Simple explaination of DCA groups please?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of schaibaa schaibaa 14 years ago.

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    Profile photo of Clintage

    I’m looking for some clarity on the use of DCAs.

    -How do they differ from Groups and Matrix?
    -Can a DCA be assigned to an output? I don’t see it in the output assign list.
    -What is the proper use/function of the DCA?

    Thanks in advance! This forum has been very helpful.

    Profile photo of selfmade

    DCA has the same function like VCA at the analog desks.

    zhe dca is always routed to the master bus.

    greetings from hamburg

    Profile photo of Gijsbert

    little correction, a dca is routed to nowhere, it just controls the relative level of the faders assigned to it.



    Profile photo of Stix

    No audio passes through a DCA as it is a control circuit only (Digital Controlled Amplifier). Any input or output fader can be assigned to a DCA which will then effectively be a remote that adds or subtracts gain from the assigned faders visible position. This affects not only the channels output level to any mix,group or direct output but also to any post fader aux sends. Very useful: as an example – assign all vocal channels to a DCA. Then when you turn the DCA up or down the relative post fade aux sends (say to effects or foldback etc) will also change by the same amount.
    Hope that has helped.


    Profile photo of Doug

    Just a quick question on this one, if you assign all your input channels to one DCA to use as a mute all and leave it at 0db, then assign say 4 vocals to a second DCA, which DCA will have priority?

    Profile photo of Mr-B

    Just like Old School VCA’s I think Carey did a how to mix on VCA’s on the old ML series website that would be a good explanation of DCA’s.

    Profile photo of fcb

    Clintage –
    The groups are a type of mix. (auxes, LR, etc are also mixes)

    The matrix is a “mix” of mixes. So you only assign mixes to a matrix. You don’t assign inputs to a matrix.

    The DCAs are NOT mixes. They are like remote controls for any slider controlling an input or a mix. (although it does not move the slider)

    There are lots of different scenarios. Here are some scenarios where you might want want to use a DCA.

    Suppose you submix your inputs to groups (say drums group, vocal group, instrument group). Then you assign those 3 groups to LR main mix. You plan on running three sets of speakers: main speakers, front fills, and outfills. So to do this you create three matrices all fed from LR. 1 matrix for mains, 1 for front fills and 1 for outfills. You can set the levels for each set of speakers to your liking.

    So your signal routing looks like this:
    inputs -> groups -> LR -> Matricies

    Suppose your are doing a board recording based from the LR mix also. So it now looks like this:

    inputs -> groups -> LR -> (Recording and Matricies)

    Lets see now where a DCA would work well:
    LR feeds your output level to the speakers and it also feeds the recording level.
    So LR works as a master volume for your entire mix. So if you want to make the live volume louder or softer, you *could* grab the LR slider, but that would affect the recording and make the level change. Or, you could grab the matrix sliders but then
    you have to grab 3 sliders. So the issue here is that we do not have a MASTER volume that affects only the overall speaker output.

    You can use 1 single DCA to essentially control the 3 matrix outputs yielding you a MASTER volume control that preserves your relative levels matrix levels controlling main speakers, front fills and outfills. AND it would s not affect the recording level. The LR fader can stay put the whole night.

    So what you would do is make a DCA to that controls the 3 matrix outputs. So you have one single MASTER slider that controls that live volume that does not affect the recording level. Its almost like turning the amps down instead of riding LR all night.

    Another example would be controlling specific inputs.
    Consider controlling all microphone inputs (exclude anything that is direct input because it does not feed back) . You might assign all microphone inputs to be controlled by a dca. In case you get feedback, you can quickly reduce the input channels that are mics and leave the direct inputs unaffected. WHen you find the cause of feedback, you can turn the dca back up.

    Profile photo of fcb

    Another example would be having a master control for controlling several monitor mixes. So you would let a dca control say 5 aux outputs. So if you hear need to raise or lower ALL MONITORS on stage, you could use a single dca the aux sends for 5 mixes.

    Profile photo of schaibaa

    If you still don’t get it (there have been a few good explanations) .. it’s kind of like a fader “in front” of all the faders you assign to it.

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