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Author Topic: Easiest path to a separate broadcast mix?  (Read 3754 times)

Keith Shannon

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Re: Easiest path to a separate broadcast mix?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2010, 12:27:11 pm »

Nick Bair wrote on Thu, 15 April 2010 06:28

Thanks to all for your great replies!

Since some of you have asked, the mixer in question is a Yamaha MG24/14FX (  http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/products/mixers/mg32_24/specif ications.html). We do not have it yet so I only have the specs to go by. I plan to purchase it later this year as part of a sound system re-vamp. It has a lot of buses, including 4 group buses, but I don't know what a matrix output is or if it has any.

The house mix is stereo and the broadcast mix is mono. Regarding the trial-and-error part, I was thinking a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones might do the trick rather than running in and out of the overflow area. Any thoughts?

Regarding overall volume, we control the pre-amp broadcast signal from the booth, but there is a post-amp attenuator in the overflow to control the overall volume in there. (This beats being approached during every service to change the level.)

The Yamaha lists at about $1250, but if matrix outputs are worth it, and if there is another reasonably-priced mixer that has them, I'm open to suggestions.


A matrix feed is, like I said, a "mix of mixes". On analog boards, it's basically an aux-like output, but instead of being fed from the channels directly, it's fed from a mixture of the main stereo/mono mixes and the subgroups. The Yamaha MG series doesn't have matrices; in your price range, the ZED-4xx series would be the main choice if you wanted them, and depending on where you look you can get a 32-channel ZED for about the same as that MG.

The ZED, IMO, is a better mixer in many other ways as well:
* 32 mono channels with mic pres where the MG32 only has 24 pres (the last eight counted channels are the four stereo ins, which A&H usually gives you "free"),
* Direct-outs for channel feeds to a multitrack recorder or an Aviom system. The MG doesn't have em, so on a personal monitor mixer system the best you can do is feed submixes from groups and auxes (or use splitters on all the input cables)
* Independently-assignable Mono feed. Lots of flexibility here; the main advantage in using it for an overflow feed is that you can keep certain sources that the external zones' speakers can't handle, like maybe bass-heavy instruments. In other applications the independent Mono feed could be used for subs (similar to an aux-fed sub without using the aux), LCR, back-row delay feeds (give the guys futher back more high-volume stage sources without blowing out the front row), or you could set up a Mono house mix and use L/R as the base for a matrix feed for recording (give the L/R recording mix things the house blend doesn't need, like drums).
* Independent L/R master faders allow for finer master volume control, or for using the L/R bus as 2 independent outputs. For instance, the L/R/M setup could instead be used for mono tops, delay fills and subs; L/R doesn't HAVE to be a stereo output.
* Per-channel phantom power, which is a huge plus if you have a combination of phantom-powered and unpowered sources; just turn it on for what needs it instead of worrying that what you're plugging in can't tolerate it.
* Better EQ section, with four-band semi-parametric controls and the ability to cut out the EQ section if not needed.

If you're really planning on needing a lot of "creative" aux mixes, the MG32 does have slightly better aux flexibility, with the pre-post switching on all 6 auxes in pairs; the ZED series has it only on Aux3/4. The more expensive GL2400 adds this (and more), but you lose a couple nice-to-haves of the ZED like the USB out.

The ZED's biggest advantage over most of its competitors is the USB audio interface, which is the computer user's best friend. Instead of dealing with adapters to get pro audio output into a computer's line-in, one cable can be connected to both sides and auto-detected by the computer, to carry stereo input and output simultaneously. The ZED allows you to use a laptop to play back to a stereo channel or to the 2-track playback (which can route to L/R), and record from AUX1/2 or 5/6, the matrix feeds or the L/R masters. A ZED and a laptop with an Internet connection is your ticket to live streaming of your worship service, podcasts, and other Internet distribution. You can even multitrack with it, but other technologies like FireWire can give you real multitracking capability (all 16-18 inputs transferred digitally over one cable, no analog recording snake or external A/D required).
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Brian Ehlers

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Re: Easiest path to a separate broadcast mix?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2010, 12:41:48 pm »

Nick Bair wrote on Thu, 15 April 2010 06:28

Regarding the trial-and-error part, I was thinking a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones might do the trick rather than running in and out of the overflow area. Any thoughts?

Regarding overall volume, we control the pre-amp broadcast signal from the booth, but there is a post-amp attenuator in the overflow to control the overall volume in there. (This beats being approached during every service to change the level.)



Noise-cancelling headphones suck for any purpose, let alone monitoring live sound.

If the remote area is something like a nursery, where you want the attendants to be able to turn down (or off) the sound, giving them a remote attenuator is fine.  But I would never do that for a common area, especially if it's being used for overflow.  You don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry jumping up to adjust the gain to their own personal preference, just like you don't provide a public-accessible thermostat for the HVAC system in common areas.  There is a proper volume level, and it's up to you to set that.  You'll only have to do it once.  If you give the public control, then the two guys in the corner trying to hold a conversation, or the little old lady who doesn't like contemporary music, will be turning it down.  Then someone else will turn it up because they can't hear the preaching.  It's up to you to balance all these.  But once you get it, it won't need further adjustment, since all those feeds are post-fader.  When you're sitting in the sanctuary and decide something's too soft, you'll move the fader up, which will make it louder both in the sanctuary and in the remote location.
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Keith Shannon

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Re: Easiest path to a separate broadcast mix?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2010, 01:04:20 pm »

Brad Weber wrote on Thu, 15 April 2010 08:37

One comment on the post fader/post EQ concept.  That is great when the level and EQ are adjusted to address performance related events but not as good of the level and/or EQ are being adjusted to account for being in the room or to offset the room itself.  The way I look at it is that if it is a change you'd make if listening in headphones, then you want it affecting the remote feed.  If it is a change that you wouldn't make for headphones then you don't want it affecting the remote feed.

For example, there may be certain instruments (drums, bass, guitar, horns, etc.) for which much of the sound for listeners in the performance space is direct from the instrument.  That does not apply to remote feeds who receive none of the direct sound.  If some of your level and EQ changes are greatly affected by that live component then you may not want those applied to a remote feed.  The same if you are adjusting for audience noise or HVAC noise or anything like that as the same conditions may not apply to the remote feed.

Matrix feeds can work but you have to make sure that the matrix sends provide the level of control desired.  For example, if you need to bring up the bass in the remote feed because those listeners do not get any of the direct amp output, do you have a matrix that can adjust just the bass?

Thus my ideal for remote and ALS feeds from the FOH console are aux sends that are switchable per channel as pre or post.

 


I don't think there's a non-digital mixer that gives you that kind of control in a matrix; Even in many digital mixers it's a hack (Yamaha's LS9 and M7CL don't have direct channel-to-matrix sends; others might, but on a Yammie you'd use a mix for just bass guitar, which you get away with because you have 16 mixes available). You give a matrix inputs from various mix buses; the only way to add ONLY bass is to use a group ONLY for bass guitar (which may be just fine, if you have the group to spare or you're subgrouping bass inputs like a DI and cab mike anyway).

To each his own; a post-fader Aux pair is certainly perfectly capable of the same result and will have advantages depending on the situation. If you mix the house in stereo or LCR and you set-and-forget your master section, the Aux method has no disadvantages and some big advantages versus matrix feeding (like flexible single-channel level and pan control to both live and recording feeds). Of course the issue is totally moot if you don't have a matrix or even groups; you feed the aux, plain and simple.

However, matrices start doing a better job than auxes when you start really using your subgroups. On a non-VCA analog mixer, a group fader does not affect aux sends. So, you group the drums for overall level control without twiddling 6-7 knobs or faders. If you use an aux, that group only controls house levels, which is the lesser concern in most cases as he's the lest reinforced. However, that group fader WILL affect a matrix (both directly and through the group's presence in L/R/M), so if the drummer starts banging a bit too hard you just back him off with one fader and he's backed off everywhere. To have the same functionality with aux sends requires VCA grouping, which turns the group faders into remote controls for the set of channel strips assigned to it, or a digital mixer which just turns the entire surface into a remote control for the computer underneath.
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Justin Bartlett

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Re: Easiest path to a separate broadcast mix?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 04:56:52 pm »

Nick Bair wrote on Thu, 15 April 2010 05:28

Thanks to all for your great replies!

Since some of you have asked, the mixer in question is a Yamaha MG24/14FX (  http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/products/mixers/mg32_24/specif ications.html). We do not have it yet so I only have the specs to go by. I plan to purchase it later this year as part of a sound system re-vamp. It has a lot of buses, including 4 group buses, but I don't know what a matrix output is or if it has any.

The house mix is stereo and the broadcast mix is mono. Regarding the trial-and-error part, I was thinking a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones might do the trick rather than running in and out of the overflow area. Any thoughts?

Regarding overall volume, we control the pre-amp broadcast signal from the booth, but there is a post-amp attenuator in the overflow to control the overall volume in there. (This beats being approached during every service to change the level.)

The Yamaha lists at about $1250, but if matrix outputs are worth it, and if there is another reasonably-priced mixer that has them, I'm open to suggestions.


As others have mentioned, there are much better choices than the Yamaha.  We used the 32-channel version at a satellite campus for awhile, and it's not awful, but it's not great.  The A&H options mentioned are great; the Mackie Onyx 32-4 would also be better than the Yamaha.

We have an overflow feed to a coffeehouse from one of our main rooms; we use the house mixer's matrix to feed it.  Once it's dialed in, it tracks the room mix decently from week to week.  I think this is a simpler approach than post-fader auxes when you have varying program material each week.

Headphones won't do anything for you as far as monitoring the mix; you'll need to get out there and listen, or have someone else do it.
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Re: Easiest path to a separate broadcast mix?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 04:56:52 pm »


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