Qu 16 and overheads

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This topic contains 47 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Showtime Showtime 6 days, 4 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 48 total)
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  • #92511
    Profile photo of Dado
    Dado
    Participant

    A few months ago I got myself an Earthworks dm20 condenser instrument mic (generally used for drums (snare and toms)) and issues I had with it were that it had such a hot signal that QU16’s preamp could not handle. At least not with the max -5db it has on gain control. Long story short, I (kind of) solved that situation with a preamp and/or attenuator in between the mic and the qu16.
    Now, I am in market for getting myself at least a condenser hihat mic or a pair of overhead mics. Currently the overheads I am using are Audix Adx51s. So, let’s say I narrowed down my choices for a hihat mic (or a new pair of overheads) to Shure sm81 and Shure ksm137.
    The first question, if the music that is being played/recorded is louder rock/metal, can I expect both of these mics to perform ok with the qu16, and without needing to go for additional attenuation, like I had to do with the Earthworks dm20?

    Second, I suppose many of you sound guys have had experience with the above mentioned sm81 and ksm137. What could be the overall best choice between these two for a hihat and overheads?
    My idea was to first go for a pair for overheads and use the audix adx51 I already have for the hihat. But the more I watched reviews on yt, I figured that Adx51s are actually a good choice for overheads.
    Then again, I just might go for a pair of shures and mix all four for hihat and overheads. In any case, I guess you see what my dilemma is, but the dealbraker would definitely be the first thing I mentioned in this post – any of the mics being too hot for the qu16. I don’t want that 🙂
    So, yeah, I’d appreciate your thoughts here. Thanks

    #92531
    Profile photo of DoctorG
    DoctorG
    Participant

    I don’t have experience with these mics, so I can’t answer your question directly. However, there are a number of XLR attenuator adapters that you can use inline to reduce a mic signal by 10 to 20 dB, some with switchable levels of attenuatio0n. This should solve your problem fairly inexpensively – $11 to $40.

    #92536
    Profile photo of Dado
    Dado
    Participant

    A $40 shure attenuator did not solve the problem I had with the earthworks dm20. So I wish to avoid them altogether.

    #92538
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    I remember your earlier post.

    Do you know anyone who has one of the Allen Heath stage boxes you could try with your QU16?
    The stage box inputs have a 20db pad as part of the pre-amp, there is three versions of stage box, an 8 , 16 and 24 channel. Any of those work as a test.
    If the stage box works with the mics while an added expense one maybe handy to have
    for your set up.

    #92547
    Profile photo of Dado
    Dado
    Participant

    Mike C, I asked around, but no A&H stageboxes around… 🙁

    #92550
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Too bad your not in my area, I would bring one by and we could test it with your
    system.

    For what it’s worth using a stage box with a QU lets you get a couple more mic
    inputs by routing the stereo inputs to a stage box mic input channel.

    #92554
    Profile photo of mixsit
    mixsit
    Participant

    QU16 here but only have used it on fairly lite hitter kits, ribbon and dynamic mics though. I was curious so did some poking around to see if ‘pads on drums came up, saw you had an earlier thread as well.
    I thought the DM20 might be like their QTC-1 -which can put out damn near line level anywhere near a drum, but this is not the case. The KSM (fairly typical for condensers) is actually hotter than the DM, but then provides a pad.
    https://earthworksaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DM20-Data-Sheet-2019.pdf
    https://pubs-api.shure.com/file/259928
    This one might be work asking at prosound web. Several QU users there I believe.
    https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?board=10.0

    #92587
    Profile photo of Dado
    Dado
    Participant

    Update:
    I did some recording yesterday and ended up removing the shure attenuator. I (again) used my analog mixer, the zedfx, as sort of an attenuator for the snare mic, as that mixer’s gain goes -10db, and then routed that signal into the qu16 with its -5db. Not only there was no hot signal to get in the way of recording, but it (wave) also had a normal .wav shape when I magnified it in the software.
    Now, this leads me to believe that the shure pad/attenuator I have is not working properly or it simply can’t handle the dm20.
    What do you guys think?

    #92589
    Profile photo of mixsit
    mixsit
    Participant

    The Zed in the path lets any amount of reduced level sent to the QU. So, unknown.
    Assuming here you used the TRS line level input on the QU? (pads another 10dB.
    The Shure pad would be easy to test. Some constant repeatable source, with the inline pad, and without it in the path. (if it is the one with three settings? Should see four steps in level.

    #92593
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Maybe try using an external phantom power supply (one that delivers a true 48 volts) and then use an XLR to 1/4 inch TRS plug to connect to the mixers line in jack.

    #92599
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Dado

    I think you are playing too loud:)

    #92606
    Profile photo of Dado
    Dado
    Participant

    It is so strange (at least for me) the 3 step attenuation on the shure. It’s like it does reduce the signal by 15,20,25db, but it also does not prevent the signal to be too hot. I don’t know how else to explain this. Imagine that I’m recording and without the attenuator, the wave form is all over the screen and distorted because it is being too hot. When I introduce the shure att. it reduces the signal volume by, you name it 15,20 or 25db,but the waveform is still overloaded, too hot, as if I attached the attenuator between the qu and the computer, and not between the mic and the qu.

    #92607
    Profile photo of garyh
    garyh
    Participant

    Is it possible the sound pressure is actually causing the mic diaphragm to reach its physical limit. If the diaphragm itself is distorting, no signal attenuation will fix it.

    #92608
    Profile photo of garyh
    garyh
    Participant

    …and an analog board is just shaping the overload distortion?

    #92609
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Dado

    Have you measured the SPL level of your instrument when you play?
    Short term peak with a really good device not a cheap handheld.
    seems strange you are the only one I know with that mike that is to loud.
    of course other folks do use the attenuators but they do not have the problems you claim to encounter.

    What is the spec on max SPL from your mike’s manual?

    If it is that hot why couldn’t you go straight to the line input.
    With some sort of impedance matching transformer device if needed.

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