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Signal TOO Hot

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Bobster98, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Bobster98


    Nov 5, 2010
    I play at church using a Behringer BXL 1800a as a monitor. Using the direct out on the amp to send signal to the Macke console for the house system. The sound man says the signal level at the console trim pot is too hot. The pot needs to be set at about 8 oclock and then the pot is real touchy. Very hard to set. Most all the controls on the amp are set at about 11 oclock. Will at ATT-448 XLR attenuator help the situation. It has 20db, 30db and 40db settings. Thanks, Bob
  2. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    If the soundman can adjust the trim to acceptable level (be the pot touchy or not, it´s not like it has to be constantly tweaked, and the desk has faders anyways ), you´re good to go.

    If not (i.e. signal level is too hot even with trim pot at minimum), some of the other measures will have to be taken.

    Some amps have their XLR sends "post-gain". Check if amp´s gain setting affects the XLR output.

    If dropping amp gain doesn´t make the situation better, you could insert an attenuator in line, and drop the level significantly. 20dB will be enough in most cases.
  3. May I ask why it needs to be set at 8? In my experience as a soundman, I often leave the trim pots - also known as channel gain - at zero. The trim is just another preamp on the line - if the signal is hot enough to not need it, turn it the hell off!

    Now, if the signal coming into the board is so hot that it still clips, even with the trim at 0, then you have to look at alternatives. Generally, turning down the source is more than enough.

    Is the line out of your amp a DI out - i.e. an XLR low-impedance balanced - or an actual 1/4" TS line-level out? If it's the latter, you have two options: either tell the soundguy to jack you into a line-level input, or stop using it and plug into the board through a DI. If the former, then you'll have to turn it down. If it doesn't have a dedicated level control, you'll just have to turn down your amp or bass.

    ...and yeah, an attenuator would do the trick, but is completely unneccessary.
  4. Bobster98


    Nov 5, 2010
    Thanks for all the input. Even with the trim pot turned most of the way down, the gain seems to high. The green gain light is on all the time with audio present. If I turn down the amp, I dont get the level from the amp needed for monitoring. I will try to turn down the input of the amp which should lower the level coming out of the direct out of the amp. It is a balanced XLR out. I may be able to use the Master on the amp to recover the lost gain in the amp. Will try. Thanks again guys.

  5. WayneP

    WayneP Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    Why not just use a direct box so you can send the bass guitar signal straight to the sound system? It would not only solve the hot signal problem, it would eliminate any noise to the PA that the BXL might be generating.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Pedulla Club #45
    Administrator, Tobias Club
    Big Cabs Club #23
    My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly

  6. Yep, that really ought to do it. If it doesn't, do like Wayne suggests and jack a DI into the line between your bass and amp.

    Good luck!
  7. Bobster98


    Nov 5, 2010
    That would get the gain down a bunch but I would loose the compressor, phase and eq of the amp. I would rather keep those in the mix. I think. That's one of the problems with practicing one day and playing one day a week. Not a lot of time can be devoted to Fixing problems like this. I'll try turning the Preamp down and the master up. Thank Guys
  8. +1000, if we make that "an ADDITIONAL attenuator" (though I'd guess that's what R. Laevinus means). The channel 'trim pot' should serve as a sufficient attenuator; it's supposed to.
  9. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    a rolls DB25 is about $30 has an attenuator trim on it...
  10. Bobster98


    Nov 5, 2010
    well last night we practiced for Next Sunday. I turned all the preamp level controls down from about 1 o'clock to 11 o'clock. I then turned the master control up to get the volume I wanted on stage. Sound man was very pleased with the level at the console imput. The little BXL 1800a really sounds good as a monitor. Very happy. Also lowered the action on the Key Factor 5 a little. Very happy with the rig. Thanks All, Bob
  11. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    You misread - he said 8 o'clock, not 8 (which would be about 3 o'clock).
  12. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Looks like your amp has a line out (TS phone jack)
    and a DI XLR.

    Read the manual and see if it gives specs on these
    (signal chain that feeds them)

    Most DI jacks are post pre amp and post EQ
    This means turning down the pre amp some will
    lower the level going to the mixer and the amp

    Then turn your Master Vol up on the amp to desired
    monitor level YOU need but it won't effect level going to the mixer.

    You might be running the pre amp gain to high on the amp (is the bass you are playing Active also and are you cranking everything all the way up on the bass)
    Also if the compressor and EQ in the amp are POST DI then using a DI box you are not losing anything anyway.
  13. Pad at the board.
  14. Noose


    Nov 19, 2010
    Hey Bobster, I think I ran into the exact same problem. I see you found a solution that seems to work right now, but I would like to ad something that could also help. I play through a behringer rig myself. My soundman and me have wars sometimes because he was complaining that my signal was too hot coming from my amp when i ran direct. He wanted to mic the cab, something I do not like doing mainly because we dont have the right kinds of mics to get a good bass sound that way. Anyway, I was having to turn my amp down way too low to the point where I couldnt get the right sound out of my 8 X 10 and couldnt hear the sounds I was making over the drums. Long story short, just as a default I had been using the bass and treble boost buttons on my amp. I didnt realize that this dramatically boosts the signal. It doesnt seem to bother the speaker cabinet, but the board couldnt handle it. So I stopped using those buttons and actually turned the volume and gain on my amp way higher than before. Not only did my signal stop clipping at the board, but I can basically jack my amp so loud that I can feel it in my chest. Plus, my soundman is much much happier. If you have those treble and bass boost buttons on your amp, try turning them off and turning up your volume. Worked great for me.
  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I didn't read the thread, but if board padding is non-existent or not enough, get something to address that rather than changing the way you run your rig.

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