Wiring Mixer/Amp

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Member Since: Feb 05, 2010

Hello ya'll

I am a real newbie at mixing. I have recently been put in charge of sound at my church.

I have a Mixer, Amp and a box where all the guitars etc are plugged into.

Can anyone explain to me the logic behind the wiring goes? I don't know if it runs from mixer to amp etc or from guitar box to amp to mixer etc...

I also need to be able to record to the computer... I guess through the soundcard line in.

Any / All suggestions welcome.

Thank you

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Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Feb 06, 2010 01:32 am

Just from wat info ur giving im gonna say guitar box to mixer to amp. Ur computer can also be hooked up from teh mixer, it should have a few output options so u should be able to go to both amp and computer simultaneously

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 06, 2010 08:35 am

It would help if we knew what mixer, what amp, and what is the box you are referring to.

Be specific, and we can give you a much more accurate assessment.

Since: Feb 05, 2010

Feb 09, 2010 09:17 pm

Sorry for the Delay in getting back.

The Amp is a Peavey XR 680E (it too has mixer on it but not used).
The Mixer is an MX200
The Mic/Guitar box only has "Horizon Stage Series" written on it. Not model etc.

Guitars and Mics > Guitar/Mic Box.
Mic Box > Amp
Amp > Mixer.

I have an rca running from amp to mixer. I have 16 lines that plug from the Mixer to the guitar/mic box. I have an A,B,C,D outputs on the guitar/mic box; where I have on patch cable running to the amp input (not sure why). From the headphone jack on the mixer, I have it plugged up to the "Line in" on the computer sound card.

I am positive I have things muddled up pretty bad. Right now I can get sound from mics and guitars and I can record. But the sound quality of all of them is "Poor".

Thank you

Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Feb 09, 2010 10:39 pm

When u say guitar box do u mean a snake? like is it just a box of inputs for ur stage?

if so i dont know y u hooking up the box to the amp and then the amp to the mixer. The box should go to teh mixer and then the mixer to the amp, the amp is the thing amplifying ur signal for ur speakers and such so it should be the last part of ur chain.

For ur computer, the sound is poor because ur using a headphone out to the soundcards line in which is basically a signal not built for the line in going into a line in not built for recording. It would be mildly better if u use a patch cable from ur mixer our or ur amp's MIXER out to go into the line-in but the best wat would be to get a dedicated soundcard and hook it up from the mixer.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 09, 2010 10:56 pm

Ah, very good. the mic box is a snake. this lets you connect a bunch of stuff from a distance, to your board. Very good.

I have found the powered mixer, and believe you have the yamaha mx200. I'm gonna guess the 16, though it could be 24. Probably not the 8 input =).

I would connect the snake connectors into the XLR inputs on the mx200. The outputs on the snake box are for sending signals back from the board to someone (or someones) on stage. this could be a personal monitor feed, i guess.

So don't use the 4 outputs yet, until there's a need.

So we have mics (and guitars, i'll get to this in a minute) plugged into the snake, and the snake connected to 16 inputs on the mx200. This should give you your signals in the board. You should know, that if you're using condenser mics on stage then you'll need phantom power for those mics. You're probably not, instead using dynamic mics, but I figured it's worth a mention.

Condenser = Need Phantom Power
Dynamic = Not Need Phantom Power

So now we have 16 signals in the MX200. Now is where it gets tricky. You have outputs on the MX200 that are XLR. This means that the output is balanced and is expecting to run on balanced cable. This is good, as you'll have less interference noise picked up along the way, but you have to get the balanced signal out the XLR to the inputs on the AMP. I think in this case, it may be easier to connect from the TAPE OUT RCA jacks over to the LINE inputs on the AMP. So connect REC OUT Left to the Channel 1 LINE input on the AMP. Connect REC OUT Right to channel 2 LINE input on the amp.

Don't connect from the MX200 XLR outputs to the XLR inputs on the AMP. The AMP is expecting to see MIC level signal on those inputs, and sending LINE level signal can damage the input circuitry.

So now we have the whole mix in the mixer, being summed down to 2 channels, L & R (or 1 & 2). These are now being sent over to the Channel 1 and 2 of the AMP.

For now, I'd suggest setting the GAIN for channel 1 and 2 to somewhere in the middle. You can adjust it later when you know how the gain operates, and what it's for (more on that in a minute).

Now all you have to do is hook speakers up to the MAIN output (only 1?) of the 680, and connect monitors to the MONITOR output (again, only 1?).

To connect speakers, to be on stage facing out, or for monitors, you'll need speaker gauge cables. I don't think the 4 outputs in the snake for supposed to be for this, as those cable's power handling may be small, for LINE level use. I'm not so sure about that, maybe someone else on here (Rob, I'm looking in your direction . . ) can pitch in and give some advice.

I also don't know how you're connecting the speakers up to the AMP. Seeing as how there's one 1 MAINS output, and 1 MONITOR output, you'll have so split the signal up for several speakers. There's impedance issues at play here, that can harm your AMP outputs, so be sure you get this part figured out before you harm something.

Now, the guitars. How are you connecting them to the snake? Normally, you would have a direct injection box (DI Box) for converting instrument level signals (coming from guitar) or line level signals (coming from stomp box) down to MIC level signal. Then the output of the DI box plugs into the snake inputs. In your case, if someone is using a stomp box of sorts, or active pickups (with batteries) then you can use one of the outputs on the snake box (the 1/4" jacks). Then plug the other end of the 1/4" snake end into a line input of one channel on the MX200. Not a channel that has a mic plugged into it though, it should be on it's own. So this way you can have 4 LINE level (or INST level) devices plugged into the MX200, through the snake. Plugging instruments right into the board (through the snake) will be pretty low, but hopefully you can make it up with the gain on top of the channel.

Oh yeah, gain, that should be set for each channel, to match the incoming signal. So a quiet singer should have the gain a bit higher than a loud singer. This will depend on singer's volume, ability to 'work' a mic (moving in and out for soft/loud passages), and efficiency of the mic. Some mics are louder than others. You'll also have to set the gain for instruments; probably turn it up for guitars plugged directly into the board, but turn the gain down on channels that have active instruments, as mentioned above.

whew, kinda long. hopefully that gets you started, and hopefully some of the more experienced board members will chime in and correct me if I've got some info wrong.

Good luck.

Since: Feb 05, 2010

Feb 12, 2010 09:18 am

Thanks for that reply.
I did get to my church and set things up (best I could to what you said). After disconnecting from snake to amp and disconnecting the mono out from the mixer to the amp, things improved 100%. There was a nasty buzz and humm coming through the speakers prior to this. Now there is none.

You asked how I connect the guitars to the snake. I have a converter, from a guitar plug to a mic plug (XLR I think). Im slightly confused about the difference between the guitar and mic as far as why they are dealt with differently.

Thank you so much

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 12, 2010 11:35 am

That's probably the DI box. MIC signals are very low level, and want to see a certain impedance (kinda like resistance). INST signals are slightly higher, and want to see a different impedance.

So the DI box converts the level and impedance from guitar signal, down to a MIC signal, so the board (preamp) is receiving the correct type of signal.

That's a good thing, as the sound of the guitar will be more better =).

They're not imperative, but make things more proper, connection wise. If the converter is just cable -> cable, then it may not be doing any load conversion, but it's not going to kill anything. MIC and INST are close in level to each other, so you probably won't blow anything up by plugging guit into a preamp. As long as the guitar / signal is not powered, or active. If it is, then you should be plugging them into a LINE input, not XLR input.

Glad you're getting things sorted.

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