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Church and H.O.W. Forums for HOW Sound and AV - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Church and HOW Forums => Church Sound => Topic started by: Joe Long on April 15, 2011, 12:56:11 am

Title: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Joe Long on April 15, 2011, 12:56:11 am
http://www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/products/100048

Howdy,

I'm just lookin for some advice, tips, suggestions, lookout fors, ect on this mixer and the add ons its capable of and what not.
also personal experience with this mixer

one question i would have right off hand would be, which snake to go with....?

The Mixer would be used in this sort of building...ive posted these pics on here before...

roughly 200 people

lookin to complete makeover of system.

usually 2 guitars, 1 bass, drums (soon to be micd) total of 6 singers tops, keyboard

Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Aiden Garrett on April 15, 2011, 05:03:10 am
http://www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/products/100048

Howdy,

I'm just lookin for some advice, tips, suggestions, lookout fors, ect on this mixer and the add ons its capable of and what not.
also personal experience with this mixer

one question i would have right off hand would be, which snake to go with....?

The Mixer would be used in this sort of building...ive posted these pics on here before...

roughly 200 people

lookin to complete makeover of system.

usually 2 guitars, 1 bass, drums (soon to be micd) total of 6 singers tops, keyboard

I've used the M400 several times (my school bought it not long after it came out). I really liked it, and is a considerable step up from the 01V96! The main con in my mind is the multitrack recording solution. I don't think you can do it quite as easily as we could, but either way, the driver they provided was tiresome at best.

Snake wise, you're probably best getting 2 S1608's from the start, especially as you plan to mic the drums (which will take up to 8 channels instantly). My tips would be to place an S1608 each side of the stage, and then have sub snakes/stageblocks running to key locations such as drums, and vocals; thereby reducing cable mess! My main issue with the snake is that the preamps require driving to their limits to get the best sound. In my usage, I found I was getting the best signal (in terms of noise, and sound quality) when pushing the gain up to metering well into the yellows; but a friend was convinced they sounded fine when following the manuals advice and keeping it in the green. Each to his own I guess!

If you do get this system, DEFFINATELY buy CAT5 cable in bulk (they normally come in a box of 300m), and learn how to crimp it yourself. Get the tools, find the guides online and IMO you've got a skill for life. As an installed church, it is adviseable to run permanent lines (you may need plenum grade cable, but don't quote me), and terminate them in properly labelled wall mounts to make neater sightlines etc. If you do run an installed line, run plenty! At school, we only ran one, then we bought a USB converter to CAT5 (and back to USB at the other end) so we could use a laptop to control the desk from backstage (a makeshift monitor mixer if you like). Running a second CAT5 quickly became a pain!
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Art Hays on April 15, 2011, 08:49:33 am
My main issue with the snake is that the preamps require driving to their limits to get the best sound. In my usage, I found I was getting the best signal (in terms of noise, and sound quality) when pushing the gain up to metering well into the yellows; but a friend was convinced they sounded fine when following the manuals advice and keeping it in the green. Each to his own I guess!

If you do get this system, DEFFINATELY buy CAT5 cable in bulk (they normally come in a box of 300m), and learn how to crimp it yourself.

Just a heads-up- I think if you are making your own CAT-5 for Roland REAC they have to be crossover cables at some point?  For example you could pin it so wall jack to wall jack they are non-crossover, but then use crossover from one of the jacks to device.  Or you could do the crossover between the jacks and straight patch cables from jacks to device.  At some point you have to plan to have a crossover.  And of course 100m or 300' is the max distance total device-to-device.

I've not seen on forums anyone mentioning an issue about the gains of the preamps.  Our church is planning to buy the S-1608.  I know the chassis snake (S4000-3208) has slightly better preamps, but is a lot more expensive.  I would like to hear if anyone else has noticed this with the preamps.

Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 15, 2011, 04:44:23 pm
Just a heads-up- I think if you are making your own CAT-5 for Roland REAC they have to be crossover cables at some point?  For example you could pin it so wall jack to wall jack they are non-crossover, but then use crossover from one of the jacks to device.  Or you could do the crossover between the jacks and straight patch cables from jacks to device.  At some point you have to plan to have a crossover.  And of course 100m or 300' is the max distance total device-to-device.

As a network analyst in my day job, I can only recommend that in-wall wiring with CAT-5 follow the T568A or T568B standards. Pick one or the other but not both -- T568B is the most common and recommended. Do not do crossover in the walls. Terminate in-wall runs with jacks or patch panels not plugs -- this will give you the most versatility. Then the cabling can be used for ANY CAT-5 purpose. (And if you need to move equipment around you can just get a longer patch cable rather than having to install a new run because you made the original one too short.)

If you do need a crossover cable, use a patch cable at either one or the other (but not both). A CAT-5 ethernet crossover is wired to T568A on one end and T568B on the other. Other systems may implement crossover by reversing the order of the wires on the pins.

If you make your own patch cables, be aware that the crimp-on plugs for solid wire are different from the ones for stranded wire. Solid wire is fine for in-wall wiring, but not recommended for patch cables because repeated flexing can cause it to fail prematurely. Similarly, stranded wire isn't recommended for in-wall wiring because it won't terminate properly in the IDC connectors used on the jacks.

Getting the right colors to the right pins is important. You want to make sure the pairs are properly paired: so the + and - of a given signal are on the same pair. If you mix them up you'll get severe signal degradation.

Bottom line: install it as though it were network wiring. That was the original purpose for CAT-5, and almost all the non-network stuff that uses CAT-5 depends on it being set up like network wiring. And hey, if you need to plug in a computer, it will work for that, too!
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Aiden Garrett on April 15, 2011, 06:52:57 pm
Just a heads-up- I think if you are making your own CAT-5 for Roland REAC they have to be crossover cables at some point?  For example you could pin it so wall jack to wall jack they are non-crossover, but then use crossover from one of the jacks to device.  Or you could do the crossover between the jacks and straight patch cables from jacks to device.  At some point you have to plan to have a crossover.  And of course 100m or 300' is the max distance total device-to-device.

Thanks for picking up on crossover cables. I don't think my school did for the main runs (M400 to S1608), but for the multitrack recording (M400 to PC), we did have to use a crossover cable. And thanks for picking up on the distance - I always forget to mention little things like that. If you need a little bit of leeway with that number, whilst training to be a CompTIA N+ technician, I was taught the limit is around 115m. But I prefer 100m.
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Joe Long on April 15, 2011, 09:24:52 pm
bump-not really needed

Im just a little confused on if it even matters which snake to get with this board?

Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Nathan DePaulo on April 15, 2011, 10:13:39 pm
bump-not really needed

Im just a little confused on if it even matters which snake to get with this board?

I'm not sure I'm interpreting your question correctly.  When you say "matters which snake" do you mean the stagebox device (i.e. S1608 vs S4000) or do you mean what kind of Cat5 cable you use to connect it?

I'll answer both to the best of my ability, ignore the one you didn't ask!  :-)

S1608 vs S4000 really depends on your application.  The S4000 is modular, and more expensive, but if you had unique requirements it could be the best way to achieve what you're wanting.  Based on what you've said your application will be, unless you ommited something unsuall, I agree with Aiden Garrett that 2 of the S1608 would be your best bet.  If cost is a concern and you use a lot of wireless, there are several inputs on the board its self, so you could get 1 S1608 for drums, instruments and a couple of wired mics.  Then have the wireless receivers live at the mix position, connected directly to the board.  I'm not sure how advantageous this is as you're coming close to maxing your channels with a regular set up, but if there's no budget for 2 S1608 then it's worth pointing out.

If you're asking about the interconnect cables, the brand doesn't matter.  There is a standard for Cat 5 cabling ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable ) and as long as your cabling from the mixer to the stage box meets those you should be good.  As someone pointed out a crossover cable might be needed, which means 2 of the pairs swap from one connector to another.  But the basic connection is just like from one computer to another.  The special cable Roland sells is just "road worthy".

I have the old Roland V Mix system (several actually) and love them, in spite of dated restrictions.  They sound good and have been astoundingly reliable. If those are any indication I'm sure the M300 well be very impressive.

Does that answer your question?
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on April 16, 2011, 12:33:29 am
Just a heads-up- I think if you are making your own CAT-5 for Roland REAC they have to be crossover cables at some point?  For example you could pin it so wall jack to wall jack they are non-crossover, but then use crossover from one of the jacks to device.  Or you could do the crossover between the jacks and straight patch cables from jacks to device.  At some point you have to plan to have a crossover.  And of course 100m or 300' is the max distance total device-to-device.

Thanks for picking up on crossover cables. I don't think my school did for the main runs (M400 to S1608), but for the multitrack recording (M400 to PC), we did have to use a crossover cable. And thanks for picking up on the distance - I always forget to mention little things like that. If you need a little bit of leeway with that number, whilst training to be a CompTIA N+ technician, I was taught the limit is around 115m. But I prefer 100m.

I believe the "100m limit" comes from the specification for CAT-5 ethernet computer networks -- you can have up to 100m of cable between devices, and the specification also includes such things as bend radius and how much cable can be untwisted at connections. Other devices designed to use CAT-5 cabling, such as video extenders or digital snakes, may have different limitations. You must consult the manufacturer's documentation for each non-ethernet device to know for sure what the limit is.
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Kent Thompson on April 16, 2011, 01:31:15 pm
Just a heads-up- I think if you are making your own CAT-5 for Roland REAC they have to be crossover cables at some point?  For example you could pin it so wall jack to wall jack they are non-crossover, but then use crossover from one of the jacks to device.  Or you could do the crossover between the jacks and straight patch cables from jacks to device.  At some point you have to plan to have a crossover.  And of course 100m or 300' is the max distance total device-to-device.

Thanks for picking up on crossover cables. I don't think my school did for the main runs (M400 to S1608), but for the multitrack recording (M400 to PC), we did have to use a crossover cable. And thanks for picking up on the distance - I always forget to mention little things like that. If you need a little bit of leeway with that number, whilst training to be a CompTIA N+ technician, I was taught the limit is around 115m. But I prefer 100m.

I believe the "100m limit" comes from the specification for CAT-5 ethernet computer networks -- you can have up to 100m of cable between devices, and the specification also includes such things as bend radius and how much cable can be untwisted at connections. Other devices designed to use CAT-5 cabling, such as video extenders or digital snakes, may have different limitations. You must consult the manufacturer's documentation for each non-ethernet device to know for sure what the limit is.
I would definatly check with Roland on approved cables. Length will change the quality of cable you use. While using the inexpensive cables will work what happens if the cable gets rolled over with a cart or stepped on or gets kinked. Unless it is installed I would go with a tour grade cat 5 cable and have a spare or run a spare cable if installed. The breakout boxes(s1608 etc) depend on the inputs and outputs you need don't make it over complicated. Mix and match till you get the inputs and outputs you need.
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Art Hays on April 24, 2011, 08:46:19 pm
I believe the "100m limit" comes from the specification for CAT-5 ethernet computer networks -- you can have up to 100m of cable between devices, and the specification also includes such things as bend radius and how much cable can be untwisted at connections. Other devices designed to use CAT-5 cabling, such as video extenders or digital snakes, may have different limitations. You must consult the manufacturer's documentation for each non-ethernet device to know for sure what the limit is.

This article says REAC does use ethernet signal specs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_over_Ethernet).  However, it also says REAC is only layer 1.  You can plug REAC into a standard ethernet port on a switch or computer, so it would seem it would need to be layer 2.  It's hard to find info on REAC.  Anyone have links to something?
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Tim Urner on April 29, 2011, 10:20:21 pm
The M-300 is a nice mixer, but be aware of a couple of things. It is limited to mixing 32 channels at a time. The 380 and 400 can do 48. The new 480 is more capable but I don't have all of the skinny on it.

For digital snake boxes - the 4000 is great and modular but it is expensive. Unless you need a crazy number of outputs. I prefer to use 2 1608's (cheaper) I have not used them yet but the S808 are pretty cool. Drop one at the drum kit, one out front, etc. (You just need the merge unit as the board only takes 2 REAC in)

I believe that Roland recommends no more  100m. That's roughly 300' and you should be fine in that space, unless Im missing something. If you add a merge unit, it acts as a repeater and you get another 100m We have never gone over the 100m
Title: Re: Mixer brainstorming (Roland M300)
Post by: Frank DeWitt on April 30, 2011, 10:28:49 am
Your church and ours must have been designed by the same architect.
Same size, same beams, same indirect lighting,  ETC.

We have 2 24 ch cables (Belden foil shield) for all our audio.  They run in the indirect lighting units with the AC, DMX, Ethernet, Low voltage house lighting control, and video.  No problems, no hum, no buzz. 

That means that an analogue snake is a option. 

We run 40 ch digital board with recording and IEM but it is not Roland, so I can't comment on that.