How did the workshop go Kevin?
How did the workshop go Kevin?
We decided just to go for it, and made the changeover today! One thing that became immediately obvious was that I had a feedback loop in the reverb return - the return was sending to mixbus 13, which in turn was feeding the FX. Not a good thing! The good thing is that it was obvious from the meters pegging, even without having any cables plugged in. I kind of think that since this is software based, the software should not allow such internal feedback routing, but it certainly is not the console's fault I had the setup wrong. But diagnosing that problem actually forced us to understand the singal flow, so it may have been a blessing.
Overall, things are looking good. We will find out at our services tomorrow. My fear is that the sound techs will miss cues to open a channel, etc, and cause a distraction - which is never good for a worship service. But with time we will learn the new workflow, I'm sure.
Now I need to find a home for all this analog gear! Anyone want a 32 channel DDA CS3, a Presonus ACP88 8 channel compressor, or a couple TC Electric two channel compressors? We also have a Hear Technologies Hearback monitoring system I've been trying to sell on Craigslist - no luck. Might have to turn to ebay.
Looks like you're getting the hang of the signal flow thinking quickly. That's a good sign. Let us know how it all turned out after the service.
Success! No major problems. It does appear that the x32 preamps don't have as much gain as the DDA console, since many of the channels were pretty much maxed out. No problem, we have plenty of headroom left in the main amp, so I'll just turn that up and turn down everything on the board.
Maybe someone could chime in with a ballpark of what the LR meters should be reading when we have the max volume we are shooting for. I'm trying to get each channel input set to come in around -18 to -14dB. Should the LR be peaking around -6dB?
Great to hear that it was a success, Kevin. I tend to run inputs a bit hotter (-8 to -12) without any problem. There is (if I remember correctly) about a 26db headroom in the Midas preamps, meaning that if it does touch clipping, you don't hear any distortion.
I just checked the X32 spec sheet (page 2, second paragraph) and it is +23db headroom.
BEHRINGER H.O.W Tech Talk: Using Matrix Mixes
I held a House of Worship webinar that covered laying out your DCA, MixBus and Matrix Mixes on the X32. This webinar had a great turnout. To followup, I will be publishing H.O.W Tech Talks that will go more in depth on the topics covered.
On any console you have many routing choices to send your signal from point A to point B. You have your Main L/R outputs, your monitor sends, FX sends, subgroups and on medium to larger consoles you are introduced to Matrix outputs. For this Tech Talk, I am going to go over what a Matrix output is and some ways to best implement this technology to make mixing easier.
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When you step up to a mixing board that has a matrix area, you can think of it as a small mixer added to a larger mixer. A matrix mixer routes multiple signal sources to multiple outputs and has control features such as rotary volume knobs, solo button and a mute button. Commonly on other mixers with Matrix mixes the sources available to use in the Matrix mix include: auxiliary mixes, subgroups, sub-mixes and your Main L/R in most situations. A matrix mixer can also be a standalone mixer itself. Now that we have gone over what can be fed to a matrix mix, lets talk about the possible uses for the matrix output.
Live performance situation:
- Having to send the same signal to multiple “zones” within a facility. The most common situation in a House of Worship is that the signal that is being sent to the main speakers in the sanctuary also needs to be routed to a few more, if not several, different rooms. With a console that is equipped with a Matrix Mixer, your only limitation is the number of matrix outputs, which determines how many separate areas you can send the signal to. In this situation, you will usually send the Main L/R signal out of a matrix output so that everything is heard throughout the building. These zones are any overflow areas, nurseries, the Narthex or any room outside of the sanctuary. The advantage of a Matrix mix in this example is that you have a separate Level control for each of these areas.
- Having “delay” speakers in your sanctuary. This has the same principal concept as sending a matrix feed to a separate zone, but this application is different because of which signals you select to send to the matrix mix. If you have additional speakers placed in your sanctuary other than your main speakers, this typically is to fill in the areas where your main speakers have a coverage gap. These are usually stage-lip speakers, under balcony fills, transept areas or separate speaker clusters if you are running a L/C/R sound system. Or can be as simple as an few extra speakers you set up on speaker stands for more sound coverage. Seeing how you already have a full mix of what is happening on stage, you typically are now just looking to augment the already provided coverage of your main speakers. The important sources could be seen as the Pastor’s microphone or the praise team vocals and acoustic type instruments that do not produce much stage volume. That is where I start when implementing a matrix mix to feed these additional speakers. You would set up this signal feed by using an auxiliary send and creating a “monitor mix” if you will, and then sending that auxiliary to the matrix output. On the BEHRINGER X32, you would could just send the L/R mix bus to a given Matrix mix, or create a Sub Group if you want to create a custom mix for these speakers.
- If you have a hard disk recorder. Many churches still use a hard disk recorder to capture the service to distribute copies to the congregation. This is a perfect instance to use the matrix mixer and send the Main L/R output to that recorder.
- Camera audio feed. If you are a church that is not only creating an audio recording of the service, but also shooting a video then you can use the matrix mixer here as well. Although you may be wondering why you could not just sync up the recorded cd audio with the video, if your camera has an audio input then I would use a matrix output to send a Main L/R mix directly into the camera just in case the hard disk recorder malfunctions during the service.
- Live audio streaming. If you are doing a live web stream of the service, you can use the matrix mixer to send your Main L/R signal to the computer audio interface that you are using to stream through your streaming program.
Processing options for a matrix send
Matrix outputs also have insert points for external processing. I personally always place a compressor/limiter on my Main L/R outputs, subgroup outputs and matrix outputs. I do this especially if I am sending a matrix output to any type of recording device so that I do not let the input signal distort the input.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding as to how helpful the matrix mixer can be in your facility. Not only can it assist you with splitting your sources to multiple outputs, but also it is a much easier way to do so.
Until the next Tech Talk, mix on!