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Author Topic: How to keep DJ levels out of the red  (Read 16490 times)

Marjan Milosevic

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 11:35:21 am »

DJM is easy. They have a output master attenuation switch on the back.




« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 11:37:52 am by Marjan Milosevic »
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Tim Talbot

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 05:29:54 pm »

I meant the the other users comment ''We use high-quality mixers that don't actually clip until well after the red lights show up''

Mac Kerr

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 05:43:33 pm »

I meant the the other users comment ''We use high-quality mixers that don't actually clip until well after the red lights show up''

If everyone would use the quote button we might have a clue as to what you are referring to.

Mac
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Pascal.Pincosy

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 09:38:31 pm »

So what happens when a headlining DJ specs a DJM & Xone mixer then ?
And you have to hit a Xone (at least the Xone:92 which is the only one that usually shows up on riders) pretty damn hard to actually get it to clip audibly.
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Brad Weber

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 08:03:26 am »

I humbly disagree with the approach. The "sound" or "color" some DJs are listening for actually occurs at the threshold of red meters. It also doesn't mean the mixer is actually at its limit. I don't necessarily use the meters on a mixer to say where unity gain is.
The meters on analog mixers are usually displaying the signal level relative to a reference level rather than any absolute levels.  And there is no standard as to what relative levels are displayed as green, yellow or red.  So assuming that meters being in the red always represents anything specific or would result in a certain "sound" seems to be misunderstanding what the meters are likely actually displaying.

A factor that has apparently not been addressed is that of crest factor and how what the meters display reflects the actual peak or average levels.  One meter might have a slower response, better representing an RMS or average level but not accurately reflecting the peak levels while another meter may be indicating peak levels.  With heavily compressed music that might be a 3-6dB difference but for some sources it could be a 15-20dB difference.

In fact, the Rane MP24 DJ mixer has an adjustment on the back to let you set the meters at your preference - even down to meters off altogether.
The adjustment on the back panel of the MP24 adjusts the reference level for the meters and in the MP24 manual there is a description of how to set that meter sensitivity level.  The process described is essentially setting the meter sensitivity so that the mixer levels show full scale when or just before the amps or other devices downstream clip, thus it is intended to be adjusted based on the system rather than on personal preference.
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Tim Talbot

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011, 09:33:10 am »

If only the Vestax PMC55 was rider friendly ... completely DJ proof :)
If you nail the master & gain(s) you just about hit +1dB lol you can also turn off the tone controls so you cut but NOT add anyting.

Scott Carneval

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2011, 05:13:15 pm »

I've personally driven Pioneer DJM800's and Rane TTM57's well into the red and never heard any audible clipping.  When we do club installs I run the DJ Mixer to just before the red and then back down the rest of the system from there, reducing the input into the processor until it's just under the clip threshold then setting a hard limiter.  I also reduce the output of the processor so that I can max out the gains on the amps while still not clipping.  This doesn't offer the best s/n ratio but it prevents someone from going behind you and turning up the gains on the amps.  I always assume that the DJ is going to run the system as hard as possible so I prepare for the worst. 
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Tim Talbot

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2011, 07:00:55 pm »

Oh dont get me wrong the DJM is one of the better mixer out there for sure but i do find the booth output far too hot and the tones controld dont need +6dB trim in my eyes...

Tracy Garner

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2011, 07:13:56 pm »

Allen-Heath XOne 9:2 is my mixer of choice. When I have guests, I turn the channel gains all the way up and all tone controls to +6 then play a few choice tunes. I set the processor input from there then turn everything on the mixer back down to normal. Once I see how well the guest controls their dynamics, I may provide more gain accordingly. Often, you see them turn everything up  - especially the channel gain, bass and treble. At that point, the system is still well below red and the DJ has a lot of control over their tone and overall volume. There is still no compression or limiting anywhere in the system. It is rare anyone ever asks for more volume.
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Gus Housen

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Re: How to keep DJ levels out of the red
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2011, 08:22:46 pm »

Here is the funny solution. Back in the day I was doing some work @ a skate rink, the owner got so fed up with replacing blown drivers he took a pop rivet gun to the faders, you could only go as far as the rivet allowed ( this was before the day of gain knobs on the dj mixer channels
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