Reply To: NEWBIE ALERT: Hooking up a Signal Processor

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Re PA2s on Ebay:
I think the influx of speaker management processors is largely due to the uptake of digital mixers. Most digital mixers (including A&H’s iLive, GLD and Qu series) offer geq and/or peq on outputs, compressor/limiting and line delay, making some of the functionality of the PA2 redundant. Some people also use the output processing on digital desks as a crossover too (though personally I’m against that practice,) further reducing the need for something like a PA2 in their system.

Re eq having the last word:
TBH I don’t really understand the question. I do know that if you use the eq to notch a few of the frequencies of the backing track that the guitar would normally stomp on, you can get the guitar sounding clearer in the mix without needing to boost its level as much. Also, if you were to compress both guitar and backing tracks with separate compressors, but have the threshold lower on the backing track channel, this would allow the guitar to naturally sit on top of the backing track, without needing to ride the guitar fader as much.

Re your gear:
I wouldn’t use the sonic maximizer. Used very sparingly when mastering a 2 track it can be a good thing, but live on guitar tracks is just asking for trouble, IMO. Makes the sound gets bassy and shrill at the same time (essentially a disco (smiley-face) eq,) and you lose your mids: not ideal for a track that supposed to be guitar-centric.

I’m not a guitarist, (though I’ve started learning bass) and I have almost no experience in micing acoustic guitars. With the gear\bands I’ve had access to, I’ve just been putting ’57s \ e906s on cabs for electrics, and acoustic guitars have been put through Radial\Whirlwind\etc DIs.

Re measurement mics:
Lots of people use a Behringer ECM8000, DBX also do their own measurement mic (mostly because they’re cheap.) I standby what I said before though: while if the AutoEq worked 100% properly and could use these mics to make the speakers sound 100% “flat” in the room (at least in the spot you took measurements,) your ears would still do a better job of making the speakers sound “good” in that room. “Good” doesn’t always mean “flat.”

No comment on using the gear outdoors. I’ve seen K series setup outdoors, but the weather was good and I wasn’t really paying attention to how big a space they needed to fill. Generally speaking, being outdoors (eg if your did a gig-in-a-field) you deprive yourself of some of the reflective surfaces (eg walls and ceilings) that would normally provide you with some natural reverb. Your indoor mix might sound a lot thinner than you were expecting when done outdoors, due to the lack of natural reverb normally provided by the room. Often you end up wanting to use an FX processor to add some more verb to the mix to make up for it. You won’t know how much until you get there though.