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A question about adding an external effects unit...

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by LightGroove, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Doing a bit of digging and looking at adding an effects unit to our live sound setup. Our band is currently running a simple pv14 board and using the onboard effects. While this gets us by I feel like things can surely improve. The board does not have a solid send/return option so I ask you.

    Right now Im looking at a Lexicon mx400xl .Can I simply plug the send from the snake directly into this unit, then a basic xlr mic cable from the out of the unit to the board? Im only interested in using this for vocals as the onboard stuff should suffice for acoustics and drums.

    Or....would I be better served picking up the cheap mx200 and use the insert portion on the board.

    I understand this may not be the best route or cheapest with the extra cables involved but outside of buying a new board Im looking at our best options.

  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    most real FX units are not made to take un-preamped mics, and anyway that never sounds as good as routing it through the board parallel like you're supposed to (aux out-->FX-->back into board).
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Outboard FX units belong in your parallel Aux loops. Dynamic processors, however, belong in either the individual channel or mains inserts. These include compressors, GEQ's, PEQ's, and oh-so-popular Sonic Maximizers / Aural Exciters.

    FTR, try before you buy. Unless you're into the extreme stuff like ping-pong delays, focus on quality gear that does a good job of covering reverb & delay. I had a mid-range Digitech Studio Twin and, quite frankly, the built-in Lexicon bank on my Soundcraft beats it hands-down.

  4. Great...thanks guys once again...looks like a new board may be in order...

    I did pick up a Lexicon create pedal just for giggles..we shall see.

    Next up.....monitors :D
  5. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    I have the peavey 10 and it has an effects send. Why not use that and then use a channel as a return?
  6. Sounds like an option... how does this work exactly...meaning how would I be able to mix the effects into specific channels?

  7. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Run a shielded cable from the EFX send into the input of your external FX unit. Then come out of external FX unit into a channel input on your PV14 with another cable. You then control the amount of fx needed by the EFX send master, the Post/fx knob on each channel and the channel fader on the channel you came back too. DO NOT turn up the Post/fx knob on the channel that you returned to from the external unit or you will get feedback. Sorry if this is hard to understand but I am off to a gig so I don't have time to explain it better. It is also best to run the external FX totally wet. Then by using the channel fader you can control the amount of wet/dry.
  8. No sweat man....makes sense to me...basically Im bypassing the onboard effects but losing a channel..would I have to lose a 2nd channel if i wanted to add a 2nd effect? Basically running 2 effects at the same time..Also do I bypass the onboard effects (push the button in)

    Those studiolive boards have me really gassin...WAAAAAY out of my league but man the buttons :D
  9. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    If you wanted to use 2 seperate effects then you would need two channels. You mentioned the Lexicon mx200 earlier. That is what I use. You can run two effects mixed together with that unit and just use one channel. In my band we use a chorus with a reverb.
  10. Thanks man...what youve described makes a lot of sense...never thought things could be run that way..but alas im still ignorant to many things.

    I apologize..I actually did more digging and looking more at the mx300 now.

  11. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Your welcome, :) Most of the soundmen that I know like to run their effects that way. You can then use the EQ on the channel strip to cut feedback and by using the fader turn the effects off or on easier.

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