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Is using a driverack pa+ with a studiolive board overkill?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by NickfromSOS, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. I have a studio live 16.0 .2 board and a drive rack PA plus. I haven't use the studio live on stage yet. I was wondering if I even needed the PA+? I'm using QSC K-12's with a Q sub as well so I don't need a crossover
  2. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    We started using the Studio Live 16 about 3 months ago and haven't used our Drive Rack since. You'll really like the SL 16 once you get used to it.
  3. Thanks... What settings do you use on the main out of the SL?
  4. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    Whether or not you use a Studio live has nothing at all to do with whether you should use the Driverack. They do different things. In fact, I WOULD recommend using them together because the Driverack does things (crossover, room tuning, etc.) that the SL simply can't.

    It's like saying, "Ever since I got my new bass I stopped using my amp," or something like that.

    FWIW, I'm using the Driverack and the exact same QSC K-12/K-sub system.
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  6. You are incorrect in what you are saying... f the SL has gate, compression, EQ. basically everything the PA+ does, minus the cross over, which I don't need using the QSC stuff together. You can create a fat channel setting for the main out that incorporates all of the settings that you would use on the PA+
  7. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I use a StudioLive 16.4.2. Sounds great live without my Driverack PA+.

    NickfromSOS is correct about using a fat channel.
  8. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    I would venture to say that it depends.
    If you are running the output into a simple system (just tops, or perhaps subs and tops internally crossed over), you do not need a Driverack.

    However, if you are using multiple stacks with time delay between them, and subs and tops that are externally crossed over, etc, along with remote speakers that require their own EQ and delay, a Driverack will greatly facilitate things.
  9. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    You CAN do that in a simple set-up, but I know plenty of guys with SL16s and 24s who run both (after running just the SLs with the QSCs) and the difference is there, and, in my opinion, significantly better.

    Can the SL shoot pink noise and calibrate what the room needs, EQ wise? No.

    Are the filters in the SL and the QSCs nearly as effective in crossing over the stereo signal between tops and subs?

    Sure, you CAN just run the SLs into the QSCs, but having heard and worked with such a rig both with and without the driverack, I can say that in my opinion, the system benefits from having the driverack. Do you NEED it, absolutely? No, but if you already have it, I wouldn't discourage you from using it (if you know how to effectively use it, of course...if you don't, then having it or not won't make up for mediocre mixing skills).
  10. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    As for your questions about settings - no offense, but it's the wrong question to ask. A setting one poster may give you may simply not work in yours because of the various factors that are different and unique to YOUR situation and that of the room you're playing in.

    With all due respect, try not to focus on "settings," and instead concentrate on proper gain staging from source to console to powered speakers; learn how to use the master EQ to correct deficiencies in the room (CUT, DON'T BOOST!!!) and proper mic'ing, checking for phase/polarity, controlling stage volume and bleed, etc.

    THEN....once you've tuned everything for the room, save the setting into the SL16's memory to have it handy and save time the next time you're playing there. :ninja:
  11. modulusman


    Jan 18, 2004
    Yeah I'm sure the engineers that designed the crossovers in the QSC speakers didn't know what they were doing.:rolleyes: BTW the studiolive boards can use smaart for room analysis.
  12. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    Never said they didn't know how to set crossovers. Based on my experience, though, I prefer the filters in the driverack. This is no knock on them; the op asked a question and I gave him an answer regarding what I prefer.

    And who cares what they used - did they eq and set up the system for every single club and bar in the world? No. Adjustments always have to be made in the real world, and, IMO, the driverack makes it simple to make these tweaks. (Well, nothing is simpler than a hardware analog eq, but that's a whole other thread).
  13. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    As for smaart - nice that they finally included it. Did they include a crossover function too, finally?
  14. Andy- my initial question was Is this set up overkill. Your response of saying that my question was like saying that i bought a new bass so i dont need an amp is incorrect. One is dependent on the other. The SL is not dependent on the pa+. The SL can, indeed, do many of the things the PA+ can do. We can certainly debate the benefits of using both, and i probably will to be honest. My question initially was do I NEED to and if not, what had worked for other users since it is a new piece of equipment for me that I am just getting to know. I would never expect a guy who plays bars in Kansas or Chicago to be able to tell me what will work for my gigs, just soliciting feedback from more experienced users than I. I thank you for your comments and will certainly give the set up a go with and without the pA + to see which works better for me. Your points are valid and noted
  15. Keithwah

    Keithwah Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    I drive my JBL PRX subs straight out of the SL using a sub group. I use the low freq shelf to provide the crossover function and EQ them with the third octave and slam a limiter on it. I don't need to time align the boxes since JBL took care of it in the design. The integral on-board crossovers are adequate on the JBL, I don't have a problem running straight thru, but it's easier being to throttle back the subs early in the evening and bring them in remotely via iPad as the night heats up.
  16. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Maybe you need to info up on the SL a bit. Hooked up to a laptop, you get access to Smaart technology, that is about the best out there. The SL really is an amazing piece. http://www.presonus.com/products/Virtual-StudioLive/Smaart-M
  17. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    We have different "scenes" saved for each of the venues where we use the SL. And each room gets a different EQ set up. Our drums are all sent to a sub group so the overall vol can be adjusted with one sub fader. I also have vocal FX sent to a couple of sub faders...one with reverb, one with delay, so I can adjust on the fly.
    We use the six Aux Sends for our IEMs and each band member is assigned to one of the sends and uses that send # every time. For example: I always plug my IEM into Aux Send #1. The IEM setup is also saved with each room scene that is saved. When we get to a gig we just bring up the scene for that room and everything auto loads as it was the last time we were there. We also use a Macbook Pro with the SL app so we can tweak EQs from the laptop, which is much faster on the fly And each band member uses the iPhone app to adjust his individual IEM mix. I recommend you read the manual...it will clarify and solve a lot.
  18. Keithwah

    Keithwah Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    That is pretty much what I be talkin' bout! It does everything a drive rack does and more.
  19. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil Supporting Member

    May 12, 2011
    I have three 24.4.2s and two 16.4.2s, and that is simply not true, not even a little bit. The QSCs have a crossover built in, and the SL consoles shoot pink noise and semi-automatically EQs the room with their "SMAART" system. They also have gate/expander, compression, four band sweepable eq on every channel, every subgroup, every aux send, and every FX, as well as individual 31 band GEQ for mains and every aux send. There is no need for a drive rack with a SL system. You may need a crossover if your speakers don't have one, but a driverack is overkill.
  20. bassaram


    Dec 31, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm a user of the 24.4.2 with K-subs and either Mackie SRM 450s or K12s (occasionally)--While I don't think the Driverack is NECESSARY, I have found that I like an external crossover better. I find that the K-subs are crossed over higher than I would like, and they end up limiting sooner because they're pushing more than just the 'thump.' They sound great for recorded music, since it's mastered, but live there's a bit of headroom lacking. While there is a bit of overlap in the functions of the SL and a Driverack, the crossover and limiter functions can't be replicated on the board.

    As an example, if you try to run aux-fed subs using a SL, and use the GEQ to get the highs out of the subs, you're only dropping by 12dB, rather than down to nothing. It can get muddy quick. Moral of the story: You probably don't need a driverack, but actually might get a good bit of use out of a crossover.

    Also, Biggbass--if you're the one running sound (not sure if you are, based on the use of 'we' in your post), I'd suggest running your IEMs out of the Control Room outputs. You can keep your Aux 1 mix, but running out of control room lets you solo anything on the board (including everyone else's mixes or the main mix).
  21. That brings up another Sl question. I run sound as well as sing. How can i (or can I even) use the headphone out of the SL live to listen to the aux sends? I use a wired in ear system but if i could just use the sl headphone out that would be great. By the way, i returned the SL16.0.2 and got the 16.4.2 instead