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Separate volume control box for active PA speaker

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Luckydog, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    did some web searches and I’m not sure if I am way off base with this...I’m looking for a very simple volume control that can be placed near a solo performer (like on the floor) so that she can boost or cut the volume on an active PA speaker, without doing it at the board. She is using a digital board, and managing EQ and volume adjustments from an Android tablet. When she performs solo she sometimes needs to boost the overall FOH volume (she uses a single active speaker for this type gig), without dealing with the tablet. She wants to be able to reach down a simply twist a volume knob up or down for fine tuning the FOH volume.

    The line to the active speaker is XLR. I’m thinking that a box with XLR in and out, that has a volume pot in it would work without adversly affecting the other settings. The FOH line out from the passive mixer would go into this “volume box”, and the line out from the box would go to the active main. The box could be set with its volume halfway up as a starting point, which would then give her the ability to boost or cut some of the volume.

    Is such a thing sold? I know I could add another small mixer in line, but looking for a simpler and cheaper solution. Thanks!
  2. Robb Fesig

    Robb Fesig

    Mar 14, 2015
    Maybe you could do something with MIDI via the digital mixer? Although it doesn't sound like a cheap or easy-to-setup solution.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Wasnex likes this.
  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    IMHO, an inexpensive line mixer would work. If she want's quality and XLR consider similar to
    Mix 2:1 - Radial Engineering

    You can find a variety of active and passive line mixers for under $50, but typically these use unbalanced 1/4" connections.

    Here's a few inline XLR Volume Controls. Before buying, I recommend confirming theyf will handle a line level signal. Rolls specs say it will work with mix or line level, but I couldn't find specs for the other two.

    Rolls Corporation - Real Sound - Products ILC19

    Volume BLOX - RapcoHorizon

  5. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    That would work. It's passive so it does not boost, which also means that it doesn't add noise on it's own. The volume of the speaker would need to be set at or above the highest level needed and then bring the level of the attenuator down to suit.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I would go with a little Rolls mixer. Elegantly simple and relatively cheap.

    Of course, another elegantly simple solution would be a really nice stand for the tablet. Set the screen to stay on permanently and run a charger cable up the stand. Leave the mains up on the screen at all times. That's even simpler than adding something else to the signal chain. So my first advice is to figure out how to make the pad less annoying rather than add another gadget in the line.
    s0c9 and Wasnex like this.
  7. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Good ideas all! I’ll delve more into your suggestions. She uses her tablet for lyrics, so it would be a few steps to get to the app, then the volume control, so I dont think she wants to go that way, but I agree that would be the least equipment intensive. I have a tiny little yamaha mixer, but IIRC, as Wasnex mentions, it doesnt have XLR out. I agree, the gain on the active main would need to be set a little higher than normal and then cut it back on the interface. I’ll look more at the other volume suggestions. Great place here for helpful info...fast, professional, and courteous. Thanks all for your input.
  8. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    A second tablet would make the whole thing a moot point. Depending on the app needed it could possibly even be one of the cheap androids. I have an old iPad that can no longer be updated that runs the X32 Mix app just fine.
  9. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Yeah, thats another good idea. I think she doesnt have another tablet at the moment, but that could def be an option. I’m not even sure what app she uses.
  10. ak56

    ak56 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    I use a tablet for my music when playing at church.
    I use my phone (android) to control my monitor mix (floor wedge).
    Wasnex likes this.
  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az

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