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Author Topic: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help  (Read 23925 times)

Jeff Young

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gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« on: November 18, 2012, 08:30:11 pm »

Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 08:46:38 pm »

Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.

Are the individual components in good working condition?  If yes, how do you know?  If no, there's your answer.
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 08:52:27 pm »

Are the individual components in good working condition?  If yes, how do you know?  If no, there's your answer.

I know the power amp is brand new, I have used the compressor with my bass and amp to test it and it did all it was supposed to. The mic kit is brand new as well as the speakers...the mixer itself is the only thing that is really questionable...I am a bassist not a sound engineer but I'm the one who took the time to figure out how to hook it up so it seems I'm the one to figure out the gremlins.  Been wondering if I could take the actual mixer somewhere to have it tested...for our purposes i can get a decent mixer for a few hundred, or so Im told.                 p.s also been considering getting a powered amp/suitcase style mixer which I think would remove some of our equipment to a mixer with a handle and speakers...would be less to carry but since we have this it would be nice to get it working right
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 08:56:34 pm by Jeff Young »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 08:58:30 pm »

Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.
WOW-so many unknowns.  How is the system setup-physically.  You said 4 mics- what are they?  how far away for the sound source are they?  What all is going on-instrument wise-you said vocals and drums-anything else (guitars-keyboards etc?  If so-how loud are they playing?
Where are your eq's on the channels set?

What are the various meters on the different pieces of gear showing?  Mixer-amp etc.

It could be any number of things-or a single big thing-or a combination of lots of little things.

You said 2x15" speaker with voice coils.  Well I certainly HOPE SO.  Without voice coils they won't produce any sound.

Are there any horns or high freq devices in the cabinets?
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 09:07:53 pm »

Recently came across a
Mackie 1604 vlz mixer,
an Alesis 3630 compressor/gate,
Furhman power unit,
QSC Gx3 300 watt power amp,
2 Peavey 2x15 stacks with voice coils,
Shure PG58 wireless mic and receiver

We are currently using this set up minus the Alesis because the powered pa head we had, had some issues...However no matter what Ive tried to adjust on the vocals/drums I cant seem to get them loud enough to be heard clearly over everything else thru the Peaveys without ridiculous feedback/random pops and other issues. Hoping someone here can shed some light on something I didnt think of.
I currently dont have anything ran through any aux send/returns on the mixer..it is basically 4 mics plugged into the mono inputs on the back of the mixer channels, mixer plugged into power amp and amp to speakers. But cannot for the life of me get the drums to sound good or get the vocals to a level where the singer can be heard clearly from the speakers....probably his technique but even a bad singer should be blasting out of the speakers I would think.

One of the things that I have come to encounter is that the monitor feeds are possibly needing to be polarity inverted.   They will compete with the mains and the drums.  I also run into bands using the powered speakers as monitors and have no way to reverse the polarity or ground lift.  So I have a rack for my monitor sends that has a behringer di4000 that is an active di with polarity reversal and ground lift.    If the kick is hit then the drum head is positive speaker out, and the monitor is positive speaker out being behind the drum and causing opposit polarity and canceling sound pressure.  Reversing the polarity helps the drummer to hear his kick.

Sorry, above is not addressing your front sound problem, do the other three microphones not have a problem with blasting?  Move the drum vocal onto another channel and see if there is any change?  Try the amp at home on a quiet no input you should not be having random pops either.   The random pops can come from power problems in the building being picked up and amplified from the guitar pickups. 
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 09:12:26 pm »

WOW-so many unknowns.  How is the system setup-physically.  You said 4 mics- what are they?  how far away for the sound source are they?  What all is going on-instrument wise-you said vocals and drums-anything else (guitars-keyboards etc?  If so-how loud are they playing?
Where are your eq's on the channels set?

What are the various meters on the different pieces of gear showing?  Mixer-amp etc.

It could be any number of things-or a single big thing-or a combination of lots of little things.

You said 2x15" speaker with voice coils.  Well I certainly HOPE SO.  Without voice coils they won't produce any sound.

Are there any horns or high freq devices in the cabinets?

We have no amps ran through the mixer..that is being used exclusively for vocal and drum mics 1 shure 58 wireless for vocals and a three piece drum mic kit the drummer bought from who knows when the earth was still forming (but try telling him he needs some new stuff and see where it goes).
Peavey PV 215 Dual 15" 2-Way Speaker Cabinet Specifications:
Frequency range (-10dB, half space): 40Hz to 21kHz
Frequency response (3dB, half space): 58Hz to 17kHz
Sensitivity (1w/1m): 98dB
Power rating (program): 700W
Peak power capacity (peak): 1400W
Maximum SPL: 123.5dB
Transducer complement: Dual Peavey heavy duty 15" premium woofers, RX14 1.4" titanium diaphragm dynamic compression driver on a 60 x 40 coverage constant directivity horn
Driver protection: Positive temperature coefficient resistor
Nominal coverage pattern: 60 x 40
Electro-acoustic crossover frequency: 2.6kHz
Nominal impedance: 4O
Input connections: Two 1/4" phone jacks in parallel
Enclosure materials & finish: Trapezoidal, black carpet-covered enclosure with dado-joined 1/2" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and a full-length, black powder-coated steel grille
Dimensions (HxWxD):
Front: 48.25" x 18.38" x 14.25", 122.6cm x 46.7cm x 36.2cm
Rear: 48.25" x 11.75" x 14.25" 122.6cm x 29.8cm x 36.2cm
Weight: 79lb. (35.9kg)
QSC GX3 Stereo Power Amplifier Specifications:
Power Rating:
8Ω / both channels driven / 1 kHz: 300 W
8Ω / single channel driven / 1 kHz: 350 W
4Ω / both channels driven / 1 kHz; 425 W
4Ω / single channel driven / 1 kHz; 500 W
2Ω / both channels driven / 1 kHz; 200 W

Distortion (typical): 20 Hz - 20 kHz: 1 dB below rated power 8Ω: less than 0.05% / 4Ω: less than 0.1%
Signal to Noise: (20 Hz - 20 kHz) 100 dB
Input Sensitivity: 1.2 Vrms
Voltage Gain: (8Ω) 32.2 dB
Output Circuitry: Class B
Power Requirements: (1/8 power, pink noise at 4Ω, 120 V) 6.3A
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz, +0, 1 dB
Dynamic Headroom (4Ω): 2 dB
Damping Factor: 100
Input Impedance (Ω): Greater than 20k (balanced)
Maximum Input Level: +24 dB (16 Vrms)

sorry bout the length of that but figured the actual specs would help
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 09:20:01 pm »

One of the things that I have come to encounter is that the monitor feeds are possibly needing to be polarity inverted.   They will compete with the mains and the drums.  I also run into bands using the powered speakers as monitors and have no way to reverse the polarity or ground lift.  So I have a rack for my monitor sends that has a behringer di4000 that is an active di with polarity reversal and ground lift.    If the kick is hit then the drum head is positive speaker out, and the monitor is positive speaker out being behind the drum and causing opposit polarity and canceling sound pressure.  Reversing the polarity helps the drummer to hear his kick.

Sorry, above is not addressing your front sound problem, do the other three microphones not have a problem with blasting?  Move the drum vocal onto another channel and see if there is any change?  Try the amp at home on a quiet no input you should not be having random pops either.   The random pops can come from power problems in the building being picked up and amplified from the guitar pickups.

I dont want to waste anybodies time here guesstimating at things...when I get out of work tommorow I have to go pick something up at our jamming basement anyways so I will figure out what these other mics are and repost on here tommorow and hopefully that will give someone a better idea of what im looking at here
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 09:20:55 pm »

I know the power amp is brand new, I have used the compressor with my bass and amp to test it and it did all it was supposed to. The mic kit is brand new as well as the speakers...the mixer itself is the only thing that is really questionable...I am a bassist not a sound engineer but I'm the one who took the time to figure out how to hook it up so it seems I'm the one to figure out the gremlins.  Been wondering if I could take the actual mixer somewhere to have it tested...for our purposes i can get a decent mixer for a few hundred, or so Im told.                 p.s also been considering getting a powered amp/suitcase style mixer which I think would remove some of our equipment to a mixer with a handle and speakers...would be less to carry but since we have this it would be nice to get it working right

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSJ1oOQ9tY

This video shows how to set channel input gain on a Mackie mixer.  You should know how to do this. 
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Jeff Young

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 09:25:29 pm »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSJ1oOQ9tY

This video shows how to set channel input gain on a Mackie mixer.  You should know how to do this.

Yeah Ive done that....I have all four mics on solo at 0db level showing in the led gauge.
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Scott Harris

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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 09:36:19 pm »

Gain levels?  Stage volume?  Remove everything else from the mix except vocals?

Where are you located?  This may be a 5 minute issue in person versus weeks of emails.
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Re: gain issues in live set up not sure how to fix..please help
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 09:36:19 pm »


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