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Author Topic: help setting up compressor/limiter  (Read 4829 times)

zinn

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help setting up compressor/limiter
« on: February 04, 2005, 06:48:42 pm »

Hey everyone,
I’m new to the site and this seems like a good place to get my questions answered. I’ve just picked up some PA to go with my DJ setup but I don’t know much about setting up a compressor/limiter. My goal of this system is to get great sound while also being resistant to DJ’s who like to redline the lvl’s on the mixer. So any advice on setting up the compressor/limiter and advice on what I might want to add to the system later as it grows would be appreciated. Here is a list of my setup from top to bottom.

2 Ortofon nightclub carts
2 Technics M5G turntables
1 Allen and Heath Xone 92 4 channel DJ mixer
2 Behringer Truth 2031 near field monitors (for the DJ)
1 DBX 166xl compressor limiter
1 DBX 231 EQ
1 QSC RMX2450
2 B52 LX-218 550watt 8ohm 50hz-20k Hz

The B52’s roll up from 50 Hz 120 spl and peak around 95-100 Hz at about 130 spl. It stays on this peak till around 4.5k Hz and then makes a slow downward slope till 20k Hz but staying over 100 spl. Of course this info comes from a spec sheet they faxed me and not personal testing. This systems primary use is for tech house, breaks and trance.

Also what are the best type of cables to use to patch everything together and what impedance do I want them in. are XLR mic cables correct or should I use something else to get the best sound out of the system.
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Andy Peters

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Re: help setting up compressor/limiter
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2005, 01:06:20 am »

zinn wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 16:48

I’m new to the site and this seems like a good place to get my questions answered. I’ve just picked up some PA to go with my DJ setup but I don’t know much about setting up a compressor/limiter. My goal of this system is to get great sound while also being resistant to DJ’s who like to redline the lvl’s on the mixer. So any advice on setting up the compressor/limiter and advice on what I might want to add to the system later as it grows would be appreciated.


Inasmuch as DJ talk is off-topic here, the compressor will NOT save your bacon.  The DJs are playing music that is already highly compressed, so compressing more doesn't buy you anything.  And it'll go against your wishes of "great sound."

So forget the 166.  And any other standard compressor/"limiter."

Set up your system gain structure such that even if the DJs run their mixer into the red, there's no way they'll clip your downstream processing and the amps.

--a
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"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

zinn

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Re: help setting up compressor/limiter
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2005, 01:02:23 pm »

I don't need any advice on the DJ equipment just the PA stuff.

So in your opinion the compressor/limiter is useless for my application? Should I just use an EQ or is their other items I can use in the signal path to improve sound quality.

Now when you mention the gain structure the only thing between the mixer and the amp is an EQ (if I’m not using the compressor). So are you just suggesting that I EQ from 0 down and avoid using and positive EQ if possible and of course don't run the amp into clip?

The main problem most DJ's have is clipping their signal by turning up the channel gains to high. Is their any equipment that can help soften the square wave they create by clipping before it reaches the amp and speakers? I thought a compressor/limiter might help this a bit but if not I will just send it back.
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Isaac Zadoka

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Re: help setting up compressor/limiter
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2005, 01:25:28 pm »

Zinn,

First let me say that we are glad you're here, BUT this is a professional forum for audio reinforcement systems.  You are a DJ running an audio system of some kind.  Many here are knowledgeable and helpful, but don't take kindly to answering off topic questions that you could have solved on your own.  Don't freak out when you get burned on this.  Read, study, and use this board for clarification only.

As Andy explained, your music is already compressed.  The 166 won't do anything for you, and yes, you should send it back.  To know why, read this article.  If you want to improve your system's sound quality, the first thing would be to read enough to understand how a system and its parts work together.  It is pointless to purchase or use anything you don't understand.  Period.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Preventing DJs from turning up too far on xone:92 mixers
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2005, 01:46:30 pm »

Zinn, the mixer you have can be modified so that the input gain knob maxes out at unity gain. I think doing the mod will help you get the signal fixed at the source rather than trying to patch it up after it is squared off due to distortion.

Here's the User Guide. Scroll down to page 37 and look at the Input Gain Disable modification instructions.

Good Luck -

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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zinn

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Re: Preventing DJs from turning up too far on xone:92 mixers
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2005, 03:10:23 pm »

Sorry about posting in the wrong forum, at first glance it looked like the most appropriate place for these questions but now that I took another look I guess the lab lounge would have been better.


Bink wrote on Sat, 05 February 2005 18:46

Zinn, the mixer you have can be modified so that the input gain knob maxes out at unity gain. I think doing the mod will help you get the signal fixed at the source rather than trying to patch it up after it is squared off due to distortion.

Here's the User Guide. Scroll down to page 37 and look at the Input Gain Disable modification instructions.

Good Luck -

-Bink


Bink, that’s excellent advice, I had forgotten all about that option on this mixer.

(Mods, please move this thread to the correct forum)
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David Bedrack

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Re: help setting up compressor/limiter
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2005, 03:44:31 pm »

The compressor will not help "softening " a square wave: once it is there  nothing will remove it from the system. The cure is to never let this happen. Back to Proper Gain Structure and pulling the ears of offending guest D.J.'s

Compressors do help in live situations where there is no chance to rewind the tape and have a new take. In recorded music this has already been done. Go think how many times, eh? while we MUST have it right first time.

D.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Square wave distortion fix
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2005, 04:52:21 pm »

Quote:

...once it is there nothing will remove it from the system.


Nothing yet available for realtime live sound, that is.

Theoretically, a digital device could be made to correct it. I have fixed squared-off overdriven recordings in post using Cool Edit Pro which is now called Audition and is sold with new features added by Adobe. Basically, the process I'm talking about turns the volume down by an amount you specify and then synthesizes rounded peaks on top of the highest flat tops. The rounded peaks are also modified to include spectral content from the neighboring wave area. Results sound quite good -- it works.

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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David Bedrack

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Re: Square wave distortion fix
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2005, 05:01:24 pm »

C'mon, would you give that to a DJ?

Twisted Evil
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Square wave distortion fix
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2005, 05:17:57 pm »

david b. wrote on Sat, 05 February 2005 14:01

C'mon, would you give that to a DJ?

Twisted Evil


Nope! How would he know when he was loud enough? Rolling Eyes

index.php/fa/1104/0/

My recommendation would be crisis counseling.  Very Happy

-Bink
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