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crank it to eleven

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crank it to eleven

Postby gsc1ugs » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:41 am

:headbang:

Been having a conversation with someone about how they drive their active KV2 ex-12 speakers and subs to match, i asked do you crank the volume full on the amps then use the desk to sort out room volume...

He said he puts the desk at 0db then turns up the speakers to suit... just like to know what is the correct procedure please?
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby CS70 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:53 am

So long the signal stays within the respective headrooms, it makes no difference whatsoever in theory. Gain is gain.

In practice, it depends on which of the two amplification circuits is more noisy (but shouldnt really be a big problem with good kit). Try both and see.

A bit depends also on workflow. A fader is intuitively a volume control more than a gain control, so it's natural to want to wiggle a little. The consequence is that I'd stick with max level on the speaker, use the desk gain to be able to set the faders around zero and then use the faders to wiggle when necessary.
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:05 am

gsc1ugs wrote:He said he puts the desk at 0db then turns up the speakers to suit... just like to know what is the correct procedure please?

This topic has been heavily debated here before.

Technically, the arrangement you describe above is the best approach as it optimises the signal-noise and headroom margins throughout the entire chain.

However, it only works in a practical sense if you are certain, when adjusting the active speaker's (or power amp's) input sensitivity during the setup, precisely how loud you need the system to go during the gig. This is because you can only push the desk faders up so far before running into headroom issues, and it's not usually practical to run over to the speakers to turn up their volume knobs mid-gig!

Consequently, many people prefer to leave the active speakers turned up full all the time, and then run the console either with the main faders pulled back a bit if the full system volume is not required, or back off on the input channel gains. The downside is a slightly degraded signal-noise ratio, but it's not usually a problem in most small-moderate sized gig situations.

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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby gsc1ugs » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:42 pm

I was told a long time ago that the desk should be at 0db and amps full because the amps require a certain volt off the desk to maximise their ability :beamup:
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby CS70 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:54 pm

Not unless there’s something wrong with them. The desk should output line level voltage, and the active speakers expect just that.

Again, noise and the possibility of exceeding headroom by mistake are what matters
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:44 pm

It is useful to have the faders somewhere around 0dB/zero as they have most resolution at that end of their scale, I usually start with the channel faders at or around 0dB* and the main faders at -10dB** then turn the speakers up until it's loud enough for the room.

* I'm not a 'faders in a straight line' guy though, it's just an approximate starting point.
** Leaves me a bit of extra noise for when things get going.
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:50 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:It is useful to have the faders somewhere around 0dB/zero as they have most resolution at that end of their scale, I usually start with the channel faders at or around 0dB* and the main faders at -10dB** then turn the speakers up until it's loud enough for the room.

* I'm not a 'faders in a straight line' guy though, it's just an approximate starting point.
** Leaves me a bit of extra noise for when things get going.
This is my approach too, though I normally use about -6 rather than -10, but I guess Sam gets bigger audiences! :D
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby gsc1ugs » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:29 pm

So answer is, either way will do :thumbup:
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:52 pm

One thing you may have to consider, is the lovely punters. Occasionally, usually in pubs, I've known the tired and emotional ones to have a fiddle with the levels on the back of powered speakers.

If it's "that type" of event, running with the speakers on full with a lower desk output, means they can only be turned down, not up - which although annoying, will not damage anything.
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Re: crank it to eleven

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:00 pm

gsc1ugs wrote:So answer is, either way will do :thumbup:

Yes, with the caveat if the room is very small you are better to lose some gain on the back of the speaker so your faders are nearer their sweet spot (with due consideration to Mark's very valid point)
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