You are here

How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby Agharta » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:49 pm

I have access to the following gear and not sure how to connect it all up to use with the 5 channel looper? I’m new to using a mixer so assume I know nothing, or even worse as I know a little bit which can be dangerous! :)

1. Keyboards, guitars, microphones, ipad, PC (Input only)
2. Boss RC-505 Loop Station (Input/Output)
3. Behringer X1622USB Mixer. https://www.behringer.com/behringer/pro ... Code=P0A0J
4. Boss BCB-60 Pedal Board and about a dozen pedals. Used with the 2 Aux Sends/Returns as I will have some in the board and some in a loose chain.

I have two questions:
1. How do I setup the mixer so that I can record from a single input channel to the looper using the two Aux sends/return, whilst all the other channel inputs are active?
2. Do I need to use hardware device(s), DI box etc, to match the signals between the mixer I/O and the two pedal chains? Or can I just use the Aux Send/Return levels to do that?

First.
For example, I want to record a guitar being input to CH1 on the mixer to the looper whilst monitoring any other inputs to the mixer which will include the output from the looper which has 5 channels; including the one I am recording to. This whilst using the dual Aux Sends/Returns on CH1 only, so that the effects are added to the guitar that is recorded to the looper.

My first thought is to only have the guitar on the main mix buss and send everything else to the SUB buss.
1. If I do that, do I lose the ability to add EQ etc to all the other inputs? Not sure if the channels are routed to the SUB buss ‘pre or post’ if that is the correct usage of those terms? I won’t be using effects on the other input channels even if the routing allows as I need to leave them free for the guitar only.
2. When not recording to the Looper, everything goes though the main buss and I monitor in the standard way. But when I am recording loops and sending everything except for CH1 to the SUB buss, I have to monitor via the SUB buss only.
As this buss seemingly is only output on the back panel via the two labelled SUB 1 and 2, I can’t monitor via the headphones in Loop Record Mode. Plus my final physical outputs will be different depending on whether I am Loop Record Mode or not.
So is the only way around this to send the outputs from both the main and SUB busses to a second small mixer? With that mixer I just use the appropriate input depending on if I am in Loop Record Mode or not and the headphone output will always give the correct signal.
Any suggestions for a very small mixer with two stereo inputs and a headphone output? I have access to a Yamaha SC-02 but that is battery operated so probably not ideal.
3. It’s important to have the ability to monitor via headphones as well as via external speakers at all times.

Second.
Both the Mono Mic input channels and the stereo input channels accept a wide range of input levels.
The stereo input can be switched between +4/-10 and the mono line input has a gain control rated for +10 to -40dB.
1. So do I require a DI box when plugging a guitar into either of these? I am more likely to want to use the mono mic/instrument channels but good to know if I can use either. Having one less box and cable is good.
2. The Boss BCB-60 Pedal Board presumably has a guitar level I/O signal. So how do I match that with the Main Aux Sends/Returns on the mixer? Can I just adjust the Aux Sends/Returns I/O levels to match or will I require a DI Box for the returns and something else for the sends to attenuate the hot signal?

My brain is rather fuzzy these days and this is new to me so please point out any glaring errors and also omissions as maybe there are some techniques that will give me more choices.
I’m happy to experiment and will be very careful with levels so if doing that am I unlikely to damage anything?
I want to get an overview of what is possible before deciding on what cabling and DI boxes etc to order. Thanks.
Agharta
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4310
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:00 am

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby wdsteele » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:31 pm

Looping can get awfully dizzy inducing at the best of times in my experience , if you’re feeling fuzzy now , jut wait until you engage the looper for a full on dizzy experience of the highest order ... :crazy:

Not sure I can offer much direct advice , but I use the little Yamaha Sonic cake too and the battery issue isn’t a problem at all although I keep a couple of rechargeable batteries handy if I forget to switch off between breaks ,which is often.

Might not suit your overall requirements , but I mix everything in my Mac , so vox , guitar and stereo source into audio interface , then Outputs 1&2 into Boss RC10 looper and the looper into the Yamaha for headphone out .I get to apply some nice plugins that way which is great fun.

If I had another 3&4 output on my interface , then I could monitor on my speakers too , but not the looper of course , just the original inputs to interface , although depending on your objective and software you could specify what goes to looper and what goes to main monitors if needs be .

Anyhow , I never paused to care how the Boss would handle the interface outputs and indeed there is no issue there In my arrangement.

Sounds complex for my approach to looping which is the simpler the better really , but hope you get a work around,
wdsteele
Regular
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:00 am

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:05 pm

I'm hugely into using loopers for live improvs, and I have an RC-505, which is my favourite hardware looper.

The way I handle it is to have all the instruments feeding an aux, controlled by a foot-pedal, such that anything I'm playing at any moment can be selectively thrown into the looper as I go.

The RC-505 really scores, because you have 5 separate loops available all the time to populate, fade in/out and clear/re-set at any time.

There's a lot to read up there, so I'll admit I haven't :lol: - but if there any specifics you need I'm happy to explain. The RC-505 is a tricky machine to initially set up (and the manual is about as clear as mud), but once you do it's superb.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16137
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby Agharta » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:07 pm

Thanks. The main purpose of this setup is to get away from the PC and get hands on.
I might potentially hook up the PC as just another stereo input if desired, but that’s low priority to start.
I have two analogue synths and two MIDI controllers both of which have sequencers.
Then there’s the guitars and a room full of percussion.
So it’s about creating improvised soundscapes without thought to a final outcome.
I do have a portable recorder so I can capture the main output of the mixer if I like.
Agharta
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4310
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:00 am

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby Agharta » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:17 pm

Thanks Elf as I appreciate it must be a busy time of year for you!
Sorry I couldn’t help myself. ;)

I might get back to you about the looper if I get bogged down.
I have been measuring to see what length cables I need.
Just realised that it’s Thursday so doubt they will come until next week. :(
There are some on Amazon for next day delivery but the wires look a bit thin.
Does that matter for 1.5m mono cables?
Agharta
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4310
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:00 am

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:46 pm

Agharta wrote:Thanks Elf as I appreciate it must be a busy time of year for you!
Sorry I couldn’t help myself. ;)

There are some on Amazon for next day delivery but the wires look a bit thin.
Does that matter for 1.5m mono cables?
As long as they're decent shielded instrument cables I wouldn't be too concerned.

Agharta wrote:Thanks Elf as I appreciate it must be a busy time of year for you!
Sorry I couldn’t help myself. ;)
It actually is! But Santa is allowing me time off for recreational purposes! :mrgreen:
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16137
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby Agharta » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:01 pm

:D

I have already ordered them as I don't want to wait another 3 days at least.
I am ready for the journey to commence.

Took a look at external effects and boy is that a rabbit hole.
The Eventide H9 Max seems fun but only one effect at a time!
Although one of theirs seems like it can cover what others might take 2 or 3 units to do.
Made me appreciate more how inexpensive software effects are. :thumbup:
Agharta
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4310
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:00 am

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:05 pm

Agharta wrote:Made me appreciate more how inexpensive software effects are. :thumbup:
Give Enso a try - my new favourite software looper...
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16137
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:25 pm

Used Quantiloop Pro for a few live gigs. They were more of ambient non-tempo style gigs and it was possible to turn off syncing the loops to each other to build up cool pads and polyrhythms. It was also possible to inserts other app plugins on each track. Yes - a rabbit hole!
Great fun!
But
To avoid the computer I have 5-6 guitar pedals chained together going into a small mixer (Mackie 1202) Each send goes to a different fx box. I think with send 2 there are 2 fx boxes chained.
Then for more craziness I take the insert from the guitar pedal track (is it called half insert?) and that goes to 2 chained guitar multi-fx boxes. They come back on separate channels so I have control over volumes.
I get blissfully lost under headphones with all the wonderful sound combinations. And when I remember to turn it on the H2n does recording duties from the mixer master out. The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to add a drum machine to the mixer so I have a tempo to lock to, that doesn’t go to the main out and get recorded.
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4085
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: O Canada

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby Agharta » Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:50 pm

Mind blown. :crazy:

Thanks. :thumbup:
Agharta
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4310
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:00 am

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby The Elf » Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:29 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to add a drum machine to the mixer so I have a tempo to lock to, that doesn’t go to the main out and get recorded.
Which is where the RC-505 scores mightily - a built-in drum machine that can be routed separately.

(And would obviously be simple from a computer too)
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16137
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: How do I integrate a 5 channel looper with a mixer with 2 Aux Sends/Returns?

Postby ManFromGlass » Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:46 am

Brilliant having a separate out for the drums! Sometimes Boss really nails it.
One of my connected guitar fx units is the Boss GT-001.
I also have to give credit to the success with my current non-computer set-up to all the people here who helped me get over specific hurdles. Not being a gigging guitar player other’s experiences probably saved me from frying at least one of my units with wrong voltage, (or was it amperage?)
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4085
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: O Canada