Couple of questions

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Codemonkey, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    First an apology, I've been busy this week and almost away from the computer a lot (plus I was on holiday/vacation a few weeks back...). Been feeling really apart from the forums. But I'm back, with additional features now.

    Thanks to your advice over the years, I managed to run sound for a nightly kids club, and notice some signs of age in our system. Good to be different :D

    You can skip to the "final thoughts", I enjoy talking too much. I'm sorry. I can't help it.

    ---useless waffle---
    A local sound company are having a sale and our church might be getting a couple of bits.

    They have a barely used Yamaha MG24/14 for £450 (as opposed to the normal £800-ish asking price). Also some assorted wedges, and cables they've amassed dozens of. (patch cables for 50 pence etc.) All of it is claimed to be tested and working.

    Obviously noone here is in a position to say "get X/Y/Z" but:

    ---interesting part---
    ---and more waffle---

    Anyone got any experiences with running a monitor mix off a POST-fader bus? I can only imagine it being awful. (No more pre-sends on our current board to expand monitoring)

    I like the idea of the Yamaha, our current Phonic board is showing signs of age. I saw a post tonight how the MG series was good but the 24/14 in particular? It adds 4 mono channels, 2 stereo channels, sub-grouping and 4 monitor mixes to our existing setup. I was looking at the 32/14 online, lustfully I must admit. Although we'd need an amp.

    There's also a Soundcraft M12 which I could use in parallel with our existing setup although it's overkill for that exclusive purpose.

    The wedges include new Community, used Dynacord and a pair of Mackie somethings (S215's maybe). All of which is about £100 per wedge.

    I hope to get some patch cables and stuff anyway.

    ---final thoughts---

    Post-fader sends for monitors, is it a gory pit of bloodshed and tears or not that bad?

    It's doing that, or shelling up £700 for the MG24 + an amp. Although the current board could be sold (or used as an amp by supplying to the inputs).

    Thoughts on (new) Community/(ex hire)Dynacord wedges? We could use a few but the above problem exists with a lack of aux buses.

    No idea on the budget - we do have cash in the bank but obviously splashing out a lot is not a high priority.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Post fade aux sends can work on a dedicated monitor mixer as long as the initial gain is set and left alone. I'm pretty sure the MG24 has a pfl switch though on every pair of aux sends. It's been a while since I eyeballed one so I could be mistaken.
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    My constant eyeballing of various 32 channel mixers led me to a picture of an MG, it seems to have PFL switches on 1/2, 3/4 and aux 5/6 are set as PFL, but the pots are switchable to control the efx sends instead. On a per channel basis.

    That's a possibility then, thanks.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    From what I'm seeing, Aux 1-2 & Aux 3-4 are assignable as pre or post -fader (on a channel by channel basis - which is handy) only Aux 5 & 6 are permanently wired post-fader. This set-up would be ideal to run 4 (pre-fader) monitor mixes and 2 (post-fader) effects sends. How many monitor mixes do you need?

    Professional musicians, wouldn't like their monitors fluctuating with FOH mix adjustments, but honestly amateur singers & musicians probably won't know the difference if you don't make any radical adjustments.

    "PFL" is a different topic than a pre-fader button on the Auxes. PFL (Pre Fader Listen) allows you to basically eavesdrop on or "Solo" that specific channel or aux through your headphones - regardless of fader position. It gives you a way to discretely isolate and identify noises, hiss, hum, who's singing off-key, whatever. Plus you can use your headphones to listen to the Aux mixes you're sending to the stage.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You're absolutely right! Apparently I had been up too long yesterday at that point and wasn't paying attention to myself. No one else does either....
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I know you know better Jack, I'm just trying to avoid having a confused monkey on our hands.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    lol - I don't want CM confused! With those Plan 9 From Outer Space glasses he might shoot a ray gun at me or something...
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    No, it's fine. I know the difference - although like yourself I'd typed PFL.
    PFsend PFlisten PFsend PFlisten PFsend PFlisten.

    A codemonkey with a raygun? :shock:

    Currently we have two wedges on separate mixes, one for the multitude of vocalists and one for the drummer. I would like to have another wedge at least to cover the pianist or guitarist although a separate mix would be ideal.
    I don't think that 2 more mixes would be fantastic although needs can change in a heartbeat.

    Normally I don't slam faders a lot (the less heavy-handed I am the better it seems to sound), but we don't soundcheck. The first song of the service is where I set that day's levels, everything else is carried over from the rehearsal. Not great, I know.
  9. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    You could always use one board as a monitor board. You'd need a splitter then.
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The MG will be a nice upgrade for your system, CM. They are probably the best bang for the buck. I have used a few of the different models. I wasn't impressed with the 32-channel because the outputs seemed to clip faster than the 24-channel model (church setting). I suspect that was the result of both boards having the same power supply and the 32 just taxed it more. That was certainly true of the Mackie SR24.4 vs the SR32.4.
    Be aware that the Community stuff is now Chinese-built, I don't know where the Dynacord is made-Germany still? If so, they probably use better components. Dynacord is kind of analagous to Yorkville over here.
    Not bad, reasonably robust gear.
    I've had to use post-fade auxes for stage mixes before. Usually as a backline mix for sidefills, not the perfect solution, but certainly useable.
    Glad to see you expanding your kit!
  11. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Glad to see you expanding your kit!"
    Me too - well, I hope so. mixer might be pushing it - the MG, necessary amp, and probably a bigger table to put it on, and the extra wedge or two to make it worthwhile - it adds up. Plus, we don't really need loads more channels or buses, although it would be nice to have more than we need, again.

    The post-fader mixes would be if we kept our current board - 2 proper auxes, 2 effect sends (1 of which is used for the induction loop).

  12. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    One of your post-fader sends would be dandy for the induction loop/assitive listening feed. It would more closely mirror the FOH mix.
  13. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    That's what we're using currently. It would work the same with the Yamaha, the loop only gets fed the mic at the lectern, and the radio mic - neither of these go through the monitors.

    Anyway I spoke to a guy at the company & the minister so it's up to them to see what cash is going spare.
    At £100 a wedge (and with an amp sitting idle), I'm hopeful.

    New question:
    (I believe they're called banana plugs; the red and black 2-pole affair?)
    We have an amp with 2 banana plug outputs. These are wired with 1/4" TS jacks on the other end. The wedges we might get have speakons.

    What are the implications of changing the current connectors to be speakons? Does this cause any fire hazard or leave cables floating?

    Also I've seen amps wired with speakon adapters hanging off the back. Would this be a better solution, getting two longer speakon-speakon cables to extend from them, rather than having two long speakon-banana cables?
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Just wire it right is all. Speakon pushes in and twists so it doesn't pull apart easily at gigs which is a plus. Get a magnifying glass and bright light to read the 1+ 1- 2+ 2- scribing.
  15. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    There's nothing wrong with binding post / banana plug connections. You just have to be very tidy with every single strand of wire.

    Speakon would be considerably more durable and actually safer than a 1/4" pigtail. They have more surface area to the contacts and can handle more power with more fidelity - easily taking up to 11AWG wire. Not only does a Speakon lock in place, but the positive and negative are encased and connect "ground first / positive last" as they lock in place - which is good if you're hotpatching a speaker. There's no such thing as a male Speakon cable end, so you'll either need a panelmount male or one of the couplers. (gender is very confusing on these things) The cable ends are easily assembled and repaired, if needed, without soldering. If you get the screw-terminal version of the panelmount all you need is just a phillipshead screwdriver and wirecutters/strippers.

    These rock!

    These feedthroughs are cool too.
  16. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    The amp sits on a shelf, not rackmounted (I'd like to do that but wooden cases are surprisingly expensive).

    The company are having a sale on wires too, so I should be able to get some longer speakon-speakon wires, then maybe have them add short adapters to it. I don't trust myself with a soldering iron on anything amplified.

    Redco looks well stocked, too bad about the $30 shipping charge to here.
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    On many speakers/monitors the jack plate can be changed out to speakon.
  18. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    What? Your never going to get any confidence unless you try. Believe me, its really not that hard to do, and your going to become a great engineer by knowing how to fix that cord when one of the nervous musicians breaks it just before a live performance.

    Man, I really like saving the money and making my own cables for my patches. I think you may change your mind about it Code if you give it a good try, heck go work at a repair shop somewhere, you'll learn while your getting paid!
  19. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    TheJackAttack - the speakers are speakon (current ones are 1/4" although none have ever fallen out during a show), and the amp has banana plugs. I take it amps can't be changed easily?

    jammster that's inspiring - about time I got a job :lol: I'd still prefer to start with 1/4" cables (we have a few dead ones of those...) but I'm still planning to pick up a few in this sale (at roughly $2 a pop, gimme 4).
  20. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Glad to hear that Code, we'll make you an ace engineer yet! :p

    Edit: Oh, forgot to mention that you need a simple ohm meter, works as a continuity tester also. All you have to do when making 1/4" cords is know that your audio is on the tip and the shield is on the sleeve. Inserts are a little more complicated. You use tip for send, ring for return and sleeve for ground(shield).

    You then of course split the shield in two, sending one to the send and one to the return along with the consecutive audio wires( one send tip, sleeve / one return tip / sleeve)

    Of course you end up having to use quite a bit of shrink wrap over the Y split where you separate the shield in two and splice in the send and return,
    try using different colored cable for the send and return so you will always know easily when fumbling through your maze of analog wizardry.

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