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Author Topic: Help with P-16  (Read 482 times)

Billy Martyn

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Help with P-16
« on: May 24, 2018, 11:54:46 pm »

Our drummer has his P-16 turned all the way up (input channel, volume and master) and he still has trouble hearing the vocal channels. I have an idea to help but not sure if this will work.

I could turn up the gain of each vocal channel. If the level is higher in the board it would be higher in the P-16 right? I know the signal is digital and not analog and the P-16 volume is limited to its internal output headphone amp.

Then to get the house back to normal volume I could turn the sensitivity of the house amp down. Bad idea? I know that I would need to turn up every channel the same approximately the amount as the vocal channels. That shouldn’t be a problem because we don’t have a lot of instruments.

A friend just recommended this forum to me and my system needs A LOT of help.  :-\
Thanks!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 01:44:42 am »

Our drummer has his P-16 turned all the way up (input channel, volume and master) and he still has trouble hearing the vocal channels. I have an idea to help but not sure if this will work.

I could turn up the gain of each vocal channel. If the level is higher in the board it would be higher in the P-16 right? I know the signal is digital and not analog and the P-16 volume is limited to its internal output headphone amp.

Then to get the house back to normal volume I could turn the sensitivity of the house amp down. Bad idea? I know that I would need to turn up every channel the same approximately the amount as the vocal channels. That shouldn’t be a problem because we don’t have a lot of instruments.

A friend just recommended this forum to me and my system needs A LOT of help.  :-\
Thanks!

Turn up the preamp gain and then adjust the fader gains on each mix to compensate.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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David Winners

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 06:27:41 am »

Quoting Robert Lofgren from another site:

The p16m has three level controls.

1) Channel level
2) Main level
3) Master level

Make sure that they all are set high enough.

Also, make sure that the limiter isn't engaging and clamping the level...

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Matthias McCready

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2018, 08:29:52 am »

Follow the advice given so far.

If there is still a problem check the headphones the drummer is using, the units should be putting out plenty of volume. If he does not already he should have either IEM's or some cans which isolate, in nothing more than for the sake of his hearing.

----

Always make sure you have plenty of gain when working with P16's I often have channels gained a little higher console side than I would otherwise as it gives the IEM's good solid signal.

With the P16 the most common problems I see are that:
1. Improper gain staging (one or more volume's all the way down)
2. Invertible someone has panned the entire master mix?! (Why!)
3. The limiter is pumping hard (remember that for the limiter being off, or down, is the opposite of all the other knobs on the p16)

Also, I frequently encounter church musicians who do not own IEMs. Which usually means they cannot hear themselves well as normal earbuds often have no fidelity, cannot handle the signal without clipping, or have a phone mic which lends to the cord not connecting correctly. If this a problem you face check out these inexpensive IEMs with these tips. These sound tremendously good for the price and anyone should be able to afford them, and perhaps you can get your church to buy a few pairs of house one's (we usually keep a pair or two with an organizer/divider box which has tips, this way the IEMs can be shared but individuals still have their own tips).

If you don't already, I would recommend that you know the P16 in and out. Know how to fix each problem (linked channels, gain etc) and figure out what people need for a mix, so you can help those less experienced individuals (for example a bassist probably needs drums and the WL, and not too much more else while a vocalist might just need the WL and other vocalist and minimal drums or bass).

Before the musicians arrive I always try to make sure all the units have the appropriate settings, and sometimes I make a mix for someone, sometimes with an unprofessional musician who has no desire to learn it easier for me to take 30 seconds on the front end.

A few minutes into practice, after things are working in your world and your gains are set and everything is sounding fairly cohesive go check that everyone has a good IEM mix. I usually walk the stage and tap my ear and questioningly give a thumbs up (they can give a nod or shake their head in reply, this does not interrupt practice). If something needs work I will wait until their next break to see what needs help, usually, it is on their end.

If you have musicians or singers who do not understand how to take to use the units do a quick 2 minute training sometimes saying "these are the first problems I find, if something doesn't sound right let me know and I will help you dial it in, let me know now don't wait for the whole service :-)" Overtime the continued education seems to be working, and some of the musicians are actually helping troubleshoot the other ones. :-)

---

Also, how are your p16's routed? Especially for drums post-EQ and compression makes a huge difference in the ears. I run most other channels post also. However, this also means that you cannot do any insane chopping on the EQ, although I can usually get by with reasonably moderate stuff when the house needs it. Ideally, you should be getting good tone and signal from their end, and you should not need to fix it, but at least with one of the churches I work with that is simply not usually the case...
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Billy Martyn

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 08:56:54 am »

Scott, I will give that a try. I am want to keep the faders form being a the low end. I think part of my problem may be our main amp is higher wattage than we need for a small sanctuary.
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Billy Martyn

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2018, 09:25:39 am »

Matthias, thanks for the detailed explanation. I will check on this and get back to you’ll.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2018, 10:35:39 am »

Scott, I will give that a try. I am want to keep the faders form being a the low end. I think part of my problem may be our main amp is higher wattage than we need for a small sanctuary.
It's not about wattage, it's about gain structure.  On boards using the concept of dBFS - that is 0 is the loudest level and everything else is negative dB, you typically adjust your preamp on each input so that the input level (not the output meter on your mixer) is around -18dBFS.  If your board has analog-style metering with some amount of +dB available, normally you want your input gain such that each channel lands around 0dB on the input meter.

With this gain structure, you should have enough level to send to whatever you need to.  You may also find that this helps the fader position better reflect your desired mix balance.

You haven't given any information on your board model or speaker system.  If you have a single amp driving your main speakers, you should just be able to turn the amp gain controls down a bit.  If you have a larger system using multiple amps, this may not be the best course of action, but you can still compensate by lowering the level of your main output fader on the board.

RE your comment about your system needing a lot of help - if you post your location, there may be someone willing to stop over and spend a couple hours with you for a moderate fee.  This would likely be money well-spent.
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Nick Andrews

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2018, 11:27:36 am »

Obviously good gain structure first, but I find Sending the direct out channels PRE EQ also helps quite a bit , especially for vocals , the signal source comes through full range like this obviously. If they want to sculpt the tone they have eq capability per channel on the p16 for that. I send stems and bus mixes post fader / post eq I find that works well also.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 11:32:02 am by Nick Andrews »
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Billy Martyn

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2018, 04:43:16 pm »

You haven't given any information on your board model or speaker system.  If you have a single amp driving your main speakers, you should just be able to turn the amp gain controls down a bit.  If you have a larger system using multiple amps, this may not be the best course of action, but you can still compensate by lowering the level of your main output fader on the board.

Thanks for the info. Yes, I want to start at the basics and try to get a balanced mix. I was under the impression that it is not good to have faders way down low (main or individual channel). Maybe that was just the old analog boards?

We have a X-32 board. For the house we have one Crown 2 channel amp (speakers are 12” I think, not sure of the model) and two powered subs (not sure of model). Yesterday we just installed two more P-16’s and P1’s for all of the singers. So, no more onstage monitors. I am very excited about this upgrade because the singers always wanted the monitors blasting. Of course we wanted wireless for the singers but the budget couldn’t swing that.

Maybe I should start a new discussion about getting our gain structure set correctly.
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Matthias McCready

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2018, 05:35:14 pm »

Here are some threads on gain staging, reading these should help to give you a better understanding if you still have ancillary questions feel free to ask :-)

Thread 1
Thread 2

Of course we wanted wireless for the singers but the budget couldn’t swing that.


Good call on avoiding wireless. Only buy wireless (mics/IEM) when you can afford to do it correctly, which is quite expensive. A good working wireless system will hopefully perform as well as a cheaper wired system.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Help with P-16
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2018, 10:16:06 pm »

Obviously good gain structure first, but I find Sending the direct out channels PRE EQ also helps quite a bit , especially for vocals , the signal source comes through full range like this obviously. If they want to sculpt the tone they have eq capability per channel on the p16 for that. I send stems and bus mixes post fader / post eq I find that works well also.

Hope that helps!
In 20+ years of sound reinforcement, I have never found any situation where no EQ for monitors - sending pre-EQ as you are describing - was better than sending the FOH EQ to monitors.  Vocal mics always need a high-pass filter at least, and usually another band or two.  Sending a flat-EQ version will have a bunch of mud to cloud the mix, and most acoustic guitars will need work around 1.7KHz. 

In a couple rare cases I have had talent requesting slightly different EQ in the wedge for their mic, but that is a very specific situation for a single channel, and easily accomplished by splitting an input to two channels.

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