ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?  (Read 1397 times)

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 825
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2020, 08:04:08 pm »

[...] I am interested to hear if anyone can say why someone would do ALL of these particular things even if it was for a self contained, same band, same console (or show file) all the time kind of gig. I can see why you might want DCAs, groups and matrices for certain things but not all of them for all things. [...]

Well, let's start with the assumption that DCAs are for mixing with and Groups are for signal processing (i.e. each Group's fader will be set once during sound check and never touched again).

The first thing groups are useful for (assuming a channel->group->L/R signal flow) is for adjusting gain staging. Robert Scovill, for example, typically wants to see slow-metered signal on all channels landing around -18 dBFS while also keeping channel and DCA faders within 10dB of unity. Assuming (as is typically the case) that this will produce way too much signal at the console output, one of the most flexible ways to "lose gain" is the group faders. By using different groups for different instruments you can rough in your mix and deal with the fact that some things (like vocals) will probably need a bit less attenuation than, say, the drums.

Beyond gain-staging, group EQ can be useful in certain circumstances where you want to apply the same adjustment to a lot of channels. Theatre uses group EQ extensively (I've got 12 guys with similar vocal ranges all wearing the same type of lav), and they can find use in talking head situations as well (i.e. rather than pulling out ringing frequencies for the whole PA you can just pull them out for the lav group). I find it less useful for rock-and-roll, although there are some neat tricks you can do when you've got all BG Vox mics groups together involving a bit of low-pass filtering.

Similarly to EQ, group dynamics have their place. It's not uncommon to see some kind of a compressor on the drum group or (again) the BG Vox group as a way to help squash all the individual elements together. Multiband compression can also make an appearance here.

As for parallel compression, you have to be a bit careful. Many digital consoles (even very high end ones) show a little additional latency on their groups. This isn't a big deal most of the time, but it means you have very careful when doing any parallel processing, since it's very easy to accidentally delay your processed signal but not your clean one, resulting in a pretty neat comb filter. Of course, on the X32, parallel compression can be done very easily by adjusting the compressor's mix knob, so I'd avoid using groups for this entirely.

Of course it goes without saying that I wouldn't put any of these into a venue's base showfile...

(As for the matrixes, from your description it sounds like they aren't actually routed to anywhere so...maybe someone was trying to make a recording?)

-Russ
Logged

Tim McCulloch

  • SR Forums
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 21627
  • Wichita, Kansas USA
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2020, 11:02:32 pm »

I've started and stopped a few replies because most of my thoughts are covered in the posts so far.  I'll try to not reinvent the wheel...

I use matrices to drive the system.  Left, right, subs, (front) fills, delay/balcony/etc, ALS/dressing rooms/lobby... or however those last things are set up in the venue.  Since this is the club's desk, do it however makes sense to you.

Same thing for the monitors and FX.  Simple and consistent.

I have a template called "Band in 16".  Eight channels for drums, 1 bass gtr, 2 gtr, 1 key (or another gtr, etc) and 4 vocals.  That will probably cover 90% of the 4-5 piece acts that show up in bars.  I have another template that puts the drums, pads/perc, bass DI/mic, and guitars on 1-16, and keys, horns, vox on 17-32.  Festival patch-ish.  On my USB key they're scenes 1 & 2.  Foldback on mixes 1-4, no groups.

As to why it was the way you found it... the compounding of errors at the Depart of Redundancy Department.  But I'm constantly amazed at how some console operators will configure things, then do not restore the desk after their use. 

Logged
"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

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 825
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2020, 02:16:10 am »

[...] But I'm constantly amazed at how some console operators will configure things, then do not restore the desk after their use.

Oh interesting; maybe I've spend too much time running DiGiCo desks (where you don't load a showfile after console boot only at your peril), but in the digital world I tend to assume that operators will load a base show file at the beginning of the call (and therefore not the end). (Obviously my assumption is reversed if the console is analogue.)

-Russ
Logged

Jeff M Hague

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2020, 07:36:46 am »

Well, let's start with the assumption that DCAs are for mixing with and Groups are for signal processing (i.e. each Group's fader will be set once during sound check and never touched again).

The first thing groups are useful for (assuming a channel->group->L/R signal flow) is for adjusting gain staging. Robert Scovill, for example, typically wants to see slow-metered signal on all channels landing around -18 dBFS while also keeping channel and DCA faders within 10dB of unity. Assuming (as is typically the case) that this will produce way too much signal at the console output, one of the most flexible ways to "lose gain" is the group faders. By using different groups for different instruments you can rough in your mix and deal with the fact that some things (like vocals) will probably need a bit less attenuation than, say, the drums.

Beyond gain-staging, group EQ can be useful in certain circumstances where you want to apply the same adjustment to a lot of channels. Theatre uses group EQ extensively (I've got 12 guys with similar vocal ranges all wearing the same type of lav), and they can find use in talking head situations as well (i.e. rather than pulling out ringing frequencies for the whole PA you can just pull them out for the lav group). I find it less useful for rock-and-roll, although there are some neat tricks you can do when you've got all BG Vox mics groups together involving a bit of low-pass filtering.

Similarly to EQ, group dynamics have their place. It's not uncommon to see some kind of a compressor on the drum group or (again) the BG Vox group as a way to help squash all the individual elements together. Multiband compression can also make an appearance here.

As for parallel compression, you have to be a bit careful. Many digital consoles (even very high end ones) show a little additional latency on their groups. This isn't a big deal most of the time, but it means you have very careful when doing any parallel processing, since it's very easy to accidentally delay your processed signal but not your clean one, resulting in a pretty neat comb filter. Of course, on the X32, parallel compression can be done very easily by adjusting the compressor's mix knob, so I'd avoid using groups for this entirely.

Of course it goes without saying that I wouldn't put any of these into a venue's base showfile...

(As for the matrixes, from your description it sounds like they aren't actually routed to anywhere so...maybe someone was trying to make a recording?)

-Russ


I do see how groups can be useful for dynamics or eq in certain circumstances, particularly corporate or theatrical applications but not so much for rock & roll - in some cases though, yes.
I had not heard of Scovill's take on "losing gain". Interesting stuff. I will have to look it up.
I went back and looked at the original scene I copied from the board and some of the groups fed the L/R bus. Some did not. All of the channels also fed the L/R bus so in some cases the channel and a bus it was sending to were both feeding the L/R bus. The only matrix that was assigned to an output was labeled Subs so I am guessing that was how they were originally separating the subs from the mains.
Just  a very bizarre setup from the word go.

Thanks!
Logged
Jeff

Jeff M Hague

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2020, 07:40:59 am »


  • They "do this all the time in Pro Tools (Reaper/GarageBand/etc.)"

-Russ

This is one thing I have noticed as a result of the digital revolution. More musicians are doing sound bc they have tools like these at their disposal so they now know how to "mix". The problem I find with that though is many may know how to mix but they dont understand how to "do sound". They dont understand anything before the console nor anything past the console and they use bizarre, complicated setups to fix issues that should be fixed other ways.
Thanks!
Logged
Jeff

Jeff M Hague

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2020, 07:44:35 am »

I've started and stopped a few replies because most of my thoughts are covered in the posts so far.  I'll try to not reinvent the wheel...

I use matrices to drive the system.  Left, right, subs, (front) fills, delay/balcony/etc, ALS/dressing rooms/lobby... or however those last things are set up in the venue.  Since this is the club's desk, do it however makes sense to you.

Same thing for the monitors and FX.  Simple and consistent.

I have a template called "Band in 16".  Eight channels for drums, 1 bass gtr, 2 gtr, 1 key (or another gtr, etc) and 4 vocals.  That will probably cover 90% of the 4-5 piece acts that show up in bars.  I have another template that puts the drums, pads/perc, bass DI/mic, and guitars on 1-16, and keys, horns, vox on 17-32.  Festival patch-ish.  On my USB key they're scenes 1 & 2.  Foldback on mixes 1-4, no groups.

As to why it was the way you found it... the compounding of errors at the Depart of Redundancy Department.  But I'm constantly amazed at how some console operators will configure things, then do not restore the desk after their use.

I def see using matrices to derive fill or balcony etc feeds but why sub and L/R? Just for consistency - all of your main feeds are in the same place as opposed to fills and such over here and sub & L/R somewhere else?

Thanks!
Logged
Jeff

Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 351
  • North Central FL
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2020, 08:37:16 am »

Precisely, only I’d add a step 0.5 of backing up the existing scenes to USB if for no other reason than to CYA when some BE from nine months ago comes in and says “Hey, where’s the scene for ‘Bubba and the Tadpole Squishers’?”.

I would definitely skip this step.  It's the BE's job to have their show file somewhere, not mine.  When a system is this big of a mess, start with 100 clean slate.  Visiting BEs can complicate things to their heart's content.
Logged

Chrysander 'C.R.' Young

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 351
  • North Central FL
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2020, 08:42:02 am »

I have a template called "Band in 16".  Eight channels for drums, 1 bass gtr, 2 gtr, 1 key (or another gtr, etc) and 4 vocals.  That will probably cover 90% of the 4-5 piece acts that show up in bars.  I have another template that puts the drums, pads/perc, bass DI/mic, and guitars on 1-16, and keys, horns, vox on 17-32.  Festival patch-ish.  On my USB key they're scenes 1 & 2.  Foldback on mixes 1-4, no groups.

I do 100% precisely the same thing.  I even do some basic compression, eq, and gating ahead of time so i can dial in the final sound much faster.  Saved my ass on a festival gig - 51 bands in 3 days!
Logged

Jeff M Hague

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2020, 10:16:25 am »


SNIP

At 1 point they were using the M/C bus for the subs but had some issues and someone pulled it and just fed the whole rig from L/R. Yesterday we set it back to M/C for subs the way it was originally. The M/C bus is feeding a matrix and the matrix is assigned to an output on one of the s16s. I think the issue they had was someone had turned down or muted the matrix and didnt know that so they werent getting any sub.

  • Why feed M/C to a matrix? Only thing I could think was maybe they did that before the FW update that added crossover type filters to the M/C bus? But they werent using a crossover type filter on the matrix output either.

I noticed that using it this way the sub output does not follow the channel faders so if you drop the L/R bus the subs are still cranking. Not a big deal I guess but kind of a pain.


BTW I found a check box under setup labeled "M/C depends on Main LR" that was not checked. A little digging and a YouTube video about Aux Fed subs on the X32 and the guy in the video says checking this will cause the M/C bus to follow the LR faders so there is no need to adjust both the M/C and L/R faders. I am going to check it in the club next time I am there.
Logged
Jeff

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 825
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2020, 12:45:06 pm »

[...]
I went back and looked at the original scene I copied from the board and some of the groups fed the L/R bus. Some did not. All of the channels also fed the L/R bus so in some cases the channel and a bus it was sending to were both feeding the L/R bus. The only matrix that was assigned to an output was labeled Subs so I am guessing that was how they were originally separating the subs from the mains.
Just  a very bizarre setup from the word go.
[...]

That's not a setup; that's a long-creeping disaster, a whole string of confused operators struggling to make the console "do the thing" without understanding the cause of their struggles.

Incidentally, as with most digital consoles, the X32 offers some very interesting (and in a few cases almost unique) opportunities to really screw other operators. My personal favourite (and yes, it does have its uses) is the relatively obscure ability to use a Bus as a Channel source...

-Russ
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: x32 bus, group, DCA, matrix setups?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2020, 12:45:06 pm »


Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.058 seconds with 20 queries.