Gain assistant is a bit quiet.

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Hugh Hugh 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #118432
    Profile photo of Mandel
    Mandel
    Participant

    Hi, I see that when I use ‘auto gain’ or ‘gain assistant’ my speakers are not as loud as I’m used to, (I was using until now the Yamaha MG mixer), and I do see that the lights at the gain meter, never reaches the top (meaning, it doesn’t reach peak). On the other hand, when I Set the gain manually and disable ‘gain assistant’, I make sure the meter light should reach peak “sometimes” (not often), and then my speakers are the same loud as I’m use to. So my question is, is my mixer defective? or thats how its suppose to be? Usually, the way to set gain is that it ‘should’ reach peak ‘occasionally’. Does this mixer have different rules on how to set gain manually? There are no instructions in the manual on how to set gain manually. (BTW, I did update the firmware ‘twice’ to be sure that its properly up to date.) Can you pls help me. Thank you very much

    #118437
    Profile photo of Lee7
    Lee7
    Participant

    The CQ gain assistant will always set the gain to hit around 0.db at its peak. Personally, I tend to set mine a little hotter were they are just hitting the yellow segment on those louder sections, but not permanently in the yellow or hitting the red. I generally do this with the vocal channels, but have the gain assistant set on snare and guitars as the drummer hits his snare harder when not singing, and the guitarist can sometimes increase in volume.

    #118458
    Profile photo of Mandel
    Mandel
    Participant

    @lee7 Yes, thats how I’m also used to set the gain on my other digital mixer. (That it should hit the yellow sometimes). So why did they set the ‘gain assistant’ to lower it that much? Is this mixer different? Is 0 dB the ideal gain level, of this mixer? Meaning, if I set it manually, should I reach the yellow, or not? Thank you for your valuable answer, at least I know my mixer is not defective. (I’m still not happy, that its not as loud, and if I deactivate ‘Gain assistant’ that means that I need to monitor the meter, which is very inconvenient to need to navigate to the screen that has the gain meter. Not so happy ): On the Qsc TM mixer, there is a peak light that is visible on all screens, no need to navigate to find it. So I would suggest ,or they should raise ‘gain assistant’ to the yellow, or they put a peak light, visible on all screens, so its easy to monitor. Does that make sense?

    #118463
    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H
    Moderator

    @mandel

    With an analogue mixer, clipping the signal can result in distortion/harmonics and reduction in dynamic range (compression).
    With digital when you clip, you can no longer represent the change in signal level at all, so it’s usually pretty horrible!
    For that reason around 0dB on the meter is what you should be aiming for and hitting the clip light is not the goal.
    At 0dB on the CQ meter, you have 18dB of headroom internally before digital clipping.

    0dB on the output meter will mean your output signal is at +4dBu, which is often referred to as ‘professional line level’.
    So the CQ isn’t quiet, but if you were running your previous mixer too hot, then in comparison, the CQ might be quieter.
    Reduced dynamic range and extra distortion caused by clipping can also make a signal perceptively louder.

    Presumably you’re connecting the CQ to a speaker processor, amplifier or powered speakers, so although you could run the CQ hot, I’d suggest this other equipment is probably designed to accept a +4dBu signal too, so to increase level, turn up the amp!

    Regarding Gain Assistant – Auto Set will listen to the input signal and adjust the gain so that it’s peaking around 0dB. Auto Gain will then only kick in if the signal is too hot and starting to peak. Whenever peaking is detected (well, just before peaking), Auto Gain will pull back the gain a little. If then, you were manually setting your gain to try to get close to peaking and then engaging Auto Gain, you’d definitely be seeing a big difference in level as the Gain Assistant tries to get the level back to it’s optimum for processing, around 0dB.

    Thanks,
    Keith.

    #118491
    Profile photo of Mandel
    Mandel
    Participant

    Wow Can’t thank you enough for the detailed clear information. God bless you.

    #118854
    Profile photo of Bonecat
    Bonecat
    Participant

    Keith,

    A related question, if you would indulge me. As Auto Gain monitors the signal level in a channel, will it also increase gain if it sees a signal that is below optimal level for some amount of time? Or is the adjustment always one-way?

    In our use case (busy cover band running sound from the stage during performance) Unexpected changes in gain create issues for stability of the mix and this in turn creates issues with IEM users who have been trying to tweak their in-ear mix while performing. In this environment, these kinds of distractions can disrupt a performers flow and negatively affect the band’s overall performance.

    Many thanks,

    Phil

    #118855
    Profile photo of Lee7
    Lee7
    Participant

    @phil,

    Sadly not, AG will only reduce gain and then slowly increase back to it’s original state.

    #118872
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Keith has provided some very informative you-tube infomercials pursuant to the “Gain assist” tool offered in the CQ line. I never was left with a notion that it is a substitute for dynamic range control that the internal compressor and/or limiter are well designed to accomplish. Apparently it’s primary function is establishing a very quick & accurate initial gain structure: not dynamic range control.
    Hugh

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