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Title: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 09:04:36 am
Thanks for your time.  I can't figure something out.  Our preacher's mic kept peaking last night and I couldn't stop it.

Let me preface this by telling you I go to a very lively church.  The preacher is not always calm.  He preaches with intensity.  The audience is also active.  Hand claps, saying "amen", etc etc.

Also, we just got a new sound system at our church.  QU-32 mixer, with Martin Audio speakers (CDD112's) and subs (CSX212).  We are still learning the mixer, and trying to get everything adjusted.

Ok, here is the issue:  We had a visiting preacher last night, who is even more lively than our pastor.  And he has a very strong voice.  When he would really dig into his sermon, his mic would peak.  Over and over and over.  I've got a HPF, so that's helping with the percussiveness of his voice.  Eliminating most of the P's and T's in his voice.  It's working quite well.  But the peaking, I cannot figure out.  I've got some low, and mids pulled out of the eq. 

I turned the gain down to (-5).  Yes, negative 5.  And had to push the fader up a little to maintain his volume.  But it did not eliminate the peaking.  I was trying to watch the RTA and I saw that the 2k range was where he was peaking.  But it was just my best guess. I wasn't positive.  (I'm not an expert).  So I rolled some of those frequencies off.  Didn't really help, because I lost some of his volume when I rolled those off and then I had to push the fader up a little bit more.  I've got some compression on.  But I can't really put too much on it, because when the crowd gets loud, I need his voice to be dynamic and carry over the crowd.

I was really at a loss by that point.  I have no idea what else to do.  Can anyone give me some insight as to what mistakes I was making, and how I can go about fixing this issue?  To me, when I turned the gain all the way down, it should have killed the mic completely.  Right??

Thank you.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Joe Pieternella on December 12, 2017, 09:38:48 am
Let's assume we're talking about clipping here. Any real world Channel will have volume alternations.

If we are I would suggest that you start by checking your compressor settings. Improper settings can really mess up your sound.

I suspect a high ratio is giving you too much compression reducing all your sound output. Which in turn is getting "solved" with more gain at the head amps.

Now this kinda works but only during the time the compressor is actually working. If the attack time(the time it takes before the compressor starts compressing) is too long those peaks will be able to get through and out to the PA.

Another thing to consider is that wireless mic receivers can have a line and a mic-level output. depending on how much attenuation is available on the Qu you might not be able to make the output of the mic go away of you are pushing line level into the board.

And the fact that his voice is all over the place is actually a good reason to compress his signal. But this is something that takes practice to do well. And you will have to ride his fader during the service to keep him at a good level.

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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on December 12, 2017, 09:49:31 am
Thanks for your time.  I can't figure something out.  Our preacher's mic kept peaking last night and I couldn't stop it.

Let me preface this by telling you I go to a very lively church.  The preacher is not always calm.  He preaches with intensity.  The audience is also active.  Hand claps, saying "amen", etc etc.

Also, we just got a new sound system at our church.  QU-32 mixer, with Martin Audio speakers (CDD112's) and subs (CSX212).  We are still learning the mixer, and trying to get everything adjusted.

Ok, here is the issue:  We had a visiting preacher last night, who is even more lively than our pastor.  And he has a very strong voice.  When he would really dig into his sermon, his mic would peak.  Over and over and over.  I've got a HPF, so that's helping with the percussiveness of his voice.  Eliminating most of the P's and T's in his voice.  It's working quite well.  But the peaking, I cannot figure out.  I've got some low, and mids pulled out of the eq. 

I turned the gain down to (-5).  Yes, negative 5.  And had to push the fader up a little to maintain his volume.  But it did not eliminate the peaking.  I was trying to watch the RTA and I saw that the 2k range was where he was peaking.  But it was just my best guess. I wasn't positive.  (I'm not an expert).  So I rolled some of those frequencies off.  Didn't really help, because I lost some of his volume when I rolled those off and then I had to push the fader up a little bit more.  I've got some compression on.  But I can't really put too much on it, because when the crowd gets loud, I need his voice to be dynamic and carry over the crowd.

I was really at a loss by that point.  I have no idea what else to do.  Can anyone give me some insight as to what mistakes I was making, and how I can go about fixing this issue?  To me, when I turned the gain all the way down, it should have killed the mic completely.  Right??

Thank you.

What kind of mic are you using. And if it is wireless what is that? Are you seeing the peaking on the mixer or are you just hearing it? If wireless where is the receiver and can you see if it is peaking there?
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 10:15:47 am
What kind of mic are you using. And if it is wireless what is that? Are you seeing the peaking on the mixer or are you just hearing it? If wireless where is the receiver and can you see if it is peaking there?

We are using QLX D24 SM58's.  I saw the board peaking (it says peak on the board, not clip as the other guy mentioned).  Both on the channel and also when I PFL'd it.  But I also heard it distorting in the mains, at times. 
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Dave Garoutte on December 12, 2017, 11:20:59 am
It's about correct gain staging.
You have three options as I see it.

Turn down the head amp some more.
You need to adjust to the signal, not the number.

Reduce the gain on the (wireless) mic.
Again, the number is irrelevant, only the level matters.

Both.

After you get the level right, you can consider compression.

If you're seeing red anywhere, you're pretty much going to clip and distort.
 
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Brian Jojade on December 12, 2017, 11:42:00 am
If we are I would suggest that you start by checking your compressor settings. Improper settings can really mess up your sound.

I suspect a high ratio is giving you too much compression reducing all your sound output. Which in turn is getting "solved" with more gain at the head amps.

I would say it's the opposite.  If the signal is peaking, a more aggressive compressor will help increase the overall average level, but even out the peaks.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Rob Spence on December 12, 2017, 11:56:26 am
I would say it's the opposite.  If the signal is peaking, a more aggressive compressor will help increase the overall average level, but even out the peaks.

Unless the overload is occurring before the compressor.


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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Joe Pieternella on December 12, 2017, 12:24:12 pm
I would say it's the opposite.  If the signal is peaking, a more aggressive compressor will help increase the overall average level, but even out the peaks.
I agree, but this only works if you are using make up gain. Otherwise you'll only lose more level.
Compensating for this at the wrong side of the compressor will make things worse.

Excellent advice has been given to the OP.
Lose the compression first
Lower preamp gain until peaking/clipping stops.
This will remove the mixer distortion and is part 1.
Part 2 is a little harder
Teach proper mic technique.
Ride the pastors fader like a maniac during the service.
Learn compression.
This will fix your dynamic range issues
The last one is the hard bit. There are a lot of controls and they all heavily impact your results. Read about what they do and steer clear of templates. I suggest you afterwards spend some time just speaking in to a mic and adjusting the settings and see what everything does. You'll also get to test and confirm my next warning.

Be careful with compression on live microphones because you will get feedback!
This is very important especially if your room is really as live as you say.


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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Dave Garoutte on December 12, 2017, 12:53:48 pm
I forgot to add that adjusting the EQ is not going to help your level issues.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 01:13:06 pm
Thanks everyone for your input.  I might add:  I did try taking the compression off. But it only made it worse.  His levels were more dynamic and he would peak more often. 

Joe - to your point about gain.  I had the gain all the way off.  Actually, -5.  With no gain, shouldn't his level have completely been off?  What am I not understanding.  For example, on an analog mixer, if you turn the gain knob all the way off, there is nothing coming through the speakers for that channel.  Right?
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on December 12, 2017, 01:14:22 pm
Our pastor is very dynamic and we use an older Shure wirelss with an SM58 and a QU-32.

I use zero compression, have the gain adjusted to where I do not get a red clip light when he gets load- can't remember where its is might be -27 maybe +17- I don't care about the number- that can change if the mic receiver gets adjusted- just make sure you can run the fader 1/2 to 2/3 rds up, get adequate volume and no red lights.

Start there- with proper mic technique no compression should be needed either electronic or manually.  If you try to ride the gain, you will always be behind the game.  A good speaker will use mic technique to his advantage-unless you can read their mind you just take away a tool they have. Make them learn how to use it.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: John L Nobile on December 12, 2017, 01:24:10 pm
Is there a mic/line switch at the back of the receiver? If so, what's it set at? They seem to switch on their own sometimes. I've always checked mine after a move.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 12, 2017, 01:27:06 pm
I agree, but this only works if you are using make up gain. Otherwise you'll only lose more level.
Compensating for this at the wrong side of the compressor will make things worse.



I strongly disagree.

He NEEDS the compressor, but with some adjustment finesse.  It sounds like the attack and release were too long.  Unless the ratio is high and threshold is low, he probably needs little if any make up gain.

That said, the compressor will not fix the "peaking" problem as that is too much level at either the wireless receiver output or the input channel trim.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 12, 2017, 01:28:06 pm
Our pastor is very dynamic and we use an older Shure wirelss with an SM58 and a QU-32.

I use zero compression, have the gain adjusted to where I do not get a red clip light when he gets load- can't remember where its is might be -27 maybe +17- I don't care about the number- that can change if the mic receiver gets adjusted- just make sure you can run the fader 1/2 to 2/3 rds up, get adequate volume and no red lights.

Start there- with proper mic technique no compression should be needed either electronic or manually.  If you try to ride the gain, you will always be behind the game.  A good speaker will use mic technique to his advantage-unless you can read their mind you just take away a tool they have. Make them learn how to use it.

My experience is that you will not train, educate or otherwise alter the mic technique of singers, preachers or auctioneers... all you will do is piss them off.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 01:34:44 pm
Something that keeps coming up in this post, and I haven't checked it, is the gain on the wireless mic receiver.  I don't think I've ever looked at it or adjusted it.  How would I go about doing that?  Is there a recommended setting for it? (QLX D24)
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: lindsay Dean on December 12, 2017, 01:55:20 pm
The op stated he was getting Distortion even with the preamp on the strip  down. checking the receiver display would have confirmed this.
 This points to the receiver gain being set too high.
 What may be  an acceptable setting for the resident Pastor was not acceptable for the guest speaker.
     One person to another can have a  huge dynamic range difference.
 as far as the comment of no compression, it is an excellent tool when  used properly.
       
   
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: lindsay Dean on December 12, 2017, 01:56:21 pm
If you would check the internet the manual is readily available
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 12, 2017, 01:56:32 pm
Something that keeps coming up in this post, and I haven't checked it, is the gain on the wireless mic receiver.  I don't think I've ever looked at it or adjusted it.  How would I go about doing that?  Is there a recommended setting for it? (QLX D24)

Is there a reason you can't just turn down the input channel trim (pre amp gain)?  Seriously, the numbers are for reference.. the -5 you mentioned earlier is just a number... it has no magical power nor with the school marm slap your wrists if you turn it down...

Likewise, if the signal from the wireless receiver is distorted, changing the mixer input trim will not eliminate the distortion, that is occurring at either the microphone itself or the wireless receiver.

If you turn down the mixer's input trim until the peak light stops flashing and it's still sounding distorted, turn down the receiver output level by about -6dB.  If it's still distorted the problem is gain at the microphone transmitter - consult the manual to turn it down, then restore the receiver output level to its previous setting and check again.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: lindsay Dean on December 12, 2017, 01:58:41 pm
If the receiver gain is too high and the input level on the mic is too high it's going to distort at the channel strip preamp the channel strip just amplifies what it's getting
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 02:16:04 pm
Is there a reason you can't just turn down the input channel trim (pre amp gain)?  Seriously, the numbers are for reference.. the -5 you mentioned earlier is just a number... it has no magical power nor with the school marm slap your wrists if you turn it down...

Likewise, if the signal from the wireless receiver is distorted, changing the mixer input trim will not eliminate the distortion, that is occurring at either the microphone itself or the wireless receiver.

If you turn down the mixer's input trim until the peak light stops flashing and it's still sounding distorted, turn down the receiver output level by about -6dB.  If it's still distorted the problem is gain at the microphone transmitter - consult the manual to turn it down, then restore the receiver output level to its previous setting and check again.

Tim - I don't have a "trim" button my QU-32, unless I don't know about it.  I just have a gain knob.  I will try turning the gain down on the wireless receiver.  And I didn't realize the mic itself has a gain option.  I'll look into that also.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Joe Pieternella on December 12, 2017, 02:25:17 pm


Joe - to your point about gain.  I had the gain all the way off.  Actually, -5.  With no gain, shouldn't his level have completely been off?  What am I not understanding.  For example, on an analog mixer, if you turn the gain knob all the way off, there is nothing coming through the speakers for that channel.  Right?

I see why you would think that. In the Qu mixer the lowest gain you could set is indeed -5dB (I RTFM). The problem here starts at the Qlxd. It is currently putting out so much level that you are getting in to trouble. It is putting out line level right now while your mixer is expecting mic level.

Actually it's capable of putting out +18dBv enough level to drive some power amps into clipping.

At the back of your Qlxd there will be a switch next to the XLR connector.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171212/b8022f7747c81c2906a6699b2e77f771.jpg)

Flip this switch first, it will drop the level going to your mixer by 30dB.

If this isn't enough you also have 60dB of adjustment range within the receiver itself.

If you are not able to reach the switch on the receiver my first advice would be to move the Qlxd to the line input on the channel which would get you a 10dB drop compared to your current situation.



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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 03:03:12 pm

I see why you would think that. In the Qu mixer the lowest gain you could set is indeed -5dB (I RTFM). The problem here starts at the Qlxd. It is currently putting out so much level that you are getting in to trouble. It is putting out line level right now while your mixer is expecting mic level.

Actually it's capable of putting out +18dBv enough level to drive some power amps into clipping.

At the back of your Qlxd there will be a switch next to the XLR connector.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171212/b8022f7747c81c2906a6699b2e77f771.jpg)

Flip this switch first, it will drop the level going to your mixer by 30dB.

If this isn't enough you also have 60dB of adjustment range within the receiver itself.

If you are not able to reach the switch on the receiver my first advice would be to move the Qlxd to the line input on the channel which would get you a 10dB drop compared to your current situation.



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Ahhhh - that makes total sense.  I am going to check that switch on the receiver asap.  In fact, we have 5 wireless mics.  I'm going to check all of them.  Should they be set to "mic" or "line"?  Which one?
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 12, 2017, 03:11:32 pm
Ahhhh - that makes total sense.  I am going to check that switch on the receiver asap.  In fact, we have 5 wireless mics.  I'm going to check all of them.  Should they be set to "mic" or "line"?  Which one?

Rather than answer that question do you understand the difference between a MIC and a Line input as it was explained to you?

It is far more important to use this as a teaching moment to increase your understanding of gain staging that to tell you how to set the switch.

The receiver also has an output level adjustment.

Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Joe Pieternella on December 12, 2017, 03:21:49 pm
I strongly disagree.

He NEEDS the compressor, but with some adjustment finesse.  It sounds like the attack and release were too long.  Unless the ratio is high and threshold is low, he probably needs little if any make up gain.


You are right, we agree on this point. I never said he needed to drop the comp altogether. I even suggested he would learn/try to set it better. And only added the point about make up gains because I was wrongfully under the assumption that his problem was being caused the way I described in my first post;
preamp gain gets set-->compressor gets set to control dynamics--> level drops because of the compression--> gain gets added at preamp to compensate.

This last step kinda works. Because the output will still rise. But now we have these nasty peaks that show up when the pastor starts talking.
It's safe to assume that the people here will immediately recognize this as a (to) slow attack time.

When I got home I went through the spec sheets for the Qu and the Qlxd and found out some things.
The gain range on the Qu is - 5dB to +60dB
The peak led on the Qu flashes at - 3dBfs/+18dBu
The Qlxd has a mic/line level switch (30dB pad)
It can put out +18dBv when set to line level.

OP was at the minimum gain of -5dB already so he must have been getting a very hot signal. The only thing that could be doing this was the wireless receiver.

After fixing this we could start looking at helping out with compressor settings.

I also want to take this moment to state that I in no way mean any disrespect to any member on here. The people contributing to this thread have a combined experience which is probably bigger than the years I've been alive. I am still learning a lot here everyday. I just don't always seem to be able to make myself clear and feel the need to clarify.

Now back to the OP
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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 03:30:46 pm
Rather than answer that question do you understand the difference between a MIC and a Line input as it was explained to you?

It is far more important to use this as a teaching moment to increase your understanding of gain staging that to tell you how to set the switch.

The receiver also has an output level adjustment.

I 100% want to learn. I am not here to get free info.  I can assure you my goal is to become better at what I'm doing.  To answer your question, I do not know whether it should be mic or line.  And here's why it's muddy in my brain:

1. We are talking about a microphone.  So, I think it should be on "mic".

2.  But we are sending this microphone through an input on the mixer.  So now I think it should be on "line".

So which one is it?  That's what I don't understand.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Rob Spence on December 12, 2017, 03:34:26 pm
I 100% want to learn. I am not here to get free info.  I can assure you my goal is to become better at what I'm doing.  To answer your question, I do not know whether it should be mic or line.  And here's why it's muddy in my brain:

1. We are talking about a microphone.  So, I think it should be on "mic".

2.  But we are sending this microphone through an input on the mixer.  So now I think it should be on "line".

So which one is it?  That's what I don't understand.

So, what kind of input on the mixer are you using? Mic or line?


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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 03:40:15 pm
So, what kind of input on the mixer are you using? Mic or line?


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I'm guessing mic, since I'm plugged into the board via an XLR cable...
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 12, 2017, 03:46:23 pm
You are right, we agree on this point. I never said he needed to drop the comp altogether. I even suggested he would learn/try to set it better. And only added the point about make up gains because I was wrongfully under the assumption that his problem was being caused the way I described in my first post;
preamp gain gets set-->compressor gets set to control dynamics--> level drops because of the compression--> gain gets added at preamp to compensate.

This last step kinda works. Because the output will still rise. But now we have these nasty peaks that show up when the pastor starts talking.
It's safe to assume that the people here will immediately recognize this as a (to) slow attack time.

When I got home I went through the spec sheets for the Qu and the Qlxd and found out some things.
The gain range on the Qu is - 5dB to +60dB
The peak led on the Qu flashes at - 3dBfs/+18dBu
The Qlxd has a mic/line level switch (30dB pad)
It can put out +18dBv when set to line level.

OP was at the minimum gain of -5dB already so he must have been getting a very hot signal. The only thing that could be doing this was the wireless receiver.

After fixing this we could start looking at helping out with compressor settings.

I also want to take this moment to state that I in no way mean any disrespect to any member on here. The people contributing to this thread have a combined experience which is probably bigger than the years I've been alive. I am still learning a lot here everyday. I just don't always seem to be able to make myself clear and feel the need to clarify.

Now back to the OP
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Joe I see Isaac has asked some more questions and is getting closer.  Start with understanding the difference between a mic and line input.

This is where teaching and experience diverge.  I mix with my ears not to the lights on the mixer.  Frankly if it sounds good with something in the red then that's cool.   Most mixers have room left after the lights before audible distortion. 

Somewhere along the line when they were being taught to mix, somebody told them to adjust this knob for a certain meter reading so mixing became an alignment task more than simple audible results.  If you are hitting a preamp too low and lowering the S/N ration when you make up that gain in the channel strip your ears should tell you that channel sounds thin and hit it a little harder. 

How you go about teaching this is difficult.  To a certain point if you have the right combination of experience it's intuitively obvious.  I learned gain staging setting up car stereo's in my teens in the late 70's.  When I see guys struggle I don't know how to teach these skills. 

Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 12, 2017, 03:48:24 pm
I'm guessing mic, since I'm plugged into the board via an XLR cable...

Correct (it should be labeled to) so you want to hit that channel with a lower level.  Mic inputs have microphone preamplifiers in them that line input lack (and have to be hit harder).

The connector is not necessarily the "tell" as a channel may have a mic/line switch on it. 

Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Geert Friedhof on December 12, 2017, 03:59:48 pm
OK Isaac, It is quite simple: A MIC channel is for, ahum, MICS. That is: A mic connected with an XLR cable. LINE channels are for everything else like CD players etc. The major difference is the input level. A LINE source gives a lot more signal (hotter) than a Microphone.

Almost all mono channels with an XLR input are MIC channels. Almost all channels with a TRS (Jack) input are LINE channels. You can't use a line channel for a MIC, and usually not a mic channel for a line source, as you have experienced.

You should connect your sources to the correct input, and it should be possible to adjust the level with the gain knob that the level meter (VU meter) is comfortably near the green-yellow level. Red is always bad.

For all others: yes i know there are exceptions, but please keep it simple for once.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 12, 2017, 04:15:10 pm
OK Isaac, It is quite simple: A MIC channel is for, ahum, MICS. That is: A mic connected with an XLR cable. LINE channels are for everything else like CD players etc. The major difference is the input level. A LINE source gives a lot more signal (hotter) than a Microphone.

Almost all mono channels with an XLR input are MIC channels. Almost all channels with a TRS (Jack) input are LINE channels. You can't use a line channel for a MIC, and usually not a mic channel for a line source, as you have experienced.

You should connect your sources to the correct input, and it should be possible to adjust the level with the gain knob that the level meter (VU meter) is comfortably near the green-yellow level. Red is always bad.

For all others: yes i know there are exceptions, but please keep it simple for once.

It makes perfect sense now.  I will never forget that.  Thank you for being clear and easy to follow!
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Stephen Kirby on December 12, 2017, 05:46:52 pm
Since a wireless receiver basically has a preamp in it, I've tended to look at their outputs as line level.  I've turned down the output level on mine so it's easier to stuff into any channel.  But if someone comes up to me with one, I'll usually start 10-15dB down from where I usually set mic inputs.  And if it's pegging things, find it's output level.

I also seem to need to toggle back and forth on the mic gain settings depending on how strong singers are.  If I know they're strong, or I hear distortion (typically the receiver is up on the stage but I'll go up and look at the metering if I hear something) then I'll turn the mic down at the next break.  Usually, folks get louder as the show goes on so what might be an occasional clip  in the first set can turn into full Decapitator mode by the last if I don't reset the mic.

I'm also thinking that the OP might want to use his compressor as more of a peak limiter, high ratio, fast attack and fairly fast release, than as a general compressor.  This would allow the speaker to have more dynamics in their delivery but keep the egregious shouts from pegging things.  Once they've set everything upstream to handle those peaks.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Brian Adams on December 12, 2017, 06:58:11 pm
Mic and line are differences in level, and not dependent on the connector. As a very basic introduction, line level is typically +4dB, while mic level is around -50dB. That's more than a 50dB difference, which is a lot. A mic level input is expecting a mic level signal, which is low, so the preamp adds additional gain. A line level input is expecting a line level signal, which is much hotter than mic level, and doesn't have a preamp and doesn't inherently add gain. The gain pot adjusts the level further, but there is always additional gain on a mic level input. When you plug a line level source into a mic level input you can easily overload the input with the hotter signal. When you plug a mic into a line level input you'll struggle to get enough level from it, although you'll get some.

Mic level signals tend to be XLR, but are occasionally other connectors. An example would be a high-Z mic with a 1/4" connector. Probably not something you'll run into these days, except maybe on a harmonica mic, and you probably won't be running that directly into a mixer anyway. But it can happen that you'll see mic level on a 1/4" connector.

Line level signals can be on nearly any connector. On the input side of a mixer they're often 1/4" TRS, but line level outputs can be XLR or 1/4". Line level in the professional world typically uses XLR connectors, since TRS connectors kinda suck. RCA connectors are also line level, but typically not as hot at around -10dB. Some consoles have a pad switch to attenuate line level signals, which typically reduces them by 20dB and is often enough to avoid clipping. Some consoles have a wide enough range on their preamp that they can handle a line level signal on a mic input.

A mic level input on a mixer is typically XLR and line level inputs are often 1/4" TRS and sometimes RCA. Some mixer's outputs are switchable to mic level, but most are line level XLR, occasionally some 1/4", and sometimes RCA. Most professional consoles only have XLR line level outputs.

But again, it's not the connector that determines the level, but the signal. The connector can be an indicator, but there are always exceptions. In any case, you probably want your receivers set to mic level if you're connecting them to the mic inputs of a mixer.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Jeremy Young on December 12, 2017, 08:43:04 pm
I had the gain all the way off.  Actually, -5.  With no gain, shouldn't his level have completely been off?  What am I not understanding.  For example, on an analog mixer, if you turn the gain knob all the way off, there is nothing coming through the speakers for that channel.  Right?


Hi Joe,  you've gotten some great advice here.  Since I didn't see a direct answer to this question above I thought I'd try to elaborate for you.  Bear with me, this got long-winded.


Here goes: No.  Try not to think of it as on or off.  It's not a "master volume".  -5 would just mean 5dB less than what's entering that connector on the mixer.  If it were a wired dynamic microphone, it may seem as though you have "muted" the input, but with the gain set as far counter-clockwise as possible, there is still the opportunity for signal to be contributed to the channel and therefore the mix.  Different manufacturers of mixers use different terminology, or different methods of working with "line" and "mic" level inputs.  Some use the same XLR connector but insert something called a "PAD" to reduce the level by a fixed dB value (which is also different brand to brand sometimes), others use two sets of connectors, one for each level of signal with different sensitivities at each input.  Pads are usually enabled with a button.  You may have a "hot" signal, where once you enable the PAD, you find your signal is too low and you need to add gain once again. 

Hopefully the explanations already given on the different relative output levels of "mic" or "line" level devices will help in picturing this, but let's say you feed a signal of -20dB into that channel.  That's the output of the source (let's say it's a microphone). 


When it enters this channel strip on the mixer, the job of the preamp/headamp/gain/trim(/whatever other name seems to be used by manufacturers) is to adjust that level to one that brings the electrical signal into a usable range.  It's the first "signal amplifier" in the mixer signal chain, but there are PLENTY of places in a live sound mixer to increase or reduce signal level. 


In this case we would take that tiny little (analog) electrical signal created by sound pressure waves at the microphone diaphragm, and add gain in the preamp before the signal is converted into a digital representation of itself.  From there, that signal is modified through EQ, compression, etc, or changed in level again by your fader, combined with other sources, converted back to an analog electrical voltage swing, and then the mixer spits it out as a (line level typically) electrical signal to your speaker system.  The amplifiers are just taking this small (still larger than mic level) voltage swing, and increasing it once again to the point it can move speaker cones in and out.  We'd call that "speaker level".  The day I started thinking of signal levels as voltage swing it became easier for me to picture this process.


If your entering signal were +6dB, then with the "first amp in the chain" knob (preamp gain) turned fully counterclockwise (until that standard gets changed on us) you would be reducing that by 5dB.  As you can see, the same gain setting on the board, with two different input levels can lead to two different signal levels in the channel strips.


Your mic is wireless, the receiver is what is wired to the mixer, and it can put out different levels ("mic" or "line") to make it compatible with a range of equipment.  It needs to be optimized for your setup.  "Gain staging" - that is, the process of establishing the best places to increase level in your system, takes practice and experimentation to do right, or even understand.  Done right, you can have a system that has the potential to get very loud, but when no sound is "heard" at any of the inputs, is still very quiet (low "noise floor").


To put it as simply as I can think of, you generally want the signals entering your mixer to be as high/loud/large/hot as possible without "clipping" or "peaking" so that you have a high resolution representation of the source signal with which to mix.  If the source is too quiet, we have to add level at other places in the signal chain to get it loud enough, and that will increase the noise floor of your system, among other issues.  When you clip, you have essentially run out of "headroom", or you have a signal that's  bigger than the equipment is designed to work with at that stage.  Where this clipping happens in the signal chain will have different affects, but it's never considered a good situation for any length of time.


Try an experiment.  Turn on some playback music or something with a fairly consistent level (not someone saying "test" into a mic over and over, although that would work if you're consistent enough).  Bring it up in the system and listen to it.  Listen for hiss or noise in the background.  Reduce the preamp gain of that channel, and turn up the master fader until you find yourself at the same level you started with from the speakers.  Now listen for noise, hiss, hum, etc.  I'll bet there will be more noise present in the second listening.  By taking a quiet source and adding a lot of gain to it, you increase the volume of the source, plus any noise inherent in the system.  If you start with a loud source, you don't have to add much gain, and therefore the system noises aren't amplified as much.  Microphone preamps are a great place for the massive gain increase needed at this stage, as they are built with low-noise in mind.


I hope that makes sense.  I've tried to be as entry-level as my mind will let me be with my lingo.  If I've missed something or mis-stated terminology the wise folks on this forum can step in and correct me and we can all learn along the way.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 13, 2017, 08:41:01 am
Since a wireless receiver basically has a preamp in it, I've tended to look at their outputs as line level.  I've turned down the output level on mine so it's easier to stuff into any channel.  But if someone comes up to me with one, I'll usually start 10-15dB down from where I usually set mic inputs.  And if it's pegging things, find it's output level.

I also seem to need to toggle back and forth on the mic gain settings depending on how strong singers are.  If I know they're strong, or I hear distortion (typically the receiver is up on the stage but I'll go up and look at the metering if I hear something) then I'll turn the mic down at the next break.  Usually, folks get louder as the show goes on so what might be an occasional clip  in the first set can turn into full Decapitator mode by the last if I don't reset the mic.

I'm also thinking that the OP might want to use his compressor as more of a peak limiter, high ratio, fast attack and fairly fast release, than as a general compressor.  This would allow the speaker to have more dynamics in their delivery but keep the egregious shouts from pegging things.  Once they've set everything upstream to handle those peaks.

You are exactly right, Stephen.  I'm wanting to still allow the preacher to have dynamics in his voice.  One, just for the simple fact of dynamics.  It's normal for a preacher to speak softly at times and then with more intensity at times.  I want the crowd to be able to distinguish some of that.  And two, if I don't allow some dynamics, the crowd will drown him out when they clap and yell amen. 

So I will be using the compressor as a peak limiter for now.  Not saying that's the best decision.  Just saying that's how I'm thinking of it right now.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 13, 2017, 09:09:45 am


I hope that makes sense.  I've tried to be as entry-level as my mind will let me be with my lingo.  If I've missed something or mis-stated terminology the wise folks on this forum can step in and correct me and we can all learn along the way.

Jeremy, this makes sense.  Thank you for that explanation.  Now I understand that you can't determine mic or line merely by looking at it.  And the way the signal comes into the mixer plays a big role in the gain staging that I am able to do.  Which is why I still had plenty of level with the gain at (-5) the other night.

Thanks for clearing that up.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: David Morison on December 13, 2017, 09:30:01 am
Jeremy, this makes sense.  Thank you for that explanation.  Now I understand that you can't determine mic or line merely by looking at it.  And the way the signal comes into the mixer plays a big role in the gain staging that I am able to do.  Which is why I still had plenty of level with the gain at (-5) the other night.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Just had a quick look at the user guide for the Qu series (admittedly not the full manual) and it looks like you don't have the option of a mic/line switch (often called a pad) on the XLR input of that desk. Therefore to get lower gain at the desk itself (if you are unable to turn down the output of the radio mic receiver) you would need to unplug from the XLR and use the TRS line input instead.

FWIW,
David.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Jonathan Betts on December 13, 2017, 09:47:14 am
Pads are available for QU when using the Allen Heath GLD series stage boxes.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 13, 2017, 09:49:08 am
Just had a quick look at the user guide for the Qu series (admittedly not the full manual) and it looks like you don't have the option of a mic/line switch (often called a pad) on the XLR input of that desk. Therefore to get lower gain at the desk itself (if you are unable to turn down the output of the radio mic receiver) you would need to unplug from the XLR and use the TRS line input instead.

FWIW,
David.

David - I am able to turn down the gain on the wireless mic receiver.  I remember reading about it when I purchased them.  I will be at the church tonight and I am going to look into that.  Thanks for digging into that info for me.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Jordan Wolf on December 13, 2017, 11:42:25 am
Therefore to get lower gain at the desk itself (if you are unable to turn down the output of the radio mic receiver) you would need to unplug from the XLR and use the TRS line input instead.
According to the block diagram, this is not the case.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171213/517021a4c764e60dd6374d6ce749e472.jpg)

There is no pad shown between the TRS jack and the preamp; it is simply the users choice of connection.

That being said, there should be no issue if the OP sets the receiver output to Mic level and adjusts the preamp gain as needed.

I find that ďnormalĒ speech has my QLXD receiver gain set at +10, which has my levels on the unit in the green and tickling yellow. Iíd set it lower for very dynamic speakers, maybe at ď0Ē and compensate at the console.

The noise floor with stable RF should be low enough to not cause any issues.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on December 13, 2017, 12:24:31 pm
According to the block diagram, this is not the case.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171213/517021a4c764e60dd6374d6ce749e472.jpg)

There is no pad shown between the TRS jack and the preamp; it is simply the users choice of connection.

That being said, there should be no issue if the OP sets the receiver output to Mic level and adjusts the preamp gain as needed.

I find that ďnormalĒ speech has my QLXD receiver gain set at +10, which has my levels on the unit in the green and tickling yellow. Iíd set it lower for very dynamic speakers, maybe at ď0Ē and compensate at the console.

The noise floor with stable RF should be low enough to not cause any issues.

Jordan,
If you look further down on the technical data sheet you will see a 10dB input sensitivity different between the XLR input and the TRS. So there looks to be a 10dB pad on that 1/4" input.

Retyped from the spec sheet:
Input sensitivity (XLR/TRS)
-60 to +5dBu / -50 to +15dBu



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Rob Spence on December 13, 2017, 03:53:44 pm
Jordan,
If you look further down on the technical data sheet you will see a 10dB input sensitivity different between the XLR input and the TRS. So there looks to be a 10dB pad on that 1/4" input.

Retyped from the spec sheet:
Input sensitivity (XLR/TRS)
-60 to +5dBu / -50 to +15dBu



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

You can see the two resistors on the line level inputs (the little rectangles) just as there are also resistors from the phantom power to the mic inputs.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Mike Caldwell on December 13, 2017, 06:18:34 pm
What does the audio level metering show on the receiver, if it is overloaded and distorted at the receiver nothing is going to fix that downstream of the receiver.

I'm not that familiar with the QLXD series and it does not look there is traditional transmitter gain/level adjustment on the body other than the mic level offset adjustment.

When you make level adjustments on the receiver do you need to re sync the transmitter to pass any needed level adjustments on to the transmitter?
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 13, 2017, 08:30:19 pm
What does the audio level metering show on the receiver, if it is overloaded and distorted at the receiver nothing is going to fix that downstream of the receiver.

I'm not that familiar with the QLXD series and it does not look there is traditional transmitter gain/level adjustment on the body other than the mic level offset adjustment.

When you make level adjustments on the receiver do you need to re sync the transmitter to pass any needed level adjustments on to the transmitter?

No there is a rocker switch in the battery compartment to add gain at the mic (call offset) and adjust other settings.  On the receiver the gain is adjusted by up and down buttons on the front panel with the results on the display.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on December 13, 2017, 09:10:45 pm
I have always assumed that any settings on the mic/transmitter were intended to match the mic (lavalier, headset or a different headset, instrument DI) to the transmitter so you don't clip the audio to the RF signal.

Adjustments on the receiver are intended to make it work with whatever you are sending the signal to.

Correct?
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Geert Friedhof on December 14, 2017, 08:26:44 am
^  #MeToo
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Chris Hindle on December 14, 2017, 08:33:05 am
^  #MeToo
^ MeTree.
If the receiver is clipping, there is nothing you can do on the console.
Chris.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Jordan Wolf on December 14, 2017, 09:47:48 am
Jordan,
If you look ...
Ah, my apologies to all! The drawing does indeed show resistors (and the spec sheet bears that out as well).

This lack of sleep thing isnít doing me any favors...
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on December 14, 2017, 01:26:06 pm
No there is a rocker switch in the battery compartment to add gain at the mic (call offset) and adjust other settings.  On the receiver the gain is adjusted by up and down buttons on the front panel with the results on the display.

So, how do I know how far to turn the receiver down and how far to turn the mic down?  Should I just experiment, or is there a suggesting starting place?
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Rob Spence on December 14, 2017, 02:04:22 pm
So, how do I know how far to turn the receiver down and how far to turn the mic down?  Should I just experiment, or is there a suggesting starting place?

Experiment.
If only very loud talking creates the problem, turn it down a little. If moderate volume causes the problem, turn it down more.
You can test immediately if you can cause the problem yourself.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: dave briar on December 14, 2017, 09:20:15 pm
Pads are available for QU when using the Allen Heath GLD series stage boxes.
Pads are available on our QU24 regardless of whether using a stage box or otherwise. ..or did I misinterpret?

   ..dave
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Joe Pieternella on December 15, 2017, 01:08:05 am
So, how do I know how far to turn the receiver down and how far to turn the mic down?  Should I just experiment, or is there a suggesting starting place?
I assume you have already flipped the switch on the back of the receiver. (I don't remember getting any confirmation this has been done).  This should at least remove your problem with the peak light on the mixer.

Afterwards you can start working on gain staging. In a nutshell this means you will try to get your signal as hot/strong/high as it will go as early on as possible while making sure it never gets too strong for the next device that has to take the signal.

So in your particular case you would want to start with your mixer gain on -5dB and your faders all the way down. Now grab the handheld mic and set the mic offset to 0dB. Then present to it the strongest signal it can ever expect to get in normal use. Speak into it at a similar  level to your preacher when he is really "into it". Set your gain on the mic receiver so that the yellow led is just not lighting up.
Now remove/bypass any processing you might have on the channel and set the channel fader to the 0dB mark.
Move your master fader to your normal position during a service (this should ideally be around the 0dB mark).
Now you can slowly start adding gain on the mixer until your voice is as loud as you would normally have/want the preacher to be at during a service.

You will probably have to tweak these settings a little during the next service and set your eq again.
Doing this means you should re-set your tresshold on your compressor. And since you would already be there you can take this chance to practice with the compressor.

Please let us know the results you get so we can offer more help in case you need it.
Let us know what you learned about the compression.




Verstuurd vanaf mijn G8341 met Tapatalk
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on January 05, 2018, 02:25:10 pm
I'm sorry it took this long to get back with my results on this.  It got crazy around the holidays and then our founder passed away and I just simply didn't want to change the mic settings right before his funeral (several guest speakers came to town). 

Anyways, this week, I went in and switched all the mic receivers from "line" to "mic".  Once I did that, I lost pretty much all of the volume in my mics (I knew this would happen).

So, I put all of the receivers on zero db gain. 

I put my faders at zero (unity), and began increasing the gain on the QU32 until it was in the yellow at the singers loudest point.

This Sunday will be our first service with it like this.  I'm sure we will have some adjusting to do, but I am excited to finally be able to eliminate the peaking of the preacher's' mic.  I will reply again next week with my results of this weekend's services.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on January 05, 2018, 03:37:42 pm
I'm sorry it took this long to get back with my results on this.  It got crazy around the holidays and then our founder passed away and I just simply didn't want to change the mic settings right before his funeral (several guest speakers came to town). 

Anyways, this week, I went in and switched all the mic receivers from "line" to "mic".  Once I did that, I lost pretty much all of the volume in my mics (I knew this would happen).

So, I put all of the receivers on zero db gain. 

I put my faders at zero (unity), and began increasing the gain on the QU32 until it was in the yellow at the singers loudest point.

This Sunday will be our first service with it like this.  I'm sure we will have some adjusting to do, but I am excited to finally be able to eliminate the peaking of the preacher's' mic.  I will reply again next week with my results of this weekend's services.

I think you are still going to need some compression.

Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 05, 2018, 05:58:11 pm
I think you are still going to need some compression.

Yes, and now he's in a position to use it for goodness instead of crap correction.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 06, 2018, 11:31:27 am
Pads are available on our QU24 regardless of whether using a stage box or otherwise. ..or did I misinterpret?

   ..dave

QU input pads are only available on inputs coming from a stage box not on the surface inputs.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on January 06, 2018, 12:11:00 pm
Yes, and now he's in a position to use it for goodness instead of crap correction.

Compression scares me simply because I donít understand what all the settings mean. Is there a resource I can use to learn them? Or should I just play around with it and experiment?

I still want to allow dynamics in the person singing or preaching. At times, they may want to sing softly or preach softer and at other times they may need to really dig in. And if the audience is really getting with it, I donít want the audience to drown them out.

Does this make sense? I know what I want but donít know how to achieve it.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: John L Nobile on January 06, 2018, 01:06:20 pm
Compression scares me simply because I donít understand what all the settings mean. Is there a resource I can use to learn them? Or should I just play around with it and experiment?

I still want to allow dynamics in the person singing or preaching. At times, they may want to sing softly or preach softer and at other times they may need to really dig in. And if the audience is really getting with it, I donít want the audience to drown them out.

Does this make sense? I know what I want but donít know how to achieve it.

Play with it. Try using any auto settings at first. They seem to work well on vocals but not much else. I usually use a 4:1 ratio and set the threshold low enough just to tame the peaks. You can set it up and leave a hi threshold so that it doesn't do anything and then lower it a bit at a time while watching the gain reduction. Ideally you don't want to see any reduction in quiet spots.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Dave Garoutte on January 06, 2018, 07:50:07 pm
YouTube can be helpful to get you started with compression.  Then start experimenting.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on January 06, 2018, 09:58:41 pm
Compression scares me simply because I donít understand what all the settings mean. Is there a resource I can use to learn them? Or should I just play around with it and experiment?

I still want to allow dynamics in the person singing or preaching. At times, they may want to sing softly or preach softer and at other times they may need to really dig in. And if the audience is really getting with it, I donít want the audience to drown them out.

Does this make sense? I know what I want but donít know how to achieve it.

Compression is simple, it reduces gain in proportion to input signal.  Below the threshold the compressor does nothing.  Above the threshold it starts doing it's thing.  The ratio is a proportion of input signal to loss.  The higher the proportion the "harder" the compressor is.  Attack it the speed at which the compressor responds.  How long it stays engaged is the hold time and release is how quickly it lets go (after hold time as expired).

The indicator on the compressor is the amount of negative gain applied.  Light peaks should tickle the compressor, a scream should clamp down hard.

Once you get good at it you can use the make up gain knob along with the compressor to place instruments in the mix.  The compressor is an important part of mixing.

Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: David Winners on January 07, 2018, 02:31:45 am
If you have access to this mixer during off hours, I suggest you spend some quality time with a pair of headphones and some recorded tracks.

Put your cans on and twist some knobs. If you really want to understand how something works, experiment with it when you have nothing to lose. Twist that attack knob all the way, in both directions. See what it does. Change the rato from 2:1 to vice grips and listen to what it does to the sound. Experiment until you get it, then employ your new found knowledge.

I spent a month in my office with headphones on when I got my first digital mixer. I downloaded dozens of multi track recordings and practiced mixing them. I tried every effect available. Twisted every knob and punched every button until I knew what they all did. I suggest you do the same if you have the opportunity.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on January 10, 2018, 11:31:54 am
Update on the situation:

Ok, this past weekend was our first services with the wireless receivers switched to "mic" (as they should be) instead of "line".

Everything went well on the vocalists.  We adjusted gain and then the faders as needed.  No problems at all.

But the preacher mic.....sigh....he was still peaking.  So I back the gain on the receiver to roughly -10.  Still peaking.  So lowered the gain on the mixer.  But then I was losing volume, so I increased the fader.  Still peaking (a little).  Although I must say, the red peak light on the actual channel strip blinks sometimes.  But if I PFL the channel and look at the meter at the top of the board, it's not always in the red.  Is this common.  I'm guessing the light on the channel is a bit sensitive??

Anyways, I don't know what to do.  If I lower the gain on the board any more, I will be pushing the fader all the way to the top.

But let me note this:  Our master fader is not a unity.  And I think it should be (or close).  And here's why it's not:  When we did our first initial sound check, the master fader was at zero.  But after the first Sunday morning with our new sound system, we were getting complaints of it being too loud.  So, we lowered the master fader.  And it's just been that way ever since.

My question:  Should we do another sound check and get that master fader back to unity (paying attention to volume, this time) ???

Thanks for all your help.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Geert Friedhof on January 10, 2018, 01:39:37 pm

But the preacher mic.....sigh....he was still peaking.  So I back the gain on the receiver to roughly -10.  Still peaking.  So lowered the gain on the mixer.  But then I was losing volume, so I increased the fader.  Still peaking (a little).  Although I must say, the red peak light on the actual channel strip blinks sometimes.  But if I PFL the channel and look at the meter at the top of the board, it's not always in the red.  Is this common.  I'm guessing the light on the channel is a bit sensitive??

Anyways, I don't know what to do.  If I lower the gain on the board any more, I will be pushing the fader all the way to the top.

But let me note this:  Our master fader is not a unity.  And I think it should be (or close). 
My question:  Should we do another sound check and get that master fader back to unity (paying attention to volume, this time) ???

Thanks for all your help.

The little red light flashing means you are still feeding to much level into the channel. The light is faster than the vu meters, and is correct in flashing when overdriving the pre amp, so TURN IT DOWN!

Push up the channel fader and/or master if you loose to much level. They are intended for that. Don't look at the position they are in. LISTEN!

As suggested before: learn how to use a compressor.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Steve Garris on January 10, 2018, 02:14:26 pm
Update on the situation:

Ok, this past weekend was our first services with the wireless receivers switched to "mic" (as they should be) instead of "line".

Everything went well on the vocalists.  We adjusted gain and then the faders as needed.  No problems at all.

But the preacher mic.....sigh....he was still peaking.  So I back the gain on the receiver to roughly -10.  Still peaking.  So lowered the gain on the mixer.  But then I was losing volume, so I increased the fader.  Still peaking (a little).  Although I must say, the red peak light on the actual channel strip blinks sometimes.  But if I PFL the channel and look at the meter at the top of the board, it's not always in the red.  Is this common.  I'm guessing the light on the channel is a bit sensitive??

Anyways, I don't know what to do.  If I lower the gain on the board any more, I will be pushing the fader all the way to the top.

But let me note this:  Our master fader is not a unity.  And I think it should be (or close).  And here's why it's not:  When we did our first initial sound check, the master fader was at zero.  But after the first Sunday morning with our new sound system, we were getting complaints of it being too loud.  So, we lowered the master fader.  And it's just been that way ever since.

My question:  Should we do another sound check and get that master fader back to unity (paying attention to volume, this time) ???

Thanks for all your help.

Push the master back up, then turn down all of the channels. Turn the gain down more on any channel that is clipping, then push that fader up to get the required volume.
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Scott Holtzman on January 10, 2018, 02:16:47 pm
Update on the situation:

Ok, this past weekend was our first services with the wireless receivers switched to "mic" (as they should be) instead of "line".

Everything went well on the vocalists.  We adjusted gain and then the faders as needed.  No problems at all.

But the preacher mic.....sigh....he was still peaking.  So I back the gain on the receiver to roughly -10.  Still peaking.  So lowered the gain on the mixer.  But then I was losing volume, so I increased the fader.  Still peaking (a little).  Although I must say, the red peak light on the actual channel strip blinks sometimes.  But if I PFL the channel and look at the meter at the top of the board, it's not always in the red.  Is this common.  I'm guessing the light on the channel is a bit sensitive??

Anyways, I don't know what to do.  If I lower the gain on the board any more, I will be pushing the fader all the way to the top.

But let me note this:  Our master fader is not a unity.  And I think it should be (or close).  And here's why it's not:  When we did our first initial sound check, the master fader was at zero.  But after the first Sunday morning with our new sound system, we were getting complaints of it being too loud.  So, we lowered the master fader.  And it's just been that way ever since.

My question:  Should we do another sound check and get that master fader back to unity (paying attention to volume, this time) ???

Thanks for all your help.

It all depends on how much you pulled down your master fader.  If it's too low your gain staging is wrong and you are losing headroom.

I think you are way too caught up in the lights and not how it sounds.  If you are just getting a little tickling of the light on the channel strip and there is no audible distortion then how does the mix sound?

Remind me what kind of board this is again? 

Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Joe Pieternella on January 10, 2018, 02:18:03 pm
Update on the situation:

Ok, this past weekend was our first services with the wireless receivers switched to "mic" (as they should be) instead of "line".

Everything went well on the vocalists.  We adjusted gain and then the faders as needed.  No problems at all.

But the preacher mic.....sigh....he was still peaking.  So I back the gain on the receiver to roughly -10.  Still peaking.  So lowered the gain on the mixer.  But then I was losing volume, so I increased the fader.  Still peaking (a little).  Although I must say, the red peak light on the actual channel strip blinks sometimes.  But if I PFL the channel and look at the meter at the top of the board, it's not always in the red.  Is this common.  I'm guessing the light on the channel is a bit sensitive??

Anyways, I don't know what to do.  If I lower the gain on the board any more, I will be pushing the fader all the way to the top.

But let me note this:  Our master fader is not a unity.  And I think it should be (or close).  And here's why it's not:  When we did our first initial sound check, the master fader was at zero.  But after the first Sunday morning with our new sound system, we were getting complaints of it being too loud.  So, we lowered the master fader.  And it's just been that way ever since.

My question:  Should we do another sound check and get that master fader back to unity (paying attention to volume, this time) ???

Thanks for all your help.

Isaac,
May I start by asking how the gain was determined for the preachers mic.

Where were you in terms of metering on his mic receiver. As I don't belive you were peaking/clipping or probably even near the red at the receiver best practice suggests you could reset the gain there to 0. And lower the gain on the Qu until the light stops flashing.

The peaking led of the Qu lights up at -3dBFS. Honestly if it lights up but sound good(no distortion) and you are happy with the sound you are getting you're fine. This is to say that the light flashing briefly isn't the end of the world.

The light comes on just before the actual situation it is trying to prevent occurs. It's a warning that you are asking a lot at that point. The second warning will be audible distortion. Nobody listens to digital distortion for fun. And we had dubstep music...

Now your real problem on that channel is the amount of dynamic range of the signal going through. Which is the difference between the softest and the loudest parts of the signal. The difference between your average and loudest level is higher than you want it to be.
As has been said before compression is your solution here. Bare with me here I'll come back to this I need to make sure you understand the next part first.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180110/206bab46efa66c17f02d23893d9e58cc.jpg)

If you were to make a graph of your signal level with time on the horizontal scale and level on the vertical it would look like this.
Actually that is exactly what it is but for a very small slice of time. That doesn't matter in this example though. This is why your meter isn't constantly in the red. It shows instantaneous level.

Back to the first point... The part where the line in the graph is horizontal represents the average level when your preacher is speaking normally. The peak that you see before that is the moment he is speaking loudly and this is what your peak light is responding to.
Activating a compressor will push down on the top of your peak pushing it closer to the average. Unlike the gain knob it only affects the loud parts.

The advantage you have now is that you can raise your total level more before it peaks and have a more constant level over time.

How much have you dropped your master fader in dB. Theoretically you could drop the level at the amplifier that same amount. In practice though half that value is probably enough unless you dropped it more than 20dB or something.

Seriously though skipping some of the steps provided here will lead to some/lots of disappointments.

Joe

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Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: dave briar on January 21, 2018, 01:45:43 pm
QU input pads are only available on inputs coming from a stage box not on the surface inputs.
Apologies to all for bumping this old thread but I finally remembered to check a QU24 last night and can indeed confirm that Mike is correct. Input pads are only available for inputs coming from a digital stage box.  I guess we've been using the stage box so long now that I forgot they were not available previously. Mea culpa -- just wanted to correct the record for anyone referencing this thread in the future.

    ..db
Title: Re: Couldn't Stop Mic Peaking
Post by: Isaac South on February 12, 2018, 02:06:52 pm
Sorry to keep this one going, but wanted to let everyone know that we are no longer peaking on our preacher channel.  We finally got our master level up to unity.  Between that, and switching the mic receiver(s) to mic instead of line, and adjusting the gain on the receiver(s), we have the situation under control.  Now onto the next issue.  haha.  Seems like it's always something.  It's like owning a house.  No matter how long you live there, you have some project going on.  But I enjoy it.  Thanks for all of your input and help.