Unofficial Mackie User Forums > DL1608/DL806/DL32R/ProDX Mixers

Am I using the DL32R right?

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Hi all!
I've had the DL32R since day 1, and it has been working well for me.  However, I'm starting to question if I'm using the mixer right...  I typically use the compressors and their makeup gain to get a good sounding mix.  This usually does the trick.  However, I've been going back over some DVDs and books, and almost everyone talks about getting the gain staging correct to get the most effective signal-to-noise ratio on the mixer.  I feel like I tend to run the input gain low and use the compressor's makeup gain to output a smoother signal.  To me, it seems like the more I up the input gain, the quicker the singer's mics feed back, but if I use the compressor's makeup gain, I get a better, more controlled sound without the feedback.  (this is with the compressors doing very little work)

This weekend, I set up a new band that I was running sound for, and tried to do it 'right' (i.e. using only the input gain to set the levels), and it sounded terrible until I started kicking in the makeup gain with the compressors on the mains, the monitors, and channels.

How is everyone else running their channels and mains / monitors in terms of the compressors?

One other question... does anyone know where the signal level is being measured at on the main screen?  I have channels that have zero input gain, but are showing as a strong signal on the main screen.  Is there any way to set those meters so that they show pre gain level, post gain level, and/or post fader level?

- cyclops

I've got the DL1608 and things are a little bit different.  But don't worry too much about doing it "right".  If it works for you, go ahead and do it.  As far as suggestions for use, they are guidelines and not gospel.  Just one warning, if you have someone else sit in on your board, you had better warn them before they change everything on you.  I have one person who sits in for me.  (Rarely, but he's a friend and has some familiarity with the system.) 

I rarely use the compression make up on my mixer.  (There are times I do.)  I also nearly never get feedback.  (Got DriveRack PXs on the L/R and Aux 1+2 for EQ and anti-feedback.  And I really hate LOUD crap.)

Sir Krang:
G'day Cyclops

I've been in the live music industry for 28 years. I have zero experience with "text book" sound engineering.
My experience has been 100% hands on, and I learnt very early that if it sounds good, and everything is working well then that's all that's really needed.

My point is that if what You do gives good results then my advice would be to stick with that, unless you are given advice on something else to try that gives you even better results. No point complicating something if what you already do is good .. In your ears.

To directly address your question, I set my overall gain structure as close to unity as possible BEFORE adding any other processing like compression, limiting, EQ..

And I tend to use as little comp/limit/EQ as I can possibly get away with after playing with mic position etc.
But that's just what I do. Doesn't mean it's 100% correct for anyone else.

Trial and error, in moderation, is an extremely good learning tool. Cheers :)

Just a thought.  If you have someone sit in on your board, let them run the faders using My Fader app.  That way they can't screw with your compression settings.  Good use for that app.

I use the comp makeup gain on vocal mic's, on every show. It gives me a "trim" control at the ipad (DL1608). I too use comp's very sparingly.


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