 guitar to one box and the other to the 2nd Di then Link out of the second one into the first one, thus using one channel, and the sound tech has better control over gain, and monitors. just a thought, or just bare down and buy Yamaha's EMX5000-24, great 24 channel powered board, i owned the 12 channel one for a while. they run about 895
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