GLD80 – Something Changed?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of GCumbee GCumbee 7 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #36091
    Profile photo of Joe Hinkens
    Joe Hinkens
    Participant

    At last nights gig I got several reports that our sound quality had diminished from previous performances. The descriptions included “not as clear or articulate as usual”, “the vocals are hard to understand”, “it sounds like something is drifting in and out of phase”. We’re running the GLD80 into a pair of active Fulcrum FA28ac tops and a pair of active RCF 8004as subs. Typically, this combination results in an incredibly good sound quality, absolutely superb.

    I’m at a disadvantage to identify the problem because I was playing guitar and mixing from the stage. (Of course I realize mixing from the stage is less than ideal) Usually, it’s a ‘set it and forget it’ setup. All 5 of us are on stereo mix in-ears, no wedges, guitars (Fractal), bass, keys, e-drums all direct. Everyone has a pre-fader aux mix, except my aux mix is post fader and set about unity, so I’m hearing the FOH mix for the most part. Everyone’s ‘ear’ mix sounded great.

    One thing I should mention that has happened a couple times in the past couple months, I think may be related to the Dante card and/or our Superior Drummer drum software. As you can see in the image below, we run a Macbook Pro connected to the GLD80 via the Dante card. We run Superior Drummer software for the drums, along with Presonus Studio One DAW, and DMXIS lighting control software. Sometimes, and I’m not sure of the exact sequence, but when I launch the software on the Mac, channel 17 (vox channel) on the GLD80 immediately shows the level meter at full red and renders the other channels non functional. When I close the software and restart the GLD80, everything is fine again. Last night when this happened, I quickly opened the preferences for the audio device selected in Superior Drummer and saw that the Dante Virtual Soundcard was selected which is normal. I clicked on it anyway and I heard a minor click through the PA speakers and everything began to function normally.

    Finally, one other issue I’ve been wanting to ask about is how to properly set the gain staging with the GLD80. Presently, the input meters on our drum channels (1 & 2) sometimes tickle the red, for instance when the snare is hit hard, or the drummer does a loud fill. I notice that this in turn tickles the red on the Mains output fader, and also on the Aux monitor mix outputs. I can’t hear any clipping at all. If I reduce the fader position of the drums (1 & 2), of course the meter on the ‘Mains’ output fader stays out of the red but then the level of the drums in the mix isn’t high enough. I’ve got the levels on the speaker tops and subs set at 1 o’clock and 12 o’clock respectively. I’d just like to know if tickling the red on the meters when a snare is hit is something I need to avoid?

    Thanks,
    Joe

    #36096
    Profile photo of Chris93
    Chris93
    Participant

    Red is bad, but if it’s not audible it it’s not really a problem. What sort of input levels do you have coming into all your other channels? Do you run the drums extremely loud in the mix?

    What vocals mics do you use and how much gain do have set on them?

    If you can’t get stuff loud enough without running into clipping it would suggest a lack of gain in your PA. How much headroom have you got left in the PA after the GLD clips? If you can turn the PA up and turn the GLD down that should take care of the problem. You could also put a limiter on the drum channels. Turn the input gain down 6dB, set a limiter at -6dBFS shortest attack and release, highest ratio, and put 5dB of output gain on it. It won’t clip but will affect the sound.

    Clipping the main outs could certainly make it sound “less articulate”, but it’s unlikely to be the issue if it’s only “tickling the red when the snare is hit”. Stupid suggestion, but if something was “drifting in and out of phase” I’d be having a look at the FX rack. 🙂

    Do you record the shows?

    Chris

    #36098
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    I had thought about replying to this yesterday but felt it was so complicated and so many areas to consider I was not sure. I agree with Chris. Sounds to me like you have a gain structure problem overall. You should be able to tweak down the levels on the boards and bring the amps up on the speakers a little more and correct that. I am assuming there is nothing else in between the board and the powered speakers?

    With regard to overall sound quality you just have to get out there in front and hear for yourself. I never take the word of anyone unless I really trust their knowledge. Surely in a sound check you can drop out and see how it sounds. Or get someone who is a musician or sound engineer you trust. You can’t judge it on stage on the backside of the cabinets. As for the phase thing I am with Chris too. Something weird there. Make sure all of you balanced cables are wired the same and everything is the same. Lines to speakers etc. I have seen one cable out of phase make things sound out.

    You have a pretty complicated setup. There is a lot of room for problems if everything is not happy.

    #36105
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    It sounds to me that he has a PA problem and isn’t aware of this… because he is on stage 🙂

    Mostly the PA is sounding different in different venues,
    even if humidity and temperature changes if the audience is coming into the venue.
    And the audience itself changes acoustics as well.

    This happens of course after the sound check….

    #36113
    Profile photo of Joe Hinkens
    Joe Hinkens
    Participant

    Thanks for the note Chris.

    Red is bad, but if it’s not audible it it’s not really a problem. What sort of input levels do you have coming into all your other channels? Do you run the drums extremely loud in the mix?

    I try and keep the meters around 0dB, but I’ll admit the 2 drum channels were well above that typically around 6dB. For last nights gig, I reduced the gain by 2dB on every input channel so theoretically the overall mix would stay the same. Then I just bumped the main fader up a tad. This seemed to work fine and I only saw the meters hit the red on a couple of occasions.

    What vocals mics do you use and how much gain do have set on them?

    We’re using all Audix OM5’s except for the lead singer who’s running a Sennheiser 935. I just checked and we’re running 16dB – 18dB gain on all the mics.

    If you can’t get stuff loud enough without running into clipping it would suggest a lack of gain in your PA. How much headroom have you got left in the PA after the GLD clips? If you can turn the PA up and turn the GLD down that should take care of the problem. You could also put a limiter on the drum channels. Turn the input gain down 6dB, set a limiter at -6dBFS shortest attack and release, highest ratio, and put 5dB of output gain on it. It won’t clip but will affect the sound.

    I’m not quite following you on setting the limiter Chris. You suggested ‘Turn the input gain down 6dB, set a limiter at -6dBFS”. I’m assuming the -6dBFS would be the threshold setting. Is that right?

    Clipping the main outs could certainly make it sound “less articulate”, but it’s unlikely to be the issue if it’s only “tickling the red when the snare is hit”. Stupid suggestion, but if something was “drifting in and out of phase” I’d be having a look at the FX rack. 🙂

    It’s interesting that you mentioned the FX Chris. Saturday, I auditioned the recording from our Friday gig and I found the FX on the vocals to be a bit much so I backed them off. But I also noticed I had the ‘2 Tap Delay’ selected for the delay on vocals. I hit the ‘link’ button to revert to a single delay and that cleaned it up a lot. When we got to the gig on Saturday night, I played back our Friday recording with the few tweaks I had made. Then I made a couple adjustments on the GEQ. A very minor boost at 2.4GHz really made things sparkle nicely. So I’m not really sure what those reports were all about on Friday night, but Saturday night we got nothing but positive comments and many of the patrons were blown away by the excellent sound quality.

    But just to make sure I don’t hit the red, I’m going to boost the gain on the PA speakers. Presently the subs are set and noon, and the tops about 1 o’clock so I’ve got lots of headroom left there. Many thanks for your input.

    Do you record the shows?

    Chris

    #36114
    Profile photo of Joe Hinkens
    Joe Hinkens
    Participant

    I had thought about replying to this yesterday but felt it was so complicated and so many areas to consider I was not sure. I agree with Chris. Sounds to me like you have a gain structure problem overall. You should be able to tweak down the levels on the boards and bring the amps up on the speakers a little more and correct that. I am assuming there is nothing else in between the board and the powered speakers?

    With regard to overall sound quality you just have to get out there in front and hear for yourself. I never take the word of anyone unless I really trust their knowledge. Surely in a sound check you can drop out and see how it sounds. Or get someone who is a musician or sound engineer you trust. You can’t judge it on stage on the backside of the cabinets. As for the phase thing I am with Chris too. Something weird there. Make sure all of you balanced cables are wired the same and everything is the same. Lines to speakers etc. I have seen one cable out of phase make things sound out.

    Thanks GC,
    I think you’re spot on with the soundcheck suggestion. I always get out front with some of our previously recorded material. As I mentioned in my previous post, when I auditioned the mix during our soundcheck last night, it sounded great.
    I would like to check the cables to be sure they’re all OK. I’m not certain exactly how to do this. Is it simply checking to be sure Pin 1 to Pin 1, Pin 2 to Pin 2, etc? Just a simple cable tester?

    You have a pretty complicated setup. There is a lot of room for problems if everything is not happy.

    Yea, sometimes I’m wondering if I’m making more work than necessary. The drum sound we get is pretty awesome. Superior Drummer software really let’s us dial things in where the drums sound completely real, maybe better. But now I’m wondering if the modern drum modules available (Roland, D-Drum, 2 Box) might equal the Superior Drummer sound quality, without all the hassle of added software and hardware components.
    Thanks,
    Joe

    #36115
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    Joe: Yes simple cable checker or multimeter. Likely cables are not affecting sound quality. They either work or they don’t or they crackle or something. Nowadays it is hard to get impedances mismatched. It can happen but most things are low out and high(bridging) in. Good luck

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