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, 3 hours ago.

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    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    I do *NOT work excessively loud shows. Nor would I attend one.
    I had to go to a phish concert once (wifey insisted) but I had ear plugs AND ear muffs.
    It was still loud but back then it was just tolerable. We left at halftime anyway.

    I should also mention that I do a lot of spoken word corporate events that requires a completely different skill set.

    Profile photo of Dado

    [quote] If you try the external phantom power supply try connecting it’s output to the mixer using the 1/4 inch line input jack.[/quote]
    Yeah figured that.

    Profile photo of mixsit

    DM20 3mV/Pa -50dBV/Pa (in one place) 8mV/Pa (-42dBV/Pa) in the spec sheet.
    SM57 -56.0 dBV/Pa (1.6 mV)
    KSM 137 -37 dBV/Pa (14.1 mV)
    KSM9HS -50.5 dBV/Pa[1] (2.99 mV)
    KSM8 -51.5 dBV/Pa[1] (2.66 mV)

    “I am the first guy in the video. As you can see I am not bashing the drums too hard, but without some sort of pad the dm20 would send too hot of a signal for qu16 to handle. Zed12fx,though, handles it at -10db.”
    Thanks for posting the vid. Agreed and, the mic’s not even up in on the head as you often see on a snare.

    Now, if the DM20 ..(shown 3mV/Pa -50dBV/Pa in one place but 8mV/Pa -42dBV/Pa in the spec sheet, we’ll go with that), is 14 dB hotter than an SM57 in equal sound fields right?
    And the Shure attenuator -now known to work- but still these odd results that 15, 20, 25 dB padding can’t cure?

    “In any case, what do you guys think about the attenuator that behaves as if it was on the path bewteen the qu16 and computer and not between the mic and the qu16?”

    Just doesn’t add up.

    “Btw the signal is not being distorted when I hit my snare in a pop-jazzy manner or if my rimshots aren’t as violent as they tend to get. But, with any louder shots, there’s like 50% chance it would tear through our iems.
    The distortion is everywhere, pafl peaks into red, it tears the master out, as well as through the mixes. And finally it is the wav-file when I record multitracks, etc…”

    And here non stable [non-linear] levels?

    So many really odd things to sort out. One could ask a list of things to clarify but..
    I wish.. an hour or two hands on, your mic, mixer, pad, a tone generator.. Done.
    What is your location BTW? :>) Yeah long shot but WTF :>)

    Profile photo of Dado

    Hehe mixsit, I am in Bosnia…
    Just to clarify – When I say distortion is everywhere I mean only when snare is hit hard(er). On softer hits, pafl is ok, wav is ok… I am tempted to try and buy another attenuator.

    25db padding can cure the level but not the ear-tearing-rip-of-a-signal. Like I said, what this attenuator does, it acts like it is positioned after the signal has already been run through the mixer and it quietens the distorted signal, not preventing the distortion itself.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    Could you provide a complete clear accurate diagram of all the gear and how it is connected?
    what you are describing does not make sense to many folks here.

    If the attenuator is between the mike and the mixer
    AND as you claim it sounds like it is lessening an already distorted signal
    THEN your problem is not the mixer nor the attenuator but is what comes before the attenuator.

    And if the only thing before is the mike and the cable then either your mike *IS* distorting or somehow the cable did it.
    SO why is the mike distorting? Either the specs are wrong or you are hitting the drum kit too hard.

    Although there is the possibility that listening to dangerously high SPL levels of ‘music’ has damaged your ears and the problem really is with you.

    So could you post a short clip of the distortion along with the diagram of your entire equipment layout?
    That would help us help you better.

    Profile photo of garyh

    From the description, I still think the mic itself is distorting. Either faulty or just exceeding its design.

    Profile photo of Dado

    I am not the only one using the mixer(s), there is a whole band, so my “faulty” ears are out of equation 🙂 ie everybody heard that unpleasant tear when the dm20 is connected directly into the qu16.
    The latest recording we did was the one I posted here. But the equipment hardly ever changes: Currently I have 2 audix overheads adx51s, d2s and d4 on the toms, d6 on the kick, an i5 for bottom snare, and dm20 on snare-top. Everything goes directly into the mixer…Again, if I use a&h Zedfx mixer, everything is fine; at -10db of gain, even with gorilla shots on the snare, its pafl goes only into the yellow.
    With qu16 I can play moderate strokes on the snare, but with any stronger rimshots, it’s too hot of a signal.

    I’ll try to find how such recording looks like, or record some again. But I don’t claim it looks the way I described, it really is so.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    What @garyh said

    The evidence says it is the mike distorting.
    So either the mike is faulty or is being overloaded.

    Can you measure the peak SPL on the rimshots or snare when it distorts?
    Actual instantaneous peak not some slow measurement or weighted average?

    So you have any of the roll off switches activated?
    What if you have all 3 of them on ??

    Could you move it to the null in the cardioid instead of the normal position?

    The manual says:
    …In most cases the DM20 will
    not require the use of a pad to prevent overloading the … inputs on mixers, ….

    …the more sensitive units
    will not handle high mic levels at the preamp input will require the use of a pad
    to prevent the preamp from distorting.

    We encourage you to … to verify that the microphone preamp input will accommodate
    high levels of approximately

    [Going by memory but that seems like it could out of spec for AH mixer]

    My block diagram does not show any pad. Just the ability to lower input gain.
    So a pad inline with the mike before it goes anywhere else should work.

    The manual says:

    Some outboard preamplifiers, mixers or consoles may have a built-in mic preamp
    pad that can be switched in or out. However, on some models these pads are
    not attenuators that precede the preamplifier input and just reduce the gain of the
    preamplifier itself.

    Unless these preamplifiers will handle a high input level (i.e.
    +20dBV) these so called pads will typically provide no preamp input overload
    protection from microphones with high output levels


    … Some … mixers, … have actual pads that precede the preamplifier input.

    These types of pads will provide preamp inputoverload protection that is needed
    … If an external XLR type mic pad is needed, Earthworks
    offers a LevelPad™ which provides -20dB of attenuation and is simply
    plugged into the microphone cable. The DM20’s lower output level, in most cases,
    should not require an external pad when close-miking toms or snares.

    Profile photo of Dado

    Yep I read all that in the Earthworks manual. It would have to be the mic if that went on with any mixer. However, everything is ok when I use the zedfx. And when I say everything is ok I don’t just mean it’s ok when I am listening through my headphones/during rehearsals; the signal is also ok when recording stuff,the pafl is always in the green, etc.
    But, I would like to avoid using zedfx as a pad/preamp for the snare mic, especially when recording, if, for nothing else, because of potential signal quality issues.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    Could you post or link to an audio clip of just the snare drum with the distortion.

    By the way the playing in the video you posted was definitely not heavy handed drumming by any means.

    Profile photo of Dado

    OK guys here it is.
    The first pic is my “Earthworks dm20” mic going into the zedfx mixer bottomed out at -10db, and then routed to the qu16 at it’s lowest -5db.
    You can listen it here:
    I forgot to set the zedfx’s EQ to zeroes, so it has some eqing on it, however, the signal is healthy as you can see it.

    Now the next one is, again the same mic, now it is going through a shure attenuator, set to -15db, and into the qu16, again set to -5db. Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K4zkwvqXuk

    Finally, the third one is the dm20 going directly into the qu16, -5db.
    Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvAmfsxDU58

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    Profile photo of Dado

    st32.jpg is the first
    st34 is the second
    st35 is the third. After I posted the reply, the pic order got shuffled.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    The recording with Shure Pad and direct to QU were nasty!

    Do you get the same thing on any input channel?
    Have you had a chance to check the phantom power voltage
    at the mic XLR connector and or try an external phantom
    power supply?

    Profile photo of Dado

    Other things I tried were:
    -different input
    -different mic cable.

    No luck.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    This makes no sense.
    You certainly do not look like you are hitting the drums too hard.

    We need to list EVERYTHING that could be causing what you see to happen.

    Have you measured the peak instantaneous SPL level to see if it is below the mike spec.
    Have you measured the phantom voltage to see what is actually being delivered.
    Have you verified that the pad actually passes the phantom voltage?
    Can you try another of that mike model to see if the one you have is out of spec for max SPL?
    Have you verified ALL the settings and internal routing in the Qu so that nothing else could be causing the problem?
    There are likely other things that I have not thought of.
    Like Sherlock Holmes said, after you rule out everything else then whatever is left is the answer no matter how improbable.
    We just need to identify that last improbable thing and not overlook it.

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