Sending signal from a mixer to FOH.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by P.Niggz, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. P.Niggz


    Apr 12, 2009
    So... I've worked on building a rig to get a ridiculously dirty sound and I've got it sounding just how I want it. Then I run into that same old problem where by every sound engineer I have the pleasure of dealing with wants me to just DI. I try explain to him that I split my signal into 2 different amps but he has none of it.

    Seeing as I have the mics I like to use at home I'm thinking I just mic my 2 cabs, plug them into my own mixer, get a good balance between the two and send him 1 signal from the mixer, thus meaning he can't really complain.

    I was thinking of going out of the group out of my yamaha mg124C mixer. Would I need to go through a DI box for him to get it to FOH?

    I hope what I'm saying makes sense.
    taylor16 likes this.
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've known drummers who do the same thing: they use a mini-mixer and send the adjusted signal to the FOH desk. Not sure of exactly how they do it but it does not require the addition of a DI.

  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I don't think you need a DI when coming off a mixer. Just use a mono out.
  4. DRafalske


    Nov 6, 2008
    Hebron, KY
    Drummer in my band uses a 6-channel mixer for his drums to send a single channel to the FOH. No DI is required, but be aware - an output from another mixer can easily clip a mic preamp on another board. You and the sound guy will need to set the output and gain levels accordingly.
  5. P.Niggz


    Apr 12, 2009
    Would a DI Box not take the signal from the line level out of the mixer to mic level, thus meaning he can plug in as normal?

    Maybe I'm being naive though.
  6. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    yes you will need to plug the output of the mixer into a Di to send to the snake, you wil need two matching Di's if you want to be in stereo, for bass, I wouldn't bother.
    you should rehearse your signal and make sure it's optimized before you start using it live because there'll be no time to tweak a setup like that on the fly.
    using your own mics could cause massive problems (bleed from other instruments) if you're not aware of live sound techniques.
    if I were you, I would give serious consideration to simplifying your rig and forget about using your own mics.
  7. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    edit: apologies...the OP clearly says that he has 2 amps going...still, keep in mind that much of what I'm talking about with regards to cabinet modeling/IRs still holds, but that a 2 channel or "mono sum" solution would be necessary.]

    check out this similar thread:

    To avoid the use of mics for this purpose, you could use a stomp or rack unit that has Cabinet Emulation (or something with a steep low pass filter). Take a line level out of your amp head (assuming it has one) and run it into the speaker emulator and DI to FOH. If you want to get very sophisticated, there are units like the 2Notes Torpedo C.A.B, and other more pricey units that have more variety of cabinets, mics, and placements, while other units would allow you to create your own cabinet Impulse Response or one from a third party vendor (like Redwirez) and load it into a Cab Model user slot. But that gets a bit heady, and is for those who really want to nit pick and fine tune a cabinet model emulation/IR.

    This idea goes way back more than 20 years, and the first I recall of such a device was the Hughes & Kettner RED BOX, which was a direct box with cabinet emulation built in, allowing a guitarist to take a line feed off of a guitar head or preamp and send it to FOH PA and have it sound reasonably good without mic'ing it.

    Things have come a long way since then. A ghetto solution (of sorts) would even be to buy a ZOOM MS60B stomp ($99US), take a line out level from your amp head, send it into the ZOOM with a very NEUTRAL amp model setting, and then utilizing one of the cabinet models from their selection (mix set to 100% wet, cabinet emulation). Then send this via a Direct Box to the FOH system. Another option to this idea would be to split the feed from your last pedal stomp, send one feed to your stage amp, and another to the MS60B and fully utilize it to "recreate" your stage amp's sound (or something very close, or maybe even better), and again feed this to FOH via Direct Box.

    Anyhoo...just my $.02
  8. tekhedd

    tekhedd Tone chaser Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    Owner/operator of BYTE HEAVEN
    As long as you have some sort of balanced XLR out, most engineers will give you the benefit of the doubt. (It had better work on the first try though!)

    As long as your mixer has balanced outputs you're probably OK. However, 1) you might need TRS to XLR adaptors, and 2) some engineers have their input gains set to mic level and seem incapable of adjusting it properly, so be ready to attenuate.

    Well, that's my experience anyway.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I say use the mics and send a mono out from the mixer. This shouldn't be a problem as any pro level board can accept line level as well as mic level inputs. If you need a mic line to get into the snake, then yes, a DI may be needed to do that.

    Tweak the setup at home, including running your little mixer into another to simulate going to the FOH board. This will allow you to solve any issues first. The soundguy shouldn't have a problem with you sending like that as long as it doesn't cause issues on his end.

    Mic placement will be important here but very good results can be had.
  10. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    If you could, describe what your typical gig is like...size of stage & venue, number of bands per show, size and power of PA system and monitor system. I think this would help us understand more about the options which might make the most sense.
  11. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    I understand your dilemma. But what you are missing in the translation with the average sound guy, is that he thinks your sound sucks and he wants a completely clean bass tone from a DI so he can listen to you the way he wants to listen to you....clean.

    Personally I'm a clean playing guy all the way, but I know there are many that love that grind. I love a very bright Entwhistle type top end, and every single sound guy under the sun asks me right off if there is someway I can get rid of that nasty clangy top end because its blowing their groove. Before I went all direct and all IEM, I would tell him to come up on stage and listen to what my stage rig is doing and to replicate that. And of course they never do, they go for the same old muddy tubby much mostly because they have burned up 90% of sound check getting the most awesome drum mix....but this isn't going to be another bash the sound guy post because we don't do that here anymore. Nowadays, I just call up my Mark King patch on my Line 6 Bass Pod Pro XT and tell him that is all he gets, make it work.

    But try bringing the next sound cat up on stage, make him listen to your sound and let him know you are the one paying his way tonight and that you'd really like him to do a better job of translating your vision to the audience. And it might help if your sound man is a bassist that loves overdrive.

    Best of luck sorting this one out, but I guarantee if you tell him you've got two mics hitting a mixer before you send to FOH, he'll still tell your he needs a DI signal too.....and just listen for which one he uses. My money will be on....the DI.
  12. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    QUOTE=P.Niggz;14663254]Would a DI Box not take the signal from the line level out of the mixer to mic level, thus meaning he can plug in as normal?

    Maybe I'm being naive though.[/QUOTE]

    As a fellow bass player and engineer, I can help you. I took a look at your mixer and it has XLR balanced outputs. Just use one of those outputs(either L or R) and pan your two mic channels to the same output. If you go from the left out, pan your two mics to the left on each channel. You can plug into the stage box using a standard mic cable.
    BUT HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART!!! Be sure he or she knows that at the console end they need to plug into a BALANCED LINE INPUT NOT THE MIC INPUT. If they plug a line level signal into the mic input it will OVERLOAD the mic preamp and he or she will freak out and yell, "Just give me a f---ing DI!" (If they know what they are doing this will not be a problem.) The trick is finding this out without insulting their intelligence.
    Better consoles will provide a balanced line input on each channel on a 1/4 " jack wired to a TRS plug. If you want to be completely prepared with the solution to the problem on the console side, you should have and adaptor or cable that is wired with an XLR female plug on one end and a 1/4" TRS male plug on the other end. You can get this cable at most music stores or make it yourself.
    They may still have to pad the signal on the console, but it will not be overloading the input.

    Hope this helps you!
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    How about sending the venue a stage plot and a description of what you will provide. Many bands are just way unprofessional.. Don't have any idea what the sound guy needs, what constraints he is facing and no appreciation for what he hears or what he has to do to make them sound good... If you have an off the wall rig, letting the guy know what it is you are going to want and what you have to work with BEFORE you get to the venue can make all the difference. When I get a stage plot, I about faint in relief... Or laugh thinking that the band thinks it is U2 and I am the Claire Brothers...

    I am assuming that you have a pair of really good mic's. PR-40, RE-20, M-42, D6... Try the above with a pair of am-57's and prepare for a single DI... As a part time sound guy, I'm willing to work with folks that prove they have their act together - which includes understanding time constraints... If you pull that rig out on a three band night with no sound check time built in by the venue... Also expect a di...
  14. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've also been a full time sound guy in years past, and still do the duty on occasion. I'm not unfamiliar with the crusty and "quick" attitude that can be given to musicians at the hands of a stressed out sound tech, and understand - but do not necessarily justify - the behavior when it is exhibited.

    Now all that said, I'm a pretty reasonable guy, and If I, as a sound tech, were presented with a bassist in a band, that is one of many bands on a billing, and with a lot of sound checks to take care of, my first question would be "what am I going to get from your dual amp, dual mic'd rig that is absolutely going to make you and your band sound better than a DI solution?". And the bassist had better have some really good answers. I would also listen to the bassist's sound, and if I thought that I couldn't replicate that tone through the PA system in a meaningful way using the tools at my disposal, I MIGHT indulge said bassist in his 2 mic summed to mono feed to the mains. But if this approach wasn't working well and caused more problems than it solved, I'd be back at square one with the bassist, and again, if many bands/soundchecks waiting, I'd have a very short leash time-wise to indulge him UNLESS this specific bass player had established bona fides in the local musical community on some level.

    I've asked the questions of the OP, to disclose more about the venues, stages, PA systems, number of acts, etc., in order to get a better idea as to whether he's making much ado about nothing, or whether his method would actually bear good fruit. If the OP is one of many bands doing a 40 min (or less) set length, and is performing in a room where the stage volume of many instruments (guitars, bass) will mostly cover the room and only need minimal reinforcement from the PA system, then his efforts may just be effectively a bunch of pissing in the wind, and the efforts with respect to FOH issues will not be appreciated in the audience.

    If the OP is performing as the the sole, or one of two acts on a bill, with substantially long performance set(s), and in rooms that absolutely rely on sound reinforcement for audience coverage, then the OP will stand a better chance that his mic'd dual amp rigs will be translated via the FOH.

    My 2 cents is to avoid the reliance on microphones and use a mono-summed wired solution via direct boxes, stomps, or some other unit that has cabinet emulation built in, ideally that replicate the cabinets being used in the OP's stage rig, but at the very least offer the EQ filtering characteristics that would allow the intended stage tones to be replicated (even if generally) via the PA system. FWIW, in large rooms, I have rarely heard a bass guitar's stage tone accurately replicated via the FOH sound system. Too often you hear all "sub woof" with very little clarity in the mids and highs. And it seems that the larger the venue (concert) the sheer volume of the FOH system makes so much of what the bassist sounds like an unintelligible ball of glop. (There are other threads on this topic). JMHO