Rookie QU16 Questions – vocal fx routing

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This topic contains 67 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of volounteer volounteer 1 year, 12 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 68 total)
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  • #92882
    Profile photo of TobiVI
    TobiVI
    Participant

    Volounteer,

    You said some of that correctly, and some sounds not quite correct.

    The QU routes one effect to only one of the following choices; 1) single channel via insert, 2) single mix buss via insert, 3) single FX buss, and 4) single channel to a different single channel to be used as a ‘return fader. A single effect can only be applied to multiple channels using one of the 2 FX busses. But, yes, once the 4 effect slots are assigned to a channel/mix bus insert or an FX mix you are out of assignable effects.

    For example, I have a gated verb, FX4, on the snare channel. FX4 is not available to assign to any other channel, mix, or FX buss. To see how this works, press the FX button and go to the FX slot you want to assign and press the ‘Front Panel’ button if you cannot see the assignment screen. The QU looks here to find where the effect signal is coming from and where it will go after assigned. Once you select the ‘Inset’ assignment, you can only pick a channel or mix to use for the ‘insert loop’. This is very similar to an analog mixer, using an insert cable from an effect and plugging it into the ‘insert’ jack on the channel or mix you want to insert the effect on.

    I have an SQ5 and a QU16, and this is the same on the SQ also. But on the SQ, you can subgroup channels in ‘groups’, then apply a common effect as an insert. This is easiest to understand my imagining a specific compressor setting applied to all the drum toms. But, again, one setting applied for all the channels in the subgroup. I believe the larger frame QU mixers also have groups, which could be used in this way. All QU mixers have DCAs, but it’s important to mention you cannot insert effects on a DCA because DCAs are not actual busses. DCAs are simply a single fader that ‘moves’ all the physical faders in the DCA the same amount at the same time.

    You mentioned running a single effect for multiple vocal channels. There are only 2 FX busses on the QU16. If you need more, I can only think of one work around for you on the QU16. It’s a bit complicated and it requires losing a Mix aux out and a ST input for each set of ‘grouped effect’ channels, but it can give you 2 more pseudo effect return busses if you can spare the mix busses;

    1. Set up a mix buss, say MIX5-6, to be assigned Post Fader.
    2. Because mix busses cannot be assigned to anything other than an AUX out jack on the QU, physically patch the MIX output jacks, MIX5-6 in this example, back into the mixer via the ST1 input jacks using patch cables.
    3. Pick an effect slot, assign the desired effect to that slot, and route it to insert on MIX5-6.
    4. On the MIX5-6 layer, select each channel send like you would an effect send buss. Remember, because it’s a post-fader buss, unity gain (0 db) on the fader will send the same signal to the MIX5-6 Master as is set on the actual Layer 1 channel fader.
    5. Set the MIX5-6 Master at unity gain.
    6. Send signal into the mixer. Check to make sure the input level to the effect is at or below 0 db. Then set the ST1 input trim to make sure the input stage is also at or below 0 db so it is not being over driven.
    7. During soundcheck, use the ST1 fader on Layer 2 to set the amount of effect you want sent to your main mix speakers.

    This method allows you to set the channel EQs and processing uniquely before it is sent to the effect, but the effect parameters would be applied the same for all channels sent. Also, for easy on/off control of the effect, you can assign a Soft button to mute MIX5-6 output. This will make sure the effect will ‘spill’ until, say, the echo repeats are done. If you want the mute button to ‘choke’ the effect instantly, assign the mute to ST1.

    This how I used to buss outboard effect units from an output aux buss back into a stereo channel input on analog mixers for better control and EQ of the returned effect sound. You can also do this with another effect slot because there are 4 effect slots and only 2 FX busses. Just use one of the other stereo mix buss outputs and ST2 for the return patching.

    There may be someone more experienced with the QU mixer that might help give you an easier workaround for adding an FX slot to multiple channels once the FX busses are consumed.

    Good luck!

    #92883
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    As was stated much earlier the QU16 can have four effects processors. It comes with two effects slots pre patched, to use the other two you need to assign them to a mix and a channel to return them on, more less like patching an effect unit into an analog board.
    To patch the effects units you need to select the back panel view to input output routing options.

    With a QU32 you can have four total effects processors that are pre assigned. What ever the settings are per processor are what all the channels get short of the actual mix level. The mix level is determined the the FX send level when you go into an FX layer mode and the channel faders
    all become basically what was the aux level knob on an analog board. Same as selecting a mix layer and bringing up a channel or channels in a stage monitor.

    Effects such as reverb and delay are rarely inserted directly into a channel, they would be operating in series with the channel strip then, running effects through a mix/aux to a from a channel they operate in parallel with the channels who effects mix is brought up.

    Dynamic effects such as gates and compressors are normally inserted into a channel or into a buss. They are already “inserted” all you need to do is turn them on in the channel or in the mix output processing menu.

    A work of caution, do not turn up an effects own effect mix level, actually turn off the routing assignment to be safe.

    The effects are routed just like you would do with an analog board, aux out on the board to the effects input, effects output sent to a stereo return or unused mixer input channel.
    You bring up the master aux send level and then on the channels that you want to add some of that effect to you bring up the aux send on that channel.

    Just make sure you mute the effects returns in between songs, nothing screams amateur hour more than listening to someone talk with there voice still layered in effects.

    #92884
    Profile photo of DFT
    DFT
    Participant

    @TobiVI …

    Hmmmm … I don’t have time to digest all of your great post on the QU16 at the moment, and I’m sure there are multiple ways to go. But the Mix Channels I’ve selected to host FX3 and FX4 work exactly like FX1 and FX2 on my mixer. That is, if I select Mix 5/6 where FX3 is routed and then using the lower level I can send from every channel just exactly as when I’m using FX1 or FX2.

    That’s where what you say about FX3 and FX4 hosted on a Mix Channel confuses me.

    #92885
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @DFT

    I think FX12 and FX34 are essentially the same concept.

    I also think that if you are careful you can use any of them in any of the various places you insert.

    I have found in some cases there are two paths to do the same thing on the Qu.
    If there is some subtle difference then I may have been lucky as it did not bite me yet.
    So suspect you identified an alternate way to do the same thing.

    #92886
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @TobiVI

    Thanks.
    I am sure I misstated some things as I am still trying to fully grok what is inside from just the block diagram.

    I will read your post carefully and cogitate to hopefully get a better idea of what is actually happening.

    @mikec

    Thanks for the practical tips and further explanation.

    #92888
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @TobiVI

    Okay I read it and think I understand what you said.

    We actually use the Qu32 even if the OP was about a Qu16.

    Looking at the blockdiagram it sure looks like I could put an fx on a group and then run as many channels through that group as I wanted to get the fx on all of them. You mentioned that for SQ but the Qu block diagram looks like it could do it too unless there are some restrictions in the fine print that I missed when I read the manual.

    #92889
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Looking at the blockdiagram it sure looks like I could put an fx on a group and then run as many channels through that group as I wanted to get the fx on all of them. You mentioned that for SQ but the Qu block diagram looks like it could do it too unless there are some restrictions in the fine print that I missed when I read the manual.

    Do not put the FX on a group, just bring up the FX sends to the level of FX you want
    on the channels you want the FX on. You can still assign those channels to a group
    for over all level control, group compression and EQ.
    You have four different FX processor slots that can be loaded with various effect types
    in the library in any combination you want.

    #92894
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    I think somewhere above, there was a little confusion about the number of effects returns on a Qu-16.

    The Qu-16 has 4 effects returns channels, even though there’s only the 2 FX send busses. So running all 4 FX units in Send > Return mode (which gives the most control and flexibility) requires 2 mixes to be used as the effect sends (setup on the back of the unit) but will not need to use up any of the desk’s available input channels.

    #92896
    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H
    Moderator

    There are some videos which were uploaded by Rob McLaughlin recently that might help here (link below). Much of it comes from the approach of understanding an analogue setup which is great too, as a lot of the questions we see on FX are from users who are coming from computer mixing to digital hardware, rather than from an analogue to a digital setup.

    With a computer of course, ‘FX’ or ‘plugins’ might mean any kind of audio processing (including EQ or dynamics), and are often applied on a track by track basis.
    Once the RackFX units are treated in the same way as ‘ye old school external multi effects rack units’ however, and the concept of sends on faders is understood, the FX routing and workflow of the Qu (and our other consoles) becomes a bit easier to visualise.

    Disclaimer – I haven’t watched through all of these or any in detail but the sections I have seen are well explained with great analogies and examples so…
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCepIavD0Gu54Vl68iuhroxA

    Cheers,
    Keith.

    #92898
    Profile photo of TobiVI
    TobiVI
    Participant

    @volounteer

    Yes, I also think you can insert effects on groups in the QU32 without issues. The only limitation I can think of is you must control the wet/dry (effects return, essentially) from the inserted FX screen, same as any effect that is inserted rather than bussed. If you anticipate your effect return levels will remain constant (like an inserted snare drum verb) for an FX, I would use the group insert approach if only for workflow simplicity’s sake. You can still apply group compression and EQ regardless of the FX insert, so it makes workflow easier if a single effect setting on that group works for your show. If you need to change the send mix or return level for the group effect often during a show, then using the FX mix busses is the right approach, but there are more creative solutions available using outboard effects if you need more than the 4 onboard effects at one time. For example, the SQ5 has 8 FX slots and 4 FX busses on faders. I insert a snare verb on a channel, insert a room verb on the group with toms and overheads, insert de-essers on 2 lead vocal channels (to get separate effect control for each), and use 4 ambients on the 4 FX fader busses (doubler, room, hall, and delay with tap tempo) that I change often. Then I set a console layer layer with all the DCAs, Groups, FX returns, and monitor sends on one layer so the workflow during the show does not require layer flips. You can use this same approach on the QU32 to get at 5 to 7 effects at once using the programmable ‘Custom’ layer for control, but you need to make use of external effects, a few Mix busses, and some ST returns.

    Maybe this has given you some ideas that might help with overcoming the 4 FX limitation of the QU. Good luck!

    #92899
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @TobiVI

    Thanks for all your tips.

    I suspect that this may be all academic knowledge for me as it is unlikely that our church will need to make such changes. And I will never be able to afford a Qu for home use.

    OTOH they do need one change I have suggested but they ignore that. Well actually two, as I also said they need to tune the room with the pink noise generator. Right now they EQ mikes a lot and the LR out is flat.

    The other one was for upwards compression on the pastors mike(s) as I computed the optimum understandability parameters based on our background noise. The paper I used to guide the computation said we need an SPL level of 65dB for the audience with a range of (senior moment here) of ten dB or maybe +/- 10dB. But they prefer to ride the faders to keep up with his speaking level.
    That is okay for the regular pastor but we had a guest who had extreme ranges that FOH could not handle.

    #92901
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    In the big picture of things if you can’t create a good solid live mix with an out of the box Qu32 and it’s four built in FX processors the problem is not with the hardware.

    #92903
    Profile photo of DFT
    DFT
    Participant

    @markpaman … I think you reiterate exactly what I said. This was a ‘Rookie QU-16 Questions …’ thread and it seems some are giving advice for the QU 24 or 32 units which have the 4 dedicated FX busses. That confuses the issues.

    #92907
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    This was a ‘Rookie QU-16 Questions …’ thread and it seems some are giving advice for the QU 24 or 32 units which have the 4 dedicated FX busses. That confuses the issues.

    I’ll take some of the blame for turning this thread into an general QU effects thread.

    Marks right about all four of the QU16 effects returns already assigned and just needed the two additional effects mix sends patched if you need to use the two additional effects processors.
    With my QU16 I’ve only needed all four effects a few times!

    In the big picture of things if you can’t create a good solid live mix with an out of the box Qu32 and it’s four built in FX processors the problem is not with the hardware.

    I’ll modify that comment to say any QU series mixer.

    #92908
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mikec

    I would modify that to say large rock style event type live mixes.
    We hardly use the whole capability of the Qu32 for a church setting.

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