A few sound questions

Smurphy

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Joined
Dec 12, 2007
I am kind of new to sound but I would really like to learn a few things. Unfortunately the man who was my mentor in everything tech, left because the school is cheap, and the new guy they hired admitted to not knowing anything about lights, and knows about the same as me on the subject of sound. Which is why I am very glad to have found this board. Now to the actual questions.
1. What does the low-cut button do?
2. At what point would I be using the preamp buttons on each channel?
3.Is there anyway to hook a computer to the board we have, to monitor frequency and such? (we have a 32 channel mackie analog board I will edit in exact kind later) I do have adobe audition 2.0 on my laptop.
I guess that is it for now, any help would be appreciated. Oh and as a last note my teacher gave me permission to run the sound for our musical Grease this year, I ran the board last year and it was fun so I'm looking forward to doing it again.:eek:
 

museav

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Here's a good resource on general mixing:http://www.soundcraft.com/palz.asp. Chapter 11 of the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook also has some good information on mixing consoles and applications.

Reading the manual for your mixer is always a good start. Look on Mackie's web site for the manual if you don't have one. A good practice is to learn to understand the single line diagrams for mixers, it is usually the best way to get a quick undeerstanding of what signal routing and paths are possible.

You could run signal to your laptop and use whatever software you want for monitoring, many pros run Smaart or the new EASERA SysTune or even Meyer SIM. Many people use and external USB or FireWire interface, but you can probably run it directly to your sound card if it is not a critical application.
 
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avkid

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CURLS

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Oct 19, 2004
So if we are indeed refrencing the mackie 32 channel vlz console that avkid refrenced, here are the awnsers to your questions.
I will keep my awnsers somewhat simple, if you need furthur or deeper info dont hesitate to ask.

1. The low cut button is a switch that will insert a low pass curve at a fixed decibel and rate. On this particular console it says it will implement a 75hz cut at 18db per octave. In the most basic of sense.. lets say you turn down the bass knob in your cars eq but you dont have control over the amount of reduction it becomes a fixed filter much like the one on ur console. So pushing this button in will in affect reduce the amount of bass in your system. I can go much much deeper with this subject but I will leave it there for now.

2. You asked about the "pre amp buttons" on your conole. The particular console your talking about im about 99 percent positive does not have pre amp buttons. It DOES however have pre fader buttons in the aux section right next to the aux knobs. Pressing this button in will allow for mix 3 AND 4 to simultaneously become prefade. This is to say your incoming signal will still go to your aux 3 and 4 regardless of the fader for that channels position is. For example aux 1 is setup post and aux 3 is setup pre if you have it engaged. You could send aux to some onstage monitors and aux 3 to some other different onstage monitors. If you have both auxes set to 0db unity on the channel strip with proper input gain you will notice that the aux 1 will send signal to its set of monitors based on how much you move the fader up and down on the channel strip. Then you will notice aux 3's monitors will only be affected as you turn the aux knob up or down, and it will be regardless of what the fader does. The term then began to be coined PRE -Fader.

3. Straight up to be honest on your hooking a computer up to monitor frequencies it's pointless in your particular situation. Unless you just want to impress people who know nothing about audio. In your given situation you stated your school is cheap. In that sense, I will just say. All people who are just starting need to understand the basics of audio, frequencies, phase, coherence, logarithims, basic graphing, and much more math related techniques before diving head first into transferring audio waves into visual representations. Lets also consider that a mackie board combined with a cheap microphone along with a standard computer standard, standard audio card and standard software for monitoring this are all implemented guess what? YOUR EAR AND BRAIN can process audio faster and at a smoother frequency response!

Have fun learning about some of this new stuff if it has helped ya. If it hasnt let me know I enjoy seeing the lightbulb go off inside new guys heads when they Really learn something new.
 

dj_illusions

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Mar 1, 2004
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Just as a side not, running a PC on your desk output to monitor frequencies is not going to be very effective besides making pretty pictures.

The high frequencies causing feedback are coming from your speakers and the room which the desk will not know if you run it out of an auxilary for example.

Computer monitoring can be used for amps if you have a computer controlled system such as Media Matrix, BSS, d&b e-pak or Crown HiQ. If you want a frequency read out of the system the best thing to do is buy a broad range frequency sensitive mic and run this direct to the pa system, you would need to get this to the centre of the room as best you can, this will show you what frequencies are very 'live' in the room and which are very 'flat' and allow you to fix it on your eq.

this could also be a good way to learn more about frequencies by watching their response in a room and playing with an eq. you can also use the Sound frequency trainer to learn the freq, i am sure someone here will be able to link to it as i am on my work computer and do not have it handy at the moment.

i use Penguin audio meter to do audio monitoring but only very rarely like when I am trying to prove something or test something hehe

hope this helps.
 

mixmaster

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Aug 30, 2007
Location
Iowa
Welcome to the booth.
Your other questions were answered fairly well elsewhere so I will give you my 2cents about hooking up your computer.
Audition is a good recording program, similar to Protools LE. As a recording program, it not going to be practical to use for "monitoring frequencies". However, if you wanted to hook it up and record a show, you could listen to the mix to help you learn what to listen for. I suspect what you are thinking about is an RTA program. Smaart, and EASE have both been mentioned I think, but neither one is cheap. I also suspect they would both give you more information than you need since they are way above simple RTA software. Perhaps as web search for a freeware RTA program might help. Or see if you could pick up a cheap RTA. I have a Sabine 901 in my both FOH and monitor racks that I use occasionally. I wouldn't rely on them for precise measurements but for a quick look for hot frequencies they work OK. You could hook it up to an output to check what's coming out of the board or put up a mic to check the room.
 

miriam

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Aug 18, 2006
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Up the wall
Hi, welcome, I'm also learning, and my ears are wide open eavesdropping on this conversation.

So about the prefader, if the button is pushed: the sound in the monitors is set as loud as the gain for the monitors, regardless of what the faders are set at, correct?

What's RTA?

Here is the sound frequency trainer:
http://www.ians-net.co.uk/software/

I find it very useful.
 

Footer

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Nov 24, 2005
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Saratoga Springs, NY
Hi, welcome, I'm also learning, and my ears are wide open eavesdropping on this conversation.
So about the prefader, if the button is pushed: the sound in the monitors is set as loud as the gain for the monitors, regardless of what the faders are set at, correct?
What's RTA?
Here is the sound frequency trainer:
http://www.ians-net.co.uk/software/
I find it very useful.
If you have something set to Pre, no matter the level of the fader of the channel the aux of that specific channel will send, if set to Post, it will only send if the fader for the channel is up, and is affected by the level of the channel fader. Pre is good for sending dry feeds, however you have little control over it beyond the aux pot of the channel.

Real Time Analyzer, can either be a piece of rack gear that shows the full spectrum or a PC software, whatever. Usually you hear RTA mic thrown around which is a microphone specifically used (extremely flat response mic) to run an RTA. RTA mics are also used by many processors to EQ a room.
 

museav

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Just as a side not, running a PC on your desk output to monitor frequencies is not going to be very effective besides making pretty pictures.
The high frequencies causing feedback are coming from your speakers and the room which the desk will not know if you run it out of an auxilary for example.
Actually, many people use a board input for their measurement mic and an aux output to feed their analyzer. That way they can look at just the measurement mic or at any combination of inputs. The measurement mic can sometimes even double as an ambient mic for recording and ALS.