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Question about live sound - boards with effects

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by agreatheight, May 4, 2006.

  1. I am in the process of putting together a cover band that will likely play lots of places that will need us to bring our own PA. I have a very nice set up for rehearsal, but I am thinking about upgrading my board. I was toying with the idea of getting a mixer with digital effects but I can't figure out if the effects are assignable to specific tracks or just to the mains. And I'm not sure how many effects you can run at once. Anyone have one of these? How do they work / sound?

    Specifically, I am interested in compressing three vocal tracks and the kick, and occasionally adding other effects (delay, whatever). What's the best way to do this - a board with effects or a board + an outboard effect unit (and then what should I look at getting). Also, what boards do you all have good experience with?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    You'll probably be happiest with a good 20 channel mixing board and a rack of quality outboard effects units - compressor, noise gate, EQ, FX, etc. A lot of the built-in board effects can be limited in their usefulness and precision.

  3. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    For a small cover band, I vote for an Allen & Heath Mix Wiz 16 Channel. You don't need more channels, IMO. There are two built in efx units(verbs mostly), that you can seperate to mains, an aux, whatever. However, I don't beleive that it has compression and the like, and would suggest an outboard piece for that.

    Ooh, and you can assign aux 6 to the mono out (great if you like aux fed subs like I do)
  4. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Most of the analog mixers with built in effects are pretty limited in that department.Most only let you use one effect at a time (except the A&H MixWiz, which allows 2) and the internal effects use up one of your aux channels, limiting what you can use for monitors (if you are running monitors fromt he same board as FOH)

    You sound like a candidate for a digital mixer such as the Behringer DDX3216 or the Yamaha 01V96. Digital mixers such as these will have dynamics (comps, gates) on all channels and also have upto 4 seperate effects engines built in. Plus they wil have all the aux channels seperate from the Effects for your monitors.

    Unfortunately, the Behringer DDX3216 has been discontinued, which is a shame because its a great mixer and there is really nothing that could compare to it for under $1500. They can still be had on Ebay though. The Yamaha 01V96 is the next step up in the digital mixer food chain and is an excellent unit, but much more expensive than the Behringer.

    One of the great features of the digital mixers is the scene control. All of the settings for songs can be stored in the mixers memory and recalled via midi. Just a quick couple of clicks and the faders all jump into position. Also they are great in the studio and can be connected to a DAW and used for recording. (I have my DDX paired with a Fostex D2424LV 24 track digital recorder, its allows me to patch into bands PA's and record 16 tracks live, and then take them home to mix down)

    check out the 01V96 here http://yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Con...0488%26ATRID%3D20%26DETYP%3DATTRIBUTE,00.html

    Now if you really plan on getting semi-complicated with your effects and your show...get a sound man:)
  5. +1
  6. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Yeah, here's another vote for simply picking up a few outboard rack effects. I like to compress and put a little delay on the whole mix, but even that's all outboard for me. I use my mixer's onboard reverb to throw a little 'verb in the monitors, but that's it.

    Sounds like you want more than onboard effects can provide. You'll be very happy with a couple of dedicated rackmounts, I think.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    If I were to get a board I'd go with a digital. It may take a little time to learn, but they have everything. You can save settings for venues so you don't have to reset manually every time you go to another place. Thye are more expensive, but by the time you buy your outboard effects, a rack, cableing, etc. you aren't too far away from a digital board.
  8. If I were to go traditional and load up on outboard gear what would you all specifically suggest? I don't want to spend a fortune, so at first I think I'll get a compressor and then maybe an eq. For compressors, anyone have any experience with FMR's RNC? It has great reviews and a very nice price. And then what's a good EQ to look into?

    Now, I'm assuming the best way to set this stuff up is the compressor in a bus and the eq on the mains going out? Or are there other / better ways to do it?

    Also, what about those automatic feedback boxes - do those work, are they worth the money?

    Thanks again!
  9. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    We use a Yamaha 16/6FX, I like the onboard effects for vocals (no compression/etc, that's in the rack) but I wish I would have bought rack mount for this reason:

    We run sound from the stage. Our vocals sound great while singing, but when talking between songs, the reverb makes our speech run together and unintelligible. If it were rack mounted, I would look into finding a way to bypass it with a foot switch so as soon as the song ends we could turn off the reverb until the next song.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    There's a great site that deals with all this stuff:


    We used chanel inserts for compression and ran the main outs to the EQ/Reverb and then to the crossover and power amps.
  11. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    I use an inexpensive Alesis dual channel compressor. Works well for my needs. Of course, I use it mainly as a limiter to keep things from getting too loud, so I use it on everything.

    As far as EQ goes, I really like my Behringer dual channel 31 band eq. It's got feedback detection, but you then have to manually eliminate the feedback on the lit up band. I actually prefer it that way - we can ring out the system and then not worry about it.

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