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Total newbie - Need to send 2 mic signals to 1 mixer channel

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Brian, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Hey guys, question on sending 2 signals into one channel and how to do it, (if possible.)

    I work with a front ensemble percussion unit for a high school marching band. I have 3 marimbas and 2 vibraphones this year, and will probably have 4 marimbas and 3 vibraphones next year. In a perfect world, each marimba would have 2 mics on it, (one for the low end and one for the high end,) and the vibes would have one each. With the other instruments we mic for the band/inputs for keyboard and synth, we're running out of channels fast.

    I know it's not an ideal solution, but is there a way to put both mic inputs from each marimba into one channel on the mixer?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The ideal answer is no. You should use a small local mixer to accept the mics from (say) 2 marimbas and pan the 4 mics to L and R outputs to go off to two channels of the main mixer. If you only want mono output it's a bit easier and uses up only one channel of the main mixer, but the principle of using a local mixer is the same.

    There are some horrible kludge methods that would produce a low-grade result if you are using identical dynamic mics (SM57s for example) for all the channels. These include wiring special XLR Y-pieces that would connect the mics in either series or parallel as appropriate. This reduces the received signal from the mics as well as changing the sonic quality, and is not recommended except in emergency. This method does not work for condenser mics. Note that you would have no control over the balance between mics that were wired into one channel.

    How do you march while playing marimbas and vibraphones?
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    That's the question ! ;)

    I guess the best thing would be buying a mixer with enough inputs or rent one.
    Adding a small mixer just for the percussion is an option but it better be near the main mixer if you don't want the FOH guy to hate you.
    The last thing I think, why not using a pair of good overheads for that section ? (you mix them by placing the softest players/instrument close the mics)
  4. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Oddly, it does work for condensers as long as their current requirement is modest - small diaphragm mics can be paired this way. The trouble is you will almost certainly get cancellation effects as they are close physically - you could however, use the splits to add together two different instrument's bottom ends and top ends. The results are very unpredictable, and although it might work, just borrow another smaller mixer and use to to subgroup some inputs together.

    Being English, I'm not up on marching bands, but are you recording them actually moving? If not, and visuals are not critical, then why not simply space the musicians and just use one mic, rather than two?
  5. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    For the amount of time and money you'll spend on adapters and or wiring 2 mic sources to 1 input for 14 mics you should just get another cheap mixer. Better results and more control.
  6. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    analog cheap mixers that are decent are all over the place now - cascading audio mixers is commonplace, and does the job.
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    A small Soundcraft or A&H is a good place to start ! :)

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