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Mixer EQ Settings

Discussion in 'Recording' started by schneeebly9803, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. schneeebly9803

    schneeebly9803 Member

    Oct 5, 2011
    I just recently got a new Behringer UBB1002 as my first mixer and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to help me out with the EQ settings and gain. Im new to home recording so I dont really know the standards for proper levels of gain, dB, etc.. any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Make sure outboard power amp (or powered speakers) are off. Power mixer "Off". (You don't HAVE to turn everything off anytime you want to plug in or remove a mic or instrument, but we're starting from scratch. Just remember if the system is on, and you want to add or remove a mic or instrument, ALWAYS turn down the channel fader and input trim first, and it's even a good idea to turn down the main fader, also. That should minimize any connect/disconnect pops/clicks/etc.)

    Turn "Input Level" (or input trim) knobs all the way down.

    Turn all EQ knobs flat (or to center).

    Make sure all channel/master faders are down.

    Connect mic(s)/instrument(s).

    Turn on mixer. Turn on power amp/powered speakers.

    Bring channel 1 fader up to "unity" (or the thick "0" mark).

    Bring main fader up to "unity" (or "0").

    Sing or play instrument into channel one. Slowly bring up input trim, if necessary, so that the channel one clip LED just blinks on loudest parts. That means it's at right about the proper level. Don't let it blink too much, though. That means it's too high.

    Repeat for any other channels.

    Check to make sure main output LED meters are not overloading with everything playing. If so, then it's a juggling act of lowering either the loudest input trim(s) just slightly, the loudest channel fader(s) just slightly, or lastly, the main fader just slightly. You may even do just a very slight lowering of any of those combinations. The goal is to leave the channel and main faders as close to "unity" as possible, though. That's why you start with them set at "unity", and then adjust input at the trim.
    It'll probably be OK with channel clip LEDs very occasionally blinking, but try to keep them all just below red, and the main meters just below.

    Also remember that individual channels accumulate in the main stereo bus, so an individual vocal/instrument may not be getting the main meters very high, but more channels added in will cause the main meters to rise in intensity.

    If you have something plugged in that overloads a channel even with the trim all the way down, try lowering the level at the source (keyboard, drum machine, whatever).

    So, you basically start with a basic starting point, and fine-tweak from there.

    That should all get you the cleanest signal, or as clean as it can get through a Behringer, anyway.

    One other thing: If you have that plugged into a power amp/speakers, or powered speakers, always use the proper power up/power down sequence to avoid possibly sending a speaker-blowing "POP!" through the speakers.

    Mixer ON first, then amp/speakers on.

    Amp/speakers OFF first, then mixer off.

    Enjoy it, and learn as much as possible before it inevitably fails, as do most Behringers made by slave-labor in China using the absolute cheapest parts and suspect copied reverse-engineering. You may have learned enough before then to be ready for something a bit more reliable and definitely better-sounding.

    Good luck,

  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    Set levels according to your manual's directions and set eq according to taste.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I have found throughout the years that if you can leave your equalizers set to zero (off), your microphone selection and their placement thereof will yield incredible recordings. Those equalizers should not be played with unless it's for some slight corrections. Otherwise, equalizers are nothing more than FX devices when used mindlessly, generally yielding imperfect sounding results. Part of that reason is also because inexpensive equalizers are generally just not that musical sounding and can actually do more harm than good. In fact in some lesser expensive consoles like TA-SCAM's, in their analog consoles, I have found their mid range equalizer controls to sound quite vile and I won't generally touch those because of that. I might add a little downward tilt on the low-frequency shelving equalizer and maybe even a little tilt upwards on the high frequency equalizer but that's it. The midrange one makes me want to barf.

    I can't and no one here can stress the importance enough of proper gain settings. While numerous small mixers are more than adequate to use, sometimes they fall a little shy of producing their potential quality with improper gain settings. Now gain settings take on a twofold consideration. You have volume controls and you have trim controls. As mentioned above, every mixer has what is known as a unity gain position. Unity gain generally indicates that all level trims have been properly adjusted. Placing your volume controls in the unity gain position (that thick 0, two thirds of the way up your fader) indicates that the multitude of little amplification stages throughout the guts of the mixer are operating at their optimum design parameters. But even optimum design parameters on inexpensive mixers do not necessarily yield optimal results. And that's because, inexpensive gear usually lacks 15 or even more DB of the capabilities of true professional equipment. So when gain is properly adjusted, it may not have the open punchy quality of its more expensive siblings. But in many cases, there is a workaround for that. The workaround is a compromise cheat. Instead of trying to squeeze maximum allowable level of the microphone preamp section, you back off on that a bit by, say, 5-10 DB. Meaning that your trim control is not turned up to the level recommended in your manual. You'll quickly realize that you are at too low of a level. OK then, you push up your volume control (fader) on your master outputs. What this does is create a modified gain structure. The preamps now are not being overstressed. The output amplifiers are making up for the losses. This will give you the sound of the higher headroom (freedom from distortion) that the more expensive equipment has. While at the same time, the compromise trade off is an equivalently more amount of noise or HISS, equivalent to the 5-10 DB of difference. But that my friend, can be more effectively dealt with in software than ever in hardware in the analog days.

    My above technique and descriptions vary in use by how the manufacturer conceptualized & created their equipment. My description is not quite as applicable to mixers such as Mackie's. That's because their microphone preamp, while it appears on their mixer & audio interfaces have a trim control, their trim control is not adjusting the microphone preamp. Their microphone preamp is actually a fixed unchangeable gain of only 20 DB. The trim control is actually adjusting a secondary buffer amplifier after the microphone preamp. In a sense, what they have done internally is what I basically described above. So they essentially built my concept into their mixers. That's another reason why they and others don't have a " PAD " switch Incorporated with with the preamp. This makes their preamp work in such a way as to cause it to never overload since it is not producing much amplification. You make up for its lack of amplification in the secondary amplification stage which does have an adjustment. So their preamp and others similar to that are more goof proof than older more traditional designs where the preamp can be drastically overdriven. And it is that freedom from overloaded transient distortion that separates the men from the toys.

    I do not know how that relates to me being a woman? Maybe it is separates the toys from the men?
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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