how to set up my pa

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Member Since: Jan 23, 2010

hello everyone; ive been a musician and singer for years and played in numerous bands,but always had a band member or sound man set up the i dont konow a thing about hooking this stuff up. i have many questions. first of all i just purchased a mackie micro 1202,a lexicon alex fx or reverb, a alesis 3630 compressor limiter w\ noise gate,a samick eq- 131, and a cheap 1000 watt amp. havent bought any speakers yet. but i think for now ill just be using 1 full range 15 inch monitor. im not going to do any big shows just want to set it up for pactice at home or maybe take to church. i may want to record some later on. my problem is that its so confusing on how to set up. i know i want effects on vocal and probably on guitar , and i need compression on both i think. so ill need to do effects loop. i dont even know what cords to buy. whether bal or un balanced. dont know which effect comes first or where to put the eq in line. or should i run all these throuhg everything? any help would be appreciated ive been reading alot but just more confused now. thank you ;; johnny

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The Czar of BS
Since: Dec 31, 2007

Jan 24, 2010 07:29 pm

Hey Johnny!

And Welcome to the HRC!

There is an article that I wrote for here that will answer most of your questions.


A few things that I do not cover in this article, is balanced/unbalanced. And Inserts.

For all PA's. Balanced cables should be used. Except for insert cables. Insert cables use a balanced connector on one end, and two unbalanced connectors on the other.

Reason being, that the Tip, and Ring are going to two separate places.

The Tip is what sends the signal to the compressor. The Ring will bring it back to the compressor.

Read the article, and get back to me with any other questions that you may have.


Since: Jan 23, 2010

Jan 24, 2010 11:23 pm

thanks rob; i think i just screwed up on the cords, i just bought 12 cords all unbalanced,but i thouhgt that was right because i was reading the manual on my lexicon effects and my compressor and they called for unbalanced. and my mackie manual said i could go either way. the way i take it a guitar cord is unbalanced right? and trs is balanced. another question is, do i run from mixer to my lexicon out to compressor out to eq then back to mixer then back out of mixer to amp? or run everything seperate?say my efects first. so aux send from mixer to input on effects back to aux return but if i do that way i only have 2 aux send , rieceive. to make it easier what should i hook up first? sorry if im not making sense, im a little frustrated with this mess. i just bought a book today also , maybe that will help. i should have it in the mail next week. i really appreciate you guys helping me. i wonder if i should get some xlr patch cords i think there all balanced. oops nevermind i only have xlr on mic inputs. everything else is 1\4 inch.

The Czar of BS
Since: Dec 31, 2007

Jan 25, 2010 12:10 am

As long as they are short cables, you should be fine. The reason for balanced cables, is to avoid noise. Long runs of unbalanced cables will increase noise from outside sources.

And you are correct by the difference between the two. Unbalanced is a guitar cable. And balanced is a TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve)

Now there really is not a rule on how to connect pieces together. As long as you follow the language. In to out, out to in.

But the norm for live sound is not to string pieces together. When you string pieces, your adding noise to your signal. Each Opamp, will increase the noise floor. So, that 10k hiss, just gets louder and louder.

Using the Aux method for your reverb unit is the typical practice. And inserting the compressor is also the typical.

You can put a comp on an aux......... But it is not recommended. As the louder mic will compress all of the other mics as well. When they don't need it.

Since: Jan 23, 2010

Jan 25, 2010 05:40 pm

thanks rob; ill be back in a couple weeks when i get all the cords i need, then i may need some help putting it all together.

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