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[SOLVED] Clipping on ZED10 Mixer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by MC208, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    Hi, I'm new here, not sure if this is the correct forum to post in, but my ultimate goal is recording, so here goes:

    My Gear:
    • A Jazz Guitar
    • Peavey DPC-1000 Power Amp
    • PreSonus 2 channel BlueTube
    • Allen & Heath ZED 10FX Mixer
    • RAMSA WS-A80 speakers for monitor sound
    • MP3 Track
    • RODE Microphone
    • Canon XA10 Camcorder
    1/4" Output of guitar into channel 1 of BlueTube
    Output of BlueTube into GTR1 HiZ input of mixer

    Main Mix XLR OUT from mixer into XLR inputs on camcorder
    1/4" Aux OUT from mixer to 1/4" Y adapter to 1/4" Inputs on back of power amp.

    The microphone goes XLR into channel 1 of the mixer, and the MP3 goes into the ST1 channel on the mixer. I use the aux volumes on the channels and the main aux volume so the guitarist can hear himself and the MP3 track. I turn the aux volume on the mic channel down so it doesn't output and cause feedback.

    I use the main mix volumes for what's going into my camcorder so I can adjust the levels during shooting, without disrupting the volume the guitarist is hearing as we record.

    No matter how many ways I've tried to configure this setup, for some reason, the mixer level clips when there's not a lot of volume. To compare, I also have an Acoustic Image Clarus Series 4, which has 650w of power, and when I plug the guitar, and mp3 player into it, and go into the same RAMSA speakers, I can crank it way up, plenty of volume and no clipping or distortion issues.

    So I think something is definitely wrong somewhere in my setup. Questions I have include, how high should the outputs of the power amp be? Should I even use the BlueTube (it's great for warming the sound of the guitar), how much gain should I have on the BlueTube? I don't use drive. Should I use any gain on the guitar's mixer channel? Is the Y-adapter causing an issue?

    Let me know if I've left anything out, and thanks in advance for any help on getting this setup right.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Two points:

    1) Explain what the Y-adaptor does. How is it connected?

    2) You should take the BlueTube output to a line input on the mixer, not the hi-Z guitar input (the BlueTube has already presented a high impedance to the guitar).
  3. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    Thank you for the reply. I've attached a picture showing the Y-adapter. It's 1/4" in and out.
    I will change the input from the BlueTube on the mixer, thank you for that.

    Attached Files:

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    as Bos said, you should run the Blue Tube into a line input on the ZED not a guitar in ... what you are doing now is pre amping the guitar twice ... you also probably have some kind of impeadence mismatch. either that or just skip the Blue Tube ....

    also run the amp out of the MONITOR outs not the stereo pair. that way you can use the aux out to drive the camera.
  5. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    Kurt, not sure what you mean here:

    "also run the amp out of the MONITOR outs not the stereo pair. that way you can use the stereo main outs to drive the camera."

    I'm running aux out from the zed to the pictured y adapter, to the peavey. Using aux so that I can have that separate mix that I can control levels with using the aux levels on each channel, as well as the main aux volume.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    your monitors should be run from the monitor outs not the aux. that's the RCA jacks. this output is controlled by the monitor output level knob giving you control over the volume of your speakers. this way you can just crank your monitor amp (Peavey) all the way up and run the volume from the mixer.
  7. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    But if I do that, then I lose level control on each channel that aux out gives me. Correct? Or is there a way to use them with monitor out?
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    no go ahead and run the camera off the aux out like you are already doing. sh*t can the y adapter.
  9. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    No I'm using main mix out (XLR) to the camcorder. Aux out to peavey to speakers.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    that will work too. but the speakers should be run from the monitor out ...
  11. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    But can the channel aux levels be controlled with monitor out?
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    no. you use the aux send control to do that.
  13. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    Exactly, so how can I use monitor out, if I want to be able to control that second mix (aux) IOE, there's no monitor levels control on each channel, only aux, which is why I use aux out to go to the speakers.

    Found this in the manual, not sure if it applies:
    Record Bus:
    A separately switched stereo bus can be routed to from any channel creating a selective recording bus, monitoring bus or stereo clean feed output. You can even route just the effects processor output to this bus and use the mixer as a high end effects unit.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it looks like you need to press the listen button on the guitar channel and then select headphones for the monitor source.
  15. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    I'll try putting the guitar in the line input and see how it goes. I think I need to keep the aux output though, don't see a way with monitor out..
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

  17. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I gather from your overnight exchange with Kurt is that you want two separate mixes (i.e. individual control of channel levels), each mix having a control of output level. The Aux out gives you a mono mix, which you feed in parallel into both channels of your power amp via the Y-adaptor, and you feed the mixer's main stereo output to the two inputs of the camera.

    We've cleared up the business of the BlueTube output having to feed a mixer line input and not a Hi-Z guitar input, but you need to check that you are using a TS jack cable (like a guitar lead) from the unbalanced TS jack output of the BlueTube channel 1 to a line input of mixer channels 1 or 2.

    Assuming you are connecting the main outputs of the mixer to the camera's XLR inputs, check on the camera that you have the XLR TERMINAL switches on both channels set to LINE level, the recording operating mode set to M (manual) and not AUTO, and that AUDIO MIX is not selected.
    DonnyThompson likes this.
  18. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    The audio inputs on the camera are the choke-point in a set-up like you're describing. As Boswell recommends, make sure you're not just plowing the camera inputs with entirely too much level coming in.

    If you haven't already, use a pair of headphones and appropriate the Solo/AFL/PFL buttons and knobs to confirm you've got a clean signal at the various mix outputs. If you're good at the ZED outputs, you know it's a camera related issue. Your camera should allow you to monitor the incoming audio via headphones as well. The most common mistake, as Boswell points out, is leaving the camera's Audio Input Levels set to AUTO.
  19. MC208

    MC208 Active Member

    Boswell, yes you're correct. I want two separate mixes and the only way (that I know how) to accomplish that is to use the Aux out because each channel has an aux level control, in addition to a main aux level control. This allows me to accomplish another thing which is to turn the mic output volume all the way down so it doesn't come out the speakers, but it does go out the main mix to the camcorder. As far as the type of cable from the bluetube to the mixer, it's a 1/4" guitar cable, just shorter, like a patch cable. Everything is fine on the camcorder as far as volume is concerned. The issue isn't what's going into the camera, it's what's happening in the mixer with the clipping; later on we're going to try going into the line input on the mixer instead of the guitar input to see if that fixes the issue. It makes sense to me.

    dvdhawk, if anything, the signal level going into the camcorder is too low, so I have to bump it up using the channel gains on the camcorder, which is ok. The camcorder has decibel meter so I know that the level is correct.

    I wonder if I can ditch the Y-adaptor and just go into one channel of the power amp, if the power amp has a mono output to both channels. Will have to check the manual for that...
  20. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    The XA10 is a nice camera and should be more than capable.

    Like everyone else, I'm suspicious of the Y. Can you tell us whether that Y-adaptor is TRS or TS ¼", as well as each of the cables from there to the back of the Peavey, are they TS or TRS cables? (the Peavey can be operated in mono-bridge mode if you're using the binding posts - with or without the banana plugs - rather than the ¼" speaker outputs)

    Assuming your gain-structure is OK within the ZED, the Main Outs should put out enough level to crush the camera Audio Inputs.
    Have you checked the O/P Level switch on the back of the ZED?

    So to be clear, the volume deficiency is in the camera's recording level AND the Ramsa Speakers?
    And the volume is low on BOTH (Guitar Mic and mp3 Track) inputs?

    You've bypassed both the ZED and the Peavey to compare results using just the Clarus SL-R.
    Can you do a simple set-up of ZED Main XLR Outputs -> Peavey Amp -> Ramsa Speakers for comparison?

    This is puzzling. Hang in there, you'll find the culprit.

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