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Hello Gurus,
Am new to forum and new to recording too. I've just ordered my Yamaha STAGEPAS 600i PA which is reaching in couple of days. I want to record live events (mostly Karaoke music) from PA mixer. I checked that it has 2 monitor outs which is the only option to record it seems. Can you please suggest what all I need to make a decent sounding recording to a laptop ? or do I need to have a field microphone to receive the inputs and record ? Basically am trying to understand best options to record (am a novice). Highly appreciate your help.

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bouldersound Tue, 05/29/2018 - 18:02

I would use a pair of DIs that had enough attenuation (30-40dB pad) and a 2-channel USB audio interface. Connect each speaker output to the 1/4" input of one DI, engage the pad, connect from the DI parallel 1/4" jack to the speakers. Then connect the XLR from each DI to a channel of the audio interface.

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Boswell Wed, 05/30/2018 - 05:03

I've never recorded from a Stagepas 600i, but have often taken feeds from both my Stagepas 300 and 500 units. On those, the monitor outs are on phono (RCA) jacks, so I simply use a pair of phono-jack leads to run from those outputs to the line inputs on whatever interface or recorder I'm using at the time. On the 400i and 600i, the monitor outputs are on TS jacks, so you should use a 2-channel (dual) TS jack lead or a pair of single TS jack leads.

When it comes to which audio interface to get, you don't give us much in the way of clues as to what you are prepared to spend. You can get a workable 2-channel unit from $50 (Lexicon Alpha), but you would get improved results from spending a bit more. There are several to choose from at the $100 level, an example being the Presonus Audiobox USB96. If you can go higher $ than that, we can advise further. I would avoid the Behringer offerings.

audiokid Wed, 05/30/2018 - 09:01

I was thinking the same as Bos but was quite impressed with your config Boulder. (y)

This post interests me because (hacking my way around live recording back in my day) I've always used monitor outs to send and track or extend the mixer feed , including sometimes... using a Y , however this usually reduced the level but still seemed to work in times of need.
I would simply attenuate the mixer feed from the board, find the sweet spot on the tracking input (tape machine) and then monitor from that source (the monitor out of that last piece in the chain) which in those days was Nak decks or another mixer (if that wording makes sense)
Not sure if that's the correct way to get proper signal to and from a PA console with limited outs like the OP was wondering but its always worked for me.

As usual... you've simplified it Bos. You guys rock.

Ravi Wed, 05/30/2018 - 09:14

Boswell, post: 457158, member: 29034 wrote: I've never recorded from a Stagepas 600i, but have often taken feeds from both my Stagepas 300 and 500 units. On those, the monitor outs are on phono (RCA) jacks, so I simply use a pair of phono-jack leads to run from those outputs to the line inputs on whatever interface or recorder I'm using at the time. On the 400i and 600i, the monitor outputs are on TS jacks, so you should use a 2-channel (dual) TS jack lead or a pair of single TS jack leads.

When it comes to which audio interface to get, you don't give us much in the way of clues as to what you are prepared to spend. You can get a workable 2-channel unit from $50 (Lexicon Alpha), but you would get improved results from spending a bit more. There are several to choose from at the $100 level, an example being the Presonus Audiobox USB96. If you can go higher $ than that, we can advise further. I would avoid the Behringer offerings.

Thanks Boswell for the kind response. I own Focusrite 2i2. Can I use it to record from 600i using 2 channel TS jack lead ? If so will the two leads go to two inputs of focurite as left and right channels ? Does the monitor out volume from mixer (if more) cause any issue to Focusrite (or) I do need to take care of attenuation ? Is Audacity enough to record ? Some of my questions may be too basic but am in the very beginning stages of recording live sound (earlier did recording with condensor mic connecting to focusrite & audacity). Appreciate your response !!

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Boswell Wed, 05/30/2018 - 09:50

Yes, you can use the Focusrite 2i2. Simply plug one end of the dual TS jack lead into the monitor outputs of the SP600i and the other ends into the jack inputs (centre of the front panel input connectors) of the 2i2.

Getting the signal level in the right range will take a bit of practice and adjustment. Start by turning the gain controls on both 2i2 channels fully anti-clockwise, then set the 600i playing at a reasonable volume through its speakers. Load Audacity, check in the Preferences that it's set to record from the 2i2, then hit the red record button. The blue trace starts scrolling across the screen. Carefully wind up the two gain knobs on the 2i2 (keeping the two channels in step with one another) until loud peaks in the material being played produce amplitude envelopes in the dispayed waveform that are not more than about half the available height of each channel on the display. When you are using this in a performance, you will probably have the Stagepas playing louder than you had it in your living room, so you will need to turn the 2i2 gain knobs up less.

When replaying your recorded tracks from the computer via the 2i2, you could use the same two leads to go instead from the 2i2 rear-panel line outputs to the Stagepas jack inputs on (say) channels 5/6. However, since the 2i2 outputs are balanced, it would be electrically better to use TRS rather than TS cables for this particular task.

Ravi Wed, 05/30/2018 - 11:48

bouldersound, post: 457164, member: 38959 wrote: There's a monitor output knob with a little mark for "nominal" level. I'd start it there.

Yes Boulder..That can control output volume. Thanks !!

Ravi Wed, 05/30/2018 - 11:51

Boswell, post: 457163, member: 29034 wrote: Yes, you can use the Focusrite 2i2. Simply plug one end of the dual TS jack lead into the monitor outputs of the SP600i and the other ends into the jack inputs (centre of the front panel input connectors) of the 2i2.

Thanks Boswell. So two TS Jack leads from Monitor outs will go into one input of 2i2 (when you say center of front panel input connectors) ? Will I need 2 to 1 TS jack then ?

Getting the signal level in the right range will take a bit of practice and adjustment. Start by turning the gain controls on both 2i2 channels fully anti-clockwise, then set the 600i playing at a reasonable volume through its speakers. Load Audacity, check in the Preferences that it's set to record from the 2i2, then hit the red record button. The blue trace starts scrolling across the screen. Carefully wind up the two gain knobs on the 2i2 (keeping the two channels in step with one another) until loud peaks in the material being played produce amplitude envelopes in the dispayed waveform that are not more than about half the available height of each channel on the display. When you are using this in a performance, you will probably have the Stagepas playing louder than you had it in your living room, so you will need to turn the 2i2 gain knobs up less.

When replaying your recorded tracks from the computer via the 2i2, you could use the same two leads to go instead from the 2i2 rear-panel line outputs to the Stagepas jack inputs on (say) channels 5/6. However, since the 2i2 outputs are balanced, it would be electrically better to use TRS rather than TS cables for this particular task.

Thanks for all the instructions :)

Ravi Wed, 05/30/2018 - 11:52

Ravi, post: 457166, member: 51310 wrote: Thanks for all the instructions :)

Sorry my earlier in-line query went undistinguished. Here was my question in above post

Thanks Boswell. So two TS Jack leads from Monitor outs will go into one input of 2i2 (when you say center of front panel input connectors) ? Will I need 2 to 1 TS jack then ?

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bouldersound Wed, 05/30/2018 - 12:01

Ravi, post: 457167, member: 51310 wrote: Sorry my earlier in-line query went undistinguished. Here was my question in above post

Thanks Boswell. So two TS Jack leads from Monitor outs will go into one input of 2i2 (when you say center of front panel input connectors) ? Will I need 2 to 1 TS jack then ?

It should be two monitor outputs to two interface inputs, so a pair of standard unbalanced 1/4" patch cables (typical guitar cords).

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Boswell Thu, 05/31/2018 - 04:23

Ravi, post: 457188, member: 51310 wrote: Thanks everyone. Solutions I've received help with home recording (audio interface & laptop etc.), but if I want to record performances outside, is there any simpler way available ?

The Stagepas 600i is an analogue unit (at least from the outside), so you would need a recorder that has a stereo analogue input. I used to do this sort of thing using portable minidisc recorders, but they have gone right out of fashion these days. Since you will be using the Stagepas, you will have mains pwer available, so there's no point in striving solely to find a reasonable-quality battery-operated recorder. Having said that, something like the Zoom H4N or the newer Zoom H6 would work well for this. The problem they are prone to of internal noise when recording microphone level signals does not apply when using line-level input signals.

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bouldersound Thu, 05/31/2018 - 08:05

Boswell, post: 457242, member: 29034 wrote: Having said that, something like the Zoom H4N or the newer Zoom H6 would work well for this. The problem they are prone to of internal noise when recording microphone level signals does not apply when using line-level input signals.

The original H4n is the one with the noise. The newer models, including the updated H4n Pro, have addressed that.

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bouldersound Thu, 05/31/2018 - 10:02

Ravi, post: 457286, member: 51310 wrote: Thanks Boswell & Boulder.
H4n Pro is a little over budget for me at this point. Do you think tascam dr-05 can handle the task with decent quality ?

That would probably work but you'll need a cable that goes from two 1/4" plugs to one stereo 1/8" plug, and you might need to be more careful about levels coming out of the PA.

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Boswell Thu, 05/31/2018 - 10:18

Ravi, post: 457286, member: 51310 wrote: Thanks Boswell & Boulder.
H4n Pro is a little over budget for me at this point. Do you think tascam dr-05 can handle the task with decent quality ?

The DR-05 does not have proper line inputs, only an external microphone input that has 5V plug-in power on it. I would not trust the Sp600i to be comfortable with that. In addition, as Boulder indicated, because it's essentially a microphone input, the maximum input level is only -4dBV. This would mean very careful control on the monitor level knob, as the input could easily be exceeded by the monitor outputs of the Sp600i, which will go to +20dBu (about +18dBV). An attenuator (e.g. 20dB) that has d.c. blocking would solve this little difficulty.

As for the sound quality, my guess it would be a little below that of the Zoom, but may be acceptable.