less output than other boards

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    Profile photo of Guyesquire

    I own a QU24 and my friend owns a QU16. We both feel the boards have less output than other boards meaning the system isn’t as loud because the amps are not getting as hot of a signal. I used to run my mains at unity gain now I have to push well past unity gain for the same volume. Some other boards have an output knob on the back which I liked. Has anyone else noticed that and any solutions for increasing output from the board.

    Profile photo of GCumbee

    When I first started using my demo 16 I thought the same thing. As a dealer and Systems Integrator I have installed several of all models. I typically put speaker processors on the output so I do make up gain there if needed or even in the amp racks.

    I just got used to it I guess. I have need put a meter on the output sometime and measure it loaded and unloaded. Maybe I will verify that someday. Will see where +4 1.25 volts actually is on the meters.

    Profile photo of Gordon

    As long as you maintain good gain structure throughout the mixer, there should be enough at the outputs to deliver the goods. I keep my input gains close to 0dB, (on the PAFL meters,) I use makeup gain when I compress, and I negative EQ only sparingly. Frankly, I don’t recall ever running my Master fader higher than about -5 dB.

    I suppose the end result really depends on how much speaker system and power you have available. For example, my floor wedges are high power. The monitors seem to have so much available level that they can blow your hair back if pushed even a little. I can rarely get my Monitor Faders higher than about -15 or so…and maybe less with a low ceiling.

    Profile photo of dpdan

    I tend to agree that the output voltage of my QU 24 is not as hot as my other previously owned consoles, including A&H analog consoles.

    Profile photo of cornelius78

    I have a theory that the output could be lower in order to keep the heat down, as there’s no internal fan. I know B******** did a similar thing with their XR series of mixers: no fan, (despite the presence of a mounting spot for one,) so they’ve kept the output lower so as to not generate as much heat.

    Profile photo of GCumbee

    I figure if it is in fact lower then it is a reference thing. In other words the basis reference on the output meter in digital terms rather than analog. I have never taken the time to check that. So 0 ref to +4 1.25v like on an analog console may not be same. These maybe at -12 or 18. Push it harder 😄

    Profile photo of Andreas

    …temperature issue, funny idea… 😉
    Seriously, what “drop” are we talking about? 1dB? 3dB? 6dB or even more?
    The system is specified to produce +4dBu at 0dB meter level, as most other mixers I know. Some do have sort of output trim which allows to dial in additional gain, some may have more headroom above 0dB (than +18dB), others have more (maybe “green”, don’t remember) leds above nominal 0dB or place the 0dB mechanically lower on the faders. At least I never had the feeling the output signals are somewhat low.
    But I have to admit to have a similar feeling on my first touch, before realizing I’m just placing the master faders way below nominal level. In fact the last third provides about 15dB volume range, small movement do make a big difference there.

    Profile photo of Dags

    Yep – I also think that the output is lower than on, say, A&H analogue desks when using similar gain staging for inputs and master fader at unity.
    The uber-tech at the venue I work at also commented that the level meters displaying master output level rarely reach the orange, even with the inputs cranked and all vocal mic faders at unity (PFL for each channel shows that the input is hitting about right and taps into the orange regularly)
    We generally have the master fader at Unity, so there’s still a little room for extra output if we need to push the faders a bit more.

    But it’s not an issue for me so far – I’ll just hire a more powerful set of speakers if need be 🙂

    Profile photo of ianhind

    I never use the XLR mains on mine, so I can’t comment on that exactly, but I will say this.

    I run a Qu through the AES output into a Waves MaxxBCL AES input.

    From my experience, even if I clip the red LED’s on the Qu output, my Waves unit still has digital headroom left over.

    In other words, it seems that the clip indicators on the Qu are BEFORE actual clipping, which would result in the overall output to be lower.

    Because it’s a digital console, clipping is BAD! So I’m assuming A&H did this to prevent terrible output from novice engineers.

    Even if a beginner was clipping their master, there’s still actually headroom left to avoid digital overs.

    My $0.02 which theoretically seems correct.

    Profile photo of Nicola A&H
    Nicola A&H

    Hi All,

    As Andreas says, our meters are calibrated so that 0dB equals to +4dBu on an analogue XLR output. If you put a sine wave at 0dB on the Main LR and measure the signal at the output, you should get the same reading as any other desk rated +4dBu nominal.

    However, with program material / live music, it’s important to understand that different meter ballistics can behave very differently. Qu meters are very fast response, absolute peak meters. This ensures you keep control and avoid digital clipping of signals including those with very fast dynamics, but it means that they read hotter than other desks people are used to. So yes, in many situations this means going ‘into the yellow’ to get the same output level of a desk with slower or RMS meters showing 0dB. This is a result of the metering behaviour and should NOT be confused with lack of headroom. The maximum output level before clipping is +22dBu so there is plenty of headroom.

    Another common cause of confusion is the meter scale. Some other digital mixers present a dBFS scale (relative to full scale). We use an analogue style scale instead.

    @ianhind – The Peak LEDs on Qu turn on 3dB before clipping to warn you before audible distortion. They are also multi-point i.e. they sense the signal at several points within the channel.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    I did some tests with the siggen and a loop back cable to test the clipping indicators – there is a post on here somewhere.

    But basically the clip light comes on at a few dB down, the sine wave was still fine at 0dBFS, although audacity labelled it clipped, and only after that did it go pete tong.

    This is one of the benefits of the 24 bit depth – you don’t need to push the red to get a noise free recording.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    Profile photo of

    And isnt it lovely having a fanless mixer with no fan driven power supply 😐

    However on saying that I have a USB stick [sandisc extreme] that sings to me when I put it into the QU-drive?
    [when its driving or accepting the update]

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    Sings to you? The drive itself, or the known interference with ST3?

    Profile photo of Dan

    If you need some extra level on the output, insert the compressor and crank up the makeup gain… Board has quite a bit of headroom.

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