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Mixer terminology (help!)

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Rockin Mike, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    So I'm reading the manual for my Allen & Heath MixWiz 16:2 and I come across this passage describing the use of the effects channel. I'm going over it again and again and just can't picture what they're talking about. Anybody willing to help?

    The picture I have in my head is:
    channels 1-16 --> effects circuit (using ST5 for level & mute) --> main faders

    The MixWizard WZ316:2 and WZ312:2 feature a built-in stereo digital effects processor. This can be configured to work as a single 16 preset effects engine fed from AUX5

    Huh what? I thought aux channels were outputs. How can they provide input to the effects circuit (or anything else in the board)? I would have thought the effects processor was "fed from" (i.e. receiving input from) channels 1-16. What does "fed from" mean in this context?

    The processed signal is routed back to the mix through the ST1 (ST5) stereo return channel.

    I don't see anything marked ST1 on my mixer. OK fine, the manual covers a couple of different models. It looks like my ST5 channel consists only of a level control and mute button. So I guess "routing back to the mix through ST5" means that ST5 level is a master between channels 1-6 and the main faders controlling the amount of effects on all channels. Is that right?

    If anybody knows a reasonably short online primer of effects mixing concepts and terminology, that would be great. I could post fewer "help me" threads. On the other hand, somebody else probably has the same question so maybe the thread helps the greater good.

    In any case, thanks very much for all help and advice.
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Aux 5 determines how much of each channel gets sent TO the effects unit and the FX return determines how much signal FROM the effects processor get sent to the mains.

    Make sense?
  3. Hi.


    "To feed" is just a part of terminology that has stuck, even if it's more descriptive than precise.

    Our MixWizard was the older model without the inbuilt FX, but with any desk I like to rout the the FX back via full channel(s). Very few wet signals are usable as-is and usually require heavy EQing and/or compressing.

    I also like to have a "master" fader for the FX (/FX groups), so between the tunes I can use dry signal.
    Assuming obviously that I'm doing FOH/Foldback, on the set-and-forget mixing from stage, it's all the same.

  4. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Yes, it makes sense. I'll mess around with this tomorrow and get the hang of it.

  5. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    ST1 refers to the stereo inputs on the rear of the console, and is controlled by the ST5 control. This way you can have both internal and external effects through one return channel. ST5 is not a master of the aux 1-6 It controls the effect return to the L-R out. You can turn off the internal effects and use ST5 for an external effect unit only. You can use internal effects if you want. They are actually not bad at all. Aux 5 controls banks 1-8 and if you choose to use dual internal effects (eg. reverb/delay) aux 6 controls banks 9-16. Of course turn them both off, use an external processor for you effects through ST1-ST5 and have 6 aux's for monitors. By the way congrats, you have one of the best analog consoles ever made IMO. They are built like tanks, rack mountable, have tons of routing options, lot's of headroom, and the mic pres sound fabulous!!! Seriously, the best option is hook up the board to your speakers at a low volume, plug in a mic, and experiment. This will get you familiar with things pretty quick. Once you know your way around this board, you will love it. Hope this helps.
  6. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Also if you get a midi/USB cable and download the editor SW from A&H website, you can connect a puter and edit the default effects settings.

    It's a great compact mixer. Only reason I'm not using one now is I needed FW ability to record as well.

    aux 5/6 are post fader. Aux 1/2 are pre fader, aux 3/4 are switchable pre or post.

    if you read the manual there is an option where you open the back of the mixer and set jumpers on each channel so that the pre/post fader switch effects aux 3-6 instead of just 3/4 so you can effectively have 6 pre fade auxes or 4 post fader and 2 preface. (1/2 are hard wired prefade)

    There is another jumper as well that can be changed on each channel so all aux sends are Post insert and post EQ.

    The default settings for aux sends are pre insert/preEQ.
  7. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Experimenting is exactly what I'm doing. Thanks to all my TB friends, I asked for recommendations and the MixWiz 16 was almost unanimously favored. So, I'm trying to do it justice and learn it. I'm only using 3 auxes right now (L monitors, R monitors, and mono sub) but it's nice to know all 6 are available.

    I notice when I plug a (breaktape) ipod into ST2 I get left channel sound only. This is using a stereo micro from the ipod to a splitter cord to a mono right and mono left 1/4" plug. I kind of like the better control of using ch15 and ch16 instead, but want to know if ST2 is broken or I'm doing something wrong. I'm using the same cords to go into 15/16 and both work fine there, so the cords is OK.

    Thanks again for all advice!
  8. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    I haven't even delved into effects editing software yet. Sounds interesting, though. Using aux 1&2 for monitors I guess it's good that they're post-fader and post-eq. I want the fader and EQ to affect the mains not the monitors. I guess I should set 3&4 to be pre-fader, so the subwoofer on aux3 will go up and down with the main faders.
  9. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Near the back of your manual, you should find a block diagram. Get yourself very familiar with it. I keep a copy of that one page with every mixer I use, so I can refer to it quickly when needed.

    Each of your input channels has a number of Auxes. Some, you may use for monitors. Others may be used for off-board effects. You can use them to create multiple mixes, in addition to the main mix (i.e. sliders). For Aux5, each channel can have its sound summed with all the other channels according to how much you dial up for each input channel. This sum of channels is "output" as Aux5, which is then "input" to your effects. The effects output (i.e. modified Aux5 signal) returns to the mixer at ST1, which is just the name of a stereo channel input into the main L/R bus just ahead of the inserts & sliders.

    Your block diagram is here: http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/produ...atId=MixWizard3Series&ProductId=MixWizard3162
  10. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Thanks John, I had been going through the user guide all day but the block diagram made a lot of things clearer. I hadn't looked at the BD since the first day I got the mixer and I'm getting more out of it now that I know a little bit about the thing.

    Based on that diagram, if I plug unbalanced LR (i.e. ipod into a Y cord --> 2 rca to 1/4" mono adapters) into ST2, and push the "ST2 to LR" button I should get stereo coming out the mains. I don't have a knob marked "LR", but I assume the diagram refers to the "ST2 lev" knob right by the "ST2 to LR" button.
    However, I don't get stereo, I get Left only. Right side has no output. Does this indicate a problem with the mixer or am I doing something wrong? The same cords work OK going into ch15 & ch16.
  11. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    That adapter cable is your problem. You're only going to get 1 (out of 2 stereo) channel into your ST2 input. Channels 15 & 16 are mono channels & you don't notice that you're getting the You need a 1/4"TS-to- 1/8"TRS (iPod uses RCA?) adapter cable to get both output channels from the iPod.


    The "LR" control on the block diagram isn't labelled very well (there are other inconsistencies between manual & block diagram as well). That's the level going from the ST2 return to the L/R main bus (ST2 Lev, between the "Phones" jack & the meters).
  12. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    That's essentially what I have;
    ipod ->
    3.5mm male-to-male ->
    3.5mm stereo female to RCA male Y cable ->
    pair of RCA to 1/4" TS adapters ->
    ST2 R & L inputs

    and this cable setup works OK going into the unbalanced inputs of ch15 & ch16, so I think there may be something wrong with ST2. Is that right?
  13. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    ST stands for stereo.

    I believe the ST returns are TRS stereo.
    In that case you need mini TRS to 1/4 TRS from your iPod.

    Aux 1/2 are pre fade not post.

    All auxes can be made post insert/post Eq if desired by moving jumpers on each channel circuit board. It's in the back of the manual.
  14. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    The ST2 input has two jacks, one for right and one for left. I don't think it can take a stereo signal on a TRS.

    From the manual:

    WZ316:2 has two stereo return inputs ST1 (balanced) and ST2 (unbalanced). All inputs use TRS jacks. Unbalanced inputs automatically connect the TRS ring to ground for working with balanced sources. The L input is normalled through the R input to accept mono signals.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around "Unbalanced inputs automatically connect the TRS ring to ground for working with balanced sources."

    I guess that means it's made for unbalanced TS (two of them, left and right) but you can use balanced TRS (two of them, left and right) and it will just ground out the Ring conductors.

    It still sounds to me like it should work using two 1/4" TS plugs, one for Left and one for Right.

    Is that right?
  15. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    You are right, that's what I meant to say. I want the monitor auxes to not be affected by the channel faders.
  16. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    That grounding of the Ring on ST2 may be biting you. Your adapter may be connecting one of your unbalanced stereo outs from the iPod to what ends up as ground. I'd try to find some isolated stereo source that you can plug into ST2 without any Y-s involved. For a test, it doesn't even need to be 2 channels of the same source. In fact, 2 completely unrelated programs will tell you immediately if you're getting both channels.
  17. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    So the Sleeve on the 1/4" mono TS male is connecting to both the Ring and Sleeve contacts inside the ST2 female jack(s). It's weird that it would have a Ring contact inside the ST2 jack(s) since it's documented as unbalanced. Stereo is implemented as two separate female jacks, Left and Right.

    The block diagram doesn't show the internal connections on ST2, just a block that says "unbalanced -2dBu". But yes you are right the manual says the inputs use TRS plugs.

    Seems a shame that an unbalanced mono in (i.e. mono Left and mono Right == stereo) wouldn't be able to handle a mono (TS) plug.
  18. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    I forgot to mention moving the internal jumpers to make all aux's pre fade. It's a VERY easy thing to do. The jumpers are no more than a little plastic piece that gets pulled off it's pins and put on a different set. Extremely simple switch. It takes longer to take the panel off to get at them. A viable option for those who need all 6 aux's.
  19. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    I'm trying to think why you would want auxes that are controlled by the channel faders...
    Even for aux-fed subs, you pretty much want that controlled by the main faders, right?
    Hm, well I noticed tonight the monitors in aux1 & aux2 are not even controlled by the main faders.

    Now I'm curious whether "pre-fader" means before the channel fader, or before the main faders. I want to play around with this some more.
  20. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Generally, you want monitor Auxes to be pre-fader & effects to be post-fader. Pre-fader monitor means that your monitors don't get bumped when the main fader goes up. That can get feedback started &/or hurt somebody's hearing. Post-fader effects sends mean that you don't find yourself with an overwhelming wet (i.e. effects-modified) signal returning to the mains when a channel is down.

    In reference to Auxes, "pre-fader" means before the channel fader (which, of course, is also before the main fader). "Post-fader" refers to the channel fader, but before the channels are all summed so the main fader still applies.