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Balanced/Unbalance issue with rack gear & FX Loop

Discussion in 'Recording' started by david-b, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. david-b

    david-b Guest

    Hey everyone. Just wanted to say hi. I've been working on a home studio since I got my place and getting it up and working great.

    Before I begin, this is what I have for recording
    -Laptop using various recording software packages
    -Omega USB Lexicon
    -Peavy 4ch Mixer
    (mixer and Lexicon being replaced with Behringer 12ch USB mixer tomorrow)
    -dual 31-band EQ (rack/FX Loop)
    -Behringer DSP2024 (rack/FX Loop)
    -Behringer compressor/limiter (rack/FX Loop)
    -BBE Sonic Maximizer (rack/FX Loop)

    All rack gear has 2 inputs/2 outputs

    Mainly I'm recording guitar and drums. Drums are Simmons S7DK so I just output stereo to the mixer. That works fine since I don't run it through the FX Loop.

    The guitar on the other hand, needs the FX loop.
    The problem is I have a balance(r/t/s)->2 mono 1/4 Y-plug coming off the FX loop send from the mixer. I have that going to the patchbay (1 and 2). Then 1 and 2 go down the rack parallel. So 1 goes through the DSP->EQ->Sonic->Compressor. At the same time, number 2 does the same thing. Then they go back to the patchbay (23 and 24) then output back to FX Loop return on the mixer.

    The problem is that the Y from the FX loop send isn't working right. I can take the one jack and plug it in to 1, and it working on that side fine. Plug it in to the other and it works fine also. But the other plug on the Y doesn't. i can plug it into either side and I get no signal at all from it. I ended up plugging in the one side that worked into 1a, then taking a jumper from 1b, to 2a on the patchbay. It doesn't work right though, because now both channels are the same thing, so Pan for example doesn't work. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    I'm thinking it's the mixer even though the FX send is balanced. But I can't figure it out. Please help!!!!

    Sorry about the long post... needed to clarify it all out
  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    What type of patch bay, and how is it wired? My guess it that the patch bay is not wired the way you think it is.
  3. david-b

    david-b Guest

    It's a Behringer UltraPatch. I want to say the model is 1000 or something close to that. I just have the 2 going in and the 2 coming out right now. Nothing else is hooked up.

    1a goes to tuner->fx->23b
    2a goes to fx->24b

    Goes straight through everything and back to the bay.

    EDIT: http://www.behringer.com/PX1000/index.cfm?lang=ENG
    Here it is, the Behringer PX1000
  4. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Thanks for linking the manual.

    Patch bays are convoluted, and from your information I can't tell how you have it connected.

    Can you detail your connections? This may even help you solve your problem. Maybe in a for similar to this:

    Ch 1, mode x
    a front -> whatever
    b front -> whatever
    a back -> whatever
    b back -> whatever

    Ch 2, mode x
    a front -> whatever
    b front -> whatever
    a back -> whatever
    b back -> whatever

  5. david-b

    david-b Guest

    Like I said each rack unit has 2 in and 2 outs.

    FX Send (Y cable) -> 1a front -> 1a back -> FX -> 23b back -> 23b front -> FX return

    FX Send (Y cable) -> 2a front -> 2a back -> FX -> 24b back -> 24b front ->FX return

    I hope that makes sense.
  6. david-b

    david-b Guest

    Thin lines are behind in the rack. Bold are visible.
    So what's going on is that in the Y, one side isn't working. I can connect the one 'branch' to either input on the rack and works fine, but the other side doesn't. Cable is brand new and fine.
  7. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    To get it to work,

    Use mode 3 on patchbay module 1. Don't use a Y. If you do, the left and right channel will be 180 degrees out of phase and will sound awful. Connect 1a-back and 1b-back to your FX inputs. Connect front 1a to your FX out with a TRS cable.

    For your return path keep the connections, and make sure you are using mode 1.

    Although I don't see what the point of a patch bay is with this setup. Seems like just extra connections. It seems to give you no connection options. For future reference, the way you have your gear connected is called serial not parallel.

    If it were me, I would wire all my inserts using mode 1 to the first few channels, a for send, b for return. Then I would connect my gear with mode 3. Connect a to left, and b to right. That way if you use both inputs it's stereo, if you use one it is mono.
  8. david-b

    david-b Guest

    Thank you for the response.
    Ok so I want to run a TRS from the mixer all the way to patchbay, and that should separate from stereo to 2 mono 1a-back and 1b-back? Then run those straight through.

    I originally had everything going to each individual patch, so I can hookup into where ever I want. This is an early design though... so actually figuring out how to properly wire everything up and where it all works best together.

    I don't fully understand the last section of the post. I'm thinking while not infront of the rack so bear with me. Inserts being each rack unit, right? Then I would use jumpers to connect all together?

    Again I'm new... been using the rack straight through in a live setup for awhile... literally going from guitar->pedals->rack->amp. Recently moved in aplace with a spare bedroom and making a little home studio so I want to do everything right. Thanks again for your help Gecko.
  9. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Ummmm...may I ask something? Is that "Y" cable coming from the effects send a TS ot TRS? If it's the latter, it's not a Y cable, it's an insert cable. If it's an insert cable, you'll only get signal out one side.

  10. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    The FX send is going to be mono. It is almost always pre pan, and sometimes even pre fader. Mode 3 will split the balanced mono signal into two balanced mono signals.
    Sorry it was not clear. The inserts are normally at the top of the channel above the EQ, below the line and mic inputs. You may not have them on your mixer. What is the model of your mixer? To answer the second half of the sentence: Yes, I would jumper the effects as needed.

    Glad I could be of some help.
  11. david-b

    david-b Guest

    Again, thanks for your replies.

    The Y is a TRS cable.

    The mixer I have now does not have inserts, just line and mic inputs. The new Behinger which is coming in the mail today does have it though. So once I get that out of the box and play around with it, I'm going to run a line per each input to the patchbay?

    New Mixer
  12. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    OK, but don't use it for this. (as both Kapt.Krunch and I suggested) Use a regular TRS cable.

    I would use a TRS Y to dual 1/4" mono to connect the inserts to the rear a/b inputs of four patch bay modules. Mode 3 would work better than mode 1 that I previously mentioned. In Mode 3 if you don't connect them it just goes though your mixer as if the insert was not plugged in. Then if you want you can route to your audio interface or to your FX.
  13. david-b

    david-b Guest

    So I was trying to draw a picture (Im visual incase you couldn't tell :shock: ) and I was having some issues.

    So regular TRS from insert to patch (like 1aF)

    Then TRS Y on 1aR and 1bR to input on first unit.

    Then another TRS Y on 2aR and 2bR to second unit. (and so on)

    Now how do the outputs all hook up then? Just run them all to the patch rear and jump them up front? Still going to have the 2 mono going back to the FX return on mixer right?
  14. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    There are so many different ways to do it. Find a way to draw a schematic that works for you. You could draw a box for each module with the mode connections on it. Then label where all the cables go. Try to avoid using Y's use different modes in the patch instead. The only place you should need a Y is from the inserts on your new board. I really can't help anymore.

              ch1 mode 3
    FX Send   |a--+--a| FX rack 1 Left input 
              |b  +--b| FX rack 1 Right input
              ch2 mode 3
    FX ret. L |a--+--a| FX rack 2 Left output
    FX ret. R |b  +--b| FX rack 2 Right output  
    (when you connect front b on mode 3, the module is equivalent to mode 1)
    This puts the FX in the back, and your mixer in the front. It would be more traditional to have everything except patch cords in the back. Do what works for you.
  15. david-b

    david-b Guest

    A lot of good info here.

    I got the mixer and played around with it last night and it's awesome. Has USB also so I eliminated the Lexicon unit and it's got a lot better recording sound (and now stupid driver that keep dropping). It's a lot more complex than my last mixer so it's going to take some time to hook it all up right.

    I'm going to buy some cables this weekend and go from there. I'm going to wire it up as we talked up above with the Y going to the units from the patchbay.

    So my final question (for now) is this mixer has an insert for each channel. Do I want to use that instead of the FX loop send to go to the rack? And wouldn't that only affect that input? Or would it better to run the insert for guitar to the EQ then back, and have the DSP2024fx unit in the FX loop? Probably just have to try and play around with for the best sound.
  16. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I don't know who "we" is there, but I said don't use a Y cable for anything but the inserts.


    oh well.
  17. david-b

    david-b Guest

    That's what I'm talking about.
  18. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Sorry, when you said "unit" I thought you were referring to all of your other uses of "unit" that meant "effects unit" and not some how "insert"

    ** to which I responded the insert is NOT on the rack unit.
  19. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005

    You need to get your cables and connections straightened out in your mind.

    Just because a cable has one jack/plug for an input, and two jacks/plugs split from that...does not make it a "Y" cable. If it is a TWO-CONDUCTOR "TS" (tip and sleeve/ + and -) plug, it is probably a "Y" cable. It takes one signal in, and splits it equally to two out.

    If it has a THREE-CONDUCTOR "TRS" (tip-ring-sleeve/ in-out-ground) plug, it is probably an "Insert cable". You plug this into a board insert, and the tip may pass the signal coming out of the board through one part of the "Y", thru an outboard processor, back out of that and into othe leg of the "Y", which is the ring connected to the plug, into the input section of the board's "Insert". This makes a one-way loop out of the board, thru sometjhing, and back into the board thru an "insert cable"...TRS plug, two TS female jacks. It DOES NOT "Y" a signal.

    It may be entirely possible that you could run into a TRS "Y" cable. It would have to have a TRS plug going to "Y"ed TRS jacks. ALL THREE conductors are connected to all.

    Look up some wiring info. Make a "connections" folder to put all this stuff into to refer to. Look up TS, TRS, insert cable, Y cable, audio and/or mixer connections...whatever. Look at the diagrams, and follow the signal paths. You need to know this stuff if you are going to mess around. Otherwise, you'll spend more time logging into forums, writing, and waiting for someone to figure out exactly what you are asking, and then hoping you understand the answers. Do a bit of studying, and you'll fly thru this stuff. :cool:

    Just trying to help.

  20. david-b

    david-b Guest

    Ya I know I need to get a little better at my knowledge. I've been a live performer for years, and always had other people deal with the backend like that. I knew my guitar rig and setup and that was it. Now since those days are behind me and I want to start recording, I have to do research, this the reason why I'm here posting and searching.

    I did some work over the weekend and tried a bunch of different ways. Inserts are working fine with the compressor and the FX loop is great also. I have to diagram how I hooked it all up but that will be soon.

    My next questions is with the EQ and the Sonic Maximizer. On the compressor it has 2 sidechain input/outputs. Reading the manuals, it said sidechain is for EQ. So I did this:

    SC1 Send->EQ1->Max 1->SC1 Return
    SC2 Send->EQ2->Max 2->SC2 Return

    When running, if I change the output of the EQ, the levels on the compressor go up, but no matter what changes are made, they're no audible. So I can drop the EQ down flat and not notice it at all in the audio. Should I run those before/after the compressor in series then?

    Thanks again for everyones help.

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