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Help with order and matching of rack gear

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Foamy, Mar 22, 2009.


  1. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    I have a small rack of gear that I want to leave on-site for an occasional gig. I'd like some help ordering these so that their outputs satisfy the input of the next device. I understand Ohms and amps, and get the gist of dBu, but as far as making sure they all match, that's a bit muddy. I've attached screen shots of the IO sections of the devices - I was going to try and type them, but there are too many variables.
    I will use one of the three basses I have, a passive Geddy, active Jaguar, and active Michael Kelly Acoustic.

    Here's where I am kind of struggling to understand.... Do I go from passive bass to tuner, then to compressor, then to EQ? The tuner does not seem to have any gain, so would it "drive" the compressor? That sort of thing. Or, should I go to the EQ first, then let the gain there "drive" the compressor?
    Or....do I get a separate pedal/device that provides gain somewhere else?

    Thanks for helping with this. I think this is maybe some electrical basics, but it's over my head.

    Thanks!

    Rane M30B Graphic EQ
    Behringer MDX 4600 Compressor
    Behringer Rack Tuner TU 2000
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    NEVERMIND! One part of the deal fell through, so the equipment (EQ specifically) will likely change.
     
  3. Alcyon

    Alcyon

    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't know why you'd need gain in order to 'drive' the compressor. I would go bass --> tuner --> compressor --> EQ --> amp. Simple as that, no ohms involved...
     
  4. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Thanks. I just read a lot about making sure that one has enough of a signal to match the input of the device - my main bass is passive, and the tuner has no gain. I also read that most (many?) rack pieces are not meant for instrument level.

    Thanks - this helps me get this straight in my noggin!
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Actually Foamy, you are right and he was not seeing the big picture. He may have assumed you meant a pedal compressor.

    I don't remember whether the Autocom has sufficient gain at its input to take an instrument-level signal. It does take an unbalanced input, so that's a start. Does the manual say how much gain is available at the input?
     
  6. Alcyon

    Alcyon

    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I confess I've never used a rack compressor so I guess I'm wrong :/ I just have seen a lot of people use them before and never heard of needing a raised signal level.
     
  7. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Thanks, all, and no worries - this is confusing to me. Bongo, the Autocom has the following IO specs:
     

    Attached Files:

  8. dave_kts

    dave_kts

    Jan 17, 2008
    Are you driving an amp with this setup? with a rack compressor you will get better results with either a preamp before it or running it through the effects loop at a line level. If you run it at instrument level you might not get the right response from it, and may have increased noise, as the compressors gain will have to be jacked and the noise floor will be brought up with it. your geddy lee has single coil pickups wich produce alot of hum.
    I keep my eq after the compressor to make sure the sweet spots that i boost dont get compressed out. If that actually makes any sense.
    So, my signal chain: Jazz bass> amp input(Mesa 400+), effect send> compressor(bluemax)> EQ(art tube eq)> tuner(korg)> effects return
    with a passive bass, the sooner you get the signal to a preamp or buffer, the better. It will assure the best signal quality. whether to put the eq before or after the compressor is your own taste. Just set the out level to closely match the bypassed signal of each component and you'll be fine
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Hmmm... It would work, but not well. The threshold dips down into the level range you need (approx. -40 dBu to -20 dBu), so that's promising; but your useful range of function may be limited, and the 90 Kohms input impedance (unbalanced, -10 dBV setting) means your passive basses will probably sound dull and lifeless. At a minimum I'd recommend using a buffer of some kind (like a boost or EQ pedal) to lower the output impedance of your passive basses, in order to retain good tone. And if the buffer happened to provide some gain boost, well all the better for getting your signal into a more optimal range for the comp.

    Will you be using these things in conjunction with your LMKII? Because that would solve the impedance and level problems completely.
     
  10. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Ah, to you both - fair question. I should've already said "no" - this is to go into a DI box (just an El Cheap-o DI)

     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Tell you what then. You need one more piece of equipment, and that's a NON el-cheap-o DI which happens to also provide gain boost. An example would be the Aguilar Tonehammer.

    bass --> Tonehammer --> comp/EQ (using their balanced connectors!) --> recording device or mixer.

    Don't waste your money on a stack of equipment that will only barely do the job.
     
  12. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    OK, so the gain after everything rather than just after the bass?
    Great - I am so glad I asked!
    Thanks Bongo, and all!
    :)

     
  13. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    So...keeping with the Behringer theme (Sorry, I am an unapologetic Behringer fan), would the 20 dB gain from ULTRA-DI PRO DI4000 be suitable? Thanks!
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    20 dB might be enough. I'd be more confident if it was double or triple that, but considering the system would (only just) work without added gain, the 20 dB would certainly be an improvement.
    Not sure exactly what you're saying there... just follow the --> x --> y --> z. :)
     
  15. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    OK, fair enough - obviously I don't know enough about what I'm talking about either. :) I get the impedance, but not the dB. And as you say, it's fine put the gain after the rest of the gear, so I can look for something more in the range you're suggesting (like 50+ dB).
    Thanks again, Bongo!

     
  16. Alcyon

    Alcyon

    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't know if that's what Bongo is saying... I think he's saying that you need to boost the gain as soon as possible after your passive bass so that the level is high enough to feed the compressor. In that case it would be:

    Bass --> gain boost --> compressor --> EQ --> DI box

    That's what I think he's saying. Since you are feeding the whole rig into a DI to go to the PA, it has to be the last thing in the chain if you want those effects to be part of your sound (so Bongo, having the Tone Hammer as the first effect in the chain would make it only act as a boost/buffer and not a DI).
     
  17. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Waaaaaait a minute........ I was confused, but.... When I replied, the post said "x-->y-->x". I didn't see that he filled in the variables there. Now it makes more sense.
    Thanks!
     
  18. Alcyon

    Alcyon

    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    No problem, just repeating what Dave and Bongo said. I'm clueless too, that's why I'm subscribed. :)
     
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Not exactly. When you are running balanced line-level gear there is no need for a DI box. All a DI box does is convert from unbalanced to balanced. The Tonehammer (or similar device) as I described above balances the signal before the other processors, and then the signal stays balanced as you progress through them (assuming you use the correct cables).
     
  20. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    OK, I think I get all of it then. So, How about this...
    Bass -> Rack Tuner -> Behringer MIC2200 -> Compressor -> DI
    The Mic Pre: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MIC2200.aspx
    The Mic Pre comes with a Parametric EQ too.
    Note: For my Jag and Firefly which already have pre-amps, I can just turn down the gain on the Mic Pre, and still be good to go Right?).
    Thanks, guys, for hanging in there with me on this. I really appreciate it.
     

    Attached Files:


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