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Author Topic: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?  (Read 29789 times)

Luke Geis

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #80 on: January 22, 2014, 02:13:37 am »

In my experience...... Assuming we take both approaches, and only simply change the aux fed, or standard full range send, the only difference would be the build up low end and loss of usable power in the subs. If you take two exact systems and run one with a basic full range setup and set it up to perfection and take the same exact system and run it with AUX fed subs ( with exact same DSP settings ETC. ) there will be no perceivable difference........... IF you run all the channels at unity into the aux feeding the sub....... Now lets assume you remove channels all together such as vocals and perhaps things like flute, violin and other such instruments with fundamental frequencies that are only slightly below your crossover point. What happens? You gain the use of that energy back into the sub system ( to a small degree ) and you clean up the low end muck that those instruments were once consuming in the bass bins. And you haven't even touched a knob on the desk yet. The acoustical crossover point is moot at that point if you ask me. The instrument in question will still have it's typical drop off per octave in the other speaker elements and simply don't exist in the the bass bins. BOOOOOO HOOOOOO........

Typically in an AUX fed sub system the standard bass needing instruments such as kick, bass, keys and perhaps the floor tom ( for example ) will be ran at or near unity depending on the user. Not bad right? You still get left and right stereo separation and the subs hit as they normally would with extra headroom available to really pound you if needed ( remember all the other stuff in now not running into the subs ). Now the acoustical crossover will only be marginally off for most of the instruments that you desire in the subs. If the tops are crossed over fairly close the subs there will be less of a difference. If there is a large difference between the subs and tops, then perhaps it may be more noticeable? However I don't think that you will really notice a large acoustical crossover point change unless your running high levels out of the subs. That is to say that your above unity on your aux sends to the subs and there is an obvious increase in sub output for given instruments vs the tops output for the same instruments. The acoustical crossover point will be highly evident if the ratio between sub and top power is vastly different. But you will only notice it in instruments that are fed to booth parts of the system.

So assuming a properly set up system to begin with, there should be no need to worry so much about acoustical crossover points. If your running pre recorded media through the system you will have the aux fed sub tuned for unity and if you mix worth your salt you should be able to acquire similar results. There is no rule that says you cannot send vocals into the subs aux send....... The utilization of high pass filters and judicious use of aux fed subs can yield exceptional results that will probably be better than a typical full range system fed with a full range L/R send. That's what I feel anyway. Having tried booth ways in several configurations, the winner in clarity and power is aux fed subs. The acoustical disconnect between subs and tops is fixed by adding things into the subs if there is need to do so.......
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #81 on: January 22, 2014, 03:03:18 am »

i have a 3 way pa speaker system. 18" woofers , 12" mids , 2" horns. the system is tri-amped. crossover points are 130hz and 1200hz using a 24db/oct electronic. if i run the 18" woofers through an aux feed tell me how thats going to make the system sound better or different than running everthing through the main out ? it doesnt make any sense. last night i connected my 3 way home system to my mackie and did the woofers on the aux. no difference and when i pushed the volume up i had move 2 faders at once instead of one.
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Nicolas Poisson

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #82 on: January 22, 2014, 03:23:34 am »

if i run the 18" woofers through an aux feed tell me how thats going to make the system sound better or different than running everthing through the main out ? it doesnt make any sense.

However it made sense for every single member that took part to this topic until now. I advise you to read it, you will get the the answer to your question.

Please, note that when running the woofer on aux, not all instruments are sent to the aux. The sound guy chooses what he sends and what he doesn't. Of course if you send every channel strip at the same level as the master LR bus to the aux, there is no benefit.
If your tests from last night were done using a CD played through the PA, it is reassuring you did not notice any difference.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 03:44:11 am by Nicolas Poisson »
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #83 on: January 22, 2014, 04:12:48 am »

However it made sense for every single member that took part to this topic until now. I advise you to read it, you will get the the answer to your question.

Please, note that when running the woofer on aux, not all instruments are sent to the aux. The sound guy chooses what he sends and what he doesn't. Of course if you send every channel strip at the same level as the master LR bus to the aux, there is no benefit.
If your tests from last night were done using a CD played through the PA, it is reassuring you did not notice any difference.
yeah i got it , i will try it. i was using a rehersal tape. question > are you not allowing any of the bass guitar or drums in the upeer frequency range ? all my toms and bass drums go up into the mid frequencies. the bass giutar has lots of noted above 200hz. if you cut all that off below say 100hz you've just cut it out of the main pa. that might work good for a small club where the bass and rums dont need be in the foh speakers but several hundred to several thousand is going to present a problem at least for the drums. i'v seen 2000 watt bass rigs. i got blown away at a Manowar concert once. only the drums and vocals were pa'd.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 04:21:29 am by Jeff Harrell »
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #84 on: January 22, 2014, 04:58:36 am »

yeah i got it , i will try it. i was using a rehersal tape. question > are you not allowing any of the bass guitar or drums in the upeer frequency range ? all my toms and bass drums go up into the mid frequencies. the bass giutar has lots of noted above 200hz. if you cut all that off below say 100hz you've just cut it out of the main pa. that might work good for a small club where the bass and rums dont need be in the foh speakers but several hundred to several thousand is going to present a problem at least for the drums. i'v seen 2000 watt bass rigs. i got blown away at a Manowar concert once. only the drums and vocals were pa'd.

Instruments that go to the aux fed subs also go to the tops.
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Nicolas Poisson

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #85 on: January 22, 2014, 05:01:42 am »

Are you not allowing any of the bass guitar or drums in the uper frequency range ?

Of course you allow that.
- for instrument that go low, you send them in BOTH the aux and the LR mains
- for instruments that need no bass, you send them only in the LR mains

Even "bass" instrument go high (all the more with the harmonics). It is rather common to boost a bass guitar or kick drum around 3kHz to get a punchy sound - take a look at the Beta52 response. 3kHz is way above the typical 100Hz crossover point of the sub, it is even above most mid/hi crossover point.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 05:04:24 am by Nicolas Poisson »
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #86 on: January 22, 2014, 06:06:33 am »

As if the waters were not muddied already I tried another use for aux fed subs this past weekend. Had a show that consisted of some youth talent, a stand up comic, a few live instruments and some people dancing or singing to pre-recorded tracks.  I set up a compact active sub on stage using another aux send separate from the stage monitors and only put the prerecorded music thru. ( of course pre-recorded music also went thru stage monitors).

This gave the dancers and singers using background tracks a nice beat they could feel on stage while they were performing and allowed me to keep my monitor EQ optimized for voice. Without the aux fed sub monitor I would have had to pump a lot of bass in the monitors just for the recorded tracks.  The FOH subs were on the floor a good 3 ft below stage level so I knew going in the performers on stage were not going to get much coming back from them. 

I'm going to try this technique again with live bands for the drum monitor and see how it works. Might actually sit the drummers monitor on top of the compact sub but I have some concerns about getting some sub sonic spillover into the wedge if it resonates the wedge box.   Mmmm, I wonder if I could talk the drummer into actually sitting on the sub? Can you feel the kick drum now?
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #87 on: January 22, 2014, 09:00:31 am »

....   Mmmm, I wonder if I could talk the drummer into actually sitting on the sub? Can you feel the kick drum now?

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jason misterka

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #88 on: January 22, 2014, 10:42:38 am »

My experience is similar to Luke's.

Here are my thoughts on it.

I much prefer AUX subs instead of BUS subs due to issues involving stereo sources.  This allows me to sum the stereo sources at -6 and keep the proper proportion.

My favorite though is the variable mono bus on the MIDAS PRO consoles.  Best of both worlds.

When using BUS subs you also have to be careful that you set nominal based on a mono channel source when configuring and aligning the system.

Otherwise I tend to keep my bass and kick at nominal in the subs.  I will sometimes add an appropriate vocal or key or acoustic guitar at a level less than nominal every once in a while.   

For toms, I may add a bit of sub to the high tom, a bit more to the middle tom and set the floor tom at nominal. I know this is not proper but it can be a quick place to end up if the tom sound terrible on their own and you have no time to do a proper soundcheck and apply EQ (or yell at the drummer.)

When the band takes a break and the singer plays an acoustic song, add the guitar to the subs. Maybe the vocal too. But you don't need it there with the rest of the band playing, channels need to mesh with the entire soundscape not just sound good individually.

For the odd day that I am mixing on a club PA or on another company's system and not my own, having a discrete sub send instead of just LR is crucial.  I absolutely understand why artist techs ask for it.  On one three-club mini-tour I was FOH for an artist, all three of the clubs had presets with the subs much more haystacked than even I like.  At one club I had to turn down the subs 12db.  Much easier with a discrete send.

Lastly, my opinion is that unless your subs are crossed over at 100hz or below (and ideally below) I wouldn't bother with aux subs.

Just my take on it.

Jason
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Greg_Cameron

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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #89 on: January 22, 2014, 12:02:31 pm »

Lastly, my opinion is that unless your subs are crossed over at 100hz or below (and ideally below) I wouldn't bother with aux subs.

Just my take on it.

I tend to agree. If you're crossed too high, you may not have enough bottom for things not being sent to the subs. For Jeff Harrell's setup, aux subs might not be ideal. Now if Jeff decided to take the plunge and use his current "subs" as LF boxes and then added on some subs that reached down into the 20s, it would be a more viable plan. I'd high pass the main rig at 50Hz and then run the aux subs from there on down :)
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Re: Why not Aux Controlled Subs?
« Reply #89 on: January 22, 2014, 12:02:31 pm »


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