Submixes split to mains for parallel comp on band only

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    Hey folks!

    Here’s what I want to be able to do:

    Sub-mix drums to a group, so that they can be processed/parallel compressed as a unit,

    Rest of band goes to another sub (group,) so that pans follow main panning, (pan following main pan is important for both drums and rest of band.)

    Both Drums and Band sub-groups go to another sub/aux/matrix, which is then processed as a unit (Mastering comp/parellel comp on main band mix, overall eq, etc.) <—this group to LR bus/mains.

    Lavs go to a sub group for feedback control, then to mains. <—NOT processed in the band sub group. (Important to retain gain-staging, headroom before feedback, etc.)

    Media channels (pre-show mx, video playback media,) go directly to mains.

    As near as I can tell there isn’t a good way to do this currently. IE, in my mind, the obvious solution would be to sacrifice pan-following-main pan, use a stereo aux path for drum sub, then assign that aux path to a “band” group, while assigning the rest of the band to that group directly. Problem is, you can’t send an aux path to a group, only input channels and FX returns. Matrix would be my next choice: You can send both AUX paths, and sub groups to a matrix, but then I lose my master fader functioning as my master fader. (IE the matrix has to be the master.) …which means I also have to burn another stereo subgroup for my media channels.

    …and maybe I should be posting this in feature requests? It seems like it would be useful to be able to send auxes to a group for exactly this scenario; or, and I realize the infinite feedback potential here: groups to another group.

    I suppose in the meantime, I could just create scenes that bypass the compressor on mains for non-band stuff. …but then there’s also no crossfade on that, so it’ll be somewhat obvious in the slight shift that happens between in and out.

    Thoughts around this?

    Profile photo of Kristian

    You can do subgroups-to-subgroups on a Digico. And you can do subgroups-to-channels as well. I’ve requested this feature before.

    My current workaround is by doing drum channels->subgroup->analog out (analog compressor)->channel input->Main L/R
    My master bus is almost similar: Main L/R->analog out (analog compressor)->channel input->Second subgroup (called “MIX” or whatever)->PA matrixes (Main, subs, fills).

    This gives you more insert points as well! 🙂


    I’d thought about doing an analogue i/o run to outboard, but I’d rather not introduce another d/a + a/d conversion; I mean, it’s a tiny amount of additional latency, but still. Groups—>Groups is definitely the way to go.

    Profile photo of Kristian

    Definitely. However, it made perfect sense to me, since I’m already using outboard compression on drums and master bus.
    I guess you could do a digital loopback through an unused MADI-port or whatever, until we get groups->groups…


    Makes sense. I have a couple old outboard comps sitting around, and in my own sudio rig I would probably do that, but for this environment it = bad news because we have volunteers who could potentially touch knobs they’re not supposed to touch. Total recall on a digital desk = the best way to go. I suppose I could burn some DANTE as loopback, but again, adding a slight bit of latency there too, also adding another failure point.

    Another interesting thought: being able to send Auxes to Groups, while also having an option for Pan-follows-main on aux paths. (Venue has this as an option for individual busses, for instance.) Basically the same thing as groups–>groups, but with post-fade mix percentage flexibility.

    Profile photo of MasterLufier

    First: You can send aux to group. If you click “Mix” button on group – aux master fader will switch to “Send on fader” Mode. See screenshot my Director. But i don’t understand, why it’s don’t see in Routing screen. May be it’s Easter Egg )))
    Second: sending group to group, like DiGiCo also increase latency and make incoherence between channel, which sent directly to Main, and chain of channel->group->group, which sent to Main, like DiGiCo ))
    DiGiCo have backward delay knob on group, but it’s don’t resolve this problem, even this knob turn full to left. )))
    Best Regards.

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    LIB, there it is! I hadn’t thought of trying to assign aux to group on surface. There’s my interim solution. Still an issue with that though: I have to manually assign pan. AH mods – Pan following mains on Aux would solve this! (or The Group–>Group thing.)

    Re: Phase incoherency, this is why you would want two equal paths to mains IE- Drum channels–>Drum Group–>BandMasterGroup–>Mains, RestOfBandChannels–>BandSubGroup–>BandMasterGroup–>Mains.

    You would approach this the same in DAW, even with delay compensation. Using this architecture, you should, *theoretically,* maintain phase consistency.


    Latency here matters less for the remaining channels – Audience mics (I have about 30′ there anyway,) Lavs (which don’t ever happen same time as band, and even still, are wandering and have phase potential anyway,) and non-band media.

    Profile photo of MasterLufier

    Yes, i’m understand you, but it’s have some problem:
    1) All managing this chaining will must do user, and some of user may be do not understand, why channel->main and channel->group->group->main will be incoherence.
    2) Overall system latency will be increase on each group->group iteration.

    But some my friends choose DiGiCo first due this feature.


    I’d be curious to know exactly how much latency is introduced per Group. You’d imagine it would be somewhere in the range of a few samples yeah? For a system running 192 with an a/d-d/a full conversion path that is still less than 2ms round trip, the impact has to be insignificant.


    Latency in dLive system

    It looks like compensation happens in order to maintain phase consistency across layers.

    Profile photo of Kristian

    “1) All managing this chaining will must do user, and some of user may be do not understand, why channel->main and channel->group->group->main will be incoherence.”

    – Well, this is a pro mixing desk. It’s meant to be utilized by pro mixing engineers.

    Profile photo of pete.j

    I’d do it like this:

    Drums to Subgroup, band to second Subgroup, both to Main L/R do your mastering there.

    Lavs to third subgroup, Main + Lavs-Group go into Matrix.

    Fourths Subgroup for rest, goes also to Matrix.

    If you don’t like extra D/A-A/D but want subgroups use AES/EBU (as there are two on Surface).



    @ Pete.j – That is the most obvious solution aside from using an aux to group situation. My concern with that is then I have to use a matrix as “mains,” which, for myself and a few other engineers in the space is fine, but for most of our volunteers, is confusing. …and yes, Kristian, it is a pro desk, for pros, but the feature set allows you to scale operations for skillsets that are well below pro, so I also have to bear that in mind while building some of these complex, under-the-hood things that our unskilled users will never see.

    Good call on the AES i/o though, I may try that, but then I’m back to using an input channel, which I’m not certain is ideal. (Global safe is probably the way to go there just in case.)

    Profile photo of MasterLufier

    to ThatComplicatedMidiGuy:
    1) 96kHz not 192kHz.
    2) 180 degrees phase shift on 16kHz – 0.03125ms = 3 samples, on 8kHz – 0.0625ms = 6 samples, on 4kHz – 0.125ms = 12 samples. I don’t know how many sample needed for bus on dLive, but i think more than 3 samples, and it add comb filter on sound frequency range. May be it’s not a big latency, but overall digital mic->external channel strip->console-> IEM requires as little as possible.
    3) I did read topic on your link, and didn’t seen answer, why i doesn’t rights. If i’m right understand, for A&H coherence more important, than everything else.
    You can use parallel compression on each channels, on each aux, on each group, master and matrix. What’s you need else? It’s more, than others live console at world.

    to Kristian:
    Yeah, that’s excellent, and i hope, that’s true, but in Russia not so many engineers of high qualifications. Even those who believe that they have it. ))) I think that are many places where there are the same people.


    hahahaha @96, duh. …long weekend.

    3) – you’ve missed the point – I want parallel comp in two places: on a drum sub, which is then summed with the rest of the band in another group, that “Whole band,” group is then processed as a whole, completely independent from Lavs/media, while both “Band,” lavs, and Media all still eventually route through LR Mains. It’s all about how the summing happens at each stage in this example, and it needs to be in that order. …and the more I think about it, the more I don’t want to use matrices for this, because I’d rather reserve those for things like sub splits and fills when I have that kind of situation arise.

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