Laptop for sound source (DJ software, MP3 files, CD+G files, XLR microphones)
Behringer X1622USB Mixer
1 x Behringer EUROLIVE B1500D-PRO (1400W)
2 x Behringer B812NEO (1250W)
I have been trying to find a "Best practices" or "rule of thumb" guide to set up my equipment to get the best sound possible. Mind you it sounds pretty good to me but I am not sure if I am setting it up properly or getting the maximum without compromising sound quality.
Welcome to the forum. That setup is pretty well straightforward. One suggestion I would have is to make sure the X1622USM goes through the B1500D-Pro (to make use of the built-in crossovers) to the 2 B812NEOs. Another is to make sure the gain structure (signal strength) is maintained as near as 0db as possible (use the solo feature in the PFL mode to set the input gain) so that you get the best signal to noise ratio before clipping. Other than that, if it sounds good to you, it is definitely a good start.
What applications are you planning on using this setup for?
Thanks for the quick reply. I mostly use it for small familly parties from small to medium venues. Indoors and outdoors. After reading a few articles on the WEB I started questioning myself about volume levels...should I put the volume levels on the speakers to 75% and lower the mixer main volume or do the opposite? There are so many volume levels (DJ software sound level, channel Gain nobs, fader sliders. Main Mix slider) to choose from it's a bit confusing at to which one should be put lower of higher. But I will do the procedure (gain structure) you suggested. I should do this for all channels, right?
Yes there are 2 schools of thought regarding levels. One is right and one is definitely wrong in my books. The latter is that you put the levels on the amps as high as they can go and adjust the inputs, faders, etc. much lower. I've had a few heated discussions with a few musicians over this. The correct method is to try to maintain the signal strength around 0db thoughout the signal chain - from the initial input of the mixer right through to the input of the amps. I usually run my amp inputs around 9:00 (about 25%), but keep all signals (including channel inputs) around the 0db. Granted these levels will vary over time. But the goal is to maintain strong signals without going into clipping. That gives the best sound. So to answer your question, yes do it for all channels, etc.
I find it incredible how many guys don't move the master fader beyond 30% of it's range and set the gains and channel faders higher then they need to in order to get a decent signal out.
I am running my pa at full belt most nights, and get the occasional clip on the subs, next gig, I am going to put my master fader on full and work backwards, I normally have master on 0 and channel fader on 0 and apply gain to suit, but if I can reduce gain a tad I think I will avoid the clip.
Regarding the amps, I have a four channel amp, mid tops run at 2 o'clock and subs are one click back from Maximum.