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Author Topic: QU32 or Other Problem?  (Read 551 times)

Isaac South

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QU32 or Other Problem?
« on: June 03, 2019, 06:06:42 pm »

Something weird is happening with our church sound system.  Yesterday morning, I KNOW for a 100% fact that I was on a particular scene on our mixer.  But on the screen it showed a different scene as being the "current" one.  I thought that was weird and loaded my scene again.  No change.  So I moved on and didn't think any more about it.

Yesterday evening, we get to church, turn everything on like normal and when service starts, the volume of everything is way low.  The audience could barely hear anything.  The singers were signaling our FOH that they couldn't hear anything either.  One of our guys looked at Mix1 (our only monitor mix) and the master fader was ALL the way down.  We have never ever ever touched that master fader on mix one.  That was strange.  Our preacher mic was EQ'd CRAZY.  Everything was cut wayyyyy down.  Not a normal EQ setting that we use on his mic.  Not even close.  Strange.

So after church, we began looking into what the issue could be.  Maybe a breaker was thrown.  Nope.  Maybe a power-amp got unplugged or turned off. Nope.  Maybe a speaker gone bad.  We checked each speaker and could hear sound through all of them.

All levels seemed about right (apart from that Mix 1 master fader).  All gains were about where they usually are.  EQ was unchanged on everything else apart from the preacher mic. 

I am at a loss on what the issue could be.  I am wondering if someone could guide me in the right direction to find the problem.  My first thought was our mixer going bad???  Thank you for your assistance.

QU32 Mixer
Martin CDD Speakers
Dynacord Power Amps
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 07:55:35 pm »

Something weird is happening with our church sound system.  Yesterday morning, I KNOW for a 100% fact that I was on a particular scene on our mixer.  But on the screen it showed a different scene as being the "current" one.  I thought that was weird and loaded my scene again.  No change.  So I moved on and didn't think any more about it.

Yesterday evening, we get to church, turn everything on like normal and when service starts, the volume of everything is way low.  The audience could barely hear anything.  The singers were signaling our FOH that they couldn't hear anything either.  One of our guys looked at Mix1 (our only monitor mix) and the master fader was ALL the way down.  We have never ever ever touched that master fader on mix one.  That was strange.  Our preacher mic was EQ'd CRAZY.  Everything was cut wayyyyy down.  Not a normal EQ setting that we use on his mic.  Not even close.  Strange.

So after church, we began looking into what the issue could be.  Maybe a breaker was thrown.  Nope.  Maybe a power-amp got unplugged or turned off. Nope.  Maybe a speaker gone bad.  We checked each speaker and could hear sound through all of them.

All levels seemed about right (apart from that Mix 1 master fader).  All gains were about where they usually are.  EQ was unchanged on everything else apart from the preacher mic. 

I am at a loss on what the issue could be.  I am wondering if someone could guide me in the right direction to find the problem.  My first thought was our mixer going bad???  Thank you for your assistance.

QU32 Mixer
Martin CDD Speakers
Dynacord Power Amps

Hi Isaac-

I think it's time for a laying of hands or putting a trail camera somewhere discreet to see if someone is messing with things when nobody is looking.

We're not an A-H shop and I've only used their digital mixes a couple times so I've no in depth experience... but aside from the Holiday Inn Express stay a couple years ago I can only offer this reported experience with Yamaha (the Yammy console OS is like bedrock, too).

After 2 or 3 years (or more) the M7s and LS/9s would get CRS, "Can't Remember Stuff" syndrome.  The scene in use was typically static, not saved and recalled often.  The changes to parameters were not visible on the console display but were audible.  IIRC the solution was to start a new scene file and copy/paste settings, then save the new scene with a new name.  The active scene data got corrupted while being used, without saved changes.

If your "scene" for your church service gives you the same result when recalled - master mix 1 fader down, strange pastor EQ, etc - I'd suggest going through every channel and fixing whatever has changed and then saving the result as a new scene/show/snapshot or whatever A-H calls them.  Then load your previous service scene to make sure the recall is working right by looking for those down faders and funky EQs. Then recall the new scene and verify the recall is correct.

At that point I recommend saving your scene/show/whatever to a USB thumb drive and put it with the stuff you take to church every time.  When the console is powered up check the things that changed to make sure they're still right.  If not, reload from your USB thumb drive and have your service, call A-H tech support in California, and then install the trail camera... ;)
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 08:34:53 pm »

We have been using a QU at our church for about 18 months and the scene recalls have peformed flawlessly.  One of the things we established several months ago was that EVERY service starts with a scene recall (this may happen 20-30 minutes before the service but between 2 of us it happens).  This way no matter what off the wall things we did the last service to fix an issue -maybe dealing with a visiting preacher, some unusual special music or maybe someone was playing around during Sunday afternoon?  We start at the same place.

Keep in mind, the QU powers up showing whatever scene is listed as #1 as the current scene-at this point that is misleading because it is actually set the same way it was powered down-whether that is a saved scene or not.  We do not use scene one for the "Main service" setting for that very reason-we can tell if a recall has been performed after a power up at a glance.

The only other anomaly regarding the display I have encountered was when changing the source to a stage box.  I changed the source, but forgot to apply changes.  This caused the display to change-but not the internal routing.  That caused me a few minutes aggravation!

I recently showed my pastor how to recall a scene-and he figured out how to save a scene.  Now I'm going to have to resort to Tim's USB drive scheme to make sure my settings are secure!  But I should have done that long ago anyway.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 08:38:24 pm by Stephen Swaffer »
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Steve Swaffer

Isaac South

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 11:14:47 pm »

Hi Isaac-

I think it's time for a laying of hands or putting a trail camera somewhere discreet to see if someone is messing with things when nobody is looking.

We're not an A-H shop and I've only used their digital mixes a couple times so I've no in depth experience... but aside from the Holiday Inn Express stay a couple years ago I can only offer this reported experience with Yamaha (the Yammy console OS is like bedrock, too).

After 2 or 3 years (or more) the M7s and LS/9s would get CRS, "Can't Remember Stuff" syndrome.  The scene in use was typically static, not saved and recalled often.  The changes to parameters were not visible on the console display but were audible.  IIRC the solution was to start a new scene file and copy/paste settings, then save the new scene with a new name.  The active scene data got corrupted while being used, without saved changes.

If your "scene" for your church service gives you the same result when recalled - master mix 1 fader down, strange pastor EQ, etc - I'd suggest going through every channel and fixing whatever has changed and then saving the result as a new scene/show/snapshot or whatever A-H calls them.  Then load your previous service scene to make sure the recall is working right by looking for those down faders and funky EQs. Then recall the new scene and verify the recall is correct.

At that point I recommend saving your scene/show/whatever to a USB thumb drive and put it with the stuff you take to church every time.  When the console is powered up check the things that changed to make sure they're still right.  If not, reload from your USB thumb drive and have your service, call A-H tech support in California, and then install the trail camera... ;)

HAHA  Tim, that is so funny.  I wish I could have your knowledge with merely a stay at a Holiday Inn.  haha  just kidding. 

Thank you much for your insight.  I am going to purchase a USB this week and save our main scene to it.

The other problem is, even though we fix the incorrect EQ and move the Mix1 fader back up, the sound is still lower than normal (in terms of volume).  What could be causing that? 
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Isaac South

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 11:15:50 pm »

We have been using a QU at our church for about 18 months and the scene recalls have peformed flawlessly.  One of the things we established several months ago was that EVERY service starts with a scene recall (this may happen 20-30 minutes before the service but between 2 of us it happens).  This way no matter what off the wall things we did the last service to fix an issue -maybe dealing with a visiting preacher, some unusual special music or maybe someone was playing around during Sunday afternoon?  We start at the same place.

Keep in mind, the QU powers up showing whatever scene is listed as #1 as the current scene-at this point that is misleading because it is actually set the same way it was powered down-whether that is a saved scene or not.  We do not use scene one for the "Main service" setting for that very reason-we can tell if a recall has been performed after a power up at a glance.

The only other anomaly regarding the display I have encountered was when changing the source to a stage box.  I changed the source, but forgot to apply changes.  This caused the display to change-but not the internal routing.  That caused me a few minutes aggravation!

I recently showed my pastor how to recall a scene-and he figured out how to save a scene.  Now I'm going to have to resort to Tim's USB drive scheme to make sure my settings are secure!  But I should have done that long ago anyway.

Same here, Stephen.  We've had ours a bit over 2 years and it has worked with no problems.  Until this weekend.  Thank you for your help and info.  I greatly appreciate it.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 10:06:38 am »

HAHA  Tim, that is so funny.  I wish I could have your knowledge with merely a stay at a Holiday Inn.  haha  just kidding. 

Thank you much for your insight.  I am going to purchase a USB this week and save our main scene to it.

The other problem is, even though we fix the incorrect EQ and move the Mix1 fader back up, the sound is still lower than normal (in terms of volume).  What could be causing that?

H.I.E. is as easy as having a credit card and ID. ;)

What else changed?  Lots of places to look - is it the mains only?  Mains and monitors?  If it's mains only I'd look at the main output fader level (same as it was?) and whatever "feeds" the L/R bus.  Do you use "groups, submasters, mixes"?  By that I mean do your inputs directly route to the L/R?  If you use audio groups, or whatever A-H calls them, perhaps their fader levels are down or somehow their EQ or compression was engaged/disengaged or setting changed.  If you use DCAs, perhaps they got turned down.  So many potential places gain could get changed.

Did you call Allen-Heath yet?  There *might* be a "go back" or "undo" feature that would let you step back through the various "saves" since you discovered the issue, but I'm making a hopeful guess.  Yamaha M7 has a 1 step back undo (the previous state is held in memory, but you can only go back ONE scene change) and that saved a client of mine - jazzy blues type act with monitors from FOH.  Long sound check and the BE went to the stage to help the star with something; while he was there the house engineer "helpfully" loaded a blank scene for the support act... but the BE hadn't saved his scene.  I got a panic call from the band manager and I walked the BE through recovering his work. 

While no hardware is 100% failure free I'm really suspicious about your situation.  I consume a great deal of information (I probably read 3 hours a day of technical stuff on forums, among other places) and this is the first report of such behavior from an A-H console that I've run across.  What's security like in your worship space?  Does the youth group have access and how are they supervised?  Are there other uses/users of the system besides the Sunday services and a weekday evening worship operator?  The old intuition says to me that this was somebody messing with the desk in a random fashion.  What I don't understand is why your (hopefully) saved scene file was corrupted, or the fooling around person was more tech savvy - or randomly lucky - and saved their changes to your scene.  This is why I suggested the trail camera and wasn't exactly joking.

So is it possible the console did this all on its own?  Yeah, probably anything is possible under the right circumstances (I found a way to lock up a Yammy M3000 with it's mute group automation that Yamaha had never seen, but it was a deliberate act of testing that found it) but the lack of similar corroborating reports is odd.

Good luck, Isaac, and keep up apprised of what you find.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Ray Soly

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 12:29:05 pm »

Something weird is happening with our church sound system.  Yesterday morning, I KNOW for a 100% fact that I was on a particular scene on our mixer.  But on the screen it showed a different scene as being the "current" one.  I thought that was weird and loaded my scene again.  No change.  So I moved on and didn't think any more about it.

Yesterday evening, we get to church, turn everything on like normal and when service starts, the volume of everything is way low.  The audience could barely hear anything.  The singers were signaling our FOH that they couldn't hear anything either.  One of our guys looked at Mix1 (our only monitor mix) and the master fader was ALL the way down.  We have never ever ever touched that master fader on mix one.  That was strange.  Our preacher mic was EQ'd CRAZY.  Everything was cut wayyyyy down.  Not a normal EQ setting that we use on his mic.  Not even close.  Strange.

So after church, we began looking into what the issue could be.  Maybe a breaker was thrown.  Nope.  Maybe a power-amp got unplugged or turned off. Nope.  Maybe a speaker gone bad.  We checked each speaker and could hear sound through all of them.

All levels seemed about right (apart from that Mix 1 master fader).  All gains were about where they usually are.  EQ was unchanged on everything else apart from the preacher mic. 

I am at a loss on what the issue could be.  I am wondering if someone could guide me in the right direction to find the problem.  My first thought was our mixer going bad???  Thank you for your assistance.

QU32 Mixer
Martin CDD Speakers
Dynacord Power Amps

Anyone with an ipad/iphone access to the console?

Ray
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dave briar

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 02:55:50 pm »

Isaak,
I’ve been mixing on a QU24 for four or so years now and have never had anything like this happen before. That said, we always start with a scene restore as there are multiple techs using the system for many different events. While I do usually rely on my “start scene” as stored in the console, I do have a safe copy of it (as well as other important scenes) stored on a thumb drive as well.

As far as you’re having very low volume after correcting things as best you can I’d concur it does sound very much like a DCA is down somewhere.  However, on the QU24 at least (not sure about the 32) the DCAs are not mapped to any fader by default — you have to manually map them to the custom layer first — so it doesn’t seem likely that an inexperienced operator would have found a way to access them. Do keep us posted.
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 10:06:52 am »

Isaac, you might be experiencing data corruption due to improper shutdown of the console.
Make sure that you are following proper power-down procedures with the console.  On the Qu that means going to the Home screen and touching Shutdown. Make sure every operator knows how to do this. 
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Scott Helmke

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Re: QU32 or Other Problem?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2019, 06:11:30 pm »

You should definitely have a known-good version saved to a USB key that remains in your possession.  That's just basic self-defense against a variety of likely causes.  What if your mixer gets stolen and you have to rent one in a hurry for services? 

My #1 guess is somebody is fooling around with the mixer when you're not there.
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