When to use DCA's and when to stick with Groups

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of gunzy gunzy 1 year, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #82985
    Profile photo of gunzy
    gunzy
    Participant

    Hi All,

    My church just purchased an SQ-6 which replaces an old 24 channel analogue board.

    On the old board we had all the voice channels and instrument channels sent to a sub-group before it got sent to the main LR output. With the new SQ-6, I have so many more groups and DCA’s to play with, that now I am unsure when to use DCA’s and when to just stick with groups.

    Currently I have both various inputs feeding into 8 groups, and have a separate DCA also controlling the inputs. At this time it feels that I have just duplicated the DCA’s and groups, and that I could just stick with groups and not use DCA’s at all.

    For example I have all the sermon mics(2 mics) sent to a SPKR group, but also have a DCA on these mics as well. Is this overkill?

    I would like to know how you all do this.

    Regards
    Millan Choi

    #82986
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    If you only wish to control levels, then DCAs are a good way of doing this. This does not eat up any busses in the mixer, leaving them free to be used for monitors etc.

    If you want to do other things too, you’ll want groups. For instance you can send a group to matrix the outs as well as, or instead of the mains, you can eq a group, you can compress a whole group.

    If you want to blow your mind, check out Dave Rat’s video for some of his ideas!

    #82996
    Profile photo of gunzy
    gunzy
    Participant

    Mark,

    Thanks for the reply, your description of groups is exactly why I use them. Having the ability to run processing on a group of channels, being able to route the entire group to various outputs when I need to.

    For the DCA’s tho, my reasoning was that it would be easy for a volunteer to pull up and down the DCA faders and run the board while all the deeper stuff would be done at the group level.

    In terms of processing, the SQ-6 has more than enough for the needs of my church so I’m not too worried about taking up processing resources.

    It just feels like I’m duplicating what I can already do with groups by using DCA’s.

    #82997
    Profile photo of gunzy
    gunzy
    Participant

    Mark,

    That video was fantastic, thanks for that.

    Millan

    #82999
    Profile photo of JTRJAMMER
    JTRJAMMER
    Participant

    This has always been one of my favorite mix videos. One thing I could never figure out is if he was sending a pre-fader mix to the groups, which I don’t think you can do on the SQ. Otherwise the changes between the channel faders and the group fader have to be very slight. You can pull the group fader all the way to infinity and take away the compression, but if you take the channel faders down to far (via DCA or individually) you don’t get enough signal to the group fader. So really no way to go all compression, but maybe a blend? Of course maybe I’ve missed something in how to set this up.

    #83003
    Profile photo of Ethix
    Ethix
    Participant

    It might be worth remembering that signals sent to sub groups and then to the main mix have a greater latency than signals sent straight to main mix. One of the selling points of AH desks is the low latency but it’s still good practice.

    #83005
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    Not in the SQ

    #83006
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    * at least, I think I read that, but can’t find it now.

    KeithJ ????

    #83054
    Profile photo of Ethan
    Ethan
    Participant

    Good old Dave Rat

    #83098
    Profile photo of Scott
    Scott
    Participant

    * at least, I think I read that, but can’t find it now.

    You are correct. No added latency for using the groups. This according to the webinar when SQ was first introduced.

    #85245
    Profile photo of perage
    perage
    Participant

    Great video, but feels it originates from a time with limited number of outboard comp’s. If for example you have 8 lines for drums, bass, elGtr, AccGtr, Keys, Grand Piano and 4-5 vocals, i’m Not sure it makes sense to compress them in groups, when you can fine tune each comp at channel level. Love the idea of blending pre- and post comp though.

    #94342
    Profile photo of Sam
    Sam
    Participant

    Just came across this and being intermediate user of digital consoles, and just now getting a new SQ-7… How could one go about implementing the method Dave is talking about? I have 3 DCA’s right now. One for drums. One for voices. And the last for all other instruments. Could someone please assist?

    #94344
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    * at least, I think I read that, but can’t find it now. KeithJ ????

    That is a major problem with the documentation. There is no index or cross reference to help easily find things.

    #94349
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    It might be worth remembering that signals sent to sub groups and then to the main mix have a greater latency than signals sent straight to main mix. One of the selling points of AH desks is the low latency but it’s still good practice.

    That’s why when assigning channels to a group you need to un assign those channels from
    the main LR mix if the group that they are assigned to is assigned to the main LR mix.

    You will get phase issues otherwise if the mixer routing paths have different latencies.
    The QU does for example.

    #94357
    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H
    Moderator

    @volounteer – When opened as a PDF, the SQ reference guide has links to jump to sections from the contents (and the small <- in the footer returns to the contents) there is cross referencing with links throughout, and by using the find function (CTRL+F on Windows or CMND+F on Mac) you can easily search through.

    Regarding groups and coherency – the diagram at the bottom of this page may help visualise (http://support.allen-heath.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/sq-signal-path).
    Note that the tie lines and direct outputs will have a slightly lower latency, and a matrix will add a few samples, but other paths are coherent.

    So
    input + main = input + group + main
    or
    input + aux + matrix = input + group + main + matrix

    This means you don’t have to worry about phase issues or extra latency when switching processing or routing paths.
    (being able to align everything like this also allows one of my favourite features which is the parallel path on every compressor, just sat there ready to go…)

    Cheers,
    Keith.

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