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sc0rch0 Offline
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Joined: 09 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Our setup + compressor questions Reply with quote

We are a band that has slowly assembled a live rig that works good for us, it is scavanged from craigslist and we are slowly replacing stuff with better gear as we aquire it. My question is where should the compressor go in the rig? I (think) want a slight compression on the lead vocals, and maybe a very soft compression on the overall mix... Anyway here is how we have it setup. Forgive my ignorance in advance =)

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3 vocal mics + 4 drum mics into Presonus Firepod.
2 guitars (mic'd) + Bass (direct) + the 7 above into A berhinger xenyx 12 channel mixer.

We come out of the left main into a Behringer FBQ3102 Ultragraph PRO EQ channel 1, and from there we run the entire mix out to a pair of QSC HPR153i 15" 3-Way Powered Loudspeaker, that we just chain togethor.

Out of the aux 1 on the mixer we run through the 2nd channel on the EQ, then send the monitor mix to a pair of Behringer EUROLIVE B215A Active Loudspeaker (these are our old main speakers now used as our monitors) These we also just chain togethor.

Out of aux 2 on the mixer we send to a Shure PSM 200 for the drummer.
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I have been wanting to put a compressor in the mix and had an Alesis 3630 fall into my lap. So i want to use one of it's channels on the lead vocals, just to smooth them out, and the other channel on the overall mix to protect the speakers from extremes more than anything else.

I have 2 aux send returns available, but am quite confused on how they work. For the lead vocals is it ----
mic>>presonus firepod>>>mixer>>>aux send 3>>>compressor>>>aux return 3?...

And for the 2nd channel do i just run the main mix through it right in front of the EQ?

Hope I made sense with my questions, and if not, please ask for clarification and I'll do my best...

thanks in advance.
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seanmorse Offline
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Joined: 06 Nov 2003
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Location: Detroit
Age: 45


PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome!

I'm assuming you're using the Firepod for extra channels. Ideally, you'd probably want to use a channel insert (or sub groups) for the vocals, but I'm not sure if your mixer has them. Otherwise, using a compressor on an aux send gets a little clumbsy, if it'll work at all. AFAIK, you'd have to mute the fader and use the aux return for your level. Otherwise, your uncompressed signal would still be coursing through your mix.

For the mains, I'd stick the compressor right before the EQ, and you should be good to go.

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sc0rch0 Offline
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Joined: 09 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, will def stick the comp, in front of EQ and that may be all that we use it for.

truthfully were using the firepod just to make the vocals more audible. even though were running the drum mics through it, they are usually set to zero except the kick. As far as I know this could be ruining it or the mixer using it in that way. ((I have a voicelive floor box, that worked great for just the lead vocals, but the backups were non-existent... so we tried the firepod which so far has worked great))

The mixer has 4 subgroups but im pretty ignorant of them, and just set their levels all the same. The link below is a pic of the back of the mixer...does that let you know if we can insert/subgroup it?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/document?cpd=0OEY&doc_id=99371&base_pid=631274&index=1

thanks again for the info, my knowledge of this stuff couldn't fill a thimble but I am slowly learning !
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seanmorse Offline
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Joined: 06 Nov 2003
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Location: Detroit
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool... when you said you had the 12 channel, I thought it was the smaller one. So here's what you could do:

- Assign lead vox (or all of them if you'd like) to subgroup 1, and unassign it from the main bus (might be labeled "L/R" or "main" ...can't see it from the pic)
- Send the output of subgroup 1 to the other channel of the compressor
- Bring the output of the compressor back in on another channel.

Then you'd just set the input to the compressor using the vocal fader you're using now, and you'd use the new channel to set the (now compressed) vocal level in your mix.

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sc0rch0 Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- Sweet we have practice tomorrow so I am going to try it out. Thanks for all the help Seanmorse.
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Treeline Offline
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: The smoke filled back room where it all really happens
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another useful spot for the compressor is one channel on the mains after the EQ and one channel on the monitor mix after the eq. In this position it can be very helpful as a limiter and keep your live mix under control. I would do a sound check with the compressor off first and ring the room as close as you can. Then kick in the comp to squash the peaks and limit feedback. When the band is cooking, I'll control the room volume with the makeup gain on the compressor before doing anything drastic on the mixer.
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