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3-Piece rock set up w/ Mackie gear

jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
edited April 2007 in PA Configuration Wizard
Hey guys,

I've got a few questions to tweak my Mackie gear:

1. Pre-sets: I'm running SA1232 tops and SWA 1801 subs, should I use custom settings for both? Would the Mackie preset be better (though it's a different model?)

2. X-over: These are active boxes and have internal xovers. I'd like to cross the subs at 80Hz (internally set at 120Hz) and send everything else to the tops (tops are internally triamped and x'ed). So, basically it's two way. I currently run in mono (before buying the drpa) - looks like I can run subs mono, but have to run tops stereo? Which outputs should I use and how should I set up the x-over (including slope - Mackie interal x-overs are at 24).

3. Tweaking: Drummer's using a nice Roland electronic kit, sending a single line to me. I want the biggest, fullest, loudest kick I can get. He's sending me this awesome Roland patch, but it's bottoming out the subs at fairly low volume. His signal is not too hot on the board LED. Ideas? Are their frequencies to cut/boost to maximize (someone said the bottoming out is referred to as 'doppling' - ever heard of such a word?)

4. Compression: Any recommendations for compressor settings that smooth out peaks but don't hinder the 'wow' effect that I want (loud and big sound for 3 piece rock)? I was thinking the compressor might help with the kick problem, too. Other settings/tools in the drpa for the wow effect?

5. Gain Structure: Since I'm running active boxes, I don't think I can follow the guidlines described in the Appendix for gain structure. Any ideas on how to maximize my gain structure other than old school spl?

It looks like a lot in writing, but heck, this would be a short conversation (maybe?). Still, sorry for the long post.



  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    All the C300 preset does is give you a bandpass filter..
    I would go all custom if I were you.
    you can set the cross wherever you want below the Xover point but @ 80 hz you will be limiting the power of the tops by doing so.
    no you don't have to run stereo, you can run off either Hi output the Hi and Lo outs are all that will be used in the bi-amp mode
    use L/R 24 @ whatever your cross point is
    I would recommend he sends you three signals, Kick, Snare, and all others that way you can treat each separately
    As for the bottoming out thats an LF excrusion problem, set the HPF @ 45 hz and try that, also 70-90 hz is the center freq of the the first harmonic of the kick, try a PEQ centered on 80 hz and a fairly narrow bell or a shelf and slowly lower the gain till the bottoming quits, and then set the limiter

    Doppling... no never heard of it

    Do NOT use compression.. use limiting, use compression on a per channel basis and yes it would help the kick

    you can't do a gain structure on the speakers but you can on all the other components

  • jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
    Thanks, Gadget:

    1. my tops are actually three way ready - two twelves have 1100W for low mid up to 700Hz. 100W mid and 100W hi. Do you still think I should raise the xover from 80Hz? I want to warm up the tops and also use the punchy twelves for some of the low end. If I x'ed higher, I'd just be freeing power for the low mids (important?). thoughts? Internal x'ing is at 120Hz, and that just seems too hi to me (too much mid in my subs and not enough warmth up top). Would 90Hz make any noticeable power conservation for the top, and warm them? Where would you cross?

    2. The LF excursion problem: Sorry, I'm green...I don't understand setting the HPF at 45Hz. Do you mean LPF? Or does that mean to set the low end of my L? In other words, 45Hz is the lowest frequency that can pass to the subs? So, set 45Hz-90Hz (I chose 90 for this weekend)? Also, is this a db boost I see in the L section of the xover? I do not see any mention of it in the manual. Useful?

    3. On the limiter, OverEasy? 5 ish? db level? Never used one... My board tends to clip ~+10. Set at 8ish? I want to set it so it doesn't clip. Or am I watching the MAIN LED when I check the kick. Get the right, non bottoming, level then set the limiter at that db? If you don't use a compressor on the drpa why is it on there?

    3. PEQ - Bell, what G and Q to start? Experiment?

    Thanks exactly one ton.

  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    1- I cross my single 12's & 18\" subs at 100 hz and I'm very happy. If those cabs have on board limiting with indicators, set the C/O down at 80 hz where you think you want it and get the volume where you want it (plus a little) check the indicators. If its cruising you may be OK. If not raise the C/O until it is not trying to limit at all. If no indicators, 80 is lo I think. Trash in the subs or running out of power in the tops. What to do. What to do.

    2- Yes that is correct about the HPF. If you have done the auto EQ, chances are most of the extreme low freq's are boosted way up from room cancellations at the mic. That can definitely cause the over excersion. Bring those back down and tune by ear. If the gain structure on the the kick channel is not right that will also cause clipping that will sound like speakers bottoming out. (Had that happen me not too long ago.) Maybe the drum mix coming to you is already clipping. Bad connection, bad cable, bad trigger?

    3- Configure some comparable cabs and amps(wattage) in the wizard and check the limiter settings that it sets up. It won't be perfect, but it will give you some ballpark ideas. My CE-2000 amps use a OE @ 4.
    Compressor could be used for a Sam Kinneson style comic, etc where only 1 source was used at a time or for some background music scenarios to control average output. You MIGHT could use it VERY lightly for a band thing but wouldn't do what you wanted. Gadget's right, ind. channel only. As an after thought, since the DRPA does not have true brick wall limiting, possibly could be set to squash things beyond where the limiters are letting stuff pass. A couple of DB higher than the limiters. Definitely a last resort.

    4 (3)- Use whichever auto EQ method is easiest for you, and play, play, play. Use the GEQ plot to set the PEQ's.

    Hopefully Gadget will answer shortly and either confirm, add, or shoot me down.

  • jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
    It worked. But I have a couple of follow-up questions:

    1. I was able to eliminate the bottoming out - using HPF @ 45Hz, 90Hz xover point and PEQ at 80Hz. Now, I can HEAR a big kick, but I want to FEEL it more. Are there particular frequencies I should boost? Other tricks (other than buying more subs - though, that is an option). I want that chest-pounding kick.

    Again, I'm using SWA 1801 Mackies (800W 18\", 1 each side) and a coupled pair of SRS 1500 (600W 15\", 2 center stage); for tops I use SA 1232 (one 3-way box each side: two 12\" 1100W x'ed at 700Hz, 6\" 100W mid, horn 100W).

    2. When I painted the room, I neglected to zero-out my board's master EQ. The system sounded good after painting so I didn't want to touch the EQ (or repaint). I'm guessing the painting accounted for the board EQ. Since we play the same room each week, I'd like to optimize my system for that room. Did the drpa account for the board's EQ and would it be better to zero-out the EQ and repaint? The board EQ was set to the room and sounded decent BEFORE the drpa was purchased and utilized.

    3. As I said, the room sounded good, but when I tried to tweak the drpa GEQ I ran into a snag so I left it alone. When I turned the GEQ on it kicked in some sort of preset curve, which completely changed the sound. What I was hoping to do was tweak a few frequencies. Any thoughts on what caused the preset to kick in and could you recommend the best method of tweaking using the drpa after painting? I was tempted to use the board EQ, but I left 'good enough' alone.

    Thank you both for all your help,

  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Odd, there are no selectable GEQ curves except what the unit looks for when doing the auto EQ. If a \"curve\" pops up when you turn the EQ on, it had to be from a previous pinking session. The EQ on the board would not affect the DRPA's ability to auto EQ the room, but it would change the output. For example if the AEQ pulled 500 - 1000 hz -6db and the board EQ was set to pull 500 - 1000 hz another -6db, now your deficient. If the board EQ was set to boost those same frequencies, you've changed nothing. You could also have a boost / boost and create a feedback problem. DRPA, mic, amps, & speakers are all thats need to auto EQ.

  • jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
    Thanks, Dra.

    I'll check out the GEQ more closely now that I'm not under the time crunch of sound check.

    Regarding the effect of the board EQ, it sounds like you are saying that the AEQ sets the EQ independent of the board EQ settings. I thought that since the sound was pretty darn good that the pinking was affected by the board EQ, and that way the AEQ settings would be a net effect.

    For example, my board EQ was set at -6 dB @ 250Hz. Hyopthetically, if the pinking resulted in the drpa EQ to be set at +1 dB @ 250Hz, maybe the AEQ would have been set at -5 dB if the board had been zeroed at pinking (which would be the net effect of my board and AEQ settings; hence, a decent sound). Does that make sense?

    But now that you mention it, on the AFS I used up 9 Fixed, and the 3 Live were used, as well.

    Sounds like you believe the board EQ could have caused problems. Here are my questions:

    1. Does the board EQ affect the AEQ, or is the AEQ/painting run independent of the board EQ?

    2. Is zeroing the board EQ and repainting the room recommended?

    3. And not mentioned above directly, but can you see how the EQ is set by the AEQ and then tweak that directly?

    Thanks again,

  • jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
    Also, related to my first post today, any comment on how to tweak my rig to better FEEL a big kick?
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Hey again,
    1- No, the AEQ is 100% independant of anything Pre-DRPA. If you had an EQ between the DRPA and the amps, then yes.

    2- Not neccessary. (see #1) But it will affect (undo) what you just did and not in a good way. Remember, if the goal is to get the system flat to the room, that does't mean that you can't make it \"sound\" better with adjustments. In the end it is personal taste as to what sounds good. Some people may like a muddy low end and absolute no output above 5K. (Just an example)

    3- After the AEQ has done it's thing, get back into \"Program\" and go to the EQ section. Get to the GEQ and zero any bands below 150 and above 700. These you should adjust by ear, because the mic will lie to the AEQ (nodes and cancellations). 160 thru 630 should not need to be tweeked.

  • jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
    thanks, Dra

    I do have a few clarifying questions:

    1. and 2. : Just to make sure, the drpa does NOT bypass my board's EQ during use. Right? Meaning the board EQ DOES have an effect on the sound when using the drpa. Right?

    OK, here's my confusion:

    I'm a bit confused because there seems to be a contradiction in what you are saying (please, no offense intended; I'm grateful for the help). Now it sounds like you are saying that I don't need to repaint, but your earlier email implies a problem (and I would think repainting would be indicated).

    You said:
    \"For example if the AEQ pulled 500 - 1000 hz -6db and the board EQ was set to pull 500 - 1000 hz another -6db, now your deficient. If the board EQ was set to boost those same frequencies, you've changed nothing. You could also have a boost / boost and create a feedback problem\"

    Do you still feel that repainting is not indicated?

    On a completely differenct track, but very important to me:
    Also, do you mix thumpin' rock n roll? I'm trying to create a great kick sound and hoped you could give me some pointers for set up. I'm trying to create the big kick sound you can FEEL. Remember, my drummer is using a Roland electronic kit. He does use an acoustic kit sometimes, so any pointers there would be helpful as well. I can manipulate frequency from his Roland brain, but once I get the single signal, all I can do is boost and cut frequencies of the total drum mix, and boost and cut total volume. I mostly interested in knowing how I can set up my system to amplify the kick to create the effect I want.

    Thanks again, again!

  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    None taken.

    Here's the deal. The RTA mic is connected to the DRPA. The Pink Noise is generated in the DRPA. All the tonal adjustments are in the DRPA and have nothing to do with whether the board EQ is flat, smiley or other. The board does not even have to be connected. Now, when done, the output from the DRPA will have a color (let's say red) that in theory is flat to the room. If you play a CD thru the board and the board EQ is flat or bypassed then the color of the room is still red. If you boost faders 80 hz - 125 hz +6 db and cut faders 500 hz - 1.25K hz - 6 db on the board EQ and those adjustments by themself are blue, then the room is now purple (blue + red = purple). If you now turn the EQ in the DRPA off and remove the red, then the room will be blue (purple - red = blue).
    So, the board EQ does not effect the pinking process, but the board EQ does effect the tone going to the DRPA AFTER the process.

    I haven't done the band thing in years, and then mostly mixed monitors. This much I do know about kick sound, all the thump in the world won't make a great kick sound unless it has the \"Click\", so don't be afraid of boosting the higher frequencies of the kick in the brain.

    Gadget could offer some great advice here. He's mysteriously silent. I've got a couple of questions posted that are right up his alley.

  • jeffbjeffb Posts: 8
    Got it.

    That's what I thought (the Purple result), which means I did alter the sound with my board (smiley) EQ engaged. Basically, I just took even more mid out.

    But I see what you are saying, repainting is not necessary because the drpa AEQ evaluated the room without considering the board EQ. Therefore, all things being equal, a repinking should be relatively similar to my first one. Right?

    OK, so if I bypased (or flattened) my board EQ, I would hear the AEQ settings soley based on the pinking and the EQ pattern I chose (smiley). Right?

    Lastly, I got the click. That was my first \"oh my God\" experience when mixing a kick...what a difference that made! I think the thump is in the low frequency range. I'm sure adding more subs/power would help, but I don't believe I've optimized what I have. Recommendations?

  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Right , Right, & Right.
    But, don't forget to ignore the ranges I mentioned before and flatten all those and tune by ear.

    As far as the your kick tuning, do a search on the FORMER FORMUM link above. There is some good info there and you may find axactly what you need. Also try prosoundweb.com. Might be some good info at Roland as well.

    One thought. Do you have access to an RTA and reference mic? If so get your drummer to set up his \"real\" kick drum and assuming it has a good tone.... Set the response to slow and let him hit it. Write down all the frequency levels and translate that to the electronic kick EQ. Don't know how much precsion control is in there, but it might work.

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