Direct Outs from Mixing Board

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rccCrawler
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Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by rccCrawler » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:17 pm

Hi

My band uses the r16 to do basic amateur recordings of our songs.

When we play a gig, we would like to use it to record the gig.

However, the last time we tried this we had a problem, in that apparently the r16 is expecting 'consumer' line outs (-10 dbv), not 'studio' line outs (+4 dbu). This caused the inputs of the r16 to clip, even when the gain was set at the minimum setting.

I am wondering if anyone has solved this problem?

Also, would a change in mixing board help? Last time we used a Mackie 1604-VLZ4, and we are thinking of moving to a Allen & Heath MixWizard WZ4:16.

Has anyone tried the latter? Does it have the same problem with the direct outs overloading the inputs of the r16?

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by mikethebass » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:44 pm

I used a Behringer desk with direct outs in a rehearsal room. I wasn't using the R16 but did find that I needed a 20db pad to bring the volumes under control. I was only using the Behringer for vocals.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by rccCrawler » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:21 pm

How did you 20db pad 8 inputs? Thanks
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Jim_Fogle » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:38 pm

The Mackie 1604-VLZ4 has two RCA (tape) outputs in addition to the eight direct TRS outputs. Use the tape outputs to record the mix you're using while you play your gig. That gives you the advantage of hearing the same mix that you're delivering to your paying customers. Just because the R16 has eight inputs doesn't mean you have to use all of them.

The $399 Zoom R16 inputs likely do not sound as good as the $899 Mackie 1604-VLZ4 with the premium Onyx preamp design.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by rccCrawler » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:00 pm

That gives you a stereo out without the ability to alter the instrument levels so we'd rather be able to get 8 tracks.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Jim_Fogle » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:26 pm

rccCrawler wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:00 pm
That gives you a stereo out without the ability to alter the instrument levels so we'd rather be able to get 8 tracks.
Correct but the stereo out mix is the same mix the paying audience is hearing. If you're needing or wanting to change the mix after the fact then your original mix is likely wrong. I would think you would be more interested in giving the paying audience a proper mix in the first place. That's how you learn, you listen to the original mix and make adjustments going forward.

To answer your original question, do an internet search using the term line level attenuater" and you'll find several devices that perform that function. You'll need one for each input and price ranges from $19.99 to $100.00. It quickly gets expensive when you want to use eight lines.

Try this search: https://www.google.com/search?q=line+le ... 1YwsiS5VX8
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by rccCrawler » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:57 pm

I did find pad attenuators for 19$, and also the arts8 which has 8 lines with pads.

I respectfully disagree that you would want record exactly what the audience hears, the foh sound might require levels or eq specific to the sound qualities of the room which do not translate to headphones for instance. Given that I've always found you have to fine tune settings for individual rooms this would suggest that room affects sound so I'd like to be able to adjust for it. Just my 2c.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by still_fiddlin » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:11 pm

I do live recordings at open mics with my Zoom H6 and always capture each track (up to 6) separately and remix for distribution. I don't control the house, for one, but as @rccCrawler says, the FOH mix is generally not going to be what you want to hear in a set of headphones. Heck, it's probably just mono in most cases. (It's probably worth capturing, but I wouldn't use it if you have the ability to capture each channel separately.)

I don't know if there's a multichannel attenuator, but if you want to splurge, just go buy the Zoom F8, or a pair of them if you need 16 channels. (ka-ching!$!). I'm going to get *one* of them some day...

Or, you can just get a new digital mixer that writes all the tracks to USB. Might be the cheapest option.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Wulfraed » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:21 pm

Non-sequitur diversion...
still_fiddlin wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:11 pm
I don't know if there's a multichannel attenuator, but if you want to splurge, just go buy the Zoom F8, or a pair of them if you need 16 channels. (ka-ching!$!). I'm going to get *one* of them some day...
Given that I originally bought the HD16 with the intent of eventual surround-sound for video recording [I still haven't done a surround-sound video] but having that massive wall-powered device with sensitive hard-drive isn't that conducive to field usage; so I then bought an R16 since it is light-weight, battery powered (and the lack of rhythm section wasn't a factor for the intended usage); the F8 is obviously aimed at me (though my Canon XH-A1 lacks the time-code input of the XH-G1).
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Denis247 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:27 pm

I've done quite a few recordings at a club that uses an Allen & Heath Mixwizard 16:2, so I expect the direct outputs level would be the same as the 16:4 board you mentioned, and yes, it does output at +4 db.

I use two H6's, with the optional 2 input modules on each, to give 12 track recording, although for sync purposes I record one track to both H6's. I have to use the -20db pads.

Re the previous poster suggesting just recording the mix stereo output, well in this small club for a start, the drums sliders are normally just slightly advanced, there is so much sound from the stage that the pa isn't really needed for these. Also the sound is balanced for a room full of noisy people, with a lot of the sound coming direct from the stage, and isn't what I want at all, although I have used it one or twice 'in an emergency' backup scenario.

So I have 11 individual tracks that so far has handled everything.

One other point; I also run the H6's and everything else I may connect on battery power, many places prefer or even insist on this, for safety reasons.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by mikethebass » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:00 am

The direct sound coming from stage is my main reason for not just using a feed from the live desk mix.

Tonight I'll be recording a couple of 18 piece big bands. Both have full horn sections. The venue isn't overly big so the Pa is really for the vocals (3 female) and Master of Ceremonies.

I'll be running 7 tracks for miking the instruments and 1 track taking a feed from an Aux out on the PA this should be giving me just the vocals with no reverb. It's not the ideal situation as I'll rely on the live PA for the balance of the three voices, but given the limits of the equipment it's the best available.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Jim_Fogle » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:28 pm

rccCrawler, Denis 247 & Mikethebass,

I could not think of any reasons for wanting to record each individual channel but all of you did. Thanks for sharing your responses and enlightening me.

rccCrawler, in your follow up post did you mean the http://artproaudio.com/splitters/product/s8/ s8 by Art?

Eight attenuators at $19 each is $152 or the Art s8 retails for around $249.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by hoodoo voodoo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:08 am

You really DO want to record all the individual inputs from the band, and maybe in addition a couple of room mics at the same time to capture the ambience of the space plus audience applause etc (which won't get into the onstage mics..or if it does it'll be at such a low level it will sound like it's in the room next door !)

The Mackie mixer mentioned is ideal because in addition to the Direct outs (which are at +4 and thus can only be used with attenuator adaptors, to avoid overloading the R16 inputs)...you also have individual Channel inserts.

It is these Inserts which you want to tap into as they will feed your R16 a -10 input level...perfect. Easiest way to do this (and hoping that nothing is already using these inserts on the Mackie, such as a compressor or effect inserted onto a particular channel ?) is to plug a TS >TS cable half-way in to the insert socket and connect the other end into your R16 line-in. Do this for as many inputs as you want to record.

It's very important that you only insert the TS>TS plug half-way (to the first 'click' ) in on the Mackie insert...if you push it in any further than this you will divert the mic input from going into the mixer at all, and thus it will be effectively muted from the PA mix ! It will however continue to feed the R16. Doing this will make you very unpopular with the band and the FOH mixer person !

This is how I record concerts all the time with my Mackie VLZ1402 Pro mixer and my R16. Forget the Direct outs...it's the individual channel Inserts which will save the day for you ! Another plus is that by using the inserts you "pick off" the mic signal before it's gone through any of the channel EQ or effects or the channel fader ..so you get a flat, pristine signal into your R16 ! This is not necessarily the case with the direct outs...which can include the channel eq and fader level (which you don't want) Here is a summary of the procedure: http://www.ccisolutions.com/StoreFront/ ... el-inserts

The Mackie mixer is the ideal unit for this, don't swap it for the Allen/Heath ! Seek out the Mackie manual...I'm pretty sure this explained in detail in there...it'll be at their website. Ignore the Direct Outs...hone in on those Channel Insert sockets instead !
Last edited by hoodoo voodoo on Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by hoodoo voodoo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:40 am

Jim_Fogle wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:28 pm
rccCrawler, Denis 247 & Mikethebass,

I could not think of any reasons for wanting to record each individual channel but all of you did. Thanks for sharing your responses and enlightening me.

rccCrawler, in your follow up post did you mean the http://artproaudio.com/splitters/product/s8/ s8 by Art?

Eight attenuators at $19 each is $152 or the Art s8 retails for around $249.
Jim, the output from the 2 (RCA ...probably red/white) tape outputs is indeed the output of the mix desk. BUT....it's not the mix that the paying (or free) audience is hearing ! If there is a guitar and/or bass amp on stage, it is likely pumping out sufficient volume on its own account so that it isn't going through the mix desk...or if it is, it's at a reduced level. Ditto for the drums, particularly in a small room. The drums may all be miked up, but often they carry enough volume acoustically that they require much less reinforcement from the PA system. Likely the same for keyboards too, if played through an onstage instrument amp. What DOES need help/amplification from the PA/mix desk is vocals.

So I'm saying if you record what's coming out from the tape outputs (or headphone socket) or stereo line out from the PA mixing desk.... it is a very skewed, lopsided mix (mainly vocals...hardly any guitar, or drums, or electric bass, or keyboards). So it WON'T be what the audience hears at all ! What they are hearing is a blend of the acoustic drums in the room (maybe boosted a little by the PA), the guitar and bass amps (not much amplified by the PA, if at all) and vocals (very much helped by the PA) ! The PA system is thus largely a vocals reinforcement system...and THAT's what you'll get from those Tape out sockets ! Certainly not the recording you'd want to give to the band afterwards, nor a promoter or anyone assessing the skills of the PA mixer person ! In the bootleg recording circles, this is what's known as a 'soundboard tape'....and generally not highly regarded, for the above reasons !

So by taking a handful of individual line-outs (from each channel insert) and recording them into the R16, at optimal input level (-10) the R16 allows a later remix, with all instruments and vocals appropriately balanced. Sure, it's a remix 'after the fact'...but it's the only way to assure an approximation to what the audience heard in the room. If you want to be a true purist, simply record the room sound via the R16's 2 inbuilt condensor mics, ideally standing several feet back from the main PA speakers (but expect a lot of audience chatter and muffled unclear instrument amp sound !)
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:31 pm

hoodoo voodoo,

That makes sense now. Thanks for the explanation.
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by hoodoo voodoo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:29 pm

Jim_Fogle wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:31 pm
hoodoo voodoo,

That makes sense now. Thanks for the explanation.
No problems...best advice is to try it yourself and verify if it's true for you !

If you had a hypothetical band which relied entirely on DI sends into the PA system (rare and unusual, but certainly quite feasible) and relied entirely on the stage monitor wedges for their sound while playing....and if their drummer had an electronic drumkit and played with headphones on to hear him/herself.....THEN you would have the ideal conditions where exactly what went into the PA mix desk would be what's heard by the audience, and you could safely take a 2 track stereo output from the mixer and call it "the gig sound" But even then, you might want to tweak the mix a bit back at home...and perhaps add a pair of audience mics...because in the above scenario there would absolutely no audience presence at all, except what had leaked into the singer's vocal mic ! The number of bands who rely entirely on the PA system sound and don't bring any instrument amps (and only electronic drums) to the gig would be very small, I'm guessing ?

Where the 'stereo line out from the mixer DOES work very well is with a typical folk/blues singer (or a few of them) plus acoustic guitars with pickups/DI's ( and no other amp cabinet instruments)...in that situation you can get a true picture as 100% of the audience's sound comes from the PA via the vocal mics and guitar DI's. I've also recorded bluegrass gigs with mandolin, banjo, double bass, guitar(s) and main vocal plus harmony vocals where all the stringed instruments used DI's and (if you get a good mix balance at the gig and use stereo panning and carefully applied reverb) you can get a very satisfying stereo line-out mix from the tape-out sockets. You do also have to give the band a great onstage monitor sound, to let them perform at their best !
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Re: Direct Outs from Mixing Board

Post by Jim_Fogle » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:38 pm

I haven't worked with live sound for many years so I am happy somebody knowledgeable and with real world experience stepped in to enlighten me by providing examples.

This forum has a lot of accumulated experience in many subjects. I've learned a great deal from other forum users and appreciate how eager and willing everyone is to share their thoughts.
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