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Two Monitor Channels With FX On Both??

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Zooberwerx, Nov 21, 2012.


  1. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Despite my pleas, my bandmates are near-insistent on hearing some FX in two individual monitor channels. As it now stands, I can roll some of the on-board Lexicon reverb into either Aux 1 (lead singer) or Aux 2 (rest of us) but that's about it. I have a cast-off Alesis Midiverb III that I can toss into the equation but I've fried my brain cells trying to determine the proper configuration...or if it can be done at all. I'm also laboring under the possibly-fatal assumption that the Midiverb will sound better than the Lexicon but that may not be the case. Here's the hardware in question:

    *Soundcraft Spirit FX16 Mixer

    (3) Aux Sends with an internal 4th Aux Send which is dedicated to fueling the resident Lexicon FX section.

    (4) Stereo Returns of which (3) allow the outputs of the Midiverb...or any FX unit...to be mixed with either Aux 1 or Aux 2. The 4th Stereo Return allows the output to be mixed with Aux 3 or the Lexicon section. This is where I'm most confused.

    Now you see where I'm coming from. Trouble is I've always dealt strictly with the Aux channels and Lexicon and have yet to venture out to any peripheral devices (...well, I use some stuff on the inserts but that's pretty cut & dry!) or attempted to utilize open mic channels, for example.

    This is not a question of "should I?" but rather "how to?". I have the mechanical aptitude of a soil sample so please present any suggestions with as much detail as possible. Think Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) re-powering the Apollo 13 command module. Thanks!

    Riis
     
  2. chuck3

    chuck3

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn & Rhinebeck NY
    hmm ... duct tape! :bassist:
     
  3. jwbassman

    jwbassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    I guess the question is what are you trying to accomplish with the midiverb unit? Are you trying to get reverb in just the monitors or in the whole house?

    I understand what you're saying about the options on the board for patching but I'm not clear if it's just FX for the monitors you need.
     
  4. jwbassman

    jwbassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    OK. I think I know what you want to do. You want two separate monitor mixes with FX in both. I would use Aux 1 (always pre-fade / post-eq) as the lead singers monitor mix. I would assign the Lexicon FX return to Aux 1 that way the singer can take advantage of the plethora of on board FX.

    Aux 2: I would use for the rest of the band's monitor mix. Set it to Pre-fade / Post-EQ by pressing in the "pre" button. That way the monitor send volume will not be affected by your master slider or individual channel slider.

    Aux 3 is going to be your effect send. So take the aux 3 output to your midiverb unit and return it into Ret 1 on the back of the board. Go into the left channel only for mono as this will split the signal to both sides. You can also come out stereo if you want into both of the return inputs.

    Then from the master aux return panel on the front of the board passing Ret 1 to Aux 2.

    That should do it. You use the Aux 3 control on each channel to send the desired amount of signal (if you want no FX on say and instrument just keep the aux 3 pot turned all the way down) to the FX unit and then return that to the mix of aux 2 and control the master level of the aux return panel.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  6. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    if you return what ever effects you are using into an open channel(s) instead of a return(s), now just use the channel fader to blend the fx in the main mix, use the aux sends on the channel you are using as a return and feed that effect to any monitor send you want. Just make sure if aux 3 is feeding the fx unit that the aux 3 is turn down on the channel you are using as a return. Monitor auxes should be pre fader, fx auxes should be post fader.
     
  7. jwbassman

    jwbassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    That is actually the way I have the effects unit set up at our church. I didn't know if the OP had an open channel or not. By doing it this way you also have the advantage of being able to EQ your effect in the case you need to cut low frequencies.

    My thought was that they wanted to separate types of effects for each monitor. If that is not the case then running the return into an open channel is really a better solution.

    As Uhdinator stated above, just make sure that the aux 3 knob is down on whatever channel you return to or you'll get a nasty feedback loop.
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I think I'm following you. We don't need separate / different effects on each monitor channel, but we do need different vocal mixes. The amount of reverb, for example, can be consistent channel-to-channel. e.g., the lead vocalist likes nothing else in his monitor / channel 1.

    I'll use the suggestions and "map" things out. Thanks!

    Riis
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    ...and the plan below probably parrots what has already been outlined. Please take a look and see if you can find any flaws or glitches:

    1) Assign Aux 2 (post-fader) to our lead singer.

    2) Run a cable from Aux 2 Send to the L channel input of the MidiVerb.

    3) Run a cable from the MidiVerb's L channel output to the 1/4" input for mic channel #13 (open / unused).

    4) Turn mic channel #13's Aux 2 control to -off- to prevent any howl.

    5) Assign mic channel #13's output to "main mix". Use the channel slider to manipulate FX level in mains / FOH.

    6) Run a cable from the mic channel #13's dedicated 1/4" output to the channel 1 input of the monitor amp > monitor enclosure.

    7) Repeat the above (for the balance of the band members) by utilizing Aux 3 and mic channel #14 (open / unused), and channel 2 input of the monitor amp.


    Thanks

    Riis
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    huh? running the cable from the "FX" channel direct out to the monitor amp won't work at all! you'll get nothing but effected vocals appearing in the wedge after they're sung!

    lessee, you have what, two pre-fade auxes, one post-fade, and the built-in FX send? (i used to have this very board, it sounded great until the main outs died :()

    auxes 1 and 2 are your monitor sends; one for lead singer and the other for everybody else?

    i'd suggest using aux 3 with that outboard box for delay for vocals (usually sounds better than reverb for that).

    aux 3 out into delay box, then delay box back into a channel (the last channel is traditional, #16 in your case).

    use the 4th (internal) send for reverb for drums, acoustics and such.

    this way, you can control the level and tone of the delay signal via that last channel; now it's easy to slam the fader down or mute the channel between songs for talking, and you can roll some highs off the delay sound to make it more "out of the way" of the original sound, more "analog" if you will.

    you can also add a pinch of that delay into either monitor with the delay channel's aux 1 or 2.

    on top of that, you can "season" the delay sound in that channel by turning up aux 4 and putting reverb on the delay; i like this trick because it keeps the reverb off the vocals directly but makes the delay nice and spacious.

    (also, happy thanksgiving :))
     
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Not enough board capability but them's the breaks. I'm using up too much in resources (ie. Aux channels) trying to provide two individually-voiced monitor feeds, each with some type of FX onboard. I'd almost be better off sticking an inexpensive stereo rackmount FX unit between the mixer and monitor amp...I already have a GEQ in place....and setting the wet / dry mix 40% or below and reserve the full mixer function for the delay / reverb & reverb applications above.

    Riis
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    wait, your guys want different kinds of FX in each of the two monitor mixes? or a different effect from what you have out front?

    tell 'em to get over it :)
     
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Tell me about it. Same FX in each monitor channel, different vocal mixes, though, which will require feeds from 2 different Aux channels....as far as I can tell.

    Riis
     
  14. ggunn

    ggunn

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    IMO, monitors should be as clean and clear as possible, with nothing in them besides what the singers need to sing the right notes in tune, and maybe instruments from across the stage which can't be heard otherwise. FX in the monitors is, MO again, only an ego boost, and further muddies up what is already a difficult situation to hear in. No FX in monitors for me.
     
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    ...and this will be my plan of attack come next Sunday. Once again, I've been coerced, blackmailed, whatever into providing PA support for next Sunday's "Toys for Tots" gala. 3 bands...we play last. I'll set things up for near-normal monitor and FOH reinforcement. When our turn at bat comes up, I'll just say "tough luck, kids...I'm not reconfiguring". I'll use the Midiverb on the vocals for delay and infuse the reverb from the onboard Lexicon for vocals and instruments.

    BTW, which reverb would work best with both? I can only use one patch (plate, hall, chamber, room, etc) so a compromise is in order.

    Riis
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    you can get that by bringing your vocal delay from the midiverb back in to the last channel instead of an aux return. the 1 and 2 auxes of that "delay channel" will send some delay into each monitor mix. a little goes a really long way.

    also, you'd set the midiverb for 100% delay sound with no original sound.
     
  17. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    You don't patch the direct out of fx channel to a monitor amp. You just turn up the mon send on the fx return channel.

    If fx is returning into a channel and say aux 1 is mon A, aux 2 is mon B, you just turn up aux 1/2 on fx return channel to add fx to whatever is also going to aux 1/2 master out.

    You want 2 different effects, you need 2 post fader auxes, and 2 open channels to return them into. Then you can send one or both effects to any monitor(s)

    Look at your vocal fx channel as another vocal except with FX. Then send it to the same monitors the vocals are going to.
    Make sure fx unit mix is 100% wet.
    Don't use as much effect in mon as out front.
     
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Things went very well, for the most part. I was forced into reconfiguring and testing the box sans speakers, headphones only. We ran Aux 3 > MidiVerb > mic channel #16 and bled some FX back into the monitors via Aux 1 & 2. Time was tight so I violated my own ethics regarding new equipment and used a decent sounding, all-purpose "hall reverb" MidiVerb preset instead of stacking a delay (MidiVerb) and reverb (on-board Lexicon) as intitially desired. Still sounded better than most of the stuff the local pro's have been pumping.

    Since addt'l refinement is in order and now have the time:

    *What would you consider to be a nominal delay time (msecs) for adding spatiality / color / presence?

    *What reverb type (plate, etc.) is best for softening the delay effect?

    Riis
     

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