SQ6 Questions about (Routing, Digital Stageblocks and preamp, PEQ etc)

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Ralph Ralph 3 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Ralph

    Hi, I am quite new to this world and I have a little bit of general knowledge about the SQ6.
    I am currently 16 years old and I take care of the light and sound at my school. At school I use a SQ6 for the audio. I have been doing this for several months now, but I’m running into a few things, so that is why I am here, and I hope you can help!

    1. For music evenings at our school, there are often many different instruments, each with its own preamp, gate, HPF, PEQ and compressor. On my SQ6 this is already available for a number of instruments in the library, but instruments such as trumpets, saxophones and grand pianos are missing. Is there a library for this online somewhere that I can load onto my SQ6?

    2. For these music evenings we often also have a number of inputs for the same category, such as singing or a drum kit. I can find DCA and groups on my SQ6, but I really have no idea what to use and when. I have watched all the videos about the SQ6 on YouTube, but they focus more on how it works rather than when to use it. I already looked at this forum: https://community.allen-heath.com/forums/topic/when-to-use-dcas-and-when-to-stick-with-groups
    But I didn’t quite find the answer there either. I also saw this video on this forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMMmR1u0CFk. But many groups were used here, while I only find 4 in my SQ Mixpad under the Mix heading. In addition to these 4 groups, I also find 8 aux outputs that I use for the monitors, and next to them are my LR and 3 mixed groups. In that video he makes a separate group for L and R, but I would have no idea how to approach that. Then he sends the groups through a VCA again, while on my SQ6 I only find 8 DCA. I also see a tablat with MIDI with 32 different options.
    Below are my specific questions:
    Can anyone tell me what to use when (DCA, Group, Mix Group) and how to set it up?
    What is MIDI and what can you use it for?
    What is VCA?

    3. And then I have another question that is fairly unrelated to this:
    We currently use an analog stage block for our music evenings and we want to switch to a digital stage block with SLink. We use a maximum of 28 inputs. I looked for an Allen & Heath stage block but I only found stage blocks of 16, 24 or 48 channels. 16 is not enough for us, we are considering possibly buying 2 and linking them. 24 is still too little for us, so that is actually not an option. 48 is really way too much and is also too expensive for us. Now I was looking at stage blocks with 16 inputs and I found the AB168, among others. This also does not need to be built in and can easily be taken with you. I also saw the DX168. They have the same number of inputs and outputs, but the DX168 is more than 400 euros more expensive.
    Can anyone explain the difference to me and give me advice?
    (We may also consider a stage block from another brand, but we are familiar with Allen & Heath and know that it is really of quality. If anyone has a good alternative, I would like to hear it!)

    Maybe these are too many questions, but I hope someone might have an answer for it. Thank you very much in advance for all your efforts!

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    First of all when I was 16 school the sound system for the stage was a Bogen like mixer
    amp with two mics and the lighting control was a refrigerator sized resistance dimmer with the controls the size of truck gear shift levers!

    Back to the present!!

    As you have most likely found the SQ6 is a fully openly configurable mixer in both input and output patching as well as control surface layout. So what your looking at is our best guess.

    There are preset libraries available, pressing the library function key will bring up any preset that are available for the mode you are in.
    That said the preset libraries are a starting point at best for the selected input source.

    DCA groups are usefully to control multiple channels of the same input type, like all the vocals, all the percussion, ect. You set the mix between all of the input channels as needed and then the assigned DCA will control the level of all of those channels with one faders, like if the percussion gets too lound you can turn them down with one fader.

    A DCA (digital controlled amplifier) is more or less a remote control for the assigned input channels turning them up, down or muting them.
    An audio group will do what a DCA does in addition to having audio processing available for the inputs assinged to that group, you could apply some over all EQ and or compression to all the channels assigned to an audio group.
    If you assigned an input to an audio group and the group is assigned to the main mix generally you would want to have the input then un assigned from the main mix.

    VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) is the same thing as DCA only in analog mixers.

    As for the digital stage box questions…..
    How many channels is the analog snake cable from the stage to the mixer?
    Depending on the number of available analog snake channels maybe you only need a 16 channel channel digital snake box to get the extra needed channels.
    If the analog snake cable has the available extra channels the digital snake box could stay by the mixer.
    The DX Stage box runs at 96k and the AB Stage box runs at 48k. I would say you would not hear the difference in your setting.

    If I were you I would look form someone in your area who really knows running sound and the A&H digital mixers and see if you could bring them in for some in depth training.

    Your off to great start already! Your interest shows in wanting to learn more about the mixer, researching on your own and reaching out with questions.

    Profile photo of Ralph

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you very much for your answer, it really helps me alot!

    About the snake cable, it is an analog stagebox with only 10 inputs. So until now we always rented a stage box or laid a lot of cables to our mixer every time. Some of the inputs on the stage box are also broken. The stage box that is now hanging there is also very old. So we are ready for innovation. Our school has 2 locations, so it is also useful if the stage box is easy to transport. Unfortunately, we cannot do it in combination with a digital stage box with 16 ports. Perhaps the 24 port is an option again. The disadvantage of the stage box is that it has to be built into a 19-inch cabinet, so you can’t easily take it with you.

    If you dont mind, I still have another question. What is the difference between pre and post? I have added an attechment of a screenshot of my SQ Mixpad with pre and post.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    Yea it sounds like your analog snake not only short of channels has some broken lines and or connectors. People tend to abuse cables!!
    You can get a padded style rack that makes carrying a stage box easy, you will need some of the heavier duty shield ethernet cable with Ethercon connectors.
    Do you have a case for the mixer?

    Pre and post refer to the point on the input channel where the aux send picks up the signal.
    Pre as in “pre fader” picks up the signal prior to the channel main fader control of the level, this allows you to set the aux send level for the channel and it will stay the same regardless where the channel main fader is set.

    Post (post fader) the aux send signal is picked up after the channel main fader, after you would set the aux send level any changes to the channel main fader will also change the level going to the aux send.

    Stage monitors are normally set pre fader.
    In the aux set up menu there are also options for pre and post channel procession such as compression and EQ, samething applies, pre would not have that processing applied to the aux send audio and post would have the processing.

    Profile photo of Ralph

    Thanks for your answer! I do have a flight case for the mixer! So I think I will take the 24ch stagebox, and use the analog stagebox for the rest of the inputs. I will also buy an rack for the stagebox and a 50m ethernet cable. Thanks!

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