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Author Topic: Setting Gain Structure - NEWBIE ALERT!  (Read 2168 times)

Lawrence Arevalo

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Setting Gain Structure - NEWBIE ALERT!
« on: March 09, 2011, 03:09:37 pm »

Hi All,
 
I need to learn to properly set a gain structure for my system. I watched a few videos on it but I am not sure where to start with my particular system.

I run (2) Yorkville NX750Ps and I have (2) Yorkie LS700 subs that I may or may not use depending on the venue and crowd size.

I run pre-recorded music through a DJ controller that has it's own gain knobs and attenuators into another DJ mixer that has it's own gain knobs and attenuators. I run the controller into the mixer via rca inputs of a single channel. The DJ mixer then goes XLR out into my speaker setup.

I am not sure if I should set my speakers to 0db and work backwards to the DJ mixer first, then the controller. Or, should I start with the controller and work my way forward.

Also, I am not sure what kind (genre) of music I should be playing to test with because all of the music I will be playing will vary in EQ from song to song.

Please help!
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Setting Gain Structure - NEWBIE ALERT!
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 12:44:47 am »

Hi All,
 
I need to learn to properly set a gain structure for my system. I watched a few videos on it but I am not sure where to start with my particular system.

I run (2) Yorkville NX750Ps and I have (2) Yorkie LS700 subs that I may or may not use depending on the venue and crowd size.

I run pre-recorded music through a DJ controller that has it's own gain knobs and attenuators into another DJ mixer that has it's own gain knobs and attenuators. I run the controller into the mixer via rca inputs of a single channel. The DJ mixer then goes XLR out into my speaker setup.

I am not sure if I should set my speakers to 0db and work backwards to the DJ mixer first, then the controller. Or, should I start with the controller and work my way forward.

Also, I am not sure what kind (genre) of music I should be playing to test with because all of the music I will be playing will vary in EQ from song to song.

Please help!

First I have to ask why you are running one mixer into another mixer?  I saw in another post that you have a NS7 and a Denon mixer...do you sometimes mix CD's or can you get rid of the denon setup and just use the NS7?

Either way, you'll want to set your gain structure starting with the first controller or mixer, and work your way to the speakers.  The goal here is to set the gain so that everything in the signal chain 'clips' at the same time.  I use parenthesis because most equipment doesn't actually clip until you're a few db's into the red, but just to be safe you don't ever want to actually drive it into the red.  You'll want to set each piece of equipment so that they are at one or two yellows before the red, allowing about 6db of headroom. 

Start with the NS7.  Play a track that you would typically play during a performance, preferably a bass heavy dance track.  Start with the EQ's flat and first set the individual channel trim so you're just below the red.  Then bring that channel fader to max and set the master output so you're again just below the red.  This will be your max output of the NS7, you should never turn your master past this level. 

Next we go to the Denon Mixer, doing basically the same thing.  Using the channel that you are routing the NS7 to, set the EQ's flat and the trim to just below red.  Run the channel fader up to max, and run your master output to just below red.  Again, this is the max level you should ever operate the mixer at.

Next are your speakers and subs.  I'm not sure how you're connecting them here, but I will write this on the assumption that you're using the internal crossovers and looping from the subs to the tops in stereo.  The gains for each speaker will be set independently here, but the left side top and sub should have the same gain setting as the corresponding right side top and sub.  If one side clips before the other you might have an issue with L/R balance somewhere in your system.  With your NS7 at the max volume you established earlier, and the Denon mixer at the max volume you established earlier, set the gain on your speaker(s) to just below clipping.  You may need to reduce the gain on either the tops or subs to balance their output (if the subs are overpowering the tops, reduce their gain accordingly).  From this point you may want to tweak the EQ's a bit, but if you make any frequency boosts you may need to reduce the gain to compensate. 
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