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Connecting my new DBX Driverack PA

vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
edited April 2007 in Connectivity
Ok, I am a little intimidated. I just got my DBX Driverack P.A. I am somewhat of a novice at this and would like some help connecting this sucker. I am using this for a live band and I need to hook up one sub (mono) two double 15 inch cabs(Stereo), two single 15 inch cabs(Stereo), and stage wedge/floor monitors (mono.)

I noticed there are six XLR outs, and I really only need five because of the two mono singals (Sub and Monitors) My question is, can I use this as a 2X5 and run the monitors and sub off the left/right low?

I am really afraid of blowing something up :( How should I hook up all my speakers?

Thanks very much for your help!
Dan

Comments

  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    You could \"force\" that into the PA, but the results would not be what you want and very impractical. Trying to set that up would eliminate many of the features that you bought the PA for. My recommendation would be to return the PA for a 260 (will do everything that you want except run stereo). If you must run stereo you have three options: 1. (Best) Buy a 260 for house and keep the PA for monitors. 2. (Good) Buy another PA and use one for house and one monitors. 3. Use the PA for house and put an EQ on the monitors.

    DRA
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Thanks for the reply. I may just run the monitors directly out of the board using an AUX send, through a feedback eliminator, then into an amp. You would suggest an EQ though?

    As far as the other connections, am I correct in taking the right and left out of the board, into the R/L input on the DBX, then the stereo outs on the highs and mids, and a mono out for the subs?

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    I would definately put a 31 band EQ on your monitor output as well. You'll have more tonal control plus additional feedback control.

    You'll need to set up a 2 x 3 or a 2 x 5. It depends on what you intend to do with your 2 sets of different top cabs. For example, using the dual 15's as mains and the singles as outer or inner fills.
    Regardless, I would suggest setting a 2 x 5. This will allow you to set limiters / delays / PEQ's / and output level for each set of speakers. Hi L & R to the duals , Mid L & R to the singles, and lo / mono to the sub(s). Cross the Hi & Lo as usual between 80 & 100 (pretend the mid outs don't exist). Set the mids up as you wish. You have several possibilities. Duplicate the dual settings. Compress the bandwidth to cover only the vocal range. ETC
    These are only a few of the total set-up options. Too many to attempt here.
    And yes L/R out of board to L/R in on DRPA.

    Also, you said that you have 1 sub. If that is the case, you'll need to move the crossover much lower and maybe run the tops full range. Unless that's one honk'n killer sub, it'll never be able to fill in what the 4 (6) 15's could do.

    DRA
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Well the sub is a dual 18 yamaha cab that I push with a bridged mono QSC 2450. I just always thought that the sub should only have the lows sent through it.

    Let me ask you this, is the PA set-up wizard going to guide me through all this, or should I seek the help of an audio pro? I dont want to blow anything up!

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    What are the tops cabs that you using?
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    The tops are no-name cabs with Eminence Delta 15\" and a single horn. The bottoms are same speakers only dual 15\" and a horn, and the sub is a dual Yamaha 18\"
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Do you have an RTA mic? You really need to do a lot of testing to find out what the cabs low end limits are, before you can go very much further. If you don't have or can't get a mic, do you have a pink noise generator or a CD? Set the DRPA to a 2 x 5 crossover. Connect 1 dual 15 cab to the mid output. Set the mid crossover point for lows to about 150 and the mid hi point to 200. Set the the slopes to LR24 Send the noise to the speaker. Scroll the low crossover point down listening for lack of additional content. When you think that you've reach as low as the speaker is going, start lowering the hi side down until the output starts to drop. Hopefully the two points you just came up with are pretty close to each other. You are now in the vacinity of the usable low limit of the cab. Make a note of this point. Now do the single 15. My guess is somewhere between 50 & 70 is what you'll find.
    With two 18's trying to keep up with six 15's, your crossover point will need to be lower than normal (80-90 for 15's). Let the top cabs do all they'll comfortably do and let the 18's handle the extremely low content. That may mean crossing closer to 60.
    This a hard way to do it, hopefully you have the mic and can use the Auto EQ function outdoors and it will tell you what your cabs can do.
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    I bought a AUDIX RTA mic with the Driverack PA. (Thank goodness) Since I have one, I can just use the auto eq no?

    Also, can I just purchase a Pink Noise CD or download one on line to generate the pink noise?

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Lucky you.
    The DRPA had a pink noise generator built in. You don't even have to hook up the mixer to do the tests. However, if you want a CD with pink noise and a lot more audio tools, click on \"Former Forum\" above and search \"Binks\". The first post from Lee has a link. Go there and download the CD.

    Yes, auto EQ. Set up 1 cab outside, away from reflective surfaces with the mic 6-8 ft from the speaker. Point the mic between the horn and the top 15 (on the dual). Set the wizard to Flat / Med precision and follow the prompts. don't clip the input (it will tell you if you do). The EQ plot will help you see the response of the speaker. Use this to set the best place to set your crossover point. You can go back later and tune the speakers with the PEQ's.

    DRA
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Dra you are THE MAN!!!! Thanks so much for your help. I will do all this next weekend. I am less intimidated now and I just wanted so say thanks for taking all the time to help me out.

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Let me know how it goes.
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Ok, I must be doing something wrong. I followed your directions to auto EQ, but the process stops about half way through. After about 3 minutes, the pink noise shuts off and the screen says \"Auto EQ not done.\" Where am I going wrong?

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    Have you tried low precision? If not, do.

    What specifically have you done?

    Do you watch the screen? What is happening (band wise)?

    Have you checked the mic? Hook it up to your board and while someone else speaks into it you listen through headphones. Do they sound \"normal\"? I had a mic go bad and auto EQ went haywire (I didn't let it finish).

    DRA
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Ok, I got it to complete the auto eq by using low precision. The more I learn about the DRPA, the more I am starting to like it.

    What is the next step? I completed the wizard and stored my custom 2x5 set up, now what?

    Right now the dual 15's are working great, but the single 15's are only letting thru highs. They sound horrible. I assume that is because I told the DRPA that I have bi-amped speakers (Thats the only way I could set it up as a 2x5) so its only letting the high's through to that set. Can I tweak each set of speakers? Or, should I just abandon those single 15's altogether and use only the dual 15's as my mains?

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    You didn't mention if you did the auto EQ outdoors. If you did, did you use you post crossover PEQ's to mimic what the GEQ shows? Did you do each this for each of your 2 cabs types? Did you flatten the GEQ (leave on the PEQ's) and re-auto to check your work and adjust accordingly?

    Please tell me what speakers you have connected to which output and what the crossover is set to for each output.

    Don't worry, we'll get there.

    DRA
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    No I didn't do that. To be honest, I don't even understand what a PEQ or GEQ is :(

    I have it hooked up as follows:

    High output L/R from the DRPA into the QSC 2450 L/R out to the double 15 cab(s)

    Med output L/R from the DRPA into the other QSC 2450 L/R out to the single 15 cab(s)

    Low output L (mono) from the DRPA into the third QSC 2450 L (mono) out to the Dual 18 sub cab.
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    The GEQ is the graphic EQ is 28 fixed bands and looks like a bar gragh and is before the crossover and affects the input signal.
    The PEQ's are a parametric EQ after the crossover and affect only the hi, mid, or lo outputs that are assigned to that output. These are used for smoothing out problems that the speaker cabinet has naturally. PEQ's have a smoother tonal response because you can adjust the \"Q\" to change a very broad or narrow range of frequencies smoothly and evenly.

    Did you adjust the crossover so that you would have 2 sets of top cabs (hi and pseudo mid outs) and subs?

    To smooth out the cab's response (if needed), set up the crossover at 80 or 90 hz. Outside away from wall buidings, etc... set up one top cab. Point the reference mic at the cab between the horn and 15\" maybe 10' away and run the auto EQ wizard. When it is done press the EQ button. It will show you what it did to get the speaker to a \"flat\" state. Go through and write down the areas that have been adjusted the most. Ignore the info below the crossover point. You may see 400hz @ +6, 500hz @ +5, and 630hz @ +5. Pressing the EQ button will scroll through the ouput PEQ's. Set one of the bands at 500hz that is wide enough (Q) to envelope these 3 regions and boost them + 5 or 6. Do this for the most extreme problems. You do have a limit of 3 for hi, 2 for mid, and 2 for lo. so choose wisely. After you have done this. go to the graphic EQ and flatten it. and re-auto EQ the same speaker. The response now with the newly set PEQ should show an improvement in the area that was showing a problem. You may need to adjust the \"Q\" or center frequency, but you should have an idea of the process. When you are done doing both top cabs in the proper output slot, you can then do a system check using one of each speaker including a sub. This will check the crossover point.
    Get this far and report back.

    DRA
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Ok, I did as you suggested and the PA is sounding much better. I am still having trouble getting the auto eq to work and I am still frustrated with this thing.

    I bought the DRPA mainly because I wanted a compressor. In other posts I have read that the DRPA compressor is a system compressor and doesn't function like a normal compressor. IE, tightening up my mix and allowing my singer to whisper and still be heard at a constant level. Did I buy the wrong piece of equipment? Should I add a DBX 266xl to get the compression I desire? Or should I return the DRPA and purchase a 260?

    Dan
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    Dan,
    Hi Dra.. can I interject here...
    Ok, whole system compression is not what you want to do here... Dra is trying to help you get your system tuned so you have no glaring problems that will prevent you from being able to get the kind of sound you CAN compress and not have problems with. Compression should be done on a per channel basis and NOT as a whole system processing thing... So the Driverack tunes the system and smooths the response so you CAN compress things and not have the system feed back, which it will do if the system is not properly tuned. Yes there is a steep learning curve and if you think that the Driverack can be hooked up and you push one button and everything is groovy .. well technology isn't that advanced yet. BUT the Driverack DOES offer you the tools to do the job. You have to learn what the different modules can do and how to implement them. If you follow Dra's lead and do as he says and read the information provided you will end up with a superior sounding system... but YOU need to do the homework, we cannot do it for you. We have provided all the info necessary to do this, I have personally provided the bulk of the info and steered many people to superb sounding systems but with power comes responsibility.. the responsibility to learn to use the technology. It's all here... Start in the \"former forum\", \"tutorials\" section, and \"user submitted white papers\" and read the info provided, there are step by step descriptions on how to do most of what the Driverack can do there. You WILL have to implement that info to your system though.

    Be well and good luck..
    Gadget
  • vetndanvetndan Posts: 17
    Yes, I understand that and I do sincerely appreciate all the help DRA has given me. My problem is, most of what you guys speak of is over my head. I do not understand Hz, Khz, crossovers, PEQ's or GEQ's. I have read several forums but it is all very technical and I am just trying to learn. My eye's cross just reading all of it.

    Now I feel as though I am receiving somewhat of a \"dressing down\" from you and that I don't need. I am putting forth the effort. When I receive advice, I spend the entire day in the garage trying to go step by step according to DRA's instructions and it doesn't always make sense.

    I guess I went off half cock'd and bought the DRPA based on some reviews I read. The cut sheet(s) I have read said nothing about the compressor being a whole system compressor, everyone said it's the best thing since sliced bread.

    Simple question, can, or should I add an additional compressor to get the \"tightened up\" mix I am looking for?

    Dan
  • DraDra Posts: 3,844
    If you are wanting to add compression on the singer for example, then yes, you need to buy a compressor for THAT channel. I kinda think that your problem with the auto EQ could be the speakers. Did you build them, have them built, buy second hand from somone whou had them built? Maybe the cab tuning in wrong. Maybe the crossover is mismatched or has no attenuation on the horn. Maybe the polarity inside the cab is reversed on one of the speakers. How do they sound when hooked up direct to your mixer with no channel EQ applied and music played through them? Is there someone local that you get to give you some hands on advise in general system set-up?
    Download the GUI for the 260 and play with it on your computer. While different than the PA in many aspects, it is very similar as far as function. This will give you a visual of whats going on, and may help greatly. Aslo do the tutorial that is offered for the 260 (kind of \"Video Proffessor\" thing.)

    DRA
  • Kyle AbelKyle Abel Posts: 16
    Don't get discouraged. The DR is a complex and powerful piece of equipment. If you are new to the pro audio game, not only do you have to learn the specifics about the DR, but you really need to learn the specifics about each piece of equipment the DR replaces...

    Graphic EQ
    Crossover
    Compression/Limiting
    Delay
    Etc.

    So while this forum (and the former forum) will be a great resource for you, you also need to look for information specific to the individual components (or modules) of the DR.

    As to your specific question about compression, think of it this way - you send the entire mix from your mixing board to the DR, not a single channel. The DR is processing that entire mix. It cannot pull out the lead singer's voice to apply the compression. So, anything the DR is doing is going to affect the mix as a whole. To apply compression the way you want, you would need to buy a separate compressor, and either put it between the mic and the board, or use the channel insert point on the board. The general consensus is you don't want to use the compression the DR. Use compression on individual channels to make them tighter.

    In regards to the graphic EQ (GEQ) and the post-crossover EQ (PEQ), think of the PEQ as specific to your speakers, and the GEQ specific to the room. The PEQ is designed to make your speakers as flat as possible - no big dips or peaks across the sound spectrum. The GEQ will then adjust your now flat speakers to whatever room you're in.

    Hopefully this makes things a little clearer. Don't ever feel bad about asking questions. I've had my DR for over 2 years and I learn new techniques all the time. I'm constantly tweaking my settings.
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