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Signal path and Order of rack mount gear

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jm2, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    I am wondering about the order in which I should set up my devices. I am recording guitar direct (or bass) and wish to run it through a Lexicon MX200 effects processor, a preamp, a compressor, and then obviously the last connection will be my Firebox DI box.

    In what order should I run the compressor, Lexicon (for a little reverb), and preamp?
  2. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    Preamp -> Compressor -> Lexicon
  3. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    Thanks. Is that because one wants strong signals running to the compressor?
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    It's basic gain structure. It maximises signal-noise ratio. There's plenty of explanations of this (mostly from bent) on the forum if you want to search for them.

    Personally I'd record without the compression/reverb, maybe use it on the output only if I was monitoring with headphones.
    But if you want verb, you can choose to put it:
    1) before the compressor. IMO this will let the peaks cause spikes in reverb volume that will perhaps emphasise transients.
    2) after the compressor. This will give you a more consistent reverb volume and is likely what I'd do.
  5. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    Thanks, I get it now. I will use the reverb and compression very sparingly. I am aware of the hazards of recording effects -since they cannot be removed- but the Lexicon produces much better reverb than my stock plug-ins, and my thinking is that the subtle amount added during the recording will help the plug-ins (added later) to sound more natural. I think I read this technique (stacking reverbs?) somewhere, but I cannot recall where.
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Mmm...good reverbs do munch CPU time like it was free...

    Didn't the lexicon come as a plugin? I always thought they gave you a VST and the hardware was just an interface. Naturally I'll be wrong.
  7. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    The Lexicon MX200 is a rack mount effects processor. It has practically every effect one can think of, but I use it mostly for reverb and delay.

    The manual says that it can be used as a hardware plug in ( I take it this is what you were referring to), thus effects are usable without using any CPU power, but I have not yet figured out how to use it this way. Up until now I have used it simply as effects for amped guitar.The sound is very respectable, and perhaps exceptional for the price. I hope it works as well in recording.
  8. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    I also believe that if you put the reverb before the compressor, (depending on the amount and type of compression and length of reverb) you might get a very unnatural reverb, meaning after the compressor releases, it will get louder, as opposed to fading out. It makes for a cool effect especially in electronic music, but I gather that's not really what you're looking for. :wink:
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    compressed reverb versus uncompressed reverb is again a matter of perception & passion. EMT plates used to have a 2: 1 compressor on the input to the drive electronics. We tried it both ways through the years and eventually settled on no compression. That's not to say that our mixes did not get slightly compressed in mastering. They did. And if you're going to record your reverb, if you have the capabilities, print the output to 2 separate tracks on your multitrack. Then it CAN BE UNDONE.

    Rarely recording reverb unless I have to
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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