How to connect my Rack Compressor?

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Member Since: Jun 04, 2004

Hi,
I`m about to buy my very first piece of Rack gear...a dbx 266XL compressor/gate.
I was just wondering how I should go about connecting it up with my other equipment?
I have a Soundcraft Compact 4 Mixer that has 2 Mic pres and 2 "inserts"...it says in the manual that you connect rack equipment to the "insert" but it`s only one jack....I`d have thought it would need to go into a left and right input for stereo use?! I`m pretty confused about all this!
Anyway, any help would be very very appreciated!
Thanks ever so much.
Take care,
Alex

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Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 01:52 pm

use a stereo "Y" cable, it's got a TRS on on end and two mono's on the other, you use one channel (in and out) on your dbx per channel on your mixer....

cheers

Member
Since: Jun 04, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 02:09 pm

ahhh, thanks. is this what would often be done then? or is there a better way?

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 02:26 pm

this is what the inserts are for. plugging a device "inline" with the signal. It would be the optimum place I would think. less there's other factors involved.

The signal is mono at this point btw.

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 06:19 pm

I dont have a Y cable :D. I take the direct out of my mixer, to my Comp., and the out of the comp to my aardvark Q 10. Dowside is this is post fader.

Its best to use a Y cable so the insert point is 'pre' fader though. That means, if you change the level on the fader, it doesnt effect the input signal on the Comp.

Member
Since: Jun 04, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 08:12 pm

ahh, i get it. thanks alot guys.
So is this the way all rack gear works? I don`t really understand rack equipmpent at all!...how about Synths and sound modules?...how do these connect with my equipment?! Do they all string together?, eg. rack compressor, module, reverb etc? Someone please explain!
Thanks again.
Alex :)

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 08:20 pm

Reverb and other effects unit (delays, modulation etc.) are connected through auxilaries. You take an auxilary out, to the input of your effects module, and your stereo(usually) out to the last two inputs of your mixer. This means (as long as you are monitoring of the stereo outs on your mixer) when you turn the aux up on a selected track, a split of the signal will be sent to the effects unit and back into the channels. Therefore giving you the effects on the last channels and enabling you to hear it as well :)

Sound modules are usually triggered via. MIDI. The MIDI out from your MIDI contoller is fed to the MIDI in of the sound module, and then the outs of the module are fed into to mixer/soundcard inputs.

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 18, 2005 08:55 pm

Insert points are only used for dynamic processors eg. comp., limiters, gates

jimmie neutron
Member
Since: Feb 14, 2005


Jul 19, 2005 06:49 am

Signal routing is up to you. If you want the effect to "interrupt" the signal chain and become part of it, then you use the "insert". When you click a TRS plug all the way into the Insert jack, you're "Inserting" the device into the signal path (insightful, eh?). Once that's done, the only adjusting involved is the effect device. When you use an Auxilary Send/Return, you control the amount of signal sent to the other device (monitor, reverb, whatever...), you control the device itself, and you control the Return signal level, also (if used).

Edit: You can also route a group of channels to a bus, send that bus output to an effect and return it in another channel (unless you're like me and have already filled all your mixer channels). That's the beauty of a mixer (besides confusion), flexibility.

Member
Since: Jun 04, 2004


Jul 19, 2005 08:13 am

ahh right, thanks alot. I think I understand! I`m not sure how I`d use auxillarys or buses with my mixer though...it doesn`t have auxillary ins or outs and no buses...but I do have 2 Stereo channels free...can I use these as auxs?
Thanks again guys and I apologise for asking so many questions.
Take care,
Alex :)

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 19, 2005 06:05 pm

Your mixer has auxilaries, but no aux out?!

Sorry i cant imagine that lol.

When you do find your Aux out's, Take a cable from your aux out, to your FX unit input, and your effects unit outs into one of the spair stereo inputs.

I have a crazy idea if you actually wanted to make your channels into aux sought of things.

1) Use the first click method (insert a TRS cable into the insert point, but do not fully insert it. Insert until you hear one click) to insert a jack into the insert (on channel 1 for ease of an example) to provide you with a direct out.

2)Take the other end of the jack and plug it into a line in of one of the spare channels (lets say channel 13 ok?).

3) Take another direct out (same first click thing) from channel 13.

4)Take the other end of no. 13's direct out cable and plug it to the Input of your effects processor.

5) Take the stereo outs of your effects processor and plug them into the other spare stereo track (eg. 15 and 16).

Now get a signal coming through channel one, turn it up, and turn channel 13 up as well. This should result in a signal being sent the effects processor. You can now use channel 13 to control the gain of the signal being sent to the processor with out effecting the recorded signal's gain. Now turn up channels 15 and 16 and turn up the mix on the effects processor to 100%. You should have effects for ONE channel ONLY

Now this isnt perfect because the effect i pre fader (ie. when you change the gain of the fader, it does not change the gain that is sent to your effects processor) but it should work. And also you can only have one signal being sent to the effects processor at one time (argh). But hey, it should work if you wanted to just add an effect to vocals only.

Haha, it;'d be pretty bung, but oh well

jimmie neutron
Member
Since: Feb 14, 2005


Jul 19, 2005 06:07 pm

Ahh, but look at that work of art... You've got a left/right on channels 3 & 4 (RCA jacks, but they'll do). You could use the balance knob to control a "clean" and "wet" signal there. You've got a record in/out, which is basically like an Aux send/return, then you've got left & right Monitor & Main outs, and 2 headphone outs. Lots of flexibility in such a little box (and a 48 page manual full of safety info!). Read that owner's manual and start pluggin' up and see if you can keep from getting feedback. It'll take a while to get the brain around the concepts, but then, all of a sudden, the light comes on, and ya go: Wow, it works! It's alive!!! It's alive!!! You'll probably end up getting some adapter-type cables and plugs in order to use the RCA inputs, but Radio Shack et al will be able to help you out there for a nominal fee...

the Colonel beat me...

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jul 19, 2005 06:13 pm

haha bl J mail!

Hey that panning idea to control the dry/wet signal for the stereo stracks is wicked man. good stuff. Im gonna member' that one

Member
Since: Jun 04, 2004


Jul 20, 2005 09:01 am

no, it doesn`t have any auxillaries... Here is a picture of it...

http://www.musik-produktiv.de/shop2/bild_zeigen.asp/pfad/..__slash__bilder2__slash__00__slash__25__slash__07__slash__002507178xl.jpg



Unless there are Auxs on there and I`m just too thick to realize it?!

Hold 'Em Czar
Member
Since: Dec 30, 2004


Jul 20, 2005 11:37 am

good call jamail!

audio mixers are indeed designed to be FLEXABLE, those inputs and outputs can be routed MANY different ways, try to learn what level thigs are putting out (outputs) AND expecting (input Ohms) at mic level, consumer Or pro line level, or even a headphone's poweramplifier (careful with that one) try to keep them matched and you'll be in good shape!

use them pans to isolate sounds to different inputs and outputs.

jimmie neutron
Member
Since: Feb 14, 2005


Jul 21, 2005 09:23 pm

Yeah, I've blown stuff before (stereo receiver went kabloo-ey) by plugging up the wrong outs to the wrong ins. 'Course, the ear-piercing, blood-inducing feedback only lasted for about maybe 4 seconds...??? Still can't quite hear proper-like (and I tahlk wid a bunch of hyphens now)...

But there's somethin' to be said for a "working" musician who ain't got enuff gear (translation: money) to do what he wants, so becomes the experimenting DokTor Frahnkinshteen...

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