Reply To: NEWBIE ALERT: Hooking up a Signal Processor

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You could use 2x mono channels and pan them appropriately, or you could use one of the stereo channels (TRS connectors) if you have XLR-TRS adapters. The mono channels have a hpf + 3-band eq with a sweepable mid, whereas the stereo channels only have HF and LF shelves, so you can shape the sound better with the mono channels. You can eq them with different settings if you want, do whatever sounds best.

The main + aux output sockets on the Zed10 (like most mixers) are balanced. The mains LR uses XLR sockets, the aux out is a TRS socket. The non-RCA inputs on the k10s are balanced too. XLR-XLR (standard mic) cables for the mains, either TRS-TRS or TRS-XLR for the aux. These cables should be balanced, allowing for long runs.

You have two options in connecting the MX400 to the Zed10, it depends on whether you want the FX to apply to a single channel\multiple channels or the whole mix.

One is to use the insert sockets on the LR bus. This would build the FX into the sound of the main mix (but you wouldn’t hear it in your monitor.) To do this you’ll need 2x specially wired insert cables, which are TRS on one end which break out to 2x TS on the other end. This picture explains it.

The TRS end of one cable goes into the “Main Mix Insert L” socket on the Zed10. The two TS ends go into the “Input A Left” (tip: send) and “Output A Left” (ring: return) of the MX400. Sound goes from the L side of the main mix of the Zed10 up the cable to the MX400, gets processed by the MX400, then goes back to the Zed10, before hitting the XLR L output and your L FOH speaker. Same sort of process for the 2nd cable and the FOH R channel: TRS end into Zed10’s “Main Mix Insert R” socket, other ends into MX400’s ‘Input A Right” and “Output A Right” sockets.

The second option is to use it in a send-return configuration, which would allow you to apply the FX to individual channel(s) which I’ve detailed in my answer to part 4.

Either way, as long as you’re using both L&R outputs from the MX400 and you have them panned properly you’ll get your stereo return.

A third option would be to go Avid Eleven – MX400 then MX400 to Zed10, you’d just need the appropriate adapters. Of course this would mean you’d only get the FX on the guitar sound, not any other mics you plugged in to the mixer.

As opposed to inserting a FX processor on a channel/bus and building the FX into the channel/bus’s sound by returning the wet signal to the same channel/bus, a send-return configuration takes the output of a channel, sends it to an FX processor (the “send” part of “send-return,”) then the output of the FX unit is returned to the mixer on a different channel (the “return” part of “send-return.”) You then mix the original (dry) channel with the returned (wet) channel to achieve the sound you want. You can also mix different proportions of each dry and wet channel in different mixes, eg a lot of reverb in the FOH mix, minimal reverb in the monitor mix. You can’t do this with inserts, as the return happens on the same channel/bus, and once the FX is inserted into the channel/bus, it goes where ever the channel is routed: FOH and mons alike.

To do a send-return configuration on the Zed10, you’d go from the FX out socket to the “Input A Left” of the MPX100 (your send.) You turn up the FX send pots (yellow) on the channels you want the FX on in order to get signal to the MP400.

NB that the FX send is post-fader, so the red channel faders (or pots, as is the case on the Zed10) need to be turned up too. This also routes signal to the Zed10’s own FX engine. Ensure the returns from this engine (grey “FX to Aux” pot and yellow “FX Level” pot at the bottom are turned down, otherwise you’ll be hearing the Zed10’s own FX library in your mix.)

Now that you’ve got signal going into the MX400, you need to return it to the Zed10 so it can be part of the mix. To do this, run cables from the “Output A Left” and “Output A Right” sockets of the MPX400 to one of the spare stereo channels on the Zed10 (your return.) You could also use a pair of mono channels too, and pan them appropriately. You could also use the “Playback” channel, assuming you’re not using it for anything else. You can then put this returned channel(s) at appropriate levels in your monitor using the grey “aux” pot(s), and in FOH using the red “level” pots.

NB do not have the returned channel(s) feeding into the FX bus (yellow FX pot on return channel(s) should be turned all the way down,) otherwise you’ll have a feedback loop.

The issue is that the FX out and aux out (which is already in use to feed your monitor) buses are mono. The FX bus will sum whatever channels you’re feeding it before sending it out to the MX400. If you’re sending the MX400 two sides a of a stereo channel, they are being summed before they hit the MX400, which would mean you weren’t running true-stereo anymore. To get around this you’d have to use 2 separate buses to feed the MX400, one for left and one for right. The problem is that the only other bus on the Zed10 is your aux out (which is already being used for monitors, and is pre-fader, which makes things awkward.)

What you could do is use the Zed10’s recording bus as an FX send, as it’s post-fader and takes the channel’s pan into account. This would maintain the stereo image, however the send levels are locked post-fader at unity. If you use the recording bus and the RCA monitor (not aux) outputs, then you effectively get level control over the FX send too. If you do use the recording bus/monitor sockets with RCA outs, you’ll need adapters to get sound into the MX400, as the RCA IO on the MX400 are for S/PDIF, not analogue audio. As I said at the start of point 3, it really depends on which inputs you want the FX to apply, or if you want them to apply to the whole mix.