How do I connect this subwoofer??

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by BigGuns, Aug 31, 2010.


  1. BigGuns

    BigGuns

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Burlington, MA
    Hi All,

    Here's what I have:

    - Yamaha EMX5014 Powered Mixer and S115V Speakers (passive)
    - Gemini GVX SUB15P Subwoofer (Active)

    I have been attempting to figure out how to connect these different components, and have been searching online for some resources on how to do it, but I'm hitting a wall. In my research, I've basically come to the conclusion that it can't be done because the mixer doesn't have a signal return for the subwoofer crossover. I have very little knowledge about this, but that is one thing I've learned. So IS there a way to do it? What I'd like to acheive is isolation of the low frequencies to let the sub handle them. The kick drum and bass would go through the sub, leaving the mains to handle the vocals.

    If there is a way to do it, does anyone know it? If not, what would you suggest I do - replace the mixer? Or replace the mains with actives and get a passive sub that the mixer could power? If that is the way to go, how would I connect them?

    If this is at all confusing, let me know and I will clarify.

    Thanks all for you assistance!

    - Ben
  2. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    You've run into one of the biggest issues with powered mixers: limited flexibility and ability to expand. The good news is you're not completely out of luck. If one of your auxes is free, you can use the aux output and essentially run an aux feed and only put the channel you want into your sub (kick drum, bass guitar, keys, etc). Simply use a TRS (from the aux 1 or 2 output) tp the XLR line into the powered sub. Turn up the aux knob on channels you want fed to the sub (and I believe the aux fader) and voila! You should be able to operate in this fashion.

    Down the road I'd suggest getting a passive mixer and grab and appropriate power amp for your main speakers, as well as a proper crossover and FOH EQ.

    PS, this is a very simple explanation, don't expect too much out of a single 15" powered sub. It will run out of gas pretty quickly, and I'm guessing you'll find yourself wanting more/better subs in the near future.
  3. BigGuns

    BigGuns

    Joined:
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    Thanks! I think I can picture that setup. I am not used to using subs at all, so I'm hoping that one sub compared to none at all will be a drastic improvement. But you're right - once I've gotten a taste of it, I'm sure I'l want MORE. But for now, it's a good compromise to avoid lugging around more and more gear. I really like the mixer/amp combo because it's compact and pretty lightweight.

    Hopefully your solution should take care of us for the current setup. Here's part II of the question:

    We play at a place that already has PA available, but no sub. I want to bring our sub and connect it to the house system. So say the house system is a regular separate amp/mixer system. How does the sub hook up?

    Thanks again!
  4. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I would say don't even bother with this scenario. If something goes and gear gets damaged...you'll have a mess on your hands and most likely you'll be stuck with a blown up sub and no compensation. If you're playing through a house system, you pretty much just work with what is provided.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Dagnabit! This stupid mixer has channel inserts but no main inserts that I can see. I was hoping we could insert an inexpensive crossover into the mains inserts, xover @ 100 hz, send the >100 hz signal back to the powered mixer and the <100 hz signal to the powered subwoofer.

    Riis
  6. BigGuns

    BigGuns

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
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    Burlington, MA
    You're still talking about the EMX5014? That's exactly the problem with this mixer, that it doesn't have a return to send the signal back to the mixer. From what I've read, previous versions of Yamaha's powered mixers had this.
  7. GregShadoan

    GregShadoan

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    This is an easy one. That mixer has (2) mono outs. The are located on the top master out section just to the left of the L-R ST outs.Connect the powered sub to the mono out. Done.

    It will be controlled by the ST main fader and a secendary SUB OUT pot above the main ST fader. . Adjust the level on the powered sub to taste, probably full on.
    Look on page 24 of the operators manual, down load able at :http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/pa/english/mixers/emx5014c_en_om_c0.pdf :And reference item 28 on the block diagram.

    Have fun.
  8. jtc_hunter

    jtc_hunter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    This is correct. I have used mackie active subs with my Yamaha Powered mixer lots of time. You can set the Low pass filter from anywhere from 80-120hz. also. You can control the signal to the sub from the mono out slider.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The mains will still see the full-range signal, correct?

    Riis
  10. GregShadoan

    GregShadoan

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    Sep 1, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    Correct.
    Your not changing anything. You are adding something. Leave the setup, the way you have been using it the same. Just plug in the powered sub as per above. You may not really notice all that much low end added here. Maybe if you had two, or four you will really start to notice the difference. Basically, both the mains AND the sub get full range signal. the powered sub should already have a low pass filter (or cross over) inline with it. Low end signals such as bass and kick, maybe some toms, are all that are really going to come out of it.

    Remember, your not changing, your adding. It should all work fine. YMMV.
  11. BigGuns

    BigGuns

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
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    Burlington, MA
    That's the way I've connected it, and I did get some nice low end out of the sub, but there doesn't really seem to be a way to remove the kick drum from the mains, even by EQing all the highs out. This is because the mains are still full-range, right? So while this method will get the sub working, it's not ideal.
  12. ric stave

    ric stave Supporting Member

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    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Although other people seem to run the kick ONLY to the sub, I have never done this. I feel a PA should be used to reinforce the sound of each instrument going into it - a kick drum has more than just frequencies below 110 hz or so. There's nothing wrong with having the attack/snap sound in the mix too.

    I'll agree, it's not ideal to have the tops full range (sometimes), with no ability to totally seperate the frequencies going to each part, but I've never had any problems doing it that way on a small-mid sized club system.
  13. GregShadoan

    GregShadoan

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    Well, there are several things you could do here. As Barisaxman suggested, you could use an AUX send, and only send the low end signals to that AUX. The tops will still see full range.
    The next thing you could do, would be to install a hi pass filter (passive) inside the tops, that would cut off frequencies below 100 ish herz. But then you would be relying completely on the sub for those frequencies. Also, using a device like this will make the tops less efficient.
    The best way, as Barisaxman also mentioned would be to use an active external crossover and amplifiers, (except the powered boxes) and bi-amp the setup. This would not be using the internal amps in the mixer though, so the mixers amps could be used for monitors, if the mixer has a mains/monitor amps switch.
    It depends on the layers of complexity you want to get to.
    Post #7, is the easy button. Maybe not ideal, but certainly will work.
  14. BigGuns

    BigGuns

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    So I just hooked everything up, and the above method works great. Aux1 is going to the sub, then I tested it with my k-station using a very thick bass sound, and using just the Aux1 knob on that channel gives you the level, while the channel fader stays down. Very cool. THEN, if you do in fact want a tiny bit of the mains to come through, just inch up the fader a bit. It sounds great, and I think this will work perfectly for our application. I also tried some drum sounds off my Korg keyboard to hear kick sounds.

    Ok, here's the problem now: The limiter light is on constantly unless I turn the sub down to almost nothing. Is this bad? Am I doing damage to anything? This is all just in my house, which is drastically different than a live situation.
  15. GregShadoan

    GregShadoan

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    Is it the limit light, or is it a clip light?
    I have never used one of those subs, so i am in the dark here.
    Limiting lights are usually ok, as long as you dont clip the unit.

    I would leave the sub up, and control the output from the AUX out position.
  16. BigGuns

    BigGuns

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    It's the limiter light that's on constantly. The manual says it's normal for the limiter light to flicker with normal usage, but that it shouldn't be on constantly.
  17. GregShadoan

    GregShadoan

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    Well, then you should reduce the signal sent to it. As mentioned before, you are more likely than not going to run out of gas on this unit pretty quick. I would adjust on the side of caution, and try not to blow it up on the first show :)

    Those tops are meant to be used with the yamaha 1-18" 1K watt subs. So keep that in mind when using this Gemini brand unit. You are going to find that it probably wont really keep up with the tops.
  18. BigGuns

    BigGuns

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    Jan 4, 2008
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    Burlington, MA
    Gotcha. For the future, I'll have to figure out which part of the system it makes the most sense to replace - mixer? tops? etc. Seems to me that 12" mains would be better for many reasons when using subs (clearer, more compact and lighter). I'm really trying to keep the whole system down to a minimum manageable package. Once it starts getting into separate amps etc. the carrying load gets to be quite a pain.
  19. GregShadoan

    GregShadoan

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    The best thing to do here, is not mix and match so much, unless they are equivalent types.
    It would be better (IMO) to have the matching subs, a power amp for them, and a crossover (at least for the subs). A single power amp, and 1U crossover, and a 3U rack could be a pretty easy setup.
    It sounds like your material would benefit from having a proper sub system.
  20. BigGuns

    BigGuns

    Joined:
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    Burlington, MA
    Yeah, so the setup would be the speaker cabs, and a rack unit that had all the amps etc. just right in it. You're right, the music we play would greatly benefit from a nice sub system. It's not so much great volume we're going for, but nice fat bottom and rich vocals. I keep talking about the kick so much because that's the heartbeat of our music. We play funk, R&B where the kick and bass drive the whole thing.

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