How to use the EFX presets on a Peavey RX 684?

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by rhinorob, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. rhinorob

    rhinorob Guest

    I'm a beginner in music but play with some quite experienced musicians. None of them are vocalists but one owns a Peavey RX 684 PA system. We only cover songs, mostly classic rock.

    It has 16 preset effects. I'm wishing for something like a "song mixers guide" that would indicate which pre-set would best help our live vocals replicate the original sound effect from the orginal bands vocals.

    Example; we cover Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith. It would be great to have some document that said "set PA to preset #4, Cathedral, for Sweet Emotion", set PA to preset # 15, Flange, for Jumping Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones), and such.

    So, after you stop laughing at my novice question, tell me, is there some such guide for PA effects?
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Yes, there is a guide. It's called YOUR EARS. In most cases, attempting to apply the same special effects that a recording has onto a live performance scenario is simply bogus and non-conducive to a good-sounding mix.
    For example, let's say the band is performing in a VFW Hall in downtown Birmingham. Lots of "room slap" reverberation. The band starts to crank out "Sweet Emotion". If memory serves me (I'm probably the same age of these "quite experienced musicians"), there is a heavy doseage of plate reverb (that's mostly all there was back then) in the beginning of that song. Do you know what that would sound like? MUD! Whoops, preset#16 worked fine in the rehearsal room, don't know why it sounds like crap in this nice big hall...
    Example#2: You're grooving on a Doobie Brothers tune,"Long Train Running". You have the Flanger preset set to go on the vocals during that break in the song. You kick it in at the appropriate moment. Horrendous feedback ensues. Why? Because flanging, by it's very nature, reinforces and cancels various frequencies, not to mention shifts the phase relationships beyond control. Sounds cool on that geetar, but live vocals can scream like a banshee in that situation.
    This doesn't even begin to cover the fact that what one manufacturer calls "Plate Reverb" can sound quite different than another manufacturer's.
    And Peavey, while making a decent "weekend warrior" product, is not really known for making pristine industry-standard effects in the first place.
    Enough of the ranting. The best way to use the DSP effects on that unit for vocals is to dial in a subtle, tight time delay to thicken the vocals and give them a larger presence without actually increasing their gain. This means that you select the whatever Delay/Echo preset they provide, and adjust he Time parameter down to less than 100 ms. You'll have to play with that. No repeats ("regeneration"). Longer times (<300 ms) for the slower songs. Adjust the time to match the tempo of the slower songs, NEVER leave the delay "on" while there is no singing or bantering with the audience. If you want to smooth out background vocals with a bit of reverb, fine. You'll have to experiment with the unit's presets to see what works best. Remember less is more....
  3. rhinorob

    rhinorob Guest

    I apprciate your input. It reinforces what I was concerned about; the digital technology is such a huge factor in music today it is an entire disipline to learn in and of itself. Thats why sound engineers exist.

    I was hope for just a head start on categorizing different effects for certain genre's of music of certain artist's preferences. Many bands have a signature "sound" that is recognizable. I was hoping a vocal effect might be prevelent too that I could document.

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