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What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am

Hi,

My current rig is a pair of JBL EON 15G2's + an EON 518S sub (will be getting another in the near future). I also have a Yamaha MG166CX mixer which has useful compression and reverb and a Behringer XR4400 4channel gate/exciter.

I have a 2u SKB case for the XR4400 and I'm wondering if there is anything else I would put into the spare 1u space that would be a really useful addition?
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby tacitus » Mon May 16, 2011 11:55 am

Suck button?
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby Sheriton » Mon May 16, 2011 12:01 pm

This really is one of those questions only you can answer. There must have been times during gigs when you've thought "oh I wish I had a .........". That ........ might have been more channels of compression, a delay unit, radio mic receivers, power distribution, rack light, headphone amp, rack drawer, coffee cup holder... Get something that YOU need, not something that someone else thinks might be useful.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby Mixedup » Mon May 16, 2011 1:01 pm


+1... only get what you need... although if you did happen to need another delay/reverb/compressor, then I can recommend the TC Electronic M300 or M350 (they're pretty much the same thing) and a footswitch for tap tempo: really useful, cheap as chips, sounds decent, and is pretty lightweight.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby mpostor » Mon May 16, 2011 1:35 pm

One of these, maybe?

Asides from that, +1 on the above. Use only what you need.
Anything else will only add up to more weight to carry around.
Don't underestimate the value of a blanking panel!

Stu.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby TSH-Tim » Mon May 16, 2011 6:07 pm

If you wanted to improve the FOH sound you could look for a 2nd hand XTA SIDD :)
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Mon May 16, 2011 6:21 pm

Thanks for the replies. I guess I was looking for something that may improve/maximize my FOH sound.

What are peoples thoughts on something like the DBX DriveRack?

http://www.dbxpro.com/PA+/
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby TSH-Tim » Mon May 16, 2011 6:39 pm

Check my post out ;) Look for a used XTA SIDD http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb03/a ... tasidd.asp
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby TSH-Tim » Mon May 16, 2011 6:41 pm

Oh yes the DBX... ok well they sound ok-ish but any XTA controller is miles ahead if you ask me also the user interface is very poor and nothing can be changed that quickly unlike a XTA unit.

XTA DP224's can be found for about £400 used :)
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Tue May 17, 2011 2:45 pm

dickiefunk wrote:I'm wondering if there is anything else I would put into the spare 1u space that would be a really useful addition?

What about the Behringer DCX2496, easily one of their best products and generally well-rated as active cross-overs go -there are quite a few people on this forum that use them.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby Aliweasel » Tue May 17, 2011 3:34 pm

A graphic EQ could be a useful addition for general FOH sound sculpting, especially if you work in a lot of different acoustic environments. A DBX 215 would fit the bill.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue May 17, 2011 5:19 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:What about the Behringer DCX2496, easily one of their best products and generally well-rated as active cross-overs go -there are quite a few people on this forum that use them.

Hmm this is interesting though the name Behringer puts me off a little??

Any other user reports on this?

I will look more into the Behringer DCX2426, DBX DriveRack PX and the XTA DP224 (though I only really want to spend £200 tops).

The suggestion of a graphic EQ is the other option I was considering. I guess I need to weigh up which would give me the most bang for buck - Graphic EQ or Loudspeaker Management System?
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby TSH-Tim » Tue May 17, 2011 6:27 pm

Having owned & used all three a can tell you that the Berry unit is lovely and you cant fault it for the money... wipes the floor with regs to the DBX which i hate lol

The only thing that lets the DCX down is the limiters and you can only do so much with it before the CPU runs out of stream and you wont be able to add any other PEQ..

If i was you i would be saving a little longer and looking for a XTA (these units also hold there money)

Or maybe look at a used BSS Soundweb 9088i (i think thats right) 4in 8out but these are PC controlled - Will do everything & anything you could every wish.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue May 17, 2011 6:55 pm

TSH-Tim wrote:Having owned & used all three a can tell you that the Berry unit is lovely and you cant fault it for the money... wipes the floor with regs to the DBX which i hate lol

The only thing that lets the DCX down is the limiters and you can only do so much with it before the CPU runs out of stream and you wont be able to add any other PEQ..

If i was you i would be saving a little longer and looking for a XTA (these units also hold there money)

Or maybe look at a used BSS Soundweb 9088i (i think thats right) 4in 8out but these are PC controlled - Will do everything & anything you could every wish.

Thanks for the info. The Behringer unit looks tempting for the price, expecially if one comes up secondhand.

What version of the software did the unit you use have? I noticed that there has been several software updates for the DCX 2496. It's currently on 1_17.

I'm wondering if the cpu issue you mention is anthing to do with older OS software or it's a permanent weak point?

What problems did you find with the limiters?
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby TSH-Tim » Tue May 17, 2011 9:23 pm

I was running 1.5 but the CPU issues has nothing to do with the software.... they just don't have tonnes of CPU power / memory to allow you to do EVERYTHING you MIGHT want to do :)

I found the limiters poor and if you wanted they can be easily beaten but if your using the kit and its not for dry hire i wouldn't to much.

At the time i loved it and couldn't fault the unit... it was only until i used a XTA that my eyes were opened.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed May 18, 2011 7:58 am

Hmm interesting!

To be honest I'm not sure if I want the limiters anyway.

If I bought the Behringer DCX 2496 I would gain a crossover but my EON 518S already has a crossover built into it?
I would also gain dynamic and parametric EQ's which looks handy but I'm wondering if just buying an EQ would give me the same results?

What benifits would I have buying the DCX 2496 over something like the Behringer ULTRACURVE PRO DEQ2496?
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby turbodave » Wed May 18, 2011 8:35 am

Hi, I was going to suggest going a little old school and get a second hand Klark Teknik 2 channel parametric for left and right outs? Dave...ooops ignore ...its 2U :headbang:
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby _ Six _ » Wed May 18, 2011 8:49 am

+1 on the TC Electronic
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby grab » Wed May 18, 2011 9:10 am

I've got a DEQ2496. Honestly I don't have much use for most of its features - the main thing it gets used for is the parametrics for notching out feedback. (I've never found that its automatic feedback detection/suppression worked, although to be fair I don't usually have long enough at soundcheck to do serious experimenting.) I know I should also use its limiters, but it's usually on the monitors and I don't tend to need them that loud.

It does what it does fairly well, but put across the entire mix going to a speaker I simply don't find most of it that useful, and the whole dial-and-button interface simply isn't as convenient for broad-brush EQing as a regular 31-slider model. I'm probably going to end up selling it and getting a better brand of 2x31 EQ instead.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Wed May 18, 2011 1:07 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Any other thoughts on the Behringer UltraCurve DEQ2496 vs UltraDrive DCX2496?

It would appear that the only different feature that the UltraDrive has is the crossovers!?
Would there be any point in getting this unit for the crossovers?
Would the crossovers in the UltraDrive be better than those used in the EON 518S sub?

The UltraCurve appears to offer way more features (apart from the crossovers) :-

Dual 31-band Graphic Equalizers (stereo linkable)

Dual 31-band Virtual Paragraphic Equalizers (stereo linkable)

Dual 10-band Parametric EQ’s per stereo side

Dynamically-activated EQ

Feedback Destroyer with Learning Mode

Stereo Imager

Compressor/Expander

Limiter

Digital Delay

RTA/SPL/FFT Analyzer with Auto EQ function

Is it possible to use an EQ, Feedback Destroyer and Limiter at the same time?

Hmmm??
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby grab » Thu May 19, 2011 11:58 am

I only tried the room analyser once. Then I found how much the room analyser gets thrown by conversation when the pink noise isn't loud enough, and how much people in the room appreciate the soundman hitting them with pink noise at moderate levels... Playing a few songs which you know cover the major bases is more public-friendly.
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Thu May 19, 2011 4:54 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:The cross-over in the 518s is not an active cross-over, it's a simply a pass-through filter, the two are worlds apart.

It's for the cross-over functionality that most people by the DXC2496, and speaking from my own perspective, I've never needed a feedback destroyer and I've always preferred a manual graphic EQ that I can adjust when required, the onboard examples are too fiddly and too time comsuming in a live environment.

Thanks for this info. How does an active cross-over differ from a pass-through filter?
Would there my a noticable improvement in my FOH if I bought a proper crossover?
Should I be looking at a passive or active crossover for my rig?
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby Mike Sullivan » Sun May 22, 2011 4:00 pm

IMHO I'd go with either some sort of processing as others have said, or if money is tight, I remember a 1U 31-band stereo EQ, only used one 31-band EQ to control both channels...I think...I'll look for it...
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby Tempo280 » Sun May 22, 2011 6:12 pm

dickiefunk wrote:
Thanks for this info. How does an active cross-over differ from a pass-through filter?
Would there my a noticable improvement in my FOH if I bought a proper crossover?
Should I be looking at a passive or active crossover for my rig?

The "crossover" in your subs is a "dumb" piece of circuitry. Designed by the speaker manufactures to split the incoming signal from your amplifier, into two parts. A low frequency part, and a mid/high frequency part. The low frequencies get fed into your sub, and the rest gets sent to the link thru speakon connector, and out into your tops.

This method is inefficient because lots of heat is generated in the crossover network. I have in my head 20% of the input power is lost in the crossover network.

But there are other, more practical/audible benefits which is why all pro level speakers save the weight the crossover adds and lets an active box do it.
- Internal crossovers are uneditable, sometimes you might find yourself wanting to change the crossover frequency and/or power ratios between the two outputs. This can't be done with an passive crossover without opening up the speaker and swapping in a new crossover board.
- Not perfect. Crossover networks can often lead to an uneven/peaky frequency response across the frequency range. This makes the speakers more susceptible to feedback.

An active crossover, such as the one in the DBX and others, is an active design. It takes a line level signal from your desk, and splits it. The crossover frequency is set, the steepness of the filter slope is set, and you can independantly change the levels of each frequency band. These plus Dynamic effects and PEQs can then be edited from a menu, saved and different set ups recalled depending on the rig or gig.

So an active crossover is often spec'd as 2 in 6 out. For a simple 2 way cross over, which is what you are trying to achieve, you would have your L+R outputs from your desk split into 4 outputs. (1) Mid-hi Left. (2)Lows Left. (3)Mid-high right. (4) Low Right.

These four outputs would then be sent into 4 amplifier channels. each amp channel powering a their respective speaker.

Chances are, to do this, the subs would have to be rewired to bypass the internal crossover. And if you wanted to really push the boat out. you could make it a 3 way crossover, and have 2 more amplifier channels and bypass the crossover in the tops, which splits between the 15" mid driver, with the tweeter.

So, to sum up. Active is more efficient, and more flexible and often sound better. But you have to have more amplifier channels to get it to work. Passive crossovers are simple and pretty fool proof.

HTH. J
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat May 28, 2011 1:39 pm

Well looks like I'm am gonna need some more rack spaces!!

I will be looking to pick up a speaker management system of some sorts and a few EQ's!
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat May 28, 2011 1:45 pm

One other question.

The XTA SIDD doesn't have a crossover.

Would I benefit from having something with an active crossover built in???
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Re: What 1u rack gear would be a good addition to my rig?

Postby shufflebeat » Mon May 30, 2011 10:07 pm

dickiefunk wrote:
Would I benefit from having something with an active crossover built in???

There are lots of boxes with built in Xovers and it makes sense to keep it all in one unit (Driverack series et al). The one benefit with a seperate dedicated unit is easy access to the Xover point which, if for instance you have a different band lineup or different FOH speakers every night can be (but usually isn't) useful.
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