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Author Topic: 2 or 3 mixing desks into one amplifier  (Read 1036 times)

Mike Caldwell

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Re: 2 or 3 mixing desks into one amplifier
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2022, 10:44:11 AM »

Thanks, I'll look into DSPs, although we would need several, and with a similar budget we could probably upgrade to a digital desk and bypass all the issues (see below).  We do have a DSP for management of the speakers, but it only has one input.  :(   I did build a couple of passive mixers this week, and they kind of work, but the sound quality is affected, so they aren't useable.  I still have some fiddling to do and may end up turning them into active mixers.

As for sharing equipment, yes, that would be ideal and would save a lot of hassle, but there's history and politics involved there, and our main desk is analog.  There are some tech wizzes who use all the settings and reconfigure things as they need it, and then there's the 90 year old operators who come in on Sunday morning and don't have the skills to get the system back to their 'normal'.  The different systems are also connected to different streaming setups - again it would be great to share, but reconfiguring streaming keys is beyond some of the operators.

Thanks everyone for the info.

If your "passive mixers" were just Y cabling that as you found out is very bad idea.
You can make passive summing mixers using a resistor network, look up the Rane Why not to Y info, still not the best idea.

Are all the mixers always at this location or are they brought in as needed?

In addition to main L R how are you going to handle switching the other mix feeds?

Using a DSP to switch the main mix and all the other output mixes
could become a very large and expensive unit.

How is switching the inputs handled?

A good moderate featured and still simple to use digital mixer would give you more features then you have now. The tech power users could have their scenes and the day to day volunteer users could have their saved operation scene as well as passwords to access different levels of mixer functions.
 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2022, 05:35:33 PM by Mike Caldwell »
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Matthias McCready

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Re: 2 or 3 mixing desks into one amplifier
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2022, 04:56:37 PM »

As for sharing equipment, yes, that would be ideal and would save a lot of hassle, but there's history and politics involved there, and our main desk is analog.  There are some tech wizzes who use all the settings and reconfigure things as they need it, and then there's the 90 year old operators who come in on Sunday morning and don't have the skills to get the system back to their 'normal'.  The different systems are also connected to different streaming setups - again it would be great to share, but reconfiguring streaming keys is beyond some of the operators.

Thanks everyone for the info.

As far as sharing:

1) You can make a scene or session file that is as easy (or easier) than an analog console. Ie 2 input faders and a "master" fader, with no access to EQ or other settings. It doesn't get simpler than that, you can load that up before they arrive (or whoever uses it before them). No layers, no scary screens, and no fuss.
2) For moderate users, I make a standard session template. Which I would have them load. It was built out so that it made sense, accomplished what was needed. Since it was loaded every time they used it, they wouldn't have to worry about someone making changes. Since I was a standard template I could walk them through any screens/layers or other questions they might have over the phone. Every month or so I would make a few tweaks to the session, and send out an email with details. Even the newer folks were able to follow-along, and did not feel too confused.
3) For those who have capacity, they can make their own session and do what they want. I still try to spend a few minutes making sure they understand the ins and outs of the console, and make a few recommendations, "do what you want, but you could try doing this, it might help."

In these situations I have found:

If you have capacity spending some time hand-holding with the user groups that need it is well worth it. If you are willing to meet with them, listen to their needs, and make them feel heard. Tell them what changes are happening ahead of time, and address how their needs will be met. That will get over 90% of the issues.

If you are willing to pickup the phone to help, even better.

---

If you play your cards right, you can slice right through the church politics.  :)

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Measure twice, and cut once; this is especially important if you are a mohel.

David Aberdeen

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Re: 2 or 3 mixing desks into one amplifier
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2022, 07:30:10 PM »

If your "passive mixers" were just Y cabling that as you found out is very bad idea.
You can make passive summing mixers using a resistor network, look up the Rane Why not to Y info, still not the best idea.

I was using a resistor network to sum the inputs, using 10K resistors. The next box in the chain is the DSP, and it quotes >50K input impedance.  Not sure why the sound was changing so much, but I was losing the highs, and getting more bass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Passive_Mixer.jpg

Are all the mixers always at this location or are they brought in as needed?
In addition to main L R how are you going to handle switching the other mix feeds?

The other mixing desks are brought in as needed, plugged in, and packed up afterward.  As for switching, this needs to be transparent.  The old guys cannot handle checking switches to make sure they are switched correctly, and we can't rely on previous users leaving the system in the correct state.  This is why I'm looking at mixing boxes.  The extra systems can be brought in place, and plugged in and out as required, but the main system will always work, and none of the main system need ever be unplugged.

A digital mixer would solve all the issues, as we could set up scenes and everyone can use the same mixer.  That's outside the scope of the project at this point, but definitely in consideration for the long-term.
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Re: 2 or 3 mixing desks into one amplifier
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2022, 07:30:10 PM »


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